Wednesday, August 08, 2007

First Annual Encaustic Conference, Part 5

Finally! The much-promised final chapter in the Encaustic Conference saga...

The final day of the conference (Sunday) featured some more demos in the morning. These are the ones that I chose to attend:

Encaustic Monotype by Paula Roland

Paula's work is featured in The Art of Encaustic Painting and a couple of my students have attended her workshop in Santa Fe, so she's a bit of a celebrity in the encaustic world.

She talked a bit about the teacher that she learned the monotype technique from, Dorothy Furlong Gardner, from New Orleans.

Paula has developed her own painting palette, seen here in the first photo on the right. The heat stays even all over and it's a light color to allow you to see the color of the paint.

The ideal temperature to have the palette set for monotypes is between 160 and 200 degrees. You'll get more detail at lower temperatures and more wax flow or saturation at higher temps.

Things to consider - temperature, type of paper, amount of wax, proportion and kind of pigment.

She uses 50% pigment and 50% medium for grittiness and texture and saturation.

It's easier to layer on thicker paper with thicker medium. Paper absorbency affects the outcome, too.

Often uses masa paper - a type of rice paper. Also uses kitakata paper, Rives BFK and other printmaking papers.

She will put dots of paint in the corners to indicate area to print. Apply paint to the palette and lay the paper down. Apply more paint and lay it down again to add more or to blend.

You can put the paper face up on the clean palette and blot with newsprint to take off some surface paint. You can use rice paper to blot and then use that to build up a print. While it's laying on the plate you can also draw into it with charcoal, pencil, add more encaustic... Graphite becomes fixed in the wax.

Silk flowers can be stamped into the paint on the palette and then stamped onto the paper when it gets saturated with paint.

Use wood block stamps.

You can block areas with newsprint on the palette.

Ghost image can be picked up with thin paper.

Create lines and shapes with dental floss, scrape with combs, rubber-tipped shaper tools, credit cards - anything that won't scratch the palette.

You can use a saturated print as a plate.

She showed some slides of other artist's work. One featured what she called "inlay" with a smaller piece of paper in a cut out hole of a larger piece. Scrolls - large rolls of rice paper printed with encaustic on both sides and worked back into with other media.

You can paint with watercolor on the un-waxed parts of the paper.

Recommends mounting a print to board with acrylic medium on the back (keep the back free of wax).

Way too much information for such a short demo! I'm sure she barely scratched the surface of what can be done with encaustic monotypes...

Encaustic Sculpture by Kim Bernard

I really like Kim's work and was hoping that she would talk about HER work, but she gave a presentation about several artists working 3-dimensionally with wax in some way.

I'll just list the artists that she talked about and a website if I can find one... You should look at their work. It's quite amazing.

Melissa Stern - NY

Sylvia Metzer - NY (her work is in the Mattera book but I can't find a website for her)

Lynda Benglis - NY/Santa Fe

Johannes Girardoni - NY/Austria

Nancy Azara - NY

Michelle Stuart - NY

Martin Kline

Wolfgang Laib - Germany

Text Pictures by Mary W. Hart

She showed various ways to incorporate text into encaustic, most of which involved collage.

Writing with ink on rice paper - when collaged into the encaustic the paper absorbs the wax and almost disappears.

She painted white gouache or chalk onto collage elements before adding the wax. The white will show up when it's waxed.

She used transfer letters (Letraset rub-on letters) and carbon paper.

Creates lines and rubs oil pastel or oil bars into the line. Wipes with walnut oil and fabric to remove excess.

Stencils - she creates stencils from transparency film.

Another interesting technique for collage materials - she painted words in white gouache on watercolor paper, let it dry and then covered it with waterproof in. Then she washed off the gouache and used it to collage into the encaustic.


That was it for the demos. There was a final closing session and some get-togethers but I had miss them because I had to rush to the airport.

One last travel story...
As I mentioned before, I was flying standby and all the flights were full for the next couple of days and I was worried that I would be stuck. As it turned out, I was able to get out of Manchester but I got stuck in Chicago. I considered spending the night in the airport but that's depressing and also way too much like camping, so I went to a nearby (probably over-priced) hotel. I got to the airport super early the next morning and finally made it to Houston and then finally to Dallas. Quite an ordeal! But hey, it was "free!"

So the conference was fun and very informative and definitely worth the trip. I'm hoping to make it again next year!

A request
If anyone else happened to attend any of the other sessions, I would love to read the notes that you took. I'm especially interested in the one by James Meyer (Jasper Johns' assistant), the panel discussion about Wax, Paints, Substrates and Grounds and the discussion about beekeeping - Wax in the Context of the Hive. I wish I'd had a couple of clones that I could have sent to all of the sessions!

Now playing: Whiskeytown - Everything I Do
via FoxyTunes


CMC said...

Thanks for all the updates, Deanna. A lot to absorb for me and I'll be checking back to look for some of the info again I am sure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for sharing all of this information! I wish I could go to this - it would be much easier than trying to figure it out on my own trial and error! LOL. I appreciate your posts!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Thanks for the thorough descriptions. Wish I could have been there too.

Although I wasn't at the conference, I'm a bekeeper and would be interested in having a conversation about wax in context of the hive. You're invited to check out the trailer for my new film, SISTER BEE at

Thanks for your delightful blog!