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20x24-1upIn college I was one of 10 artists who received a scholarship through California State University to create my work on the legendary 20 x 24 Polaroid camera. The camera was flown from New York to Humboldt State University and Program Director John Reuter helped us photograph the setups we had been experimenting with on 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 view cameras.

Since its introduction in 1978 this camera has been recognized as one of the most unique photography tools available. Originally developed to accurately reproduce works of art, the camera was quickly recognized as a creative tool to make instant photographs of 20 by 24 inches. Early practitioners included Chuck Close, Ansel Adams and William Wegman. Only 5 cameras were ever constructed and Read the rest of this entry »

Last week I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful people and pet photographer, Pauline Zonneveld, who booked time with me for a private consulting session to bring her vision of pairing encaustic and photography to life. She did her homework and  brought a variety of images she liked cut out from magazines. This gave us a good basis to start with and from there I helped Pauline decide on a process and we talked about how to start developing her own distinctive style.

I took Pauline through a couple of different ways to get a look similar to what she liked. She decided that image transfers would be the best route for her based on the equipment she already has, so we got to work.

Here’s what she came up with. This photo was taken right after Pauline did a great little dance saying “Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted!” Well done Pauline!

My August sessions are already booked but if you’d like to work with me in September or later check my website for ideas of what you might want to cover and how to register. This is ideal for artists who can’t make it to my regular workshops or those visiting the area who need to work within a specific schedule.

BTW, Pauline is the photographer who took these amazing images of my 12 year old lab Sadie for her inspiring Good Old Dog Project.

Sadie   Sadie close up

I taught my Encaustic & Photography class last weekend in my Oregon studio and had the pleasure of working with 3 amazing photographers who made beautiful work. None of them had much (if any) experience with encaustic but here is a small portion of what they were able to create in just two days:

This photograph by Lara Blair was already a beauty, but when she cut out the horse and made her own sky with the encaustic paint the movement was highlighted dramatically. As a great example of the sculptural properties of the wax, the mane of the horse is raised slightly, giving the painting more dimension.

This collage, also by Lara Blair, is a combination of photographs on different weights of paper and some faux gold leaf around the top edges.

The work above is by Sandra Nykerk who traveled all the way from Gardiner Montana for this class.  This image of a rock within a rock was printed on tissue paper then highlighted with pastels. It’s a shame how hard it is to photograph encaustic, and I didn’t do this piece justice. It’s so luminous!

This work is by Maro Vandorou. She rarely works with color so the image above is an exception and the one below is more similar to the rest of her work. In the photo of the roses, we poured the wax over the surface of the photograph instead of painting on layers of wax. That gives the image a dreamy feel and a perfectly smooth surface that is very enticing.

Maro’s self portrait was made on tissue paper and adhered to a board with wax, letting much of the clear medium show through.

If you’d like to join me for an Encaustic & Photography class, check the schedule online anytime at If you can’t get to Oregon to see me I’ll come to your studio via my online classes. Check them out at

OK, that’s it! I sent my new book, Embracing Encaustic, off for a proof copy today. I’m very happy with how it all turned out. My husband Bill Womack, a wonderful author himself wrote the introduction, helped with many of the photographs and edited the final draft. I couldn’t have done it without him. 🙂

Here’s a quick peek at a preview of the layout:

Encaustic Tools and Techniques

Encaustic Tools and Techniques

Encaustic Tips

Mixing Encaustic Medium

I’d love to hear what you think! I’ll get the proof back in about 10 days and after any changes the book will be ready to order. If you’d like to know when it’s available just join the notification list at


This weekend we took the final photographs for my book Embracing Encaustic! Naturally it took a lot longer than I originally thought but they came out really well. The image below shows my dog Sadie getting into the shot, AGAIN.

Photo shoot for book

These photos are raw from the photo shoot, but it will give you an idea of what I’m doing with this book. I’ve modified the table of contents slightly so now it will include:

  • Introduction to Encaustic Painting
  • Getting Started
  • Tools and Techniques
  • Mixing Encaustic Medium
  • Making Your Own Paint
  • Encaustic Gallery
  • Resources for ordering materials, tools & more

Mixing encaustic paint

I give written directions from some of the techniques I use to all of my workshop participants, but this book will encapsulate those into a handy reference book. My handouts don’t have photographs, so that’s a big bonus here too.

