Wax and Wane

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Photo of Wax and Wane canvas on a white easel

Wax and Wane

‘Wax and Wane’, was created as part of a collection of original wallpaper patterns in the 1950s. It was hand painted in designers’ gouache with a wax resist on cartridge paper. Regrettably, the actual painting itself has been lost. However, we discovered that the image had survived on a colour slide which, though over fifty years old, still showed the design reasonably clearly. After a great deal of painstaking digital repair work, ‘Wax and Wane’ has now been fully restored by our family archivist/conservator. It is a great joy to see this once-lost artwork return from obscurity to be fully appreciated once more.

Textures and Techniques

‘Wax and Wane’ is already available as an A3 print or poster and 5.5″ square greeting card. This lovely design now joins our new collection of printed canvases. The stylish dark green used in the design perfectly complements the pale yellow ochre. The use of wax resist techniques and thin gouache paints create a soft, semi-transparent texture which contrasts with the smooth opacity of the dark green shapes.

This interesting design builds on another image from our collection, ‘Hemisphere’, and adds new complexities and subtlety. The central spheres in the pattern motifs move through a series of phases similar to that of the moon. In ‘Hemisphere’, the central sphere has a simpler half way division. The design of ‘Wax and Wane’ works round from a vertical row of pale shapes with a dark green circular centre to the exact opposite – a vertical row of dark green shapes with pale ochre circles in the centre. The in-between stages of this development make a fascinating progression.

Wax and Wane in the 1970s

‘Wax and Wane’ was first designed in the 1950s. But in the 1970s it was reinvented as a piece of wall art. The painting was cut down and pasted onto a square, black, varnished wooden board. This formed part of a very contemporary interior design. The ‘sitting hall’ at the designer’s Victorian cottage had a brick floor, a very large fire place with carved dark wood mantle surround, and a small window. ‘Wax and Wane’ was hung beside another design, ‘City Rain’, against a dark green textured wall. Two tapestry winged armchairs gave a nod to the Victorian origins of this room, which was uncompromisingly up-to-date in feel. At night the picture lights above these two paintings were the only illumination.

‘Wax and Wane’ is an unforgettable image which now enhances interiors in the 21st Century just as beautifully as it once did in the 1950s and the 1970s!