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Great news! I’ve decided to reissue my book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax, as an electronic book (eBook) for the third edition. This will allow me to create a more comprehensive and less expensive book that will be available for immediate download by artists all over the world. It will be available through Amazon.com and readable on Kindle readers, iPads and other devices with Kindle software. Publishing as an eBook will also allow me to greatly expand our Gallery section to include many more inspiring works by artists from several countries.
Choosing the artists for the new edition of Embracing Encaustic was challenging job, but in the end I selected 70+ pieces from over 150 artists who submitted work. Because of the file size limitations for downloading an eBook many fine works could not be included in this edition.
Some tough decisions had to be made, for example, where images simply wouldn’t reproduce well because of the palette or size of the work or where two artists work were too similar to include both. If your name is not included on the list of artists below, please don’t be discouraged as it was impossible to include all the deserving artists.
Congratulations to these fine artists whose work will be published in the new edition of Embracing Encaustic! Read the rest of this entry »
Update: I’ve been notified that I’m a finalist for a La Vendéene award from the IEA (International Encaustic Artists)! The awards are intended to “recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art.” Awards will be presented in early September at their encaustiCon event in San Antonio, TX. Wish me luck!
The La Vendéene Awards are created in honor of a fourth century AD anonymous female encaustic artist whose remains were found, along with the tools of her art, in the La Vendée region of France. The awards are intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art. Nominees do not have to be International Encaustic Artists members. IEA will present awards to no more than one nominee in each category: Artistry, Innovation, Education, Media, Lifetime Achievement.
I met Jess Greene at the encaustic conference last year when she was just starting to figure out what she wanted next in her life. I’ve been thrilled to watch her fulfill her dream of providing some really interesting projects centered around helping people become more creative.
My online encaustic courses are listed on her SeekYourCourse.com web site and she’s about to launch a nationwide project called the Jumpstart Creativity Tour which will have a stop in my town of Portland, Oregon this summer. Read on for more information about Jess’ exciting projects and how you can get involved.
From Jess: In college, art classes were only for the art majors so despite my interest there never was room for me. And the desire was only a whisper anyway. I was pursuing other things.
A few years after college, when I was a science teacher, I started reading artist blogs. Blogging gave me a window into the lives and work of artists in a way that finished work in a gallery never could. I started feeling a strong desire to paint. Then I finally did. I went to an art retreat and my world shifted. Suddenly there was the possibility of making art in a supportive community of other creatives.
CALL FOR ENCAUSTIC ART: Juried by Wendy Aikin and Daniella Woolf, WAX hopes to introduce the public to the diversity of methods and techniques currently employed by contemporary encaustic artists. Two and three-dimensional work will be considered. Show is at the Pajaro Valley Arts Council in Watsonville, CA. Deadline 2/3/12.
Happy New Year, or as we say in Hawai’i, Hauloi makahiki hou!*
I’ve been sick during the last half of December and haven’t had the energy to write a new post so I started reviewing my older posts from years past. I’m glad I did, because I really needed to see this one again. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!
As many of us do this time of year, I’ve been taking a look back at all I accomplished, but also those things that slipped away. I often hear from friends and even strangers how amazed they are at all I cram into my limited time. “You are everywhere!” is a phrase I hear often and while that can be good, it might also be a sign that I’m spreading myself too thin. I think 2012 will have to be more about balance. I made good progress with that last year, but more work can be done, and I have a plan to help me succeed.
One of my big problems is that I have trouble saying no. Big trouble. Can you build a web page for our event? Sure. Serve on our Board of Directors? No problem. Volunteer a few hours a month? Of course. Now don’t get me wrong, all of this is good stuff and I don’t intend to stop doing all of it, but if I ever want to make a living from my art and let the other job go, then I have to be more restrained about where I offer my time and energy. Read the rest of this entry »
What a week! It’s true that events in December tend to clump and overlap, looking for just the right day to stand out from the crowd, but last week was one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. I had art openings on 3 consecutive days, with lots of art and excitement to go around.
Portland Visual Art Exchange
I was thrilled to be invited again this year to the 6th Annual Portland Visual Art Exchange. A big thanks to Becca Bernstein, Sally Finch, TJ Norris and all their volunteers for all of their hard work!
