Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and productive New Year for you and your loved ones. The new year is full of opportunities for us! We look forward to FLUX: An Encaustic Retreat in Santa Fe, NM at the Buffalo Thunder Resort. This event, which will be Thursday, September 27th – Sunday, September 30th, is in collaboration with the Encaustic Art Institute and the Artisan Materials Expo. Several of our members will be teaching at the Expo, and you will have the opportunity to attend workshops across a broad range of artistic disciplines through the Expo. As in 2016, the retreat is a separate event from the Expo, with a dedicated area for encaustic discussion and events. We are still in the planning stages for FLUX, but you can sign up now for the Artisan Materials Expo workshops and book your hotel room at a special discounted rate by following this link: https://www.expoartisan.com/. We will also be continuing our robust cycle of grants and scholarships, working hard to fulfill our mission of supporting artists at all stages of their careers. These will be announced soon by email and on social media. I encourage you to review the “Awards and Grants” tab of our website to see the variety of programs that we support, and I encourage you to apply for the programs that interest you. Our board will have elections in February. Paul Kline is standing for confirmation as Secretary. Thanks to Paul for stepping forward for this important position. Will you please consider a volunteer position at IEA? We are in need of board members in the area of Scholarships and Grants, Chapters and Membership, and Exhibitions. There is a need for volunteers to review and score scholarship and grant applications. Our board cultivates a respectful and professional working environment and an attitude of respect for the time that is volunteered. Please write to me at email@example.com to discuss ways you can give back to IEA. Finally, thanks to Melissa Rubin for curating another exceptional issue of encaustiZINE©, our twice-yearly digital publication for our members. I trust you will find much to enrich you and your artistic practice.
Melissa Lackman President, International Encaustic Artists
Art and transformation: they go hand in hand Art, by it’s very nature, is a transformational experience; it is alchemy at it’s core. An artist takes something as amorphous as inspiration, mixes it with emotion, intention, vision and a chosen medium, and ‘voila’ ... transformation. This aspect of art is a given. As miraculous as it is, it’s something that can be taken for granted and we can forget the true magic that is involved. But, when life throws it’s inevitable curve balls, that is when the true transformational power of art can be outright astonishing. Whether dealing with emotional, physical, or spiritual dilemmas, art has the amazing capacity to pull us through, as creator or viewer, and function as a guiding light during these periods of darkness. I know I have looked to my creative process to get me through and help transform the traumas of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, as well as personal losses and upheavals throughout my life. Art has power: power to heal, and transform, our hearts and minds. In this issue of encaustiZINE© we hear from IEA members who reveal deeply personal parts of themselves and have poetically spoken of the ways in which their art, and creative process, has moved, and is moving, them forward and through challenging times. I am humbled by what they share, and grateful for their honesty and candor. I hope you are too. We also welcome guest artist and blogger Carol Taylor-Kearney’s beautiful review of the recent exhibition in New York City, Hopeful Darkness, at Chelsea’s Atlantic Gallery. Wishing you all a year filled with much creativity and transformation, Melissa Rubin Editor, encaustiZINE© Vice President IEA
Soul Work: Harnessing the Power of Your Art
By Michelle Belto
As artists, we strive to create work from a deep place in ourselves. Although we don’t always get there, our desire to do so allows us access to what Carl Jung would call the collective unconscious. When we create at this mythic level, our work can be truly transformational both to ourselves as creators and to those who experience our art. Joseph Campbell would equate artmaking with dreaming. When we dream, we are reaching into the “deep dark ground that is the support of our conscious life.” For the artist, creating is our dreaming. Granted, many of our art works are ordinary associations of our lived questions and concerns, but from time to time we tap into that “deep dark ground” creating work that is truly mythic, what I call, Archetypal Art. Because these artworks are both filters and mirrors into our inner life, they have inherent power to bring us to a greater consciousness.
I have made a lot of art since 1989. Very few of these works carry that kind of transformative power; however, because they appear at pivotal times in my life, these paintings, or plays or sculptures are thresholds for amazing self-discoveries that often hold the key to new directions in both my life and my work. Over the years I have used a variety of processes to identify my archetypal artworks and deconstruct the richness of their symbolic meaning. If you are interested in harnessing the life changing power of your art, here are a few steps to get you started.
I became aware of my own archetypal artwork in a most dramatic way. I was in the process of scripting a one-woman show based on the life of a twelfth century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. One morning, I woke up from a powerful dream in which I had been told to paint. Although my training was in the arts—theater and dance—I had never really painted. Believing that there are no accidents, I took the morning off to buy art supplies. What evolved from that first step into the unknown were a series of five large paintings that changed my life.
When you find a work that has an interior pull, set it to one side. If your head gets involved in the selection process, you will probably choose work that has more to do with your career than your life. Instead, stay with your intuition. Don’t make this either an exhaustive or a definitive process. You will find that artworks, like puzzle pieces, will continue to be discovered over time as you fit them into your story. If you select five images of work that has “soul energy” you have enough material for a year of inner work.
Finding Your Archetypal Artworks
First, you will need to identify your archetypal artworks. Set aside quiet time for yourself, armed with a journal and a source of images of your work. Archetypal art ...the creative doesn’t have to be your best work or even recent process is about work. In fact, some of my most transformative As artists the creative process is about bringing bringing our inner pieces aren’t even finished. The work can be our inner world into the outer world. When we world into the outer current or sold, available to you in image or create in time and space, we project our dreams world. memory. I no longer had a slide of a work that I and visions as well as our fears and unresolved remembered as emotionally significant. The issues onto the screen of our work. Jung calls image, though, was clear in my mind, so I this a necessary, unconscious and involuntary process by which we become our true self. As artists, then, we are in a reconstructed it. Although the image changed some in the unique position to use our creations to understand our own reconstruction, it still had an ability to provide insight. Begin a slow shuffle through your work in no particular order. story.
Secondly, place the images in a format that is easy and portable. I like to glue images of my archetypal art onto cards
OPPOSITE PAGE: Soul Boxes © Michelle Belto 2015; 16”x20”x2”; Encaustic,
collage, mixed-media on artist created paper canvas.
