What is Encaustic?
First used by the Greeks over 2000 years ago, encaustic (beeswax medium) is one of the earliest known forms of painting. The amazing Fayum Mummy Portraits painted in encaustic by the Greeks in Egypt, (late 1st century BCE or the early 1st century CE) are still fresh, vibrant, and exhibited today in the world’s greatest museums. Artist Jasper Johns is credited with the modern renaissance of encaustic fine art with his work that began in the 1950’s.
Painting with encaustic involves melting, applying, then heat fusing layers of beeswax mixed with various mediums. The technique generates a luminous, rich surface that brings visual beauty and depth to the wax. Back from obscurity, modern tools have made the process more practical for encaustic artistry. The protective nature of the beeswax helps maintain freshness and preservation of color, preventing the wax from darkening or turning yellow. Impervious to moisture, these pieces need not be varnished or put under glass.
Carrie Goller interprets this ancient medium into contemporary works. Illuminated in brilliant color or delicate opalescence, her compositions encompass oversized serene seascapes & landscapes, to tiny whimsical country scenes. Goller states, “I do not consider myself an ‘encaustic artist’, although I do teach and work in that method. I am an artist. I work in a variety of media; encaustic just happens to be one of them. The idea and expression of the work inspires me more than the technique itself.”
Working on a large 3′x9′ encaustic triptych piece