Encaustic

I have taken up a new art form. It’s called Encaustic and it is the process of painting with wax. The word means to affix or fuse using heat. I didn’t know that when I found encaustic. All I knew was that there were some beautiful pictures on Pinterest, and I couldn’t figure out how they were made. In fact, I didn’t know the name until much later, I just knew that I HAD to learn how to create these beautiful paintings. I love the texture. I love the layers and the fact that it is multidimensional. You can see as many different uses for wax as there are artists.

My friend Jessica and I have been getting together from time to time to paint. That is how this whole thing started. We have kitchen worship retreats at her house. Both of us had painted in our past, and both of us are re-inventing ourselves as our children leave the nest. We had heard something about people painting with wax, though we couldn’t remember what it was called. It sounded cool and Jessica found a video. We watched this man put colored wax on an iron and then smear it onto the paper. If you could have seen the look on our faces…simultaneously we knew…we have to learn to do this. It is as if it called to us in that moment. Since then, we have both experimented and watched a thousand videos on a thousand ways to use wax. We have bought wax supplies, wood, brushes and heat guns. I have learned enough to know that I need someone to whom to ask questions, so I signed up for a class.

I feel drawn to this in a way I cannot explain. I have found that even though I haven’t produced anything I particularly like yet, I SEE a tremendous amount of spiritual parallels in this whole process. While I am trying to master wax and create beautiful art, I will share the things I SEE with you, starting with the meaning of the name…to affix or fuse using heat. The lessons the Lord has taught me over a lifetime come as a result of heat. When life gets difficult, and the fire is hot, what I learn sticks with me. Think about it. The greatest spiritual growth is usually in the midst of the hardest trial. Heat=purification. What comes out of the heat is something beautiful. It is multidimensional and layered. It has warmth and texture. It is a masterpiece that God saw all along. The fire liquefies the colors of our lives and blends them in ways that would have been impossible without the heat. As much as I would like to avoid that kind of hardship, the resulting beauty is a treasure to behold. Beauty for ashes…affixed and fused by heat.

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