Santa Fe, Round Two

My workshop on Saturday at the Artisan Exp in Santa Fe once again proved to me that starting with a good grasp of composition works magic in any collage-based process. I discussed my Composition AB3’s ( Alignment, Breathing Room and Thirds) and demonstrated how easy it is to master these guidelines.

Voila! Every person produced a really good encaustic collage, all different, but all strong in subject, vision, and composition. Below are some of the pieces in process, and some that are completed. (If you can’t see the images, click here to view them in your browser.)

One of the participants, artist, author and tarot reader Arwen Lynch-Poe, documented her process and with her permission, I’ll use her photos to show you how she put her piece together. (If you can’t see the images, click here to view them in your browser.)

So between Encaustic Bling with Michelle Belto on Friday and Engraven Images on Saturday, the Santa Fe workshops were super fun and successful!

And if you want to take this workshop, you still can. I’m teaching the all-day version, plus a Wax, Earthenware and Fiber Talisman class at ViVi Magoo in Round Top in three weeks.

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Update note: Since I returned from Santa Fe on Monday, I’ve looked at a couple of places for new workshop venues – and there are several good possibilities.. . .more soon.

But the good ol’ Studio isn’t closed yet! We still have a fantastic event coming up a week from today. It’s Monika Astara’s popular trunk show and sale of exquisite, artistic fashions!  Here’s more info – hope to see you there.

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Right now I’m off to the Trinity Alumni Art Showcase where I’ll be showing and selling my Encanto earthenware and sari ribbon mixed-media pieces. Wish me luck!

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Santa Fe Whirlwind

So I went to Santa Fe – yeah, I know, I didn’t call, I didn’t write – I definitely didn’t blog! It was a crazy experience – fun, intense, exciting, exhausting. 

The huge Buffalo Thunder Resort Hotel just outside Santa Fe was the venue for the giant Artisans Materials Expo where I taught two encaustic workshops as part of the Encaustic Art Institute (EAI) and International Encaustic Artists (IEA) conference and retreat. Internet reception was very spotty there (that’s my excuse for not keeping in touch).

However, they did have an astonishingly extensive collection of Native American art pieces throughout the huge hotel – some traditional , some contemporary. It was eye candy for the soul 🙂

Michelle Belto was a great teaching teammate and travel partner. She is also a riot to hang out with. She taught a solo workshop on Thursday, we co-taught on Friday, and I taught a solo workshop on Saturday. Here are some photos from our Friday “Wax and Bling” class. There was glitz everywhere – fun stuff.

Friday night was the opening of  the Making Your Mark juried exhibit at the EAI Gallery in the Santa Fe Railyard art district. Michelle and I both had pieces in the show. The juror, David Limrite, was at the opening and gave a gracious statement about the 57 pieces work he selected for a field of over 200 entries.

The exhibit is a showcase of the many ways in which artists work in wax.

Here is a video presentation I made for the Santa Fe conference. It introduces the finalists for 2016 La Vendéenne Awards which honor excellence in encaustic painting. The awards took place on Saturday night.

This introduction will give you an idea of the depth and breadth of expertise present in artists who practice the versatile and ancient art medium of encaustic.

This ends Part One of the Santa Fe Report – stay tuned for Part Two later in the week which will include a couple of interesting links for you to check out as well as more photos……..

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So much to show, so much to tell . . .

Saturday’s Show and Tell was one of the best – everything from Fairy Houses to paper-making to poetry. Michelle Belto‘s demonstration of how easy it is to make your own paper was a real eye-opener for those who’d never tried this process.

Her system is ingenious and can be done in a small space. Michelle will be teaching this method in an upcoming Artful Gathering class, but we got a Sneak Preview yesterday!

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There were lots of other fantastic S&T-ers, including the always-amazing Vicky Siptak, who showed a Fairy House that she had made for her granddaughter. It’s weatherproof to keep the fairies snug and warm in the garden, and it has its own guardian dragon. And our poets, Tom Schall and Harold Rodinsky, graced us with their eloquence. Take a look at the video:

For my own Show and Tell, I needed to share, sadly, that my space in Carousel Court will be closing at the end of October. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that my lease is up.

