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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!

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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 EncausticSupplies.com, 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!

Click on the images above to see larger versions

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.

Transform A Moment, 24" x 24", Encaustic

Transform A Moment, 24" x 24", Encaustic, (c) Linda Womack

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.

View the full demonstration schedule here. (Subject to last minute changes, of course!) Here are also some great installation shots to see behind the scenes.

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!

Photo by Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian

What an exciting week! All of the art was due this week for the show I’m curating this June, Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic. This show will be part of an art festival that’s been going on for 47 years in Lake Oswego, a beautiful little town just outside of Portland, Oregon, where I live.

It’s always exciting for me to see the art in person, smell the wax, and see the surface texture of each painting. Some of the packing is as elaborate as the art itself! Here’s a little preview of what we unpacked yesterday.

Greg Wright, Unfurling

Special Exhibit Curator Linda Womack and Juried Show Manager Kimberly Kent unpack "Unfurling" by Massachusetts artist Gregory Wright.

Juried Show Artists Melinda Fellini and Susan Freedmen volunteered to help us check in the boxes containing more than 160 pieces of art for the show.

Kimberly admires both the painting and the padded package protecting "Lingering Sunset" by Kathleen Hooks.

Susan Freedman helps unpack "Guarantee," one of the largest paintings in the Luminous Layers show by Randall Steeves of Canada. The painting on the right is "Calendula Seed Pod" by Karen Clark of Portland.

Save the dates now and please join us for the Luminous Layers show at the Lakewood Festival of the Arts, June 25 – 27, 2010.

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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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