When does a simple vacation become a residency? It’s all about setting your intention.

I recently had the opportunity to spend 10 days in Hawaii and wanted to make it more than a trip to the beach so I invited my trusted friend Kimberly Kent to join me. We arranged space to paint while we were there, exploring our shared love of celebrating nature in our work. We pushed each other in new directions and painted much more than we would have on our own. And the dogs we got to hang out with were a huge bonus!

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During the past several years both Kimberly and I have experienced a similar path that included life altering trauma and repeated loss mixed with overwhelming support and surprising successes. Together we have passed into middle age and all it has to offer. The glue holding it all together has been our art.

Where does that leave us now, and how does it inform the art making in a more real way? How does it empower us to find our voice and hone it to be heard by others who need it. There are art makers and art enthusiasts, all of whom feel the power art in a similar way.

During our recovery we both had a nose to the grindstone approach to healing. Now that we’ve made some progress with that it’s time for a little more reflection and intention, so we used this this time to take the next step. Here are some of our efforts.

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[Sunrise Palms by Linda Robertson, watercolor, oil and cold wax]

We often started working on location at the beach, a botanical garden or anywhere something caught our interest as we were out and about. We’d then bring these paintings back to our outdoor studio for finishing touches (and sometimes much more!).

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[Sketching paradise at Lanikai beach and Ho’omaluhia botanical gardens]

And here are a couple of our finished paintings with Kimberly’s on the left and mine on the right.

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[Ocean views by Kimberly Kent and Linda Robertson]

A few of my paintings from this trip are still available for purchase here, with 25% of the price donated to our local food bank.

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Linda Robertson is the author of the Embracing Encaustic Book series and she offers live encaustic workshops in her Portland, Oregon studio as well as online encaustic classes.

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My Books: Embracing Encaustic Series

There are now two books under the Embracing Encaustic title, Learning to Paint with Beeswax and the new title Advanced Techniques for Mixing Media, each focusing on specific encaustic techniques. Between the two books there are a total of 70 artists who share their work, reveal their personal painting methods and explain why they are compelled to make the work they do.Find out more and purchase them online here.

Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax
By Linda Robertson

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[…] of these painting were started while I was away on a residency retreat in Hawaii, so you’ll see even more tropical influences than usual. (And yes, I do see the irony in […]


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