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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.

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

October is a big month for me every year, but this one has been busier than usual. First I attended the annual  International Encaustic Artists Retreat in Carmel and now I’m in the middle of Portland Open Studios.

The Retreat

For some reason I thought the retreat would be relaxing, but no so much. Thankfully what kept me so busy was meeting new friends, selling books, and opening my mind to new ideas and experiences. It was such a rush to be at “encaustic camp” with 65 other artists, all passionate about our medium. Our wonderful organizer, Cari Hernandez, has some wonderful photos on her FaceBook page.

Portland Open Studios

pos-studio

This beloved annual event turns 10 this year and is  stronger than ever! Visit the studios of a diverse group of 100 artists working in their chosen media including painting, sculpting, blowing glass and much more. last weekend was packed and I’ll be working again this weekend, so if you’d like to see how I paint with encaustic stop by for a demonstration:

Hive Studio
5417 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR 97215
Corner of SE 55th and Stark St.
Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18 from 10 am – 5 pm

I have the Portland Open Studio Tour Guides available for $15, which covers 2 adults for both weekends and the kids are free! Please contact me if you’d like to buy one, or come by my studio on the day of the event and pick one up. You can also purchase them at several other locations including ArtMedia and New Seasons.

This beloved annual event turns 10 this year and is  stronger than ever! Visit the studios of a diverse group of 100 artists working in their chosen media including painting, sculpting, blowing glass and much more. I’ll be working both weekends, so if you’d like to see how I paint with encaustic stop by for a demonstration:

Hive Studio
5417 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR 97215
Corner of SE 55th and Stark St.
Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18 from 10 am – 5 pm

I’m trying something new this year: a silent auction of some of my older work starting at very reasonable prices. There will be at least 8 pieces up for auction ranging from smaller works up to 30″ x 30″! I’m trying to work out a way for those of you who are out of town to have a chance to bid as well.

I have the Portland Open Studio Tour Guides available now for $15, which covers 2 adults for both weekends and the kids are free! Please contact me if you’d like to buy one, or come by my studio on the day of the event and pick one up. You can also purchase them at several other locations including ArtMedia, or online using the link above.

Kimberly Kent is the new IEA Oregon Chapter Leader

Kimberly Kent is the new IEA Oregon Chapter Leader

What a weekend! It all started Friday night when I got together with my painter friends for our monthly IEA meeting. I founded the Oregon Chapter of the International Encaustic Artists almost two years ago and it has grown steadily ever since. I was recently invited by the board to become the International Chapter Director, helping members start up local chapters in their area. I knew I couldn’t do this in addition to my work in Portland, so I was thrilled when my buddy Kimberly Kent, founder of CUBE Gallery offered to take over. She is perfect for the position.

On Saturday and Sunday I taught my Beyond Basics encaustic class with an advanced workshop on Sunday. Half of my students came from Canada to take my classes, do some shopping and enjoy our beautiful summer weather. I guess two out of three ‘aint bad (It rained. HARD). Everyone had a great time, including me! What a great group.

After class on Saturday my husband Bill and I took off for one of our favorite annual events: Portland Taiko. Growing up in Hawaii the Asian traditions were integral to my life and watching taiko drumming was one of my favorite events. I say watching instead of listening because taiko is so much more than the sound. It’s a visual feast as well, and when seen live you can feel the drum beats pulse through your body. It’s magical!

I also received some welcomed news on Saturday that my work has been accepted for publication in Studio Visit Magazine, the publishers of New American Painting. They received almost 1000 entries but I made the cut and my work will be featured in the publication due out next spring. It is delivered to 2,000 gallery and museum representatives free of charge, so it’s a great opportunity for me to get more exposure for me work.

Some of you have already heard me talking about a big encaustic show coming to Oregon this April. Well, it will also be seen in Massachusetts, Arizona and Maine with possibly more stops to come. Here’s the scoop.

Hot Stuff show openingA brainstorming session at the 2007 National Encaustic Conference resulted in an exciting collaborative project between New England Wax (NEW) and International Encaustic Artists (IEA) of which I am a member. As a result, I’m participating the The Diptych Project: A Collaboration in Wax, which will match 36 artists from each group into pairs who work together on encaustic paintings.

The objective is to make two collaborative diptychs from each pair of artists (one artist from NEW and one artist from IEA). A diptych is a finished work of art made up of 2 panels. The completed diptychs will be exhibited this April in Portland, ME and Portland, OR. The east coast exhibit will be held at Whitney Art Works in Portland, Maine, while the west coast works will be shown at Brian Marki Fine Art in Portland, Oregon. Each artist’s work will also be exhibited as a part of this year’s 2008 National Encaustic Conference in Massachusetts this June. (To see posts about the 2007 conference go here.)

