Kari de Koenigswarter works in many materials, but for some years her focus has been on the use of beeswax and raw pigments.
The durability of beeswax is legendary. It is impervious to moisture and so will not deteriorate, yellow or darken. For wax is extremely
resistant to heat and will not melt until it is 64C (146F+).
Beeswax paintings therefore do not have to be varnished
or protected by glass.
Beeswax is an excellent medium and preservative of materials. The ancient Greeks mixed coloured pigments with the molten beeswax with which they weatherproofed their ships and invented the art of encaustic, or molten wax painting.
Probably the best known paintings done this way are the Fayum portraits, dating from 1st and 2nd century AD. These are pictures of the Egyptian Greeks, which were mostly painted on wooden plaques and then attached to mummies.
They still retain their vibrancy of character and colour right
up until our own times.