Exploring Landscape Through Encaustic & The Mark: A Vermont Artist Retreat

Utilizing the natural luminosity and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with materials, drawing and marks to depict the spirit and essence of gorgeous rural Vermont.

Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world. – John Muir

So thankful to RF Paints for partially sponsoring this Retreat by donating their exceptional products.

Read a lovely post about this Retreat on Dietlind’s Blog .

What
Exploring Landscape in Encaustic & The Mark: A Vermont Artist Retreat

When
June 20-24, 2022
(Scroll down for detailed daily itinerary)
Monday 7-9pm Orientation
Tuesday-Friday, 7-8am Yoga, 9am-4:00pm Workshop Hours
Tuesday-Thursday, 6:00-9pm optional night studio hours

Limited to 12 participants!
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
$1800 includes accommodations**(10 rooms available), breakfast and lunch and most workshop materials (see supply list below)

Not Interested in Lareau Inn Accommodations, breakfast or lunch?
$1000 includes workshop fee and most materials (see supply list below)

Registration Instructions if staying at Lareau Inn:
1. Visit the Lareau Inn web site and choose your room. See the list below of available rooms. DO NOT book the room from the Lareau Inn web site!!!
2. Contact Lorraine via email lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com with the name of the room you’d like to book and for payment details.

Available Rooms at the Inn as of May, 2022
Joy

Additional accommodations are available at Waitsfield Inn and Featherbed Inn which are within one mile of Lareau Inn.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Payment Payment of 50% of the workshop fee + materials + accommodations ($900 if paying via check or Venmo, $932 if paying via Paypal) is due at the time of registration with the remaining 50% ($900) due approximately 6 weeks before the workshop date. Please contact Lorraine for payment details.

**Additional Accommodations Although the workshop continues through Friday, you must check out of Lareau Inn on Friday morning. If you would like to stay in the area Friday evening or beyond, there are many places in the town of Waitsfield and in nearby Stowe.

Who A collaborative teaching venture with Dietlind Vander Schaaf & Lorraine Glessner (Scroll down for detailed bios)

Workshop Description
The mark of nature combined with encaustic painting creates works that reference memory, change, and time. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with innovative materials, drawing and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land. Easy to moderate hikes exploring the rugged natural beauty of The Mad River Valley are led by Dietlind and Lorraine. Along with daily journaling, meditation, yoga, readings and expressive mark-making exercises, these immersive hikes will provide the inspiration for which to develop ideas and provide areas of focus for series-based work while also developing your personal artistic voice. Considerations of our body’s connection and its direct relationship to landscape will also be discussed. Optional individual critiques with both instructors will be offered to all participants.

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE images of student work and fun scenes from this encaustic retreat in 2021. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here..

Workshop Itinerary
Monday 7-9 pm Orientation
Meet & Greet Wine and Smores by the Lareau Farm Fire Pit

Tuesday-Friday 7-8am
Optional Morning Yoga taught by Dietlind
Dietlind will lead gentle to moderate yoga each morning designed to leave you feeling strong and grounded. Bring your yoga mat. Straps and blocks provided.

Tuesday 9-4:00 Workshop, 6:00-9pm Optional Night Studio
We will begin with brief discussion and meditation, settling and experiencing the moment. We will take an easy hike to begin our first day of experiencing the land, discussion of breath/breathing, listening, drawing, journaling collecting inspiration and materials suitable for brush making. Brief brush making demo.
After lunch, Lorraine will introduce a mixed media exercise inspired by our morning hike. We will use collected materials from the hike to make marks and generate ideas. Dietlind and Lorraine will also discuss creating optical depth using encaustic layers and the differences between transparent and opaque paint. The rest of the afternoon is devoted to refining this drawing and the sketches from our hike, free painting time and/or more inspiration gathering.

Wednesday 9-4:00 Workshop, 6:00-9pm Optional Night Studio
After another easy morning hike, discussion of drawings and findings from the day before and possibilities for further study. Meditation, journaling, discussion of distancing, isolation, effects of pandemic, separation, silence in relationship to the outdoors and how to express these thoughts in marks and paint. Inspiration slide talk of contemporary artists who effectively use line, mark-making and landscape in their work. Optional individual meetings with Lorraine & Dietlind.
After lunch, Lorraine and Dietlind will demonstrate encaustic mark making using horsehair as well as introduce other interesting mark making products suitable for encaustic including India ink, colored pencils, pan pastel, oil pastel and graphite. Encaustic monoprint, work on paper demo. We will continue with uninterrupted work time for refining drawings, painting, working toward a series and individual discussions with Lorraine & Dietlind

Thursday 9-4:00 Workshop, 6:00-9pm Optional Night Studio
After a brief group meditation (optional), we will continue with inspiration discussion, discussion of the work already produced and the direction each person would like to take toward a paintings series or works on paper series. Encaustic collage demo. Dietlind will also guide participants through a series of written exercises designed to develop each individual’s artistic voice. Continued individual discussions with Lorraine & Dietlind. After a brief afternoon meeting and discussion, we will continue with uninterrupted work time for refining drawings, painting, working toward a series and individual discussions with Lorraine & Dietlind.

Friday 9:00am-1:00pm Workshop
After morning meditation (optional) and discussion, we will continue with uninterrupted work time using mark making and encaustic to build a series, experiment with marks, make color studies, ask questions, request informal demos, and continue with individual discussions with Lorraine.
For part of the afternoon, we will continue with uninterrupted work time using mark making and encaustic to build a series. Continue working through part of the afternoon, address your concerns one on one with Lorraine & Dietlind, take some time to journal your thoughts and informally discuss your progress.

What Else?

  • Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Mark-making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  • The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with each instructor. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Dietlind and Lorraine.
  • What’s your work about? Deepening the conversation. Guided writing exercises to help you focus on the meaning of your work and generate content for your artist statement.
  • Some guided meditation time and planned hikes will relax and open your mind and spirit to the land, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  • Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and hikes.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

About Lareau Farm Inn & Barn
Nestled on 25 acres of natural beauty, with the Mad River just steps away as well as trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking, Lareau Farm Inn is the perfect place to spark and inspire your artist vision. Our workshop studio in in the Historic Dairy Barn on the Lareau property, featuring rough-hewn beams, centuries-old hardwood floors and tons of space in which to create. The rooms at Lareau Inn feature antique furnishings, comfortable beds and charming baths in a Vermont farmhouse setting with delicious farm to table dining. There is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the view in the common areas including a charming dining room, back porch and backyard fire pit. See the gallery belwo of Lareau Farm Inn, Barn and surrounding property. Visit Lareau Farm Inn Web Site for more images and information.