Diptych Project, Linda’s panel for Maine
Linda Womack, Untitled (Diptych panel 1), 2008
24″ x 19″, Encaustic, leaf, image transfer, photograph on tissue


Last night I finished my first panel (above)
and will ship it, along with a blank panel the same size to Sara, my art partner in Maine. I’m including some of the copper leaves and notes on the colors of paint I used so she will have a way to tie her panel in with mine through color or imagery. Sara will respond to my painting with one of her own on the blank panel and that work will be shown on east coast. Then we’ll do the reverse and that pairing will be shown here in Portland, Oregon. Other stops around the country are being arranged. I’ll post more images and information as it becomes available.

IEA Portland Chapter meeting

Last night we had our second meeting of the Portland Chapter of the International Encaustic Artists, a group I recently formed so the wax lovers in town could get to know one another. It was wonderful! We are still getting to know one another, so we each brought a couple of pieces of original work to share. As we shared inspiration, techniques, food and (of course0 wine, I felt like we were really beginning to bond. The level of support for our fellow painters was high, with everyone being very supportive. It was a boisterous meeting with lots of laughter.

Portland IEA Meeting

Portland IEA Meeting

We even took a moment to participate in Joanne Mattera’s blog project celebrating the 6th anniversary of her book, The Art of Encaustic Painting. While we can’t compete with the mouse eaten cover (thank goodness!), we thought sheer numbers might make the point that her book is still the bible of encaustic information.

If you live in Portland (Oregon) and are interested in finding out more about the IEA or the Portland meetings, please go to our web page at http://www.lindawomack.com/iea/ .

Many of you have been awaiting an update of the first official meeting of the Portland Chapter of the International Encaustic Artists. Well, I didn’t make it to the meeting myself. I had long anticipated that date where I would finally get many of the encaustic artists in town together for the first time. Sadly it was the same day I said goodbye to my furry friend, Grommett, so I was in no condition to make the meeting. Lucky for you (and me) that Judy Wise gave a great wrap up on her blog.

If you are interested in joining us here in Portland, the next PDX-IEA meeting information is posted here.

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.

 

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.

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

I recently returned from the First National Encaustic Conference in Beverly, MA, and what an event it was! There were 140 artists from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. I met so many new and wonderful people that I’ll need weeks to visit all of their web sites, but that will be a fun “chore.”

Joanne matteraThe conference ran for 3 days at the beautiful Montserrat College of Art and began Friday evening with a keynote speech by Joanne Mattera. She treated us to a slide show of her recent trip to the MET where they house several of the Fayum portraits and an ancient Greek krater depicting an artist painting statues using encaustic techniques. (That will have to be my next trip!)

Joanne’s talk sparked those big, philosophical questions I never seem to have time for when she moved to the topic of artists defining their work through the enacustic medium. I am guilty of this and I didn’t even realize it. Here’s an excerpt from a discussion Joanne started on the topic in the R& F Forum:

“Here’s what concerns me: Some artists who work in the medium have been defining themselves by the medium. Not, “I am a figurative painter,” or “I work in geometric abstraction,” or even, “I’m an abstract painter who works primarily in wax.” No. Typically I hear, “I paint in encaustic.” I love encaustic. But what kind of art do you make? ”

This is a fair question and one which as artists should consider. I sometimes get frustrated when people want only to talk about the technique and not the work itself, but then I hear myself asking the same question of other artists. I think it’s important for me personally to try to remove myself a bit from this love affair with wax and focus on what I’m trying to communicate. Please take a moment to read the complete post, appropriately titled “I am not an encaustic artist,” on Joanne’s insightful blog.

That same night we had a wonderful opening party for the “Hot Stuff”show, juried by Zola Solamete from the Arden Gallery. I’ll leave you with a few photos of that night, but I promise to all more images of the art soon!

Hot Stuff

 

Hot Stuff show opening

 

Hot Stuff show opening

 

Hot Stuff show opening

Hot Stuff show opening

 

Hot Stuff show opening

My work was damaged in shipping, but they found the chip so a quick hit with the heat gun and it was fixed. What you can’t see here is that I had to repair it with a crowd of people asking me questions, and yes, I’m working on the gallery floor. Let’s call it performance art and move on, shall we?

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!

 

This morning the city inspector came hours early to do the electrical inspection. Again. Why do they bother asking if you want it in the AM or PM if they don’t pay attention to it? Grumble. Anyway, the guys are still working on the drywall so it wasn’t ready for him to inspect so he’ll have to come back. He said to wait until after we paint. Double grumble. But wait, there’s more!

When he checked the inside panel (that the lovely former owner installed himself without a permit!) he passed us on what the previous inspector said was wrong, but he found 8 new problems. I am seriously about to come unhinged. My husband asked him what guarantee we have that when those things are fixed (at considerable expense) that a different inspector won’t find MORE problems. His response:”That shouldn’t be a problem.” Yeah right. Am I starting to sound bitter? Yes? OK then it’s time to take a break.power hungry

I suppose I could always resort to the way we got power set up at the IEA retreat (see photo).

The only good news is that the studio won’t be affected by the problems inside the house because they are on different permits, so there shouldn’t be any delay in opening the studio. At this point I’ll take any good news I can get. I should have better news tonight, so I’ll try to post more then.

Is it too early for a drink? 😉

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.

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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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