But I will continue having workshops (mixed media and pottery) and other gatherings in my new space soon – more to come on that. If you’ve been with me for five years or so, you’ll remember those workshops at my home studio and how much fun they were. Sometimes change is energizing, and the Studio (and SHARDS) will live on!

Wise One (detail) by Linda Rael

In the meantime, September is filled with workshops and shows, including the show that Linda Rael and I are having on September 9th and 10th. It’s called EARTHWORKS, and all of the pieces in this two-day show are inspired by natural materials. Please join us!

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In the next SHARDS post, I’ll show you some techniques that Lesta Frank and I developed last week while we were working on ideas for our Whiter Shades of Pale workshop. The September 17th workshop is full, but there will be another session offered in early October – stay tuned!

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Encaustic inspiration – free!

eaicoverHooray! The new FREE issue of ENCAUSTIC ARTS MAGAZINE is online and ready to drool over. If you’ve ever wondered why “encaustic” (incorporating and exploring wax as an art form) is so fascinating, this will give you the answer, big time. You are strongly encourage to subscribe for free if you haven’t already.

Some of the ideas that I stole – er, I mean, was inspired by – in this issue were these intriguing orbs by Jamie Lee Hoffer. The artists says, “The encaustic medium has all the elements that inspire my creativity and push my boundaries.” eaiorbs

Another artist’s works that I found thought-provoking were the books constructed by Erin Keane from Asheville, NC. She writes, “I’m very deliberate in my image making;It’s an odd combination of precision and frenzy. I will construct and contemplate, arrange and re-arrange, until finally pieces fall into place and I am overwhelmed with a visceral response.” Wow.

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There are many pages and photographs of beautiful art in this free online publication. Even if you have no intention of ever melting a block of beeswax, check this out. Read the artists’ statements for a valuable lesson in how to write about your art. ENCAUSTIC ARTS MAGAZINE is published by the Encaustic Art Institute, a national organization headquartered in Santa Fe.

Finally, I would be remiss without once again thanking dear friend Michelle Belto who introduced me to this wonderful world of wax. Here is her national teaching schedule for next year (found on p.130 in the EA magazine) – if you are lucky enough to be able to sign up for one of her classes, do it! Happy reading, happy inspirations!

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It’s almost showtime . . .

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William Henke’s Uptown Henke Meat Market, now a contemporary art gallery

Michelle Belto and I went to Fredericksburg, Texas yesterday to check out the space for our upcoming duo exhibit at  Dan Pfeiffer’s gallery. The space is an architectural wonder, a 120-year-old meat market which Dan converted into a stunning art gallery.

Dan’s architectural background gave him a reverence for the original structure, and you can see lots of the original trappings of the market, such as the huge meat grinder, which looks kind of like a contemporary metal art object. Dan’s own work is fantastic – carved wood sculptures and furniture that are an amazing blend of artistic form and practical function.

_DSC3746_300ppiOur show is called “Coeur Samples,” and I thought of the name when Michelle first showed me her new sculptural pieces. They resemble blocks of iridescent material that could have come from the heart of a mysterious planet –  and they fit well with my PhotoEncaustic work which samples a moment in time through vintage photographs. “Coeur” is French for “heart” – so, voila – the show became Coeur Samples: Encaustic Explorations. Although Michelle and I have taught together many times, we have never exhibited together, so I hope you can get yourself to Fredericksburg to see our first-time duo show next month. Here are a few photos from yesterday’s visit with Dan at the gallery – we’re excited, and grateful to Dan for hosting our work in this amazing space.

 

PhotoEncaustic – what I’m learning in school

To get prepared for my Beeswax Collage workshops, I’m taking a fairly intensive online course with PhotoEncaustic artist Clare O’Neill. There are about 24 people in the class, and we meet both on Facebook and in the online classroom to watch Clare’s videos and to question and critique our work. I love the flexibility of the class. We’re in our third week right now. Here’s a video of Clare’s work – you can see why I was attracted to it. She’s passionate about what she does and she’s a good teacher, too.