ABOVE: Hildegard © 1990, Michelle Belto; Michelle in a performance of ‘Hildegard of Bingen’, a one-woman full-
ABOVE: Pearl of Great Price © 1989, Michelle Belto;
some artists arrange their images in a special journal, others work with images digitally from an online library.
Write the new title in your journal. (Note: the key to working this way is to honor whatever comes to your mind without needing to make “it right” or “make sense.”)
Unlocking the Power in Your Work The next step is to unlock the power of your work. When approaching a new image, I often use a simple TTAQ form used in dream interpretation. After I quiet my spirit so that I can listen, I first look “with fresh eyes” at the image and then give it a new title with the first words that come to my head.
I next “remember” the experience of making the work and/or any life circumstances that I associate with its creation. I am not concerned with accuracy; I am looking for the themes that might have been playing out in my life and work at the time. Again, I write the first words that come to my mind whether they make sense in this moment or not. 8
ABOVE: In the Beginning © 1988, Michelle Belto; 60”x48”; Mixed-media on paper.
Returning to the image, I attempt to name the emotions that come to me…how I am affected, touched or moved by the image. Don’t be surprised if you discover several feelings that arise as you re-experience your work in this way.
ABOVE: Home Cooking Passed Down © 2017, Michelle Belto; 13”x13”x2”; Encaustic, mixed-media
You can follow up any of the TTAQ insights with journaling to tease out additional information. Don’t be surprised if this process feels awkward or foreign at first. When you consistently take time to allow your art to speak to you, I suspect you will discover like I have that there is an amazing source of wisdom just the other side of your brush.
The last, Q, stands for Question. I always find something puzzling, mysterious, concerning or intriguing about the image or a section of the painting that inspires a question. It is the question that often becomes my path forward. If several questions come to mind, write them all. Usually, one question will become more significant than all the others. Answer the question in writing from the perspective of your work. Sometimes, the question needs to percolate. I often place my image in a prominent place in my studio so that I will see it at odd moments during the day. When I feel on the verge of an answer, I imagine myself a scribe, capturing the 9 painting’s response.
Michelle Belto is an artist, international instructor and author living and working in South Texas. To see more of Michelle’s artwork visit her website at http://www.michellebelto.com If you are interested in learning more about Soul Work or Archetypal Art, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive information about future workshops and publications.
The Path Forward
By Melissa Hall
The last six years, I have been combining my photography tude of the problem before she could no longer ignore her with encaustic medium and paint. I photograph women illness, but she was practicing a lot of retail therapy. Moving wearing vintage clothing in dilapidated, abandoned spaces. back into my parent’s home to help take care of her was Using Photoshop, I process my images to make them fit my stifling and claustrophobic. These feelings led to the image ideas. The last step in the process is to apply wax and oil “The Weight” where I shoved my model [the figure] into a paint to my images. The wax combines wonderfully with the closet full of fabulous but crushing silver objects. Later, I subject matter of my photography. It adds depth and started using luggage as a symbol for the burdens I felt the enhances the mystery and texture present in my work. Plus, need to carry since my mother’s passing. Tying my model to the physical side of working with the wax and fusing each numerous pieces of luggage in a room that had a small layer is a calming and pleasant experience for me. Two and window but no door was another way I explored the larger a half years ago, I discovered what a life-saving and idea of feeling weighed down by too many things. transformative process my art would become for me. This The final image I produced dealing with my mother’s death journey began Easter weekend 2015. I received a call from was “My Island.” I placed a model and an my Father letting me know that my mother empty dress together on a circle of dirt I don't really know or was seriously ill. Six weeks later she had surrounded by a puddle of water. After even want to speculate passed away and I had learned that I have the covering the image with encaustic medium, it what's ahead of me, but same cancer she did. didn’t look the way I had envisioned, so I I do know that I'm not My mind has never been a quiet space, but melted most of the wax off of the image, going to go sit in my my thoughts were on the volume setting of letting it drip down toward the bottom. This comfortable chair and roar now. As I was driving back and forth was a happy and fulfilling accident. I left the watch TV. between KY and WV while my mother was ill, bottom third of the piece covered in this the ideas started flowing. They were coming so quickly that drippy wax which resembled tears when I was finished. It sometimes I would have to pull over to capture them in my was amazingly cathartic to produce a work that so perfectly phone. Figuring out a visual way to represent an idea has mirrored my feelings. always been a thrilling challenge to me, but it became a way After working primarily with ideas surrounding my mother’s to quiet my mind and retain my sanity while dealing with two death, I started to think more about my battle with cancer. major life-changing events at one time. By this time, I had been through surgery, twenty-seven I dealt with my problems in order. First my mother’s death rounds of radiation, and 5 rounds of chemotherapy. I started and then my own cancer fight. Any idea that developed, associating chemotherapy with rust, particularly rusty nails. whether it was negative, angry, hopeful, or mundane, was An image resulting from this was “The Path Forward.” It had treated as valid. That allowed me the space to process what a blindfolded model striding forward on a floor spiked with I was feeling without judging it. I also think this lead me to clusters of rusty nails but also green, mossy patches. I got a dig deeper and produce more meaningful and personal few weird looks at the studio when I was hot gluing rusty images. The last few years of her life, my mother had nails to our hardwood floors for my photo shoot. Another become a little bit of a hoarder. I hadn’t realized the magniimage that I had shot years ago but never finished finally
OPPOSITE: The Path Forward © Melissa Hall; 24”x30”; Photo, encaustic, oil
ABOVE, Left: The Weight © Melissa Hall; 24”x48”; Photo, encaustic, oil; ABOVE. Right: My Island © Melissa Hall; 18”x18”; Photo, encaustic, oil
spoke to me. The model was in an empty attic room with white walls and broken flooring. I had photographed her with a pen in her hand, miming the action of writing on a wall. It took this cancer experience for me to finally decide what it was she was writing. She was counting time. I tested to see what pencil would not smear when I applied the encaustic medium and then I wrote tick marks on spots all over the walls and ceiling of the room. The idea of marking time resonated with me in several more images.
of chemotherapy. My prognosis was and still is unclear. There has been plenty of fodder for art! I have found it remarkable that the act of using the emotions and thoughts created by this chaotic time to make something positive helped to remove much of the fear and desperation. This experience has led me to ask some big questions and take a look at what I want from the rest of my life. How can I get out of cruise mode into a more active, present existence? Am I making work because it is meaningful to me?
