Stein frayman (1976) is a visual artist since 2001. He was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, a town famous for being the cradle of Dutch Design.
Stein studied the Hogeschool voor Kunsten, a respectable art academy in the city Utrecht.
Since 2007 Stein has been researching the ancient art of encaustic painting. This painting technique involves the heating and cooling of beeswax. Frayman developed his own durable painting medium formula, giving a unique quality to his encaustic paintings.
To balance his studio work, he frequently creates installations in the public space.
Frayman’s work on many occasions can be seen as ‘art for veneration’, moving into a sphere beyond the aesthetic disinterested approach usual for galleries and museums.
Here you can see Stein at work in his first studio. Beeswax is tough to work with, but its honey-like smell makes up for the hard work.
For most of his paintings Stein Frayman uses the technique of encaustic painting. Encaustic involves a blend of beeswax, damar resin and pigments. The wax sticks to a surface by using a ground. After that the painting is build up layer by layer. Each layer is fused into the next. And yes, one could argue that when the painting is finished, it is one massive chunk of beeswax.
‘It took me four years to get to the technical point where I am now. And it will for sure take me many more years to fully understand and master the encaustic. It’s such a challenge, sometimes even appalling. And yet I keep going back to the studio, for I never used a painting medium that produces such luminous colors, such depth. Beeswax has fabulous qualities. It is so versatile; one day I work with it as a painter, the next as a sculptor or a graphic artist.’
general information on Encaustic painting techniques
Oldest preserved paintings
The oldest preserved paintings in history are made with the technique of Encaustic painting. These paintings, the Fayum Portraits, were found in Egypt and date from 100-300 AD. Where all other mediums faded in time, the encaustic had kept the colors of the Fayum portraits luminous and fresh.
The American Pop-Artist Jasper Johns re-introduced beeswax as a painting medium in the fifties. Since then it is used for both sculpting and painting.
Encaustic painting is also known as Hot Wax painting. Encaustic Artist use some kind of heating system to fuse and blend the wax into a painting. Brushes and metal tools are used to sculpt, paint and engrave.
Beeswax works as an extremely strong varnish, so the color of encaustic paintings can last for centuries. An additive of damar resin produces a hard, durable paint film. The combination of beeswax and damar gives the paint film also a higher refraction. This is why encaustic colours appear to be so luminous.