August 24, 2016

It's Been a Full Summer

What a summer we have had thus far, which is really good because I have been gone from home for most of it! After I returned from Europe (see my last newsletter if you missed the info), I attended an excellent oil painting workshop with Terry Muira, here in Calgary. Then I flew off to Cape Cod for the Tenth Annual Encaustic conference in Provincetown, where I was thrilled to take an encaustic portraiture class with the famed Lora Murphy from Ireland, and a cold wax workshop with the indomitableLisa Pressman. My head is still reeling from all I learned at the conference and all the encaustic stars I met.

In July we had a marvelous 2 weeks at our family cottage in Northern Ontario. The only problem was that when we arrived, we found the cottage had been broken into by a bear! Luckily my brother-in-law had done a great job closing up the cottage and removing the food, but what a mess a box of corn starch can make when it is strewn all over the place. Then we found a mother bear in our shed trying to get into the garbage can while her cubs were up a tree nearby. The cottagers hired a professional bear hunter to come to our island to track and eliminate the problem bears (who had broken into many cottages besides ours in May and June). He was finally successful after 3 weeks!

I was home for a full 3 days before the long drive to EncaustiCamp, south of Seattle, for a wonderful weeklong 'incubator' where I got to paint and share ideas with 40 other wonderful encaustic artists. The painting above, "Fall's Beauty" (12x12" encaustic on panel) was one of the paintings I did during the week. It has many layers of encaustic paint and a couple of shellac burns, as well as splattered and dripped encaustic colours. You can learn how to do all this if you like. See the workshop section below for upcoming dates.

After ECamp I drove to beautiful Gibson's, BC where I had the pleasure to teach 14 eager students how to abstract the landscape. Dave flew in to join me after the workshop and we went kayaking on the Sunshine Coast for a few days before driving home. Home again for 2 days and then we were off to friends 'cottage' in Montana for a nice rest.

Now I am home for most of August, and I relish spending quiet time in my garden and studio, and hopefully some good plein air painting with friends. September will begin with another 4 day plein air painting adventure at Lake O'Hara and an artist residency at Bow Lake for a few days. Then the show season will begin. I must remember this is coming and take time to really rest up, which is so against my nature...


I am continuing to teach the ancient medium of encaustic painting at Swinton's Art Supply. Encaustic painting is all the current rage, primarily as there are so many different ways the medium can be used, and with all the modern pigments and heat tools, the possibilities are endless and exciting. The one thing all styles require is the use of heat, called 'fusing' to make sure the multiple layers will not delaminate. Personally I work in both impressionism and abstraction, and encaustic is able to combine all of my skill set including drawing, painting, collage and mixed media. I brought my electrical engineer husband, Dave, to Swinton's to get all the electrical issues worked out, so now I have room for 8 students, each with their own griddle and heat gun! I have scheduled an ENCAUSTIC SAMPLER class on FRIDAY September 16 from 6-9pm; a weekend INTRODUCTION TO ENCAUSTIC PAINTING PART 1 workshop on September 24 & 25; and INTRODUCTION TO ENCAUSTIC PAINTING PART 2 which will be held Nov 26 & 27. I am also doing an ENCAUSTIC DEMONSTRATION at Swinton's on November 4 from 6-8pm.

I am very happy to be teaching once again at Paintworks in Okotoks. This time I will be teaching LUMINIOUS OIL FLORALS on Sept 17-18.  Call Paintworks at 403-995-7706 to register.

I will be starting another year of CRITIQUE CLASSES at my home in Oakridge in SW Calgary. We meet on one Wednesday afternoon per month from 12:30-2:30 so nobody gets stuck in rush hour coming or going. You can bring up to 5 paintings per session. We have had a very diverse group in media and experience, so everyone is welcome. The cost is $20 (+$1 gst) per session, or 6 sessions for $100- which means one class is free! There is only room for 6, so if you are interested, please call me at 403-862-6952 to sign up -first come first serve.

I have been asked to give an ENCAUSTIC DEMONSTRATION during Alberta Culture Days at the Leighton Art Centre on Sunday October 2nd. This is a free event and you can try your hand at painting with wax at the end of the demo. This also coincides with the Fall Paint Out held during the entire weekend.



As part of the ArtMatch group of artists, I will be displaying my work at the Home & Design Show at Eau Claire on September 10 & 11.

I have been asked to be a guest artist for the CALGARY SKETCH CLUB STUDIO TOUR, and so my studio will be open for visitors on Saturday October 15 from 12-5pm. There are 5 artists each day of the weekend. Contact the Calgary Sketch Club for more information and to register. Now all I need to do is to clean and reorganize my studio so people don't break their necks!!

There are also several other shows I will be in this fall, but I don't have full information on them yet, so stay tuned for a brief Fall Update newsletter.

My work can always be seen at the following galleries: 

Just Imajan Gallery, Cochrane

Evanescence Gallery, High River

Palliser Art & Framing, Calgary

Leighton Art Centre, outside Calgary

Centre d'Arts Visuels, Edmonton

I hope that you will enjoy the rest of our beautiful summer weather, and I hope that you will have an opportunity to get in some creative activity before the rush of the fall season ensues!