Frequently asked questions

What is encaustic painting?

Encaustic is a wax based paint composed of natural beeswax and dammar resin (crystallized tree sap). It can be used transparent or pigmented with color. It is heated and applied with a brush to wood panels. Subsequent layers are reheated in order to fuse layers together. The word “encaustic” comes from the Greek word “enkaustikos” meaning “to heat or burn in”. Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and dammar resin to each layer of wax to the previous. It cools immediately so there is no drying time. Encaustic paintings need no varnish because the wax provides its own high gloss finish. That means that they don’t need to be protected behind glass as the wax is impervious to moisture.

Is encaustic something new?

Encaustic painting is an ancient technique, dating back to the Greeks, who used wax to caulk ship hulls. Pigmenting the wax gave rise to decorating their warships. Perhaps the best known of all encaustic works are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. It is notable how fresh the color has remained due to the protection of the wax.

The 20th century has seen a rebirth of encaustic on a major scale. The availability of portable electric heating implements and the variety of tools now so readily available have made encaustic painting more accessible. It is ironic that a painting technique as ancient and involved as encaustic is receiving such widespread interest. It is gaining popularity with collectors around the world.

How do I care for encaustic art?

Encaustic paintings require little care. Occasional dusting with a soft cloth is all that is needed. Encaustic paintings are extremely archival, but as with any fine art, care should be given to them. There should be no fear of the work melting in normal household conditions. I would not advise leaving a painting in a car on a hot day, hanging a painting in direct sun or above a frequently used fireplace because the wax can soften making the surface more vulnerable to damage. Some encaustic colors can become cloudy over time. If your painting appears hazy, simply rub the cool surface with a soft cloth or nylon stocking to restore its luster. Over time the surface retains its gloss as the wax medium continues to cure and harden for up to 1-3 years. Of course, you can call me with any questions.

Where can I see your work in person?

If you like what you see on my website you will love what they look like in person. If you live in the Cincinnati area you are in luck as I love to give studio tours. If you are out of the area I would suggest that you start with a small painting (around $300) to confirm the detail, color and quality of my work. Some of my collectors have loved their small paintings so much that they have commissioned me to create custom sized pieces perfect for their homes and businesses.

I see you live in the Cincinnati area too. Can I pick up my paintings and save the cost of shipping?

Sure! I would be happy to arrange for you to pick up your paintings. Just leave me a message with your preferred contact information and we will figure it out. I love to meet my collectors and welcome the opportunity to show you my studio if that interest you.

Do you have any events or shows coming up?

I occasionally partner with other artist for shows and I show a selection of my work when I have speaking engagements. Contact me if you would like to schedule me for your church or civic group.

Do you show your work in any art galleries?

I did for many years and have decided to stop. I prefer to get to know my collectors personally which was not practical working with galleries. It also makes my work more affordable and allows me to give more of the proceeds to charity.

Can I make a print of my favorite painting?

All of my paintings and prints are protected by copyright. I own all rights to use or reproduce them in any form.

Can I order a print of any painting that I see on your website?

I have a limited selection of paintings that are available as fine art prints. If you have a favorite that you would like to purchase as a print, just send me a message and I’ll look into adding it to my selection list.

Do you offer graphic design services?

Yes, I do take on freelance design projects. My 40 years of brand design and visual communications is at your service. Contact me to discuss your creative needs.

I have heard that you give talks. What are they about?

I talk to large and small groups (civic and church groups) about the connection between creativity and our life experiences. About how creativity in any form can enhance our lives and about how we can deepen our appreciation of our life journeys by engaging in creative activities like painting, music, or dance. I believe that creative activities can help us to understand ourselves.

Do you do custom paintings?

I would love to create a custom piece just for you! I frequently do commissioned paintings tailored to the size and colors that my clients desire. The process is easy. It begins with a conversation about your aesthetic preferences. When we are in agreement of timing and price your custom creation begins. I also create memorial paintings that are very special creative expressions. That process begins with an interview wherein I come to a deep understanding of an occasion or individual that you wish to commemorate. These commissioned paintings are also done with timing and budget agreements in place. Prices begin at $1000.

I see that you do not offer any discounts on your work. Why is that?

I believe that my work is an excellent value and to discount it would undervalue the many who have paid full price and have seen the value of their collections increase over the years. Rather than provide discounts I choose to give a portion of the sale of my original artwork to charity.

What charities do you support? 

I give 25% of the sales of my original art to the charity of my buyer’s choice. That way we partner in generosity with charities that are closest to your heart.

What are your favorite charities? 

I have several, but at the top of my list is Fernside Center for Grieving Children. They provided my children and myself with much needed support when my first wife passed away. I also love Stephen Ministry, an organization that provides one-on-one Christ centered care to individuals needing support during life crisis.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I love to kayak the waters of local rivers and lakes. I wonder at the beauty that surrounds us in nature. My photos often inspire new paintings. I have become an amateur birder frequently spotting great blue heron, bald eagle and a variety of other waterfowl. I have several bird feeders hanging just outside the window. I have identified dozens of different birds right in my own backyard. I never know what may come by for a momentary visit. The soft grays of the tufted titmouse, the flash of red from a red bellied woodpecker or ruby throated hummingbird are frequent visitors. I marvel at the diversity of God’s creation revealing itself to me.