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Many artists already use the excellent forum hosted by R&F Paints, but now we have a new blog to look forward to in 2009 as well. Below is a great video they posted recently showing how they make paint and pigment sticks, or visit their new blog.

In case you can’t get to Portland to see Andrea Schwartz-Feit’s encaustic show at Butters Gallery (closing Dec. 20), here’s a taste of it through an excellent interview by Eva Lake.

It’s always fascinating to me to hear an artist talk about their work and feel the enthusiasm they have for their subjects, but it’s something I rarely get to experience. Here’s a pretty good substitute!

You can find many more interviews on Eva’s blog or on KBOO radio’s Art Focus program Enjoy!

Unidentified wax chunks washed up on the beach

Unidentified wax chunks washed up on the beach

On the northern Oregon Coast, near the mouth of the Nehalem River, beeswax chunks, other cargo, and even parts of a ship have been turning up over the past two centuries. Is this a lost Spanish galleon from the 17th Century? My buddy from high school, Scott Williams, is the Washington state archaeologist working on the project and he thinks it is. When I last visited him he showed me chunks of wax…or something…that had washed up on the beach that they were trying to identify.

Oregon Field Guide recently aired a story on the project that I thought you all might find fascinating. Enjoy! View the video here.

beeswax-wreck-opb

I also found a second video online from The Archaeology Channel:

View this video

pulse2008-x-torchI made it through the PULSE event on Saturday and had lots of fun as well! For those of you who missed the previous post about this event, it was a challenge to 40 artists to create work in 8 hours in front of a live audience in order to auction it off for the Children’s Heart Foundation at the end of the night.

I arrived at 11 am to start heating my wax and found that many of the artists had already arrived and set up. I didn’t get started painting until a little after noon because my wax took a while to heat up. I took that time to talk with a few of my friends where also participating and introduce myself to some new one.

This was a somewhat stressful experience since I chose a large panel that would normally take me double the time I had available, but I wanted to offer something large enough to raise some money for the kids. I used this as a challenge to simplify the way I work but to convey the same message and look in half the time. I’m very happy with the work I created and it is already in the hands of a happy new owner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nina added dried flowers to complete her very first piece!

Nina added dried flowers as the finishing touch on her very first painting ever!

Emily added Chinese characters as a focal point

Busy, busy, busy. What a great weekend! I held a Beginning Encaustic Intensive class on Saturday with two of my 6 students, a mother and daughter, flying in from California to join in on the fun. I’ve had people come from all over recently including Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado. I’ve also made some great new friends in various parts of Canada, who now come down for workshops whenever they can. I even had an inquiry from Guatemala last week! I feel so international.

On Sunday I headed off to see friends showing their work in Portland Open Studios which left me inspired and ready to paint! The beautiful weather may have worked against some people as we Oregonians are gearing up for rain this time of year and expect every day of sunshine to be the last one we see for months.

Sara Swink's engaging clay sculptures

I'm thrilled to share a gallery show with Sara Swink next year in Portland

I made a special trip to see my friend Sara Swink as we’ve just found our work will be paired for a show at Guardino Gallery next November (that’s 2009). I had never been to her studio before so it was even more exciting to visit with her and see her new work. I’ve been a fan of Sara’s for a long time so I’m thrilled to be showing with her.

I also caught up with Erin Leichty whom I met while I was taking a workshop at Oregon College of Art & Craft. Erin is a mixed media artist who sometimes works in encaustic as well, but has given it up until her new baby arrives next week. That’s a peek at her studio above.

New shipment arrived today!

Thank goodness a new shipment arrives today!

Today (Monday) I’m stuck in the cold, dank house (see, the weather did change as we feared!) awaiting the arrival of my second order of Embracing Encaustic books. I have 1,500 pounds of books due to arrive today so we have to be ready to get them out of the rain and into the basement. it’s not a moment too soon though, as I only have just over 1 box of books left. Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm in making this book a success!

Speaking of success, we got a great review last week from Alina Bradford at Suite 101. Here’s what she had to say about it:

“The Womacks are an artistic married couple that have come together to make a very readable how-to art book. Embracing Encaustic is a beautiful, fully illustrated how-to guide with step-by-step demonstrations on encaustic painting.” Read the full review. Thanks Alina!

Continuum #10, 24 x 24, Encaustic asnd mixed media

Continuum #10, 24" x 24", Encaustic and mixed media

I finally found some time to update my portfolio yesterday, and there’s a lot of new work! That was one of the comments I heard most during Portland Art Open last weekend; “When did you have time to do all this new work?” Search me.

Between teaching, selling books, marketing to get new shows, and spending time with my family it’s a wonder I ever have time to paint. But I guess we find time for that’s most important, right?  You can see the whole Continuum series in my portfolio.

As the temperature hit an unheard of 102 degrees in Portland last week I had a decision to make. I was facing a three day workshop that had been sold out for months in a studio where at least 3 griddles and various tools would be contributing 200 degrees or more for each of the six hours a day we’d be in there. I snapped. It was time to buy an air conditioner!

Of course when you wait that long you don’t have the benefit of a sale, no matter what the sign out front says. My helpful hubby and I motored on down, bit the bullet and bagged us an air conditioner. Of course then we had to install it in that heat, hoping it wouldn’t trip the breakers in my studio. Apparently my math was good this time and since we were able to find a unit that only takes 7 amps it turned out OK. Better than OK, really, because look at what my VERY happy students were able to produce in 3 comfortable days in the studio:

This was a very unusual 3 day class offered because I had three out of town visitors who wanted to attend my full range of classes — from beginner to intermediate to advanced — all in a short visit. There were 3 classes covered: Beginning Encaustic Intensive, Beyond Basics (my intermediate class) and Advanced Encaustic Techniques. I welcomed Thea and Sylvie from Canada (in black aprons) and Suzanne from Sacramento. Also pictured is Brenda (sitting) who lives in town and has taken many classes from me.

Everyone created so much work over the three days that we eventually moved to additional tables outside to make a ‘safe zone” for finished work. Even that area was eventually taken over when we decided to spread out and use oil sticks and oil paints outside as the temperature finally cooled to an agreeable 76 degrees on Monday. Everyone left exhausted but happy and I took a very long nap. What fun!

This is just a short post to share with your the first seeds of my new series, tentatively called Continuum. I started the first piece before the National Encaustic conference and have been working on new pieces since my return. I’m calling it Continuum because the series reflects the gradual growth of my work as well as the philosophy behind it.

I was inspired to start this series after realizing that so many things in life cycle back and show up again and again; certain dates, numbers, patterns and rhythms that catch my notice. These are marks in the history of time which have always been there and will be there long after we are gone. But enough of that for now, let’s get visual.

This one started it all. Continuum #1 (Diptych), 13″ x 27″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #2, 11″ x 11″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #3, 14″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #4, 13″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #5, 13″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

Continuum #6, 13″ x 13″, Encaustic and mixed media

As you can see I’m working small until I get warmed up, then I’ll start working larger. My 20″ x 30″ and 24″ x 24″ panels should be ready by tomorrow, so I’ll start those soon. Eventually I’d like to get to a few 48″ panels. If you have any comments I’d love to hear them. I’m really excited by this new work and feel like I’m off on a great new adventure!

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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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