“The Magician” from the Pentimento Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert
The Pentimento Tarot is a majors-only deck that pays homage to tarot history. Each card is a beeswax (encaustic) collage that incorporates antique tarot cards as well as vintage photographs. There is more information about the deck here.
Original Encaustic (Beeswax Collage): The Magician
What Is Encaustic?
Encaustic painting is a technique dating back to Greece in the fifth century BCE. “Encaustic” is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos). Encaustic medium consists of a mixture of natural beeswax and damar resin (crystallized tree sap). The medium is melted and applied with a brush or other tool. After it cools, each layer is reheated to fuse it to the previous layer.
I begin by applying a digital sepia tone to the images I will be using in the collage. I print the images out, distress them with sandpaper and other tools, and hand-color them with watercolor or colored pencils. I create the layers of the collage, applying a layer of beeswax medium each time, scraping and incising each layer to create texture. I work in color with oil paints, oil pastels, gold leaf, and gold foil between the layers of beeswax medium.
I fell in love with beeswax collage work for its luminous transparency and the mystery that unfolds as each piece is created.
These collages are extremely archival, but as with any fine art, care should be given to them. There should be no fear of the work melting in normal household conditions. The wax and resin will not melt unless exposed to temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not a good idea to hang or display the collage in direct sunlight.
Shipping: A shipping charge of $8.00 will be added for those who live in the U.S.
A shipping charge of $26.00 will be added for those who live in Canada.
A shipping charge of $35.00 will be added for those who live outside the U.S. or Canada.
(Please note: the cost of shipping to Canada and internationally is the price the US Postal Service charges me for Priority Mail. I agree, it is more expensive than we would like it to be!)