I Wear You On My Soul

I’m teaching myself to paint and to paint with encaustics.  Encaustic painting is essentially painting with wax – the medium is a combination of purified beeswax and damar resin.  I am experimenting with a mixed media of oil paint, pigment sticks, oil pastels and graphite.  This is a work in progress titled “I Wear You On My Soul” – going to begin to combine some of my poetry/prose in the paintings & drawings.  And planning to begin to incorporate photography too.

So here are some of the steps as I’m working.  This is the underpainting done with oil paints, then I have added the text with graphite.


Beginning to add layers of clear medium and colored wax.  I color my own wax by mixing oil paint into the encaustic medium.


Continuing to add depth to the surface by carving into it, rubbing pigment sticks into the carved areas, rubbing it off, more pigments …I love the process of addition and subtraction.  That destruction creates something new, different, better – it mimics for me the way we all tumble and stumble through life in a constant state of transformation.


And this is the prose/poem that is underneath all that stuff going on in the addtional layers on top.

I Wear You On My Soul,   j. smith

I believe in me. In love. Risk. Puppy Kisses. A sky full of stars. Words. Poetry. That not even the rain has such small hands. Music. Music. Music. Saying I love you, often. The arch of neck thrown back. Oh yes. Oh yes. Books – their power to transport you, to transform you. Words. Being authentic and then changing everything you believe in. Fear and going there first. Falling apart, breaking open and not bothering to put oneself back together again. Wide open you are bigger and better than before. Being fragile. Being strong. Second chances. And then third, fourth, fifth. I believe in imperfections. That questions are more important than answers. That happiness is something you are – not a set of things that happen to you. In the laughter of birds. The chirping of children. Flowers. Roses. The scent of roses and their thorny branches heavy with hips in the fall. My lips as they traveled down your back, an audible gasp as I reached a hip. Rollover. Burying your face in the fur of a great dog’s back. Home. Family. Friends. Love. Always love. Ideas. Expression. Living out loud. Laughing. Crying and finding yet one more tear to shed. An endless well. Your eyes an endless well. The sun on my face. The wind in my hair. Flowers. The bold spring flowers that are the first ones to push their faces up to the sky. Life. Walks on the beach. Passion. Impulsiveness. In growing down. Art. Gratitude. Kindness. I believe in you, I wear you on my soul.


5 Responses to “I Wear You On My Soul”

  1. Your art and your poetry in a single piece – perfect!

  2. If only it were so easy to scrape away the unwanted and just add what was good. Life is a process.

    I love the prose. A combination of many poems, yes? When is your show?

  3. Beautiful words… flowing. I’m excited to see the show.

  4. Lady Guin Says:

    ahhh …love the prose…love it.

  5. LilliGirl Says:

    Awesome work! I love it.

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