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On a more positive note than yesterday, I ran across more photos for the Encaustic Painting Retreat I attended recently with the International Encaustic Artists group. Several people in the group have been working on a project involving giant encaustic dominoes. What?! Here’s how my new friend (and fellow Hawai’i girl) Cyndy Goldman explained it to me:

“Last year, one of our members, Wayne Berger (artist and woodworker) thought up the idea of making a whole set of dominoes in Encaustic. He cut wood blocks around 5″ x 8″ x 2″ and passed around a box of real dominoes at one of our meetings. We each picked a real domino and that would be the one we’d create on the wood block. I think I had 6/0. The idea is to do whatever you want to express the one you have and when he collects the entire set done in Encaustics, he wants to photograph them and use them as an exhibit piece to help promote IEA .”

Domino project 1

Well, they brought some of them to the retreat and I gotta tell you, they were awesome! So detailed and beautifully painted. As I got to know my 30 new best friends over the course of the weekend it was clear from each persons style who created each domino. Very impressive. I still have mine awaiting completion of my studio, but in the meatime I thought you would enjoy seeing everyone else’s.

Domino project 2

Here are some more images from the International Encaustic Artist’s retreat from last weekend! I learned several techniques from my new friends who were extremely generous with their time and knowledge. I ended up combining two techniques to create the works pictured here. I’m so happy that I had the presence of mind to take photos of the progression. I think it’s exciting to share all of the layers that go into making art in this medium and how different they look in various stages.

The first piece below is a good example of a technique shared by Lissa Rankin, where she impresses fresh plant matter into the wax while it’s still warm. Lissa makes it look so easy but I managed to get wax all over my hands and burn myself a bit in the process. I love the way it came out so I’ll obviously need to do a little more practice!

Leaf impression a

Leaf impression b

Leaf impression c

Emerging, 12″ x 12″, Encaustic, mixed media

The piece below shows the second part of my technique combination, taught to me by Gail Steinberg. Gail uses a coat of joint compound on her support first to create texture, then covers it with wax. I combined this technique with the one Lissa taught and am very happy with the results!

Art sun a

Art sun b

Art sun c

Bloom, 12″ x 12″, Encaustic, mixed media

Bloom, 12″ x 12″, Encaustic, mixed media

To view more sketches look here.

Wow, what a wonderful retreat! This past weekend in Carmel with the International Encaustic Artists group was filled with making new friends and learning new techniques. So much happened that I can’t possibly address it properly in one post, so I’ll be adding lots of photos over the next couple of weeks. Today I’m VERY tired as I got in late last night and had to work right away this morning, so here’s a little taste of things to come…

Check out the amazing array of ways people fuse their wax!


Group working with torch


Most of us used a propane torch or a heat gun, but…


fusing with a light bulb


Mary Farmer uses a light bulb…


Fusing lens


and Adele Shaw found a giant lens to harness solar power!


Fusing contest

Later there was a fusing contest: Two layers with torches and no air bubbles. After some dirty tricks (all in good fun) including a little kicking, shoving and torching each others work, Lissa won! Yes, we are serious about air bubbles. 🙂

Check back tomorrow for the ongoing saga including member demos, and the opening at Lauryn Talyor Gallery that included work by many of our members! Now, I’m off to zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

Tomorrow morning I leave for the International Encaustic Artists retreat in Carmel, California. It will be a weekend filled with learning new techniques and meeting other artists who have a passion for encaustic painting. I’m very excited! I’ve only been a part of this group for a short time, but they have been extremely welcoming and inclusive and I can’t wait to meet them in person.

I’ll be doing a demonstration of my collage technique using photographs printed onto tissue paper, so I made these examples to take with me:

Untitled 1 Untitled 2

I haven’t figured out what to call them yet, so if you have any suggestions please let me know! I’m working on the theme of time passing and how things evolve. These little 8″ x 8″ works will likely end up being sketches that will be used to make much larger final pieces.

Attending the retreat will also give me a chance to attend the opening night of “Off the Grid: New Directions in Wax” at the Lauryn Taylor Gallery. My work was accepted into the show, also in Carmel, and it will be exciting to see the variety of work they’ll have. I’ll post photos and information about the weekend when I get back!

View the rest of my posts about the retreat.

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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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