Saturday, November 27, 2010


For those of you who wish to immerse yourselves into 3 days of encaustic bliss, here is an opportunity to come to Oregon and stay in a camp or hotel setting while taking classes from 3 different instructors and then gathering in the evenings for more wax-directed activities. This is Trish Baldwin Seggebruch's dreamchild and I've signed on because it's close to my home, it sounds like a blast, good teachers are already involved and I want to hang out with a group of people who love the wax as much as I do.

I'll be teaching the same class each of the 3 days so you'll only sign up for me once and then you have your choice of two other instructors. (Bridgette Guerzon-Mills? Be still my heart!) Each of the instructors has a strong background in encaustic and you will have a great time.

My class description for Painting From the Hot PaletteJoin Judy Wise for a day of discovery as we mix our own paints from clear medium and colored pigments to create beautiful, original works of art. No previous painting experience is necessary; Judy will guide you through a series of simple exercises that will help you produce 2 finished paintings.

The site isn't completely up yet but you can preview it here and start a few dreams in motion for next July.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In My Studio!

These are my friends and "students" who helped me christen the Playhouse Studio for my first adventure into teaching hot palette encaustic on my home turf. Gosh it was wonderful having access to my printer, computer, and adequate electricity for all the hot plates and heat guns. I wish now that I'd taken photos of the food everyone contributed; I only asked that each person bring a sack lunch but everyone showed up with food to share including me so we had lots of snacking throughout the weekend - mostly me nibbling at everything. Back row left to right: Barbara, Melinda, Jenny. Bottom: myself and Ruth.

On the second day we got into the wet technique of painting with dry pigments and wax medium. Each painting produced was gorgeous. The one above was painted by Barbara - don't you love it?

Melinda painted this one above. It is quite different than the faces she has painted in the past and I think it is beautiful too. Such a tender expression around the mouth.

Ruth is an accomplished artist and the face above is the one she painted. Beautiful texture, skin tones, everything. I was gleeful at her results and not surprised. I threatened to take credit for teaching her "everything she knows" lol. She was a joy to have and kept us laughing for 2 days.

Jenny's face above just kills me. Incredible use of color, expression, wax technique, the whole enchilada. That lime and pink satisfies a deep craving I have. I told her that she is a wonderful colorist but in truth she can take her work in any direction she chooses.

Ruth and Jenny.

My behind and Barbara. (thank you Melinda for taking many of these photos)

This is the sample board I used to demo a series of techniques. Sometimes I like my demo boards better than my paintings.

And lastly a board that I fiddled with while everyone else worked hard on their projects.

I am going to continue teaching 2-day hot palette encaustic classes in my home studio next year. By accepting only 4 students at a time it really is like a little party where we all get to know and enjoy a personal relationship and there is an adequate and affordable motel just blocks away where people who travel in can stay. I have a waiting list now for the first few months of 2011 but once I get organized I'll put up a list of dates that you can sign up for. I'm so happily excited about this new direction. I just love to share my enthusiasm and love of creating with others.

Okay, I'll try to come down to earth now. But really. These guys got me inspired. xo

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thoughts on Who We Are

These first two journal spreads were completed in Orly's class at Journalfest. When we walked into the classroom there was a packet of collage papers and a large, beautiful bird at each work station. No two birds were alike and each one was astonishingly beautiful. The class was about mapping ourselves/our lives and I loved it. I wont describe her exercises but I will say that she works very differently than I do and that it is wonderful to shake yourself out of your own rut from time to time and get a glimpse into another way of journaling.

She had us work over the edge of the page and onto the next spread. To map ourselves and to look at our lives in a new light. Since then I've been thinking a lot about the anthropology of self-study. Taking note of what attracts me, where I point my camera, where the love lies. We are so different than each other in our preferences and habits. How well do we know ourselves?

I've been dashing around for the last several days preparing for my encaustic class here in my own studio. I could never have done something like this before. Opening myself up this much, sharing everything, trusting that it would be wonderful ... no, it has taken me awhile to get to this place. I am ecstatic that we never stop growing and changing. That I can let in what after all is so good and uplifting.

Here is the little Christmas cat I sent back to Lorraine for the fund raiser. I'm stunned as usual that the year has gone so quickly and that we're looking at Thanksgiving already. Life is just gliding out from under me even as I try to savor and hold it. How sweet each moment.

I'll try to come back next week with pictures of the class and our paintings. We are going to make some awesome stuff. ;-D

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November's Shakin'

It's been awhile, hasn't it? I've been kept busy keeping the flaming skillets up in the air but I promised myself I'd get a post up no matter what. I'm writing class proposals, making samples, went to a retreat on the Oregon coast and have generally been filling up my plate with life.

The beach retreat was a real luxury. John urged me to go as a reward for a year of adjustment and change. But I must confess that life has been pretty gentle to me for the past several months now.

It's been so long since I painted that I wasn't sure where to start. This one was done on a stack of sewn kraft paper scraps (paper bags). I plan to do more of these.

Remember the chayote vine that I photographed for you last summer? It was almost covering the trellis then.

Well, this is what it looks like now, surrounded by fall colors. It is like having the green man bulking up right in our yard. It has blossoms but will not fruit in our climate but it's sure been fun watching it grow.

