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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Williams

Artwork delivered: Oriel Ty Meirion Gallery

Exhibition runs 5th April - 19th May Thursday - Sunday 11.30 - 16.30pm

I was proud to deliver my collection of new artwork today to the Oriel Ty Meirion Gallery in Dyffryn Ardudwy, near Harlech. I feel the collection shows my love of encaustic painting. The word encaustic originates from the Greek word ‘enkaustikos’ which means to burn in and dates back 2000 years. Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax and damar resin together with coloured pigments or oil paint. Various hot and cold tools are then used to create the image.

The hot wax has such flexibility - I can fuse layers together and then dig in and reveal hidden colours and patterns, I can create a weave of wax and create texture. I like to combine the ancient art of encaustic painting with contemporary abstract realism. When creating my work I can have as many as 30 layers laid down on a birch panel. Each layer of beeswax is fused with a blow torch and I add oil paint, dry pigment, oil pastels and sometimes shellac.

Encaustic paintings need to be cared for just like any other fine art. The paintings are fairly robust but they can be scratched or damaged if mishandled. The wax will not melt unless exposed to temperatures above 100 degrees. In the first couple of years the wax may develop a slight bloom. This is normal and the surface can appear hazy. This is a natural part of the curing process and the shine can be restored by polishing with a lint free cloth. The work is lightfast and vibrant and it is moisture resistant, mildew and fungus resistant - bugs don't like it much either!

I hope some of you will be able to get over to the Gallery to see my artwork between the 5th April and 19th May.

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