potential – or the idea of it

Lingering thoughts from a science class of long ago – potential energy.

When scientists talk about energy they are talking about the ability to do work. When the work is being done it is termed kinetic energy. When the work is waiting to be done, it is termed potential energy.

beeswax in waiting

I have this very big hunk of beeswax (over 2 pounds) purchased from the honey farm/meadery down the hill from our house. The beeswax represents potential energy.

I’m gathering the materials necessary to do encaustic painting/mixed media. I have the wax, damar resin, some colorant , brushes and the surfaces to paint on. I have a heat gun, a griddle and other tools to keep the wax melted and workable.

In the next few weeks my mission will be to take the potential energy and let it move outwards into the world.

Simple. Sweet.
Damn difficult.

Not the working with wax part – I’m all for the learning curve. For me it is more about letting myself go into my core – to let go and create with no rules, no critic, no “one” looking over my shoulder and especially no thoughts of what the piece “should be”. It’s not that I can’t have an image or idea before I create. It’s – how can I say this – about merging with the creative process and being with it instead of questioning it. To begin, to make choices, to change my mind, to follow new pathways, to experiment, fail, succeed, laugh, cry and a cart load of other “descriptives” about the creative process.

Why am I saying this?
Because too often I have cancelled on myself. Not shown up. Not done the work.

Steve Jobs said it clearly:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No reason at all.

Posted in everything, mixed media, progress.


  1. Deb,
    I just discovered you in the hotwax yahoo group (which I have to say I am really bad at navigating) anyway I noticed we are both on the Island and I really resonant with your writing. I work in Cobble Hill and live in Saltair. I am really drawn to the encaustic and excited about the class starting. Currently I am taking a Deryn Mentock mixed media jewelery class. This time of year makes me want to learn and I need projects to get me safely through the dark of the rainforest winter, especially after the “summer” we had!Here’s hoping we get lost in the process!! Piper

  2. Found you on the Encaustic group. I really relate to the wisdom you share – it is indeed hard to get to the core and I think we all long for those magic times. When all the planets align and we touch something special. I explored your website and seems to me your words lead your path. They are amazing, so evocative. Paired up with your art, just terrific. Glad to have met you 🙂

  3. thanks Piper – do good to meet an other islander. As for getting lost in the process? The best way to learn and keep the learning. I’m looking forward to making mistakes and new discoveries.

  4. And glad to meet you. There are a lot of people explorations to do when doing an online course. With no face-to face I find it helps to explore other people’s blogs and websites to get the feeling of sitting in a classroom with them – or in this case, working in a studio alongside them. I’m looking forward to the process.

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