Encaustic Collage Art by Vivid Musings

Brenda Erickson was one of the winners of the recent cyanotype book giveaway which led me to contact her. As I prepared to send the happy news, I knew while scrolling through the gorgeous and varied encaustic collages on her Instagram feed that she would be an ideal person to feature in the Artist Spotlight.


encaustic paper art collage with circular design
Little Toot in the Big City 

collaged paper with encaustic overlay



Are you familiar with encaustic art? As I told Brenda when I first wrote to her, "I've never featured encaustic before... all I know is that hot wax is used. Of course I could Google it, but it would be much more fun if you would tell me - and thus my readers - about the encaustic process and your art journey."



A self-taught artist in Rochester, New York, Brenda describes herself on Fine Art America as "trying new things, breaking the occasional rule, always looking to nature for inspiration, and doing my best to be a compassionate human. As long as I can remember, I have been drawing; but it is only since 2009 that it has become my primary vocation. This is what I was born to do. Creative expression is my lover and I do my best to be attentive." 

encaustic collage of ouija images and planchette font text
"Ouija is primarily background paper with transfer images from a laser printer. In encaustic ink transfers, the transfer paper is slowly rubbed away to leave only the ink."


She explains, "Encaustics, at their root, are wax and resin, tinted, and applied hot in many layers using torches, heat guns, and irons. They can be perceived as both both paint and varnish. It is an ancient medium, used in the time of the Egyptian pharaohs in funerary art. The modern applications are endless now that the medium has become readily available through commercial suppliers. " 


"What I love about encaustic is the spontaneity of the wax. It does not like to be controlled, and making it work towards my vision is a bit of tenacity mixed with experience. Encaustics can turn thin papers into a more translucent material, allowing for layering. I love how textural the pieces can become."

encaustic collage with mystical sense
"This piece is predominantly layered Japanese papers."



"When creating encaustic art, I am using paper as both collage and as a vehicle for ink transfer. Some of my pieces are quite large... for example, # and @ are 36 x 36 inches each."

encaustic collage art hashtag symbol 

"I became interested in modern symbolism that is universal, transcending language and culture. Both Hashtag and At are collaged paper with encaustic medium and paint splatters."


encaustic collage art at @ symbol


"@ was compiled with many papers in yellow through red colors to create a unified blend."

Here's a look at Brenda's studio and some of the tools and materials she uses.


encaustic art tools and materials on work surface in studio

The following images of Santa (24 x 36 inches) show the steps of Brenda's process of paper collage using acrylic medium.


encaustic Santa collage art

beginning of collage art piece using paper with printed text, in prog

collage art using paper with printed text, in progress

collage art using paper with printed text, in progress

You'll find Brenda via her Etsy shop, Vivid Musings Art, where she offers original art, prints, cards, stationery, stickers, and a children's book that she authored and illustrated. On Instagram she is @vividmusings.
smiling woman outdoors wearing hoodie
Brenda Erickson
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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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