Over 50 artists were invited to exhibit one piece of original work in a week-long, invitational show hosted at the Littman Gallery at Portland State University (PSU). The exhibit culminated in an art trade and public reception where the participating artists went home proud new collectors from some of the most talented artists in Portland.
I was thrilled to receive a wax and felt sculpture by Lisa Kaser, and my work went home with Bill LePore, Chair of the Art Department and Professor of Art at PSU.
Oakridge Park Opening
We celebrated the opening of Oakridge Park last week with 45 new apartments serving Lake Oswego area seniors who earn modest incomes. This is my second project with Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) who provide a wide range of affordable housing options and have the foresight to include original art by local artists in many of their projects. I’m honored to work with them through Kent Art Brokers.
The Big 200 Art Show
A big thanks to Chris Haberman and and Jason Brown for inviting me to be in The Big 200 Art Show (formerly The Big 100), hosted by People’s Art of Portland. I’m guessing that name may change again as there were over 250 artists by last count and over 2,500 art work available at the show.
Invited artists are each given 10 small wood panels and let loose to create whatever they like, knowing that all panels will sell for just $40 each in order to allow just about anyone to afford an original piece of art. This is an exciting show because when the art is hung there are no names included with the work which evens the playing field. Art from a very well known artist may be sitting right next to that of someone in their first art show, but all you need to care about is DO YOU LIKE THE WORK? I love this idea. The show was absolutely packed and my husband and I came home with 4 beautiful new paintings, all by artists who are new to us. The show is up through January 10 so check it out if you can!
I recently received this wonderful note from a regular student in my online classes. Congratulations Jane!
“One of my encaustic collage pieces was just juried into a show at Artworks here in Richmond, so I wanted to let you know and thank you for the great online workshops……I used everything, including The Great Undo!* The skeletal leaf was brought into the house on the back of one of my dogs, so you just never know where you’ll get a collage element!”
* The Great Undo is one of the lessons in my Encaustic Collage class which shows you how to quickly and easily remove parts of your encaustic painting that you don’t like. As you might imagine, it’s a VERY popular lesson.
I taught my Encaustic & Photography class last weekend in my Oregon studio and had the pleasure of working with 3 amazing photographers who made beautiful work. None of them had much (if any) experience with encaustic but here is a small portion of what they were able to create in just two days:
This photograph by Lara Blair was already a beauty, but when she cut out the horse and made her own sky with the encaustic paint the movement was highlighted dramatically. As a great example of the sculptural properties of the wax, the mane of the horse is raised slightly, giving the painting more dimension.
The work above is by Sandra Nykerk who traveled all the way from Gardiner Montana for this class. This image of a rock within a rock was printed on tissue paper then highlighted with pastels. It’s a shame how hard it is to photograph encaustic, and I didn’t do this piece justice. It’s so luminous!
This work is by Maro Vandorou. She rarely works with color so the image above is an exception and the one below is more similar to the rest of her work. In the photo of the roses, we poured the wax over the surface of the photograph instead of painting on layers of wax. That gives the image a dreamy feel and a perfectly smooth surface that is very enticing.
Maro’s self portrait was made on tissue paper and adhered to a board with wax, letting much of the clear medium show through.
If you’d like to join me for an Encaustic & Photography class, check the schedule online anytime at http://www.embracingencaustic.com/workshops/. If you can’t get to Oregon to see me I’ll come to your studio via my online classes. Check them out at http://www.womackworkshops.com.
I’m thrilled to make my big announcement — my new video workshops are now available online at WomackWorkshops.com!
Our online video classes bring an art teacher with international experience right into your studio. Work at your own pace, get personalized instruction, and interact with a community of like-minded artists. Best of all, every class is just $49 US with six months of access to videos and the class community.
I’ve been teaching in-person in my studio and around the country for years, but availability has always been limited to a handful of students per class. At the same time, so many of you have expressed interest in my workshops over the years with the regret that you live too far away to join me. To solve both of these problems my husband Bill and I decided to offer video classes, delivered online.
Here’s How it Works
- All videos are available immediately so you can work at your own pace.
