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The Allure of Cold Wax

Terry Jarrard-Dimond talked about working with oil and cold wax during the March 11 meeting of the Anderson Artists Guild.

Having spent most of her career working with textiles, she evolved from painting, printing, and drawing on fabric into painting and eventually became entranced by the soft, hazy look of cold wax. Among the cold wax artists she admires are Stephanie Galloway Brown, Rebecca Crowell, Lisa Pressman, Lisa Boardwine, and Pamela Caughey.

Here’s some of the advice that Jarrard-Dimond offered:

* Wear gloves to protect your skin.

* Use cold wax from either the Gamblin or Dorland companies. Do not use cold wax from the Williamsburg company since it has no agents to help it dry. Even with drying agents, cold wax can take several weeks to dry. Without them, the process can take many months.

* When adding color, general guidelines are to use two-thirds cold wax medium to one-third oil paint.

* Useful tools include something to get the wax out of its container, a roller to get the wax onto the surface, a putty knife, and engravers such as forks, scrapers, and whisk brooms.

* This medium requires more support than a canvas. You can use flat or cradled wooden boards and multimedia boards, as well as surfaces that have been attached to a rigged substrate or matted and framed with a backing. If using paper, chooses Arches oil paper or other papers that have been gessoed.

* Heat is not needed when using cold wax, which has a matte finish when cured.

* To add texture, use things like sand, marble dust, wood ash, and charcoal.

* Varnish is not required. As an alternative, add another coat of clear wax.

Jarrard-Dimond will be offering a workshop on cold wax painting at the Anderson Arts Center on March 22-23. More information about the workshop is at More information about Jarrard-Dimond is at

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