Judy Schmid

I graduated from Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art with a degree in
Graphic Design and proceeded to embark on a 35 year career in design. 
As a graphic designer, my role was to provide a solution to a customer's
specific problem using various visual mediums. I loved working on a diverse
set of these corporate-based challenges, using graphic means to communicate a sometimes complicated message. 

Then I viewed my first encaustic painting, shown at a local museum, and
things changed! I was totally captivated and inspired by the flexibility, the
creativity of this medium, the translucent surface of the paintings. At that
point, I totally committed myself to exploring this exciting new medium. As I explore the versality of encaustic, my focus is on producing encaustic monotypes. New discoveries have led me to producing illuminated monotypes, Illuminart. I also use the flexibility of encaustic to capture the uniqueness of my subjects in the series of portraits. Portraits are available on commission. 

Although working as a designer my entire career, I feel I am emerging as a new and different artist through discovery and creativity as I strive to tell a story using the encaustic medium. A story that marvels at the sights, senses, and emotions we all share but experience in different ways.


Watch my How-To Video


Fayum Mummy Portrait

Fayum Mummy Portrait

History of Encaustics

The word "encaustic" comes from the Greek, to “burn in”, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. 

Encaustic painting was developed by the ancient Greek shipbuilders, who used hot wax to fill cracks in their ships. Soon pigment (color) was added and this led to painting on the surface of the waxed hull: an art form was born. This technique was used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 AD.

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera

Over the intervening centuries encaustic was overtaken by many other types of paint—including tempera, oil, and acrylic paints—each of which was cheaper, faster, and easier to work with. Artists experimented with encaustic in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it wasn't until the 20th century that is's use really revived. With the availability of portable electric heating devices for the melting of the wax, use of encaustic has become more popular and many contemporary painters consider it an attractive painting medium. Modern painters who have used encaustic include Robert DeLaunay, Diego Rivera, and Jasper Johns.

About Encaustic Medium

Encaustic medium is composed of beeswax, damar resin, and pure pigments. Encaustic paint is applied molten to an absorbent surface, and fused, (or re-melted), to create a variety of effects. Once the surface has cooled, the paint has reached a permanent finish. The painting can be reworked with heat at any time, minutes or years later.