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It’s been way too long since I sent out an update on what’s happening with my art and my life but honestly I wasn’t really sure what to say. Those of you who follow me on Facebook may know that the past several months have held a lot of challenges for me including major changes to just about every part of my personal and professional life.
I’ve moved my home and studio, I’m single again after 20 years (yikes!) and am taking back my given name of Linda Robertson. I’ll use Linda Robertson Womack for a while so you’ll see that transition happen gradually, but I’ve already activated the web address for lindarobertsonarts.com. Baby steps, right?
All of these changes have dramatically slowed the many projects I was working on last year and I’m just starting to get everything back on track now, but I thought you’d want an update even if it’s not all worked out yet. Read on for what to expect in the coming months.
I also want to thank so many of you who have sent me words of encouragement over the last few months. I’ve read every message and responded to as many as I could but I know I missed some of you and for that I apologize. Your words have helped me more than you know and I truly am grateful for your good thoughts.
So, What’s Happening With…?
I’ve been hearing this question a lot lately on several subjects. Here’s the scoop:
New, New Studio Location
Wait, didn’t you just move your studio last summer? Why yes, yes I did. Then I bought a new house in completely the wrong direction from the new studio. The good news is that now I have a great studio space at home less than 5 miles from my long time Stark Street studio so it should still be convenient for everyone. Here’s a photo of what it look like now. I’ll be working hard this week putting on a few finishing touches.
Speaking of classes, I just posted my full summer schedule which includes two Wax Week classes in Portland. I’ll offer a 5-day class exploring Encaustic & Photography in June and another 5-day class on Mixed Media in July. Seats will be very limited so if you’d like to join in don’t wait!
Embracing Encaustic eBook
Ah yes, the eBook. This project really got hit hard and has been long delayed. I’ve been in contact with the amazing artists who will be featured in the eBook and they have been extremely supportive of my new circumstances. I won’t try to give you a publishing date just yet but I will say this will be the top priority for me once my studio is settled so it’s coming soon, I promise! Thanks to all of you who are so excited to see the new version. I’m pretty excited to see it myself.
It’s making me crazy that I had just finished filming the new surface design class when everything went south. It turned out really well and I can’t wait to share it with you. I still need to get it edited and write all the class notes which will take some time, but I’ll get it online as soon as I can.
In the meantime those of you who have already bought online classes can rest easy, your classes won’t expire anytime soon so please enjoy them while I work out the process of how these will work going forward. That goes for everyone right now, so if you’re thinking about joining our online community now is the time to get extra time in the classes — each just $49! (And yes, I know the name will have to change, but I haven’t figured that part out yet. I’m open to suggestions!)
This weekend I attended the International Encaustic Artists annual conference called encaustiCon, in San Antonio Texas. It was a wonderful event with lectures, workshops, networking events and a great vendor room. I highly recommend it!
A highlight of the event was their banquet which included presentation of the first annual La Vendéenne awards, where I was thrilled to win a trophy in the Media category.
The La Vendéenne Awards were named in honor of a fourth century AD encaustic painter whose remains, along with her encaustic tools, were found in the La Vendée region of France. The awards are intended to “recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art.”
Awards were presented in several categories, and here are the winners!
The jurors for the award included Gail Stavitsky, Chief Curator of the Montclair Art Museum (NJ), Paula Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest School of Art (TX) and David S. Rubin, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brown Foundation (TX). The beautiful trophy was crafted by James Meyer, an extremely generous and gifted artist and studio assistant to Jasper Johns. I have to admit, part of me wants to press the trophy into wax. Is that wrong?
As happy as I was to win the award, I was equally thrilled to see my work appear during the keynote speech, in Dr. Stavitsky’s slide show about contemporary encaustic work. You may recognize her name from the groundbreaking exhibition she curated in 1999 called Waxing Poetic, Encaustic Art in America. Waxing Poetic featured more than fifty artists whose content, style and subject matter differed widely but whose medium of choice was the same, wax. That show was the first introduction to encaustic for many gallery owners, reviewers and other artists.
The International Encaustic Artists 2013 encaustiCon, will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Eldorado Hotel from Oct. 31st ~ Nov. 3rd, 2013. Will I see you there?
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!
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).
I’ve finally had time to put together some preview videos for our online encaustic classes at WomackWorkshops.com. Take a peek:
That’s right, if you can’t get to my classes in Oregon I’ll come to you online! Get 6 months of access, work at your own pace, get personalized instruction, and interact with a community of like-minded artists. View our class listings and more free videos at WomackWorkshops.com.
I love a good art blog and Nancy Natale has got one. Nancy is a visual artist who works in several types of media including encaustic. We only see each other once a year or so at the International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, but we keep up with each other through email, blogs and FaceBook. Last year she even bought one of my paintings at the conference.
Recently Nancy put out a call for an online exhibit called Art & Music, looking for art influenced by music and I’m happy to have my work included in the show. While choosing which piece to submit I started looking at my art in a new light which I think is a good indication of a strong curatorial theme. The show turned into a fascinating look at several artists work I hadn’t seen before, as well as a new view of my own work.
Here’s how Nancy introduced the show: “Listening to music while making art is a common practice in the studio. All that silence of solitude needs breaking up with melody and rhythm. It keeps us company, gets us singing and dancing, influences our moods and creeps into our art.”
I hope you’ll view the show and then take a look at your work in a new light. Does music influence your art?
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.”
Do you think you could recreate one of your encaustic paintings in a larger size? That was my challenge recently and it was an interesting exercise.
I recently sold several of my encaustic paintings to a local firm for placement and they chose four, including one of my largest ever, to complete a lobby in one of their new buildings. The only problem was that 2 of the pieces were too small. Their logical question was “Can you remake them in a larger size?” My answer to them was YES of course, but I wondered to myself just how closely I could really match the panels.
These particular pieces had texture on the panels and a watercolor under painting as well as many layers of wax and pigment, so they weren’t exactly simple, but I thought the challenge would be fun — kind of a game — and it was. I was very pleased with the results and I’m happy to say that my clients were as well.
CALL FOR ENCAUSTIC ART: Juried by Wendy Aikin and Daniella Woolf, WAX hopes to introduce the public to the diversity of methods and techniques currently employed by contemporary encaustic artists. Two and three-dimensional work will be considered. Show is at the Pajaro Valley Arts Council in Watsonville, CA. Deadline 2/3/12.
I recently received this wonderful note from a regular student in my online classes. Congratulations Jane!
“One of my encaustic collage pieces was just juried into a show at Artworks here in Richmond, so I wanted to let you know and thank you for the great online workshops……I used everything, including The Great Undo!* The skeletal leaf was brought into the house on the back of one of my dogs, so you just never know where you’ll get a collage element!”
* The Great Undo is one of the lessons in my Encaustic Collage class which shows you how to quickly and easily remove parts of your encaustic painting that you don’t like. As you might imagine, it’s a VERY popular lesson.
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!