Ancient Greek Technique at Balzac’s

Wax Painting at Balzac’s

The Toronto Distillery District is well known for its arts scene.  I went inside to get some great atmosphere with my coffee one morning and was pleasantly surprised.   I noticed a poster on the door.

Arts Girl opening the door to see the art show in the distillery district

It was promoting the current art show upstairs called Wax Paintings.  I was really excited and even had my camera on hand to take photographs.  However, just before I entered I noticed another sign on the door warning that ‘no unauthorized photography allowed’. Well, I thought to myself, I’ll just have to ask around for permission. And this was worth it. Wax paintings are cool.

Heading into Balzac’s for the first time I was really impressed.  Of course the interior was a great combination of a historic building combined with the “modern” feel.  I felt like I could hang out here all day and talk about art and the political views of city of Toronto. I headed in with Roberrific and we were greeted by the friendly staff.

Encaustic painting art exhibit in Toronto Ontario Distillery District

When we asked for permission to take pictures, and explained our the reasons why, we were given the go-ahead to document the event and headed up the stairs to see the art work.  “Qu’elle Surprise’ we even witnessed some of the Toronto Police Services brass having a little pow wow. They didn’t seem impressed when Roberrific pointed my camera at them and asked about the G20 summit and whether they were planning to attend the upcoming protest on Jan 8th at Queen’s Park.  I quickly pulled him away; I have enough unfair parking tickets I can’t pay for at the moment.  We focused our attention back at the stunning encaustic art pieces.

Toronto artist Ann Shier paintings at the Distillery district The Wax Painting art exhibit was a real attraction.

The historic walls were a perfect display for Ann Shier‘s January 2011 art show displaying her encaustic creations. Painting with wax originated with the ancient Greeks.   It’s called the Wax Paintings because of the application of molten coloured wax to hard surfaces,  in this case wood painting panels.   The qualities of the paintings are thick and have a sculptural surface.   I had to show restraint not to touch them or explore their surfaces sensorily.    I sensed a feeling of the beautiful yet harsh Canadian landscape in this art series. Although there was a sense of whimsy and play in few of her art pieces as well.

Workshops Too!?

I didn’t see the artist Ann Shier, but I did find some flyers that were available for her encaustic workshops.  As an artist and painter myself, I’m interested in taking one of her workshops, especially to find out about more of the technique in regards to glazing, sculpting, photo transfers and collage.  Toronto Arts Girl checks out the art exhibition at the distillery district in Toronto I am fortunate to be friends with the infamous Son of a Beekeeper and have access to beeswax.  I am curious if I can make use of this sweet aroma wax for something other than my candles.   The encaustic classes are located in Ann Shier’s studio located in the historic Distillery District and classes are Monday and Wednesday.  This historical painting technique seems like a great way to explore artistically and discover many possibilities of tying the past to the present.

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About Ruth Wilgress

Ruth is an expressive arts therapist in Toronto Ontario Canada.
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