The cancer returned six months after my initial treatment had ended. I had another successful surgery and 12 more rounds
My faith in the universe has been bolstered by so many people who have gone above and beyond to help me cont-
ABOVE: Rewrite the Script; 36”x24”; RIGHT, Top: Marking Time; 24”x36”; RIGHT, Bottom: The Burdens, 24”x36”; all
inue to make art through this chaos. I don't really know or even want to speculate what's ahead of me, but I do know that I'm not going to go sit in my comfortable chair and watch TV. I will continue to meet up with friends, set up photo shoots, and create magic in my studio. The future will figure itself out. My experiences during these brushes with mortality will undoubtedly continue to transform and enrich my art. I will be eternally grateful for this positive side effect.
Melissa T. Hall is an award-winning artist based in Lexington, Kentucky. Feeling something was missing after starting a career in computer science, she returned to school in Florida to study studio art and photography. The past few years have seen a fundamental shift in the way she approaches her imagery. Returning to Kentucky after 10 years of living in Florida, altered not only Melissa’s environment but also her muse. Her pieces are a combination of her conceptual photography with encaustic processes and oil paint.
Melissa’s work has been exhibited nationally and can be found in private and institutional collections. http://www.melissathall.com http://www.facebook.com/melissathallstudios/
By Michelle Hayden
The quest for wholeness is intrinsic to artistic process, but how can integration and coherence be coaxed to emerge from disparate, seemingly unrelated fragments? The root of my work in encaustic, a reimagining of natural wonders absorbed by the senses, continues in response to this query. This approach has given me many things: a sense of direction, unending inspiration, and a means to bridge the affinity for capturing those elusive bits through the lens, enabling them to be transformed by hands and mind and wax.
about how my body and mind are being affected magnifies it for me. What I do know is that art always has brought me healing and courage when I did not know how else to cope. It has brought me deepened and renewed perspective when I have been exhausted or discouraged. Above all, it has brought me hope.
The total eclipse powerfully reinforced my sense of hope. It was a visual and emotional memory unlike anything I have encountered. As the moon made its way across the path of the sun and aligned completely, intensely This has been an instinctual progression, an radiant white light erupted around the entire I am compelled to make outgrowth of having embraced this mindset art that embodies my past periphery of the moon’s silhouette, a in my inward process of healing. Using art as brilliance which could not be fully and present, reflecting a gateway to the deepest self has helped to transmitted through photograph, yet, is the empowerment that transmute (literally, trans-mute— to forever etched into my mind. It made me comes from inner overcome my voicelessness) those parts of cry, as I felt such profound purity, reverie, searching, speaking one’s me that have experienced trauma, into a beauty, and awe that this miracle was put truth, and reaching out to reclaimed self that experiences the gifts of into form I could record with my own eyes connect with others. release and ongoing healing. I am and memory. Being closely paired with the compelled to make art, art that embodies my shadow of changing health has given me the past and present, reflecting the empowerment that comes opportunity to use this as a symbol for healing and from inner searching, speaking one’s truth, and reaching out transcendence as I begin treatment and management of my to connect with others. Together, these elements support condition. forward movement, with widened understanding and Just as in my artistic process I invite diverse parts to join fortified reserves to weather what will come. together to form a coherent whole, I am offered the On August 22, 2017, the morning after the eclipse, I opportunity to accept these impaired parts, or even learn received news that is propelling this mental framework into a from them. I am deepening my awareness and appreciation new dimension. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and for the ability to move, speak, maintain independence, and have since been coming to terms with it. How can I apply receive help and support. Indebted to all of the scientists, what I know and believe about the transformational power of doctors, and patients who undergo research and clinical creating art? How can this knowledge give me strength to trials in order for medicine to be available, I will carry this live with this disease? And how can I accept the uncertainty gratitude in facing the challenges as they emerge, remaining of how my future will unfold? We all live with uncertainty and connected to the goodness that remains beneath it all. this new reckoning Being loved by family and friends who not only support me, 15 OPPOSITE: Rebirth, 2017 © Michelle Hayden; Mixed media; 5.5” x 7.5” x 7.5”
ABOVE: Beneath the Bark © 2017, Michelle Hayden; 16”x55”x6”; Mixed media
but light the way by how they bravely walk their own journey, provides daily sustenance and rich soil for my own growth. My hope is that I can push on in the same way I approach my art— with curiosity as to new possibilities of being and new ways of expressing, not allowing the hurdles to diminish my spirit.
ABOVE: What Does it Mean to be Whole © 2017, Michelle Hayden; 18”x12”x5”; Mixed media
And although feelings of brokenness and fear of my brain/ body/mind not returning to its healthiest state slip into my consciousness, I realize the importance of returning to the concept of wholeness, just as the moon remains whole, no matter its phase. Despite being changed by what we experience, whether it be trauma, illness, loss or any challenge on life’s path, we are all still preserved and complete inside. Thank goodness for this truth, and for art, inner wisdom and vocal loved ones who remind us of that when we need it. Again and again, the power of the human spirit is revived, as is our resiliency to meet difficulty when confronted with it… a strong parallel to our practice of facing artistic challenges throughout the years of exploration, dedication, and drive necessary to continue creating dynamic work. 16
ABOVE: Outgrowth © 2017, Michelle Hayden; 14”x30”x10”; Mixed media
Our spirits and bodies have incredible, and often untappeduntil-pushed, capabilities that can overcome unexpected trials. Art is such a tangible reminder that we can always find different ways when something is no longer working, and may bring us to regeneration that would not have been discovered otherwise— perhaps even transforming our work completely and bringing unforeseen direction. Like the lotus blossom that emerges unsoiled from muddy waters in the morning light, beauty and strength of being can come from things which are painful, causing us to reexamine our perceptions and remain open to insight that heals.
