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My beach commission is done and on it’s way to a very happy new owner in Santa Fe, New Mexico! This is Lanikai Beach in Hawaii, where I grew up, and this place holds many fine memories through college and beyond. I posted earlier about finding the perfect color but there’s even more to that story.

The palette in this scene is so vibrant in real life that I turned to a special paint from Enkaustikos in order to capture it. Their interference pigments were new to me, but they were exactly what I needed to get the sand and water just right. Because they are transparent these pigments are influenced by the color of the surface below. Colors mixed with interference medium will change (“flip”) when viewed from different angles. Over a white or light background like the sand, the color is subtle and the “flip” more obvious. Over a black or darker background like the water, the color is more obvious and the “flip” less noticeable.


Using these paints gave me the shimmer I wanted to really make these areas stand out. It’s really tough to photograph the results, so I hope you’ll get to experience it in person sometime.

I thoroughly enjoyed every step of creating this commission! This is one of those paintings I will think of often. I already miss it, so I may just have to make another one for myself.


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.

art-supply-swap-2019Is your studio so full that you can hardly work? Grab those items you’ve always intended to use but haven’t, and swap them for something you love!

Hosting an Art Supply Swap can be fun and easy, and I’ve got a few suggestions below. I hosted one recently and not only did we clean out our studios, but we all went home with new inspiration and made some of new friends in the process. Here’s are some tips for hosting your own event.

Keep it simple. The first time I tried this I only invited a few good friends so we could figure out the best way for everyone to get something they really wanted. This works best with friends, but if you invite strangers too you’ll need a few rules. If it’s your first try, keep your guest list small.

Be specific. Be clear about the materials you’ll accept. I said: “Please only bring quality supplies in good condition so that everyone can go home with something inspiring” and everyone brought really interesting materials, especially great art books.

I also made clear that Read the rest of this entry »

Many artists need time alone in order to focus enough to get their work done. While I consider myself very sociable, even I think twice before I go to an art event because it’s still time away from my studio. It’s fine to have your alone time, but I want to encourage all of you to get out of your studios and go visit with other artists whenever you can! Local art events offer an easy way to visit many studios in a short period of time, so that would be a good place to start.

We just had a big one here in Oregon, called Portland Open Studios, and I was happy to visit with a number of artists I’ve never met before as well as those I try to visit regularly. I often post photos from my studio visits on my Facebook timeline.

My Facebook posting about Randall's work

At every studio I try to ask other visitors “what was your favorite stop so far?” This year several people mentioned Randall David Tipton. I hadn’t heard of before so on the list he went and boy am I glad of it! Read the rest of this entry »

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 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 »

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.


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

Fun with friends: (back) Kimberly Kent and Bill Womack, (front) Linda Robertson, Judy Wise and Jess Greene.

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 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.

Jumpstart Creativity Tour with Jess Greene

Don’t Miss the Jumpstart Creativity Tour with Jess Greene!

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

CALL FOR ENCAUSTIC ART: Juried by Wendy Aikin and Daniella Woolf, WAX hopes to introduce the public to the diversity of methods and techniques currently employed by contemporary encaustic artists. Two and three-dimensional work will be considered. Show is at the Pajaro Valley Arts Council in Watsonville, CA. Deadline 2/3/12.

Happy New Year, or as we say in Hawai’i, Hauloi makahiki hou!*

Shameless Passion

Shameless Passion, 13" x 13", Linda Womack

I’ve been sick during the last half of December and haven’t had the energy to write a new post so I started reviewing my older posts from years past. I’m glad I did, because I really needed to see this one again. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

As many of us do this time of year, I’ve been taking a look back at all I accomplished, but also those things that slipped away. I often hear from friends and even strangers how amazed they are at all I cram into my limited time. “You are everywhere!” is a phrase I hear often and while that can be good, it might also be a sign that I’m spreading myself too thin. I think 2012 will have to be more about balance. I made good progress with that last year, but more work can be done, and I have a plan to help me succeed.

