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Last month I had the pleasure of participating in a wonderful storytelling group where we all shared the adventures of dogs in our lives, both past and present. This was conceived by my talented friends by Fred Swan and Stan Peterson who are both well loved artists in Portland Oregon. The event, called Dog Tales was an intimate experience that lead to knowing more about my fellow artist that I would have ever learned during those brief conversations we’re able to have during gallery openings.
Happy Together No Matter the Weather (left) and A Friend for All Seasons (right) by Linda Robertson. Both 24 x 24 in., acrylic on canvas. $425 each, framed.
This event was the seed for the new show called Dog Park on view until March 21 at the Ford Gallery. I have two new paintings in the show which express my enthusiasm for my canine companions over the years. I created these in the same style as my recent encaustic paintings, but just to shake things up I worked in acrylic with which I have very little experience. The process was alternately fun and pretty darn awful, but I eventually found my rhythm and I’m very happy with the results.
I often try new mediums and methods to remind myself how it feels to try something completely new because I think it makes me a better teacher and artist. This project was an especially good reminder that sometimes I just need to keep working at a problem until I figure it out, no matter how frustrated I might get.
As an added bonus, a friend let me play with Illustrator on her iPad so I could quickly try different colors for the silhouette in one of my paintings. Very fun!
I hope you’ll catch the show if you can. More than 30 artists are represented using a variety of styles to celebrate the dogs that fill their hearts with love.
2505 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR
Show runs through March 21
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!
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!
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.
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…
4000+ Pieces of art
ALL ART IS $40
Cash / Credit and Carry
BIG opening Sat. Dec 14th at 2pm (until 9pm)
Bring canned food for free entry
700 SW Fifth (3rd floor)
Pioneer Square Mall, downtown Portland
open Thurs-Sun 12-6pm
show runs through Jan 12th
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!
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!
I met Jess Greene at the encaustic conference last year when she was just starting to figure out what she wanted next in her life. I’ve been thrilled to watch her fulfill her dream of providing some really interesting projects centered around helping people become more creative.
My online encaustic courses are listed on her SeekYourCourse.com web site and she’s about to launch a nationwide project called the Jumpstart Creativity Tour which will have a stop in my town of Portland, Oregon this summer. Read on for more information about Jess’ exciting projects and how you can get involved.
From Jess: In college, art classes were only for the art majors so despite my interest there never was room for me. And the desire was only a whisper anyway. I was pursuing other things.
A few years after college, when I was a science teacher, I started reading artist blogs. Blogging gave me a window into the lives and work of artists in a way that finished work in a gallery never could. I started feeling a strong desire to paint. Then I finally did. I went to an art retreat and my world shifted. Suddenly there was the possibility of making art in a supportive community of other creatives.
I enjoyed a great party last night at the 24th annual Cascade AIDS Project Art Auction in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS. CAP’s Art Auction is the social event of the year in Portland. There was great food, wine, music, dancing, and art. Some 250 artworks were juried into the live and silent auctions, including one of my paintings pictured here, called Watching Light Leave.
Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!
Easily the funniest event of the night was when I saw some crazy woman running her hands all over Janet Amundson Splidsboel’s beautiful encaustic painting. Up went my hackles and I stormed over ready to tackle her! I got there about the same time as security only to discover it was the artist herself, buffing her painting with the palm of her hand. In the bright light she had noticed a spot on the surface that was driving her nuts. We all had a good laugh and I told Janet it was a great publicity stunt. She suggested to the security guard that they meet up and do it again later. Well done!
I had a similar experience once too. I once sold a painting while fixing a chip that went unnoticed until the opening. The gallery set me up for an impromptu demo as I was fixing the work and it sold before the wax was cool. Art marketers, take note!
What a party! Last weekend there was a huge grand opening party at the eagerly awaited Mark Woolley Gallery where one of my paintings has already sold. Long time Portland art broker and gallerist Mark Woolley opened this new space as part of The Settlement galleries in Pioneer Place. For those of you were able to visit my “Spots of Time” show at People’s Art, Mark’s new gallery is on the same floor. Make sure you also have time to visit Place, another gallery on the same floor with a fantastic show this month (photos below).
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?