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Jack-scarAs many of you know my sweet studio dog Jack was diagnosed with cancer last month. The vet found a tumor on his belly that needed to be operated on right away. Within 2 days he’d had the surgery and after a few complications he is now cancer free and on the mend. I’m so very thankful that he will be OK.

Now it’s time to celebrate! I’m combining my spring studio sale with a party for Jack. Expect a big cake and wine as well as plenty of great art and some fun and unusual auction items. Jack will be available for belly scratches and photographs all afternoon.

Studio Sale & Celebration
[My studio sale was a big success, thank you!]
Linda Robertson Arts Studio

My summer encaustic class schedule is out too so come by to see what the projects we’ll create and sign up for classes (they are filling fast). It’s going to be a great summer to make some art!

small-work

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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.

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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 »

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.

cls_private-pauline
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

Inside Linda’s studio

OK, maybe it’s a bad idea to refer to smoking in any way in reference to a studio where I’ll be painting with molten wax, but there’s no other way to describe the festivities last night. Nearly 50 people dropped by to wish me well on the new studio, and many of them were here during the first two hours so it was elbow to elbow! There were so many of us we spilled into my back yard, but we had great weather so no one minded at all.

Out back

Encaustic Tips

This event also served as the celebration of my book, Embracing Encaustic, which is an instruction book for those wanting to learn to paint with hot wax. It was hot off the press and I sold out of all the books I had on hand. If you missed it an would like to purchase one you can get one online by visiting http://www.embracingencaustic.com (there’s also a 15 page preview of the book available if you just want a peek).

We also has some great door prizes donated by Peter from Muse Art + Design on Hawthorne. His business is locally owned and sponsor a lot of art events in Portland so please take the time to check them out! I shop with them more often than anywhere else in town.

Chocolate fountain

The chocolate fountain was up and running as you can see in the background here. It was a big hit, especially with the kids, but we all left with a little of the sweet stuff on our fingers (or shirts).

Art & wine

My generous friends arrived all night with flowers and gifts which made me feel extra special. I was thrilled to receive a little painting from my friend Judy Wise, a wonderful artist who I have admired for years. She also works in encaustic and presented me with this lovely gal to watch over me and my studio. In all of our chatter and excitement I forget to ask if she has a name! Judy, what do you say?

Gift from Judy Wise

Update: Judy said I should name her! I’m originally from Hawaii and when I first saw the painting I told Judy she looked Micronesian to me so I named her Malulani, which means heavenly protection in Hawaiian. Somehow I know she’ll be great at her job!

Grommett

After everyone was gone and we were ready to call it a night, I found my 13 year old dog, Grommett, happily snoring in the studio. I had to wake him up to get him inside. Maybe he was dreaming of that chocolate fountain…

I got a wonderful surprise today from family and friends when I received not one but two bouquets of flowers to celebrate the opening of my new encaustic studio tomorrow night. What a treat! I may have to use one or both of them to cover up little things that haven’t been “dealt” with yet. Take a look!

Flowers from Don and Kathy

These are from my friends Don and Kathy, and their kids Alex and Griffin. I went to high school with Don in Hawaii. He knows all of my dirty little secrets so I’m pleased that you won’t be running into him anytime soon! 😉

Flowers from Clark and Paula

These are from my wonderful in laws: my husband’s brother Clark and his wife Paula and their kids, Koby, Ashton and John. I just found out that they considered flying in to surprise us at the opening! They are so far away that it didn’t work out, but what a nice thought anyway.

Ready or not, I hope to see you tomorrow night!

While I was away at the Encaustic Painting Conference our contractor, Jak, finished installing our new windows and doing all the trim. It looks great! When we got home Bill and I just stood in the studio and opened and closed the windows for about 5 minutes. You’d think we’d never seen such a modern convenience before, but our house was built in 1939 and very few of the window weights still work, so it was a treat.

Paint switch

Before we left Jak suggested we paint around where the windows would be installed in order to save time painting the trim. With the plane leaving in just 2 hours I cracked open the paint and almost literally threw it onto the walls. When we returned I realized I had put the trim color where the main wall color should have been! I tried a test to cover it up but it would have taken many coats to fix it. I finally decided to switch the colors and use the darker yellow on the walls and lighter for the trim, and it looks great anyway!

As for the painting, do I have some amazing friends, or what? I put out a call for painting help and they came running!

Bill & Jon

Bill and Jon get to work!

Karen W.

Karen W. tackles the trim. Karen and Jon own Dot Zero Design and were the perfect pair for all the detail work!

Karen K.

The two Karen’s synchronize their strokes. Karen K. took my beginning Beeswax Collage class a few months ago, and when she heard I need help painting she volunteered to come on over! She’ll be in my Advanced Encaustic Painting class in July for a full weekend and I know we’ll have a blast. Dale, another former student — and now a great friend — also come over to help. How did she manage to dodge the camera all night?

