Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Vintage Journey - February Challenge - Melt It!

Today I'm the host for the February A Vintage Journey challenge - and my challenge is To Melt It!

Here is the challenge description:
This month we're asking everyone to MELT IT! Get out the UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel), beeswax, encaustic wax, embossing powders or good old wax crayons and a heat tool and get melting to create something in a vintage; shabby; mixed media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

I was so excited to be hosting this because I knew I wanted to get out my Encaustic Wax kit and supplies and really sit down to learn how to make a landscape - and I'm SO excited to show  you what I learned and was able to create!!

First, here are two samples that I actually framed - details on how I made them as well as how I decorated the frame follow.  
I also have links below to a YouTube Video and web shops where you can order your own beginners kit if you are so inspired!

Here is a lovely landscape scene I created.
(the panels are 4 1/8" x 5 7/8")
and here is a patch of a green leafy plant!
I bought  my kit probably 10 years ago and I've played with it maybe 4 times - never learning any techniques just melting the wax and 'ironing' over the paper - which came out pretty cool, but nothing I could control and nothing that particularly looked like a scene!?!    
(I was working full time and just never had enough hours in the day!)

You use special paper with the melted wax that is like glossy card.  You'll see a package of the paper in the top left corner below which shows my beginners kit as well as some extra wax that I purchased later.
Here's a link to the Encaustic Art company based in the Netherlands
Here's a link to a company in Wisconsin that sells starter sets
Here's a link to a company in Colorado that sells starter sets
The process for the sky is to melt white, blues, red - whatever colors you want, onto the iron.  It's a special iron - with the proper setting for melting wax -and is small - about the size of your outstretched hand.  You just rub the wax over the iron and it melts into a puddle.
You move the iron left to right in a half circle, gliding lightly over the paper to spread the melted wax.  
It doesn't look like much - yet!
Here are the colors I used for the landscape -
moving the iron along the bottom in a lazy figure 8 back and forth with the brown color at the top.
Then I added more wax for some fun detail created by laying the iron on the card and lifting it off quickly.
How cool is the look of this??!!
I made several of these, one after another in just a few minutes - using slightly different colors - you really can't tell exactly how it will come out - and you can always go over it again to melt the wax and completely redo!
Then I learned how to use the point of the iron to create plants in the foreground like this on the right
and this on the left.
Here are a few more that I made all within an hours time.  It's really addictive because each one is different and you wonder what you will end up with each time!
 The skies can look a lot like the Northern Lights depending on what colors you use.
 This one ended up with a bridge-like shape in the middle!
 Here are a couple of panels I made using just blue and white wax and not doing the landscape figure 8 part - just laying and removing the iron  -  they look rather like a stormy sea don't you think?!
There are many more techniques you can learn to create beautiful fields of flowers, birds flying in the air and even castles - but that will be for another day!

Here's how I decorated the frames.  
I used Idea-ology Mini Framed Panels and covered them with black Gesso.
Then I rubbed Bronze Age Metallique Wax Art Alchemy from Prima over them with my finger just to highlight them a bit.  
I wanted my panels to be the focus so I didn't want to make the frames too ornate. 
(this wax smells wonderful by the way!)
And I glued Idea-ology Word Bands to the bottom of each one.
This one says " reality has limits, imagination is boundless"
This Word Band says "the journey awakens the soul".  
I really just can't stop looking at these and can't believe I was able to make them!  
Now I want to go try it some more!!
Here's a short video I found on YouTube where I learned all three of the techniques I used on my panels  - the sky, the landscape and the foliage in the foreground - they are all easy to learn and I was able to do it after two or three tries!
You can see how I've used the encaustic wax on some cards in the past on my blog posts here and here.

So how will you "Melt It"?  We hope you will join us over at A Vintage Journey -  you have until Thursday March 1 at 6 pm Great Britain Time (they are 7 hours ahead of Eastern Time)  And there's a prize from Country View Crafts for one lucky random entry!

Supplies:  Encaustic Wax, Encaustic Painting Iron, Encaustic Painting Cards -,  Media Black Gesso - Dina Wakley, Bronze Age Metallique Wax Art Alchemy - Prima, Idea-ology Mini Framed Panels, Word Bands.


Sharli Schaitberger said...

*gasp* - beyond words, Julia! These are AMAZING! I am in awe of your talents, truly! I love all, but the two you framed are simply stunning! Wow!

Christine Alexander said...

Gorgeous Julia, funny I was thinking about pulling out mine recently. they are such cool images and so artistic :)

Susan said...

Julia, those are amazing works of art! I am so impressed.

