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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!)
Great news! I’ve decided to reissue my book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax, as an electronic book (eBook) for the third edition. This will allow me to create a more comprehensive and less expensive book that will be available for immediate download by artists all over the world. It will be available through Amazon.com and readable on Kindle readers, iPads and other devices with Kindle software. Publishing as an eBook will also allow me to greatly expand our Gallery section to include many more inspiring works by artists from several countries.
Choosing the artists for the new edition of Embracing Encaustic was challenging job, but in the end I selected 70+ pieces from over 150 artists who submitted work. Because of the file size limitations for downloading an eBook many fine works could not be included in this edition.
Some tough decisions had to be made, for example, where images simply wouldn’t reproduce well because of the palette or size of the work or where two artists work were too similar to include both. If your name is not included on the list of artists below, please don’t be discouraged as it was impossible to include all the deserving artists.
Congratulations to these fine artists whose work will be published in the new edition of Embracing Encaustic! Read the rest of this entry »
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?
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!
Update: I’ve been notified that I’m a finalist for a La Vendéene award from the IEA (International Encaustic Artists)! The awards are intended to “recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art.” Awards will be presented in early September at their encaustiCon event in San Antonio, TX. Wish me luck!
The La Vendéene Awards are created in honor of a fourth century AD anonymous female encaustic artist whose remains were found, along with the tools of her art, in the La Vendée region of France. The awards are intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art. Nominees do not have to be International Encaustic Artists members. IEA will present awards to no more than one nominee in each category: Artistry, Innovation, Education, Media, Lifetime Achievement.
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.
This video was made during a visit of the Dalai Lama to Hawaii and is a wonderful introduction to the idea of Living Aloha that was instilled in me growing up in the islands. For those of you who ask how my life there has influenced me and my art, this is a big part of it. Enjoy!
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).
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.
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.”