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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!
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’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…
I’ve just returned from yet another amazing trip to the Encaustic Conference, this time at a new location in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Conference Founder and Director Joanne Mattera outdid herself once again in terms of an exciting array of demos, lectures and events over the three days of the conference and the workshops immediately following.
This event attracts artists all over the world and this year there were 35 states in the US represented as well as artists traveling from Canada, England, Mexico, Brazil, Spain New Zealand. The conference was held in Provincetown this year which allowed for some changes to the format and new venues for post conference workshops. I think Joanne found an excellent partner in working with Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill and its Executive Director, Cherie Mittenthal, who was wonderful to work with.
Our first night in P-town was spent at the Lobster Pot with my very happy husband Bill, Mike and Kathryn from Enkaustikos, Kimberly and Judy, my buddies from Portland. This was a great restaurant, not to be missed! They even had a nice steak for me (I’m allergic to seafood). Other restaurants we really enjoyed were The Squealing Pig, Bubalas, and the Portuguese Bakery which had real Malasadas like I get in Hawaii! Our best find was a place called Moby Dick’s in Wellfleet, where Bill said he had the best smoked oysters ever.
We managed to fit is several outings to the surrounding areas and I’m so glad we took the time to do it. Provincetown has so much to offer!
This is the view from the top of the 252 foot tall Pilgrim Monument in the middle of town. The web site refers to the climb as a “heart-healthy walk to the top on 116 steps and 60 ramps,” which by the way is totally worth it.
We booked a dune tour which took us by the famous “dune shacks,” the simple beach cabins of numerous artists and writers during the past century. You can see one here in the upper left area of the photo. Below are cranberry bogs surrounded by sand dunes. It’s gorgeous out there!
Bill and I also treated ourselves to a sunset cruise on our last night, relaxing in the warm breeze. The Pilgrim Monument is way off in the distance.
On Friday night we made our way to the several openings at galleries that were showing encaustic work in conjunction with the conference. We visited the Kobalt Gallery (above), Ernden Fine Art, Bowersock Gallery and my favorite show, Surface Attraction curated by Joanne Mattera and Marla Rice of Rice/Polak Gallery (below).
Later we discovered the wonderful Galeria Cubana, which didn’t have encaustic work but did have some fine paintings we enjoyed very much. Nancy Natale has a nice wrap up of the gallery shows with lots of photos on her blog, so I won’t duplicate her excellent efforts.
The conference itself was excellent again this year, with so many wonderful events going by almost in a blur. I’m including some photos below to give you a flavor of the event, but you really have to attend to understand the importance of this conference to those of us who work in wax. I hope you’ll be able to go sometime.
This year I was on a panel called Mastering Media, a discussion about marketing the art we’re all working so hard to make. I spoke about getting my book, Embracing Encaustic, from and idea into reality and many of the successes and bumps along the way. The audience seemed to really like hearing about all the craziness that went on behind the scenes. My fellow panelists were (from left) Jeff Schaller, Nancy Natale, me, Cherie Mittenthal and moderator Joanne Mattera. Thanks to Corina Alvarezdelugo for allowing me to use her photo here.
Jackie Battenfield, author of the excellent book, The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What you Love, was our keynote speaker. She got the crowd all revved up and organized in thinking about what we should be thinking about next in our careers.
Here’s part of my work in the hotel fair, a new addition to the conference line up. I’ll bring more next time, now that I see how much we all love to shop!
David A. Clark went all out with new work just for the hotel fair and a true installation style. Brilliant! Lisa Pressman has more photos of her room, which includes a piece I bought from Marybeth Rothman. Can you guess which one it is? It will be included in my next post along with my other purchases.
POST CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS
There so much to do before, during and after a class, especially one that you travel to teach. Because of that many teachers will offer to assist a colleague on a pay it forward type of arrangement as I did this year.
I was the assistant for Charly Weissbach’s Mainly Metals class at Castle Hill during the post-conference workshops. Charyl taught her students how to work with most things metallic, from paint to powder, pigment sticks and even metal leaf. Charyl was the assistant for my friend Kimberly’s class last year (see below).
Kimberly Kent had an adventurous class again this year with plein air painting in encaustic. See the little camp stoves and torches they are using? It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for traveling with your wax it will allow you to paint directly from nature. And who is that little rascal in the cap? Yup, our own Joanne Mattera trying something new.
