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New-Old Direction & Holiday Shows

This past weekend, I taught an encaustic “sampler” workshop at the Evanston Art Center. We used various mixed media materials that combine effortlessly with wax. In the demo painting below, mulberry paper creates a translucent linear wave pattern, I then added white shellac and oil pastel to highlight the setting sun over the ocean waves. There is something very beautiful in simplicity and I hope to continue exploring the “less is more” concept.

One of my older watercolors below, and most likely the subconscious inspiration for the above encaustic painting.

Another new direction: Pea Pods

I built an armature base, coated the wire with plaster, then shaped the plaster and added encaustic medium to the assemblage.

Wax is poured into the cradled panel in order to secure various parts. Building armature for encaustic is a new addition to the weekly techniques we cover in classes. I resume teaching after the new year at both the Evanston Art Center and the North Shore Art League.

Class info available here:

Evanston Art Center

North Shore Art League

Holiday Shows:

Next week, show opening and artist reception will be featuring students who attend my classes at the North Shore Art League.

Currently, I am also exhibiting at the Evanston Art Center in their annual holiday art expo. Below is a photograph of some of my miniature paintings being featured all month.

 

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Teacher as Student

This winter I decided to take an oil painting class with Nina Weiss at the Evanston Art Center. Oil paints are a medium I have avoided for my entire adult creative life! The reason I want to learn now is to be able to incorporate them with the encaustic medium. I also hope to combine oil paint with cold wax medium… either way, I want to learn and improve my overall painting knowledge and skills by taking this class.

It’s always interesting to see how other teachers lead, and it’s unavoidable that I compare their teaching style to mine. I think being a student with a new medium is a clear reminder of how new students might feel in my class the first time they experience working with the encaustic medium.

So far, I’ve only been to two classes. A still life was setup (I dislike still life immensely!) and the goal was to learn about ground color, underpainting, and mixing color. The class is also color theory; if I had chosen to work with gouache or acrylic things would be going much quicker but neither of those mediums combines with encaustic or cold wax.

I have probably spent more time working at home than I have in the two classes but I know for me the best way to learn is by doing it… over and over and over!

First painting from class:

Still Life, 12 x 12
Still Life, under painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to start a small landscape study at home in order to better prepare for a larger version during class. It is the opposite way of thinking… applying layers of oil paint, as opposed to applying layers of watercolor. My background as a watercolorist goes back 30+ years. Painting with encaustic is also a different mind set from how I am learning with oils. I lean toward being self-taught but the color theory does not always sit well with my brain and I need guidance. I know all of this is a good lesson not just with the creative process but also with discipline, humility, and patience. It’s hard not being the expert!

The Burren, small study, 6×12
6×12 underpainting