"Be There": watercolor, wax, oil pigment, mastic varnish. 4" x 4" © Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio, 2012
The above image is a very small painting: 4" x 4" to be exact, executed on an ampersand board. I was experimenting with using watercolor with encaustic (wax) medium. It was one of those things where I'd do one thing (such as the watercolor layer), set it aside and months would go by and I would discover that I haven't gotten any further along with it. I'd pick it up, look at it and think, now what'? Another idea would come to mind, I'd try it, and again set it aside only to have it be forgotten again. It's really a 'lab' for me, this kind of approach where there is no pressure to perform and no expectations of outcome. This is where I allow myself to explore the, 'what if's'.
The last 'what if' I tried on this was the the mastic varnish-which is a varnish that was used in the Renaissance as a medium to paint with and to finish a painting with. I figured that since it was used in oil paintings not only as a blending medium, but as final varnish, that it should be OK to use as the final coat on an encaustic work. I am happy to say, that it does work beautifully and has passed the Ellen Koment freezer test (Ellen says the best way to test if a new technique will work on an encaustic piece is to put it in the freezer and if it doesn't fall apart when you take it, it is good to go).
Although this piece of art is tiny, it will most likely withstand just about anything (except a five alarm fire) and will most likely be around long after all of us are gone.