Last stroke

Gretchin of Scarlet Star Studios had the honor of painting the last stroke of the night!

Not Bad

Not bad gang! To see the finished product for yourself, join us for the studio opening party on June 30, from 6 – 9 pm.

When my (only) very reliable contractor didn’t show up Saturday morning as planned I was surprised. You’d think I would be used to this by now (see previous entries!) but I’m not. Does that make me an optimist? I hope so.

Anyway, he thought he was supposed to come NEXT weekend so I figured out a way to make that work, and we started painting instead. Not the fun stuff, just the primer, but it sure looks pretty. Several friends have stopped by to see the progress so far, including fellow artists Mandy Main and Gretchin Lair and they seem impressed. I hope you’ll come by too when we have the opening party on June 30! I’ll post more details soon but save that evening if you’d like to see all of this in person, or you can join my mailing list to receive a proper invitation via email.

Hey, the drywall is finally finished and guess what? They even unearthed the “missing” window. It’s looking good inside…

drywall 3

drywall 4

But the outside is still a disaster. My dog Grommett is at the end of the path wondering what the heck is going on out here.

grom

Windows get installed today while I’m at Waterfront Park with some out of town visitors. Then I’m off to buy paint! More soon.

This morning the city inspector came hours early to do the electrical inspection. Again. Why do they bother asking if you want it in the AM or PM if they don’t pay attention to it? Grumble. Anyway, the guys are still working on the drywall so it wasn’t ready for him to inspect so he’ll have to come back. He said to wait until after we paint. Double grumble. But wait, there’s more!

When he checked the inside panel (that the lovely former owner installed himself without a permit!) he passed us on what the previous inspector said was wrong, but he found 8 new problems. I am seriously about to come unhinged. My husband asked him what guarantee we have that when those things are fixed (at considerable expense) that a different inspector won’t find MORE problems. His response:”That shouldn’t be a problem.” Yeah right. Am I starting to sound bitter? Yes? OK then it’s time to take a break.power hungry

I suppose I could always resort to the way we got power set up at the IEA retreat (see photo).

The only good news is that the studio won’t be affected by the problems inside the house because they are on different permits, so there shouldn’t be any delay in opening the studio. At this point I’ll take any good news I can get. I should have better news tonight, so I’ll try to post more then.

Is it too early for a drink? 😉

OK, I’m getting behind on posts because it’s been so busy, so here’s a 2-for-1. The night before last I just couldn’t wait to get into the studio so I set up a table amidst the insulated walls, with drywall stacked behind me and prepped two boards. I gotta tell you, it felt good! Not to worry, I didn’t use an open flame with insulation on the walls…

perpping boards

ready!

Yesterday they started the drywall and should finish by tomorrow morning. I’ll post photos when it’s done, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

drywall 1

So, notice one thing below. See how there used to be a window next to that door? Yeah, they drywalled right over it. They seemed fairly surprised by that when we pointed it out this morning. Sigh. We’ll get that fixed tomorrow.

drywall 2

I’m so excited! It’s starting to look like a real studio. Cross your fingers for our final electrical inspection tomorrow.

OK folks, I’ve gotta come up with a great name for my new encaustic studio. I’d like to incorporate wax or encaustic into the name if possible, but I’m open to suggestions. I’m so tired right now that “House of Wax” is sounding pretty darn good. Is that wrong? Help! If you can do better please leave a comment here or email me through my web site. Thanks for all of your help!

* * * * UPDATE * * * *

We’ve already got a few suggestions:

~ Super Fuse Studio

~ BuzzWorx

~ Max Wax

~ The Hive

~ Waxworks Studio (or Waxworx)

~ The Busy Bee (you certainly are one! 😉

~ Birds & Bees

~ Wax Worship

~ Wax Wings (ala Icarus)

~ Modern Encaustic

~ Enigmatic Encaustic

~ Absolute Encaustic

~ Agnostic Encaustic (encaustic is a hard word to pair with anything!
you did great w/ “embracing”)

~ Waxing Poetic

~ Aloha Encaustics (because I’m from Hawaii!)

To send me your vote just leave a comment here or email me through my web site. Or send your suggestion for a better name and I’ll post it here with the others. I’ll announce it here when we have a winner!

Hello encaustic aficionados, it’s Bill Womack, Linda’s other half and part-time construction worker. I had an experience when buying building supplies for the new studio this weekend that I must share.

Linda had seen a coupon in our local paper that purported to offer a $100 gift card for any purchase of $100 or more in insulation from Home Depot. We’re artists, and being perpetually on a tight budget is just part of life. Although my conscience nagged at me, I had to go with the big box store over our local guys given an offer like that.