- Your purchase gives you six months of access to the videos starting the moment you purchase the class.
- The class includes an online forum where you can chat with the instructor and other students, share photos of your work in progress and post finished work.
- The instructor will answer forum questions several times daily for the first 7 days of each month.
- You’ll also benefit from discussions with all of the other students throughout the duration of the class.
For those of you who haven’t tried encaustic painting before the new web site even includes a free video on how to set up your own encaustic studio.
Can you help me spread the word?
Please forward this link to a friend or two who you think might be interested. I’ve announced this on FaceBook and Twitter recently too, so if you see those posts please “like” them or retweet. Many thanks…
Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know all about my previous visits to the John Campbell Folk School, so I won’t revisit the basics again. Instead I’ll focus on this amazing group of students brought together by my workshop there a few weeks ago. Wow, did we have fun! I’ve got several photos here for you to get an idea of how the workshop unfolded, and what wonderful friendships were forged.
Dru and Louise had very different styles of working, but had a great time working together. Louise arrived in her big truck with just about everything under the sun so when we were missing something everyone asked, “Does Louise have it?” and she usually did. Thank goodness!
Anne and Susan taught wood turning instructor Jim about the basics of encaustic. Jim, along with several other instructors and students from other classes, stopped by to see what all the fuss was about and left with a copy of my book Embracing Encaustic in tow to get started at home.
This group was made up of extraordinary experimenters who tried hard to find new approaches to use with their wax. Check out some of their work:
The two funniest comments from the week:
1. That looks like a hamhock!
2. That girl ‘aint right.
Both said with a smile, and both well received. Yes, it was an extraordinary group, and it was my pleasure to be a part of it.
I would never plan to do two full week classes back-to-back in such different parts of the country, but sometimes things just work out that way. I packed up at Idyllwild in California on Friday night, flew out Saturday — arriving after dark — and was set up and teaching again by Sunday in Tennessee.
That doesn’t even make sense on paper much less in the real world but it worked thanks to the amazing team of summer interns at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts who helped me get settled in and set up quickly.
It didn’t hurt that they have more power in that studio then I’ve ever had for a workshop, but we still had to try a few configurations to get it just right. I felt like the indecisive woman changing her mind on where the couch should be, but it’s important to get the tables and equipment set up in a way that fosters community and we did just that.
Below is a video tour of our classroom, with the gallery just outside our doors for instant inspiration.
They have an excellent gallery at Arrowmont, run by the talented Gallery Coordinator Karen Green. It’s essentially the hallway between the classrooms but what could have been very ordinary has been transformed into a series of intimate spaces with the use of stones, fountains and quiet seating areas.
There was a great feeling of collaboration throughout the week. I often invite students and teachers alike from other classes to stop by and see what they can do with the wax in their own projects, and several of them took me up on it including TJ Erdahl (below) the Arrowmont Program Manager who wanted to make a waxed hat for his fascinating ceramic sculpture.
As you can see above we did manage to have some fun and that often included “hoop breaks” with our own cruise director Sara Gibson. She brought several hula hoops to share, including one that’s collapsible for travel (!) and got everyone into it (see video below). She’s fantastic at this!
Another fun break was the Artist-in-Residence open house, where we could see how these talented artists spend their year at Arrowmont. The video below takes you through the work spaces of Andrea Moon, Shawn O’Connor, Wyatt Severs and Jennifer Wells.
Believe it or not, we did do some actual painting during the week. The studios at Arrowmont are open late into the night so there was a lot of time to work too. I was astounded my the sheer number of pieces that were finished, but they were also really high quality.
These wonderful folks just about made me cry when they presented me with this beautiful water tumbler, a big bar of chocolate and a beautiful card signed by everyone. Now I’ll always have my water at hand, but that chocolate is LONG gone. Thank you all so much!
It’s hard to believe the Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic exhibit is over already, after all those months of planning, but I’m happy to report that it was a great success! We had steady, enthusiastic crowds who were ready to buy art, so both artists and patrons left happy.
Here’s a video of the exhibit along with some photos below. The video is a little shaky at times since I hadn’t slept much the week prior, but it will give you a good flavor of the work in the show.
