Saturday, June 26, 2010

A JOURNEY INTO ENCAUSTIC AND THE ARTISTS THAT CREATE WITH IT!

I was so excited to see the event that was featured at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts in Lake Oswego, Oregon on Friday!  The exhibit, titled "Luminous Layers:Exploring Contemporary Encaustic" is the most comprehensive juried exhibits of contemporary encaustic art ever assembled in the Pacific Northwest! Encaustic is one of the oldest types of painting using beeswax, pigments, and resins. I have been interested in encaustic since hearing about it a few years ago, but it seemed so foreign...I just didn't understand it.  So when I found out this was going to be the featured exhibit this year, I couldn't wait until it started.  Then I found out there would be ongoing demonstrations in using encaustic, and I thought this would be the perfect time to see how it's used and maybe even one day try it myself!  I was greeted by one of the volunteers.  I told her that I was an artist and had a blog, and I would love to photograph some of the works if I could.  She introduced me to a few of the artists I was interested in.  I was surprised at how happy they were to have me photograph their work, and some that weren't too busy took me over to their pieces and told me how they were created. 

I met Linda Womack, who was the curator of the exhibit.  She graciously told me that I was free to photograph her, her work, and her demonstrations.  She has been working with encaustics for seven years, and teaches at seminars across the country and has beginning and intermediate workshops as well.  She has a relaxed easy-going style and you can tell you would learn so much in a short amount of time if you were to take one of her classes.  There were a few of her students in the audience who were eager to learn even more at her demonstrations she was giving. 


        This is one of Linda's beautiful pieces that was featured at the exhibit.


Linda wrote a book that
looks soooo good!  It's called "Embracing Encaustic". She includes others artists as well as their techniques in creating their works.  Of course her own amazing art and techniques are featured in the book as well.  I want it!!!  You can find her book at Amazon .com, and through her website.



 Here Linda shows a demonstration about using a photographed image on tissue paper. The tissue behind the image disappears after using encaustic, so you can see clearly the colors behind it.  She gave us the tip on how to successfully make a print on tissue paper...You just attach the tissue to a regular piece of paper with scotch tape all the way around the sides of the tissue, making sure not to have the tissue or tape go over the sides of the paper.  You can then run it through your printer and have it pick up the image that was in the scanner onto the tissue.  I am definitely going to use this process with my mixed media background I use in my art.



This is a piece by Amy Stoner.  I apologize for the lighting.  The piece was just beautiful and the shadow that was cast doesn't do it justice.  I watched Amy do a demonstration on using mixed media with encaustics.  She teaches classes and workshops in encaustic and relief printmaking. 

She also has a new DVD called "Encaustic Collage:  Layers with Beeswax".  You can order her DVD at http://www.interweavestore.com/ and type in Encaustic Collage in the seach bubble.

She has a fun teaching style...she is relaxed, witty, and super knowledgeable about all aspects of encaustic.

She was so nice and went out of her way to help me as a blogger, in answering questions or locating artists.


These next pieces are done by Cari Hernandez.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to meet Cari, but she still gave me permission to photograph her work via one of the many volunteer of the show.  How nice is she!  Cari lives in Northern California and teaches, lectures, and shows her work nationally.


Her work is in mixed media with encaustic being the common element.  Cari is the founding board member of the International Encaustic Artists.  Her work was featured on the cover of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts catalog.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?




Natasia Chan is assistant curator of the encaustic exhibit, and showed me one of her pieces that was on display.  She used carbon paper as a coloring agent is this magnificent piece!  I told her I didn't know they made carbon paper anymore, and she said she finds it at garage sales, but it comes in a very limited palette and would love to find more colors.  So interesting what artists come up with to create!!! Natasia has worked with encaustic since 2000.  Below is a close up of one of the pieces.


This is Dana Weir.  Dana told me the inside paper on each of these pieces is a page from a pocket bible, and the outside writing is from Taize meditation songs that she wrote by hand.  It's just beautiful and she was more than gracious to explain to me her process and meaning behind it.  Below is a close up of her work.




This amazing piece was created by Jeff Schaller from Pennsylvania. This piece was also used in promotion for the event.  What talent Jeff has!!!  If you are in the Downingtown, Pennsylvania area, make sure you visit his studio called Pink Cow Studio.  Visit his website, you'll be amazed that these paintings are done in encaustic!  His website gallery shows his expansive works.

I had an amazing time at the Luminous Layers exhibit, and want to expressly thank all the the wonderful artists for being so gracious and giving in letting me photograph their work and talk with them.  It's a good life!!!  There is so much to learn, and ART IS SO FUN!!!!
Also I want to apologize again for the possibility of not capturing the color just right in any of these works.  With the special lighting, and not having the art in front of me, it was difficult to know the exact colors.  It was all unique, amazing, and opened a new door to me on creating.  If any of you haven't heard of encaustic or would like to learn more, visit some of these artists sites...there is so much to learn, and the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

10 comments:

Jacqueline said...

WOW so many amazing artists and their work you featured here are gorgeous! I always love encaustic and it's so FUN to see the process here! Thanks so much for sharing and have a lovely merry happy weekend! Love to yoU!

jacqueline
http://jqlinesocuteithurts.typepad.com/

giftsofthejourney said...

Fascinating post on a subject I knew nothing about. I may see if I can lay my hands on one of the books you mentioned and try that with an idea I have. Thank you so much for taking the time to photograph and share this. BTW, I love the painting you've just completed. It's lovely to look at and makes my imagination zip off in different story directions.

Maki said...

It is always interesting and inspiring to see other artists' work. Thank you for sharing the images and their links. xm

Joji said...

This was so interesting. This too was something I had not done or seen much of and was glad to be able to. Maybe I will give it a shot after getting one of the books you mentioned. Thanks for the great blog and info.

Rusted Wings said...

wow lori...these are some amazing encaustic artists!! i hope you can apply some of these techniques to your art...how fun!! you have a wealth of information & artists to learn from in your area!! i'm jealous...but so excited for you!!

Jenny Lee Wentworth said...

Lori, these are awesome! I'm taking a wax painting class with Judy Wise this fall.

Michele from Pipi La La said...

wow, so interesting and gorgeous all at once! I am going to order a couple of these books! Thank you for sharing this! ♥

hazelnutcottage said...

yes! yes! encaustic has been so much fun. i'm here in hawaii where i have yet to discover any yummy encaustic classes, but, oh, i dream! :)

lori diane said...

I included Linda Womack's "Embracing Encaustic" book on my sidebar, so that if any of you want to get it, it's right there! I'm jealous, Jenny! I'm sure that's going to be a super class!

Diane Ackers said...

These are wonderful! I really love Jeff Schaller
and Cari Hernandez paintings. I just received some encaustic material to play with. I would love to take a workshop. Thanks for sharing.