The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

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Encaustics Workshop with Victoria Sterkel

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As most of you know, Victoria Sterkel is an artist in residence at ONDARTE.  One of her mediums is Encaustics ("to burn in"), and she is doing two classes on this interesting medium.  The classes are May 15-18 and May 21-24, and each day runs from 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Victoria is planning on six slots for each class, and at last report, both classes are filling up very fast. 

This is a unique opportunity to discover the world of encaustic.  Gain a basic technical knowledge of the essential aspects of encaustics, along with rekindling your creative flow.  Through encaustic collage and paint, Victoria will show you how to access your internal creative passion to relax and enjoy art making as a process using visual imagery to design goals and desires into dreamscapes.

The classes are being held at ONDARTE, and Victoria can be reached at and/or and cell (984)-807-8817 to confirm your reservation and payment.  Victoria can be found on Facebook and her web page is at Victoria J Sterkel.

  • The cost is $1,980 pesos, and includes:
    1 wood board surface (38 cm sq)
    encaustic supplies
    use of printer
    old magazines; bring your own Magazines, old snapshots, glitter, dried leaves,  anything that has a texture can also be fun to play with as well

  • The Schedule Outline:
    Brief intro of history, safety, materials & tools
    Layout of collage and application


Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added.  The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used.  The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients.  Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.

These are two of Victoria's encaustic paintings from ONDARTE's April Exhibition.  They were purchased by IngridC.

 Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface.  Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material.  Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted.  Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it to the surface.

 This technique has been dated to as early as the fourth century B.C. Although wax may appear to be a fragile material, some encaustic paintings from A.D 100-125 survive today in the form of head and shoulder wax portraits set into mummy casings in Greco-Roman Egypt.


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