But is it an ‘ism’?

Encaustic painting (aka hot wax painting) involves heating beeswax, adding coloured pigments and then manipulating with heated, metal tools. The technique was first used In Egypt around 100-300AD and in the 6th to 8th centuries in icons in the Sinai. Here is an icon from St. Catherine’s Monastery , Mount Sinai.

In the 20th century the technique was used by Pablo Rivera and Jasper Johns amongst others. It has gradually become more popular and there is a lot about it on line including many videos on You Tube showing how to use it. I even discovered that the 7th international Encaustic Conference recently took place in Cape Cod In the US.

This encaustic painting was found in a local charity shop and cost me £2.95.

There are 2 stickers on the back: one explaining the technique and the other giving the artist’s name as Bob Lawrence together with the website address http://www.artwithwax.com. However this site just forwards you to other waxing sites (leg waxing, car waxing, etc.) and says at the bottom that the domain name is for sale!


I have not been able to find out anything about Bob Lawrence but I do rather like this work of art – I find it quite atmospheric. It is well framed too and a snip at £2.95.

But as to my original question, you tell me!


5 thoughts on “But is it an ‘ism’?

  1. …..not sure about the ism, schism, all art is modernism! Waxism maybe. Waxinglyricalism. Waxwingism. Waxworksism. Waxyflexibilityism. Waxy flexibility is a symptom of catatonia. Ism. Meanwhile, has anyone heard of Gretl Brand ‘entre dia y sueno’?? – who was she?

  2. Hi there – I am the Bob Lawrence who painted the picture shown in the photo. I have not painted any encaustic art for a few years now and as you have found, the website I used to use is now no longer functioning. If you’d like any further information, I would be happy for you to contact me using my e-mail address. Glad you like the painting BTW! Bob Lawrence

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