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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 »
Great news! My online encaustic classes are now available by the class or by the lesson, allowing you to purchase exactly what you need. A few lessons are as little as $5 and each class page has at least one free bonus video.
Each page has a free excerpt from the class plus at least one free bonus video! Check them out here: http://www.RobertsonWorkshops.com/
Are you new to encaustic? Not a problem! You should know that encaustic is one of the oldest forms of painting, with paint made from pure pigment mixed with beeswax and resin. The mixture is applied hot, and then reheated to fuse the layers together. It’s one of the most forgiving mediums available, allowing you to “undo” virtually anything, giving you the freedom to be fearless and let your creativity flow. My online encaustic classes will get you started working in this beautiful and unique medium in no time.
If you are anywhere near Portland, Oregon be sure to stop by Peoples Art of Portland Gallery before April 13 to see a wonderful encaustic and mixed media show with with a very personal connection to me. Each of these talented artists was once a student of mine! Don’t miss a chance to hear them talk about their wonderful new work too.
Come talk with Portland artists who create layered work of evocative depths, using encaustic as part of their painting process.
Discover how these artists cut, scrape and carve to reveal complex and textured histories. Kindra Crick, Karl Kaiser and Fredrick Swan will share their life experiences with art, unique and fascinating process to create depth and their formula for their work composed for the gallery, in their layered and exciting show, “Excavations.” This is not to be missed!
Peoples Art of Portland Gallery
Pioneer Mall, 3rd floor. Suite 4005
Downtown Portland, Oregon
open thurs-sun 12-6
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.
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!
When you mix colors do you tend to make nothing but mud? There’s a class for that! (and a quick tip below…)
On June 19 from 6 – 9 pm I’m hosting guest instructor and color expert Kimberly Kent in my Portland, Oregon studio to help you expand your painting palette while you develop your color sensibility.
Learn to mix, glaze and see color better. The exercises and techniques in this class will give you new tools for understanding how to mix just the color you need. You’ll work in encaustic paint in this class, but these concepts can be applied to color mixing in any medium. Find out more about my classes or register here.
How to Avoid Making Mud
Here’s a great example of the tips you’ll learn in this class: To avoid making mud, mix two primaries first. Once you get as close as you can to your desired color add the third primary. For example, mix yellow and blue to make green, then a touch of red to get the green you want. Just a few tips like this will have you mixing colors like a pro!
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!
Update: I’ve been notified that I’m a finalist for a La Vendéene award from the IEA (International Encaustic Artists)! The awards are intended to “recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art.” Awards will be presented in early September at their encaustiCon event in San Antonio, TX. Wish me luck!
The La Vendéene Awards are created in honor of a fourth century AD anonymous female encaustic artist whose remains were found, along with the tools of her art, in the La Vendée region of France. The awards are intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art. Nominees do not have to be International Encaustic Artists members. IEA will present awards to no more than one nominee in each category: Artistry, Innovation, Education, Media, Lifetime Achievement.
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!
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?