Encaustic Art is an ancient form of painting using pigmented beeswax. It is heated and the paste is applied to surfaces such as canvas, wood and more recently card, glossy paper as well as pottery. Since the 1990's encaustic art has made a comeback and developed to include tools such as hotplates, heated stylus and mostly electric irons.
The first time I ever encountered this art was 20 years ago, when I was shopping with my family at a newly opened shopping centre.
I managed to frame and sell quite a few of them, all mostly postcard size. I did however, sell a few A4 sized ones too. The feedback was really positive, as people loved the idea and the unique designs I had created.
Crafting these paintings, using this method is quite addictive because each one in individual and you never know what to expect, so the finished product is always a surprise. I remember when I first started I spent two whole days from morning till night making and experimenting.
The artist was demonstrating how to make the paintings using a hot iron and pigmented wax. The designs were more like fantasy landscapes and abstract colours each one unique. I loved them very much and bought a couple to put on my wall.
The second encounter was three years ago at a local festival, where I was given the opportunity to create one of my own. I remember the artist was amazed at my skill level considering that it was my first ever attempt. This was around the time I started painting. A year later my father gave me a small iron which he bought from the local market. I decided to try my hand at this art using the small iron, and got carried away with the immense variety and use of colour, that I destroyed the iron. Nevertheless I created some awesome pieces, here are a few examples.
I completed around fifty, some I kept while others were just trials which did not work out so good.
I am not making any presently, however I will be going back to it in the future. In the meantime here is a video, of another artist demonstrating the art, to whet your appetite, you may want to give it a go. Good luck :) :)
Water the source of all life, what would we do without it? Our very existence depends on it. When I contemplate how much we have in common with our Earth and our bodies it is a miracle, a gift. The earth contains two thirds of water and so do we. Streams and rivers flow around the planet as veins and arteries run through our bodies. Each cell inside of us is filled with the life giver.
Everything seems alive after rainfall, leaves seem greener and the colours of flowers are more effervescent, even animals look more lively. It is because of these reasons and many other that I decided to capture its majesty and subtle beauty in our environment, through photography.
I was at home in the kitchen, it was a dreary wet day, then all of a sudden the sun came out and everything lit up with ethereal light. The garden looked bejeweled with diamonds, sparkling off everything. I could not resist the temptation to get the camera out and join in this splendour. I was not disappointed, as is evidenced by the photographs. If you think about the rainbow hidden within each droplet it is like witnessing drops of life awakening the sleeping. I was like a child in a sweet shop, wondering where to look and where to begin. I was transported to another existence, the honour was all mine.
Finally when we look closer at something as insignificant as a drop of water, we understand the complexity and importance of our fragile existence.
I thought I would talk about one of my new paintings, called Sacred Union. It illustrates the coming together of the female and male energy. This was the third of the series 'Inspired by Aboriginal Art'. It celebrates the union of two people in love. How their energies affect the environment and in turn the universe. The energies start off as separate and then blend into one as their hearts and minds unite.
I decided to keep the couple as silhouettes so that it can represent anyone rather than specific people. The multicoloured rainbow represents the chakras, which are illuminated as their bond deepens. The white dots above them portrays the energy reaching out to the universe and in turn changing their environment.
This painting has proven to be a popular one on Fine Art America. It has been featured, and people have commented on it as being, "Beautiful artwork", "Very creative and imaginative". To buy the original please click this link:
If you prefer a variety of prints and canvases to cater for your tastes then click here:
This painting reminds me of a book called 'The Celestine Prophecy', by James Redfield, which was also made into a film. It teaches you about using your intuition to improve your life. Coincidences are merely guidance and opportunity presented to us by the universe. If we take these opportunities then our lives can greatly improve and blockages can be released. In order for any of this to work one must have faith in it and an open mind to accept that nothing is impossible.
I thoroughly recommend this book as it also explains how relationships work and how to deal with the universal energies that surround us. Here is a clip from the film 'Celestine Prophecy', to illustrate what I mean.
To see the full movie trailer see link below:
One of my earlier paintings, which I exhibited at a local festival, was sold to a charming young lady, who along with the painting purchased a few other items from me. I hope she loves it as much as I do.
