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Songs Never Cease, 36 x 48, installed at Opus VII Gallery

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?


Linda Robertson offers encaustic workshops in her Portland, Oregon studio as well as online encaustic classes at

For the last three years I’ve participated in Portland Open Studios, a juried tour of 98 artists work spaces which happens in the Portland Metro Area over the second and third weekends in October. My studio will be open on October 13 & 14 from 10 am – 5 pm, and as usual I’ll be doing demonstrations all weekend of different techniques of encaustic painting.

This video was put together by one of our members, Kindra Crick, and posted on YouTube so everyone can get a feel for the different types of art available on the tour this year. As you’ll see here, we have an amazing group of artists!

This is an amazing event, not just because you can visit so many artists working in such diverse media, but because each artist does a live demonstration of their work too. It’s like getting free art classes all over town! You will see artists painting, sculpting, blowing glass, and more, in all kinds of settings from elaborate lake shore studios to modest spaces in houses and garages. You are welcome to ask questions about materials and methods as you watch the artistic mind at work. You will even have a chance to purchase memorable artworks from the artists for a truly personal connection.

Tour Guides are available all over town including Art Media and Powell’s Books as well as from participating artists. Check out the Portland Open Studios web site for more locations and more previews of the artists work. Tour guides are only $15 for two adults for BOTH weekends. Oh, and did I mention that the kids are free? Can’t beat that.

If you’d like to receive a reminder a couple of weeks before the event join my mailing list to receive my monthly newsletter. By joining the list you’ll also receive invitations to my private studios parties.

I recently met Anna Magruder of Keen Creative who is organizing the brand new Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair next weekend (on my birthday!) . She made it sound like so much fun that I wanted to be sure to spread the word.

Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair
July 29 (Sunday), 11am – 4pm
1847 E. Burnside
Portland, Oregon

Rebel Rabbit 1 Rebel Rabbit 2 Rebel Rabbit 3 Rebel Rabbit 4

Here’s what they say about the fair: “We are hopping excited about the Rebel Rabbit Craft Fair. We have a full house of fabulous and talented crafters. View a list of our crafty vendors on our website. Purses from old cowboy boots, wallets from grandma’s wallpaper sample books, accessories made from lawn chair webbing … there’s a lot of creativity going on!

We will be partnering with local nonprofit Ethos Inc. and offering a fundraising raffle. One of Ethos’ goal is to provide free musical instruments to local kids who have lost their school music programs. We share their desire to develop and encourage creativity for people of all ages.”


IEA Portland Chapter meeting

Last night I invited all of the Portland encaustic artists I could find to meet at my studio to talk about starting a local chapter of the International Encaustic Artists (IEA). The IEA is a non-profit professional artists’ organization that
seeks to raise the level of excellence in encaustic fine art by providing global information exchange and raising interest about encaustic painting in the art world and with the general public.

Everyone is busy this time of year so I was happy to see that six people attended and several more expressed interest in future meetings. As I had hoped, it was a very casual event where we shared a couple of bottles of wine and talked about our art. I showed images from the IEA Member’s Retreat in California this spring and the recent National Encaustic Conference in Massachusetts, and eventually we got around to talking about what form a local chapter would take. We decided we would most like to participate in organizing group shows, trading studio visits, and networking with each other. Based on that the Portland Chapter of the IEA was born!


IEA Portland Chapter Members

Our inaugural members are, from left to right: Kimberly Kent, Natasia Chan, Melinda Fellini, Andrea Benson, Amy Stoner, Judy Wise and Linda Womack.


The studio opening party was a great event and many people wrote to say they hoped I’d get a break and be able to rest after that. Not so fast! I still had to hang my solo show at City Hall yesterday.

Saltzman opening 2

I’m happy to report that all my work is ready for the First Thursday event in Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office from 5:00 – 7:00 pm tomorrow night. There will actually be several events in one building, with the Commissioner’s showing work in their offices and a big event in the lobby as well.

Saltzman opening 1

The show will be up until the end of July, so if you can’t make it tonight feel free to drop by city hall anytime during normal business hours on Monday through Friday. It’s very casual and the staff is extremely helpful.

