2016 National Juried Photo Encaustic Exhibition

“Untitled” © Kathryn Oliver

Clare O’Neill has pulled together a fascinating and eclectic exhibit that goes a long way in defining the relatively new art genre, “Photo Encaustic.”

As juror of  the 2016 National Juried Photo Encaustic Exhibition, Clare writes, “This newest exhibition of photo encaustic work beautifully blurs the lines between photography and painting; melding together what the camera captures with the vision of the what the artists sees.”

The show opens on June 2 at the Sage Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

D is for Dragonfly © Darren Terpstra

Michelle Belto introduced me to encaustic painting several years ago (thanks, Michelle!). And then I worked with Clare in her online class in January of 2015. With her guidance, I was able to craft a personal encaustic style that worked well for me. Clare and I became friends, and her sold-out classes at my Studio this past January were hugely inspiring to all of us. It’s an exciting medium with unlimited possibilities for both the photographer and the painter.

“No Good Outcome” © Lyn Belisle

I’m delighted to be included in the 2016 National Juried Photo Encaustic Exhibition Michelle Belto’s work is included as well. You can see all of the selected works on this page. It’s obvious that the old chicken-and-egg question applies – “which came first?’ – did the medium inspire the image or did the image call out for the medium? Fun stuff.

“Soul Boxes” © Michelle Belto

If you’d like to know more about Clare’s photoencaustic workshops, here’s a link. I’m also teaching three encaustic workshops in August which have sold out, but I’ll be added a second session of Vintage Veils: Encaustic Photocollage on Saturday, August 13th. It isn’t listed yet on my Workshop Calendar, but if you’d like a spot, email me and I’ll put you on the list.

Now  get out your camera and melt some sweet-smelling warm beeswax to enhance your images!


Workshop with Clare O’Neill – transforming photographs with pigment and wax

 I am now the proud owner of one of those Clare O'Neill brought one of her iconic works as a gift for me - I am thrilled! His name is Pasta, and he is a wild mustang - wow!

Clare O’Neill brought one of her iconic works as a gift for me – I am thrilled! His name is Pasta, and he is a wild mustang.

It’s been an exciting two days at the Studio – nationally-acclaimed photographer and photoencaustic artist Clare O’Neill has been sharing her techniques with a very fortunate group of us who wanted to learn how she produces those luminous beeswax-enhanced fine art photographic works.

Clare did not disappoint – one of her great skills is encouraging students to take the techniques she demonstrates and adapt them to their own personal styles. You can see in the video (below) how many different approaches and experimental works came out of the two-day workshop. It was really fascinating to watch the creative paths diverge into wonderfully finished works.

Tomorrow we start the second two-day session – I can’t wait to see how this group of students responds to Clare’s teaching. Stay tuned . . . .

Encaustic excitement and fiber – Maggie Ayers’ mixed media work


Maggie Ayers – Cocoon, 2008







Clare O’Neill’s visit to my studio is just days away, and I’ve been immersed in encaustic excitement! I just can’t wait to work with her since many mixed-media artists like me are incorporating the seductiveness of beeswax into their work, and Clare’s expertise is impressive – we are so lucky to have her here.

Maggie Ayers, Flourish (detail) 2009

Maggie Ayers, Flourish (detail) 2009

Coincidentally, I just discovered this morning that one of my fiber artist heroes, Maggie Ayers, has also turned to encaustic, and wow! What she’s doing with wax and silk is gorgeous! Maggie Ayers’ work prompted my interest in fiber art about ten years ago – her work is unique and organic.

She’s brought those qualities to wax – you’ll love the new work that she demonstrates in the video below.

Maggie writes, “Central to all my work is the notion of mark making. Whether it is a trailed line of ink from a delightfully scratchy bamboo nib, a rusted metal print on paper or torn reclaimed cloth, or quickly cut scalpel lines on a beeswax and resin ground, these are my working beginnings.” Beautiful.

Maggie Ayers, Small encaustic panel, 2015

The big lesson for me is not just about wax or silk or collage or any particular medium, but about expressing one’s own ideas in many ways. Not everyone who comes to Clare’s workshop this weekend will become a photoencaustic artist, but each of us will experience a new method of communicating through our art as Clare instructs us, and as Maggie Ayers has done. I love it!

Maggie Ayers, small panel, 2015

If you’re a mixed-media artist, and you’re new to encaustics, here’s a great list of resources compiled by Rhonda Raulston that will introduce you to the seductiveness of wax – but be careful – it’s contagious.

Second workshop with Clare O’Neill offered January 18th & 19th

I just got off the phone with Clare – she has agreed to stay in San Antonio two extra days and do a second workshop on the two days following the first one, Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 18th and 19th. Monday is the MLK Holiday, so hopefully this will make it possible for more people to meet Clare and work with her.

There is a second PayPal button for the second workshop at this link – I won’t have time to add the second workshop to the flyer page before I leave for Round Top in about three minutes, but know that it’s available.If you have any questions at all, please email me.

Special thanks to Clare for scheduling this workshop for us!! You’re the best!.


Encaustic excitement – Clare O’Neill at the Studio in 2016

Clare O’Neill “Paulette” Mixed Media: Photography, beeswax, pigments and oils

I’m packing for Round Top and Vivi Magoo this morning, but before I leave, I gotta tell you what happened this weekend. First, there was Monika Astara’s amazing sale on Saturday, and then there was a great meeting of the South Texas encaustic group on Sunday – and then last night, plans for an incredible workshop were finalized with the amazing Clare O’Neill.

It still seems like a dream, but Clare really is coming to teach at my Studio in January of 2016. She has been such major influence in my new work – several artist friends have taken her class on my recommendation and everyone agrees that she is an extraordinary teacher and artist. Here’s a post I wrote during her online class in February. Even at that early stage, I knew I was on to something special with Clare.

_Ava's Bird

Lyn Belisle: Ava’s Bird

I haven’t announced it yet on my webpage, so you’re the first to know – here are the details (click on the image below for the online version). Two people signed up yesterday, so there are only six spaces left.

If you know you’d like to meet Clare and work with her in person at my Studio for two days (yay!), sign up now. And if you’d like to hold a spot with a $50 deposit, just send me an email.


Minding my own beeswax

beacon-hill-art-walkEvery June I look forward to participating in the Beacon Hill Art Walk in Boston – the venerable old red-brick and cobblestone neighborhood opens its courtyards and gardens to over 100 artists for a unique event that includes music and food.

This year, inspired by Clare O’Neill and  the work that my students did in our first Beeswax Collage workshop, I’m including some of my own encaustP1100506ic beeswax collages for show & sale. I’m also developing a new eBook about the process called Behind the Veil – it’s almost ready for publication. And I’ll offer a new workshop on this Beeswax Collage process on July 12th, and another one in the fall, so stay tuned for those things. The new eBook will give you several tips on working successfully with this process, including:

  • Limit your palette, both in imagery and in wax color
  • Work small scale at first
  • Use a good substrate such as Arches #300 watercolor paper

Taking any art to Boston is kind of a challenge because it has to be lightweight, packable, and easy to set up. These collages fit the bill – I’m hoping they will be popular with Boston patrons. Two years ago, my work won a third place ribbon, last year I took home a second place ribbon – maybe these little pieces will snag a first place at the show on June 7th! Here are a few of the new beeswax & collage pieces that are completed. Do you think they will be a hit on Beacon Hill? Fingers crossed 🙂



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

Tissue and wax PhotoEncaustic





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!!