Home » Blog

Encaustic Art: How Beeswax Sparks Joy

 “Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are.”
I’ve had a wee run on my beeswax paintings and encaustic art lately. A lovely lady, well-established in the art world, came to the happy gallery, Art@Rangitane and purchased one of my beeswax and mixed media paintings. “Triumph of Rangitane” was created during a time I was feeling less than triumphant. That’s the power of art—to create a new reality and take us to places we’ve never been. Away with the bees, I guess you could say!

Aroha Rangitane

400 x 400 mm Encaustic (NZ Beeswax) and mixed media on board

Inspired by the misty mornings overlooking Aroha Island, along the Rangitane coastline, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

A week ago, I had finished a super-sized beeswax commission for a lovely local couple. Read more about this on my blog.
 Read more
Apple Tree Bay
Knowles Commission

Apple Tree Bay is a bespoke work of art commissioned by a couple as a ‘statement piece’ to adorn the large white walls of their newly refurbished Bay of Islands home. 

The brief was to create a truly original and totally sensual beeswax artwork that worked with existing paintings, captured the vibe of their sea and bush view, evoked the beauty of hydrangeas—and above all, oozed joy.

Beautifully layered with sensuously sultry glazes of New Zealand beeswax, Apple Tree Bay embodies the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal that our souls ache for after more than two years of pandemic restrictions and this tumultuous, confining time.

Annika and Tony Testimonial Beeswax Commission

fascinating things about bees & beeswax art

You may love to know that since ancient times, bees. . . especially honey bees, were seen to bring messages from the Divine. They are associated with the soul and bringing the blessing of fertility.

The Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed that the souls of the wise and ingenious passed into the bodies of bees. In many traditions, bees are associated with other world messages, the soul, and heaven. The Celts and Saxons believed bees were winged messengers between worlds. Egyptians thought the bee represented ka, the soul.”

According to Egyptian mythology, when the god Ra cried his tears turned into bees upon touching the ground, to deliver messages to man.

Where I live, in the Bay of Islands, the Manuka flower attracts many bees and a great many successful companies have been founded here. It astounds me how clever, and vital to life, bees are.

I love my beeswax paintings as much as my new collectors love them. Like bees to honey, people have been loving these sensuous artworks. They smell great, look great and are infused with so much love. While I paint the bees fly through the studio. My dad was a beekeeper, so it’s like he’s there too. He used bees to help heal people, treat burns and relieve the pain of arthritis. I’m not saying that my beeswax paintings work on joint pain, but I do feel they relieve the pain of life. And aren’t we all feeling the pain of this ongoing feardemic!

I’m so over it! So it’s lovely when I can go to the studio and fly away from the fear and create something beautiful that makes me happy and brings joy to others.

encaustic painting

Derived from the Greek word enkaustikos which means “to heat” or “to burn”, encaustic is the name for both a type of pigmented wax and the process involving heat by which the coloured wax is melted and later applied to a variety of surfaces.

Encaustic painting, is also known as hot wax painting. The process involves heating beeswax and adding coloured pigments. The results are stunning and create some of the most interesting and varied contemporary abstract paintings. Some of the more famously known ancient works include the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt (produced around 100 – 300 AD), and the icons of the Greek Art, dating as far back as the 5th-century.

One of the many joys of painting with hot beewax is the amazing fluidity and radiance of the pieces, and also the opportunity to sculpt and create a stunning array of textures. Encaustic art blends wonderfully with mixed media techniques too. I love it!

My Secret is Silence

scented paintings

Scented paintings don’t just light up the surroundings. They offer several benefits, whether for decorative or wellbeing purposes. Beeswax art undoubtedly delivers aesthetic value and scent to set a nice ambience to an otherwise dull surrounding.

Beeswax paintings are famous for their soothing effect on the body and soul. They help create a peaceful surrounding, making them suitable for one’s health and sanity. Customised art is a product design that makes the painting, a simple object, more beautiful than ever while it helps you destress and relax.

caring for your encaustic painting

Collectors often ask: “Will my beeswax artwork melt?” I assure collectors that it would take extreme heat to harm a painting, and besides, they wouldn’t want to put any fine art in direct sunlight, whether it might melt or not.

To be on the safe side, please keep the painting away from heat and direct sun. Wax melts at 150°. If your painting is melting in your house, you’ve got a bigger problem. Your house is on fire!

To preserve the lustre of your painting, gently buff it with a soft cloth… this will bring out the beautiful luminosity and glow that you fell in love with when your artwork first arrived. This will also reawaken the sensuous scent of honey. 

Encaustic has a rich history, beginning in ancient Greece, when looked after not only does the wax surface remain in superb condition, but its luminosity heightens like a fine wine-improving over time. 

a sample of recent commissions

I love to create bespoke, customised work and create with a range of mediums, including oil paints, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, gilt and more. I adore the mesmerising colours that come from natural pigments enabling an alchemical relationship between nature and the painting. There is a joy and immediacy to my work too and a direct and absorbing relationship with each piece that is really exciting.

Hundreds of hours of work go into the process of building up the many layers of many of my work. Sometimes a painting can take many years to make and during that process they develop a personality of their own. The minimum lead time on a commission is 3 months but for a large heavily layered piece it is advisable to think in terms of at least one year. I’m trying to capture transcendent beauty and capture this as an antidote to our chaotic times. 

My soul purpose is to create something that uplifts spirits and provides harmony, peace and tranquillity. My style is constantly evolving as I keep discovering new paints and techniques and explore the boundless possibilities of colour. I am committed to taking creative risks and pushing things to the edge of possibility—and beyond. I absolutely love working to a huge scale.

Learn more about the commission process here>>

Dickey Commission

“We love our piece, thank you for involving us in the process, getting to know us and hearing what makes our hearts joyful and warm. We have loved every part of this process.  It smells and looks gorgeous Xx”

Annika Dickey

Steere Coommission

“We LOVE the painting…..the energy is us. Thank you so much❤ We are excited to see it up on our wall.”

Brian Steere

other recent encaustic works

Emptiness Dancing
Emptiness Dancing
Encaustic, (NZ Beeswax) French oil stick, pure pigment on board
455 x 620 mm

You may enjoy this video where I share how I created this piece>>

Resilience Rising
Encaustic, and pure pigment on board.
allowing peace
Allowing Peace
Encaustic, (NZ Beeswax) French oil stick, pure pigment on board 
620 mm x 455 x 50 mm
Lovin’ The Light
NZ beeswax, pure pigment, oil on board.
400mm x 400mm
black encaustic
New Zealand Beeswax, Frankincense, Pure Pigment, Charcoal on board
150 cm x 200 cm

To view other recent works created in beeswax navigate here—place ‘Beeswax” in the search bar. While many are sold, commissions are always welcome.

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:





Here are some more things you might like:

Uplifting Art by Cassandra

Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.

Online Courses: 

Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people >>

Play Dates: Online Creativity Workshop >>

Have fun, explore, enrich your life 

Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

Posted in: Blog

Encaustic Art: How Beeswax Sparks Joy

The Joyful Artist

I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!

P: +64 (0) 21 873 833
E: hello@thejoyfulartist.co.nz


Facebook Instagram Youtube Pinterest

© 2023 The Joyful Artist
Website by Webstudio