Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Encausticamp Preview!

It's just over 100 days until the first ever ENCAUSTICAMP! If you haven't signed up yet, do so soon to reserve your space. To celebrate, the instructors decided to give you a preview of what you will learn and experience. We are each posting a tantalizing hint of what is to come and ask that you pass it along to all of your friends and followers who might be interested in mixed media and encaustic painting.

All Roads Lead to Forever

18"X18" Framed


Tar, Torch, Abaca, Cotton, Oil

EncaustiCamp Preview: Michelle Belto When I got married, I didn't know the first thing about cooking. Unforunately, my new husband like to eat...and eat often! Thinking that it would be something easy, he informed me that his favorite side dish was mashed potatoes and that "it would go with everything." What he didn't realize was that even the lowely mashed potato was beyond my level of expertise. I remember calling up my mom with a raw potato in my hand and asking the question: "How do you get from here to there?" I often get asked that question about my work. "How did you get there?" For those who will be attending the first ever EncaustiCamp just outside of Salem, Oregon, this summer, you will there yourself! Beating cotton and rag into a giant slushy pulp and then reforming it into something wonderful is addicting. What's more, making your own supports will open the door to endless new ways to explore mixed media work, sculpture and, of course, encaustic painting.

Here is a visual overview of what you will learn when you take my camp class:

Participants will first learn how to make pulp from recycled materials. (1)Using pulp in a pour mold instead of an ordinary mold and deckle will allow us to add cool things like glitter, cut up comics or embed threads and botanicals into the paper. Our form, created from foam core or other materials will be embedded into the pulp. This will make the support stable enough to take the wax. (2) The next step is to remove the water by pressing. One of my students is pressing and smiling! It's fun! (3) The final step is to allow the form to dry..... and voila! You have just created your one-of-a-kind support.

Join me, five other instructors and six passionate assistants this summer at EncaustiCamp 2011, three days and four nights of all things beeswaxy and beautiful, July 13-17, 2011.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Workshops, Shows and Contracts

This has been a busy couple of weeks. My heavy workshop schedule is beginning with filled classes. I'll be at the Southwest School of Art this weekend for an Introduction to Encaustic class. I love these beginning classes because at the end, the encaustic community will have twelve new practictioners!

My first Pulp to Painting Workshop of the season will be near Dallas in Richardson at the Encaustic Center. The workshop is almost full, so if you were planning to attend, now is the time to register. I am really looking forward to getting to know some of the members in our sister chapter of IEA. The above work is from a new series Conversations in Paper and Wax that will be shown April 15-May 28 at the Encaustic Center. The opening will be a part of the workshop.

I wrote a few blogs ago about Corina, a Northeast artist, who began raising funds to attend the Dallas workshop. I got the news today that she has raised enough funds to attend the workshop and will be winding her way to Dallas this April. Congratulations, Corina! I look forward to meeting you. I am donating a piece of art from Grandma's Sewing Box for a lucky contributor.

The North Light contract has been signed and will be on its way back to Ohio today. Reading it is an education in itself. Looking at the imposing list of deadlines--front and center of the first page--makes the whole experience very real! I've learned about advances and percentages and artist/publisher responsibilities all in leagal-eze that is surprisingly readable. North Light works primarily with artists and takes that into acount. I am looking forward to the experience...that my editor assures me "is fun!" My intention is to share this experience through the blog so that others can get a feel for the process.