Friday, April 2, 2010



The Doran

Encaustic wax is a wonderful medium to work with. I’ve been using it for a number of years to create a feeling of age in my paintings. With “The Doran”, I tried something a bit different.

Materials, more than anything else, inspire me the most when I am creating my artwork. I have an Herb and Almanac Cross Reference chart that I have kept for years, thinking I might frame it. When I saw it rolled up in a corner of my studio, an idea came to me. Why not incorporate it into an encaustic wax painting. I read the verse at the top and knew I wanted to create a nature scene.

Here is what it read:

“Oh dear ones! Treat ever so gently the beast within and it shall sing praises unto the name for that is it’s nature.” Then, at the bottom, I was surprised to read: “Blessed is the divine mother of all creation from which springs the well of all life.”

I am not sure how old this chart is, but it is now a part of my Doran painting.

Close up of ancient herbal almanac

I decided to use oils to create her face and I definitely think the wax tones down the plasticity of some of the other items I used at the top of the painting. Crackling the paint also helps to give the painting a rich ancient look.

Close up of encaustic wax effect

Here is her story.


Some call her a witch because in her presence, miraculous things sometimes occur. She is known to be able to cure many illnesses with the ointments, teas, tinctures and potions she makes with her herbs. She spends hours cutting, removing seeds, shredding roots, turning, drying, crushing, steeping and distilling. She uses eyebright, pennyroyal, primrose, lovage, borage and comfrey.

She watches the seasons: She dies with the winter and rises with the spring. She is totally in tune with the harmonics of nature because she is able to see on luminous levels. She believes we are all in some way linked together; the birds, flowers, trees and plants and somehow are part of something much greater than we are able to comprehend.

She is majestic, serene and at peae with herself and the universe that surrounds her…She is a Doran…

~Cheryl Dolby~

If anyone is interested in purchasing her, she is 18”wide x 24” high and is 1 ½ inch deep, which makes for easy hanging. The collage is entirely created on a solid birch wood. I painted her face with oil paints and used acrylic on the rest of the painting. I used coir, encaustic wax, silk flowers, an old almanac and assorted other papers. She is priced at $275. and can be shipped to almost anywhere. If anyone is interested in purchasing her, please just e-mail me to make arrangements. Or, alternatively, you may view her and purchase from Etsy Thank you.

close up of frame

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  1. Thanks for stopping by. I love visits. This is a very beautiful piece! I love the use of materials. I've only used wax a few times and while I incorporated a rose, I haven't done anything to the degree you have. It's just wonderful.

  2. She is beautiful and the story that goes with her is wonderful as well. Your work is just amazing Cheryl. You are so talented and creative.

  3. Everything about this is wonderfully beautiful.


  4. I love her story. And she is quite beautiful. Cheryl...this recent work gives me so much inspiration...I need to get back to my ladies. Mine have stories attached to them too, mostly composed in my head. Now I am thinking I need to write them down...Anyway, the Doran is something special. Thank you for sharing your creative process...

  5. thanks for the history
    seeing your very beautiful piece.

  6. I have never seen encaustic wax used like this before Cheryl, only for landscapes - it's great! I love the effect that you have created using the natural fibres and plant material, and her face really is quite beautiful.

  7. Trish says: She is fantastic! The expression on her face. Her eyebrows! The colors of her makeup. Devine!! How do you do it, Cheryl????? She sounds like someone I should know.

  8. WOW!!!! This is stunning, so gorgeous.

  9. She is beautiful. i love the words that lie beneath xJ

  10. That's really an interesting painting! I love all of the different textures and I'm glad you showed a side cool!


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