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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!
When you mix colors do you tend to make nothing but mud? There’s a class for that! (and a quick tip below…)
On June 19 from 6 – 9 pm I’m hosting guest instructor and color expert Kimberly Kent in my Portland, Oregon studio to help you expand your painting palette while you develop your color sensibility.
Learn to mix, glaze and see color better. The exercises and techniques in this class will give you new tools for understanding how to mix just the color you need. You’ll work in encaustic paint in this class, but these concepts can be applied to color mixing in any medium. Find out more about my classes or register here.
How to Avoid Making Mud
Here’s a great example of the tips you’ll learn in this class: To avoid making mud, mix two primaries first. Once you get as close as you can to your desired color add the third primary. For example, mix yellow and blue to make green, then a touch of red to get the green you want. Just a few tips like this will have you mixing colors like a pro!
Last week I hosted a 5-day Wax Week Mixed Media workshop in my Portland, Oregon studio. I usually travel across the country offering this workshop at schools like Idyllwild Arts in California and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennessee, but I needed some time off from all the packing and unpacking so I invited students to come visit me this year.
Students from Washington, California, Colorado and Texas joined in the fun working with encaustic paint, paper, pastels, stamps, pigment sticks, inks, encaustic monotypes, wax scrolls and more! Here are a few photographs from the June session.
If you missed this Wax Week class you have another chance in August when the weather in Portland will be spectacular for a visit. Come join us!
Every summer I hear from students who want to take my encaustic workshops but live too far away to fly in for just one or two days. With them in mind I’m offering Wax Week, a 5-day intensive workshop that combines some of my most popular classes with some brand new techniques that will keep you creating new work for years to come. I’ll have two sessions this summer:
June 4 – 8, Monday - Friday (5 days), 10 am – 4 pm, $750 (full) or
Aug 27 – 31, Monday – Friday (5 days), 10 am – 4 pm, $750 (3 spots left!)
For those students I’ve taught around the country (hello Idyllwild? Arrowmont?) who have asked for another week long intensive class, this is it! No experience is necessary because everyone will learn as we go so you can focus on the projects that interest you the most.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Beautiful Backgrounds
- Painting with Pigment Sticks
- Creating Depth with Layers
- Encaustic Monotypes
- Colorful Wax Scrolls
- Individual Consultations
During the last part of the week each student will have the option for a 30 minute private consultation with me to review work, clarify techniques or ask their burning questions. It’s your time with me so you decide how we’ll spend it.
Most supplies will be provided including wax, paint, brushes, paper, boards, and basic encaustic tools. Students will be asked to bring 5 panels of their choice no larger than 11 x 14. You will will receive detailed information on these as well as a list of optional items upon registration.
Space is limited to 4 students and classes fill quickly. More info, photos and register here!
I’ve finally had time to put together some preview videos for our online encaustic classes at WomackWorkshops.com. Take a peek:
That’s right, if you can’t get to my classes in Oregon I’ll come to you online! Get 6 months of access, work at your own pace, get personalized instruction, and interact with a community of like-minded artists. View our class listings and more free videos at WomackWorkshops.com.
After living in a new house for a while, did you ever decide that you wanted to rearrange the rooms to make better use of them? Something like that has happened on WomackWorkshops.com. After some valuable feedback from students, we’ve decided to change our classes to better fit how you want to learn.
Starting now, you can begin any class immediately–no waiting for a class to begin! If you can buy it, you can watch it right now. What’s more, you have access to all the videos, class notes and community chat for six full months from your day of registration. Your instructor will answer questions online during the first seven days of every month, and you’ll be able to discuss your projects with other students in your class during the entire length of the class.
All classes are under $50 and gift certificates are available for the perfect holiday present.
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.
A couple of weeks ago I taught my first workshop internationally. I spent a week in Okanagan Falls, Canada teaching two encaustic workshops to 24 very enthusiastic women. We had fun! It was easily the best view I’ve ever had from a studio window, looking out on beautiful Skaha lake.
Normally I have lots of photos to post here from each workshop, but mine didn’t come out so well this time. Luckily my host, Thea Haubrich, from Twin Lakes Encaustic Art saved the day with her own excellent photos of the workshops. Thanks Thea! Thea and I have been long distance friends for years now, but this trip gave me a chance to get to know her and her husband much better and to finally visit their beautiful town.. It was a pleasure to teach in Canada and meet such a nice group of poeple.
Many of you have met my husband, Bill, on these teaching trips and might wonder what he does while I’m so busy. He put up a fun blog post about this trip here so I thought I’d share it. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! He always manages to find something interesting everywhere we go.
