November 10th found me at Amanda Jolley’s Studio with about 15 other students, including my daughter Dawn, to attend Lisa Pressman‘s “Expanding Your Vision with R&F Pigment Sticks, oils and mixed media” workshop. I was excited about this workshop because 1) I had pigment sticks but felt I wasn’t using them well and 2) because Lisa advertised that we’d use Cold Wax*. The group spent three very intense days learning to use our new tools and creating a series of explorations on paper and cradled boards.  “Jamaican Sunrise,” above, is the only cradled piece I felt was finished but Lisa had assured us that iteration and experimentation is part of the process and some pieces might not be finished immediately. Three of the paper studies are shown below.

Since returning home I’ve signed up for an oil painting course at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center where I can use oils in a large open area and leave my paintings there to dry before taking them home.  The unfinished panels from Lisa’s workshop already have new coats of oil and cold wax.  I’m finding the exploration of Cold Wax intersting, ask me again in three months how it’s going.

*Cold Wax: unlike encaustic or encaustic monotypes, cold wax does not involve heat.  Gamblin Cold Wax is mixed with solvent (Gamsol) and a small amount of alkyd resin, and thus, would be dangerous to your health to be around the fumes if you were to apply heat. Even working for a few days in Amanda’s studio gave me a terrible headache.  I had brought a mask to wear but we quickly acclimated and I didn’t realize until I had a splitting headache that I wasn’t getting enough fresh air.  Since I’m sensitive to fumes all my future cold wax work will be “under mask” just as my encaustic work is.  For more information on cold wax check out “Cold Wax Medium” by Crowell and McLaughlin.