And that’s a wrap for this post on the 5th International Encaustic Conference. Nancy Natale and Lynette Haggard surprised Joanne with two huge cakes and a card signed by all to thank her for her efforts in making each conference so special. Nancy is pictured here with Cherie and Joanne on the right, wearing special hats for the occasion. Indeed, thank you Joanne!
In the last couple of months things have finally slowed down a little for me in the office, allowing me more time in the studio. It’s always an interesting balance between arranging the shows and actually creating work for them! In the new year I plan to teach fewer workshops so this trend can continue, so if you see a class you like take it while you can. One of the biggest benefits of this is time to consider what I’m painting and why, as well as time to experiment and play. And I think I’m on to something.
I’ve always had a strong connection to words and text in my work. It started maturing as full stories about my childhood in a loosely written text as you see below in my earlier digital work with “Knew You Could”. Yes, that’s me in my majorette uniform, determination etched on my face. My sister tells me I often show the same face today which probably got me where I am!
As my work changed, so did the text. Eventually my work had just a word here or there, or even just part of a word included in the work. There was a short time where there was no text at all, but it was always in my mind.
After a while I came to see that is was just the shapes of the individual letters I was interested in, and recently those have been sprinkled throughout my work (tiny gold letter on right side of the one below). For me the letters are a reminder that everything we say has an impact on those around us and that influence sticks around in one form or another. Once spoken, you can’t take words back. I visualize those words as breaking apart and falling to earth or floating on the wind where they become part of our history for better or worse.
In the painting above the letters are from stencils or handwritten script in the background (upper third, right and left), taking a back seat to the other imagery that became prominent in my work throughout the past year.
As the year comes to a close I’m finding the text is becoming more important to me again, but this time it’s an abstraction of the letter forms I’m interested in. It seems the look of the text is coming full circle visually, but the representation is the complete opposite. Instead of helping me preserve stories from my past these forms represent the stories that have been lost over time. Stories told too rarely become muddled and impossible to understand, lost to time.
I’m not sure exactly where this is all headed yet, but I’m excited to continue the journey. I encourage you to take a look at your own work and see if you have any patterns emerging that you might want to explore. Give yourself the gift of time and perspective to see what your muse is trying to tell you and you many have some wonderful surprises in store for the new year!
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!
Today I received the shipment I’ve been waiting for, just over 2,000 more copies of my book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax. I was anxious to get them because I was down to a mere 60 books from the previous two printings, but NOT anxious to get them all down the stairs to my basement for storage. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I had printed a brochure like a normal person.
Thanks to all of you who have supported my by buying this book, and all who have written me such nice notes thanking me for writing it. Please keep spreading the word at least 2,000 more times!
My first of two solo shows this year opened today in Portland, Oregon. I’m filling the walls at CUBE Gallery with my show, Chasing Time, from February 28 – March 31. There will be an opening reception on March 6 from 5 – 8 pm. I hope to see some of you there, but if you are too far away check back here this weekend for photos of the event.
4136 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Getting everything to the gallery is often a big project too, but my new padded boxes made it so much easier. They were originally made to ship computer parts but I can buy them at a local reuse store in great condition for shipping and storing my paintings. Genius!
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.
Weather Alert! I’m still having my open studio tonight from 5 – 8 pm but the weather might not cooperate so please be careful out there. I’ll have my books, art and some necklaces priced from $10 – $50, perfect for gifts.
My studio is located at 5417 Se Stark St. Portland, Oregon. It’s near the corner of SE 55th and Stark, but the studio entrance is on 55th. View a map here.
If you want to buy art, tools or gift certificates for workshops and can’t get here tonight, just email or call me to make an appointment for another time. (503) 348-9139.
Here are some of the tools I have available right now:
Another great option for filling these bags or as stocking stuffers would be tickets to my Working in Wax lecture in February. More details are below.
Tickets to Working in Wax, $10
Join me at 23 Sandy Gallery on February 7, 2009 for Working in Wax. This lecture will be 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. I’ll share images of several of my paintings as they were being created, showing some of the steps involved in building up the layers of wax and other media.
There will also be a screening of Sister Bee, a lyrical and beautiful documentary about six women beekeepers who encounter startling beauty and spiritual truth in their work with honeybees (Running time 30 minutes). Tickets are $10 and are available in my studio or by mail. Limited to 25 people.
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!