Becoming More, 24 x 48, encaustic on panel, (c) Linda Robertson

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.

Seeking Solitude, 11 x 14, encaustic on panel

Artist Talk
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.

Fred and I worked in my studio to complete the panels we had each started separately, and bring them together into a cohesive concept for the show.

Fred (on ladder) installs one of the panels while I direct him from in front of the gallery.

The panels of watercolor and encaustic on Japanese papers are radiant when pierced by the sun.

Thinking about these painting as spots of time or frozen moments also appeals to me because of the medium I work in.

Encaustic wax must be applied hot, but it cools instantly so there’s not much working time. The cooling wax can literally stop you in mid-stroke if you aren’t decisive with your movements, so that seems very appropriate for this show about capturing moments in time.

After the wax is applied it’s fused with heat — I use a blow torch– which brings an element of chance into the mix. I try to use the same outlook for my paintings as I do with my life which is to work hard at what’s important but also be open to unexpected surprises. Encaustic is the perfect medium for that challenge.

This is the view of our installation from inside the gallery.

Linda Robertson offers encaustic workshops in her Portland, Oregon studio as well as online at RobertsonWorkshops.com.

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