One of my big problems is that I have trouble saying no. Big trouble. Can you build a web page for our event? Sure. Serve on our Board of Directors? No problem. Volunteer a few hours a month? Of course. Now don’t get me wrong, all of this is good stuff and I don’t intend to stop doing all of it, but if I ever want to make a living from my art and let the other job go, then I have to be more restrained about where I offer my time and energy. Read the rest of this entry »

What a week! It’s true that events in December tend to clump and overlap, looking for just the right day to stand out from the crowd, but last week was one of the busiest I’ve had in a while. I had art openings on 3 consecutive days, with lots of art and excitement to go around.

Portland Visual Art Exchange

Lisa Kaser, Tuque, wax & felt

Lisa Kaser, Tuque, wax & felt

I was thrilled to be invited again this year to the 6th Annual Portland Visual Art Exchange. A big thanks to Becca Bernstein, Sally Finch, TJ Norris and all their volunteers for all of their hard work!

Over 50 artists were invited to exhibit one piece of original work in a week-long, invitational show hosted at the Littman Gallery at Portland State University (PSU). The exhibit culminated in an art trade and public reception where the participating artists went home proud new collectors from some of the most talented artists in Portland.

I was thrilled to receive a wax and felt sculpture by Lisa Kaser, and my work went home with Bill LePore, Chair of the Art Department and Professor of Art at PSU.

Oakridge Park Opening

Four of my paintings are featured in the third floor lobby of Oakridge Park

Shadows Reveal, 36 x 48, Encaustic on panel

We celebrated the opening of Oakridge Park last week with 45 new apartments serving Lake Oswego area seniors who earn modest incomes. This is my second project with Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) who provide a wide range of affordable housing  options and have the foresight to include original art by local artists in many of their projects. I’m honored to work with them through Kent Art Brokers.

The Big 200 Art Show

One of my 10 paintings for The Big 200

A big thanks to Chris Haberman and and Jason Brown for inviting me to be in The Big 200 Art Show (formerly The Big 100), hosted by People’s Art of Portland. I’m guessing that name may change again as there were over 250 artists by last count and over 2,500 art work available at the show.

Invited artists are each given 10 small wood panels and let loose to create whatever they like, knowing that all panels will sell for just $40 each in order to allow just about anyone to afford an original piece of art. This is an exciting show because when the art is hung there are no names included with the work which evens the playing field. Art from a very well known artist may be sitting right  next to that of someone in their first art show, but all you need to care about is DO YOU LIKE THE WORK? I love this idea. The show was absolutely packed and my husband and I came home with 4 beautiful new paintings, all by artists who are new to us. The show is up through January 10 so check it out if you can!

One of my panels in place on the BIG wall, middle row, second from right

I recently received this wonderful note from a regular student in my online classes. Congratulations Jane!

“One of my encaustic collage pieces was just juried into a show at Artworks here in Richmond, so I wanted to let you know and thank you for the great online workshops……I used everything, including The Great Undo!* The skeletal leaf was brought into the house on the back of one of my dogs, so you just never know where you’ll get a collage element!”

Work by Jane Porter, a student in my online encaustic collage class

* The Great Undo is one of the lessons in my Encaustic Collage class which shows you how to quickly and easily remove parts of your encaustic painting that you don’t like. As you might imagine, it’s a VERY popular lesson.

I taught my Encaustic & Photography class last weekend in my Oregon studio and had the pleasure of working with 3 amazing photographers who made beautiful work. None of them had much (if any) experience with encaustic but here is a small portion of what they were able to create in just two days:

This photograph by Lara Blair was already a beauty, but when she cut out the horse and made her own sky with the encaustic paint the movement was highlighted dramatically. As a great example of the sculptural properties of the wax, the mane of the horse is raised slightly, giving the painting more dimension.

This collage, also by Lara Blair, is a combination of photographs on different weights of paper and some faux gold leaf around the top edges.

The work above is by Sandra Nykerk who traveled all the way from Gardiner Montana for this class.  This image of a rock within a rock was printed on tissue paper then highlighted with pastels. It’s a shame how hard it is to photograph encaustic, and I didn’t do this piece justice. It’s so luminous!