While I’m thrilled about this show, it was really hard to dismantle all the work I did in setting up the art in my studio. Of course I can put it all back next month, but for now it looks like The Grinch has been there and didn’t even leave a can of “Who hash.” Here are the before and after photos. Sigh.

Grinch before

Grinch after

While I get my images together for more notes on the conference, enjoy these posts by other bloggers who are writing about it too. I’ll add more as I find them. Don’t miss my previous post on the Keynote speech by Joanne Mattera and the Opening party for Hot Stuff!

Deanna Wood:

International Encaustic Artists:

Daniella Woolf:

Roxanne Vise:

Joanne Mattera:

Today is the day! My new book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to paint with beeswax. has been published. It is a 40 page instructional book that is brief but to the point, distilling knowledge from many sources into an easy to follow instruction manual. This is the book I wish I’d had when I was getting started! The idea for the book came around when a friend told me about, an on demand digital publisher. I realized that I has a good part of the book written in the form of class handouts, so I figured all I would have to do was illustrate them to make a handy beginner’s manual. Of course that was a lot more work than I expected (it always is with my big ideas!), but I’m really proud of how it all came out.

See a preview of the book here or…purchase a copy here!


OK, I’m getting behind on posts because it’s been so busy, so here’s a 2-for-1. The night before last I just couldn’t wait to get into the studio so I set up a table amidst the insulated walls, with drywall stacked behind me and prepped two boards. I gotta tell you, it felt good! Not to worry, I didn’t use an open flame with insulation on the walls…

perpping boards


Yesterday they started the drywall and should finish by tomorrow morning. I’ll post photos when it’s done, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

drywall 1

So, notice one thing below. See how there used to be a window next to that door? Yeah, they drywalled right over it. They seemed fairly surprised by that when we pointed it out this morning. Sigh. We’ll get that fixed tomorrow.

drywall 2

I’m so excited! It’s starting to look like a real studio. Cross your fingers for our final electrical inspection tomorrow.

OK folks, I’ve gotta come up with a great name for my new encaustic studio. I’d like to incorporate wax or encaustic into the name if possible, but I’m open to suggestions. I’m so tired right now that “House of Wax” is sounding pretty darn good. Is that wrong? Help! If you can do better please leave a comment here or email me through my web site. Thanks for all of your help!

* * * * UPDATE * * * *

We’ve already got a few suggestions:

~ Super Fuse Studio

~ BuzzWorx

~ Max Wax

~ The Hive

~ Waxworks Studio (or Waxworx)

~ The Busy Bee (you certainly are one! 😉

~ Birds & Bees

~ Wax Worship

~ Wax Wings (ala Icarus)

~ Modern Encaustic

~ Enigmatic Encaustic

~ Absolute Encaustic

~ Agnostic Encaustic (encaustic is a hard word to pair with anything!
you did great w/ “embracing”)

~ Waxing Poetic

~ Aloha Encaustics (because I’m from Hawaii!)

To send me your vote just leave a comment here or email me through my web site. Or send your suggestion for a better name and I’ll post it here with the others. I’ll announce it here when we have a winner!

So yesterday I posted images of quotes we put on the studio walls before we covered them with insulation, and one quote is not something you’d recognize. BOUND FOR GLORY!


I’ll explain. Trina, my college roommate and great friend, is an amazing artist working in photography and painting and she even starred in a short film about making banana bread, but that’s another story! Well Trina recently had triplets so the has little time left for art, but still manages to get her fun where she can find it. If you know me at all you’ll know that I have a weird sense of humor and Trina matches me in that. I just about fell down when I received her last Christmas card.

Bound for Glory!

As you can see from the snapshot on my refrigerator above, she decided to add a little fun to the straight forward photo of the tykes in the extended stroller. If you’re not paying attention you’d miss BOUND FOR GLORY imprinted under Merry Christmas, which gave the photo a whole new meaning for me and turned those little guys into future super heroes. Quirky, I know, but just my style. It has become my mantra in tough times, and yesterday I was very tired of working on this studio so it was good to remember that I’m BOUND FOR GLORY!

