During the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois in early January 2020, several BIP staff members participated in BIP Board Member George Hansen’s Encaustic Painting Workshop. A skill new to many of us in the workshop, this incredibly enchanting art form transforms melted beeswax and pigments into beautifully imaginative paintings. Or at least for some of our creations, beautifully imaginative in the eye of the beholder.
George has introduced the ABF community to encaustic painting before through presentations in previous years but this time around was the first offering of an interactive workshop where participants created their own works of art right there on the spot. A former teacher, George’s instructive style led his eager students through the process from start to finish while at the same time inviting us to experiment with our own creativity.
As we learned during the workshop, encaustic art dates back a couple of millennia. From the Greek, enkaustikos, to heat or burn in, encaustic styles have evolved over time to use different media to form brilliant colors and patterns. Its resurgence in recent times offers yet another exciting pastime for beekeepers to use beeswax in exciting ways.
We are grateful to George for walking us through the creative process. In the photos we share some of our designs on paper cards, yet the true masterpiece of comb is by George himself.