Posted by: onawhimsey | October 28, 2008

You could say I am really excited, but….

…… I have to learn to be patient!

The reason is that I have embarked on a new venture.  I wanted to think of a way to reach more people who might not understand my encaustic art which is art in wax.   There might be people who have not got the courage to spend some of their hard earned money on one of my paintings, even though they really are affordable!

So, I came up with the idea of creating a book which describes my form of wax art and shows pictures of some of my paintings with a brief description to entice the viewer to become more interested.

This book is to be published in hardback and would look lovely as a ‘coffee table’ book. You know, the sort of book you leave casually on your coffee table for anyone to pick up and browse through or just to have it lying there looking good!

I have written it, proofed it, pondered over it, proofed it again, added to it, deleted some of it, changed some of the pictures… well, you get the gist of what I am trying to say?  I am now agonising over it since I have to wait for it to be printed and then sent to me.  Chances are I will have to wait another couple of weeks since it might arrive too late for me to look over it before we leave to go on holiday!  Oh dear!!!!

However, as soon as I have checked it out and think I am pleased with it I will be offering it for sale!

You will have to watch this space but rest assured I am trying to make sure that the book will be available in time for Christmas.  Not only will it be a book for you to enjoy but you may have an arty friend for whom this would be a lovely, unusual present?

Stay tuned and I will let you know as soon as it is ready!

image My Encaustics – art in wax

Posted by: onawhimsey | October 24, 2008

Economic climate today

I am sure I am not alone in saying that my sales have slowed down over the last few weeks.  Although the usual gremlins come to the fore in your mind such as  why doesn’t anyone like my work, is it too pricey, is there not enough promotion and so the list goes on.  Then I look around and listen to those in a similar position and realise it really is the economic climate today that is causing this slide.

People have to juggle what they have in their fund to cover basics first like food, electricity, transport etc before they can even think about anything else!  However, the holiday season always asks us to stretch ourselves that bit further doesn’t it?  How many time have you said to yourself, No, I will not be tempted and then?  Yes, you get tempted with that drat of a credit card.  So, I won’t even go down that road.

Many on Etsy are finding themselves in the situation that they are simply renewing listings, maybe altering prices to try and encourage the reluctant buyer to part with their hard earned cash.

So, in keeping with many others that is exactly what I am doing.

Today I renewed this small painting entitled Exploring the Underground Cavern. image

Whilst living in Ireland in the county of Kilkenny in Eire (southern Ireland) I came across some caves that had been discovered in the 1950s. These were now well lit with proper stairs so that visitors could explore and wonder at the sights they saw. That is what inspired me to create this painting.  I love the way the waxes have allowed me to bring in so many different angles of light.  It leaves the viewer wondering whether the light is artificial or appearing through from some apertures from above.

This encaustic painting is 6″ x 4″ (15 cms x 10 cms) and has been created using my faithful iron.  Let’s see what you think?

Posted by: onawhimsey | October 18, 2008

At last I did it!

Yep, at last I sat down and created a painting for my entry into the contest being run on

The Art Calendar January 2009 Cover Contest


Basically the reason for this competition is to encourage more people to sign up to this wonderful artist’s site.  It was through the encouragement of my dear husband and great friends that I finally decided to pluck up the courage and create an encaustic painting specially for the contest.  I did feel myself working a little out side of my own comfort zone whilst I tried a new technique with my encaustics.  Not only did I use my trusty hairdryer but also my iron, mini iron, stylus, and tissue!  It took me quite a while to achieve the look I was finally happy with.

This encaustic has been created on a boxed canvas which means that the sides have also been painted and so you can just hang it directly on the wall.  No matter what angle from which you approach the painting there will be another view!  I have to admit this painting was extremely difficult to photograph due to the silver, metallic content.  Anyway, here is Celestial Magic…. see what you think!

On black background Not bad on wall Sideways from right to left side left to right

See what I mean about seeing this painting from different angles and in different light?  I guess the third picture is the most realistic.  Imagine light shining down on it, or daylight through a window.  That is why I called in Celestial Magic!

Posted by: onawhimsey | October 9, 2008

The birth of an encaustic

Once an idea comes into my head I just want to get the waxes out, support and decide which tools I am going to use.  Once I am nearly at the completion stage I wish that I had taken some pictures to demonstrate the process of how one of my paintings become the finished product.  Always, too late so I was determined to remember this time!

