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For the past several weeks I’ve been distracted by our political turmoil, spending much more time outside my studio making my voice heard. Democracy can be messy and exhausting and I definitely need a break. More specifically I need an ART break. Maybe you do too?
I’ve heard from many artists who say they are having trouble focusing or simply not feeling very creative right now. That’s understandable, and please know that you are not alone, but finding a way back into making art can help. You can see why this is one of my favorite quotes:
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
~ Pablo Picasso
A few days ago I realized there’s a quick way I can help — by making my classes more accessible. So I’ve reduced the prices on all of my online encaustic classes! Each purchase gives you a full year of immediate access to the class videos, with the ability to watch them as many times as you’d like and work at your own pace.
So go on, dig in. Now you can try something new for less while “washing away the dust.” And don’t forget to breathe.
I’ve taught encaustic workshops for many years using pancake griddles as the hot palettes, so I’ve become pretty opinionated about the type I like. I have a wonderful R&F Paints heated palette which I love, but since most students won’t be able to get that right away I like to teach with what they’re likely to have at home.
My favorite griddle brands are Rival and Presto because they last for years and offer fairly even heat which is important when painting with wax. I was almost tempted this time by another brand offering a white ceramic surface which would be great for mixing colors, but the reviews were not terrific, specifically mentioning uneven heat. So off I went to get my new griddles. It was a pretty funny trip because you get some strange looks at the store when you buy pancake griddles in bulk!
I was disappointed not to find the type I love but then I realized I had stumbled upon something even better: a square griddle (easier to reach everything if you’re shorter like me or can’t stand while you paint) with a tiny drainage area (which keeps any wax you’re mixing on the palette from falling into the drain) and a warming tray attachment that can be removed and replaced with a wooden dowel to create a handy paintbrush holder.
I’ve just replaced all of my griddles with this style for my upcoming classes, so I’m excited to try them out!
You may have heard that the new edition of my eBook, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax, is now available for instant download. While this is an updated version of the printed version, there are also 35 exciting new artists who share their work as well as reveal their personal painting methods and explain why they are compelled to make the work they do. Get the book here!
If you aren’t a regular reader of eBooks, never fear! Follow these easy instructions on how to download and read my eBooks.
The big surprise is that there will be two eBooks instead of one, both under the Embracing Encaustic title. This allows a total of 70 artists to be included between the two books while keeping downloads manageable. The second eBook, Embracing Encaustic: Mixing Media, will have all new techniques and will be available within the next 2 months.
The artists represented in the pages of my Embracing Encaustic eBooks were gracious enough to allow me to share their work with you, and for that I am forever grateful. These books wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without their vast talents and generosity. I’m so excited to share their work with you!
The artists in Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax include:
Amy Royce, Andrea Benson, Ann Huffman, Bethany Handfield, Bridgette Guerzon Mills, Debra Claffey, Eileen P. Goldenberg, Emily Rutledge, Eva McCauley, Geoffrey Kostecki, Gretchen Papka, Janet Amundson-Splidsboel, Jeff Juhlin, Johanna Gardner, Judith Williams, Kara Brook, Kellie Weeks, Kevin Frank, Kimberly Kent, Kindra Crick, Linda Robertson, Linda Widstrand, Lisa Sisley-Blinn, Mary Farmer, Mary Mettenbrink, Mitchell Visoky, Norman Soskel, Patricia Dusman, Rachelle Kaldani, Robin Samiljan, Sally Arnold, Serena Barton, Sherrie Posternak, Stephanie Hoff Clayton, Tracy Spadafora.
The artists in Embracing Encaustic: Mixing Media include:
Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Amber George, Amelia Currier, Amy Finder, Caryl St. Ama, Catherine Nash, Daniella Woolf, David Price, Deborah Martin, Deborah Winiarski, Diana González Gandolfi, Elise Wagner, Erica Konrad, Ezshwan Winding, Francesca Azzara, Gregory Wright, Jessie Smith-Larson, Josie Rodriguez, Judy Wise, Karl Kaiser, Kathleen Burke, Leslie Pearson, Linda Robertson, Lisa Marie Sipe, Marty Ittner, Michele Thrane, Pamela Winegard, Paula Roland, Shaun Doll, Sigrid Rogers, Susanne K. Arnold, Tatiana deFigueiredo, Tina Viljoen, Tracey Adams, Tracy Proctor-Kelly, Vicki Moser
Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and creative new year! To help you with the creative part use the promo code below to get $20 OFF any (or all) of my online encaustic classes.
