I have recently been working on a large painting and had this idea that I wanted to finish with a final coat that was similar to resin but did not want to use something toxic. I started watching videos on YouTube and found a great video by Susan Melrath that explained her process of using Golden Self-Leveling Gel followed by a final cold wax coating. The process gives a beautiful soft sheen similar to encaustic.  After watching the video I just had to see more of Susan’s work. I am so glad that I did.  Her work is extraordinarily beautiful. I know many of our readers enjoy taking art workshops. Susan offers a variety of workshops and is located in Oxford, PA. You can learn more about her workshops here.

To learn more about Susan or to see more of her amazing work, follow any of the links below:


© 2015 Susan Melrath, All Rights Reserved.

As a kid one of my favorite things was a summer thunderstorm….dark skies, lightening, driving rain and booming thunder. I would bring a blanket and some coloring books onto the front porch of my home and just sit surrounded by all that violent, beautiful nature, while safely tucked away under the porch roof with a box of crayons.

After high school I went to the University of Dijon and studied French for a year – a heartbreakingly beautiful language. I backpacked all over Europe for about a month before coming home – walked on the opposite shores of the Atlantic, ate french fries in Brussels, and oranges the size of cantaloupe in Crete, took a ferry with a bunch of gypsies, and saw the most magical ruins and beautiful art.

After a brief stint at a bore-ass job in the aerospace industry drawing exploded views of rocket motors, I spent several wonderful years as a freelance illustrator and made work for greeting card companies, book publishers, newspapers, magazines and ad agencies.

I had my son when I turned 38 and quit working for a while to raise him. This is when my desire to paint deepened, and I stole time here and there to slip into the studio. When my son was older I helped establish an art program in his elementary school and with the students, created a mural and two bus shelters for our community.

My son is older now, and I have been painting solidly for the past decade. I have been honored to win grants and a residency and to have my work included in public and private collections. And the beauty of it all is that I love what I do – even more than I love thunderstorms.

~ Susan Melrath