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  • New Art Program Uses Pigmented Wax to Appeal to the Senses

    Bellevue College Continuing Education (BC CE) is excited to announce that new art classes in the use of encaustic will be offered starting in the Fall quarter of 2013. Rich and luminous, encaustic, or pigmented wax, draws viewers in with its incredible texture and ability to diffuse light. Encaustic is taken from the Greek word enkaustikos, which means “burned in.” The medium consists of beeswax melted with a small amount of resin to create hardness and becomes paint when pigment is added to the melted wax. “But what makes encaustic unique is the application of heat between layers of brushstrokes,” notes artist Deborah Kapoor, who will be teaching upper-level classes at BC CE in the use of the medium, which she has worked with since 2002. “Surfaces are built by layering wax and heating each layer to bind it to the layer beneath it.”


    Endless Possibilities

    “The possibilities in art-making with encaustic are endless. With encaustic, you can work two- or three-dimensionally, transparently or opaquely, big or small,” Deborah explains. “Encaustic is also a ready-made vehicle for suspending items within the layers — perfect for collage and found objects. And the ability to alter a surface makes encaustic a natural choice for working in cross-disciplinary art formats that involve using encaustic with fiber, ceramics, and photography.”


    Exponential Growth

    The use of encaustic in art-making has grown exponentially in the last decade, and students are increasingly intrigued by the use this sensuous material to create paintings, prints, and even sculptures. Noting the popularity of encaustic in the Pacific Northwest, Deborah muses. “I think our relationship with nature here heightens our awareness of the sensory. And encaustic is definitely a material that appeals to the senses.”


    Transformative Luminosity

    Deborah Kapoor earned a BFA in photography from the University of North Texas and an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Delaware — and then discovered encaustic. “I first saw paintings in encaustic at the Navy Pier Art Expo in Chicago, where I took students on field trips. The luminosity of the surface captivated me. Working with encaustic has transformed my art-making process and opened wide the doors of my creativity. I am excited about the opportunity to share what I’ve learned about using this incredible material by teaching at Bellevue College Continuing Ed.”

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