Rae’s Art Work


Three thousand years ago Greek shipbuilders found that by adding pigment and resin to the beeswax they used to caulk the hulls of their ships, they could create a painting medium with an unparalleled luminosity. A thousand years later, the Egyptians used the medium to adorn mummies with portraits often painted when they were younger.

Artist and photographer Rae Dollard uses the same medium – encaustic paint or colored beeswax – to add depth, texture and light to her painting and photography. She starts with a wooden panel, or “cradle,” applies a clay-like coating, and brushes on the first of many layers of wax medium. After adding each layer of pigmented or clear wax, sometimes inserting an original photograph, drawing, or transfer, she uses a torch to bond the wax to the artwork. Rae also incorporates flakes of mica, copper or gold leaf to give a jewel-like effect to some of her encaustic paintings.

The dance of the wax and fire is similar to effects seen when forming lampworked glass. Rae was one of the first glass beadmakers in Texas and specialized in lampworked beads and jewelry. She was featured by Nieman Marcus for their 70th Anniversary, showed in juried art fairs and galleries across Texas and the Southwest, and was featured on the cover of Jewelrycrafts magazine multiple times. In the molten wax used for encaustic painting, Rae has found an even more challenging medium to express the evocative qualities of strong colors.

Encaustic paintings will last for many, many years, but should not be placed over a heater or in direct sun. Buffing a few times a year with a soft knit cotton cloth will maintain the luster of your artwork.

Rae is a full member of the Society of Layerists of Multi-Media and serves on the Board of Directors of that organization. Much of her work is built of colorful layers, like our lives, joyfully celebrating the present while giving glimpses of the past. She has had multiple solo and group shows with her multi-media, photography and acrylic paintings.