Shima’s Studio Journal – 5 – Painting Begins

The prepping process is complete: masking the sides, gesso and sanding the panel, creating the color palette, painting and fusing the first layers of clear medium. Now I’m ready to begin painting! Paint, fuse, scrape; layer upon layer, again and again. By the time the painting is finished, there will be over fifty layers of pigmented wax each fused with the flame of a torch to the layer beneath. Fusing each layer is the most important part of this process. If the beeswax is not fused properly, the wax can slip or crack.

Patience is key.

As you learned from my last entry, I am still working on the Hikaru piece. (Hikaru is the collection inspired by the simplicity of Zen minimalism). Staring at the blank panel, an expanse opens wide for the flow of Spirit. Time slows . . . I am left with my thoughts to create a new painting. Where to begin? My palette has hues of white. In this colorless silence, the painting can develop free of interpretation by my ego.

The absence of color suggests absolute stillness.

I paint with the subtlety of flame. Heat creates movement. How I use flame marks my work uniquely mine. There are many sources of heat to choose from, each with a distinct effect: heat gun, iron, torch, butane, or propane. Some encaustic artists even rely on heat from the sun or from a heat lamp. My go-to source is the torch. I go back and forth between the industrial propane torch and the smaller Iwatani torch similar to a chef’s tool. For textural effects, I like the iron. The heat gun is handy to finish my edges.

Flame is the great influencer.

Desert Sea 36″x36″

I will spend days, perhaps even weeks, working on this painting. When I see what I feel in my heart, then I know the painting is done.


Peace All Ways,

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