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Beautiful work created by several sutdents in my class at JCC

Beautiful work created by several students in my class including Suzanne, Zoey, Pat, Carol and Nan. Great work everyone!

I’m back from teaching a week long encaustic painting workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk School in beautiful Brasstown, North Carolina. Frontier Airlines managed to break most of my hot palettes on the way over so it was a very rocky start, but it ended with lots of new friends and 8 happy students. One of them even told me I changed her life, which is well worth the price of a few pancake griddles.

I’ve got some photos to share and even a short video tour of our amazing studio, then it’s back to reconstructing my own studio for classes in Portland. Enjoy!

Stephen masks out areas of his paiting with tape while Lori experiments with a new color

Stephen masks out areas of his painting with tape while Lori experiments with a new color

Carol used alcohol inks on her board before waxing to get a nice effect

Carol used alcohol inks on her board before waxing to get a nice effect

mary6

Guest artist Mary Farmer discussing her work with my class

Suzanne and Zoey look on as Mary and I ham it up.

Suzanne and Zoey look on as Mary and I ham it up.

My buddy Mary Farmer recently moved to nearby Asheville and was kind enough to join us for a day to discuss her process and approach to painting in encaustic. She brought two of her larger paintings which were a real treat to see in person. Mary is one of the artists featured in my book, Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax.

art-stephen2 art-lori

Stephens painting was a class favorite (left) and Lori was fearless in experimenting with color and line (right).

Patty explains the process to some visitors to the class.

Patty explains the process to some visitors to the class.

art-patty art-pat2

Patty tried something a little more abstract here and it really worked (left) while this intriguing piece by Pat (right) was the result of one of her very first paintings.

Nan and Zoey try to finish a few more pieces before the show

Nan and Zoey try to finish a few more pieces before the show

At the end of the week each class shows work in the community room so we can see what everyone learned. I was very proud of the quality of art and how hard everyone worked all week. Even with long hours we still managed to have lots of fun!

At the end of the week each class shows work in the community room so we can see what everyone learned. I was very proud of the quality of art and how hard everyone worked all week. Even with long hours we still managed to have lots of fun!

And finally, here’s a short video tour of our very well appointed painting studio:

Thanks to all of you for a wonderful week!

Thanks to all of you for a wonderful week!

OK, just a few more photos from my encaustic class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I’ve been back home for a few days now but had to do my dreaded taxes before returning to the fun stuff. Enjoy!

Jenny\'s shells

Jenny cast these shells out of paper clay and bisque fired them before the workshop. She painted them in class, experimenting with encaustic paint and shellac for different effects.

In the first image, Phyllis attached these two paintings together using nothing but wax. The drawing on the top was done using Saral graphite transfer paper. In the second, Susan created a zen collage that goes strikingly well with Phyllis’ work.

Here’s another great art work made on a clay backing. I think Linda’s fish is one of the most fun pieces we saw all week!

Remember that turned vase from the first post? Well here it is in finished for after being worked on by me, Phil the wood turning expert and the weaver, Robin. It will be auctioned off in the school’s big fund raiser this summer.

This was our table at the final show, where each class shared a small collection of all the art that was made during the week. Look at this beautiful work! I’m so proud. 🙂

After the show my family came to pick me up for a very short but very fun visit. I haven’t seen these kids in at least three years and could not believe how much they’ve grown! I’ve already been asked back to teach at the folk school in 2009 so I’ll have to make more time to see them on the next trip. One day wasn’t’ nearly enough, but we made the most of it.

I’m wrapping up my week at the John C.Campbell Folk School today with one last class then a student exhibit of the work all classes have accomplished this week. Honestly I’m exhausted and so are my students. (Don’t worry Constance; I won’t publish your infamous nap unless you publish those videos on You Tube!)

There are so many images to publish I don’t know where to start. I think I’ll just put some of the most interesting ones online and let them speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Ashley’s birds

Ashley’s birds with a tree trunk made of glass beads covered in wax

Bonnie

Bonnie’s encaustic scratch board

Brenda

Brenda’s ceramic bowl finished with wax

Linda Brenda

A couple of students were trying their skills at copying art work from a catalog with beautiful results. Linda’s work is first then Brenda’s.

Constance

Constance made it to some larger pieces on the last day

Peggy Phyllis Jenny

Peggy collaging in a photograph printed to linen with nothing but wax, Phyllis’ abstract work using irons and texture, and Jenny’s color blocks

That’s it for now, I have to get to class. More soon!

My first full day at the John C. Campbell Folk School was just that – FULL. First, the campus is spread out just enough in the woods that it’s easy to get lost. One of my students, Phyllis, offered to drive my very heavy bags up to the painting studio and it took us two tries just to find her cabin.

Campbell Folk School

After I got all settled in at the studio we got right to work. I have nine students from Georgia, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Most have never tried encaustic painting before but a few were working on advanced techniques the first day. Constance and Jenny drove up with more wax than I’ve ever seen from Enkaustikos – buckets of fun! All of my students caught on so fast yesterday that today I accelerated the schedule so they’ll have more time to work on their own at the end of the week. We’ve already covered painting basics to get all of the workstations set up and get everyone familiar with painting, fusing, layering and scraping. Today we tackled collage and texture, and tomorrow they’ll learn how to mix their own encaustic medium and do image transfers onto the wax.

I’ve also made some new friends with the other instructors here. My studio neighbor, Phil Colson, made this wood turning which I’ll add some encaustic paint and shellac to in order to finish it off. We’ll donate it to the annual auction to raise money for the school. I’ll post the results here when were done.

Phils bowl

My class was also graciously invited by Harry Hearne to come to his clay studio this afternoon to cut shapes from a slab of clay that he will bisque fire for us. We’ll add wax to these pieces when they are ready on Thursday. One of my students, Brenda, was kind enough to bring some clay tiles for everyone to work on (as well as the propane tank I couldn’t fly with) so we all have a little experience with working on clay already. The spirit of collaboration is strong here and it seems to come naturally to everyone, which make this an even richer experience.

Ashley tile

Ashley heart

Ashley (above) and Brenda (below) work with bisque fired ceramic tiles as a base for their paintings.

Brenda’s tile

After teaching in the studio all day it was finally my turn to play. I invited the other instructors over to the painting studio for a quick demo and used to rest of the time to start a couple of new background for work I hope to finish this week. I think they are off to a good start.

Linda bg1 Linda bg 2

A North Carolina treasure for more than 80 years, the John C. Folk School offers workshops in art, craft, dance, music, cooking, storytelling and writing. I’m teaching a week long workshop here this week called Incredible Encaustics, which combines beginning and advanced classes for a complete introduction to encaustic painting. This will be my first time teaching at the folk school and I am honored to have been invited.

Mix medium

I’ve been preparing for the trip all week, making encuastic medium for my students and trying to figure out how to get all of my equipment across the country in two bags that weigh no more than 50 lbs. each. This was not easy, but I made it! And the TSA didn’t even remove anything from my bags. Imagine finding damar resin crystals and bars of wax in someone’s luggage without knowing what they were…I put copies of my book in each bag just in case.

Tonight I met my new friends for the week and I showed a quick slide show to give them an overview of the general technique and the amazing variety of looks you can get using wax. Everyone seems very excited! I’ll try to post a couple of times this week if I am able, otherwise you’ll get a nice long post when I return.

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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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