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Everything is so orderly before we get started, then creativity causes beautiful chaos.

“So that happened.”  That’s one of my favorite quotes from a great little movie called State and Main (yes, they use the line in the trailer) and seems to sum up my recent teaching experiences in California and Tennessee. I hadn’t planned to teach two weeks of classes in different states back to back, but that’s how it worked out and I have to admit some of it is a blur as I look back. What is crystal clear are my memories of the talented and incredibly creative students I worked with and the beautiful work they made.

I’ll start with Idyllwild Arts in California since that’s where my journey began. If you haven’t been there it’s well worth the trip to spend some time in such an amazing setting surrounded by caring teachers and staff. It’s a stunning area with a winding drive from hot and dusty Palm Springs up to the 5,000 foot mark at Idyllwild, where the weather is much more hospitable. I made the mistake of arriving after dark so I missed the drive up but that made for a nice surprise on the way out. Below are some photos from my travels. Enjoy!

We had an excellent studio for the class, and everyone got right to work.

We had an interesting collaboration, where Vicky started this piece (left) and Rosemary finished it (right). This is a great exercise if you get stuck.

Many students brought materials to donate to the collage table so we had lots of fun images to choose from.

It was warm enough to set up a prep station outside for those who wanted to try textured gesso.

Anne tried an image transfer that didn't work out, but it ended up looking like a bird silhouette so she took the work in a great new direction!

When I have friends nearby I often invite them to visit so students can see more original encaustic work than I can fly with. Amber George was kind enough to stop by to talk about her work. To see more of her work click this photo to visit her web site or go to http://www.ambergeorge.com.

Everyone hard at work on the last day of class.

Sharon had been working in a very distinctive style in other media for years and was able to apply her design background very nicely to her work in wax.

At the end of each week long course there's a show of everyone's work. Here's Roger discussing his latest work.

Here's our class photo. Thanks to all of you for a wonderful time and many creative memories. I hope to see you again soon!

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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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