• Alicia Tormey

A Little Encaustic History

One of the most exciting aspects of encaustic is how modern and contemporary it looks. It delights me to share the history and origins of encaustic because people are often surprised to learn that it’s actually a very ancient method of painting. Encaustic dates back over 3000 years!

The ancient Greeks were the first known encaustic artists. They blended beeswax with a tree resin for hardening and natural pigments for color to create what we call encaustic paint. The Greeks used this wax based paint to waterproof their boats and later for decorative arts.


Today, encaustic is growing in popularity as an art media with more people rediscovering it everyday.

I'm still regularly approached with questions about what media I’m working with...so I just wanted to share a little bit of encaustic history with you!


Early encaustic painters have long held a special place of respect in my heart. Ancient artworks, dating back thousands of years, are still luminescent and exquisite as they hang in museums around the world. These masterfully created works were done at a time when artists had fewer resources and none of the luxuries that we enjoy today. Things like electricity, modern tools and handheld torches...and lets not forget access to an abundance of materials. I tip my hat to my predecessors and feel very fortunate to be an artist in this current time and place.


Learn more about the encaustic process and history here.


#history #encaustichistory #encausticpainters #ancient

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