What is encaustic?

Encaustic paint has a rich history that begins in the 1st century AD during the Roman-Egyptian rule. Encaustic was used for painting funeral portraits and sealing the exterior of fishing and trading boats. Since that time, artists have used this medium throughout the ages.

The word encaustic is Greek and literally means "to burn in". This is because this beeswax based medium requires heat, that of a blow torch, heat gun or heat lamps, to seal the layers of paint together.

This medium is very durable and colorfast. Because the pigment of encaustic is encased in the wax, it retains its vibrance for centuries. However, encaustic does not like extreme cold or heat, so it is best to keep your encaustic work of art in an environment that remains between 50 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Marissa uses birch plywood panels for all her encaustic paintings. Each painting is first sealed with HOLY GRAIL gesso and has multiple layers of encaustic paint which have been fused together using a blow torch. Marissa employs an adding and subtracting process of painting which creates a highly abraded surface. All paintings are cradled with edges that are either painted or stained for a finished look that does not require framing.