Taking classes online gives you the benefit of watching the videos as many times as you need to in order to feel comfortable trying it yourself. I offer several different classes including Painting & Texture, Encaustic & Collage, Stencils, Wax Transfers, and Shellac. Each class page has a free bonus video as well as a video excerpt from the actual class, so I encourage you to view those videos even if you don’t take the class.
Just go to http://www.RobertsonWorkshops.com and click on the link of the class you want to take. At checkout enter “NewYear20” where it says “apply promo code” and enjoy! (Offer Expires 1/5/2015. Good for the “rent all” option to purchase a full class, not for individual lessons. This can’t be applied to previous registrations and cannot be redeemed for cash.) FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS!
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 Amazon.com 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 »
This weekend I attended the International Encaustic Artists annual conference called encaustiCon, in San Antonio Texas. It was a wonderful event with lectures, workshops, networking events and a great vendor room. I highly recommend it!
A highlight of the event was their banquet which included presentation of the first annual La Vendéenne awards, where I was thrilled to win a trophy in the Media category.
The La Vendéenne Awards were named in honor of a fourth century AD encaustic painter whose remains, along with her encaustic tools, were found in the La Vendée region of France. The awards are intended to “recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art.”
Awards were presented in several categories, and here are the winners!
The jurors for the award included Gail Stavitsky, Chief Curator of the Montclair Art Museum (NJ), Paula Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest School of Art (TX) and David S. Rubin, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brown Foundation (TX). The beautiful trophy was crafted by James Meyer, an extremely generous and gifted artist and studio assistant to Jasper Johns. I have to admit, part of me wants to press the trophy into wax. Is that wrong?
As happy as I was to win the award, I was equally thrilled to see my work appear during the keynote speech, in Dr. Stavitsky’s slide show about contemporary encaustic work. You may recognize her name from the groundbreaking exhibition she curated in 1999 called Waxing Poetic, Encaustic Art in America. Waxing Poetic featured more than fifty artists whose content, style and subject matter differed widely but whose medium of choice was the same, wax. That show was the first introduction to encaustic for many gallery owners, reviewers and other artists.
The International Encaustic Artists 2013 encaustiCon, will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Eldorado Hotel from Oct. 31st ~ Nov. 3rd, 2013. Will I see you there?
I’m proud to have an article in the current issue of Encaustic Arts Magazine called “Creating and Embracing New Opportunities” which tells the story of how my book, Embracing Encaustic, led to many more new opportunities including my online encaustic classes at RobertsonWorkshops.com.
Here’s an excerpt: “As the huge truck pulled up in front of my house I got a chill up my spine. I knew the books would arrive sometime that week but no one seemed to want to give me a firm delivery date. I watched as the driver struggled to maneuver the bulky pallet through my garden gate and I worried that it wouldn’t fit. As he drove away, leaving me with box after box of my new encaustic book I thought, not for the first time, “What have I done?”
It all started about 5 years ago when one of my students mentioned that she couldn’t find an encaustic book with step-by-step instructions for beginners. That got me thinking that it wouldn’t be too hard to put one together, especially with the new print-on-demand services that had recently become available for self-publishing books online. Using this service they would be printed as they were purchased, so I would never need to print a large number of books. By that evening I had decided which service to use, downloaded the software and purchased the Internet domain name Embracing Encaustic.”
Read the whole article online. It’s a very inspiring magazine, so please share it with your friends!
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?
After living in a new house for a while, did you ever decide that you wanted to rearrange the rooms to make better use of them? Something like that has happened on RobertsonWorkshops.com. After some valuable feedback from students, we’ve decided to change our classes to better fit how you want to learn.
Starting now, you can begin any class immediately–no waiting for a class to begin! If you can buy it, you can watch it right now. What’s more, you have access to all the videos, class notes and community chat for six full months from your day of registration. Your instructor will answer questions online during the first seven days of every month, and you’ll be able to discuss your projects with other students in your class during the entire length of the class.
All classes are under $50 and gift certificates are available for the perfect holiday present.
Between June 25th — 27th, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts will host the “Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic” special exhibit. Though bound by a common medium, the works are inspired by a wide range of topics–FBI fingerprints, family treasures, and the nuanced tones of nature. There was a nice article about the show in the Oregonian this week.
Treat yourself to daily encaustic demonstrations, a panel discussion on why these artists love to work with wax and a wide array of art styles from realistic to abstract to sculptural.