Nestled between the hills and the sky grounds Michelle and keeps her connected to the natural world as she creates her art while raising and home educating their sons. She feels awe for the unfolding of growth that comes from looking deeper, and works from this foundation in transforming her photography into encaustic sculpture. Her career as a social worker gifted her with witnessing the power of the human spirit as she continued her own process of healing through artistic expression, an integral thread that remains in her bodies of work. She believes that creativity reconnects us to our true self, and enables a bridge for kinship and shared understanding with others, a privilege available to us all. Michelle continues to balance her growth as an artist with supporting others in finding healing through their own discovery, creating and co-
As the light brilliantly surrounded the moon, so am I aware of leading Healing Through Art workshops. Her upcoming exhibition, “Beyond”, opens this spring, being encircled by profound love and compassion. I am her first solo exhibition (Mill and Max Contemplative Arts Gallery, Lexington, KY brimming with thankfulness beyond words for the power of (March-April, 2018). Her work has been exhibited across the United States in creativity, the privilege of sharing it outwardly, and for the local, national, and international exhibits. She was honored to receive the 2016 International Emerging Artist Grant from the International Encaustic Artists. She ever-changing qualities encaustic embodies that allow me to is a featured artist in both the Encaustic Arts Magazine (Spring 2016 issue), and practice and express so fully. My hope is that my hands will the upcoming International Encaustic Artists’ encaustiZINE© (Winter Issue 2018), continue to have the ability to sculpt what is in my mind and both of which feature her sculpture on the magazine cover. Michelle’s encaustic work resides in the permanent collection at the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa heart. And like all of life’s unpredictable path, I am aware Fe, NM, and is displayed in private collections across the United States. She is that I must stay committed to trusting, traveling, and represented by Malton Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky Guild of Artists persisting in doing my best with what evolves, holding fast to and Craftsmen in Berea, Kentucky, and the Berea Arts Council in Berea, KY. the tenacity which resides in us all. 17 http://www.michellehaydenfineart.com/
Art as Healing
By Jodi Reeb
“I think art is a total thing; a total person giving a contribution. It is an essence, a soul. In my inner soul, art and life are inseparable.” - Eva Hesse
Art has transformed my life since I was very young. At the age of 5, I created poster drawings using crayons on blue-lined tablet paper and sold them throughout my neighborhood for a dollar. That’s when the idea was planted that I could make art as a way to make a living. This became my new identity: me as artist. Since then, my ideas concerning beauty, abstraction, nature and art are given form through the language of printmaking, encaustic and acrylic painting and sculpture. Tactile painting and repetitive mark marking is a record of an experience or feelings. I hope my work is a sensory experience for those that view it. For me, it is an act of discovery.
OPPOSITE AND ALL IMAGES: From Encircle, at Traffic Zone Gallery ©2017, Jodi Reeb; Gallery Installation views; Mixed-media encaustic paintings and metallic paint on acrylic panels and found objects such as wood, glass plates, records, candle holders, platters and bowls.
Artist Statement: â€œCircles have been a subject matter for me for over 20 years. I identify with the obvious references to the shape; centered, wholeness, sphere, etc. However, the attraction for me is the negative space that a circle or sphere evokes through shadow and space. I appreciate the fact that a circle is both an organic and a geometric shape. I apply changes in texture and color by painting diverse surfaces with materials such as beeswax and metallic paints that patina when they interact and create something new. I begin with a layer of paint or a structure, and from that point on, it becomes about process; making marks and textures, applying materials, responding to each action with a reaction. In this way, spontaneous connections are valued as highly as are planned compositions. As each work evolves, it gains an identity that eventually solves itself through process, positive and negative space and dimension. To me, these paintings are seeds being carried by the wind.â€?
well as metallic paints that patina. Combinations were discovered, explored, proposed, rejected and accepted as part of the art-making process. These paintings were created to be part of a series and some were partnered through discovery to utilize the entire gallery wall space. The disk paintings flow from one wall to another continuously, disregarding where walls conjoin as a way of exploring contrasting and common
I also have a particular interest in creating art for health care environments. My mother died of breast cancer in 1993, which meant I spent a lot of time in clinics and hospital rooms as a teenager where the art was not often regarded as a priority. I know firsthand how important art can be and that it can change your experience of a space and outlook. Working with the idea of art as healing is a personal agenda for me and I know it can transform an experience to that of healing.
In November 2017, I was able to transform the Traffic Zone Gallery in Minneapolis by encompassing the whole gallery to showcase a series of disk paintings as my first large-scale installation. I wanted the viewerâ€™s experience of my work to be physical and I often observed how they turned in a circle to see all of the paintings in the space as one continuous view. In this new series of dimensional paintings, I created circular works in an installation that oscillate between painting and sculpture. I used contrasting materials and substrates made of found objects and circular acrylic panels using encaustic (beeswax) and acrylic paint, as
elements that form connections. Through this approach, there are discovered relationships between the elements, creating rhythms, patterns and visual textures that are nature-based as well as abstract.
Jodi Reeb lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has been creating art for over 25 years as a full-time visual artist. Her artwork has been shown nationally receiving numerous awards and is in many private and corporate collections nationally. She received a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she instructed printmaking in the Continuing Studies program for over 9 years. Currently, Jodi is a member of the GOLDEN Artist Educator team for GOLDEN Artist Colors and will be teaching acrylic workshops. Reeb has also been teaching encaustic workshops for over 5 years in her studio. She creates her mixed-media paintings and sculptures from her studio at the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art in Minneapolis, but travels to the countryside to receive her inspiration, combining contrasting materials and surfaces in her work. For more information: http://www.jodireeb.com
I desire to create art as my self-expression because it allows me a means to connect with others. Teaching art over the past 20 years has allowed me to expand even more. Everyone has a story to tell or a story worth hearing. There are connections to be made with everyone. We all have things in common; experiences, feelings and thoughts. Teaching allows me to understand and appreciate my students through these interactions and I am transformed.
