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Daniella Woolf's "Turkish Delight" installation gave viewers a chance to interact with some wax.

Daniella Woolf's "Turkish Delight" installation was a big hit, giving viewers a chance to interact with some of the art.

It’s hard to believe the Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic exhibit is over already, after all those months of planning, but I’m happy to report that it was a great success! We had steady, enthusiastic crowds who were ready to buy art, so both artists and patrons left happy.

Here’s a video of the exhibit along with some photos below. The video is a little shaky at times since I hadn’t slept much the week prior, but it will give you a good flavor of the work in the show.

Jeff Schaller gives an impromptu interview to a local TV station

Jeff Schaller gives an impromptu interview to a local TV station

Jeff Schaller, Breathe, 36" x 36"

Jeff Schaller, Breathe, 36" x 36"

Our two featured artists illustrated the variety of ways in which the wax can be used for self expression. Jeff Schaller paints edgy pop inspired images that are provocative and whimsical, adding words and language to propel the viewer into scenes of seemingly unrelated subjects.

Cari Hernandez takes a different approach, where encaustic is the connective medium in her abstract, sculptural works which often rely on the use of shadow and light. For Hernandez, combining mediums such as wax, paper, resin and fiber serves as a way to explore themes of faith, courage, joy, and pleasure. I was pleased to also include an additional 60 talented artists who were either invited or juried into this comprehensive show. Look for video of the show to be added soon!

Cari Hernandez, Lovely Bed, 18" x 24"

Cari Hernandez, Lovely Bed, 18" x 24"

We had a slide show running throughout the show with scenes of artist's studios to give the viewers a more personal connection to the artists

We had slides running throughout the show with scenes of artist's studios to give the viewers a more personal connection to the work

In keeping with the educational mission of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, there was an extensive roster demonstrations throughout the event. Artists from across the United States shared their knowledge of encaustic, introducing this ancient art to a very appreciative audience.

Brenda Mallory was one of 15 artists who demonstrated how they works with wax.

Brenda Mallory was one of 15 artists who demonstrated how she works with wax.

We owe a big thanks to our demo sponsors, Muse Art + Design (who recently launched EncausticSupplies.com, R&F Handmade Paints and Enkaustikos! Wax Art. These companies are always generous supporters of the encaustic community, especially with educational events, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.

We had standing room only for every demo, where many patrons had never heard of encaustic before

We had standing room only for every demo, where many patrons had never heard of encaustic before

There were 167 works from 65 artists in the United States and Canada, including artists who were invited to participate and those who were juried into the show. Awards were presented in several categories:

Curator Award, Gregory Wright, Beckoning, 20" x 16"

Curator Award, Gregory Wright, Beckoning, 20" x 16"

Juror Award, Mari Marks, Sedimentary Series, Terra X, 48" x36"

Juror Award, Mari Marks, Sedimentary Series, Terra X, 48" x36"

Juror Award, Dave Laubenthal, Gropious (mandala), 24" x 24"

Juror Award, Dave Laubenthal, Gropious (mandala), 24" x 24"

Juror Award, Karen Frey, Richard, 14" x 18"

Juror Award, Karen Frey, Richard, 14" x 18"

Co-Chair Award, Kevin Frank, Oranges with Yellow Pitcher, 20" x 26"

Chair's Choice Award, Kevin Frank, Oranges with Yellow Pitcher, 20" x 26"

Co-Chair Award, Brenda Mallory, Explosion in Gold, 15" x 15"

Chair's Choice Award, Brenda Mallory, Explosion in Gold, 15" x 15"

Committee Award, Judith Williams, Endless Swirls, 26" x 20"

Committee Award, Judith Williams, Endless Swirls, 26" x 20"

Committee Award, Liz McDonald, Big Blue Ball, 12" x 9"

Committee Award, Liz McDonald, Big Blue Ball, 12" x 9"

 Committee Award, Karl Kaiser, Red Petals, 18" x 18". This same work also won the Patron's Choice Award.