So, with this in mind I have used my latest encaustic and remembered, just, to take pictures along the way.

Step one was to take a blank, white canvas that had been triple primed with gesso and to decide whether I would use it landscape or portrait.  For this exercise I decided on portrait style.

I wanted to paint a flower using my iron, hairdryer, stylus and tissues.

The top of the painting would need a yellow background. Next I wanted some depth of colour.  To do this I used a hot iron, tipped it up with the point heading for the canvas and melted some wax on it so that splodges of wax would fall in dots overall.  Now to heat up the hairdryer and blow on those spots so that they would blend  and I also used some tissue to blend even further. Iron and spotty canvas

Each layer of spots would be blown and pushed around with some tissue until I got the effect I was looking for.

White gesso based canvas with yellow layer

Bit by bit more depth is achieved by adding darker colours on top of previously lighter ones.

In this third picture you can see the different coloured layers producing different effects.Blending spots into canvas

Now the time has come to heat up my mini iron.  This is inserted into the stylus which can heat up different sized tools to create different effects.

As you can see I have started to paint an idea of a flower using the mini iron.  The painting continues to evolve although I am not totally certain of the final direction the waxes will take me!

Getting there More depth to flower

At first I thought of a poppy flower and here is where you will see the dilemma I have put myself in….. should I continue or just stop!  There is always the wish to add just that little bit more.

Yes, I just couldn’t resist it!  I went that bit further and now have changed the whole structure of the flower.  I stopped using the mini iron for a while and started with the hairdryer again.

Poppy after hot air treatment

The shape of the flower was beginning to evolve but it needed some finer work to be done on it.  Now, I really had to be careful not to overdo it so that it would be completely spoiled.

I added, using the nib of the hot stylus, some stamens and detail for the centre of the flower.  It was very nearly finished.  Again, I carefully heated the centre to try and soften the look.

Here we are!!! TADA!!!!

The completed painting!  What do you think?  I find the ragged edging to the flower helps make it more interesting.

So, you see, you never really know where you will go with encaustic art.  The waxes decide the final outcome for you and to try and go against the flow just will not work.  Believe me, I have tried!!

Posted by: onawhimsey | October 6, 2008

Trying something new

Today instead of creating an encaustic painting using the usual encaustic card as a support I decided it was time to play!

I did purchase some canvasses the other day.  These were 10 x 8″ and had been primed with gesso and were acid free.

To begin with I melted some clear candle wax over it to help me add colours later.  Next, whilst taking my trusty little iron I managed to melt some block pigmented wax on top of the clear wax.  Instead of just leaving the blobs of colour on the canvas I switched on my hairdryer, waited until it had the correct heat on it (i.e. it was hot!) and proceeded to heat up the wax so that it melted and merged.  It really is fascinating to watch the movement of the colours as they merge and then go off at their own tangent only to merge again in a different colour.

Having added various colours I completed the painting using a scraper to scratch some strokes that would give a vision of grasses in the foreground.Turbulence better

Standing back, I looked into the painting to see turbulence being whipped up, a curtain of rain looked as if it would appear imminently or could this be a painting of the sea being whipped up in a storm showing the grasses and seaweed being thrown about?

That’s what I love about this style of encaustics – it is up to the viewer to really decide what they see.  I can suggest an image but ultimately, it is up to you!

Tell me what you think about this style where I have used the canvas.  I think it gives a more muted, softer look. What do you think?

Posted by: onawhimsey | October 4, 2008

BEE Team (beeswaxteam)

Whilst searching Etsy I came across a new team to which encaustic artists belong.  This team is called the BEE Team or you can search on Etsy by typing  ‘beeswaxteam’ for a tag and you should be able to see wonderful paintings by quite a few artists with very varied styles. image

Why not explore their blog at this link you will be amazed at what you will see!

I might have mentioned before that the team are having an event for October with the theme ‘Awakening’.  It will be very interesting to see the different interpretations taken on this theme by the various encaustic artists.  So far there are a few listed already and you will already see some of the different styles and looks.

Do check out this site from time to time as new paintings will be added.  This is also a wonderful way to discover other artists.

If you are looking for something original and just a little different for your bare walls, you have come to the right place!

Posted by: onawhimsey | October 2, 2008

Using my hairdryer!

