The last few years, come October, I’ve played along with the Inktober daily art challenge. This year, when I look for the prompts, the challenge seems to have turned into Stinktober… I can’t be bothered to read into the full details as skimming the trending comments was depressing enough… Anyway, I decided that instead I’d do my own thing and do Waxtober. Don’t panic, I’ll not be ripping out my muff to make art work… That’s a kind of next level dedication to your art that my pain barrier winces at… No, instead, I’ll be working with Encaustic Wax.

I was working a lot with wax but it kind of got shelved…or moved to the back of rotation. It’s a speedy way of working, some call it spiritual art, some call it channeled art… I don’t think too much about what to call it. I find it an interesting game. I choose colours with my eyes closed, usually 3, melt them on to the flat iron… Pause a moment or so until my hand wants to move then I swipe the iron across paper and see what happens. It’s a precarious process as it’s very easy to overwork and lose an image or muddy the colours… It’s kind of an exercise is knowing when to stop as once an image is gone it’s gone for good…

Today, this fell to page…

I look it at and it brings to mind lichen. Lichen is a curious thing – a compound organism – a fungi with either an algae or a bacteria, living in a unique partnership arrangement, a symbiosis where the fungi provides stability and the algae or bacteria photosynthesises to feed the lichen; never feeding off nor injuring the object it’s attached to.

Biologically it’s very successful… Around since practically year dot and with a skill for thriving in unpopular/hostile environments. Lichens have been sent up into space and survived for 15 days in a vacuum with no harm done.

As a spiritual art reading I might ask you about ways you can flourish and be innovative? I might ask you – What is it about you that is beautiful in an unobvious way? What is it that has always been with you, that still exists against all odds, and which supports you and feeds your soul?

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