Mixing Damar resin for encaustic painting

I’ll request a proof of the book today and it will take about a week and a half to arrive. If you’d like to be notified when the book is ready, please join the notification list at

Those of you in Portland, Oregon are in for a real treat. The Mt. Tabor Art Walk is this weekend (May 20)! As a matter of fact, it just started…NOW. This free art event features 35 artists in 27 locations plan to open their in-home studios to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, 2007, from 11am until 5pm each day. Get your free map here.

max 3

My neighbor and friend, Max Drake, had a pre-walk party last night that was great!

Max 2

Max’s party

One of my encaustic paintings is currently part of a survey of contemporary abstract art works at Lauryn Taylor Fine Art in Carmel, California. The show was juried by George Y. Blair, who brings over 30 years of experience collecting and exhibiting abstract art as President of the Board of Trustees at the Monterey Museum of Art. The photos below are from the artist’s reception I attended on Saturday, April 28, 2007.

New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax show opening


New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax

Tomorrow morning I leave for the International Encaustic Artists retreat in Carmel, California. It will be a weekend filled with learning new techniques and meeting other artists who have a passion for encaustic painting. I’m very excited! I’ve only been a part of this group for a short time, but they have been extremely welcoming and inclusive and I can’t wait to meet them in person.

I’ll be doing a demonstration of my collage technique using photographs printed onto tissue paper, so I made these examples to take with me:

Untitled 1 Untitled 2

I haven’t figured out what to call them yet, so if you have any suggestions please let me know! I’m working on the theme of time passing and how things evolve. These little 8″ x 8″ works will likely end up being sketches that will be used to make much larger final pieces.

Attending the retreat will also give me a chance to attend the opening night of “Off the Grid: New Directions in Wax” at the Lauryn Taylor Gallery. My work was accepted into the show, also in Carmel, and it will be exciting to see the variety of work they’ll have. I’ll post photos and information about the weekend when I get back!

View the rest of my posts about the retreat.

Soldier in IraqNight of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq is a photography exhibit at the exceptional new gallery, 23 Sandy. This is a beautiful, intimate gallery space created by Laura Russell, a talented photographer and book artist in Portland Oregon. This inaugural show of work by Joel Preston Smith is not to be missed!

The title Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraqis taken from the central essay of the photographers book. The essay describes the first night of the Gulf War from the perspective of the patients in the children’s cancer ward of Sadaam Pediatric Hospital in Baghdad. Rasmeyah Abduhl Sattar, their nurse, listening to their cries, convinced the children that stars, not missiles, were falling on the city.

My apprearance on HGTV's craft show That's Clever!Well, I can tell you from personal experience that a LOT of people watch and love That’s Clever! Since my segment aired last week on HGTV I’ve gotten email and phone calls from all over the United States!

Many people wanted just to say hello and send words of support (thank you!) and others had questions about my project. I’ll keep adding to this list as new questions arise.

Here are a few of the quesitons and answers:

Q: Where are the directions for this project posted? I can’t find them!

A: The step-by-step directions are on the HGTV web site.

Q: What is Gel Medium and where can I get it?

A: Gel Medium is made for extending acrylic paint and is ideal for creating glazes, but used alone it is a wonderful archival glue. I use Golden brand Regular Gel Medium (matte), available from any art store that carries painting supplies. It would be in the acrylics section. It’s not made for image transfers, but as you can see from the show it works perfectly. If you can’t find it locally you can always order it online through Dick Blick: .

Q: Where can I buy beeswax?

A: You can usually get beeswax locally at craft stores like Michael’s, but if you want to buy it online my favorite spot is Dadant & Sons Beekeepers: The type I use in the show if the yellow (unfiltered) type which gives an antique look.

Q: Can I use a color copy for the image trasfers?

A: No, sorry. For this type of image transfer you have to use an inkjet print.

Encaustic Tips

Q: Where can I see more of your work?

A: My portfolio is online at or you can purchase my new instructional book about painting with wax, called Embracing Encaustic, which has many examples of my work in it.

The Home and Garden Television taping in April 2006 went really well. My segment premiered this week and it came off way better than I thought it would. I was so afraid it would look stupid because they really made me “ham it up” while they were filming saying that you have to overact for it to come off as normal on camera. I thought they were crazy, but even I think it worked out. Yay!

The piece I made on air is called Spring Bouquet (pictured below).

Spring Bouquet, encaustic with image transfer


You can see more images from the filming of the show on my web site or go to the project intructions on the HGTV web site. I’ve also written a book called Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax that will guide you through the basics of working with this amazingly versitile and forgiving medium.

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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