I fell in love with the landscapes of the far east after watching a film called 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. The film was a visual treat, full of amazing colours and magical landscapes that dazzled me. I will never forget one image that stuck in my head when the heroin climbs the stairs up a steep mountain to get to a temple that was surrounded by clouds. I have always wondered how people have managed to build such remarkable temples on top of high mountain peaks. Humankind never ceases to astonish me, we have such marvelous creativity within us.
I also love bridges and waterfalls. I think it could be because the bridges represent mankind trying to overcome obstacles that life can throw at us. Waterfalls represent uncontrollable power, a force to be reckoned with. The temple at the top of the mountain is the goal of spiritual excellence. You could interpret this painting as our struggle to evolve spiritually. We attempt to better ourselves regardless of barriers put in our ways and forces that prevent us from reaching our goals. Along the way we discover friends and family who help us overcome these obstructions and reach nirvana. We realise that our journey is not a lonely one, but we are assisted throughout our lives whether we know it or not.
To finish off with here is a poem from Hasan , to compliment this painting.
Echoes in the Valley
A yell into a valley, and the mountains echo an answer.
With them the reeds cheer, to the chorus played by the tenacious brook.
And as I watch from my lonely perch, the nature thrive about me, I see that no matter how distant, no one is truly lonely.
I thought I would give you a glimpse of China via this video. Enjoy :)
I thought I would show you some of the places I hang out with my family. These are the type of places that inspire my artwork too.
Yesterday, I went, with my husband and youngest son, to the Derbyshire countryside to take some snapshots of the lovely autumn colours and hopefully get some ideas to help me paint. Although it was a really misty day I rather liked the mood of the effects of the mists on the countryside. It gave it a haunting atmosphere, an air of mystery. You could not make out what you were looking at sometimes.
There were a number of places that we visited. Firstly we went to Burbage brook, just outside Ringinglow, a favourite for climbers.
So quiet and peaceful here, particularly on a misty day like yesterday. The mists seem to somehow dampen sound, almost muffling it. After that we moved on to Stanage, again a local haunt for climbers. My family love climbing here with their ropes and harnesses. I do not like heights, but I have tried abseiling a couple of times, frightening experience, I do not think I will be doing that again in a hurry.
Then we went to Ladybower Reservoir, which has a rich history. In the 1940's the villages of Ashopton and Derwent among many others, were submerged under the reservoir. During severe drought seasons you can just about see the church steeple poking up above the water. Unfortunately, because of this many farmers lost their livelihoods. If you would like to find out more here is a link...
Love this misty picture of a bridge surrounded by multi-coloured trees. The deep greens, reds and browns are highlighted by the uplifting yellows. Makes me want to get my paint brushes and start painting. I might make this one of my projects.
The reflection of the dam, in this next photo, is so clear. The texture of the smooth water next to the rugged rock of the dam is a great contrast.
Here is a closer look at it from the other side. I love coming here when it overflows and the water comes gushing down. It looks spectacular and the roaring sound of the water crashing to the bottom can be quite deafening.
Here is a tiny snippet of a video giving you a feel of what it is like at the dam.
Our final stop was at Whirlow park at the edge of Sheffield near the Peak District. We did not stay there too long as it was getting dark. But I managed to take a few snaps along the way.
I have been coming here since before I was married, and over the years I have seen the park transform. This park has a gorgeous woods with a little stream going through it. Many a happy day has been spent chilling out in them with the family. Whirlow Hall is situated within the grounds and is a popular venue for weddings.
I am going to end on the park bench photo. The red tree behind it reminded me of my beloved Acer tree, which I used as an inspiration for one of my paintings. This looked like a lovely place to sit down and contemplate the day.
I hope this trip motivates you to get out there and take a deeper look at nature's glory. This world is a gigantic work of art and we should take pleasure in being a part of it.
Music plays a big part in my paintings. Whilst painting I often listen to chillout music. It helps me get into the zone. Here is a playlist that I often listen to, for you to enjoy. The images are awesome.
Today I heard some upsetting news about a family member being diagnosed with cancer. What do you say to someone to comfort them. No words can convey the utter helplessness and vulnerability one feels after this kind of news. I suppose the best you can do is offer support and love to them as much as possible. I believe love can heal when it comes from the heart, or at least make things easier. I do not know if you consider angels to exist, but I think that there is something that protects and guides us through difficult times. You may call it an angel or higher self, maybe even the Creator, whatever it is if the majority of people of this world believe in it there has to be something there.
