Opening! Cycles: Recent Work by Southern Arizona Wax Artists


Hello All!

I’ve been melting away in the studio this month painting in Wax. Wax is wonderful, but challenging. I am lucky to be a member of a great group of artist wax workers. We are  having an opening at the Tucson Jewish Community Center in their ample Gallery. Please come!

THIS Sunday, September 21, 2-4 pm

The exhibit runs September 18-October 15

Gallery hours: Mon-Thurs, 9 am-9 pm. Sunday and Friday, 9 am-6 pm. Closed Saturday.

JCC Fine Art Gallery, 3800 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ, 85718


See some of my process photos below:

I am working from pomegranates, olives, kumquats and dates that grow in my Tucson Garden. I am thinking about other regions of the world where these fruits grow, like the Mediterranean, Middle East and China. I like the idea of being connected through botanical edibles, especially sweet fruits.


I paint with wax using brushes, pigment and wax medium heated up to splash consistency.


Kumquats from Elm Street.

DSC_0594 DSC_0592


I can really indulge my desire for texture with wax. I use clay sculpting tools to gouge, scrape and build up the wax; bas relief painting.


Precious Fruits Red, 10x10x2, encaustic on panel, MilsteadDSC_0004

Encaustic painting is sensorial; heightening  sight, touch, smell/taste (beeswax is sweet smelling and the propolis in it has a calming and stimulating  effect). Wax and grease are some of the earliest vehicles ever used in the painting process. Think Cave Paintings. Wax with infused tree sap/resin preserves and protects pigment so color vibrancy is maintained for a long time. It hardens with age and increases in luster with cloth buffing.

Greek artists living in the Faiyum region of Egypt during the first century B.C.-third A.D. used encaustic wax to paint life-like portraits on wood panels, later adhered to the mummy wraps of military and wealthy patron-commissioners, so they would “live forever “, it worked, you can see Fayum coffin covers in major museums in the U.S. and abroad..

Check it out!

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