Our two featured artists illustrated the variety of ways in which the wax can be used for self expression. Jeff Schaller paints edgy pop inspired images that are provocative and whimsical, adding words and language to propel the viewer into scenes of seemingly unrelated subjects.
Cari Hernandez takes a different approach, where encaustic is the connective medium in her abstract, sculptural works which often rely on the use of shadow and light. For Hernandez, combining mediums such as wax, paper, resin and fiber serves as a way to explore themes of faith, courage, joy, and pleasure. I was pleased to also include an additional 60 talented artists who were either invited or juried into this comprehensive show. Look for video of the show to be added soon!
In keeping with the educational mission of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, there was an extensive roster demonstrations throughout the event. Artists from across the United States shared their knowledge of encaustic, introducing this ancient art to a very appreciative audience.
We owe a big thanks to our demo sponsors, Muse Art + Design (who recently launched EncausticSupplies.com, R&F Handmade Paints and Enkaustikos! Wax Art. These companies are always generous supporters of the encaustic community, especially with educational events, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.
There were 167 works from 65 artists in the United States and Canada, including artists who were invited to participate and those who were juried into the show. Awards were presented in several categories:
As a special part of the show we enjoyed a panel discussion on “Why Wax? How Encaustic Informs Our Art,” featuring artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, and Kanaan Kanaan with moderator Andrea Benson. They had a lively discussion on the challenges and unique qualities of working in encaustic, and why they are drawn to the medium.
As the show curator, I can confidently say that Luminous Layers achieved the goal we set out at the beginning — to show the wide variety of ways in which contemporary artists are using wax in their art today.
This show wouldn’t have happened if not for my very dedicated team who worked tirelessly to help me pull it all together: Kimberly Kent, Natasia Chan and Amy Stoner as well as numerous committee members from the Lake Oswego Festival including Lisa Strout, Marabee Bertelsen, Diane Englert and Andrew Edwards. Thank you everyone!
The Fourth Annual Encaustic Painting Conference has been fantastic so far again this year and I’m having a wonderful time soaking in lots of new information to incorporate into my work and my workshops.
I’ve also been taking short videos to cut together into a montage of what it looks like to attend the conference, but I’ll have to post it when I get back next week.
Until then, here’s an image of my latest work which is currently hanging here at the conference in the Best Foot Forward show along with jaw dropping pieces by many of the other encaustic painters in attendance. What a show! More soon…
My lecture on “Working in Wax” was well attended Saturday night despite the nasty flu bug sweeping Portland this month. “Working in Wax” offered a rich visual introduction to the history, tools and techniques of encaustic painting, along with an overview of contemporary artists working in this ancient medium.
Several artists from my book, “Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax,” were featured along with internationally recognized encaustic painters. A full list of the artists profiled is available, along with links to their web sites. Many thanks to all the artists who allowed me to share their work!
Nancy Azara, Andrea Bird, Elena De La Ville, Mary Farmer, Kevin Frank,
Eileen P. Goldenberg, Jane Guthridge, Thea Haubrich, Cari Hernandez, Lisa Kaser, Deborah Kapoor, Phyllis Lashe, Mari Marks (Mari Marks Fleming), Alexandre Masino, Catherine Nash, David Price, Scott Reilly, Josie Rodriguez, Paula Roland, Amy Royce, Jeff Schaller, Julie Shaw Lutts, Randall Steeves, Linda Womack, Deanna Wood, Gregory Wright, Kari J. Young
Following the lecture there was a screening of Sister Bee, a lyrical short documentary about six women beekeepers who encounter startling beauty and spiritual truth in their work with honeybees. The film was wildly popular evoking both laughter and sighs from the enthusiastic audience. A special thanks to filmmaker Laura Tyler for allowing me to share her inspiring film.
I was contacted recently by Robin Urton, an artist in Portland who writes a wonderful blog which she describes as “thoughts on art and creative living — an artist in conversation with herself and the world.”
Robin asked if she could profile my work and I was thrilled to find myself in the company of some very talented botanical artists including Sara Gilbert, Michael Mew and my friend Amy Stoner. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a few minutes exploring her thoughtful posts on artists from all walks of life.