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urton-blog

I was contacted recently by Robin Urton, an artist in Portland who writes a wonderful blog which she describes as “thoughts on art and creative living — an artist in conversation with herself and the world.”

Robin asked if she could profile my work and I was thrilled to find myself in the company of some very talented botanical artists including Sara Gilbert, Michael Mew and my friend Amy Stoner. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a few minutes exploring her thoughtful posts on artists from all walks of life.

View Robin’s blog here.

Champagne time!That’s it! I just finished my last day at my non-art job. I have been working 4 days a week for an author in another state so a flexible schedule and working from home was convenient, but now it’s time to focus on my art full time. I’m so excited!

I’ve had strangers ask if I just woke up one morning and knew it was time to follow my dream, but my friends know the real story. It took me three long years of planning and building up my teaching schedules and art sales before I could feel comfortable enough to move forward, but here I am. And I know I’ve made the right decision.

As soon as I gave notice at work last month opportunities started to arise. Teaching a week long encaustic class in North Carolina. Presenting at the National Encaustic Conference near Boston. An invitation to teach at Saturday Academy this summer, and the list goes on.

The most stunning sign that I’m making the right decision was from a total stranger Read the rest of this entry »

Destiny Awaits, 6OK, that’s it. I finally did it. I just gave notice at my day job that in one month I will begin my full time career as an artist! That means that February 29 — leap day of this leap year — will be the beginning of my full time art career. It seems appropriate, don’t you think?

I know many of you thought I already was working as a full time artist, but I’ve been making my art, teaching classes, writing my newsletter and updating this blog mostly at night and on the weekends. I’ve been lucky to accomplish many of the things I wanted to even with that limited schedule. Imagine what I can do now?

My wonderful husband has been telling me for a while now that it’s time to do this and he was my last excuse. I realized recently that the only person holding me back from realizing my life long dream was…me. That was startling. And it turns out, not as easy to fix as you’d think. I kept finding reasons to wait just a little longer but finally it was so obvious even I couldn’t ignore it. And as added fun, while I was listening to one of my favorite CD’s today (Sondre Lerche, “Soundtrack from Dan in Real Life“), the songs told the story:

~ Hell No
~ My Hands are Shaking
~ I’ll be OK
~ Prepare to be Surprised

And I have all of you to thank for this. I would never have had this chance without the encouragement of friends and strangers alike, and the support of all of you who have taken classes or purchased my work. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

(Image above: Destiny Awaits, 6″ x 6″, encaustic on panel, 2007)

As soon as I finished this piece I knew my work had taken a new path. This might even be the beginning of a new series! Time will tell. It’s usually obvious when I start a new series, but sometimes it creeps up on me. My mind is telling my body what to do but not always WHY I should do it. I’m really glad I thought to photograph this one in different stages because it really illustrates how much the work changes from beginning to end, and how you have to build up the layers of information as you go along in order to create complexity in the final work.

So here’s how my new work, Always in Season, came to be.

Always in Season Progression 1

I was trying a new red, Alizarin Crimson, which my husband appropriately nicknamed I-just-killed-my-roommate red. I had to agree that it was a bit much. That launched me into a quest on how to tone it down, which led to a fantastically layered area. I’m learning to embrace the mistakes as opportunities (though sometimes painful!) to try something new.

Always in Season Progression 2

At this point I was getting concerned about how dark the background was getting. I know some artists start with a layer of black and build up from there, but I’d never tried it before and I was afraid I’d get nothing but mud. A layer of clear medium on top of the black prevented the problem and I was very happy with the results.

Always in Season, 16″ x 16″,  Encaustic and mixed media

Always in Season, 16″ x16″

Encaustic, joint compound, and silver leaf on wood

To view more sketches look here.

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.

Mona and friends

My friend and savvy Mortgage Broker, Mona Das (far right, above), threw one of her famous private parties in her trendy Pearl District condo last night, featuring my encaustic paintings on her walls. My husband Bill and I LOVE Mona because she is the one who helped us refinance our house so we could build out my new studio! Most of the guests had never heard of encaustic painting before so I put on my teaching cap and went to work. People were excited to learn about it and using my book to illustrate the process made it so much easier to explain.

Awakening

The favorite pieces of the night were easily Awakening (foreground, above) and the poorly placed “one above the toilet,” also known as All Things of Nature (below). Gee, I’m glad I decided to put it THERE. But I knew everyone would visit eventually! Oh well, live and learn. Thanks Mona!

All Things of Nature, 12″ x 12″

Everyone is heading for the Park Blocks this Sunday, right? The Museum of Contemporary Craft will be holding a Block Party to celebrate their grand re-opening in their new building. It’s this Sunday, July 22, from noon – 7:30 pm.

