Of Textured Canvases and Molten Wax

Artists have probably experimented with controlled drips of paint or wax since before the time of Jackson Pollock, and while I tend to shy away from "trendy" techniques and anything that might be construed as "conceptual art", if I want to develop a textured background for a new painting (or if a controlled drip seems relevant), I might try something different from my usual methods and materials. In this particular case, I melted wax recycled from used-up candles and carefully dripped the liquid onto the canvas. Some of the wax was from old presents, or from friends' candles, making the process oddly nostalgic. After the wax dried, I used acrylic to paint the entire canvas. Next, I started to scrape the wax from the canvas with a knife. . . whatever bits of wax were affixed well enough to resist the scraping were allowed to remain, leaving a yellow-and-white motif with a few bumps here and there [above photo]. The way I intend to finish this canvas will make it almost unrecognizable to the viewer, but this carefully-constructed backdrop will give the final painting a suitable texture and subtle depth. Making the pile of scraped wax look like an artistic design [below] also proved an interesting photographic experiment.

No comments