The challenge – to add a colour photo to my encaustic painting and have it blend into the background. My husband, Dave had taken a lovely photo of a winding path through a garden – it made me think of “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a favourite storybook from my childhood. I wanted to use the image in one of my encaustic paintings, but have it flow subtly into the background.
I had made two green textured panels (one was used previously to make “Spring Haiku”), and I thought the Sap Green colour was a good match for the leaves in the photo. I printed the colour photo onto rice paper and tore the edges around the photo border.
Mixing the Sap Green oil paint into the clear encaustic medium (EM) to make encaustic paint, I painted around the borders of the panel. I also added some gold tissue paper around the garden image to give it a frame, and to help the image blend into the painting.
I felt that the painting needed some three-dimensional texture to liven up the piece. Using the dried seed pods, I fused it to the panel with clear EM. I added some bay leaves (borrowed from my spice cabinet) and sprinkled some gold glass seed beads along the bottom of the panel. I liked the look of the beads since I thought they resembled the seeds from the dried plant.
Gold metallic dust was sprinkled over the seed pods and the leaves to highlight the texture. Using metal letter stamps (from a leather punch tool set), I pressed the letters to imprint the words ‘Secret Garden’ over the top of the garden image. The gold dust sank into the letter impressions in the wax.