The Museum is located at 724 NW Davis. There will be craft booths of all kinds, live music, and food booths on the North Park Blocks in front of the Museum. You can see demonstrations in glass-blowing, metalwork, woodworking, and more. And the Church of Craft, Portland Super Crafty, and DIY Lounge will all be there with fun make-and-take projects. (They’ll all be on Broadway, between NW Couch and NW Davis streets.)

More details and a schedule of events are at http://contemporarycrafts.org/programs_events.php.

Also take a moment to enjoy this great video they posted on YouTube to promote the party! I hope to see you there.

Hey guys, I’m running out the door right now, but wanted to remind everyone of a great event I’m participating in tonight. There are still a few seats left. I hope to see you there!

Look at Me! How Artist’s Get Work on TV and in Print
TONIGHT, July 18, 7 – 9 pm

Join Trillium Artisan’s for their monthly meeting on July 18 from 7 – 9 pm. The theme is Look at Me!, as they offer a panel of artists who have been profiled in print or on TV, gaining valuable recognition for their work. Each artist will show their short TV segment or published work, and then talk a bit about how they were chosen, what it was like to participate and how they benefited from the experience. Panelists will include:

Linda Womack

Linda’s botanical beeswax collage was recently profiled on HGTV’s craft show, That’s Clever! She has also self published a book called Embracing Encaustic, an instructional book for those wanting to learn the art of wax painting.

Nikki Blackwood

Nikki’s altered book was published on the cover of Somerset Studio, and most recently she was invited to contribute to the book “Kaleidoscope: Ideas + Projects to Spark Your Creativity.” See her blog at http://pdxnik.blogspot.com

Stephanie Brockway

Stephanie’s silver ladle vanity mirror was recently profiled on HGTV’s craft show, That’s Clever! Among other publicity she had a photo in the Oregonian of her sculpture that was a top finalist in Tazo’s tea’s Waste Not competition last year.

Tammy Vail

Tammy’s work has been published in a calendar and her “Duct Lisa” is in this month’s Somerset Studio. Some of her work can be seen at http://portlandartcollective.com.

Seats are only $5 and space is limited so email Claire at claire@trilliumartisans.org or call 503.775.7993 to reserve your spot now. The event will be held at Trillium Artisans, 9119 S.E. Foster Road, Portland.

Wow, what a week! We really broke in the new studio with three classes in 8 days. The good news is that nothing actually broke, and not a circuit was blown. Glory be(e)!

Group working

I started the week with the Encaustic Intensive class, meant for those with little or no knowledge of the encaustic painting process. This is a full day crash course for getting started quickly. The next class was Wednesday night with a great group who wanted a live demonstration of the segment I did for HGTV’s That’s Clever craft show. Did I mention that it was over 100 degrees that day? Surprisingly my studio stayed much cooler than anyone expected but we drank a LOT of water. The show I was featured on will air again about every three months, so if you missed it check your local schedules or sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when it will be on next.

This weekend I held my Advanced Encaustic Painting class which ran for 2 days. We covered an amazing array of techniques to help artists who already know the basics to break new ground and get inspired. As you can see from the photos below, I dare say we succeeded!

Karen scraping

Karen scraping away to create a design with one of the techniques we just learned.

Lisa masking a line with tape

Lisa is masking a line with tape. Fill the channel between the tape with wax and fuse with the tape in place to get a nice, crisp line.

Mazarine working with the tjanting batik tool

Mazarine working with a tjanting batik tool she brought back from a recent vacation. She was nice enough to give everyone a turn and we loved it! I’ll be adding this to my tool box immediately.

Karen with torch

In this advanced class everyone gets to try the propane torch, and it was a winner! No one wanted to go back to the heat gun after this.

Group with their work

Happy campers Lisa, Karen and Mazarine with their beautiful work. Thanks ladies for a great class!

Milepost 5 is a new development in Portland, Oregon that will offer affordable spaces for artists to work and live. Below is an invitation to the launch event on Wednesday, July 11.

live/work lofts in Portland

I have been on a tour of this development and it’s going to be BIG. Commissioner Adams is doing a great thing for the arts in Portland by supporting this project. I’m teaching class that night so won’t be able to attend but you might be interested to stop by or pass this on to your friends. Have fun!

 

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

Inside Linda’s studio

OK, maybe it’s a bad idea to refer to smoking in any way in reference to a studio where I’ll be painting with molten wax, but there’s no other way to describe the festivities last night. Nearly 50 people dropped by to wish me well on the new studio, and many of them were here during the first two hours so it was elbow to elbow! There were so many of us we spilled into my back yard, but we had great weather so no one minded at all.