Brenda Brown said...

h my gosh Julia I can see what fun you have had with all these amazing samples and the results are just magnificent. The landscapes, the plant life, the stormy seas - yes each and everyone of them has the wow factor. Great job xxx

Autumn Clark - SewPaperPaint said...

This looks like sooo much fun Julia! And the results are off the charts cool! An awesome and creative take on the melt it challenge. <3 Big hugs, Autumn

Mona Pendleton said...

Wow Julia! Your artwork looks incredible! I've always wanted to take an encaustic art class! Thanks for the inspiration!

Redanne said...

Wow, wow, wow Julia, I feel as though I have just walked into an art gallery!! Your encaustic creations are amazing, totally stunning in fact... the wild ocean ones are possibly my favourites, only because I do love the sea but the landscapes too, are incredible. You are so clever and thanks for such a great challenge theme too! Hugs, Anne xx

Mac Mable said...

Wow...amazing creations. You must be so pleased with the fabulous effects you created? So unique, so creative and absolutely stunning! Now this is another technique that I have to put on my to do list. Thank you for the eye popping inspiration x

Jennie Atkinson said...

Wow that is AMAZING Julia! I am always so enthralled when I see people doing encaustic art and you have just absolutely nailed it! All of them are so amazingly stunning. Well done - don't put it away again !!! Jennie x

nancy littrell said...

OMG, Julia, what Gorgeous encaustic wax "works of art", my friend!!! I have been intrigued by encaustic wax techniques for a long time because of how Birgit has used them on her SCS Gallery cards and on her blog, but your landscape art really makes me want to look into them. TFS every step and every gorgeous landscape and..ALL your links. have so inspired me...Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs..Nancy

Deb Riddell ~ Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

My gosh Julia, that is amazing! I've never played with encaustic waxes and have never actually seen this technique before so thanks so much for sharing it, it is fabulous! Wonderful creations and a great challenge! Deb xo

Astrid Maclean said...

Oh wow, wow, wow, Julia, these are beyond amazing!! Each one just an incredible piece of art, one more stunning than the next, absolutely amazing and thank you forthe super challenge!

S@ndy Diller said...

These are simply beautiful Julia, I see that you really enjoyed it and had such a wonderful result. Hugs, Sandy

Vicki Dutcher said...

Once again, your projects are so fabulous! Thanks for the link I am looking forward to trying this's been a few years sick I did this. ☺

A Pink said...

WoW! Julia , each one of your pieces of Encaustic art are absolutely incredible. I'm blown away with how super impressive they all are and by the quality of each -anyone would think you'd been doing it for you years.- you are a natural!
Love every single one of your Masterpieces and thoroughly enjoyed your post . Thank you so much for sharing .
Have a lovely weekend
Hugs x

Nikki Acton said...

Wow Julia - you look like you have been doing this for years! Cant believe these are the results of a novice!!! Great work xx

Sara Barker said...

Julia, I nearly fell off my chair when I scrolled down and saw all these amazing landscapes you've made and how you made them. This is my first look at this technique, and I'm enamored by it from your post! I cannot believe you have not been doing this for years! I'm so glad you shared all of your pieces--they are ALL so lovely! Thank you for sharing and for a great challenge! Hugs!

Bonnie said...

Oh my, Julia, these are AMAZING! I don't know how you chose which ones to frame!

butterfly said...

Sensational work with the encaustics, Julia - your landscapes are amazing, and especially gorgeous as soon as the meadow grasses and plants arrive. The beautiful natural forms you've created for the flora are simply glorious. I hope the kit might come out a little more often over the next ten years!
Alison x

Loll said...

WOW!! These are all beautiful. Great work Julia. I have looked at the encaustic wax and the iron at our art supply store. It is so cool and I think it would be fun, but I have resisted so far. :)

You did amazing with the ones you've made. So very cool landscape. And I love the way you've framed them. Gorgeous with the black with bronze highlights ... vintage-y looking and just perfect for your pieces of art. xx

Annie said...

Fabulous encaustic makes Julia x Its amazing how different they all turned out and great that if you are not completely satisfied you can just melt it again...Thanks for a great challenge theme xx

Hugs Annie x

Jackie P Neal said...

WOW!! You really mastered this Julia!!
I have seen videos of this done, but thought no way on this earth! lol You have totally rocked these- Absolutely gorgeous! One more beautiful than the last!
Thanks so much for sharing how you worked this, very interesting indeed!

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what beautiful scenes you created using your wax kit - amazing! I loved seeing the technique you used and it like looks you had lots of fun too 😁. Thanks for the inspiration and wishing you a happy new week! J 😊