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Many of you are certainly already fans of R&F Paints, makers of exceptional encaustic paint. Well, here’s more to love. Every other year they hold an international call for encaustic art and host the resulting show in their New York gallery. The good news is that they have posted images of the show online so we can all enjoy it.

Take a peek at the R & F Paints Biennial: Encaustic Works 2007 online, or look for it in New York until the end of September. The show will also travel to Muncie, Indiana in November 2007.

There is also a wonderful article about it in Chronogram Magazine.

OK, so it wasn’t on film at all but I did get up close and personal with a local reporter. Yesterday I met with Josephine Bridges who writes for numerous papers including a local favorite that covers my neighborhood: The Southeast Examiner. Josephine is writing a story on four Portland Open Studios artists who work with unusual materials, and our resident publicity hound, Bonnie Meltzer, put her in touch with me.

Grinch before

Josephine and I had met before, but last time I was doing demos in my dining room so she was very excited to see my new studio and all of my new work. I was nervous because I don’t usually get to talk with reporters — they usually review my work without any interaction from me — but she put me right at ease. We just sat and had a conversation as if she just stopped in for tea and the time flew by. Of course I did my homework beforehand and had a press kit ready. I haven’t made too many of those either but it’s easy to find advice online on what to include.

My press kit included:

  • A copy of my resume
  • My art statement
  • My two latest press releases (about the HGTV show and my solo show at City Hall)
  • A sheet titled “What is Encaustic?” so she can write knowledgeably about my technique without having to do any additional research
  • Two promotional post cards with images on my work on them, one with a sticker announcing upcoming shows.
  • Two business cards (Someone once told me to always include two so they can give one to a friend or have one at the office and one at home)
  • A CD with high resolution images of 5 recent paintings, an image list with titles and sizes, 2 images of me with my work, 2 images from my book (Embracing Encaustic). After looking over the book she was so enthusiastic that I gave her a copy of that too!
  • What I forgot: Copies of previous press clips (duh!) and a class schedule. It turns out that she wants to take a class!

Josephine was pleasantly surprised when I gave her the folder containing my press kit. Hopefully it will make it that much easier for her to use one of my images in the story. I shamelessly pointed out that I haven’t even done a press release on the book yet, so it’s something she might consider for another story. It seems like it could have a good DIY angle.

She did ask one question that I hadn’t had before: “What’s the one thing you want people to know about your work?” This is a great question! I told her that all the technical aspects of encaustic tend to scare some people off and they should know that it’s really not that hard to get started if you just know a few basic techniques.

Look for the article in the October issue of The Southeast Examiner.

class 2

Wow, what a fun group I had today in my Encaustic Painting Intensive class! It’s so special when all the participants encourage each other and are sincerely excited by what each other are doing. I’m lucky that my classes often end up with this little bonus, but today was especially nice.

class 1

I didn’t mention it to anyone in the class, but I got very little sleep last night after helping a dear friend through a crisis in the middle of the night. When I awoke this morning my second thought, after my friend, was how will I be coherent in class today? Luckily a cold shower helped to wake me up (why, oh WHY don’t I drink coffee?). I needn’t have worried though, because the enthusiasm of the women in this class was so infectious that by the time everyone left with their beautiful art work I was invigorated. I can teach these classes again and again and we never have quite the same class each time because the students help direct where we go and what we cover. It’s why I love to teach, never a dull moment! Thanks again ladies for a great class. And now, off to bed…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

class 3

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
www.rebelrabbitcraft.com

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.”

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

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

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 Blurb.com, 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!

 

When my (only) very reliable contractor didn’t show up Saturday morning as planned I was surprised. You’d think I would be used to this by now (see previous entries!) but I’m not. Does that make me an optimist? I hope so.

Anyway, he thought he was supposed to come NEXT weekend so I figured out a way to make that work, and we started painting instead. Not the fun stuff, just the primer, but it sure looks pretty. Several friends have stopped by to see the progress so far, including fellow artists Mandy Main and Gretchin Lair and they seem impressed. I hope you’ll come by too when we have the opening party on June 30! I’ll post more details soon but save that evening if you’d like to see all of this in person, or you can join my mailing list to receive a proper invitation via email.

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!

One of my encaustic paintings is currently part of a survey of contemporary abstract art works at Lauryn Taylor Fine Art in Carmel, California. The show was juried by George Y. Blair, who brings over 30 years of experience collecting and exhibiting abstract art as President of the Board of Trustees at the Monterey Museum of Art. The photos below are from the artist’s reception I attended on Saturday, April 28, 2007.

New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax show opening

 

New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax

Soldier in IraqNight of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq is a photography exhibit at the exceptional new gallery, 23 Sandy. This is a beautiful, intimate gallery space created by Laura Russell, a talented photographer and book artist in Portland Oregon. This inaugural show of work by Joel Preston Smith is not to be missed!

The title Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraqis taken from the central essay of the photographers book. The essay describes the first night of the Gulf War from the perspective of the patients in the children’s cancer ward of Sadaam Pediatric Hospital in Baghdad. Rasmeyah Abduhl Sattar, their nurse, listening to their cries, convinced the children that stars, not missiles, were falling on the city.

http://www.23sandy.com/Joel.html

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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.

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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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