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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…
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!
Usually the show comes first, and then the catalog. This time the process happened in reverse beginning with Daniella Woolf’s book called Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility which featured 4 of my paintings. This “gallery between pages” showcases the work of more than 20 artists from the US and Canada who paint in encaustic with techniques often used in printed textiles or woven cloth. That book is the basis for this unique exhibit.
Kimball Art Center
Park City, Utah
June 4 – July 31, 2011
My work, Upon A Singing Wind, was started while a friend was in hospice and finished shortly after he died. My work often reflects on the residue of our lives and what impressions are left after we are gone. In this case the frayed fabric pieces were the perfect material to represent how my friend was slowly untethering from this world. After he passed I added the last bit of fabric to signify his departure from a life well lived. Though we will miss him, the image is meant to be seen as more joy than sorrow, with all the chaos of this world far below his newly released spirit.
I’m honored to have my work in such amazing company, alongside several artists I’ve admired for years. If you’re in the area I hope you’ll be sure to see the show.
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.
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!
“So that happened.” That’s one of my favorite quotes from a great little movie called State and Main (yes, they use the line in the trailer) and seems to sum up my recent teaching experiences in California and Tennessee. I hadn’t planned to teach two weeks of classes in different states back to back, but that’s how it worked out and I have to admit some of it is a blur as I look back. What is crystal clear are my memories of the talented and incredibly creative students I worked with and the beautiful work they made.
I’ll start with Idyllwild Arts in California since that’s where my journey began. If you haven’t been there it’s well worth the trip to spend some time in such an amazing setting surrounded by caring teachers and staff. It’s a stunning area with a winding drive from hot and dusty Palm Springs up to the 5,000 foot mark at Idyllwild, where the weather is much more hospitable. I made the mistake of arriving after dark so I missed the drive up but that made for a nice surprise on the way out. Below are some photos from my travels. Enjoy!
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!
Between June 25th — 27th, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts will host the “Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic” special exhibit. Though bound by a common medium, the works are inspired by a wide range of topics–FBI fingerprints, family treasures, and the nuanced tones of nature. There was a nice article about the show in the Oregonian this week.
Treat yourself to daily encaustic demonstrations, a panel discussion on why these artists love to work with wax and a wide array of art styles from realistic to abstract to sculptural.
Friday, June 25th
· 1:00 – 2:00 pm encaustic art demonstration featuring “Encaustic & Photography” by Linda Womack, curator & artist, Luminous Layers exhibit, lower level Lakewood Center.
· 7:30 – 8:30 “Why Wax?” Presentation and Panel Discussion with featured artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, Kanaan Kanaan and moderator Andrea Benson in the Headlee Mainstage Theatre, Lakewood Center. Fee: $5.00 at the door.
Saturday, June 26th
· 2:00 – 3:00 pm encaustic art demonstration featuring “Painting Realism in Encaustic” by Jeff Schaller, featured artist, Luminous Layers exhibit, lower level Lakewood Center.
Sunday, June 27th
· 2:00 – 3:00 pm encaustic art demonstration featuring “Working in Encaustic” by Cari Hernandez, featured artist, Luminous Layers exhibit, lower level Lakewood Center.
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!
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…
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.
We are showing some larger work but also lots of smaller pieces around $50, perfect for gift giving! Please let friends know we’ll be showing in the area. The tasting room is open Wednesdays – Sundays from 1-7 pm.
October is a big month for me every year, but this one has been busier than usual. First I attended the annual International Encaustic Artists Retreat in Carmel and now I’m in the middle of Portland Open Studios.
For some reason I thought the retreat would be relaxing, but no so much. Thankfully what kept me so busy was meeting new friends, selling books, and opening my mind to new ideas and experiences. It was such a rush to be at “encaustic camp” with 65 other artists, all passionate about our medium. Our wonderful organizer, Cari Hernandez, has some wonderful photos on her FaceBook page.
Portland Open Studios
This beloved annual event turns 10 this year and is stronger than ever! Visit the studios of a diverse group of 100 artists working in their chosen media including painting, sculpting, blowing glass and much more. last weekend was packed and I’ll be working again this weekend, so if you’d like to see how I paint with encaustic stop by for a demonstration:
5417 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR 97215
Corner of SE 55th and Stark St.
Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18 from 10 am – 5 pm
I have the Portland Open Studio Tour Guides available for $15, which covers 2 adults for both weekends and the kids are free! Please contact me if you’d like to buy one, or come by my studio on the day of the event and pick one up. You can also purchase them at several other locations including ArtMedia and New Seasons.