peters valley encaustic workshop highlights

i love teaching. i love teaching workshops. i especially love teaching encaustic workshops with fun and enthusiastic groups of like-minded people with a penchant for pattern and surface, who just love to work and learn and grow-from me as well as from each other. my recent 5 day workshop at peters valley school of craft was made up of just that kind of group-all professional artists or professional artists in the making-three tyler school of art glass majors. everyone experimented, everyone worked hard, everyone learned…including me.

1. one of two professional ceramicists was so prolific i could write this entire blog post about her alone…just two of her amazing paintings.

2. a pattern heavy series of paintings exploring eyes.

3. my workshop assistant and tyler student incorporating a found snake skin with pattern exploring ideas of travel.

4 & 5. another tyler student with an affinity for collage and pattern as well as a great sense humor, also worked on found wood from the wood shop scrap pile. third tyler student was in love with repetitive and decorative pattern.

7. a line up of first day exquisite corpse drawings.

8. the tyler glass majors got everyone interested in exploiting the transparency of wax by working on glass and plexi-glass panels. this participant was especially adept and created an amazing series of paintings inspired by the surrounding landscape. i especially love how the landscape is reflected in the glass in this image.

9 . my other professional ceramicist interested in home, memory and time beautifully utilized the layering potential of wax and collage techniques on her bisque pieces.

10. a lovely collage utilizing hair and texture.

11. the whole group with their favorite pieces.

out of the box workshop highlights

my friend kirsten stingle and i were brainstorming one day and came up with the idea to collaboratively teach a workshop called out of the box: exploring mixed media narratives in clay and encaustic. we combined her expertise of using clay and found objects with my expertise of encaustic and mixed media to create narrative. once the idea was in the air, it took on a life of it’s own..descriptions written, publicity sent out and suddenly we had a full workshop! we were so excited to teach together and it was an enormous success with some amazing work created by some amazing participants.

on the first day we began with an exquisite corpse using words and image and the participants could use these drawings as a starting point for their narrative. at the end of the first day, we all went to an indoor flea market to collect cool found objects to use in the work. kirsten got an amazing vintage bingo machine that actually still works and i got the bingo cards! other materials and techniques we covered during the 3 days were mold-making with some amazing stuff called knead a mold, basic encaustic, drawing with horsehair and branding, working 3-dimensionally with fabric and encaustic and stitch. most of the participants are professional artists and true materials junkies-everyone had something to share with the group and everyone learned something new.

this workshop was a huge success and kirsten and i are already planning another collaborative teaching experience…stay tuned!

1. my workshop ‘gift’ to myself are these vintage bingo cards, i’m totally intrigued by the dates and markings on the backs of the cards.

2. the workshop material find of the weekend was knead a mold..pictured here are clay pieces and found objects we made molds from and some poured wax casts made from the molds…the creative possibilities are endless.

3 & 4. really great found object encaustic collage paintings.

5. kirsten’s awesomely vacuous studio.

6. kirsten happily demonstrating knead a mold.

7. a really great ‘in the box’ narrative collage using encaustic and found objects.

8. starting to create a frilly skirt of ribbon and encaustic on clay sculpture.

9. some branding and encaustic experiments.


it’s june, the month of weddings and what better time to talk about cakes. the first show i watched on the food channel was ace of cakes. i was totally hooked on this show like one gets hooked on a soap opera, i couldn’t wait for the next episode. what hooked me was the concept of making a cake-an edible object-a work of art and watching the cake go from concept to finished piece to it’s ultimate destruction in the end. the design, engineering and construction of it was amazing to watch as each week the cakes seemed to get more and more complex. unusual forms, painting, sculptural embellishments, color…lots of stuff, the more, the better, in my opinion. since then, i’ve noticed many visual artists exploring the cake form on a conceptual level, so i’ve compiled a little ‘taste’ or ‘bite’, if you will.

1. not just another pretty cake by rosebud cakes…here.

2. i know it’s not cake, but i couldn’t pass up including an edible cotton candy installation by Erno-Erik Raitanen…here.

3. amazing cut paper cake by Tahiti Pehrson…here.

4. fantastical over the top cake by renowned wedding cake artist Cile Bellefleur Burbidge…here.

5. a room-sized cake by scott hove…here.

6. one of my favorite cake makers, artist amy stevens….here.

7. totally decadent work by will cotton…here.

jackie winsor

A quote from sculptor jackie winsor, who has explored process and repetition in her work for more than 25 years, “When you repeat an action again and again, you produce an effect of certainty or security in the viewers mind. You are not trying discover something or convince yourself. You’re dealing with certainty then as a formal concern and that soothes the viewer.”

sums up my encaustic conference lecture perfectly.

see more here, here and here and here.

conference lecture sneak peek

i will be presenting a lecture called materials, methods and process at the eighth international encaustic conference on friday, june 6 at 9:30am. the conference begins this week in cape cod, massachusetts and is always a fun and fantastic place for learning and meeting like-minded new friends.

my talk begins with a brief introduction about process and how it can play a significant role in the making of art. i have divided artists who use process in their work into two parts: 1. those who use a single process and repeat it over and over and 2. those who create a strict set of rules. this post shows just a small sampling of the artists whose work i have included in the lecture. in addition to highlighting their work, i will be discussing the content of the work and how process can relate and/or expand on that content.

i hope to see you at the conference!

1. marcie miller gross…here.

2. sohan qadri…here.

3. alexis harding…here.

4. elisa d’arrigo….here.

5. liz sargent….here.