Yesterday I decided to get my old hairdryer out.  Note I said, old hairdryer!  This one is ideal for blowing waxes and helps to achieve a swirling effect by pushing the waxes across the card in different directions.  Also using different colours you can achieve different effects.  For instance by leaving the silver or any metallic wax until the last layer you can ‘push’ it around until you have the image you are striving for.

Having recently joined a group on Etsy called the BEE Team (beeswaxteam) I am looking forward to partaking in the October challenge entitled Awakening.  Just sit and contemplate that word and think of all the meanings and different concepts it conjures up in your mind!  For my first attempt I have created this #1 by using my hairdryer to blow/push the different colours and shades to produce a swirling effect. image

Although a hairdryer is more than adequate for this procedure you can also use a hot air gun.  Maybe that will have to be on my Christmas list?

I added the silver metalic wax last because is has very different properties to the normal colours and behaves very differently.  This picture could be the mind awakening to the mystical senses around it which swirl this way and that.  It would be interesting to read what other images you discover in this painting!

Posted by: onawhimsey | September 30, 2008


In order to get yourself out into the wide world you need to be able to market yourself and advertise so that people become aware of you and your skills.

There are  a hundred and one ways in which to do this.  However, since I am fairly new to all this I have decided to take one step at a time. I began by opening my shop on Etsy.  Here I can display my paintings and offer them for sale.  This is fine but how do you get people to ‘find’ your shop?  It’s a bit like opening a bricks and mortar shop down a street; you have to advertise your shop to encourage shoppers to come and browse and then be enticed to purchase!

Apart from many Etsy forum entries under all manner of subjects under the name of On A Whimsey I have taken part in events such as the Etsy Challenge.  By asking/pleading for votes from many different areas such as blogs, forums, myspace, facebook, my own blog and website etc the name On A Whimsey was broadcast.  Other ways entail spending a little money but can be very cost effect too.  Namely, by creating different sized banners to be placed on various blogs that invite people to do so.  Also, creating ‘plug-in’ banners,again by invitation on various blogs, which are free and only entail signing up.

image A banner created using my painting entitled Cascade of Water.

By using my own paintings and manipulating them through computer programs I have been able to create different types of banners. Down through the coral skyscraper size There are advertisers to whom you pay monies or bid for space using different size banners.  This can be a good way to use advertising as a showcase for your works of art.  For the long, upright rectangle one I rotated an ACEO whilst adding the words of the shop On A Whimsey with the caption along the bottom ‘an encaustic adventure’.  By so doing the viewer can see immediately what the advertisement might be about and when they move their cursor over the advertisement the words appear ‘an adventure into the world of encaustic art’ thus leaving the viewer in no doubt about the subject content.  Going further, by clicking on the advertisement itself a link has been established to take a journey directly to my shop!

It is interesting to see how other artists engage with the public and encourage or educate people about their art.

Certainly, without the Internet it would be a much harder and not such an instant experience.  Quite apart from the practicalities of advertising I do find it fun to find the most innovative means of getting the message out – plain and simple!

Posted by: onawhimsey | September 29, 2008

Blues and Greens


I love all colours depending on my mood, time of year etc.  So as a change from autumnal colours, which I really love, I thought I would relist one of my favourite paintings in which blue and green are the predominant colours.

Entitled Stormy Sky over the Lagoon I could just imagine myself sitting looking out over the calm lagoon which had caught the strange light as the thunderous clouds whisked over dragging the storm away. The sky still looked angry in the distance but hopefully the storm had finished raging itself and was now worn out and ready to depart as quickly as it had arrived.  It is so calming to observe the clouds as they dance and skitter away after dropping their load of rain on the ground below leaving everything fresh and ready to start a new day!

Stormy Sky over the Lagoon

Posted by: onawhimsey | September 27, 2008

A vote would be so appreciated!

Want to do something that will make my day?  Go on, you know you do!!!

Go to this link where you will find my painting entitled Tropical Rain Forest….. image it could do with some love so just click in the circle by it and VOTE!!!  I don’t think I have a chance against a very strong competitor but hey!  A girl has to do what a girl has to do!!!

Really appreciate your help though.

Why not submit your own items for entry into the various challenges?  Not only is it fun but it really does work since you get wonderful exposure and leads to sales.  Honestly, I got 3 sales in the last couple of days!

Thanks anyway!  If you have voted for me already, thank you so much!  If you haven’t, I would really appreciate your help.

V O T E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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