Over the weekend, I took a workshop in encaustic painting. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically painting with hot wax and it’s a process that’s been around for literally thousands of years. The are records of the Greeks using it as far back as the 5th century BC. The process involves heating beeswax with damar resin crystals which forms what’s known as “medium.” From there, you add pigment — either oil-based or dry powder — to create whatever color you’re after. What first drew me to the idea of encaustic was how much faster it seemed than the acrylic process I currently use in my paintings. Some of my pieces are 15 or even 20 layers deep and when the gels are applied thick to create the impasto type of textures that I use, it can take hours or even days to dry between layers. So, it’s not unusual for me to take weeks to finish a piece and, if I’m being honest, there have been several instances where I was either bored with the piece or I basically forgot where I wanted to go with it. So the idea of encaustic has been in the back of my head for a while as a potential solution to speeding up my process and as a way to inspire new work.

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Ben Bond is a photographer from Ghana whose latest BTS video is a terrific example of using simple gear well to achieve really superb results. For this shoot, Ben used one light firing into a 120cm octa and a Fuji X-T3 with the 18-55 kit lens. The results are just brilliant.

Journalist and photographer Will Hunt has written a new book called Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet in which he explores some of the communities that call the sewers, tunnels, and catacombs beneath cities like New York and Paris home. Will was recently a guest on Fresh Air where he talked a bit about the project.

If you’re looking for creative inspiration, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has added nearly 600 full text books and catalogs to their digital collection that cover art, design and photography, which you view, search, and even download for free.

 

Music in this episode: The Wrong Way (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 4.0