While I was at it these guys were interested in what I was doing. Everything is so green in Oregon; we haven't had a frost yet.

This little guy came in the mail for me while I was at the beach. You can see more of them here all decorated up for Halloween. I'm going to decorate mine for Christmas and mail it back to Lorraine for an auction.

I met Lorraine at my doll class in Portland. This is the doll she created above. I think it is beyond wonderful. Her blog is fun and filled with great ideas; you should check it out.

A friend had a Birthday this week so she got a special card (above). She was at the Beach Retreat too. The card is mixed media encaustic. Can you see the maple leaf tucked in there? They are only red at this time of year.

And my gardenia is still blooming in the studio. What a cheerful sight in mid-November. It takes me back to the prom I attended so many years ago when I was given the first gardenia I'd ever seen.

Here is Ethel Mermaid, my newest doll that I made at the beach. She's a sassy little thing, right proud of herself for crawling up on dry land and into the doll collection.

Just look at her preening on her little shelf with the other girls (and one old man and a horse.)

Finally I painted 2 paintings while I was at the beach. Thinking about the comforts of animals, bonfires, spirit guides and more.

Time to get back to my chores. John went into a neighboring town for ingredients for some new recipes he found on the net and I'm hoping he'll pick up a burrito for me. Help me send the vibe to him ... mmm, I'm hungry. xo

addendum: Yes, John did bring me some food. And in response to your requests I've listed the above image of the crow woman for sale here.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Here's a tasty little appetizer of plaster and wax for you; one of the pieces Stephanie and I created and one of the images in the book which is now up for pre-order on Amazon. Pinch me - I'm an author!

The main reason I wanted to post right away is to let you know that the class is filled for November and a couple of lists are started for December and January. I may be doing this for a few more months into next year so if you are still interested in some real deep one on four wax instruction in my studio, let me know at and I'll add you to the roster.

Some of these pages I did at Journalfest and some at home. They are pretty scrappy and normally I'd keep them to myself but what the hey.

Juliana Coles had us collage ourselves as Brides of Frankenstein with animal parts and people parts. I'm a person-fish-dog hanging out in the boneyard. It was fun.

Yesterday we had 70 degrees here in Portland and I was able to go to "Collage Garage" in sandals and a short sleeved tee. We haven't even had a frost yet. It was fun meeting with the girls and playing.

I'm kind of besotted with carbon paper tracing right now after Juliana's class exercise. Have always loved Darger's Girls and have done some in my own style over the years but this was the first time I did a giant frog.

Loss and sorrow are part of the journey too. Carol Parks on her site posted the quote, "Life is good even when it isn't".

I feel closer to magic and possibility than I did before Journalfest. Something about the transformation of Halloween, when we have the opportunity to see through the veil and sense the mystery, you know? I used to think I knew what reality was but now, and with the recent discoveries showing that time and space is likely a hologram, I'm seriously lost. Or found. Wrapped in the mystery.

One last spooky page. A friend wrote this morning saying she was going shopping for an umbrella and I had to smile. Surely this is our last glowing day of sunshine and color. Enjoy it all. xo

Monday, November 01, 2010

Running on Full

Home from Journalfest; the best one so far and that's saying a lot. Everything was amazing; beautiful weather every day, stars at night (I saw a shooting star for the first time in months), magical, beautiful, wonderful, loving human beings sharing, laughing, being kind to each other.

I took 2 classes with Juliana Coles. Here she is dressed as a witch. She makes an awfully pretty witch I think and her classes were amazing. I've taken 4 classes from her now and she is very good at what she does. (which is take you to a higher level)

My room overlooked a green meadow and off in the distance was the water and the distant mountains.

Here is one of those amazing smiles I was telling you about. Warm, open, incredibly nourishing to experience.

Andrew Dyrdahl looking like, well, Andrew Dyrdahl. He's teaching at Artfest next March and his classes look like fun.

This is a spread I did in Juliana's class the second day. It represents my "house" and as you can see it has lots of guest rooms for my friends. I wish we could all live together in some exotic locale (with all our art supplies and a big studio of course!). We would just make art all day and eat strawberries and ice cream.

This is Graciella, my newest Sculpey doll. She can't be shown in full because she gets to be in somebody's book in a year or so. She's real proud of herself.

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch sent me this beautiful kit of encaustic materials to try out in my studio and I can't wait to give it a whirl. I can see just by looking that the color cakes are extraordinarily heavily pigmented and inviting. I'm having a few friends over on November 20-21st for a 2 day class and we'll all try out the new supplies then. I'll report back on how I like them.

We have room for 1 more student (imagine a class with only 4 students in all!) - to be held right here in my studio and covering everything I know about encaustic. (November 20-21st). If you want to be that 4th student please email me for details at All the information is here at this link. Once I accept the student I will update here and maybe I'll be having another class here in my studio in January.

That's all I have for you at this moment, guys. I have a zillion photos to go through and a week's worth of catching up to do before I head off to another retreat so I'll visit back when I can and when I do I'll show you my pages from Orly Avenieri's wonderful class. (yay! I got to meet another one of my heros.) I am happier and more full of life than I have been all year. I hope this is a good time for you as well. xo