Burren Layers


Burren Layers: A Fusion of Art and Geology

Immerse yourself in the world of “Burren Layers,” an encaustic bees wax painting inspired by the captivating geology of Ireland’s Burren region. Crafted using the encaustic process, this painting blends hot wax, beeswax, and dammar resin to capture the essence of the Burren’s limestone formations.

Discover the magic of underground streams and ‘grikes’ that carve through the exposed limestone, creating unique pavement blocks known as ‘clints.’ Explore the rapid drying process and versatile tools that allowed the artist to shape layers, merging colors with a blow torch or heat gun.

Uncover the beauty of scraped layers, revealing the textured underpainting that adds depth to this visual journey through the Burren’s geological wonders.



Burren Layers is an encaustic painting influenced by the Burren area in the west of Ireland.  The Burren is composed of layers of limestone, deposited during the lower carboniferous period and is underlain by Galway granite. In the Burren, the limestone is exposed or very thinly covered and this is what makes it so special.

The exposed limestone is drained by underground streams and cut by channels called ‘grikes’. This creates the pavement blocks, which are called ‘clints’.

This painting is created by the encaustic process or hot wax painting with coloured pigments.  It contains beeswax and dammar resin.  It is a particularly satisfying medium to use and the drying process is very quick.  You can use many tools, scrapers and brushes to shape the medium and a blow torch or heat gun to move the wax around the surface. This allows the colours to merge and blend in a most unique way. Scraping back previous layers allows the beauty of the underpainting to peek through and adds to the overall textured layers.

I loved creating this painting and almost immediately, the Burren and its unique geology came to mind.




Is this an original painting?

Yes, this painting is an original encaustic painting made from beeswax and created by me, Donna McGee.

Is it signed?

It contains my signature on the back of the frame.

Is the painting ready to hang?

Yes, the painting is presented in a white contemporary wooden frame and has a chord on the back making it ready to hang.

All you need is the picture hook on the wall for placement.

What are the measurements of the painting?

The measurements of the painting are 12″ x 12″ and overall measurement is 19″ x 19″ which includes the frame

What is encaustics?

Encaustic is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos). Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. Encaustic consists of natural bees wax and dammar resin (crystallized tree sap).

What are the care instructions?

This encaustic painting needs to breathe and if the surface looks in any way dull, it can be buffed up with a soft material e.g nylon stockings, and this will bring up a shine to the surface.

They are suited to outdoors.

Keep away from direct heat.

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