Transformational Power of Art
By Josie Rodriguez
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso It has been a belief throughout my years as a working artist that art is universal in its intervention for healing the spirit and has the capacity to change the way we view the world and ourselves in it. This was my artist statement from many years ago and is still true for me today.
transformative on many levels. Art in many forms connects us with others, brings a smile to our face or brings us to tears. It was surprising for me to hear from a viewer of my art during an exhibition that she felt like crying. She shared that moment with me and I have thought about it for a long time.
I love the Degas quote that says, “ Art isn’t what you see, but what you help others see.” Art is transformative for both the artist in the process of making the art and the viewer. In the encaustic process, the wax goes through several transformations—from solid to soft and to solid again. The artistic medium of encaustic in its molten state moves fluidly and seems alive as it finds its way on the panel or paper. Just looking at how wax is created in the beehive, creating strength and efficiency and then to see how we as artist use this wax in beautiful and creative ways is transformative in itself. The process itself reflects the possibility for interior transformation between the artist and viewer and I am reminded of the creative force or fire within that we as artists often experience when we work.
Could it be that what she felt was a transformative moment for her? What did she see? What came through in my art that affected her in this way? Did the love of what I do come through and is that was what she felt? Could she feel those moments of healing that I may have had? The word ‘inspire’ means “to breathe in spirit.” Was she inspired and felt that in her soul?
Art can heal, nurture, soothe, inspire and at times, challenge us to think. The artist Ai Wei Wei has been in the national news most recently sharing his social beliefs through his amazing public art. That to me is transformative. The Vietnam Wall created by Maya Lin in Washington DC is
I certainly have had that experience when in the presence of a master artist, or listening to a beautiful piece of cello music. I have explained to others that when I first saw an excellent example of encaustic work I felt like my soul had been captured. My past life experiences of loss and grief, not only in my own career as a healthcare grief counselor but in my family has informed my life as an artist. Master Weaver, Rachel McGinnis says, “all aspects of life inform the work that we make, and harnessing this knowledge is key to developing a clear artistic voice.”
OPPOSITE: Reading is Bliss © 2017 Josie Rodriguez; 10”x 4”; Encaustic assemblage; ABOVE: Get it While it’s Hot © 2015 Josie Rodriguez; 24”x 20”; Encaustic
ABOVE, Left: Up From the Ashes © 2016 Josie Rodriguez; 15”x 7”; Encaustic assemblage; ABOVE, Right: Josie at the opening
It was always important for me to have ways of caring for myself during those intense days and nights working in a hospital. It was through writing and doing artwork I was able to make sense of it all. And so it all began one year to the exact date of my younger brother’s death. Peter had battled a rare form of cancer that took his life after truly fighting against this monster for 9 years. I began to work in earnest with my art but this was an ambivalent time since I was “fitting in” moments for my art, raising a family and working full time. Receiving positive feedback for my art was an important part of those first few years and what kept me involved.
Little by little (which is how grieving works) the fogginess of intense sadness began to lift. Throughout the years (with the death of my dad, and most recently my mom and all of the people and tragedies of our world in between) the art that I have created has transformed me in ways that have truly been healing. I have had the opportunity through the years to teach others what I know. My encaustic classes for the past 10 years have touched many students both nationally and internationally. I have seen firsthand how some of their lives have transformed to where they are now successful in their own artistic careers. 24
Josie Rodriguez (http://www.josierodriguez.com) visual artist from San Diego, has worked with the medium of encaustic for the past twelve years. She received her B.A. degree from San Diego State University and M.A from University of San Diego. She belongs to International Encaustic Artists and the Encaustic Art Institute
ABOVE: View of Josie’s exhibition ‘Impressed With Wax’ at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, Hayward, CA, near
And in turn that is transformative for me as I see the effects that my classes have had on others. Teaching complements the ongoing dialogue with others about my art, it connects me with others and stimulates my own practice.
inSanta Fe, New Mexico. Josie received the 2016 IEA Project Grant and received nominations for IEA’s 2016 La Vendeenne Award for Education, and 2014 IEA La Vendeenne Award for Artistry. She is represented by Front Porch Gallery, Carlsbad, and Kate Ashton Gallery Art on 30th, San Diego, CA. Josie enjoys teaching others the art and process of encaustic from her home studio and venues on the West Coast. She has been most proud of solo exhibits that combine her love of art and science: SanDiego International Airport, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, Escondido Museum of Art, Pacific Beach Library and Gallery, San Diego CA. Her work has been published most notably in: •Embracing Encaustic: Mixing Media by Linda Robertson, Amazon ebook,
The transformation I experienced from corporate and educational worlds to the one of being a working artist has been life-giving, freeing and affirming where I can go into my studio and feel confident that that is where I am supposed to be, doing what I should be doing and having the skill and the materials to explore.
Edition II. •Authentic Visual Voices: Contemporary Paper and Encaustic. Catherine Nash, 2013. •1000 Artists Books, Quarry Books Publishing. 2011. •San Diego Union Tribune •North County Times.
Family Excavations: Transformations in Art
By Nan Tull
About twenty-five years ago, in my Fort Point Channel disappearing, literally, with the tincture of time, into silvery studio on A Street in Boston, I saw the beginnings of the Big ghost images in photo albums with no dates, no Dig outside my studio window. Boston University was sent to descriptions, no names. dig up the area to determine if there were old artifacts of historical importance in the subsoil, before beginning the It took three years going through all this material, scanning it excavations for the tunnel sections that were to go under the onto the computer, and organizing it before loading it onto channel. As the soil piled up, several stories high, bottles and memory sticks (aka jump drives) and crockery and utensils and tools began to distributing it to family members. As time went These excavations emerge. These excavations remained in my on, the need to transform this experience into a remained in my brain brain as a harbinger of my own personal meaningful visual format grew and grew. as a harbinger of my digging into the stories of my family’s past. own personal digging Experimentation with encaustic and rice paper into the stories of my and inks ensued. Eventually I began affixing the These stories began a long time ago. With the family’s past. rice papers to panels, saturating them with death of my parents and only sibling, I was left encaustic and then adhering them while hot. with the family archives, such as they were. This material was incomplete, fragmented, and falling-apart in Ink and graphite were used for calligraphic additions, or tired and worn scrapbooks, often held together with brown vestiges of handwriting, on the panels in the process of paper tape and glue. There were old envelopes with two- transforming my family’s crumbling records into a new cent stamps on them, addressed in glorious calligraphy, but format. I sensed that paper and pen and pencil were with no letters inside. important elements in this new process, with the rough and uneven finish of rice paper evoking past histories. I had There was an important typed historical journal with faint painted a series of encaustic works on paper around 2002, photos pasted to the notebook pages, detailing the which served as a starting point. This time I wanted to make preparations of a regiment of 2000 men my grandfather led the paper more “permanent” by using encaustic to collage it to France in WWI. There were other photographs that were to the panels. I eventually gouged down through the paper to the panel below, creating my own “dig”, so to speak.
