I spent this past weekend with ten other members of the Austin group of Texas Wax in an encaustic painting workshop at Majestic Ranch in Boerne, TX. Boerne is a lovely little Hill Country town located not too far from San Antonio. Majestic Ranch is an Arts Foundation atop a hill with classrooms for painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography, sculpture, and more. It also includes a pavillion and gazebo…and many breathtakingly beautiful views of the Hill Country. When R&F comes to Texas, this is where they hold their workshops.
Early Saturday morning, I met up with the other Texas Wax artists in the hilltop classroom for the two-day, all-day workshop. It was wonderful — kind of like being back in advanced studio classes at art school — each of us working on our own creative projects, and meanwhile chatting with other members of our art tribe. Only this was over in just 2 days instead of a whole semester, so there wasn’t much chance to watch each other’s creative development, nor to get to know each other much better. We did hang out for a while after the Saturday workshop, over dinner and a beer at a brewpub in Boerne.
It was so great to share techniques and tips with the other encaustic artists. Daphne Holland showed me how to use the little BernzOmatic torch, which is the tool I had been needing all along, but I had envisioned something much bigger and feared setting the house on fire. This is basically just a bigger butane lighter and can be used to really localize your heat source without blowing the paint all around (depending on your technique). Roxie McCloskey demonstrated how to do an image transfer (the proper way) — something I’ve been wanting to do, but my first experience with it had been excruciating, so I’d avoided it since then. It doesn’t have to be painful, it turns out. 🙂
I had brought ten 10″x10″ panels with me, all my encaustic tools and supplies, and what I thought was plenty of paint. I actually ran out of 2-3 colors on day one, so I couldn’t complete a few paintings that I had started that day. The second day was a much more productive day for me, and I came away with 1 finished and 6 other nearly finished paintings.
I want to thank Roxi McCloskey and Daphne Holland for organizing this event, and Majestic Ranch for allowing us to hold our workshop at their wonderful facility. And my husband for driving us down there, bringing me lunches, keeping me company at the lovely little Acorn B&B, and being the really super great guy that he is!
You can see some pictures from the workshop at the Texas Wax website. Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of the pieces I have finished so far.