The insulation aisle was fairly easy to find, but it took me a while to figure out exactly which of the hundreds of rolls was right for our project, both in R-value and width. Finally, I located the right stuff and started piling it on my cart. I loaded up several human-sized bundles, then hit a pallet of factory-wrapped rolls that laughed at my feeble attempts to claw it open. What I needed was a knife-wielding orange-aproned employee, but they’re as common as spotted owls these days. After a trek through the store to find someone who wasn’t feigning being busy, I convinced a bored young dude to slit the bundle open for me.

New problem: the enormous cart I’d commandeered was still too small for the pile of insulation I needed. The apron and its owner had vanished, and I stood vexed in the aisle, trying to figure out how I was going to schlep all that fiberglass to the checkout stand and then into my truck. I ended up piling it too high and pushing it, teetering dangerously, through the crowds and up to the register.

On a hunch, I mentioned the $100 gift card offer to the cashier before she started ringing up the sale. “Oh yeah, I think I heard something about that,” she said, not inspiring confidence. She wandered off to ask someone, and came back shaking her head. “That offer is only if we install the insulation.”

I stared at the tower of pink, squinted through the front window at my truck across the expanse of parking lot, and something snapped. Maybe it was the scarcity of helpful employees, or the attitude of the ones I was able to lasso, or maybe I was just tired of the whole cattle-drive mentality. “You know, I think I’m done,” I said. I parked my cart, knocked the fiberglass dust from my hands, and walked out.

On the way home, I paid a visit to our funky little local building supply house, Mr. Plywood. The guy behind the counter greeted me as I came in, asked to help, and within a minute we’d figured out what type of insulation I needed and how much. He sprung off across the store with me in tow, loaded the rolls onto the carts, and even helped me toss them into the truck bed. The experience was like night and day, a bold reminder that buying from the little guys and shopping locally can have big rewards. Oh yeah, and it was cheaper than the orange guys, too.

If you’re a Portlander and need building supplies, I highly recommend Mr. Plywood. If you’re not from around here, do yourself a favor and go the extra mile next time you need something. Shake off that big-box conditioning ingrained in each of us, and go looking for a local mom-and-pop that might have what you need. You might just find a great new resource.

Ow. That’s the first thing that went through my mind this morning. OW! We finished insulating the ceiling of the new studio last night after I volunteered at the Craft Supply Swap, and I might be a little sore. This is a photo of my husband, Bill, shooting the last staple in from the ground. (OK, so he missed but it’s a great shot!).

Insulate

The reason he’s dressed like an extra from “Outbreak” is because we had some extra Tyvek suits hanging around that seemed perfect for this job. The suits are leftover from a volunteer stint we did for NET training where we acted as citizens exposed to radiation at the airport to help train Fire and Police teams. After they sent us through a very cold shower the they let us keep our “clean suits.” (Yes, I’m part of the NET — great free training — and have been affectionately nicknamed “safety girl” by my friends.)

Drywall has been moved (again) as our contractor forgot about the holiday and moved us to Wednesday and Thursday. now that will be exciting!

So yesterday I posted images of quotes we put on the studio walls before we covered them with insulation, and one quote is not something you’d recognize. BOUND FOR GLORY!

BFG

I’ll explain. Trina, my college roommate and great friend, is an amazing artist working in photography and painting and she even starred in a short film about making banana bread, but that’s another story! Well Trina recently had triplets so the has little time left for art, but still manages to get her fun where she can find it. If you know me at all you’ll know that I have a weird sense of humor and Trina matches me in that. I just about fell down when I received her last Christmas card.

Bound for Glory!

As you can see from the snapshot on my refrigerator above, she decided to add a little fun to the straight forward photo of the tykes in the extended stroller. If you’re not paying attention you’d miss BOUND FOR GLORY imprinted under Merry Christmas, which gave the photo a whole new meaning for me and turned those little guys into future super heroes. Quirky, I know, but just my style. It has become my mantra in tough times, and yesterday I was very tired of working on this studio so it was good to remember that I’m BOUND FOR GLORY!

I miss you Trina! (BTW, that’s another one of her photos in the upper right. Could those little heroes be practicing their flying?)

Sadie helps

Today, after installing some vents in the peak, we started adding the insulation. What a nasty job. We had to be covered from head to toe so the fiberglass wouldn’t get into our skin, and it was just hot enough in there that…well…just be glad you didn’t drop by. We were feeling pretty grimy by the time we stopped. Notice I didn’t say finished? Sigh. More fun tomorrow after i volunteer at the Craft Supply Swap.

insulation

Before we covered up the walls I wanted to add some of my favorite quotes to set the right tone with the new digs:

life is short

Be Bold

life expands

I know, “Bound for Glory?” Yes, that’s what it says. I’ll have to explain that one tomorrow because I’m too tired right now, but check back. It’s quirky enough to be worth it.

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RobertsonWorkshops.com 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.

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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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