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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 »
I’m proud to have an article in the current issue of Encaustic Arts Magazine called “Creating and Embracing New Opportunities” which tells the story of how my book, Embracing Encaustic, led to many more new opportunities including my online encaustic classes at WomackWorkshops.com.
Here’s an excerpt: “As the huge truck pulled up in front of my house I got a chill up my spine. I knew the books would arrive sometime that week but no one seemed to want to give me a firm delivery date. I watched as the driver struggled to maneuver the bulky pallet through my garden gate and I worried that it wouldn’t fit. As he drove away, leaving me with box after box of my new encaustic book I thought, not for the first time, “What have I done?”
It all started about 5 years ago when one of my students mentioned that she couldn’t find an encaustic book with step-by-step instructions for beginners. That got me thinking that it wouldn’t be too hard to put one together, especially with the new print-on-demand services that had recently become available for self-publishing books online. Using this service they would be printed as they were purchased, so I would never need to print a large number of books. By that evening I had decided which service to use, downloaded the software and purchased the Internet domain name Embracing Encaustic.”
Read the whole article online. It’s a very inspiring magazine, so please share it with your friends!
I’ve spent every waking moment since returning form the encaustic conference getting ready for this day, and I’m thrilled to announce that Embracing Encaustic is now available to purchase online! I am completely blown away by the response already. Thank you so very much for all of your enthusiasm!
Joanne Mattera presents a copy of Embracing Encaustic as a prize for On The Edge
Our encaustic community is one of the most supportive groups I’ve ever been a part of, and that has never been more clear to me than this past week. At the encaustic conference I was teaching two demos, attending classes and trying to (wo)man my vendor table at the same time. At times it was chaos. I wasn’t always there when people wanted to purchase books so sometimes they helped themselves, leaving the appropriate money in exchange. Of course the inventory worked out perfectly in the end, with not one book going astray. How many people would expect that? It’s an amazing community and we are better artists for it. Thank you!
While I’m talking up this new book I should mention two things:
1. My fabulously talented husband, Bill, is a writer and the other author on Embracing Encaustic. Trust me, you will be very grateful for this fact. (BTW, he also took all of the photographs that have my hands in them! Well, except for that one shot when he wasn’t home and, well, it wasn’t pretty.) But the point is that he is a wonderful writer.
2. Life has not slowed down while we tried to get this book out. All of the show deadlines, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, family drama and tax bills (see drama) just kept on coming no matter what the designers or printers needed by deadline.
I mention this because these two facts recently came together to make possible this wonderful post on my husband’s blog, Words for Writers.
Enjoy The Ripple Effect, which describes the excitement we had outside our house recently. Oh yeah, and all the police cars.
I recently had the pleasure of seeing my friend Sven from Scarlet Start Studios realize one of his dream with the publication of his first book! Monster Month is lavishly illustrated with 32 full-color paintings by Sven Bonnichsen, and 7 full-color maps tracing the fictitious Professor Ichbonnsen’s travels. Here’s a quick summary of the world you’ll discover through his book:
After a lifetime of trekking jungles, climbing mountains, and spelunking caves, the world’s foremost cryptozoologist at last reveals a selection of his greatest discoveries. Herein you will find the Adameve, the Dark Strider, the Opium Gore Golem, the Trick Squilligoss, the Zompire Bat…And many more fantastic beasts!
With the keen mind of a scientist and the bold heart of an explorer, Professor Ichbonnsen provides illuminating descriptions of how the creatures live — and astonishing tales of how he found them.
Both adults and children will marvel at the Professor’s adventures…And be left wondering what else remains yet undiscovered in the unexplored corners of our rich planet. Like the map-makers of old, you will understand: “Here be dragons!”
A friend just told me that my book, Embracing Encasutic: Learning to paint with beeswax, is listed as a best seller on the publisher’s web site. That’s so fun! When I put the book together I thought it would be a nice way to keep my students, who were just getting started with encaustic painting, from making all the mistakes I did. I thought I’d sell a few locally and send a few to galleries, but this has really taken off!
Thanks to everyone who has supported me in this project and for all of your enthusiasm for this book.
OK, so it wasn’t on film at all but I did get up close and personal with a local reporter. Yesterday I met with Josephine Bridges who writes for numerous papers including a local favorite that covers my neighborhood: The Southeast Examiner. Josephine is writing a story on four Portland Open Studios artists who work with unusual materials, and our resident publicity hound, Bonnie Meltzer, put her in touch with me.
