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Wax Weekend workshop: Photo Encaustic


Luminous Landscapes

Every year I hear from more artists who are combining their travel plans with learning new art techniques. A couple of years ago I had people from 4 different countries in one of my classes, and since I only take 6 students at a time that’s pretty impressive!

This year in addition to my five-day Wax Week intensive workshops, I’m also offering a few two- and three-day Wax Weekend sessions that focus on a particular theme including Luminous Landscapes, Photo Encaustic and my brand-new Secret Messages class.

Wax Weekends (2-3 days)
5/19-5/21: Photo Encaustic
6/24-6/25: Luminous Landscapes
7/7-7/9: Secret Messages


Secret Messages

Wax Week (5 days)
8/2-8/6: Textured Landscapes

One of the most exciting things about working with encaustic are the unusual textures you can add to your paintings, so for this year’s Wax Week class I’m offering something new called Textured Landscapes. It’s a radical extension of my shorter Luminous Landscapes class. This 5-day intensive workshop combines some of my most popular classes with some brand new techniques that will keep you creating new work for years to come.

In this class we’ll focus on creating Textured Landscapes using encaustic with a wide variety of materials including textured gesso, watercolor, pigment sticks, and photo transfers. We’ll use whatever media we need to create your vision, and working in small groups in my studio makes that possible. I hope you’ll join me in Oregon soon!


Wax Week workshop: Textured Landscapes


Linda Robertson is a painter and the author of the Embracing Encaustic book series. She offers live encaustic workshops in her Portland, Oregon studio as well as online encaustic classes.

Many artists need time alone in order to focus enough to get their work done. While I consider myself very sociable, even I think twice before I go to an art event because it’s still time away from my studio. It’s fine to have your alone time, but I want to encourage all of you to get out of your studios and go visit with other artists whenever you can! Local art events offer an easy way to visit many studios in a short period of time, so that would be a good place to start.

We just had a big one here in Oregon, called Portland Open Studios, and I was happy to visit with a number of artists I’ve never met before as well as those I try to visit regularly. I often post photos from my studio visits on my Facebook timeline.

My Facebook posting about Randall's work

At every studio I try to ask other visitors “what was your favorite stop so far?” This year several people mentioned Randall David Tipton. I hadn’t heard of before so on the list he went and boy am I glad of it! Read the rest of this entry »

OK folks, this is it, the show everyone in Portland is talking about! Join me this Saturday for this epic annual show that is also a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank. Peoples Art of Portland, Po Boy Art/Jason Brown, and Chris Haberman present…

The BIG 400 Show
400+ Artists
4000+ Pieces of art
Cash / Credit and Carry
BIG opening Sat. Dec 14th at 2pm (until 9pm)
Bring canned food for free entry
Yes indeed, all art is only $40 so why would so many well known artists participate in an event where their art sells for so little year after year? Aside from the great fund raising part, it’s because it’s such a unique show and all about the art. All work is the same size and price and no names are displayed so your choice is simple, if you like the art BUY THE ART without concerning yourself with who made it and what their credentials might be. New collectors of original are born out of this show every year.
I use these pieces to do experiments and smaller sketches for new projects throughout the year, and continue working with what I like best about each of my 10 panels. Come join me in a friendly race to find the perfect present at a perfect price! Here’s a preview of some of mine this year. I hope to see you there!
Peoples Art of Portland Gallery
700 SW Fifth (3rd floor)
Pioneer Square Mall, downtown Portland
open Thurs-Sun 12-6pm
show runs through Jan 12th


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

Last week I hosted a 5-day Wax Week Mixed Media workshop in my Portland, Oregon studio. I usually travel across the country offering this workshop at schools like Idyllwild Arts in California and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennessee, but I needed some time off from all the packing and unpacking so I invited students to come visit me this year.

Students from Washington, California, Colorado and Texas joined in the fun working with encaustic paint, paper, pastels, stamps, pigment sticks, inks, encaustic monotypes, wax scrolls and more! Here are a few photographs from the June session.

If you missed this Wax Week class you have another chance in August when the weather in Portland will be spectacular for a visit. Come join us!

Dawn adds texture and color to her panel

A few of the 5 foot long wax scrolls we created, Karen on left, Laura on right

Read the rest of this entry »

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, 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!

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.

Last Christmas we posted video greetings as soon as three snowflakes fell. This year we are totally snowed in with the most snow Portland has seen in 40 years! So far we’ve gotten at least 14 inches of snow over 3 days, with 5 – 8 more expected before Christmas.

Yes, the snow is up to my knees! Doesn't it look like I lost my dog in the snow?

Yes, the snow is up to my knees! Doesn't it look like I lost my dog in the snow?

Depending on who you ask, people are referring to this storm as the Snowpocolypse or Stormzilla, but either way it’s a big one. Take a look…

Join me at 23 Sandy Gallery on February 7, 2009 for Working in Wax. This lecture will be 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. I’ll share images of several of my paintings as they were being created, showing some of the steps involved in building up the layers of wax and other media.

There will also be a screening of Sister Bee, a lyrical and beautiful documentary about six women beekeepers who encounter startling beauty and spiritual truth in their work with honeybees (Running time 30 minutes). Tickets are $10 and are available in my studio or by mail. Limited to 25 people.

Unidentified wax chunks washed up on the beach

Unidentified wax chunks washed up on the beach

On the northern Oregon Coast, near the mouth of the Nehalem River, beeswax chunks, other cargo, and even parts of a ship have been turning up over the past two centuries. Is this a lost Spanish galleon from the 17th Century? My buddy from high school, Scott Williams, is the Washington state archaeologist working on the project and he thinks it is. When I last visited him he showed me chunks of wax…or something…that had washed up on the beach that they were trying to identify.

Oregon Field Guide recently aired a story on the project that I thought you all might find fascinating. Enjoy! View the video here.


I also found a second video online from The Archaeology Channel:

View this video

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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Online Encaustic Classes 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.


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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