The Beekeeper

Australian Beeswax for Encaustic Art – Works by Marijke Greenway

We know a lot of the beeswax we produce at The Beekeeper® is used in skincare balms, polishes, candles and beeswax food wraps, but this week we also learned that Pearl Beach-based artist Marijke Greenway is now using our beautiful beeswax in her art too.

The use of hot beeswax as a painting technique is known as ‘encaustic’. It requires the melting of beeswax (which smells wonderful!), mixing of pigments and application while still hot. The beeswax can be layered and while still warm can be shaped to add texture.

According to Marijke, “Encaustic comes from the Greek (enkaustikos) which means ‘burning in’ – this is the oldest recorded painting medium. It is experiencing a growing revival with exciting techniques and results. The ancient Fayum portraits on the mummy coffins which are now over 2000 years old and preserved in museums are still bright as the day they were painted due to the encaustic technique.”

Marijke’s works are inspired by the NSW coastline, wild water, rolling waves, beautiful beaches and the red ranges of the interior.

She’s currently enjoying creating larger encaustic works over 1 metre wide and high which highlight the texture, glow and depth of colour thanks to the beeswax technique. These artworks can become quite heavy due to the weight and layering of the beeswax which gives the art equally weighty character and presence.

We particularly love Marijke’s encaustic painting of trees as it reminds us of where the beeswax was created in the first place and where we spend much of our days…the beautiful natural forests of NSW.

You can see more of Marijke’s encaustic works at her website. 

If you’re an artist and need to buy beeswax for your encaustic art, our bees produce pure Australian beeswax and we can ship and deliver across Australia (except for WA and Kangaroo Island) or you can pick up from us at the markets in Port Macquarie NSW (do check ahead to make sure we have enough with us).

Each beeswax harvest has a different colour and scent depending on the season and which flora has been in flower. Some of our harvests are bright yellow (or even orange when native ‘egg and bacon’ bush is in flower), some are a pale and gentle yellow, while others tend to a flatter, light olive colour…and everything in between.

The different beeswax colours show nature’s pollen palette in action.

Our beeswax is 100% pure and only gently filtered. Please keep in mind that if you do not buy your beeswax direct from a trusted Australian beekeeper, you may be actually painting with imported ‘beeswax’ which is likely to be fake (eg: paraffin) or contaminated. Happy encaustic painting! Thanks artists and thanks bees. Depending on the season, we have pure beeswax available in 1kg blocks and 10kg slabs.