Jean Davis is an encaustic artist of many years experience.
“Encaustic is painting with beeswax, dammar resin and shellac, which is then fused together. Being an artist to me is about putting colour on the wall, to brighten a room with a “wow” factor that lifts your spirits. Whilst my paintings look very modern my technique is a very ancient procedure as in my work I am using the very same materials as those ancient Greek artists used thousands of years ago.
I live high in the hills in the agricultural area of Silves in the Algarve and I buy my beeswax from the local beekeeper in the field next to where I live. I melt the beeswax with dammar resin which is a tree sap that gives the wax extra stability and I sometimes use this with shellac which I make into a liquid from the secretion of a beetle from India. I paint on a wooden board with several coats of my beeswax mixture, each layer is fused together. When this process is cured I paint in ink which leaves a wonderful lustre to the finished product. It is being close to nature that enhances the inspiration for my creativity and flair for design
Each painting is personally monogrammed with a wax seal by myself, the artist, and every piece is recorded for its authenticity.
Layering beeswax has a translucent and radiant quality that cannot be achieved in other mediums. You can create a lot of texture with the beeswax which stimulates not only the sense of sight and smell, but also the sense of touch. Adding dammar sap gives the wax more stability and the painting remains stable and with stands temperatures to 65c / 150f. Encaustic art has a rich heritage, the technique is thousands of years old, it goes back to the early Greeks who used to mix pigments with beeswax and paint to waterproof their boats. There are also 600 surviving encaustic works from 100–300 A.D. in Egypt, a testament to encaustic art’s beauty and durability over the ages.