Exploring an all natural material list is so exciting! The list grows and grows the more I adventure, spend time in the woods and talk with people. Northern California is a great place to be doing this because of the vast amount of nature and different climates and environments in every direction. Native American culture is still very prevalent here too, and recently I've met some women who do native basket weaving and are offering to teach me.
Pictured below is an encaustic painting the Mendocino Mountains, a trees landscape from Northern Michigan, and a triptych of different Trout. These were created with beeswax medium painted on a wooden panel. I did some research and found out how to make my own natural gesso with rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate. This homemade mixture is gritty enough for the beeswax to stick to. The encaustic (beeswax) medium is homemade as well and all natural. Beeswax, demar resin and Earth Pigments make up my recipe. The ratios change as I'm exploring this new medium and finding ways to manipulate layers & melting points. Each layer is fused with a heat gun and I'm able to carve into the wax creating texture, collage into the wax and I can even use ink and gold leaf on the top layers.
There is so much to learn and to explore in encaustics. I will be teaching an encaustic workshop at North Valley Art League in Redding, CA this fall. Until then, I'll keep exploring this fantastic and all natural medium.
Jessica R. Willis
Artist of many mediums inspired by nature and philanthropy