OPPOSITE: Time Tunnel (Down the Rabbit Hole) 2016 © NanTull; Encaustic, rice paper, ink on panel; 30” x 30”; ABOVE: Text and Time (The Writings on the Wall) 2016 © Nan Tull: Encaustic, ink and rice paper on panel; 12” x 48”
ABOVE: Left: Outside the (Black) Box, 2016 © Nan Tull; Encaustic and ink on rice paper on panel; 30” x 30”; Right: Circuit Board, 2016 © Nan Tull; Encaustic, rice paper and ink on panel; 12” x 12”
The paintings also featured raised opaque areas of encaustic. These box and bar-shaped areas in relief were built up layer by layer, evoking repositories of information, such as memory sticks, bar codes, computer screens, airline black boxes, iPhones and iPads and all the other devices condensing yesteryear’s archives into today’s easy access stream of information.
porary expressions of my family’s history, the medium of encaustic seemed the perfect vehicle, fluid and malleable, durable and re-workable, for transforming the past into the present. Likewise, I discovered, working on these paintings, a circuitry within memory. There seemed to be a mass of unrecovered information, tangled over time, a sort of snarled web in my brain, like a corrupted bar code or a non-functional device, that had to be reconstructed bit by bit. These encaustic paintings are the results of this reconstruction of memory and memorabilia and their transformation into art…. compelling, albeit incomplete, and imperfect.
The history of encaustic painting and that of calligraphy took me back through a timeline to antiquity. Monks, working by oil lamps, recorded history and increased knowledge with their illuminated manuscripts as well as by the encaustic paintings of that era. As I explored the process of making these paintings, using the tools and techniques of antiquity, and translating them into contem
ABOVE: Left: Jump Drive 3, 2016 © Nan Tull; Encaustic and rice paper on panel; 12” x 12”; Right: Jump Drive 4 , 2016 © Nan Tull; Encaustic and rice paper on panel; 12” x 12”
Nan Tull is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she received her Diploma, 5th Year Certificate and the Clarissa Bartlett Traveling Scholarship. Her work has been widely exhibited and reviewed throughout New England, as well as around the United States over the past thirty-five years. Nan Tull has been awarded an Artists Foundation Fellowship (MA), and a NEA/NEFA fellowship, along with residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Colony. In addition to over 25 one-person exhibitions, the Boston Public Library's Prints and Drawings Department exhibited a 20 Year Retrospective of her drawings in 1994. A 25 Year Retrospective of her paintings and drawings was on view in 2009 at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA. Her work is in many collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She was a 1983 founding member of the live/work 249 A Street Cooperative, where she still works. She is represented by Soprafina Gallery, Boston. For more information: http://www.nantull.com
The Encaustic Conference in Provincetown: Scholarship Recipient, Charlene Shih, Reports Back to IEA
ABOVE: Pat Spainhour discusses options for mounting framing and hanging encaustic work; OPPOSITE: View of the central pier in Provincetown.
I have been extremely lucky in the past year. First I encountered the amazing world of encaustic, joined the International Encaustic Artists, and was awarded an IEA scholarship that allowed me to attend the annual Encaustic Conference in Provincetown where I met so many wonderful encaustic artists. On June 1, 2017, after a 6-hour flight from Los Angeles and one-hour ferry from Boston, I arrived in beautiful Provincetown, the historic art colony at the tip of Cape Cod Massachusetts. After spending one day strolling the main street in Provincetown, I was ready for the three-day encaustic conference. The conference took place at the Provincetown Inn by the waterfront. Upon arriving I immediately saw many beautiful cards and flyers on the lobby desk from different artists, as well as the great energy of artists from all over the world. Meanwhile at one side of the lobby the ‘Post Cards Show’ was displayed, where all the artists donated a 4x6 encaustic postcard to raise money for next year’s scholarship. At the other side of the lobby was the wonderful vendor room with all the discounted goodies from different the suppliers. There were so many wonderful workshops and demos, and it was extremely difficult to choose which one’s to participate in. Since I have some basic knowledge of encaustic, I wanted to learn more techniques and see what other artists have been doing. My first workshop at the conference was a talk from Binnie Birstein on “Wax or What: Encaustic From Around the World”. This was kind of like a warm-up at the conference, and Binnie was a wonderful speaker. She showed slides of encaustic artwork around the world, from small encaustic painting to large installation work; it was quite amazing!
Lisa is such a great artist and was amazing just to watch how she works with different colors. Jeff Hirst’s mixed media printmaking demo was amazing. His works were just beautiful, and the 90-minute demo was simply not enough. I felt it could have been a three full days workshop, but it was really nice to just watch how he can turn pigment sticks and other mediums into beautiful prints.
ABOVE: Artist Lisa Pressman and Richard Frumess, from R&F Encaustics conduct a talk on color. BELOW: Patti Russotti’s photography and encaustic workshop.