This work is by Maro Vandorou. She rarely works with color so the image above is an exception and the one below is more similar to the rest of her work. In the photo of the roses, we poured the wax over the surface of the photograph instead of painting on layers of wax. That gives the image a dreamy feel and a perfectly smooth surface that is very enticing.

Maro’s self portrait was made on tissue paper and adhered to a board with wax, letting much of the clear medium show through.

If you’d like to join me for an Encaustic & Photography class, check the schedule online anytime at If you can’t get to Oregon to see me I’ll come to your studio via my online classes. Check them out at

I’m thrilled to make my big announcement — my new video workshops are now available online at!

Our online video classes bring an art teacher with international experience right into your studio. Work at your own pace, get personalized instruction, and interact with a community of like-minded artists. Best of all, every class is just $49 US with six months of access to videos and the class community.

I’ve been teaching in-person in my studio and around the country for years, but availability has always been limited to a handful of students per class. At the same time, so many of you have expressed interest in my workshops over the years with the regret that you live too far away to join me. To solve both of these problems my husband Bill and I decided to offer video classes, delivered online.

Here’s How it Works

  • All videos are available immediately so you can work at your own pace.
  • Your purchase gives you six months of access to the videos starting the moment you purchase the class.
  • The class includes an online forum where you can chat with the instructor and other students, share photos of your work in progress and post finished work.
  • The instructor will answer forum questions several times daily for the first 7 days of each month.
  • You’ll also benefit from discussions with all of the other students throughout the duration of the class.

For those of you who haven’t tried encaustic painting before the new web site even includes a free video on how to set up your own encaustic studio.

Join our mailing list to be notified when new classes are added (click link and look in right column).

Can you help me spread the word?

Please forward this link to a friend or two who you think might be interested. I’ve announced this on FaceBook and Twitter recently too, so if you see those posts please “like” them or retweet. Many thanks…

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know all about my previous visits to the John Campbell Folk School, so I won’t revisit the basics again. Instead I’ll focus on this amazing group of students brought together by my workshop there a few weeks ago. Wow, did we have fun! I’ve got several photos here for you to get an idea of how the workshop unfolded, and what wonderful friendships were forged.

captionDru and Louise had very different styles of working, but had a great time working together. Louise arrived in her big truck with just about everything under the sun so when we were missing something everyone asked, “Does Louise have it?” and she usually did. Thank goodness!

captionAnne and Susan taught wood turning instructor Jim about the basics of encaustic. Jim, along with several other instructors and students from other classes, stopped by to see what all the fuss was about and left with a copy of my book Embracing Encaustic in tow to get started at home.

Here is the whole class on the last day along with some of their favorite work. The photo was taken by our wonderful studio assistant Susi Hall who managed to avoid my camera!

This group was made up of extraordinary experimenters who tried hard to find new approaches to use with their wax. Check out some of their work:

Stacey made this wonderful piece with pins running through balls of wax that were scraped off of other paintings. It's a wonderful reminder that everything doesn't need to be flat!

Lynn brought in a ceramic panel that was bisque fired and added transparent wax to enhance the surface.

Ruth made this wonderful piece look like leather by combining wax, shellac and fabric.

Rodney is vision impaired and contacted me about it before class. I figured out that because I feel the wax as much as I look at it that we should be able to find a way for him to work in the medium. We did! This image uses an image transfer for the figures and the rest was done with a smaller paint brush and his little flashlight to help him see the brush detail as he painted. Nicely done!

Dru made this piece with a hand colored photograph glued to the board then covered with clear medium. I showed her how to use wax crayons and PanPastels on top of the wax for delicate surface details. Dru sold this piece to a student from another class during our show at the end of the week.

Anne worked with cigar boxes as bases for several of her pieces and come up with some interesting designs, a few of which looked like shrines.

We had a critique at the end of class where everyone was able to show off their favorite work in private before it went to the exhibit.

During class I mentioned that my dog, Sadie, needs surgery and I was very worried about her. Someone found a photo of her in my collage materials and everyone worked together on this painting of Sadie, wishing her a speedy recovery. It was such a sweet gesture that they made me cry. Thanks everyone!

