What is encaustic?

Encaustic means to heat or burn and is a centuries old painting technique of using wax, resin and pigments. Heat is used at every stage or level of the process creating a transparent, luminous effect.

How long have you been teaching encaustic?

I took my first week long class through R/F Paints in San Francisco and created my studio soon after. For 11 years I have had the pleasure of teaching others about this process either in my home studio in San Diego or in the community through art schools and art associations.

In addition my demonstrations and classes have been held at Ashland Art Center in Ashland, Oregon.

I have been teaching most of my adult life, within Adult Education for San Diego, or with students teachers, medical interns and residents in an acute care hospital. To share knowledge with another and to see the creative spark or awareness comes through is for me an incredible and privileged moment. 

What ages do you teach?

I would prefer to teach from ages 12 on. Molten wax and pigment are on tables  and safety for me is primary. I have taught kids as young as 5 but with lots of parental supervision and help.

Is Encaustic toxic?

No,  unless the wax and pigments are heated too much. The smoke that is produced is toxic. There must be very good ventilation either through openable cross-ventilated windows or fan or any other method to remove the fumes.  I have both lots of windows, a door and fan. Encaustic uses heat so movements around the heat source must be slower than painting with oils or watercolor.  I ask my students to take a meditative or zen approach as they work. 

My style of teaching is very informative in a relaxed, life-giving environment. I  give information about safety, history, materials, tools, technique, then show them the process,  after which their practice begins. Throughout the day I continue to give more techniques. By the end of the day they have learned many encaustic techniques and leave with examples of their own work. 

How do I sign up?

The ideal way is to send me some possible dates when you are available and we will find a time best for both of us. I attempt to be as flexible as I can with student schedules. You can take breaks whenever you wish and we will have a lunch break where we enjoy each other’s company. 

Josie what inspired you toward encaustic?

Mixed media collage was my art medium of choice for many years. I attended an all encaustic exhibit at a local collage art gallery many years ago. Being the only person in the gallery at the time I literally was taken in and mesmerized by the art that I saw….large panels of rich red encaustic pieces that made me feel like I had been hugged  by these artists and these pieces of art. I asked myself “how do I learn this?” From that moment on I was a quest to learn more  and more everyday about the encaustic process. 

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