About Lorraine & Dietlind

Dietlind Vander Schaaf
Dietlind Vander Schaaf’s paintings convey an emotional tone through texture and pattern and use mark making as a way to communicate what she finds most lovely, haunting, and curious about the human condition. Her work references teachings from Zen Buddhism, Christian mysticism, the poetic traditions, and contemplative practices including yoga and meditation. Dietlind holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and an MA from the University of Southern Maine. Her work has been described as “the transformation of disparate objects into elegantly simple compositions of pattern and grace” (Artscope). She has exhibited at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Conrad Wilde Gallery, The Fuller Craft Museum, and On Center Gallery, among others, and been featured in Maine Home + Design, Decor Maine, and Downeast magazines. Dietlind is a Core Instructor for R&F Handmade Paints, an Ampersand Ambassador, and the former president of New England Wax. An annual presenter at the International Encaustic Conference, Dietlind has taught workshops throughout the country, including Haystack, Castle Hill, Snow Farm, Penland, Arrowmont, Maine College of Art, R&F, and internationally at Zijdelings in The Netherlands. She is the recipient of grants from the Maine Arts Commission and International Encaustic Artists, as well as a Tending Space Artist Fellowship from the Hemera Foundation.

lorraineglessner.net
Lorraine Glessner’s love of surface, pattern, markmaking, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, wax, pyrography, rust, paper and more in her work. Lorraine is a former Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, artist mentor, workshop instructor and an award-winning artist. She holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a BS from Philadelphia University, and an AAS in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design. She has a diverse art background with skills that include painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, textile design, photography, digital imaging and much more. Recent professional achievements include a Grand Prize Award from the show (re)Building, Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY and a recently appointed position as a Tier Artist at R&F Paints. Lorraine’s work is included in many mixed media and encaustic books including, Encaustic Art in the 21st Century by Ashley Rooney and Nuance, a curated book by artist, Michelle Stuart. Lorraine frequently lectures and participates on academic panels at various Conferences including The International Encaustic Conference, SECAC and The College Art Association Annual Conference. Her work is exhibited locally and nationally in galleries, museums, craft centers, schools, libraries, universities, and more. Like her work, Lorraine brings to her teaching a strong interdisciplinary approach, mixed with a balance of concept, process, history, experimentation, problem solving and discovery.

Materials Included: the following list of materials is provided for the student

  • All encaustic paints, encaustic medium, encaustic gesso, soy wax, tools and equipment
  • a variety of pigment sticks and blending medium
  • Sumi ink & other misc. drawing media
  • Misc. drawing papers
  • Paper towels/rags
  • Extra encaustic brushes

What to bring: The following is a list of materials for the student to bring to the workshop

  • Sketchbook/notebook, pencil or pen for note taking
  • 1-2 drawing media of your choice (pencil, pastel, conte charcoal, oil pastel, Crayon, graphite, felt pen, etc.)
  • Closed toe shoes for safety in the studio
  • Lunch and beverage each day (if not purchasing the accommodation plan with Lareau)
  • 6-10 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) Other suggested substrates are: masonite (coated with encaustic gesso), Ampersand Encausticbord, matt board, etc. (nothing coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!)
  • 2-4 actual OR images of your work, digital prints or phone/iPad sharing is fine
  • 5-10 hake or hog’s bristle natural hair brushes in 1-2 inch sizes for encaustic painting (1 brush will be designated your medium brush, so it must be free of color if you are bringing used brushes)
  • Absorbent Papers for encaustic mono-printing (rice, Masa, printing papers)
  • Optional Materials Smock, any encaustic paint color or pigment stick color you favor, iwatani torch with extra butane, any tool or material for any technique that you normally employ while working with encaustic, textured objects and/or sharp ended tool for pressing into/incising/writing/drawing into wax.

Hiking + Yoga Equipment Recommendations

  • Sturdy hiking shoes/boots
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Butt pack or small backpack
  • Light rainwear
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Digital Camera or smart phone or point and shoot camera or DSLR
  • Bag for collecting found materials
  • A yoga mat, eye pillow, and comfortable layered clothing for yoga practice

Cancellation
Please note a $50 cancelation processing fee will be deducted from any refund.
In the event that you need to cancel your workshop, please notify Lorraine via email.
Cancelations made 30 days or more from the workshop start date will be refunded their deposit (minus $100 processing fee).
Cancelations made 30 days or less from the workshop start date will be refunded their deposit (minus $100 processing fee) only if the space can be filled. If the space cannot be filled, no refund will be issued.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Searching for the Blackest Black: Non Water-Soluble Drawing Materials

Still on my quest for the blackest black art materials! Next up is Part 3 of 4: Non Water-Soluble Drawing Materials.

This series has gone from two parts to three and now, to four! It’s been super fun to compare and contrast art materials. I now know why there are so many Instagram and Youtube accounts dedicated to comparisons and which have thousands of followers-myself included in that following, not to mention the thousands of hours I spend watching the videos…but I digress…

So we will now embark on this Part Three: Non-Water Soluble Drawing Materials. Like the Paint and Water-Soluble Materials comparisons, I used Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Paper and Duralar Film, which are the two papers I use most for drawings. I chose to compare drawing materials that I had already narrowed down to the darkest ones in my collection. Again, I made short choppy strokes, a fluid line and a solid black rectangle. I comment first on the black-ness of the material, but I’m also interested in the smooth quality of the line. I’m a fluid draftsperson, I like things that flow and don’t grab at the paper or create too much texture-just my preference. The following list corresponds top down to the images below. I isolated each of the marks with the top being the Mixed Media paper and the second, the Duralar. Last, I include direct links to purchase each product from my Amazon affiliate store, Art Supplies I Love.

Stay tuned for Part Four of my Search for the Blackest Black, comparing the blackest black encaustic paints-this totally excites me!

BONUS!! Since most of these materials must be sharpened, here is the best Art Bite tip…This pencil sharpener is the best one I’ve ever purchased. It’s portable, sharpens pointed or blunt and apparently lasts a super long time without needing a new blade. The best part is that it sharpens to an extra long point, see the comparison below of my other studio pencil sharpener and this one.

  1. Scorched Fire Wood
    I started drawing with campfire wood a few years ago while teaching in Utah. I was looking for something to give to the workshop participants to draw with and there were old campfires everywhere, so walla..instant art material. It’s basically charcoal, but without binders and other things that make it easy to handle. You’ll get a variety of results depending on what kind of wood it is, how long it was burned, etc. The wood I used here is from my fire pit in Florida and is likely some kind of pine. It was super smooth and nice and dark on the paper, not so much on the Duralar. Like any charcoal, it needs a toothy surface to grab onto. If you try drawing with your own fire pit wood, made sure you use plenty of fixative!
  2. Posca Pen
    Hands down, the winner of the blackest black drawing material on both papers I tested. The pen is kind of a cheat because it’s actually acrylic paint and belongs in my paint comparison, but who cares. If you’re into paint markers, Posca pens are the best I’ve tried and I’ve tried A LOT of them so as to avoid paying for the expensive Posca. Like anything, you get what you pay for-Posca pens are smooth, luscious and you really don’t need a lot of it to get good coverage. They come in several sizes, so you can draw detailed and bold AND they come in a ton of rich colors, not just black.
  3. Prismacolor Ebony Pencil
    This is my go-to drawing pencil for all kinds of drawing. I can get a wide variety of shades from light to dark with just this one pencil. These pencils were originally made by Eberhard-Faber, then Sanford and now it looks like Prismacolor is making them. If you can get ahold of the EF pencils or even the Sanfords, you’ll find a slightly better and blacker pencil. I purchased a huge lot of the EF from Ebay and compared with the more recent Prismacolor, it seems that the more recent the pencil, the lesser the quality of graphite. It’s true that things in our modern age just aren’t made like they used to be.
  4. Generals Charcoal Pencil 557 HB
    You can’t beat Generals for anything charcoal, which is why four of their products have made it to this list. I love this particular pencil for drawing on paper, it’s extremely dark, smooth and doesn’t break or crumble when drawing or sharpening. Like any charcoal, it needs something toothy to grab so it didn’t do too well on the Duralar.
  5. Generals Carbon Sketch
    Believe it or not, this is a close second to Posca for the blackest black on both papers. It is the smoothest, darkest pencil I’ve ever had in my hand, it’s absolutely heavenly how it just glides over any surface. However, Heaven quickly turns to Hell when you try to sharpen it and sharpen it you must, as it’s extremely soft and loses it’s point very quickly and then breaks and breaks and breaks when you sharpen it. I’ve managed to be moderately successful sharpening it with a hand held sharpener, rather than an electric one. If you don’t lose your mind sharpening this pencil, it’s definitely worth it to draw with it, if only for a little while.
    **UPDATE An excellent alternative to this pencil is the Wolff’s Carbon Pencil, which is not to hard/not too soft and just right! Many thanks to @paddocknotes for the recommendation!
  6. Grumbacher Charcoal Pencil Medium
    Unfortunately, Grumbacher has discontinued this pencil, but I think you can still find it in sets under the Faber-Castell Pitt label. If you can find the vintage Grumabacher pencil on Ebay, they’re worth the extra work to purchase. They draw extremely smooth and dark on paper, maybe even slightly better than the General’s Charcoal pencil above. The charcoal is very firm and feels almost as smooth as graphite on paper, but an utter fail on the Duralar. I’m really in love with this pencil and I’m sad they’re not being made anymore.
  7. Primo Elite Grande #5000
    Made by General’s, their Primo line of charcoal pencils is as lovely as all of their products. Velvety smooth, dark and as heavenly as the Carbon Sketch above, it’s a little thicker than a regular pencil and easier to hold, it feels amazing in my hand. It draws wonderfully on both papers, but unfortunately suffers the same sharpening issues as the Carbon Sketch. Also, because it’s slightly thicker than most pencils, it won’t sharpen in most hand held sharpeners. However, I would choose this pencil over the other as it’s ever so slightly harder and doesn’t crumble quite as easily. Both are worth it, they really are heaven during the drawing process.
  8. Primo Charcoal 59 HB
    Like most of the General’s products listed here, the quality of this pencil is no exception. It’s also very dark, smooth and velvety as the others, but ever slightly firmer, making it easier to sharpen. The slightly harder charcoal, makes it slightly lighter on both papers. It’s still super dark, just not as dark as pitch like the others. If you don’t want to deal with the frustration of the softness of the other two, this one is just as good.
  9. Sharpie China Marker
    Unlike your usual everyday cheapie China Marker, this Sharpie China Marker is rich and black and ties for second in the line-up for the blackest black on Duralar, but only mediocre on the Mixed Media Paper. A china marker is what it is-a grease pencil-made to mark on difficult surfaces, so you’ll get an excellent black mark on smooth, shiny surfaces when most of the above pencils won’t cut it.
1. Scorched Fire Wood (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
2. Posca Pen (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
3. Prismacolor Ebony Pencil (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
4. Generals Charcoal Pencil 557 HB (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
5. General’s Carbon Sketch (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
6. Grumbacher Charcoal Pencil Medium (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
7. Primo Elite Grande 5000 (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
8. Primo Charcoal 59 HB (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
9. Sharpie China Marker (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)

Workshop Highlight: Exploring Landscape Through Encaustic, Mark-Making and the Handmade Book

Join me in July for a unique encaustic workshop opportunity. Located on the shores of Lake Superior just outside beautiful Bayfield, Wisconsin, Wild Rice Retreat creates a space for grounding the mind, body, and spirit through integrative artistic and holistic life experiences. 

When: July 11-15, 2021

Check In: Sunday, July 11th, 2021 | Check Out: Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Tuition + Meals: From $1004 per person
With RicePod Lodging Package: From $2,083 per person
With Nest Lodging Package: From $2,372 per person
With TreeHaus Lodging Package: From $1,671 per person

Visit Wild Rice Retreats for Information, Supply List, Images and Registration

Use discount code GLESSNER2021…HURRY…It expires 4/30

Workshop Description
Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with innovative materials, drawing and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land. Daily journaling, meditation, readings and expressive mark-making exercises along with leisurely walks exploring the outdoors provide the inspiration for which to develop ideas for series-based work while also developing your personal artistic voice. Participants will experiment with a wide variety of innovative processes and materials such as encaustic monoprinting, suminagashi, powdered graphite/charcoal, graphite bars, horsehair, pyrography and stitch. The conceptual use of translucency and layers is further explored through simple, yet versatile, book bindings to create unique personal journals through the alternative book form. Through listening, mapping, touching, collecting and communing with nature through all of the senses, our body’s connection and its direct relationship to landscape is explored and experienced. Optional individual critiques with Lorraine will be offered to all participants.

**Please note that participants should be prepared to spend time outside as well as in the studio. In the event that participants are unable to take part in the outdoor activities, participants are welcome to opt out and alternative indoor creative exercises will be provided.

What Else

  • Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Encaustic monoprints/works on paper and an option for exploration in combine with cold wax.
  • Mark-making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  • The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with Lorraine. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Lorraine.
  • What’s your work about? Deepening the conversation. Guided writing exercises to help you focus on the meaning of your work and generate content for your artist statement.
  • Some guided meditation time and planned hikes will relax and open your mind and spirit to the land, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  • Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and hikes.
  • Basic book structures such as the accordion and pamphlet will be explored as sculptural additions to our journals and sketchbooks.
  • The sketchbook as an art form, in and of itself, will be explored in depth as part of a discussion on combining found, altered, and sewn books into our curated sketchbooks.
  • The art of the book as an investigation of narrative, text and image, tactility and materiality and the book form as an intimate object will be discussed.

Visit Wild Rice Retreats for Information, Supply List, Images and Registration

Use discount code GLESSNER2021…HURRY…It expires 4/30

About Wild Rice Retreats
Located on the shores of Lake Superior just outside beautiful Bayfield, Wisconsin, Wild Rice Retreat creates a space for grounding the mind, body, and spirit through integrative artistic and holistic life experiences.  Our focus is on artistic excellence in teaching and thoughtful, supportive programming for individual growth.  Rooted in the idea of exploring and supporting expression in nature, Wild Rice Retreat offers a home for healing guided, personal and group retreats, meeting space, and events following the pillars of nourishment, expression, and movement.  Wild Rice Retreat is a vibrant, creative, and beautiful destination retreat center in the Upper Midwest.

Carefully crafted and locally sourced meals prepared by renowned Chef Lars Dukowitz (formerly of the Wild Rice Restaurant), daily programming, beautiful trails, and comfortable, exquisitely detailed lodging are all part of the retreat package.  Whether guests choose from a guided retreat, taught by nationally acclaimed instructors, a personal retreat, perfect for quiet rest and relaxation, or a group or corporate retreat where guests come together around a common goal, all the elements of retreat await. See more gorgeous images and read about Wild Rice Retreat’s Brand New Housing.

Visit Wild Rice Retreats for Information, Supply List, Images and Registration

Use discount code GLESSNER2021…HURRY…It expires 4/30

What Kind of Work Will I Make?

The following is a collection of student and instructor’s work from workshops similar in content to this one. Enjoy this eye candy, I hope to see you this summer at Wild Rice Retreats!

Searching for the Blackest Black: Water-Soluble Drawing Materials

Next up in this series of searching for the blackest black is my favorite thing to discuss: drawing materials (water-soluble).

Next up in this series of searching for the blackest black is my favorite thing to discuss: drawing materials. I hadn’t realized I had so many before I embarked on this experiment so I actually split this part of the series into two posts: water-soluble this month and non water-soluble next month. The post after that will be comparing encaustic paint blacks from various paint makers…exciting!

Just like the black paint comparison, I don’t have every drawing tool ever invented, but I do have quite a variety. I am looking for the blackest black and that remains the first talking point, but I also comment on the draw-ablility of the material-the feel…the ease with which it makes marks. Is it an extension of your hand and seemingly makes marks you’re only dreaming about or does it fight you, seemingly having a mind of its own? Those of you who draw know what I mean.

For this comparison, I made 3 different marks-small, choppy strokes, a fluid stroke and a solid rectangle. Once again, I tested on Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Paper and Duralar Film. I’m most interested in how water-based paints work on the Duralar, as it is what I paint on most often and I used the Strathmore Paper as a bright white comparison. I made 2 areas of marks of each material on each substrate-the first area is dry and the second is with water added. I made several passes with the water to see how it worked in layers as well as to see how soluble the material actually is. The following list corresponds top down to the images below. I isolated each of the marks with the top being the Mixed Media paper and the second, the Duralar. Last, I include direct links to each product to purchase from my Amazon affiliate store, Art Supplies I Love.

  1. Art Graf Tailors Chalk Black
    I was surprised that this didn’t score higher in the black range, with only getting to a medium-dark gray on both papers. Another thing I didn’t particularly like is that when water is added, it was difficult to obliterate the original stroke. I can attest to the fact that when a wet brush is applied directly to the chalk and the paint laid down on paper, it has a wonderful range of rich grays-from very light to dark.
  2. Derwent XL Graphite
    I have the set of 6 with the water soluble and non-water soluble graphite and water soluble blue, green, yellow and red ochre graphite-I highly recommend it. The water soluble graphite is gorgeous to draw on the Duralar, but when water is added it doesn’t get rid of the stroke and just beads up. On the mixed media paper, it is a dream when water is added with a range of rich lovely grays
  3. Art Graf Kneadable Graphite Drawing Putty
    I purchased this as a bit of a novelty and don’t use it much in the way its designed to be used as mine dried up. From the package, it’s got a texture like a kneaded eraser and like a kneaded eraser, can be manipulated into any shape, but you can draw with it like graphite. I like it as a water soluble graphite, its extremely rich and smooth, especially on the Duralar. As a black, it’s meh…more like a silvery gray.
  4. Lyra Graphite Pencil
    This is my favorite water-soluble graphite, I even bring it to classes for students to use for mark-making exercises. Make sure you purchase the water-soluble version as the non looks exactly the same. In doing this comparison, I was really disappointed in how it held up to the other water soluble graphites-it was much lighter in color and the stroke was difficult to mix away with water. I can say that when I dip this pencil in water and draw with it, it’s really quite lovely on Duralar.
  5. Caran d’ache Neocolor Crayon Black
    My favorite things to play with on the road, they’re incredibly velvety rich and become almost like paint when water is added. The black was really black on both papers without water, but when water is added, was sooooo disappointing! It’s so light with water that it becomes almost invisible on both papers. Yuck.
  6. Stabilo Woody Black
    Definitely the blackest black winner on both papers with or without water. I love making marks with this on anything, it’s strong and velvety smooth. The only thing I don’t like about it is that its so thick and only good for bold marks.
  7. Portfolio Series Oil Pastel
    This is an inexpensive set of water soluble oil pastels and pretty much you get what you pay for when water is added-hardly any solubility…but, hey…water and oil aren’t supposed to mix anyway. I do like these to just draw with when I’m on the road. They’re super smooth and sharpened to a point like a pencil, which is pretty cool and different for an oil pastel.
  8. Tombow Brush Pen Black
    If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m in love with these pens and I’m actually using them exclusively for a sketchbook series. The black stays super black on the mixed media paper but beads up on the Duralar. However, when water is added on the Duralar, the beading stops and although its not black, the gradient is quite lovely. With water on the mixed media paper, the ink turns a dark turquoise blue, which is disappointing if you’re expecting black.
  9. Stabilo Aquarelle Glass, Paper, Metal Pencil
    The ‘skinny’ answer to the Woody, this pencil makes a range of delicate to dark marks on many surfaces (even encaustic!) with or without water. I use it all the time for sketching and it’s also in my backpack because I can get such a variety of lines and marks with it when I’m on the trail. In this comparison, it held up dark on both surfaces without water, but fades quite a bit when water is added. I do like the range of grays on both surfaces and don’t much mind the fading.
1. Art Graf Tailors Chalk Black (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
2. Derwent XL Water Soluble Graphite (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
3. Art Graf Kneadable Graphite Drawing Putty (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
4. Lyra Water Soluble Graphite Pencil (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
5. Caran d’ache Neocolor Crayon Black (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
6. Stabilo Woody Black (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
7. Portfolio Oil Pastel (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
8. Tombow Brush Pen Black (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)
9. Stabilo Glass, Plastic, Metal Pencil (Mixed Media Paper-top, Duralar-bottom)

New Virtual Workshop: Fast & Loose Encaustic Painting

You love the fast moving, layering and quick drying abilities of acrylic painting, but you want more depth, more scraping abilities, more texture and more dimension that can only be achieved by painting in encaustic…well, you’ve come to the right place!

If you could say it with words, there would be no reason to paint. –Edward Hopper

Fast & Loose Encaustic Painting
A Live Virtual Zoom Workshop
Registrants will receive a Zoom link to join the workshop & will have access to the recorded sessions for a limited time following the workshop.

Limited to 10 participants!
Level: Beginner to Advanced

When
2 Days-April  29-30, 2021
12pm-2:30pm EST each day
*We will take at least 2 5-minute breaks each day

Price
$350

2 Ways to Register
1. *PREFERRED* Venmo: Send to @Lorraine-Glessner
2. Paypal: Send to lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Who
For Lorraine’s bio, portfolio, exhibitions, teaching and anything else you might want to know, please visit her web site.

Basic Description

You love the fast moving, layering and quick drying abilities of acrylic painting, but you want more depth, more scraping abilities, more texture and more dimension that can only be achieved by painting in encaustic…well, you’ve come to the right place! I developed this workshop at the request and with the collaboration from several artists. In this workshop, I offer alternative tools, color mixing, application methods and techniques for faster, more process oriented encaustic painting. Also discussed are tips for getting out of your head, letting go and letting it flow. It is helpful, but not necessary to have had any previous experience with the encaustic medium to take this workshop.

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE images of student work from encaustic workshops similar in content to this one.
Read Part 1 of Fast & Loose Encaustic Painting: Tools
Read Part 2 of Fast & Loose Encaustic Painting: Painting Methods

Who should take this workshop?

  • You’re a painter and have always wanted to work in encaustic but have been deterred by what seems like a slow moving, laborious process compared to other painting mediums like acrylics and oils.
  • You fill sketchbooks with mixed media acrylic sketches that you love, but you want more depth, more scraping abilities, more texture and more dimension that can only be achieved by painting in encaustic
  • You tend to think too hard about the next step and end up stifling the process.
  • You’ve worked in encaustic for a while and have never scraped your layers(!) to reveal the awesomeness underneath.
  • You want to know what the heck Encaustic PaintSmash is and how it will benefit your work.
  • You spend too much time on one painting and tend to overwork the painting.
  • You love encaustic painting and are looking for some alternatives to the usual encaustic painting methods.
  • You are frustrated with your current body of work, your process(es) and want to create consistency, and a cohesive portfolio.
  • You want to express yourself in a more meaningful way with your work.
  • Your creative process is stagnating and you want to learn a new process, idea or technique.
  • You have always wanted to create ‘visual poetry’ in your paintings.


What happens in this workshop? What will I learn?

  • Marking, drawing, making marks with fun exercises are sure to relax you so that you don’t even know you’re drawing and are designed for you to generate ideas, content and a personal mark.
  • Learn tips for getting out of your own way so your painting process flows.
  • Learn how to apply encaustic paint in layers and in various levels of transparency, as well as how and when to scrape back to reveal exciting forms and patterns within the layers.
  • Learn how to use the transparency of the wax to allow pattern and information to combine and ‘talk’ within the painting.
  • Experiment with doodling, mark making and process to create a personal vocabulary of marks.
  • How to effectively use the palette for mixing and painting in encaustic.
  • Learn how to use stencils, marks, pattern and the grid to organize the ‘chaos’.
  • Learn alternatives in tools, painting and scraping methods from the ‘usual’ encaustic techniques.
  • Learn how fun PaintSmash is and how it can spice up your work.
  • Something new, fun, fast and loose.


Included in all of my encaustic workshops

  • Color, composition, application, content-the basics, the intermediate, the advanced.
  • Using color relationships, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Individual consultation/critique discussion with each participant. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with me. My most favorite part of the workshop is this special time I spend talking one-on-one with each participant.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Mark-making exercises-geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal voice.
  • Group sharing and discussion-always an amazingly helpful time for participants to share their victories and struggles.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration. Some examples of the slides included in the talks for this workshop is just below.
  • Individual and group instruction/critique throughout the workshop.


    SUGGESTED MATERIALS PARTICIPANTS HAVE IN THEIR STUDIO

    • Read this blog post for tools ideas-please note, you don’t have to have these materials but you might see something you’d like to try.
    • 2-4 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) (nothing coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!)
    • 3-5 natural hair brushes  for encaustic painting (1 smallish-no bigger than 1.5” brush will be designated your medium brush, so it must be free of color.
    • 1lb encaustic medium from any company
    • Heat gun and/or Iwatani torch
    • Sketchbook or Drawing paper
    • Package of razor blades or clay scraper
    • Any small sharp-ended tool for incising/writing/drawing into the wax (sewing or knitting needles are great)
    • Basic encaustic colors
    • 1-2 RF paintsticks

      OPTIONAL MATERIALS 
    • Double sided scraper tool-available for purchase here
    • Mark-making tools…Woody, litho crayon, graphite paper, charcoal, oil pastel, etc.
    • Decorative stencils, mesh, doilies, etc-anything flat with open areas that can be used as a stencil
    • Various materials for collage (papers, magazine images, photos, etc.)

What kind of work will I make?

Please enjoy these works in progress that were created by workshop participants during workshops similar to this one.

2 Ways to Register
1. *PREFERRED* Venmo: Send to @Lorraine-Glessner
2. Paypal: Send to lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Fast & Loose Encaustic Painting Part 1/2: Tools

So you’re a painter and have always wanted to work in encaustic but have been deterred by what seems like a slow moving, laborious process compared to other painting mediums like acrylics and oils. You fill sketchbooks with mixed media acrylic sketches that you love, but you want more depth, more scraping abilities, more texture and more dimension that can only be achieved by painting in encaustic…well, you’ve come to the right place!

Happy New Year, my creative blog reading friends! I hope you have been well and are looking forward to better days ahead, as am I. Let’s start off the new year right by discussing my favorite topic…encaustic painting!

So you’re a painter and have always wanted to work in encaustic but have been deterred by what seems like a slow moving, laborious process compared to other painting mediums like acrylics and oils. You love the fast moving, layering and quick drying abilities of acrylic painting. You fill sketchbooks with mixed media acrylic sketches that you love, but you want more depth, more scraping abilities, more texture and more dimension that can only be achieved by painting in encaustic…well, you’ve come to the right place! During this time of Covid constancy, at the request and with the collaboration from several artists, I had the unique opportunity to investigate faster, looser and more painterly working methods that can somewhat replicate acrylic painting methods-but with the awesomeness of encaustic.

In this article, Part One, I am discussing application tools and in Part Two and possibly Part Three, I will discuss working methods and mark-making tools. In addition to listing the tools, I also list where/how you can purchase or make them. If you’re working in encaustic and have investigated alternatives to traditional painting and/or alternative tools, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Last, I am offering a live, virtual workshop in April, 2021 on this topic-specific dates to be announced soon. Judging by the interest of this topic and of my virtual workshops, I expect it to fill quickly. If you’re interested in joining this workshop, please contact me and I’ll add you to the list. If you’d like to see what goes on in one of my workshops, join my new Facebook Group, Full Spectrum: Lorraine Glessner Painting and Workshops Forum.

Alternative Tools for Working in Encaustic

  • Venetian Plaster Tools
    Made of metal with a plastic handle, these tools can be laid safely on the heated palette and hold the heat so as to transfer the paint from palette to substrate without cooling. These tools are somewhat stiff and act as a metal spatula of sorts allowing one to scoop up from the palette at once, various colors of paint creating interesting textures. (See this article on my Encaustic PaintSmash technique and my IGTV and YouTube Channel videos demonstrating this technique) See my All Things Encaustic Store to purchase.
  • Dripping
    We all know how to do this and likely have done it by accident. Mistake or not, drips can be super cool as a single entity, layered or accumulated. You can drip with a brush by loading it up with paint and throwing it on your substrate or flicking it off your brush with your finger for a splatter effect. For more deliberately placed drips that can be layered and accrued in a 3D effect, try this cool metal eyedropper tool available at on my All Things Encaustic Store.
  • Pouring
    Fun and freeing, this is quick way to add a lot of paint to your substrate at once. Pours dry slowly and smoothly and the drying process can be manipulated for some cool dimensional effects. You can use any kind of cup that will hold liquid encaustic paint…I use these inexpensive aluminum cups which can be bent into a ‘V’ like a pitcher, so I have more control over my pour. You can also create interesting swirled effects by pouring two colors together at the same time or try introducing another color into an existing pour during the drying process. See Pat Gerkin’s wonderful recent experiments with encaustic pours.
  • Tjanting Tools
    Those in the Fiber and Textile tools world are well acquainted with Tjanting Tools. Their use in that world is to apply paraffin wax to cloth as part of the batik process. These tools are made of brass or copper, which holds the heat and keeps the wax liquid, allowing one to make thick or thin lines, the thickness being dependent on the size of the opening of the tool. Designs can be traced, text can be written, areas of a design can be filled. Tjanting tools are also really great for making uniform dots, which can be applied in rows, and/or stacked, and/or accrued. I prefer the copper tjanting tools, but make sure you purchase a larger size opening as they tend to clog easily. If you get really into working with a tjanting, invest in an electric tjanting tool, you won’t regret it. For some eye candy, check out artist Elise Wagner’s paintings that begin with encaustic collagraphs, made with an electric tjanting tool.
  • Flashing Tool
    (See my Art Bite Blog Post with instructions on how to make your own alternative tool) Used like a spatula similar to the Venetian Plaster Tools, these home-made tools can be any shape, size or cut. They are much more flexible than the Venetian Plaster Tools, allowing for more textured painterly effects.
  • Catalyst Tools/Silicone Baking Tools
    (Visit my All Things Encaustic Store to purchase) Where do I begin to talk about Catalyst Tools by Princeton Brush Company? First, what makes them great is that they are painting tools, made for any kind of paint, so you can use them for any painting medium. What makes them even greater is that they’re made of silicone which makes them easy to clean and impervious to heat so they can be used for encaustic painting! These tools will hold the heat for a short time and can be used for PaintSmash, but they’re not as effective as the metal based tools listed above. However, if you’re working in encaustic, cold wax, oils and acrylic mediums, these tools can be used across all of those mediums. Catalyst tools can be rather pricey, so if you’re interested in working with alternative tools, try silicone baking tools/cake decorating tools, which are available on Amazon and at any craft store or hobby store…try them out, find your favorites and then graduate to a catalyst tool.
  • Elizabeth Schowachert Tools
    Think of Catalyst Tools on steroids PLUS some and you have somewhat of an idea of what these tools are about. Just like the Catalyst Tools, they are made of silicone, but that’s as far as the similarities go. These tools are art objects in and of themselves-they are hand-crafted by Elizabeth Schowachert, using lovely materials like bamboo, antique wood and sterling silver. Elizabeth is an artist herself so she knows what artists want. When you hold one of these gorgeous tools or brushes in your hand, there is a feeling that you are wielding an indestructible art making weapon and there are no barriers to what you can do. There is a huge variety of brushes and tools in Elizabeth’s silicone tools catalog, but she offers so much more in her entire catalog of brushes and tools. I have a number of Elizabeth’s tools in my studio, the Encaustic Monotype Drawing Pens and C Silicone Drawing Tools are my faves.

New Virtual Workshop: Encaustic Pattern &Repetition

Repeated use of a shape, color, design element unifies composition, creates pattern and rhythm as well as reinforces content. This workshop focuses on the creation of intricate patterns, expressive personal surfaces and multi-layered encaustic paintings.

When you repeat an action again and again, you produce an effect of certainty or security in the viewer’s mind. –Jackie Winsor

Mixed Media Encaustic Pattern & Repetition
A Live Virtual Zoom Workshop
Registrants will receive a Zoom link to join the workshop & will have access to the recorded sessions for a limited time following the workshop.

Limited to 10 participants!
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

When
3 Wednesdays-April  7, 14, 21, 2021
12pm-3pm EST each day

Price
$450

3 Ways to Register
1. *PREFERRED* Venmo: Send to @Lorraine-Glessner
2. Paypal: Send to lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com
3. Check: Email lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com for mailing address (check must be received at least 5 days before workshop start date)

Who
For Lorraine’s bio, work, exhibitions, teaching and anything else you might want to know, please visit her web site.

Basic Description

Repeated use of a shape, color or design element unifies composition, creates pattern, rhythm and movement as well as reinforces content. This workshop focuses on the creation of intricate patterns, expressive personal surfaces and complex, multi-layered pieces utilizing and in combination with encaustic painting techniques. With an emphasis on mixed media, methods and materials covered in this workshop include the use of organic and geometric form, realistic and abstract imagery, patterned collage, stencils, candy molds, tjaps, and branding (creating marks with heated metal and wood burning tools). Spacing the sessions to once a week allows for participants to experiment and truly delve into the techniques learned. Considerations such as using pattern and repetition as content itself, to tell a story, support and/or strengthen the message will also be discussed.

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE images of student work from encaustic workshops similar in content to this one. Additional blog posts related to other encaustic workshops taught by Lorraine are herehere and here.

Who should take this workshop?

  • You swoon over textiles, prints, decorative arts, design, anything with pattern and you want to learn how to effectively incorporate these elements into your work.
  • You already include lots of pattern and repetition in your work, but the work hasn’t moved past mere decoration to involve meaningful content.
  • You desperately want to include pattern in your work, but you are fearful that it will be received by the viewing public as decorative art.
  • You love image and collage, but when you embed these elements into encaustic, the collage is blurred, burned or looks clunky.
  • You love painting with the intensely pigmented color of encaustic and want to learn how to effectively apply it-how to mix color, how and when to dilute, what brushes and tools to use.
  • You are frustrated with your current body of work, your process(es) and want to create consistency, and a cohesive portfolio.
  • You want to express yourself in a more meaningful way with your work.
  • Your creative process is stagnating and you want to learn a new process, idea or technique.
  • You have always wanted to create ‘visual poetry’ in your paintings.


What happens in this workshop? What will I learn?

  • What a motif is and how you can generate one to create personal patterns with meaning and how to incorporate them into your work.
  • Create personally designed fabrics and papers using indigo, rust and compost printing and use them as a basis for a painting.
  • Create repetitive patterns using innovative tools and techniques such as pyrography (making marks with heated metal and tools), tjaps and candy molds.
  • Learn my technique for applying decorative stenciling into my work and how you can use stenciling to strengthen your compositions and content.
  • Learn how to apply encaustic paint in layers and in various levels of transparency, as well as how and when to scrape back to reveal exciting forms and patterns within the layers.
  • Practice the effective application and fusing of encaustic collaged layers so you aren’t tempted to give up collage forever in frustration!
  • Experiment with doodling, mark making and process to create personal patterns.
  • Learn how to use the transparency of the wax to allow pattern and information to combine and ‘talk’ within the painting.
  • Learn how repetitive pattern, symbols, text, ornament adds power and interest to the work and therefore brings the viewer closer to its message.
  • How repetition can create visual poetry, rhythm, music, etc within the work.


Included in all of my encaustic workshops

  • Color, composition, application, content-the basics, the intermediate, the advanced.
  • Using color relationships, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Individual consultation/critique discussion with each participant. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with me. My most favorite part of the workshop is this special time I spend talking one-on-one with each participant.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Mark-making exercises-whether you are taking the line workshop or not, exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal voice.
  • Book-sharing-each participant brings their favorite art book to share.
  • Group sharing and discussion-always an amazingly helpful time for participants to share their victories and struggles.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration. Some examples of the slides included in the talks for this workshop is just below.
  • 30 minute one on one consultation with Lorraine.
  • Individual and group instruction/critique throughout the workshop.
    SUGGESTED MATERIALS PARTICIPANTS HAVE IN THEIR STUDIO

    • 3-5 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) (nothing coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!)
    • 3-5 natural hair brushes  for encaustic painting (1 smallish-no bigger than 1.5” brush will be designated your medium brush, so it must be free of color.
    • 1lb encaustic medium from any company
    • Sketchbook or Drawing paper
    • Package of razor blades or scraper
    • Various materials for collage (papers, magazine images, photos, etc.)
    • Any small sharp-ended tool for incising/writing/drawing into the wax (sewing or knitting needles are great)
    • Basic encaustic colors
    • Decorative stencils, mesh, doilies, etc-anything flat with open areas that can be used as a stencil
    • Masking or Painters tape
    • Carbon or Graphite transfer paper

      OPTIONAL MATERIALS 

Pattern & Repetition Slides Examples

What kind of work will I make?

Please enjoy the work example pics below from participants who have previously taken this workshop. Please also visit additional blog posts here and here and here for more information related to this workshop.

3 Ways to Register
1. *PREFERRED* Venmo: Send to @Lorraine-Glessner
2. Paypal: Send to lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com
3. Check: Email lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com for mailing address (check must be received at least 5 days before workshop start date)

Should Professional Artists Take Workshops?

I spend a good deal of my time sharing with and teaching others and although I learn a lot from my students, sometimes I want to be in the student seat, having fun and making a mess with new ideas, new products and new voices.

Lately, I’ve heard criticism that professional artists shouldn’t speak about taking workshops or classes because they then are relegated to student and are thought of as not as serious about their work. Well, using the wise words of my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Colletello-that’s hogwash! I take workshops because I AM serious about my work, about growing and expanding on my ideas in the studio and realizing that this sometimes doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I spend a good deal of my time sharing with and teaching others and although I learn a lot from my students, sometimes I want to be in the student seat, having fun and making a mess with new ideas, new products and new voices. To be clear, I don’t make a habit of taking classes, mainly because I think that too many workshops messes with studio mojo, but about every third year I choose an instructor whose work I respect and take a workshop with them. I have about five on my wishlist of futures and last month I took advantage of being Covid-bound and was finally able to take a virtual workshop I’ve had my eye on with the extremely inspiring Stuart Shils

I took was a drawing class called Reframing the Ordinary, basically about deriving compositions and content from your surroundings as well as retraining your eyes to see. I don’t come from a painting background and never really took painting classes in school, so the class exercises were challenging but super fun. We worked in a timed format on drawings and collages using only black and white and the same scene-I used a corner of my studio as inspiration. Each drawing prompt was different and encouraged focusing on different things each time-ie. the darkest area, the lightest area, where does your eye go first, second, etc. The collages were made using black and white paper and are what I enjoyed the most, especially black on black. Representing value with only one color was also an interesting challenge and encouraged noticing side by side value changes, dark to lights first and then mid-tones. This exercise encouraged imaginative ways to represent lights and darks by shape and texture, especially when only using one color paper. I included two of these collages below as well as a few juicy quotes from the workshop.

In conclusion, the answer to should professional artists take classes is a resounding, yes! And yes, do share with others what classes you take. We all have to help each other out during these times.

All quotes are Stuart Shils unless other wise noted.

• Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing seen. Paul Valery
• Every moment of the day offers opportunity if we are paying attention.
• If you think too hard or plan too much, you make it impossible to embrace the situation with authenticity.
• Landscape is anything that is in front of you.
• Making it simpler does not mean eliminating complexity.
• I don’t think too much about the difficulties, because then I would get stunned or stuck. Pay attention to the feeling instead, the changing, the ripening, the growing.

Exploring Landscape in a Live Virtual Encaustic Workshop

With the pandemic keeping us all close to home, its more important than ever to be able to find inspiration literally in your own backyard or close-by. I highlight the live, virtual encaustic workshop I am teaching December 6-11.

I’m grabbing my paints and jumping on the virtual teaching bandwagon along with so many of my esteemed teaching artist colleagues. I still, and with excited anticipation, very much intend to honor my in-person teaching workshop contracts coming up later in the year. But it is with equally excited anticipation that I highlight the quickly approaching live, virtual encaustic workshop I am teaching December 6-11 in collaboration with Wild Rice Retreats.
Visit The Workshop Web Page for more information and registration.

Exploring Landscape Through Encaustic & The Mark Live, Virtual Workshop

This workshop is one of my favorite in-person teaching experiences. I designed this workshop with the desire to share all of my favorite things-art, hiking and teaching-together in one class and in its 5th year it is still going strong. Everyone explores the outdoors differently and through class discussions and individual work, we all see, experience and learn from one another’s creative vision to experience the essence of the land through all of the senses. With the pandemic keeping us all close to home, its more important than ever to be able to find inspiration literally in your own backyard or close-by. Because we will all be in various states and/or countries for this virtual workshop, the group exploration of the various locales will be that much more exciting and expansive. I am currently working on new journaling, mark-making and painting exercises that are sure to inspire you out of stay-at-home humdrum. I very much look forward to creatively exploring your landscape and this virtual workshop platform with you.

Official Workshop Description

The mark of nature combined with encaustic painting creates timeless works which reference memory, change and time. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with innovative materials, drawing and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land. 

Daily journaling, meditation, readings and expressive mark-making exercises along with leisurely walks exploring the outdoors provide the inspiration for which to develop ideas for series based work while also developing your personal artistic voice. 

Through listening, mapping, touching, collecting and communing with nature through all of the senses, our body’s connection and its direct relationship to landscape is explored and experienced. 

**Please note that participants should be prepared to spend time outside as well as in the studio. In the event that participants are unable to take part in outdoor activities, participants are welcome to opt out and alternative indoor creative exercises will be provided.

To enhance your Virtual Live Retreat with Wild Rice Retreat, the following will be included in your registration:

  1. Welcome box featuring Wild Rice Retreat favorites and goodies to enhance your experience.
  2. Student Work Show posted on the Wild Rice Retreat Website at completion of online retreat
  3. Optional Individual meetings with instructor.
  4. Visit The Workshop Web Page for more information and registration.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (May be subject to slight changes)

SUNDAY, December 6, 5:00pm CST
Welcome and informal meet and greet with instructor and participants.

DAY 1: Monday, December 7
9:30am-11:30am CST
We will begin with brief discussion, settling and experiencing the moment. We will take a virtual hike to begin our first day of experiencing the land, discussion of breath/breathing, listening, drawing, journaling collecting inspiration and materials suitable for brush making as well as a brief brush making demo and encaustic monoprint/work on paper demo. Lorraine will introduce a mixed media exercise inspired by our morning hike in which we will use collected materials from the hike to make marks and generate ideas. The rest of the afternoon is devoted to refining this drawing and the sketches from our hike, free painting time and/or more inspiration gathering.

Optional Afternoon Session (Time TBA)
Optional group time for students to share, discuss their work, ask questions of Lorraine.

DAY 2: Tuesday, December 8
9:30am-11am CST
Discussion of drawings and findings from the day before and possibilities for further study. Journaling, discussion of distancing, isolation, effects of pandemic, separation, silence in relationship to the outdoors and how to express these thoughts in marks and paint. Inspiration slide talk of contemporary artists who effectively use line, mark-making and landscape in their work. Basic encaustic painting, color mixing demonstration. Throughout the day, optional individual meetings with Lorraine., individual time to work on projects/assignments.

Optional Afternoon Session (Time TBA)
Optional group time for students to share, discuss their work, ask questions of Lorraine.

DAY 3: Wednesday, December 9
9:30am-11:00am CST
Lorraine will begin with a discussion of paintings, drawings and findings from the day before and possibilities for further study. After discussion, Lorraine will present a basic collage demonstration and further monoprint/work on paper techniques. We will continue with uninterrupted work time for refining drawings, painting, working toward a series and optional individual discussions with Lorraine throughout the day.

Optional Afternoon Session (Time TBA)
Optional group time for students to share, discuss their work, ask questions of Lorraine.

DAY 4: Thursday, December 10
9:30am-11:30am CST
After morning discussion, we will continue with uninterrupted work time using mark making and encaustic to build a series, experiment with marks, make color studies, ask questions, request informal demos, and continue with individual discussions with Lorraine. Lorraine will also demonstrate the use of horsehair as well as introduce other interesting mark making products suitable for encaustic. Throughout the day, individual time to work on projects/assignments.

Optional Afternoon Session (Time TBA)
Optional group time for students to share, discuss their work, ask questions of Lorraine.

DAY 5: Friday, December 11
9:30am-11:30am CST
Discussion and wrap-up show and tell led by Lorraine.          

Visit The Workshop Web Page for more information and registration.

What Else?

  1. Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  2. Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  3. Mark-making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  4. The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with Lorraine. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Lorraine.
  5. Some guided meditation time, planned hiking geared toward your locale will relax and open your mind and spirit to the land, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  6. A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  7. Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and hikes.

Still on the fence?

Visit this post, this post, and this post to see highlights and student work from past Retreats similar in content to this workshop. Visit this post and this post to see how I combine art, hiking and landscape in my personal work.

Workshop & Retreat Guide: Which One is Best for You?

I used to see the two descriptives, ‘workshop’ and ‘retreat’ as interchangeable, but over the years have noticed a distinct increase in the use of the word retreat. As I have started to organize my own workshops and retreats, it became more apparent to define the difference for myself and prospective participants.

I hadn’t really given this question much thought until it was posed to me during my interview with Alyson Stanfield for her wonderfully informative Art Biz Podcast. I used to see the two descriptives, ‘workshop’ and ‘retreat’ as interchangeable, but over the years have noticed a distinct increase in the use of the word retreat. As I have started to organize my own workshops and retreats, it became more apparent to define the difference for myself and prospective participants. To my knowledge, no one has formally defined these two things so I’d like to add a bit of a disclaimer that the following guide is based on my own experience and are the guidelines I personally use when promoting and organizing my classes.

Artist Workshops are:

  • A gathering of like-minded individuals for a week or less for the purpose of learning, completing a project, exchanging ideas and/or discussion.
  • Usually takes place at a facility/house/room/building equipped specifically for the workshop, but may also be used for other purposes at other times.
  • Taught by a 1-2 professional instructors.
  • Although some may travel a distance to participate in a workshop, many may be also be local. Accommodations and meals may be, but are not always included as part of the workshop.
  • Offered multiple times a year.

Artist Retreats are:

  • The same as workshops in concept (see point one above), but are scheduled for a longer period of time-at least a week or more.
  • The location is important, is most often a destination locale and is often explored as a significant part of inspiration for the retreat.
  • There are side/field trips scheduled as part of the workshop inspiration.
  • Food, yoga, meditation, spa, and other body pampering activities are scheduled or available to the retreat participant.
  • Participants likely travel to the destination and are encouraged to stay at the location for the duration of the retreat in order to totally immerse themselves in the experience. Accommodations and meals are usually included as part of the retreat.
  • A unique experience and may be offered as a once in a lifetime or as a rarity.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and informative. Please see this post for a comprehensive listing of my 2020 Artist Workshops & Retreats.

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