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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

This is just a short post to share with your the first seeds of my new series, tentatively called Continuum. I started the first piece before the National Encaustic conference and have been working on new pieces since my return. I’m calling it Continuum because the series reflects the gradual growth of my work as well as the philosophy behind it.

I was inspired to start this series after realizing that so many things in life cycle back and show up again and again; certain dates, numbers, patterns and rhythms that catch my notice. These are marks in the history of time which have always been there and will be there long after we are gone. But enough of that for now, let’s get visual.

This one started it all. Continuum #1 (Diptych), 13″ x 27″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #2, 11″ x 11″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #3, 14″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #4, 13″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #5, 13″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #6, 13″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

As you can see I’m working small until I get warmed up, then I’ll start working larger. My 20″ x 30″ and 24″ x 24″ panels should be ready by tomorrow, so I’ll start those soon. Eventually I’d like to get to a few 48″ panels. If you have any comments I’d love to hear them. I’m really excited by this new work and feel like I’m off on a great new adventure!

Take a look at the wonderful article in The Oregonian Arts & Entertainment section today titled, “Artful lives, on view.” I’m one of a few artists profiled for the Mt. Tabor Art Walk next weekend!

The Oregonian reporter, Inara Verzemnieks came by just after I finished teaching a class on Sunday and we had a wonderful time chatting about art. She even sent a photographer to take some photographs.

Hollywood Invasion!

Also, this just in for star spotting during the art walk: The Road, the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron (and they will be there), will be filming in our neighborhood at Yamhill & 56th on the weekend of the Mt. Tabor Art Walk. They’ll be filming from early morning on through to midnight so you’ll still have plenty of time for art!

This has been a very full month for me but thankfully I’ve still found time to enjoy some terrific art events my friends are participating in here in Portland. Take a look at what’s happening and try to get out to see these shows if you can.

Lorna Nakell

Lorna Nakell

Beppu Wiarda Gallery
319 NW 9th Ave., Portland, OR

Lorna studied at the Otis/Parson Art Institute in L.A. California and received her B.F.A. from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Washington. “My paintings are informed primarily by Abstract Expressionism. They occasionally touch on narrative through the use of subtle figurative imagery including houses, hands and lanterns. Imagery is hand-cut from paper or realistically painted then immersed in layers of resin.” Also showing: Susan Harlan, Kathleen Caprario. See Lorna’s work online.

Eliese Wagner’s “Particle Sphere”

Elise Wagner
Butters Gallery, Portland, OR
Through March 26, 2008

“Particle Maps” is Elise’s ongoing study of science in relation to art. Her encaustic paintings evoke a celestial convergence of science and philosophy, an attempt to understand and connect. Also showing: Bernd Haussmann. See Elise’s work online.

Bridget Benton

Bridget Benton
Mad50 Art Space
SE Madison & 50th, Portland

Bridget’s shadowbox “Migration” was installed at the outdoor Mad50 art space just in time for the spring equinox. Designed specifically for this community art space at the corner of SE Madison and 50th, the piece is an exploration of home – what it means and how we find our way there. You can see more of Bridget’s work at CubeSpace (622 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR) with an opening for the artist on March 28 from 6 – 8 pm.

Wow, what a wonderful class we had to day! Five lovely women, all fearless and ready to wax. OK, there was a little fear initially of working with the propane torch, but everyone left confident and with really beautiful work. Take a look…

My Studio

Here’s my studio, with everyone (wo)manning their work stations

Read the rest of this entry »

Destiny Awaits, 6OK, that’s it. I finally did it. I just gave notice at my day job that in one month I will begin my full time career as an artist! That means that February 29 — leap day of this leap year — will be the beginning of my full time art career. It seems appropriate, don’t you think?

I know many of you thought I already was working as a full time artist, but I’ve been making my art, teaching classes, writing my newsletter and updating this blog mostly at night and on the weekends. I’ve been lucky to accomplish many of the things I wanted to even with that limited schedule. Imagine what I can do now?

My wonderful husband has been telling me for a while now that it’s time to do this and he was my last excuse. I realized recently that the only person holding me back from realizing my life long dream was…me. That was startling. And it turns out, not as easy to fix as you’d think. I kept finding reasons to wait just a little longer but finally it was so obvious even I couldn’t ignore it. And as added fun, while I was listening to one of my favorite CD’s today (Sondre Lerche, “Soundtrack from Dan in Real Life“), the songs told the story:

~ Hell No
~ My Hands are Shaking
~ I’ll be OK
~ Prepare to be Surprised

And I have all of you to thank for this. I would never have had this chance without the encouragement of friends and strangers alike, and the support of all of you who have taken classes or purchased my work. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

(Image above: Destiny Awaits, 6″ x 6″, encaustic on panel, 2007)

After being sick for so long, I finally made it the the show I’m participating in at the Portland Art Center (PAC). What a great show! PDX Panels features emerging, mid-career and established artists in a large community show to support PAC, a non-profit art center which directly supports the arts community. Featuring 300 panels by 300 artists, each selling for $300, this was designed as a holiday fundraiser with 75% of proceeds going to support PAC. This exhibit creates the environment to support PAC, and to showcase the breadth of talent we have here in our city. I’m honored to be a part of this show! There’s a nice review on Ultra PDX here. Read the rest of this entry »


If you know anything about me you know how hard it is to take time for myself to just relax, so I was very proud of myself this weekend. I spent Sunday afternoon cruising with the Grrls in a boat on the Willamette River in Portland. And no, that’s not a typo. I was with the women of DinnerGrrls Portland, a business support and networking group I’ve belonged to for about 3 years now. What a great group of women!

DinnerGrrls brings together women across all industries and professions to support each other and encourage the discussion of career aspirations, industry knowledge, graduate study, office place foibles …oh, right, and to eat. We always eat well!

Join the discussion list here:

Join the event announcement list here:

And now back to our photos already in progress:

Captain Kenny


Captain Kenny gets us moving. Yup, 35 women and Kenny “manning” the party boat. PLUS Kenny is a big fan of encaustic painting as well. Bonus!




The Willamette River runs right through Portland…




…which explains why we have so many bridges!


Susie and Kristin


Susie and Kristin enjoy the view.


Hot tub


And what good is a boat without a hot tub?!
From Left to right: Mona, Pinkiy, nice lady but forgot her name (!), Christina, Debi, Cynthia, and Monica up front!


Thanks Grrls for a wonderful, relaxing day. 🙂

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.

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.

Today was a tough day of doing some way overdue yard work, but we managed to have a little fun getting rid of our old rose bushes.

Rose flinging

I’ve been trying to save these things for 9 years now, but it turns out that roses have a life span too. Who knew? My neighbor Art, who wins prizes in the Rose Festival competitions, told me years ago that I should replace them but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. He said the wild roses they were grafted to were going to take over until they grew so fast I couldn’t keep up. He was right. I said my goodbyes and it was finally time to just do it. BTW, they weren’t as nice as they appear from far away. Two rose loving (and clearly much savvier than I) neighbors have already given me a big thumbs up which I know means, “What took you so long?”

This is a very quick video of our new favorite plant removal technique. Enjoy! Now where is that aspirin…?

Tomorrow it’s back to painting, thank goodness, so I can get my last piece finished for the competition at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Fingers crossed!

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.

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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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