Friday, June 25th
· 1:00 – 2:00 pm encaustic art demonstration featuring “Encaustic & Photography” by Linda Womack, curator & artist, Luminous Layers exhibit, lower level Lakewood Center.
· 7:30 – 8:30 “Why Wax?” Presentation and Panel Discussion with featured artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, Kanaan Kanaan and moderator Andrea Benson in the Headlee Mainstage Theatre, Lakewood Center. Fee: $5.00 at the door.
Saturday, June 26th
· 2:00 – 3:00 pm encaustic art demonstration featuring “Painting Realism in Encaustic” by Jeff Schaller, featured artist, Luminous Layers exhibit, lower level Lakewood Center.
Sunday, June 27th
· 2:00 – 3:00 pm encaustic art demonstration featuring “Working in Encaustic” by Cari Hernandez, featured artist, Luminous Layers exhibit, lower level Lakewood Center.
I’m almost unpacked and organized from the encaustic conference and need to now turn my full attention back to my biggest project of the year, the show I’m curating in Oregon called Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic.
There was a nice article in the Oregonian this morning by Jan Goetze to kick things off as well as a TV commercial that will be airing on KATU this week. We start installing the show on Monday so I’ll try to post some photos of the process as we go.
There will be exhibit tours and artist demonstrations each of the three days, as well as a panel discussion on Friday, June 25, at 7:30 pm. “Why Wax? How Encaustic Informs Our Art” will feature artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, and Kanaan Kanaan with moderator Andrea Benson. (Lakewood Center for the Arts, $5) You can see the festival program online to help you plan your weekend. I hope to see you there!
Are you interested in meeting with other encaustic artists to share ideas and learn more about this fascinating medium? Here’s a great opportunity for you to join a new encaustic club forming in Portland. I’m not running the group, just trying to help Liz and Linda get the word out about it.
The organizers are Liz McDonald and Linda Marple, avid amateurs and students of Portland encaustic teacher Linda Womack.
To meet with other encaustic artists for critiques and problem-solving, show and tell, and possibly assignments to explore specific techniques or themes. Group ordering of supplies to cut down on costs. The group will be open to ideas from participants. The goal is to share and learn.
The club meets once a month. Please contact Liz to find out the next location if you’d like to attend.
My lecture on “Working in Wax” was well attended Saturday night despite the nasty flu bug sweeping Portland this month. “Working in Wax” offered a rich visual introduction to the history, tools and techniques of encaustic painting, along with an overview of contemporary artists working in this ancient medium.
Several artists from my book, “Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax,” were featured along with internationally recognized encaustic painters. A full list of the artists profiled is available, along with links to their web sites. Many thanks to all the artists who allowed me to share their work!
Nancy Azara, Andrea Bird, Elena De La Ville, Mary Farmer, Kevin Frank,
Eileen P. Goldenberg, Jane Guthridge, Thea Haubrich, Cari Hernandez, Lisa Kaser, Deborah Kapoor, Phyllis Lashe, Mari Marks (Mari Marks Fleming), Alexandre Masino, Catherine Nash, David Price, Scott Reilly, Josie Rodriguez, Paula Roland, Amy Royce, Jeff Schaller, Julie Shaw Lutts, Randall Steeves, Linda Womack, Deanna Wood, Gregory Wright, Kari J. Young
Following the lecture there was a screening of Sister Bee, a lyrical short documentary about six women beekeepers who encounter startling beauty and spiritual truth in their work with honeybees. The film was wildly popular evoking both laughter and sighs from the enthusiastic audience. A special thanks to filmmaker Laura Tyler for allowing me to share her inspiring film.
I debuted my new class tonight, Mixing Your Own Encaustic Paint, and everyone went home energized and ready to make more! First we mixed up a big batch of encaustic medium (beeswax + damar resin) then used that mixture to make paint using each students choice of pigment and colors. Powdered pigments were popular, as were Lyra encaustic crayons.
Here I am demonstrating how to mix encaustic medium using beeswax and resin. We later used what was made here to mix our paint.
Ruth and Cinnamon remove their new paint from the griddle to cool. Everyone takes home 4 pots of paint.
We also discussed the unique properties of pre-mixed paint brands including R&F Handmade Paints, Evans Encaustics, Enkaustikos and Wagner Encaustics. Before the night was over everyone got a chance to try mixing paint directly on the palette, and learned how to clean up waxy brushes. After learning to mix the medium and paint themselves, each student wet home with 3 colors of paint and a pot of clear medium. If you want to try it yourself join me for the next paint mixing class on April 24. Start saving your tuna and cat food cans now!