Cold Wax Techniques with Cindy Walton

Q&A with Visiting Instructor Cindy Walton

Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techniques Image Courtesy of the Artist

1. This is your first class with BINDERS Art School. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have been a practicing artist for over 15yrs.I have always made art and grew up in a family that encouraged the arts. My home state is Florida but I went to North Carolina to college and have resided in the Carolina's ever since. My husband Scott and I raised our two daughters in Asheville, NC. We have lived in Western Carolina over 25 yrs. 

2. Tell us about your studio space at the Wedge Studios in Asheville. 

My studio space is a shared space with three other artists. I am located in the historic River Arts District in Asheville. The studio is open to the public most of the time. If I need a little undisturbed time I’ll work early or late in the day. I keep business hours at the studio Thurs-Sat. 11-3.

Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techniques Image Courtesy of the Artist

3. How would you describe your practice?

I try to work consistently each week. I have always felt making art is a growing process. To grow as an artist you must work on a consistent basis each week. I have always told my students allot a certain amount of time for art each week. That time could be 2 hours or 40 hours but be consistent.

4. What are you working on currently?

My latest series has developed over the last few months. The prominent color palette is red, blue green and gold. I tend to work intuitively while thinking how to develop space in each painting. I have found that I really enjoy writing in the paintings. I tend to write letters, prayers or just random marks. Our group of artists recently lost a dear friend and during that time I was writing a lot of prayers on her behalf. So what began as a compositional challenge evolved to a more emotion driven theme which I have titled the series "Prayers for Annie".

Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techniques Image Courtesy of the Artist

5. Can you explain the difference between cold wax and encaustics?

Cold wax medium is a medium added to oil paint to extend the paint. Cold wax medium is a mixture of beeswax, varnish and solvent (turp.) This medium being wax will build up on the surface more quickly than oil paint and linseed oil or let's say Liquin etc used as mediums. The drying time is more like using oils than acrylics, watercolor or encaustic. I have met painters who paint representational subjects with brush and/or palette knife, mixed media artists and other artists across the board using this medium.

Encaustic painting on the other hand is heat fused beeswax mixture. Most of the pigments are heated and applied to a surface. There is a good bit of toxic fumes emitted so good ventilation is necessary. The wax dries quickly which will allow the artist to build layers very quickly and work back into the surface.

6. What do you hope students will learn in your Abstraction and Cold Wax Techniques workshop?

One of my goals in workshops is to encourage exploration. With a new medium there is a lot of experimentation and having fun. I encourage each student to not come to the class with expectations of finished work but to allow themselves to explore and play.

Cindy Walton Cold Wax Techn Image Courtesy of the Artist

Abstraction and Cold Wax Techniques with Cindy Walton


Please join us in exploring the diversity of cold-wax medium used with oil paint, pigment sticks and powdered pigments. Cold-wax medium is wonderful for oil painters to experiment with, using non-traditional tools to achieve texture and finishes similar to encaustic but without the caustic fumes and heat. This exciting medium is gaining widespread popularity, and opens doors for oil painters to explore new techniques and surface effects. Cindy says, “Cold-wax medium has totally changed the way I approach painting. It offers opportunities to develop layers of introspective and emotional interpretations.”

Follow Cindy at her blog here.

Written by Jacob Gunter

For questions, more information, or registration please contact the BINDERS Education Office at 404237-6331 ext. 203 or email

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