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This month I had the pleasure of hosting two customized workshops in my private Portland, Oregon studio.

The first, a group from a retirement community, joined me for my beginning Encaustic Painting class. We talked about the mediums they work with now and how encaustic can be combined with so many of them including watercolor, oil, fiber and glass. They have a small studio at their facility and enjoyed the class so much that they asked me to consult on how to reconfigure their space so they can continue working with encaustic. I’m excited to help make that happen!

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The second event was requested by an artist who attended my Encaustic & Collage class last month and was so excited that she gathered her friends to come back with her for more fun. They even brought their own wine and snacks and made a real party of it! My classes are small enough that people get to know one another quickly, but if they are already friends there is a special support that emerges immediately and that’s what happened here. It’s pretty magical.

Each group came with open hearts and ready to experiment, so we had a great time! Some who hadn’t created for years left ready to continue and explore new ways to express themselves. This is a BIG part of why I love what I do. If you’d like to plan a customized workshop for your group give me a shout and we’ll work it out.

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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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flower-formsEven as a fine artist who paints for a living I still have to fight for the time to do it. Other things are always pulling at me (including that darn laundry)! I used to feel guilty when I wasn’t in my studio, but I’ve finally realized that some part of my mind is always working on my art. Inspiration is everywhere and a quick peek at the photos on my phone will reveal how much they influence the forms and colors in my paintings.

Remember that old saying, garbage in garbage out? I think they were referring to food, but it also applies to art. I find that I have to curate what imagery and stories I spend my time with because generally what I allow in to my mind is also what pops out in my paintings, even if it’s in a slightly different form.

I tend to paint very intuitively, first making backgrounds and then deciding later how to use to them. I don’t usually do a lot of planning and sketching until that point, so sometimes even I am surprised by the finished product. I tend to create imagined landscapes with lush botanical forms and vibrant colors, but I’ve recently realized that my abstractions of nature are not always so abstract. Below are two interesting examples of that. I had no intention of painting either of these subjects, but that’s what came out as I went along.

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This turned into a loose representation of Mt.  Olomana, which I lived close to for nearly 20 years of my life. It’s not quite the same but what means much more to me is that it reminds me of that beautiful mountain and my fond memories of living there. I prefer to capture the feeling of a place rather than a literal depiction of it and that’s what happened here.

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This moonscape was a real surprise! After stepping back to look at it I realized it is very heavy influenced by the Japanese card game I played as a child in Hawaii. I haven’t thought of Hanafuda cards in years, but I remember loving the illustrations. I must have tucked them away in my memory for later, and here they are resurfacing in my painting.

So even if you aren’t actively creating art every day you are still collecting what you’ll need for later. Who knows what will appear next time you make the time to create?

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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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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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