Portland, Oregon and Encaustics

Friday, August 2, 2013

Well, it has been a few weeks since I blogged as I have been to Portland, Oregon for an Encaustics class with Linda Robertson (Womack).  Five fun-filled days of working on different techniques and learning lots of tips. And, then a few days thrown in to enjoy the surrounding area of Portland.

It occurs to me that not everyone is familiar with Encaustics.  Well, encaustic paint is made from pigment mixed with melted beeswax and resin and, once applied must be fixed by heat. An entire painting can be done with encaustic paints (wax) or it can be combined with different techniques in the mixed media genre.  It lends itself to wonderful textures and vibrant colors.  After any encaustic paint (wax) is laid down, it must be fixed by heat (or fused) using a torch or heat gun....this is when it can get tricky! 

Linda taught me to be more patient and have a softer hand for sure, not to mention lots of fun techniques that I had never tried.  She is an excellent teacher and I really enjoyed the class.

Above is a picture of a small piece I did in class using a black and white photo of some rocks, encaustic medium, and, pan pastels to add color.
Here is another small piece where I used a piece of lace with encaustic paint in the upper left corner to create interesting texture, the dragonfly is tissue paper fused in, and added some foil for a bit of pop.
This is a "pour".  A photograph was glued onto a substrate and wax was poured over it to give it a misty, romantic look. Quite a bit more involved than it looks.
This is a small piece where I fused on a paper print of the bird in the cage, encaustic painted background, and scumbled wax clouds.  I then added some real dried plant material at the bottom. I gave this piece to one of my classmates.
This is transferred laser print and scumbled wax for texture.  I call it scumble, not sure what the real term is.  I take the brush and let the wax cool slightly and then gently lay down texture instead of a smooth finish.  You still have to gently fuse afterward.
This piece has a paper print, texture tape, wax, foil, and some black sumi ink.  Just trying to combine various techniques to learn as I go.
Here is a small piece where I fused in some stamped tissue paper, textured tissue, textured with wax, straight wax edge, and heat drip. This piece was also given to a classmate.
Here we all are, from the left, Martha, Jett, me, Linda, and Gary. It was a great class and everyone was so talented and fun.  Notice Linda's beautiful work on the wall behind us.  She is just incredible with colors and intricate layers!  Check out her website at: Linda Robertson Womack
Jett and I working hard!  It takes a lot of concentration, and, of course you are using torches or heat guns, etc. so safety is a priority.  We were so tired at the end of each day, but a very happy tired.
A quick pic of my pallet here at home - I am a messy girl. It is an anodized aluminum sheet with two hot plates below to keep it at a specific temp (@200 degrees) to keep the wax fluid enough to paint with, but not too high as to be toxic. I have since cleaned it up and am trying to stay more organized and clean. As I paint, I tend to lose myself in the process and grab brushes and pots of paint from everywhere.

I believe I will wait till next time to share some photos I shot while on our trip.  What little I saw, Oregon and Washington appear to be beautiful states.  Everything is so green and lush. We trekked out to take in the area in different ways - we took a train, a paddle wheeler, car, and hot air balloon. We saw some wondrous sites; it was awesome!
Till next time, may God bless you,


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