Our Story

Madeline Sugerman and Sherry Degennaro crossed paths at the Santa Fe Art Expo two years ago. They were searching for other artists in the Naples area who were working in encaustic medium. Disappointed with the lack of awareness about encaustic art in SW Florida, Madeline and Sherry decided to start a local chapter of I.E.A ( International Encaustic Artists ) which is called SWFL WAX (Southwest Florida Wax).

In 2018 Sherry and Madeline started SWFL WAX. In a short time the membership has grown, and continues to grow. All members are delighted to be a part of SWFL WAX sharing ideas and friendships. The mission of SWFL WAX is to promote, inspire and support the varied interests of encaustic artists in SW Florida through monthly meetings, demonstrations, workshops, group critiques and exhibitions, thereby raising an interest in encaustic art. In their first year as a chapter SWFL WAX has had four very successful art shows. We at SWFL WAX are thankful for the overwhelming interest and response from the community.

The Naples Art Association has graciously offered to host and be the home for SWFL WAX, we are delighted to be affiliated with such an outstanding art center. The NAA will host our monthly meetings, artist workshops and host encaustic exhibits. In December of 2018 through January of 2019 The NAA hosted a SWFL WAX exhibit entitled A Journey In Wax. For more information about upcoming exhibits go to home page and click on “Exhibits”.

SWFL WAX is also a member of the (UAC) United Arts Council in Naples, Florida and along with the UAC they hope to educate and promote public awareness, understanding and appreciation of encaustic art in SW Florida.

Encaustic is a Greek work (enkaustikos) which means “to heat or burn in” Heat is used to melt the beeswax, damar resin and pigments and to fuse the layers of wax. The technique of mixing pigment and wax and then heating the wax creates a vibrant luminosity. The Egyptians and Greeks used this medium to paint murals, funeral portraits and ships. Encaustic today is used in a more contemporary way through paintings, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

There is also a cold wax process. The most significant difference between hot wax and cold wax is that the wax in the encaustic paints must be molten to work with and in cold wax painting there is no heat involved. Cold wax medium is basically beeswax mixed with a small amount of solvent and resin which forms a soft paste. The cold wax paste is mixed into oil paint. Cold wax adds body, transparency and depth to oil paint. It also speeds up drying time and increases the paint’s workability.

This coming year Madeline Sugerman will be teaching a series of art classes at the Naples Art Association Center and the Visual Art Center in Punta Gorda, Florida.

SWFL WAX encourages artists working in all encaustic medium to find out more about our chapter and become a member.

For additional information please go to our home page and click on “Contact ” and fill out the displayed form.

Madeline Sugerman, President SWFL WAX

madeline@madelinesugerman.com 404-275-3245