I had been posting about the Jasper Johns show at the Broad Museum for a while, encouraging anyone able to get there to go see this excellent retrospective in Los Angeles. I’d had it on my calendar for over a year and yet somehow still hadn’t made plans to go. One morning I woke up and decided enough was enough.

jj-banner-me-kimberlyI called my travel buddy Kimberly and told her I wasn’t having nearly enough fun lately and proposed we make this happen. She was all in. Thank goodness for friends who love a spontaneous travel opportunity! Last year Kimberly traveled with me to paint in Hawaii, so we could already imagine having a great time in LA. After a few false starts we got our flights and were on our way.

The show, called Something Resembling Truth,  did not disappoint. I didn’t realize just how many works there would be and was excited to discover each new room in the exhibit.


This is a detail of one of Johns encaustic paintings of numbers, a portion of 5. I love the movement, layering and texture going on here.


jj-signature-oil-leakSometimes my students bristle when I suggest that what they’re trying to do isn’t best done in encaustic and maybe they should consider another medium. This show was a perfect visual representation of this.

Since I’m most familiar with his encaustic work, I was happily surprised at how many mediums Mr. Johns has worked in throughout his career. At one point I was looking a a huge painting and thinking about how talented he is in making encaustic look like aluminum and then I realized it WAS aluminum. From then on I read every tag and was excited to find paintings, sculpture and prints in many different media. One of my favorites was his work in ink on plastic (above) and it left me thinking that I’ll have to give that a try.






In this painting you stare at the flag on top for a few seconds then look at the rectangle below to see the afterimage of a red, white and blue flag.


We also got to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room thanks to our AirBnB host’s knowledge of the Broad Museum at Downtown Los Angeles. It was incredible, even at only 45 seconds per person! There was a smaller installation by here that you looked into instead of stepping into, but it was no less impressive.


This trip is just what I needed to break out of my routine and get inspired again. I’m so glad I went!


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


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Online Encaustic Classes

RobertsonWorkshops.com online video classes bring Linda Robertson, an art teacher with international experience, right into your studio. Work at your own pace and watch the videos as many times as you want for a whole year.


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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