Here are three practice pieces that I’ve competed so far. The first and second ones are my own still-life photos and the third one is a vintage photo from Flickr Commons. I have a long way to go, but have already learned soooooo much from Clare and the other people in the class. (There are still some spaces in the second Beexwax Collage workshop on May 17th at my Studio if you want to sign up and see what I’ve learned) –

PhotoEncaustic 1 - Lyn Belisle - mounted on wood

PhotoEncaustic 1 – Lyn Belisle – mounted on wood

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Encaustic and vintage photo - Lyn Belisle

Encaustic and vintage photo – Lyn Belisle

NOTE: A great source for all things encaustic is my friend Michelle Belto’s book, Wax and Paper Workshop. All of her techniques and tips can be used with PhotoEncaustic, and it’s a perfect book for beginners who want to explore the possibilities of working with wax as an art form.

If you’d like a gentle introduction to the technique, Michelle and I have collaborated in an online class about Wax and Tissue if you’d like to check it out. Here’s the link – it’s at Roses on my Table art community. Online classes are really fun, particularly since you can learn at your own pace.

Back to the Wax!!

Living and learning

learning copySchool starts for me this week – as a teacher and a student! I go back to Trinity to teach my course in Essential Information Technology, and I’m taking an online photo-encaustic class from Clare O’Neill. The tuition for that one is rather steep, but I expect to learn a lot of new skills in both photography and encaustic that I can pass along to my own workshop participants. (Did somebody say “Old dog, new tricks?” – arf.)

If you’d like to experience an online class, do I have a deal for you! Michelle Belto, encaustic artist extraordinaine, and I have teamed up in an online offering called “Wax and Tissue.” You can see details here at Roses On My Table. It’s a good way to gently discover the encaustic process, and if you take a look at the materials list, you can see it’s not all that complicated. It’s a lot of fun, too – we had a great time making this video.

Online classes are easy to access and view (you get specific easy-to-follow directions) and you can look at them as often as you need to or want to. I like to watch the ones I take in sections so I can have “think breaks” in between.

“Wax and Tissue” has a lot of information (and a certain amount of goofiness – you know Michelle and me) and you can email us questions through the forum with the other students. The course costs $55, which is a *lot* less than the encaustic class I’m taking with Clare O’Neill – and definitely less than my Trinity students are paying for *their* tuition! Lifelong learning in the arts is truly priceless, especially when you can do it in your jammies. Think about joining us – OK, I”m off – gotta head to class!

Serenity and Serendipity

Michelle Belto and I spent a serene and serendipitous day with our workshop group making and celebrating happy artistic accidents (and a few on-purpose creations). We constructed book/boxes with rich collaged exteriors and a space for our Yupo inspiration cards on the inside. We also built a sense of community and retreat as we worked in the Studio space together. One participant said, “I haven’t thought of the outside world all day – I’ve been so focused on my work here.”

When Michelle and I plan workshops together, we want to bring this sense of retreat and contemplation to the experience as well as ensuring that everyone has a finished piece to take home with them as a celebration of their accomplishments and growth. And it worked again with our Book of Serendipity workshop – take a look at the video!

The Book of Serendipity: Belto and Belisle – Saturday, June 28th

I spent some fine creative time with encaustic guru, author and good buddy Michelle Belto yesterday at her Hot Wax Studio. We experimented in various media with a small group of intrepid explorers. And now – tah-dah– Michelle and I ready to give you the exclusive final details on our June 28th collaborative workshop called The Book of Serendipity: A Celebration of Unexpected Gifts from the Universe! Click on the photo below to read the description – it really has something for everyone – and then sign up to spend a cool (in all ways) Saturday with us at my Studio. All materials and a yummy lunch are included – the day will be a memorable one (you’ll see what I mean when you read the description.) Limit eight participants, absolutely no art experience necessary. Please join us (and invite a friend).

 

Mask, Robe & Rune

I spent this afternoon refining and working with the free-standing structure form for the Mask, Robe & Rune Workshop that Michelle Belto and I are doing on March 29th that combines encaustic monoprints with mixed media faces. The results are exciting so far (see the first slide after the title for my completed construction – it’s still kind of a prototype). Here’s the video, below, of work in progress and you can find workshop details here on my website. It’s going to be an amazing day of creative discovery – consider signing up and joining Michelle and me!