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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!
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!
I’m almost unpacked and organized from the encaustic conference and need to now turn my full attention back to my biggest project of the year, the show I’m curating in Oregon called Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic.
There was a nice article in the Oregonian this morning by Jan Goetze to kick things off as well as a TV commercial that will be airing on KATU this week. We start installing the show on Monday so I’ll try to post some photos of the process as we go.
There will be exhibit tours and artist demonstrations each of the three days, as well as a panel discussion on Friday, June 25, at 7:30 pm. “Why Wax? How Encaustic Informs Our Art” will feature artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, and Kanaan Kanaan with moderator Andrea Benson. (Lakewood Center for the Arts, $5) You can see the festival program online to help you plan your weekend. I hope to see you there!
What an exciting week! All of the art was due this week for the show I’m curating this June, Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic. This show will be part of an art festival that’s been going on for 47 years in Lake Oswego, a beautiful little town just outside of Portland, Oregon, where I live.
It’s always exciting for me to see the art in person, smell the wax, and see the surface texture of each painting. Some of the packing is as elaborate as the art itself! Here’s a little preview of what we unpacked yesterday.
Save the dates now and please join us for the Luminous Layers show at the Lakewood Festival of the Arts, June 25 – 27, 2010.
Last Christmas we posted video greetings as soon as three snowflakes fell. This year we are totally snowed in with the most snow Portland has seen in 40 years! So far we’ve gotten at least 14 inches of snow over 3 days, with 5 – 8 more expected before Christmas.
Depending on who you ask, people are referring to this storm as the Snowpocolypse or Stormzilla, but either way it’s a big one. Take a look…
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.
Many of you are certainly already fans of R&F Paints, makers of exceptional encaustic paint. Well, here’s more to love. Every other year they hold an international call for encaustic art and host the resulting show in their New York gallery. The good news is that they have posted images of the show online so we can all enjoy it.
Take a peek at the R & F Paints Biennial: Encaustic Works 2007 online, or look for it in New York until the end of September. The show will also travel to Muncie, Indiana in November 2007.
There is also a wonderful article about it in Chronogram Magazine.
As soon as I finished this piece I knew my work had taken a new path. This might even be the beginning of a new series! Time will tell. It’s usually obvious when I start a new series, but sometimes it creeps up on me. My mind is telling my body what to do but not always WHY I should do it. I’m really glad I thought to photograph this one in different stages because it really illustrates how much the work changes from beginning to end, and how you have to build up the layers of information as you go along in order to create complexity in the final work.
So here’s how my new work, Always in Season, came to be.
I was trying a new red, Alizarin Crimson, which my husband appropriately nicknamed I-just-killed-my-roommate red. I had to agree that it was a bit much. That launched me into a quest on how to tone it down, which led to a fantastically layered area. I’m learning to embrace the mistakes as opportunities (though sometimes painful!) to try something new.
At this point I was getting concerned about how dark the background was getting. I know some artists start with a layer of black and build up from there, but I’d never tried it before and I was afraid I’d get nothing but mud. A layer of clear medium on top of the black prevented the problem and I was very happy with the results.
Always in Season, 16″ x16″
Encaustic, joint compound, and silver leaf on wood
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.
For the last three years I’ve participated in Portland Open Studios, a juried tour of 98 artists work spaces which happens in the Portland Metro Area over the second and third weekends in October. My studio will be open on October 13 & 14 from 10 am – 5 pm, and as usual I’ll be doing demonstrations all weekend of different techniques of encaustic painting.
This video was put together by one of our members, Kindra Crick, and posted on YouTube so everyone can get a feel for the different types of art available on the tour this year. As you’ll see here, we have an amazing group of artists!
This is an amazing event, not just because you can visit so many artists working in such diverse media, but because each artist does a live demonstration of their work too. It’s like getting free art classes all over town! You will see artists painting, sculpting, blowing glass, and more, in all kinds of settings from elaborate lake shore studios to modest spaces in houses and garages. You are welcome to ask questions about materials and methods as you watch the artistic mind at work. You will even have a chance to purchase memorable artworks from the artists for a truly personal connection.
Tour Guides are available all over town including Art Media and Powell’s Books as well as from participating artists. Check out the Portland Open Studios web site for more locations and more previews of the artists work. Tour guides are only $15 for two adults for BOTH weekends. Oh, and did I mention that the kids are free? Can’t beat that.
If you’d like to receive a reminder a couple of weeks before the event join my mailing list to receive my monthly newsletter. By joining the list you’ll also receive invitations to my private studios parties.
Wow, what a fun group I had today in my Encaustic Painting Intensive class! It’s so special when all the participants encourage each other and are sincerely excited by what each other are doing. I’m lucky that my classes often end up with this little bonus, but today was especially nice.
I didn’t mention it to anyone in the class, but I got very little sleep last night after helping a dear friend through a crisis in the middle of the night. When I awoke this morning my second thought, after my friend, was how will I be coherent in class today? Luckily a cold shower helped to wake me up (why, oh WHY don’t I drink coffee?). I needn’t have worried though, because the enthusiasm of the women in this class was so infectious that by the time everyone left with their beautiful art work I was invigorated. I can teach these classes again and again and we never have quite the same class each time because the students help direct where we go and what we cover. It’s why I love to teach, never a dull moment! Thanks again ladies for a great class. And now, off to bed…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
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!
I recently met Anna Magruder of Keen Creative who is organizing the brand new Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair next weekend (on my birthday!) . She made it sound like so much fun that I wanted to be sure to spread the word.
Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair
July 29 (Sunday), 11am – 4pm
1847 E. Burnside
Here’s what they say about the fair: “We are hopping excited about the Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair. We have a full house of fabulous and talented crafters. View a list of our crafty vendors on our website. Purses from old cowboy boots, wallets from grandma’s wallpaper sample books, accessories made from lawn chair webbing … there’s a lot of creativity going on!
We will be partnering with local nonprofit Ethos Inc. and offering a fundraising raffle. One of Ethos’ goal is to provide free musical instruments to local kids who have lost their school music programs. We share their desire to develop and encourage creativity for people of all ages.”
Everyone is heading for the Park Blocks this Sunday, right? The Museum of Contemporary Craft will be holding a Block Party to celebrate their grand re-opening in their new building. It’s this Sunday, July 22, from noon – 7:30 pm.
The Museum is located at 724 NW Davis. There will be craft booths of all kinds, live music, and food booths on the North Park Blocks in front of the Museum. You can see demonstrations in glass-blowing, metalwork, woodworking, and more. And the Church of Craft, Portland Super Crafty, and DIY Lounge will all be there with fun make-and-take projects. (They’ll all be on Broadway, between NW Couch and NW Davis streets.)
More details and a schedule of events are at http://contemporarycrafts.org/programs_events.php.
Also take a moment to enjoy this great video they posted on YouTube to promote the party! I hope to see you there.