Patti Russotti’s Photography & Encaustic demo was an eye-opening experience, especially since I wasn’t really into photography. I didn’t expect much from the workshop, but Patti’s works were very experimental, and she used a lot of live scanned images, beautifully mixed with encaustic. Even though her demo was short, it was very inspiring. I also attended a few workshops that had nothing to do with encaustic, but had everything to do with art making, that included Michelle Belto’s talk on “Authentic Art: Creating From the Inside Out”, and a panel discussion with Toby Sisson, Misa Gallazi, Sara Mast, and Lisa Pressman. Both the workshop and panel discussion were great practice to review myself as an artist, and it certainly felt refreshing to exchange ideas with other fellow artists who came from different backgrounds. The lunches at the conference were included. The meals were wonderful and it always was a great opportunity to meet with other fellow artists, and with the amazing ocean view, it was such a treat!
Learning simple mounting, framing and hanging techniques by instructor Pat Spainhour was also a fun experience. She gave us different options on framing small works on boards or paper, and different ways to hang encaustic art done on paper and mono-types. I only wish the demo could have been a little longer.
I also took Lisa Pressman and Richard Frumess’s talk and demo on colors. It was very informative, and made me realize there is still so much behind encaustic colors, and so much I need to learn. Richard is so knowledgeable, while
Besides all the wonderful workshops and demos, there were so many great exhibitions in P-town. After the wonderful welcome dinner with IEA President Melissa Lackman and Treasurer Michelle Robinson, and the other fellow scholarship recipients, we went down to Commercial Street, and tried to hit as many gallery open-
RIGHT: One of the many encaustic exhibitions BELOW: A view of the Hotel Fair at the Provincetown Inn
ings as possible. It was pretty overwhelming to see so many great artworks in one night. Another big thing at the conference was the Hotel Fair. Artists who stayed at the Inn opened their rooms and displayed their artwork. Starting from the lobby, there were probably more than 50 or more artists showing their work; it was like a giant open studio and art fair. I not only I got to see everyoneâ€™s work, but also got to talk to the artists. There were lots of amazing artworks and was a very overwhelming experience. The three day conference was an incredibly enriching experience, from the beautiful Provincetown, varieties of workshops and demos, great exhibitions around town, wonderful post card show and hotel fair, to the conference organized whale watching boat ride and trip to the Cape Cod Museum. Most importantly, I met so many amazing fellow artists from around the nation and even from other countries. After spending decades working as a visual artist and filmmaker, I never imagined I could still find an interesting and experimental media that actually opens new doors for me as an artist. I really appreciate the opportunity that IEA gave me, and I felt extremely lucky to be part of the encaustic community.
A Review of HOPEFUL DARKNESS at Atlantic Gallery in New York City By Carol Taylor-Kearney*
*The original review was originally posted on WhatsArtBlog.com, an art blog by artist Carol Taylor-Kearney and has been reprinted with Ms. Taylor-Kearneyâ€™s permission. For a virtual tour of Hopeful Darkness at Altantic Gallery go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkqCLR2MMRQ&feature=youtu.be
A glow emanates from the doorway to Atlantic Gallery. The cause, of course, is the artwork on display in a group exhibition by the International Encaustic Artists called Hopeful Darkness. Ingrid Dinter juried the exhibition that was conceived and organized by Melissa Rubin, VicePresident to IEA. The IEA has chapters throughout the United States (including Alaska) and invited artists working in encaustic and cold wax techniques, whether members of the organization or not, to apply. The exhibition [ran] from November 28th through December 16th, 2017. The theme “Hopeful Darkness” represents two notions: the seasonal shortening of daylight with its encroaching darkness and the political attitudes we do or need to encounter. Says Melissa Rubin, “Two states of being, with such opposite meanings, fit so beautifully together and can create a powerful statement: Hopeful, believing something good will happen…optimistic, promising; Darkness which is devoid of light, gloomy; secret. (These) works reflect and express the dichotomy of Hopeful Darkness.”
OPPOSITE: A virtual tour of HOPEFUL DARKNESS at Atlantic Gallery, NYC; ABOVE: Buoyancy 2017 © Deborah Peeples; Encaustic and pastel on cradled wood panel; 10” x 10”
ABOVE: Coming Out of the Darkness 2017 © Ann Breinig; Encaustic on birch panel; 12” x 12”
The theme would explain the many works based on black and white imagery or dark encroaching into areas of light. You might think that this would lead to an exhibition that feels heavy or dreary. But to the contrary, this exhibition is more like looking at a collection of jewels— lustrous and unique. The size of each artwork is 18 inches or less on its longest side—so they feel personally handleable. The surfaces, though varied in texture from velvety smooth to mottled and scratchy, call for touching. And the arrangement of the art works around the space makes each piece discernable. There were 50 artists in this exhibition. The effect could have been crowded and overwhelming or worse, crowded and monotonous. But in arranging pieces in groupings of no more than three, I found myself concentrating on each group, then each individual piece then on the entire wall, then on the show as a whole. This was a message that these are all distinguishable voices in a choir. 35
works, which works perfectly for paintings that exist as much as objects distinct from paintings. A round circle of marbled white paper sewn with black thread in concentric circles, it reminded me of a slice of wood but so thinly sliced as to be airy. Bent along a center axis, it waves to me from the wall. I could equally see this piece sitting on a pedestal as an animated sculpture. Susan Chilcote-Wade not only uses a variety of unexpected materials including a wooden pencil, snakeskin, rope and wire, but has a unique way of presenting her piece, Heart and Soul. Hung like a scroll or skin on a wood bar, it depicts an anatomical ink drawing of a human heart, a timepiece, and a bird and angel. This appears to be a personal statement of rebirth. ABOVE: Core 2017 © Amy Finder; Paper, thread, encaustic;
Although it is impossible to pick out favorites— there are too many—I do want to point out some individuals that would exemplify the diversity of the art works presented. From a traditional standpoint of what can be done in encaustic medium there is Ann Breinig’s Coming Out of the Darkness, an encaustic on birch board that is one of the few figurative works presented. It uses large shapes of black and white to conjure a face “coming out of the darkness”. Deborah Peeples’s Buoyancy takes advantage of the layers, pliability, addition of pigment to the wax to form a work that brings to mind fog and rain, clouds of steam and water droplets, or the rolling surface of a pan of water at boiling. A piece that bridges to unusual treatment is Core by Amy Finder. It is one of many unframed
ABOVE: Heart and Soul 2017 © Susan Chilcote-Wade; Encaustic on birch, paper, ink, pastel, mixed media; 18” x 18”
ABOVE: LEFT: Rebirth 2017 © Michelle Hayden; Encaustic, photograph, textile, colored pencil, thread, powdered pigment; 5.5” x 7.5” x 7.5”; MIDDLE: Winged Messenger of Hope 2017 © Otty Merrill; Encaustic on fired fiber clay with oil pigments; 17.5” x 8.5”; RIGHT: Chasing Away the Darkness 2017 © Jess Stone; Encaustic, mixed media; 10” x 10”
Otty Merrill’s Winged Messenger of Hope looks like a draped figure with claw-like arms and hands, a black bird sitting on her shoulder. She may be an abstracted angel or a woman in movement from a war-torn situation. Made out of fiber clay, it was one of four pieces— including a lighted shadowbox by Jess Stone called Chasing Away the Darkness and Rebirth, a womb or flower shaped sculpture made up of encaustic, photograph, textile, colored pencil, thread, and powdered pigment by Michelle Hayden.
