A LOCAL artist is ‘buzzing’ about her new exhibition at the Forest’s Dean Heritage Centre for which she has revived an unusual technique that is “firmly planted in the past”.

Nicky Bale, who lives in Cinderford, is inviting locals to head down to the centre in Soudley to view a collection of her paintings, which she created using the unique medium of beeswax.

Several of Nicky’s artworks - which she created using a hot air gun and an iron - are now on display at the DHC Museum Cafe.

The artist says that the method of creating art with hot wax, known as encaustic painting, is rooted firmly in the past alongside prehistoric cave art, having originated in the 5th Century BC.

The technique was also used by ancient Greek painters, and early examples of the form still survive today in museums around the world.

Encaustic literally means to “burn in”, referring to the process of fusing different layers together with heat.

Nicky said of the technique: “The control over the wax is to an extent limited, but offers endless opportunities to create unique and imaginative images.

“Another difference between encaustic and traditional painting is that encaustic paintings have many layers of encaustic applied to the surface, one on top of the other, with each layer being separately fused in.

“This technique results in a depth and luminous translucency that is unique to encaustic art.”

She added: “Beeswax is impervious to moisture, therefore it is a durable material excellent for preserving the image which has been created.

“I enjoy experimenting with this ancient technique and use high quality wax, which is infused with pigments to create colours.

“The possibilities are endless with this medium and I also add other mediums, for example oil pastels.”

The above picture shows the selection of Nicky’s art on display at the Dean Heritage Museum Cafe, which will also be available to buy.

Nicky says that anyone who would like more information on the paintings on display, or would like her to create a personal or bespoke artwork, should get in touch by email at [email protected].