My Journey Through Encaustic Art: How I Beat Mental Health with a Blowtorch and an Exhibition

Hello everyone, my name is Jane Spooner, and I'm thrilled to share my journey through encaustic art with you. As an artist, I have always been drawn to finding ways to express myself creatively. However, I struggled with mental health issues, self-doubt and feeling like an impostor for a long time. That was until I discovered the therapeutic and freeing nature of encaustic art.

"Creativity is a powerful tool that can transform our lives, and I'm living proof of that." - Jane Spooner

Through the process of melting wax and fusing colours together with a blowtorch, I found an outlet for my emotions that helped me overcome stress, anxiety, and depression. Working in encaustic has been a journey of self-discovery, and it gave me a chance to overcome my fears and find a new sense of freedom.

Encaustic art is a type of painting that involves using melted wax mixed with pigment as the medium. The word "encaustic" comes from the Greek word "enkaustikos," which means "to burn in." The technique of encaustic painting dates back to ancient Greece and was popularised during the Roman Empire.

In encaustic art, the artist heats the wax and applies it to a surface, typically wood or canvas, using a variety of tools like brushes, knives, or even a blowtorch. Layers of wax are built up to create depth and texture, and colours can be mixed and blended directly on the surface. The wax is then fused to the surface using heat, which also gives the finished piece a distinctive sheen and durability.

Encaustic art differs from other types of painting because of its unique texture, luminosity, and ability to create depth and transparency. It also has a long history and has been used by artists for thousands of years, making it a fascinating and versatile medium.

Recently, I held my first exhibition at Warehouse 4 in Gloucester Docks, sponsored by Gloucester Brewery and Art in the City. It was a chance to showcase my encaustic paintings, but it was also an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health and inspire others to find their own creative outlets.

The exhibition was a great success, and I was humbled by the support of the community. The positive feedback I received gave me a sense of achievement and helped me overcome my self-doubts. It was heartwarming to see how much people appreciated my artwork and how much my story resonated with them.

Its been a week since my open evening, and I have had some time to reflect on the experience. In the days following the exhibition, I was emotionally and physically drained. I had poured so much of myself into the event, striving for it to be a success, and the weight of that pressure was immense. I found myself battling against the all too familiar feeling of self-doubt, questioning if my artwork was truly good enough and if I was deserving of the attention.

However, after a few days of rest and self-care, I had a sudden surge of energy and a newfound appreciation for myself. I realised that I had been so focused on my perceived flaws and shortcomings that I had failed to see the beauty in myself and my work. It was a reminder that we are often our own worst critics and that we need to treat ourselves with the same kindness and compassion we show to others.

This experience has taught me that success is not just about the end result but also about the journey we take to get there. It's about the obstacles we overcome and the lessons we learn along the way. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my art with others, and I hope that my journey inspires others to follow their passions and pursue their dreams.

Creating something beautiful isn't just about the final product. It's about the journey you take to get there. The process of creating is therapeutic, it's a way to express ourselves, and it's a way to tap into our innermost thoughts and emotions. That's why I want to encourage everyone to find their own creative outlet, no matter what it may be. It doesn't matter if you're an experienced artist or a complete beginner. What matters is that you find joy and fulfilment in the act of creating.

We all have our struggles in life, but what's important is how we respond to them. Turning our struggles into something beautiful is a way to take back control of our lives and to create something positive out of a negative experience. It's never too late to discover your passions and find a new sense of purpose. Don't let fear or self-doubt hold you back from trying something new.

As Maya Angelou once said, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." So why not start today? Pick up that paintbrush, grab that camera, or start writing that story that's been brewing in your mind. You never know where it might take you.

I hope my story inspires you to find your own creative outlet and to see the beauty in your struggles. Remember, every obstacle you face is an opportunity to grow and to create something beautiful. So go out there and create, and let your inner light shine bright.

I believe that art has the power to bring people together, to inspire and heal, and to transform our lives. That's why I'm thrilled that my art exhibition will continue to run until May 18th, 2023. All of the pieces on display are for sale, and you can purchase them at the bar. Or, if you prefer a print, you can purchase those on my website. 

I invite you to come and experience the beauty and power of art for yourself. Head on over to the Gloucester Brewery, take a look around, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere. Let's celebrate the power of art together and inspire each other to overcome our struggles with creativity and self-love.

Remember, it's never too late to discover your passions and find a new sense of purpose. Art is one of the most powerful tools we have to express ourselves and connect with others. As Vincent van Gogh once said, "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart." Let's seek and strive together, and let our hearts guide us towards beauty, healing, and hope.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a mental health practitioner, and any information shared in this blog post is based solely on my personal experiences. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and should not be considered as professional advice. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please seek professional help from a licensed mental health practitioner.

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