Carol Taylor-Kearney is an artist, arts educator, and curator. She is a life-long resident of southern New Jersey where she collects materials for her reverse glass paintings on found windows, doors, and frames; for her work on canvas, flags, and blankets; and for her installations. A graduate of Rowan University (BA in Art Education) and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (MFA), she has worked as the Coordinator of Graduate Studies at PAFA, taught Studio Art at Burlington County College and Rowan University, and was the curator at StrataSphere, an exhibition space in Philadelphia. Lecture and jurying jobs in the region include the Philadelphia Sketch Club, the Katz Jewish Community Center, the National Arts Program, and the Ocean City Arts Center. She has served as a Cultural and Heritage Commissioner for Gloucester County, NJ.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Patti Akesson, Margaret Berry, Anastessia Bettas, Ann Brein, Karen Bright, David Brown, Whitney Buckingham-Beechie, Theresa Burkes, Susan ChilcoteWade, Maureen Outlaw Church, Leah Cross, Susan Delgalvis, Robert Dodge, Terry Dowell, Phyllis Bryce Ely, Amy Finder, Jane Forth, Ellen Franklin, Rinat Goren, Laura Graveline, Katie Gutierrez, Michelle Hayden, Sally Hootnick, Michael Karl, Karen Karlsson, Ellen Koment , Beate Kratt, Gwen Manfrin, Otty Merrill, Deborah Peeples, Selene Plum, Jennifer Pretzeus, Joy Rotblatt, Caryl St Ama, Wo Schiffman ,Jan Schnurr, Linda Shields, Gail Sims, Linda Sirow , Catherine Silver , Victoria Sivigny, Cynthia Spillman, Kelly Steinke, Jess Stone,
Anne Strout, Sylvan Thorncraft, Cheryl Towers, Robin VanHoozer, Carrie Wagner, Janise Yntema
Taylor-Kearney's work is part of both public and private collections. She has exhibited nationally and has participated in the Parallax Art Fair and the Clio Art Fair. She is represented by Atlantic Gallery in Chelsea, NYC and Cerulean Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Support includes grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Artist Fellowship, Inc.; and artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Peters Valley Craft Center, and the Pouch Cove Foundation in Newfoundland. For more information: www.taylor-kearneyarts.com www.whatsartblog.com/
MICHELLE BELTO LAYERS: Encaustic Mixed Media Methods and Materials Going beyond simple collage in wax, this workshop is designed to assist students in creating intricate and personally significant paintings, where mixed media choices as material and application become intuitive. For a full workshop description and registration visit: 310ART: http://www.310art.com/2018/layersencaustic-mixed-media-methods-materialswith-michelle-belto-may-3-4-5
May 3 – 5, 2018
At 310ART: Asheville, North Carolina
BEYOND Michelle Hayden March 16 - April 15, 2018 Opening reception: March 16 Mill and Max Contemplative Arts Gallery 385 S. Mill Street Lexington, KY 40508
JODI REEB Working with Wax and Studio Time in Minneapolis, Minnesota In this one-day workshop, you will learn about this exciting medium and beginning techniques. A brief history will be discussed as well as basic supplies and tools, safety, preparation of supports including application of grounds and fusing. An overview of a variety of techniques will be also demonstrated.
COST: $135 + $40 materials fee • Friday, February 16th; 9:30am – 3:30pm
• Friday, March 16th; 9:30am – 3:30pm FOR MORE INFO: http://jodireeb.com/news.html
ELLEN KOMENT Private Encaustic Workshops, Santa Fe, New Mexico I am opening my studio for private Encaustic Workshops, where you get to set the topic and the time. Lets talk about how to bring your work to a new professional level, enhance your career, refine your concepts and learn some
SHARY BARTLETT Sharyâ€™s Studio, Vancouver, Canada When: April 27-30, 2018 Encaustic Colored Paints, Mono-printing, Image Transfer: Friday April 27, 2018 Encaustic Photo-alteration + Photo Transfer: Saturday April 28, 2018 Encaustic Mixed Media Collage and Image Transfer: Sunday April 29, 2018 Encaustic Fiber Arts: Cyanotype, Photo-printing, Sculpture: Monday April 30, 2018 More information: http://www.sharybartlett.com
new techniques. www.nmencausticworkshops.com
Encaustic Retreat in Malaga, Spain with Belen Millan: March 18-24,2018 International workshop to learn the latest Encaustic techniques while visiting beautiful Malaga city and Costa del Sol. The workshop will cover all the basics of working with Encaustic, for beginners, and a variety of new techniques for those already experienced in the medium. Most importantly, we will want all the new impressions of our explorations of the Costa del Sol to influence the work that we do while in Spain, and the work we do when we return. We will work small enough to fit in your suitcase, on both paper and panel, and will cover the basics, and special techniques, most importantly, our aim is to help you achieve your vision in this beautiful medium. For more
information please contact email@example.com or go to www.www.belenmillan.com
A digital publication of International Encaustic Artists.