Committee Award, Karl Kaiser, Red Petals, 18" x 18". This same work also won the Patron's Choice Award.

Panelist Kanaan Kanaan discusses how he brings together his two cultures within his work with wax

Panelist Kanaan Kanaan discusses how he brings together his two disparate cultures within his work with wax

As a special part of the show we enjoyed a panel discussion on “Why Wax? How Encaustic Informs Our Art,” featuring artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, and Kanaan Kanaan with moderator Andrea Benson. They had a  lively discussion on the challenges and unique qualities of working in encaustic, and why they are drawn to the medium.

Cari Hernandez discusses the allure of working with wax during the panel discussion

Cari Hernandez discusses the allure of working with wax during the panel discussion

As the show curator, I can confidently say that Luminous Layers achieved the goal we set out at the beginning — to show the wide variety of ways in which contemporary artists are using wax in their art today.

This show wouldn’t have happened if not for my very dedicated team who worked tirelessly to help me pull it all together: Kimberly Kent, Natasia Chan and Amy Stoner as well as numerous committee members from the Lake Oswego Festival including Lisa Strout, Marabee Bertelsen, Diane Englert and Andrew Edwards. Thank you everyone!

urton-blog

I was contacted recently by Robin Urton, an artist in Portland who writes a wonderful blog which she describes as “thoughts on art and creative living — an artist in conversation with herself and the world.”

Robin asked if she could profile my work and I was thrilled to find myself in the company of some very talented botanical artists including Sara Gilbert, Michael Mew and my friend Amy Stoner. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a few minutes exploring her thoughtful posts on artists from all walks of life.

View Robin’s blog here.

First Proof Pages for Embracing Encaustic

I received the first press proofs of my revised book yesterday and they looked better than I ever imagined! The resolution is so good that you can see brush strokes in many of the works and the color is brilliant. I was especially interested in seeing the work of my 25 guest artists, as those are all new to this edition of the book.

Here’s a list of the guest artists who will be included in the Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax:

Elizabeth BackEmbracing Encaustic Cover
Janet Bartlett Goodman
Andrea Benson
Natasia Chan
Linda Cordner
Mary Farmer
Kevin Frank
Amber Geroge
Eileen Goldenberg
Diana Gonzalez Gandolfi
Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Jeff Juhlin
Kimberly Kent
Scott Reilly
Sue Roberts
Paula Roland
Marybeth Rothman
Tracy Spadafora
Amy Stoner
Alicia Tormey
Elise Wagner
Judith Williams
Judy Wise
Daniella Woolf
Gregory Wright

In addition to sharing their work in the book, each artist also shares some insight into how the work was created, often sharing surprising tips and tricks along the way. I think this is my favorite aspect of the new edition. These artists have been so generous in sharing their knowledge! To view more work by each of these artists visit www.embracingencaustic.com for links to their web sites.

I’m expecting the books to arrive by the end of May. I’ll announce it on this blog when they are available for purchase!

 

IEA Portland Chapter meeting

Last night I invited all of the Portland encaustic artists I could find to meet at my studio to talk about starting a local chapter of the International Encaustic Artists (IEA). The IEA is a non-profit professional artists’ organization that
seeks to raise the level of excellence in encaustic fine art by providing global information exchange and raising interest about encaustic painting in the art world and with the general public.

Everyone is busy this time of year so I was happy to see that six people attended and several more expressed interest in future meetings. As I had hoped, it was a very casual event where we shared a couple of bottles of wine and talked about our art. I showed images from the IEA Member’s Retreat in California this spring and the recent National Encaustic Conference in Massachusetts, and eventually we got around to talking about what form a local chapter would take. We decided we would most like to participate in organizing group shows, trading studio visits, and networking with each other. Based on that the Portland Chapter of the IEA was born!

 

IEA Portland Chapter Members

Our inaugural members are, from left to right: Kimberly Kent, Natasia Chan, Melinda Fellini, Andrea Benson, Amy Stoner, Judy Wise and Linda Womack.

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Online Encaustic Classes



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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