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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Teaching Wax Monoprints

I recently taught the basics of wax monoprints to a group of high school individuals as a part of my Americorps position at a non- profit organization that provided outreach as a component of VSA North Fourth Art Center's many programs. The programs are geared towards, or facilitate arts for/in the community. I along with other members of the outreach team travel around to different sites in Albuquerque, NM with the purpose of  offering art based lessons and activities.

At this particular location we offered art and other lessons to high school students that are part of a after school program through Catholic Charities. The lesson this day was a basic encaustic, or rather, wax monoprint/monotype project; a project that I love to share. Unfortunately a budget commands crayons over real encaustic paint; however, the project was still successful- even with the wind. Yes, I said wind. Not to say that we couldn't have done the project inside; but, we all opted to work in the courtyard.

With kozo paper, watercolor paper, paper towels, rocks :) to keep the wind at bay, and a bucket of crayons instead encaustic, ten or so students created some great first pieces. Everyone was given both 90lb watercolor paper and Japanese kozo paper to see the diferences between the two; how paint sits and soaks into the surface creating two very different looks.

In the future I hope to make encaustic sticks using a crayon or candle mould. Especially if the student or individual has participated in the crayon version. Crayons worked well for this project, making them okay, and of course taking the account of sticking with a budget. Also, not to mention, blocks of encaustic are hard to handle sometimes when making small marks and lines. A baren for pressing the paper down on the palette and a handfull of tools for manipulating the paint on the palette would have been handy; forgot to bring those. However, there is always next time and for a first go at it, along with trying to document the whole process, I call it a success- especially since everyone had a good time and learned something new. Below are some of the students work.

Thank you all for reading,

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