The two funniest comments from the week:

1. That looks like a hamhock!

2. That girl ‘aint right.

Both said with a smile, and both well received. Yes, it was an extraordinary group, and it was my pleasure to be a part of it. 🙂

I would never plan to do two full week classes back-to-back in such different parts of the country, but sometimes things just work out that way. I packed up at Idyllwild in California on Friday night, flew out Saturday — arriving after dark — and was set up and teaching again by Sunday in Tennessee.

That doesn’t even make sense on paper much less in the real world but it worked thanks to the amazing team of summer interns at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts who helped me get settled in and set up quickly.

It didn’t hurt that they have more power in that studio then I’ve ever had for a workshop, but we still had to try a few configurations to get it just right. I felt like the indecisive woman changing her mind on where the couch should be, but it’s important to get the tables and equipment set up in a way that fosters community and we did just that.

I had a whopping 15 students in this class. Look at all that power!

Below is a video tour of our classroom, with the gallery just outside our doors for instant inspiration.

I was thrilled to have my work on the anchor wall for the show, and even sold one of these pieces while I was there.

They have an excellent gallery at Arrowmont, run by the talented Gallery Coordinator Karen Green. It’s essentially the hallway between the classrooms but what could have been very ordinary has been transformed into a series of intimate spaces with the use of stones, fountains and quiet seating areas.

My studio neighbor (and new buddy) Susan Fecho discusses her work in the gallery. Click on this photo to see more of her mixed media work.

Susan's assistant Evan was kind enough to share some of their class demos with my students too.

There was a great feeling of collaboration throughout the week. I often invite students and teachers alike from other classes to stop by and see what they can do with the wax in their own projects, and several of them took me up on it including TJ Erdahl (below) the Arrowmont Program Manager who wanted to make a waxed hat for his fascinating ceramic sculpture.

Mary Ann gets the kinks out with a quick hoop break.

As you can see above we did manage to have some fun and that often included “hoop breaks” with our own cruise director Sara Gibson. She brought several hula hoops to share, including one that’s collapsible for travel (!) and got everyone into it (see video below).  She’s fantastic at this!

Another fun break was the Artist-in-Residence open house, where we could see how these talented artists spend their year at Arrowmont. The video below takes you through the work spaces of Andrea Moon, Shawn O’Connor, Wyatt Severs and Jennifer Wells.

Believe it or not, we did do some actual painting during the week. The studios at Arrowmont are open late into the night so there was a lot of time to work too. I was astounded my the sheer number of pieces that were finished, but they were also really high quality.

Several students traded or sold work to one another on the last day of class and everyone went home with some work to be proud of.

My buddy Carolyn aka "spider woman" prepares the real thing for one of her paintings.

We had to snip off his back legs to get him flat enough, then attach them again with wax. Yes, it was icky. And yes, he was long dead!

What a fun group! Special thanks to my studio assistant Lynn Bland, back row third from the left. Thanks for all of your help!

These wonderful folks just about made me cry when they presented me with this beautiful water tumbler, a big bar of chocolate and a beautiful card signed by everyone. Now I’ll always have my water at hand, but that chocolate is LONG gone. Thank you all so much!

Daniella Woolf's "Turkish Delight" installation gave viewers a chance to interact with some wax.

Daniella Woolf's "Turkish Delight" installation was a big hit, giving viewers a chance to interact with some of the art.

It’s hard to believe the Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic exhibit is over already, after all those months of planning, but I’m happy to report that it was a great success! We had steady, enthusiastic crowds who were ready to buy art, so both artists and patrons left happy.

Here’s a video of the exhibit along with some photos below. The video is a little shaky at times since I hadn’t slept much the week prior, but it will give you a good flavor of the work in the show.

Jeff Schaller gives an impromptu interview to a local TV station

Jeff Schaller gives an impromptu interview to a local TV station

Jeff Schaller, Breathe, 36" x 36"

Jeff Schaller, Breathe, 36" x 36"

Our two featured artists illustrated the variety of ways in which the wax can be used for self expression. Jeff Schaller paints edgy pop inspired images that are provocative and whimsical, adding words and language to propel the viewer into scenes of seemingly unrelated subjects.