Josephine and I had met before, but last time I was doing demos in my dining room so she was very excited to see my new studio and all of my new work. I was nervous because I don’t usually get to talk with reporters — they usually review my work without any interaction from me — but she put me right at ease. We just sat and had a conversation as if she just stopped in for tea and the time flew by. Of course I did my homework beforehand and had a press kit ready. I haven’t made too many of those either but it’s easy to find advice online on what to include.
My press kit included:
- A copy of my resume
- My art statement
- My two latest press releases (about the HGTV show and my solo show at City Hall)
- A sheet titled “What is Encaustic?” so she can write knowledgeably about my technique without having to do any additional research
- Two promotional post cards with images on my work on them, one with a sticker announcing upcoming shows.
- Two business cards (Someone once told me to always include two so they can give one to a friend or have one at the office and one at home)
- A CD with high resolution images of 5 recent paintings, an image list with titles and sizes, 2 images of me with my work, 2 images from my book (Embracing Encaustic). After looking over the book she was so enthusiastic that I gave her a copy of that too!
- What I forgot: Copies of previous press clips (duh!) and a class schedule. It turns out that she wants to take a class!
Josephine was pleasantly surprised when I gave her the folder containing my press kit. Hopefully it will make it that much easier for her to use one of my images in the story. I shamelessly pointed out that I haven’t even done a press release on the book yet, so it’s something she might consider for another story. It seems like it could have a good DIY angle.
She did ask one question that I hadn’t had before: “What’s the one thing you want people to know about your work?” This is a great question! I told her that all the technical aspects of encaustic tend to scare some people off and they should know that it’s really not that hard to get started if you just know a few basic techniques.
Look for the article in the October issue of The Southeast Examiner.
My friend and savvy Mortgage Broker, Mona Das (far right, above), threw one of her famous private parties in her trendy Pearl District condo last night, featuring my encaustic paintings on her walls. My husband Bill and I LOVE Mona because she is the one who helped us refinance our house so we could build out my new studio! Most of the guests had never heard of encaustic painting before so I put on my teaching cap and went to work. People were excited to learn about it and using my book to illustrate the process made it so much easier to explain.
The favorite pieces of the night were easily Awakening (foreground, above) and the poorly placed “one above the toilet,” also known as All Things of Nature (below). Gee, I’m glad I decided to put it THERE. But I knew everyone would visit eventually! Oh well, live and learn. Thanks Mona!
While at the National Encaustic Conference many of you recognized my husband, Bill, as “the builder” of my studio from photos on my blog, while others know him as the co-author of the book, Embracing Encaustic. He has been extremely supportive of me in my art quest so I’d like to return the favor and give you all some fun at the same time.
Bill is working on his first novel, The Big Spin, but in the meantime has just published a wonderful short story online. Two of his primary passions are writing and flightsimming. Recently he’s finding new and interesting ways to combine the two. His latest endeavor is Joyride, a short story based on a sim flight experience. He provided the words, and his buddy Nick Churchill did the images. Enjoy!
OK, maybe it’s a bad idea to refer to smoking in any way in reference to a studio where I’ll be painting with molten wax, but there’s no other way to describe the festivities last night. Nearly 50 people dropped by to wish me well on the new studio, and many of them were here during the first two hours so it was elbow to elbow! There were so many of us we spilled into my back yard, but we had great weather so no one minded at all.
This event also served as the celebration of my book, Embracing Encaustic, which is an instruction book for those wanting to learn to paint with hot wax. It was hot off the press and I sold out of all the books I had on hand. If you missed it an would like to purchase one you can get one online by visiting http://www.embracingencaustic.com (there’s also a 15 page preview of the book available if you just want a peek).
We also has some great door prizes donated by Peter from Muse Art + Design on Hawthorne. His business is locally owned and sponsor a lot of art events in Portland so please take the time to check them out! I shop with them more often than anywhere else in town.
The chocolate fountain was up and running as you can see in the background here. It was a big hit, especially with the kids, but we all left with a little of the sweet stuff on our fingers (or shirts).
My generous friends arrived all night with flowers and gifts which made me feel extra special. I was thrilled to receive a little painting from my friend Judy Wise, a wonderful artist who I have admired for years. She also works in encaustic and presented me with this lovely gal to watch over me and my studio. In all of our chatter and excitement I forget to ask if she has a name! Judy, what do you say?
Update: Judy said I should name her! I’m originally from Hawaii and when I first saw the painting I told Judy she looked Micronesian to me so I named her Malulani, which means heavenly protection in Hawaiian. Somehow I know she’ll be great at her job!
