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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 met Jess Greene at the encaustic conference last year when she was just starting to figure out what she wanted next in her life. I’ve been thrilled to watch her fulfill her dream of providing some really interesting projects centered around helping people become more creative.
My online encaustic courses are listed on her SeekYourCourse.com web site and she’s about to launch a nationwide project called the Jumpstart Creativity Tour which will have a stop in my town of Portland, Oregon this summer. Read on for more information about Jess’ exciting projects and how you can get involved.
From Jess: In college, art classes were only for the art majors so despite my interest there never was room for me. And the desire was only a whisper anyway. I was pursuing other things.
A few years after college, when I was a science teacher, I started reading artist blogs. Blogging gave me a window into the lives and work of artists in a way that finished work in a gallery never could. I started feeling a strong desire to paint. Then I finally did. I went to an art retreat and my world shifted. Suddenly there was the possibility of making art in a supportive community of other creatives.
I enjoyed a great party last night at the 24th annual Cascade AIDS Project Art Auction in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS. CAP’s Art Auction is the social event of the year in Portland. There was great food, wine, music, dancing, and art. Some 250 artworks were juried into the live and silent auctions, including one of my paintings pictured here, called Watching Light Leave.
Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!
Easily the funniest event of the night was when I saw some crazy woman running her hands all over Janet Amundson Splidsboel’s beautiful encaustic painting. Up went my hackles and I stormed over ready to tackle her! I got there about the same time as security only to discover it was the artist herself, buffing her painting with the palm of her hand. In the bright light she had noticed a spot on the surface that was driving her nuts. We all had a good laugh and I told Janet it was a great publicity stunt. She suggested to the security guard that they meet up and do it again later. Well done!
I had a similar experience once too. I once sold a painting while fixing a chip that went unnoticed until the opening. The gallery set me up for an impromptu demo as I was fixing the work and it sold before the wax was cool. Art marketers, take note!
What a party! Last weekend there was a huge grand opening party at the eagerly awaited Mark Woolley Gallery where one of my paintings has already sold. Long time Portland art broker and gallerist Mark Woolley opened this new space as part of The Settlement galleries in Pioneer Place. For those of you were able to visit my “Spots of Time” show at People’s Art, Mark’s new gallery is on the same floor. Make sure you also have time to visit Place, another gallery on the same floor with a fantastic show this month (photos below).
A show of my new work, along with the work of my student and friend Fred Swan, has been up for a few weeks now with a wonderful response. Fred and I will be interviewed by show Co-Curator Chris Haberman this Saturday at the gallery from 2 – 4 pm to give the audience some insight into how this show came about and how each of us interpreted the theme.
People’s Art of Portland
700 SW 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor
Pioneer Place Mall, Portland, OR
March 31, 2 – 4 pm
The concept for this show comes from what the English poet William Wordsworth called “Spots of Time” which he saw as small, memorable events that occur mainly when we are in touch with nature. According to Wordsworth these spots have lasting quality and are capable of “lifting us up when we are fallen.”
In that spirit, Fred and I collaborated on a window installation by creating multiple panels of paper and wax that are thin enough for natural light to penetrate, filling the space with energy and movement. In using this thin paper we traded some durability for dynamism, but we encourage viewers to gently touch the panels and make them move. Many of the panels also have holes which allow you to peer through and experience your own spots of time.
A show of my new work will open next month, also featuring the abstract encaustic paintings of one of my students and friends, Fred Swan. Many thanks to our curator Chris Haberman for coming up with the title of the show which comes from a concept the English poet William Wordsworth called “Spots of Time.” These are small, memorable events that occur mainly outdoors and in touch with nature. According to Wordsworth these spots have lasting quality and are capable of “lifting us up when we are fallen.”
What a week! It’s true that events in December tend to clump and overlap, looking for just the right day to stand out from the crowd, but last week was one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. I had art openings on 3 consecutive days, with lots of art and excitement to go around.
Portland Visual Art Exchange
I was thrilled to be invited again this year to the 6th Annual Portland Visual Art Exchange. A big thanks to Becca Bernstein, Sally Finch, TJ Norris and all their volunteers for all of their hard work!
Over 50 artists were invited to exhibit one piece of original work in a week-long, invitational show hosted at the Littman Gallery at Portland State University (PSU). The exhibit culminated in an art trade and public reception where the participating artists went home proud new collectors from some of the most talented artists in Portland.
I was thrilled to receive a wax and felt sculpture by Lisa Kaser, and my work went home with Bill LePore, Chair of the Art Department and Professor of Art at PSU.
Oakridge Park Opening
We celebrated the opening of Oakridge Park last week with 45 new apartments serving Lake Oswego area seniors who earn modest incomes. This is my second project with Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) who provide a wide range of affordable housing options and have the foresight to include original art by local artists in many of their projects. I’m honored to work with them through Kent Art Brokers.
The Big 200 Art Show
A big thanks to Chris Haberman and and Jason Brown for inviting me to be in The Big 200 Art Show (formerly The Big 100), hosted by People’s Art of Portland. I’m guessing that name may change again as there were over 250 artists by last count and over 2,500 art work available at the show.
Invited artists are each given 10 small wood panels and let loose to create whatever they like, knowing that all panels will sell for just $40 each in order to allow just about anyone to afford an original piece of art. This is an exciting show because when the art is hung there are no names included with the work which evens the playing field. Art from a very well known artist may be sitting right next to that of someone in their first art show, but all you need to care about is DO YOU LIKE THE WORK? I love this idea. The show was absolutely packed and my husband and I came home with 4 beautiful new paintings, all by artists who are new to us. The show is up through January 10 so check it out if you can!
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…
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!
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!
Are you interested in meeting with other encaustic artists to share ideas and learn more about this fascinating medium? Here’s a great opportunity for you to join a new encaustic club forming in Portland. I’m not running the group, just trying to help Liz and Linda get the word out about it.
The organizers are Liz McDonald and Linda Marple, avid amateurs and students of Portland encaustic teacher Linda Womack.
To meet with other encaustic artists for critiques and problem-solving, show and tell, and possibly assignments to explore specific techniques or themes. Group ordering of supplies to cut down on costs. The group will be open to ideas from participants. The goal is to share and learn.
The club meets once a month. Please contact Liz to find out the next location if you’d like to attend.