Cari Hernandez takes a different approach, where encaustic is the connective medium in her abstract, sculptural works which often rely on the use of shadow and light. For Hernandez, combining mediums such as wax, paper, resin and fiber serves as a way to explore themes of faith, courage, joy, and pleasure. I was pleased to also include an additional 60 talented artists who were either invited or juried into this comprehensive show. Look for video of the show to be added soon!

Cari Hernandez, Lovely Bed, 18" x 24"

Cari Hernandez, Lovely Bed, 18" x 24"

We had a slide show running throughout the show with scenes of artist's studios to give the viewers a more personal connection to the artists

We had slides running throughout the show with scenes of artist's studios to give the viewers a more personal connection to the work

In keeping with the educational mission of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, there was an extensive roster demonstrations throughout the event. Artists from across the United States shared their knowledge of encaustic, introducing this ancient art to a very appreciative audience.

Brenda Mallory was one of 15 artists who demonstrated how they works with wax.

Brenda Mallory was one of 15 artists who demonstrated how she works with wax.

We owe a big thanks to our demo sponsors, Muse Art + Design (who recently launched, R&F Handmade Paints and Enkaustikos! Wax Art. These companies are always generous supporters of the encaustic community, especially with educational events, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.

We had standing room only for every demo, where many patrons had never heard of encaustic before

We had standing room only for every demo, where many patrons had never heard of encaustic before

There were 167 works from 65 artists in the United States and Canada, including artists who were invited to participate and those who were juried into the show. Awards were presented in several categories:

Curator Award, Gregory Wright, Beckoning, 20" x 16"

Curator Award, Gregory Wright, Beckoning, 20" x 16"

Juror Award, Mari Marks, Sedimentary Series, Terra X, 48" x36"

Juror Award, Mari Marks, Sedimentary Series, Terra X, 48" x36"

Juror Award, Dave Laubenthal, Gropious (mandala), 24" x 24"

Juror Award, Dave Laubenthal, Gropious (mandala), 24" x 24"

Juror Award, Karen Frey, Richard, 14" x 18"

Juror Award, Karen Frey, Richard, 14" x 18"

Co-Chair Award, Kevin Frank, Oranges with Yellow Pitcher, 20" x 26"

Chair's Choice Award, Kevin Frank, Oranges with Yellow Pitcher, 20" x 26"

Co-Chair Award, Brenda Mallory, Explosion in Gold, 15" x 15"

Chair's Choice Award, Brenda Mallory, Explosion in Gold, 15" x 15"

Committee Award, Judith Williams, Endless Swirls, 26" x 20"

Committee Award, Judith Williams, Endless Swirls, 26" x 20"

Committee Award, Liz McDonald, Big Blue Ball, 12" x 9"

Committee Award, Liz McDonald, Big Blue Ball, 12" x 9"

 Committee Award, Karl Kaiser, Red Petals, 18" x 18". This same work also won the Patron's Choice Award.

Committee Award, Karl Kaiser, Red Petals, 18" x 18". This same work also won the Patron's Choice Award.

Panelist Kanaan Kanaan discusses how he brings together his two cultures within his work with wax

Panelist Kanaan Kanaan discusses how he brings together his two disparate cultures within his work with wax

As a special part of the show we enjoyed a panel discussion on “Why Wax? How Encaustic Informs Our Art,” featuring artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, and Kanaan Kanaan with moderator Andrea Benson. They had a  lively discussion on the challenges and unique qualities of working in encaustic, and why they are drawn to the medium.

Cari Hernandez discusses the allure of working with wax during the panel discussion

Cari Hernandez discusses the allure of working with wax during the panel discussion

As the show curator, I can confidently say that Luminous Layers achieved the goal we set out at the beginning — to show the wide variety of ways in which contemporary artists are using wax in their art today.

This show wouldn’t have happened if not for my very dedicated team who worked tirelessly to help me pull it all together: Kimberly Kent, Natasia Chan and Amy Stoner as well as numerous committee members from the Lake Oswego Festival including Lisa Strout, Marabee Bertelsen, Diane Englert and Andrew Edwards. Thank you everyone!

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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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