I miss you Trina! (BTW, that’s another one of her photos in the upper right. Could those little heroes be practicing their flying?)

This weekend we took the final photographs for my book Embracing Encaustic! Naturally it took a lot longer than I originally thought but they came out really well. The image below shows my dog Sadie getting into the shot, AGAIN.

Photo shoot for book

These photos are raw from the photo shoot, but it will give you an idea of what I’m doing with this book. I’ve modified the table of contents slightly so now it will include:

  • Introduction to Encaustic Painting
  • Getting Started
  • Tools and Techniques
  • Mixing Encaustic Medium
  • Making Your Own Paint
  • Encaustic Gallery
  • Resources for ordering materials, tools & more

Mixing encaustic paint

I give written directions from some of the techniques I use to all of my workshop participants, but this book will encapsulate those into a handy reference book. My handouts don’t have photographs, so that’s a big bonus here too.

Mixing Damar resin for encaustic painting

I’ll request a proof of the book today and it will take about a week and a half to arrive. If you’d like to be notified when the book is ready, please join the notification list at

On a more positive note than yesterday, I ran across more photos for the Encaustic Painting Retreat I attended recently with the International Encaustic Artists group. Several people in the group have been working on a project involving giant encaustic dominoes. What?! Here’s how my new friend (and fellow Hawai’i girl) Cyndy Goldman explained it to me:

“Last year, one of our members, Wayne Berger (artist and woodworker) thought up the idea of making a whole set of dominoes in Encaustic. He cut wood blocks around 5″ x 8″ x 2″ and passed around a box of real dominoes at one of our meetings. We each picked a real domino and that would be the one we’d create on the wood block. I think I had 6/0. The idea is to do whatever you want to express the one you have and when he collects the entire set done in Encaustics, he wants to photograph them and use them as an exhibit piece to help promote IEA .”

Domino project 1

Well, they brought some of them to the retreat and I gotta tell you, they were awesome! So detailed and beautifully painted. As I got to know my 30 new best friends over the course of the weekend it was clear from each persons style who created each domino. Very impressive. I still have mine awaiting completion of my studio, but in the meatime I thought you would enjoy seeing everyone else’s.

Domino project 2

Here are some more images from the International Encaustic Artist’s retreat from last weekend! I learned several techniques from my new friends who were extremely generous with their time and knowledge. I ended up combining two techniques to create the works pictured here. I’m so happy that I had the presence of mind to take photos of the progression. I think it’s exciting to share all of the layers that go into making art in this medium and how different they look in various stages.

The first piece below is a good example of a technique shared by Lissa Rankin, where she impresses fresh plant matter into the wax while it’s still warm. Lissa makes it look so easy but I managed to get wax all over my hands and burn myself a bit in the process. I love the way it came out so I’ll obviously need to do a little more practice!

Leaf impression a

Leaf impression b

Leaf impression c

Emerging, 12″ x 12″, Encaustic, mixed media

The piece below shows the second part of my technique combination, taught to me by Gail Steinberg. Gail uses a coat of joint compound on her support first to create texture, then covers it with wax. I combined this technique with the one Lissa taught and am very happy with the results!

Art sun a

Art sun b

Art sun c

Bloom, 12″ x 12″, Encaustic, mixed media

Bloom, 12″ x 12″, Encaustic, mixed media

To view more sketches look here.

Howard Hersh at Butters Gallery

Last night I attended the Butters Gallery opening of a beautiful new show of encaustic and acrylic works by Howard Hersh. He and I both show at the Shelly Hall Gallery but I had never met him so it was a pleasure to have a few moments to talk with him about his work. We are also both member of the International Encaustic Artists, so I gave him the scoop on the IEA retreat I attended last weekend.

If you get a chance to go see this show you won’t be disappointed! Howard pours his wax instead of brushing in on, which gives his work a feeling of calm and peace, but his imagery make sure there is an undercurrent of energy at the same time. The show is open through June 2. Enjoy!

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Online Encaustic Classes 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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