Cold Wax Workshop: Painting by Intuition


Artist: Michelle Belto
Producer: A to Zinnia Productions
Runtime: 3 Hours

Product Description



Cold wax is similar to encaustic in that the process includes adding layers of luscious color, subtracting paint, excavating by scraping and improvisational mark making. But unlike encaustic, cold wax requires no special equipment to buy or the need for extraordinary studio ventilation.  Like its name indicates, cold wax involves painting at room temperature without fusing between layers.

Michelle Belto has been working with wax since 2007.  As an international teacher she has spent many years simplifying the process of encaustic painting.  A lesser known “cousin” to encaustic is Cold Wax.   In this online class, Michelle will introduce you to the other way to work with wax.

This workshop structure is relaxed and appropriate for artists of all levels.  Once the basic concepts are presented, Michelle will demonstrate a variety of tools, approaches and mixed media applications to cold wax. If you have had some experience in encaustic, you will enjoy exploring with oil and cold wax.  If you are someone who has been reluctant to try hot wax, this would be a great introduction to getting the visual texture and the complexity of the marked surface without concerns about using heat.

These are some of the things you will be learning in this workshop:

  • Learn about the simple tools and materials that you can use to create paintings that are rich in visual texture with complex histories.
  • Learn how to correctly prepare your canvas for working, so that you have the option of working smooth or textural.
  • Discover ways to abandon pre-conceived ideas so that the painting reveals itself.
  • How to choose a color palette that will keep your work from getting muddy along with other ways you can bringing all of the mixed media elements of your painting together.
  • You will also learn these art tips and techniques you can use to carry your ideas forward:

                 Creating visual texture
                 Incising and mark making with paint sticks and solvents
                Layering and excavating to reveal history

Working with oil and cold wax is especially helpful for those who want to learn to work with an intuitive process that allows for surprise and personal transformation.  Whether or not you continue to work in cold wax after the class, the process of learning to trust your intuition will be a skill that will be important toward creating future work that is authentic and truly your own.

Please be sure to check your e-mail purchase receipt for file attachments containing your materials and supply list, and any handouts provided with this workshop DVD.


michelle selfie 1I have been interested in art and education all of my life. My background in theater schooled me in many artistic disciplines: designer, choreographer, director, actress, but after twenty years and more than seventy productions, I ran out of theater steam somewhere around 1984. I entered graduate school to do my own artist work and found myself stepping back into theater with Hildegarde of Bingen, a one-woman show I wrote and performed internationally. The rest of my career has been varied– from performing for such groups as the National Conference for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to showing my encaustic paintings in Sydney, Australia. I’ve transformed a nineteenth century opera house into a dinner theater and created a center for spirituality and art in a renovated barn.

For the last fifteen years, though, I’ve been primarily a paper maker and exhibiting visual artist and an educator. It was a chance meeting that introduced me to wax. With the addition of encaustic on my handmade paper canvases, I knew that I had discovered a media and a direction that will take me the rest of my life to explore. Today I live in San Antonio and work full time as a visual artist and encaustic instructor. An instructional book, Wax and Paper Workshop, Techniques for Handmade Paper and Encaustic Painting, published by North Light Press, an article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors and two new videos on the process of working with wax and paper have been instrumental in creating a very full national and international teaching schedule for 2016 and 2017. Artful Gathering adds a new dimension to my work as both an artist and educator. I am excited to be a part of this exciting and growing community.


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