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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.
Thank goodness I had an Encaustic Painting Intensive workshop today because it meant that I needed to get completely unpacked from my trip to the folk school in North Carolina. I had been working on it all week but there’s nothing like a hard deadline to get things done!
Jamie’s scratch board tree
We had a great class today, with students from Portland, Alaska and New Mexico. I was having so much fun that I forgot to take many photos, so I apologize for the many beautiful works of art I missed. Here are just a few of the pieces created today. And yes, men DO take my class form time to time.
Matt’s mountain and Vicki’s stencil
Robin’s first piece!
Peggy working on some under painting
Yesterday I had two classes in a row, both doing Wax Image Transfers. I had initially scheduled only one class, but so many people wanted to try it I eventually added another. Needless to say the enthusiasm was pretty high going into the class, and everyone left with something they loved.
That’s not to say there weren’t some frustrating moments. Transfers require some patience and they don’t always work on the first try, which is why I encourage students to bring multiples of all of their images. I have a sad little copy machine available for emergencies but it’s needed more and more encouragement as the days go by just to make one little copy. We’ll see how long it lasts!
In any case, everyone left class with at least one success and lots of new knowledge on how to chose an image that will transfer easily. That’s part of what I love about teaching classes in small groups instead of on-on-one, you often learn as much from the challenges your fellow artists face as you do from your own difficulties.
Take a look at the amazing variety of work that came out of the two classes:
I debuted my new class tonight, Mixing Your Own Encaustic Paint, and everyone went home energized and ready to make more! First we mixed up a big batch of encaustic medium (beeswax + damar resin) then used that mixture to make paint using each students choice of pigment and colors. Powdered pigments were popular, as were Lyra encaustic crayons.
Here I am demonstrating how to mix encaustic medium using beeswax and resin. We later used what was made here to mix our paint.
Ruth and Cinnamon remove their new paint from the griddle to cool. Everyone takes home 4 pots of paint.
We also discussed the unique properties of pre-mixed paint brands including R&F Handmade Paints, Evans Encaustics, Enkaustikos and Wagner Encaustics. Before the night was over everyone got a chance to try mixing paint directly on the palette, and learned how to clean up waxy brushes. After learning to mix the medium and paint themselves, each student wet home with 3 colors of paint and a pot of clear medium. If you want to try it yourself join me for the next paint mixing class on April 24. Start saving your tuna and cat food cans now!
Today I had the pleasure of painting, laughing and playing with six wonderful women in my Tons of Texture class: Casey, Charmaine, Cynthia, Deanna, Kalynne and Jennifer. This is one of my new intermediate classes for those who have already gotten their hands dirty (or sticky?) with wax by taking a beginning encaustic class with me or any other teacher, or even experimenting on their own. The only requirement is that you already know how to paint on and fuse layers of wax so we can get right into the fun stuff without reviewing the basics. Check my web site for a full schedule of my upcoming classes, including Wax Image Transfers, Mixing Your Own Paint, more Tons of Texture classes, and in April I’ll add a new one: Working with Masks and Stencils.
Here’s peek into the fun we had today and the beautiful work that was created. Click on the smaller photos to see larger versions. The beautiful work above is by Casey.
Cynthia’s bird soars
Wow, what a wonderful class we had to day! Five lovely women, all fearless and ready to wax. OK, there was a little fear initially of working with the propane torch, but everyone left confident and with really beautiful work. Take a look…
Here’s my studio, with everyone (wo)manning their work stations
This weekend I was the teaching assistant for my friend, Elise Wagner, who taught an encaustic class at Oregon College of Art & Craft. We had a great group of all women (surprised?). Why don’t more men take encaustic classes I wonder? In any case we had a wonderful time and everyone traded techniques and learned from one another. I spent a lot of the first day running down electrical problems, but I was still able to finish 3 little pieces. After all, I got an hour back this weekend so why not use it for art?
I decided to try starting one painting with a black background and one with white. It was an interesting exercise as I had to think backward on the dark piece. If I decide to do it on a regular basis it will take some more practice!
In the dark piece above I used a technique where you use lace as a stencil. Just put the lace on your smooth wax surface and paint right through it. After painting, scrape off the extra wax, lightly fuse and pull the lace up before it gets too cool. Beautiful!
This is my third piece, made with the scrap wax shavings on my table toward the end of the day, then enhanced with R&F pigment sticks and soft pastels. The texture at the top of the cloud is from that same lace I had been working with above. There was still wax on it so I used an iron to release it onto my board for a sort of ghost print of the original impression.
I couldn’t resist this one. My new friend Mardy discovered the joy of scraping! This turned out to be just the beginning. The finished piece is on the right. Yes, that is the same piece! (Click on the images to see more detail.)
Libby went in a totally different direction, using pigment sticks on top of her wax to create a softer look.
Erin took her work in yet another direction layering image transfers one atop another to create a spectacular effect.
We had a quick critique at the end of the day. Everyone left happy and ready to wax on!
I’ll leave you with a sneak peek at what you’ll be seeing in the next 2 weeks as I get ready for the holiday shows that all want little work. I’ll be showing in Portland and Carmel through Christmas…
Wow, what a week! We really broke in the new studio with three classes in 8 days. The good news is that nothing actually broke, and not a circuit was blown. Glory be(e)!
I started the week with the Encaustic Intensive class, meant for those with little or no knowledge of the encaustic painting process. This is a full day crash course for getting started quickly. The next class was Wednesday night with a great group who wanted a live demonstration of the segment I did for HGTV’s That’s Clever craft show. Did I mention that it was over 100 degrees that day? Surprisingly my studio stayed much cooler than anyone expected but we drank a LOT of water. The show I was featured on will air again about every three months, so if you missed it check your local schedules or sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when it will be on next.
This weekend I held my Advanced Encaustic Painting class which ran for 2 days. We covered an amazing array of techniques to help artists who already know the basics to break new ground and get inspired. As you can see from the photos below, I dare say we succeeded!
Karen scraping away to create a design with one of the techniques we just learned.
Lisa is masking a line with tape. Fill the channel between the tape with wax and fuse with the tape in place to get a nice, crisp line.
Mazarine working with a tjanting batik tool she brought back from a recent vacation. She was nice enough to give everyone a turn and we loved it! I’ll be adding this to my tool box immediately.
In this advanced class everyone gets to try the propane torch, and it was a winner! No one wanted to go back to the heat gun after this.
Happy campers Lisa, Karen and Mazarine with their beautiful work. Thanks ladies for a great class!