After everyone was gone and we were ready to call it a night, I found my 13 year old dog, Grommett, happily snoring in the studio. I had to wake him up to get him inside. Maybe he was dreaming of that chocolate fountain…
I recently returned from the First National Encaustic Conference in Beverly, MA, and what an event it was! There were 140 artists from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. I met so many new and wonderful people that I’ll need weeks to visit all of their web sites, but that will be a fun “chore.”
The conference ran for 3 days at the beautiful Montserrat College of Art and began Friday evening with a keynote speech by Joanne Mattera. She treated us to a slide show of her recent trip to the MET where they house several of the Fayum portraits and an ancient Greek krater depicting an artist painting statues using encaustic techniques. (That will have to be my next trip!)
Joanne’s talk sparked those big, philosophical questions I never seem to have time for when she moved to the topic of artists defining their work through the enacustic medium. I am guilty of this and I didn’t even realize it. Here’s an excerpt from a discussion Joanne started on the topic in the R& F Forum:
“Here’s what concerns me: Some artists who work in the medium have been defining themselves by the medium. Not, “I am a figurative painter,” or “I work in geometric abstraction,” or even, “I’m an abstract painter who works primarily in wax.” No. Typically I hear, “I paint in encaustic.” I love encaustic. But what kind of art do you make? “
This is a fair question and one which as artists should consider. I sometimes get frustrated when people want only to talk about the technique and not the work itself, but then I hear myself asking the same question of other artists. I think it’s important for me personally to try to remove myself a bit from this love affair with wax and focus on what I’m trying to communicate. Please take a moment to read the complete post, appropriately titled “I am not an encaustic artist,” on Joanne’s insightful blog.
That same night we had a wonderful opening party for the “Hot Stuff”show, juried by Zola Solamete from the Arden Gallery. I’ll leave you with a few photos of that night, but I promise to all more images of the art soon!
My work was damaged in shipping, but they found the chip so a quick hit with the heat gun and it was fixed. What you can’t see here is that I had to repair it with a crowd of people asking me questions, and yes, I’m working on the gallery floor. Let’s call it performance art and move on, shall we?
We’re back from an unbelievably fun and successful trip to the First National Encaustic Conference in Beverly, MA. What a week! I have so much to share but first I have to take care of some pressing needs of my web clients. I’ll add more details along with photos as soon as I get my feet under me, but you can see a few photos on the conference web site right now. For those who are interested, they announced at the last conference gathering that they will be holding it again next year at about the same time, and it will again be hosted by the Montserrat College of Art. Start your savings accounts now!
Wow, what a week! First I published my book, Embracing Encaustic, and now it will be featured later today as Book of the Week on Blurb’s blog. I’m very excited because many more people will be introduced to the excitement of encaustic painting. You can also now see an actual preview of the first 15 pages of my book on the Blurb site.
Next up is the National Encaustic Painting Conference in Boston this weekend. I leave tonight and will have limited access to the web and email so the blog may be dark until I return. I’m one of the featured artists in the juried show hosted by the Montserrat College of Art.
The juror was Zola Solamente, Director of Arden Gallery in Boston, who said in her statement “It was an honor to review presentations from encaustic artists across the country. I knew at the onset that this would be a unique experience of viewing works by innovative and courageous souls, undaunted by employing a challenging yet rewarding medium. I was not disappointed. There proved to be a breadth of inventive techniques and results. I believe this exhibition of art will serve to educate and inspire viewers. There is no hiding the fact that encaustic, in the hands of our contemporary masters, is unparalleled in its versatility and beauty.”
OK, folks – that’s it! I’ll be back next week. Take care…
Today is the day! My new book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to paint with beeswax. has been published. It is a 40 page instructional book that is brief but to the point, distilling knowledge from many sources into an easy to follow instruction manual. This is the book I wish I’d had when I was getting started! The idea for the book came around when a friend told me about Blurb.com, an on demand digital publisher. I realized that I has a good part of the book written in the form of class handouts, so I figured all I would have to do was illustrate them to make a handy beginner’s manual. Of course that was a lot more work than I expected (it always is with my big ideas!), but I’m really proud of how it all came out.
OK, that’s it! I sent my new book, Embracing Encaustic, off for a proof copy today. I’m very happy with how it all turned out. My husband Bill Womack, a wonderful author himself wrote the introduction, helped with many of the photographs and edited the final draft. I couldn’t have done it without him.
Here’s a quick peek at a preview of the layout:
I’d love to hear what you think! I’ll get the proof back in about 10 days and after any changes the book will be ready to order. If you’d like to know when it’s available just join the notification list at http://www.embracingencaustic.com.