Out back

Encaustic Tips

This event also served as the celebration of my book, Embracing Encaustic, which is an instruction book for those wanting to learn to paint with hot wax. It was hot off the press and I sold out of all the books I had on hand. If you missed it an would like to purchase one you can get one online by visiting http://www.embracingencaustic.com (there’s also a 15 page preview of the book available if you just want a peek).

We also has some great door prizes donated by Peter from Muse Art + Design on Hawthorne. His business is locally owned and sponsor a lot of art events in Portland so please take the time to check them out! I shop with them more often than anywhere else in town.

Chocolate fountain

The chocolate fountain was up and running as you can see in the background here. It was a big hit, especially with the kids, but we all left with a little of the sweet stuff on our fingers (or shirts).

Art & wine

My generous friends arrived all night with flowers and gifts which made me feel extra special. I was thrilled to receive a little painting from my friend Judy Wise, a wonderful artist who I have admired for years. She also works in encaustic and presented me with this lovely gal to watch over me and my studio. In all of our chatter and excitement I forget to ask if she has a name! Judy, what do you say?

Gift from Judy Wise

Update: Judy said I should name her! I’m originally from Hawaii and when I first saw the painting I told Judy she looked Micronesian to me so I named her Malulani, which means heavenly protection in Hawaiian. Somehow I know she’ll be great at her job!

Grommett

After everyone was gone and we were ready to call it a night, I found my 13 year old dog, Grommett, happily snoring in the studio. I had to wake him up to get him inside. Maybe he was dreaming of that chocolate fountain…

Hot StuffThis virtual gallery is for all of those artists not able to attend the First National Encaustic Conference and accompanying gallery show, Hot Stuff.

The range of the work was impressive, with everything from works on paper to sculpture represented, including traditional and experiments styles. I attended the show twice and still didn’t get enough time with these amazing pieces of art! Enjoy.

** To see more posts about the 2007 conference go here. **

1b Gwen Plunkett 3 5 8 Alexandre Masino 19 20 21a 23 Lissa Rankin 25 27 Mari Marks Linda Womack, Remiains of the Earth, 12 x 12 inches Miles Conrad, Explorer, Encaustic, Rubber Bands, Wire on Panel Daniella Woolf, Spina 30, 30 x 30 inches, sewn paper encaustic Ed Angell, Homage to M.L., 12″ X 12″ X 4 3/4 inches, Beeswax and Lead Debra Ramsay, Alone Together, 24 x 24 inces, encaustic and eggshell inlay on birch panel Debra Ramsay, Measuring Parallels #7, 24 x 24 inches, encaustic and eggshell inlay on birch panel Jeff Schaller, Closed, 24 x 24 inches, encaustic Jeff Schaller, Flashbulbs, 24 x 24 inches, encaustic Kristin Swenson-Lintault, Vital, 12 x 12 inches, Encaustic, oil stick, string on Masonite Lorraine Glessner, Seed, 12 x 12 inches Lorraine Glessner, Refraction, 12 x 12 inches David Hazlett, Lime Wedge, 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches Lorrie Fredette, Pores, 6 x 3″, encaustic and interfacing Lorrie Fredette, Preservation #2 & #3, 23 x 24 X 6, encaustic and interfacing Diana Gonzales-Gandolfi Sandra Quinn Alexandre Masino, Conquis par cette lumi, Encaustic on board, 16″ x 23″ Alexandre Masino, Culte diurne, Encaustic on board, 16″ x 23″ Julie Shaw Lutts, Journey, 12″ x 12″ on wood panel Kim Bernard, Nautilus, encaustic on terra cotta, 3” x 15” x 15″ Kim Bernard, Asclepias Scattered, encaustic on terra cotta, 3” x 10” x 20”

Please note: I lost my notes with the artists and titles so I’m adding in the info for what I have, numbering the rest of the works (view the number or artist’s name by moving your cursor the image). Also, I wasn’t able to photograph all of the work, so if you were represented in the show and I’ve missed yours (or ended up with a bad photo!) please send me an image and I’ll add it here. If your work is here and you’d like me to post the details, please send them to me along with the number it goes with.

Hot Stuff show opening

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: http://artistemerging.blogspot.com

International Encaustic Artists: http://internationalencausticartists.blogspot.com

Daniella Woolf: http://encausticopolis.blogspot.com

Roxanne Vise: http://waxart.blogspot.com

Joanne Mattera: http://joannemattera.blogspot.com/2007/06/first-national-conference-of-encaustic.html

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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.

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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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