Then I remembered this painting, 'Farishta', meaning Angel. This year when I had displayed my paintings, at a local festival, I got talking to a lovely lady about our love of painting. The discussion lasted a long time. While we were conversing I was stood in front of this painting, blocking her view. As she was about to leave, I moved slightly to reveal this painting, her eyes went directly to it and she gasped. She told me that she was drawn to it almost as if it was calling her. She bought it on the spot.
I remember whilst I was painting it I was in a sort of trance almost like daydreaming. I did not know quite what the outcome would be because I did not plan it out. I just wanted to paint something that day and went with the flow. I have noticed that when I do this I surprise myself of the results. It is fascinating because I feel like it is coming from deep within me as though I am being guided.
For all those people who are experiencing some kind of illness or hardship, my heart goes out to you, I hope and pray that your lives become full of happiness, health, and peace, NOW. Positive affirmations are powerful tools. I have realised this in my own life. I read a book a few years back called 'Healing Words' by Larry Dossey. A great read which demonstrates scientifically how prayer can heal. I hope you get a chance to read it someday.
Here is another poem by my son dedicated to the painting 'Farishta'.
The Luminous Angel
No day is left unheard, no voice falls silent.
Where shadows beset your eyes and ghasts snatch hope, there will the angels wings fall, to douse the discord.
Unconditional and selfless.
Just finished another painting, from the autumn theme, called 'Mystic Domain'. I love the atmosphere of this painting as It reminds me of a book I have been reading called 'The Ringing Cedars'. This is a series of books. The first one is called 'Anastasia', which is a story about a business man, Vladimir Megré's trade trip to the Siberian Taiga, in Russia. He discovers amazing healing and spiritual properties of 'ringing cedar' trees. During this trip he meets up with a woman, Anastasia, who gives him a different perspective on nature, child-rearing, healing and other aspects of life. This encounter enlightens him and changes his outlook on the world drastically.
I thoroughly recommend these books, if you are a nature lover like me. I love the idea of self sustainability which is discussed in great lengths in these books, as well as new ways of educating children at home and school. For those of you who like to focus on the spiritual side of things, there is plenty of insightful information for you to absorb.
Back to my painting. I love the idea of a misty forest holding all kinds of secrets within its fauna and flora, divulging them only to those who possess a spiritual connection to it. I can picture myself sitting in amongst the autumn leaves meditating and contemplating on the mysteries of the universe. Trying to unlock the hidden powers we all posses inside of us.
Now, I am going to put a link here for those who enjoy films about nature and harmony. This film called 'The Green Beautiful', is a French film with subtitles. I am sure you will love it. It is a comedy about an intergalactic alien race who help to bring a message to the world about living in harmony with nature and understanding the human condition. If you would like a synopsis of the film before you watch it here is the link below:
Here is the film: Enjoy!!!
This painting was one of my earlier ones, quite dear to my heart. I have always been fascinated by mysticism and legends of Druids, their wisdom and knowledge of nature and the unknown. I feel I have a lot in common with them in terms of loving nature and seeking wisdom from it. I like to be involved as much as I can, whether it be through gardening, walking, or using herbs and spices to heal family and friends. I have studied Aromatherapy and understand the power of the natural environment and feel somehow connected to it deeply. I know that without it no one can survive and feel sad when I see mother earth being destroyed for money. We only have one world. If we kill it where will we go, what will our children inherit? Will they breath fresh air or drink pure clean water. Will there be any plants to heal them when they are sick? Will they have the pleasure of the animals to keep them company when they need a friend.
There is a place called Glastonbury in South west England a few hours from where I live. It is famous for legends of King Arthur and Merlin. I love going there as I can meet like minded people who are also fascinated with the unseen and of course nature and its magical spirits or guardians.
Anyway, to get back to my painting, I decided to paint a scene showing a Druid woman ( life bringer) standing alone, with her staff showing strength and wisdom. The moon (female energy) is where she draws her power from. There is a weeping Willow tree that in this instance represents sadness. She looks at the world and wonders what the future holds for it. Feelings of sorrow for the present times plague her mind, but she hopes that humanity wakes up and realises that being the guardians of this planet is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly.
Here is the painting below and a poem by my son about it. I hope it awakens something inside of you. Please feel free to share your comments.
I am a self taught artist who loves and appreciates art and photography. Both capture moments of life with great meaning and beauty.