In this Encaustic map painting I’ve combined two maps of Raleigh. The first is a map from July 1797- “Plan of the City of Raleigh with all the improvements & all the Numbers july 1th, 1797”. This is a plan for Raleigh’s downtown. I printed it and used gel medium to adhere it to the wood board. Once I added a few layers of wax, I used a clay tool to make lines in the wax over the block squares, then filled them with burnt sienna oil paint. This step can take a little while, since getting the paint all they way into the crevices over the entire piece take quite a bit of elbow grease. It is super fun, however, to see the sharpness of the lines you’ve created as you wipe away the excess paint with paper towels and linseed oil.
I will usually let the paint dry a little, typically overnight, before adding more layers of encaustic medium. Several more layers, and it was time to freehand Raleigh into the top layer using google maps. Once again, I filled the lines with oil paint (Raw Umber), then wiped away the excess. The lines still needed a bit of cleaning up, so I used the other end of my clay tool to scrape a little bit of the wax build up from the lines, leaving a sharper image.
The last step was to use one of my favorite script stamps with some india ink to stamp text over the surface. Since the surface of the wax is rather wavy, the stamp is really dark in some areas, lighter in others, and totally misses everywhere else for a spontaneous look.
Paintings are currently only available for purchase in the United States.
I love the symbolism of historic Raleigh buried beneath multiple layers of opaque encaustic medium, while present day Raleigh is embedded in the top layer, clearly visible.
Don’t forget to check out my video of the process. I did make a mistake with the lighting in this video- there are shadows all over the place as I’m working, and I apologize for my mistake. However, I thought I’d post it anyway in case it interests any of you.
Thank you for reading and watching! I’d love your feedback, as always!