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!
I’ll be teaching outside of Oregon so much this summer that I have time to invite a couple of guest artists to teach in my studio. The first I’ll introduce you to is my friend Kimberly Kent, who has been working in encaustic for many years and is an expert with color. If you’ve taken one of my classes you probably heard my joke that Kimberly could mix plaid! OK, I didn’t say it was a good joke, but it’s true.
Kimberly and I also have a connection with my roots in Hawaii, so we often share music, food and drink (!) of the islands. She began painting in 1983 in Kona, studying, teaching and selling her work in a local studio/gallery. The journey of art making has taken her through many media and more than 12 countries. She paints in oil, mixed media and encaustic and is currently breaking new ground painting encaustic en plein air. More on that below…
Expanding Your Encaustic Color Palette
Next Date TBD. Check the web site for details (below)
In this excellent companion to my Making Your Own Paint class, Kimberly will help you expand your encaustic palette while you develop your color sensibility. Learn to mix, glaze and see color better. The exercises and techniques in this class will give you new tools for understanding how to mix just the color you need. Each student will mix a full range of colors from basic colors and leave class with a traditional color wheel and charts to use for future reference. The class will be taught in encaustic, with a set of basic mixing colors. All supplies and tools will be provided.
Encaustic Landscapes en Plein Air
Thursday, May 13, 5 pm – 9 pm, $95
The term en plein air comes from the French, “in the open air” and that’s just how you’ll paint in this class using a camping stove to heat your paint and a torch for fusing. The technique refers to landscape painting completed on site, in a natural setting. With the right tools and techniques you can paint in encaustic in the field. A plein air painting concentrates details on colors and the play of light and shadow. You’ll begin with large shapes and blocks of color tones while keeping in mind the lights and shadows. Most plein air artists start in this way and quickly lay out the entire painting. At first it may look like an abstract work, but slowly you’ll add detail to your painting until you have captured the essence of the scene before you. Treat yourself to this new way of seeing your world.
Values & Veiling
Next Date TBD. Check the web site for details (below)
This class is designed as the next step in expanding your use of color in encaustic. Kimberly will have you start with some basic exercises to help you see your colors as values, exploring the use of shadows, darkness, contrasts and light. Using simple compositions you will put this knowledge to work. She will borrow techniques from other art forms and adapt them to work with encaustic. Composition, value, and color theory techniques will help you bring your work to the next level.
Veiling with layers of translucent color can produce amazing results. You will play with veiling and layering to create depth, distance and interest in our paintings. All supplies and tools will be provided.
I hope to see some of you in these new classes! as always, you can see my full schedule of classes within Oregon and around the US and Canada this summer on the Embracing Encaustic web site.
I’m back from teaching a week long encaustic painting workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk School in beautiful Brasstown, North Carolina. Frontier Airlines managed to break most of my hot palettes on the way over so it was a very rocky start, but it ended with lots of new friends and 8 happy students. One of them even told me I changed her life, which is well worth the price of a few pancake griddles.
I’ve got some photos to share and even a short video tour of our amazing studio, then it’s back to reconstructing my own studio for classes in Portland. Enjoy!
My buddy Mary Farmer recently moved to nearby Asheville and was kind enough to join us for a day to discuss her process and approach to painting in encaustic. She brought two of her larger paintings which were a real treat to see in person. Mary is one of the artists featured in my book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax.
Stephens painting was a class favorite (left) and Lori was fearless in experimenting with color and line (right).
Patty tried something a little more abstract here and it really worked (left) while this intriguing piece by Pat (right) was the result of one of her very first paintings.
And finally, here’s a short video tour of our very well appointed painting studio:
OK, here I am in Arizona and somehow my classes are already done! I taught Wax Image Transfers on Tuesday night and Beeswax Collage Basics all day yesterday. I had really fun students so the class time just flew by. Here are a few photos of the classes and the beautiful work my students created. Enjoy!
Click on any of the images above to see a larger version.
Most of these pieces were created with nothing but collage materials, stamps, pastels, and natural or clear beeswax, and many of the students had never even worked with wax before. Very impressive, don’t you think? Great work everyone!
This class sold out quickly so if you missed it you can still learn many of these techniques from my book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax (which is available to purchase online here), or come visit me in Oregon for a one or two day workshop in my private studio. You can view my full workshop schedule here.
Also, if any of you are planning to attend Art & Soul retreat in Oregon this fall, I can book workshops that are convenient to your class dates in Portland. Just contact me an let me know when you’ll be in town so we can make a plan that works for you.