Cottonwood Arts Studio

Specializing in Encaustic Creations

Welcome to my artistic world, one of color, imagination and creations rendered in wax, resin and pigment.   Utilizing a technique that dates back more than 2500 years, encaustic painting grounds us in tradition yet connects us to the expansive realm of limitless possibilities. Each work is a truly unique expression that cannot be replicated.


Artist Statement

Carole Schrading

Encaustic painting excites me because of wax's versatility, its ability to blend, morph and evolve. I can only control so much of the process as each pigment reacts uniquely to heat and substrate. I may have a vision for a work but am often the happy victim of an accident – a surprise that surfaces from the wax as colors mix, shapes form and patterns emerge, telling me where to go next in the development of that particular work. 

Each piece grows over time as the wax layers must be carefully built. I initially mix the pigmented waxes with medium, a blend of damar resin and beeswax, apply the colors to the surface (cradled birch wood), heat the entire piece to fuse layers and then wait for it all to cool. This process forces me to focus intensely, work rather quickly and then be patient. Working with wax allows me to remove layers, carve into the canvas to create textures or reveal what is underneath, and easily cover areas that don’t feel right to me. I love wax's mercurial, adaptive nature.

I draw most of my inspiration from nature: trees and fields; discoveries made on hiking trails or walking with my dogs; patterns found within bark, leaves or grasses; and, of course, living entities. I enjoy creating both objective and non-objective works and also playing with surface techniques, such as shellac and alcohol burns. The possibilities seem endless and I am enjoying my journey with wax as I continue to grow as an artist in this form.


The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau