Encaustic Workshop Weekend


Encaustic Workshop Weekend 2019

Weekend Workshop June 29 and 30

I first came across encaustic in the late 1990’s. We were living in Bermuda and several artists from the island were going off to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. San Miguel is a remarkably “arty” enclave where you could take workshops in lots of different media. One on offer was encaustic. A Canadian girl who was living in Bermuda at the time came back to the island with these beautiful pieces made with encaustic.

We bought a piece in an exhibition called 7x3, which is of 27 pears. I still have it hanging in my kitchen. For years I would wonder how she had made it. I knew it was wax but that was about it. Pre-internet it was hard to find out anything much, especially living on a small island in the Atlantic. The artist was also very reluctant to share the secret of encaustic.

Many years later we found ourselves living in Brisbane. Someone I knew had started going to Tafe (like a tech college) and was loving the art courses there. She mentioned that if you did the diploma, they offered encaustic. I enrolled the next year. I had a ball, first learning how to paint in acrylic on a large scale. Australia is a big country so making big paintings seemed like the obvious thing to do. Then I enrolled on the diploma and asked to learn encaustic. It soon transpired that the tutor (although great) didn’t know a whole lot about encaustic. She did a quick demo and gave me a book. I read the book. I’m awful for following instructions but this time I did. The first pieces I made were truly awful. However, I had wanted to work in this beautiful medium for so long I wasn’t going to be deterred.

I went big and made 8 A2 panels. Disaster…The pieces I made looked like bad oil paintings. I had one of those “#$ ***$%#” panic moments. I reviewed what I had done, assessed why they were dreadful and realised something which I should have known, which is never try to make a medium be something it’s not. The result was lovely, and I still love the first piece I made in this beautiful media.

 What is encaustic? It is an ancient technique which uses layers of hot(molten) and fused wax to make beautiful art. Encaustic is a diverse medium and surprisingly accommodating. It is suitable for beginners and you don’t need to know much about art to have a go.

The workshop will all the basics concerning substrates, wax preparation and application, fusing, colouring, etching, collage, layering, shellac, surface preparation, wax application, cutting, polishing, collage, masking, stencilling, gilding and more.

I will demonstrate a range of techniques and then you will be guided through two finished pieces with a step by step approach. There will be plenty of room for experimentation and personalisation.

Fee : Book one day or both  $150 for either day which will include all materials plus tea and coffee or $250 for the weekend, time 10 am til 3 materials provided. BYO lunch and water to drink. Beginners most welcome.