October ’13 News

Happy October! Time for tricks and treats.

Trick: No October meeting due to presenter canceling. First time in our WC history, but it is not a bad thing to have more time to work on your art!

Treats: Opportunities to take advantage of yet this month. Consider  this a “mobile” meeting,  much like door to door trick-or-treating. Bags open now:

The deadline for uploading images for the WaxCentric exhibit at the St. Charles County Arts Council is today. Upload images and information to either of these locations, whichever is easier: http://www.meetup.com/WaxCentric/photos/17659142/, or, http://www.meetup.com/WaxCentric/files/.  A copy of the exhibit application, CFA9-30-13 is here: http://files.meetup.com/3454072/CFA9-30-13.docx. If you need help, email me: Lisa, waxcentric@gmail.com.

Quick Reference:

  • Submit up to 6 images.
  • October 1-21. Online image submission
  • If you cannot come on Saturday, November 2, drop off work with Julie S. at her studio this week on Monday and Friday from 10-4. Call first. I will pick work up from her and hang it for you.
  • November 2. Saturday, 10am-1pm. Hang exhibit (bring a hammer)
  • November 30. Closing Reception 5-7pm, take down exhibit
  • Entry fee: $15.00. Bring Nov. 2 with exhibit application.
  • SCCAC will handle all sales with a 20% commission.
  • Art submissions must use some form of wax either in the process of creation, or in the final piece (encaustic, cold wax, crayon, …)
    **See the application for all details: http://files.meetup.com/3454072/CFA9-30-13.docx

More …

1. Things to do:

2. Workshops:

  • VLAA. 2 more workshops in the current Business Edge series: “MARKETING BASICS & PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION Monday, Oct. 28 (7:00 to 9:30 p.m.)”, and, “YOUR ART, YOUR BRAND: AN ARTIST’S GUIDE TO BEING NOTICEABLE AND GETTING NOTICED Monday, Nov. 11 (7:00 to 9:30 p.m.).” $10 each in advance; $15 at the door. Info and registration form here: http://vlaa.org/?view=Workshops
  • News from Nikki D. May in Paducah: “Crystal Neubauer, an awesome artist from Chicago, is going to be in Paducah November 8 and 9th doing a two day encaustic and collage workshop. She’s worth a trip from STL!!” https://ephemerapaducah.worldsecuresystems.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=17786

3. CFA (call for art):

4. Articles on WC blog: https://waxcentric.wordpress.com/

5. Other Blogs:

6. Recent news:

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Nov. 2 to hang work at SCCAC, and on Nov.  30. Closing Reception 5-7pm, take down exhibit.


Guest Post: Laurie Blakely

On August 25 numerous intrepid WC explorers took a road trip to Makanda, IL where we enjoyed a beautiful day with Laurie Blakely. Laurie presented an engaging studio visit and demo with encaustic and ceramics. We also viewed her sculptural painting exhibit at Anthill Galleries, in the heart of the Shawnee Forest



My journey to encaustic painting was a circuitous one. My background is mainly in ceramics. After years of creating clay vessels and sculpture I was  looking for ways to expand the possibilities of  my medium.

I asked myself two questions:

  1. How can I free my forms from the limitations of gravity (i.e. having to stand up, be balanced, etc.)?
  2. How can I create a “world” for these forms to inhabit (i.e. break from the tradition of mounting pieces on pedestals with an aura of empty space around them.)?

I explored several options and encaustic best met my objectives. And like many other artists, I was drawn to the “naturalness” of the wax; the smell, the organic nature of the medium. Encaustic seemed a perfect fit for clay– beeswax and mud.

Eventually, I developed my own idiosyncratic method for creating “sculptural paintings” by combining ceramic sculpture with encaustic painting.

The Process

Emergence. Detail.

Emergence. Detail.

First I carve intricate forms in white earthenware. Sometimes, they are so delicate I need a template for support to hold the clay as I carve. My templates are all bisque fired (unglazed) ceramic forms and I rarely use the same template twice. I usually spend several months immersed in the process of sculpting, glazing and firing before I move onto the process of painting and gilding.

After they are bisque and sometimes glaze-fired, the ceramic sculptures are mounted on board using an all-purpose, heat-resistant adhesive. Then, onto painting. Clay is a very receptive substrate for  encaustic paint though it can require some patience to achieve a smooth, bubble-free surface. I prefer to use a heat gun to fuse the wax, because of the control and gentle heat sometimes required on the 3-dimensional planes.

I often embellish my pieces with 22-carat gold leaf. The portions of the sculpture to be gilded are first glazed to provide a smooth, non-porous substrate. Then I brush on a slow-set, oil-based size (Rolco) and wait 10-12 hours. When the surface is tacky, I apply loose leaf gold with a sable brush and wait three days until I touch it again. When the size has thoroughly hardened, I can clean up the gilding by gently wiping away the loose pieces and burnishing with my fingertips. Any gilding on the wax can be cleaned up by lightly scraping it away with sharp clay tools or my fingernails.



The Idea

Most of my work explores the ideas of transformation and metamorphosis.  My sculptures are sometimes multi-layered with one sculptural  form opening to another form inside it. These relief forms change the architecture of the surface. I use encaustic to visually and physically join the sculptural components to each other and to the background. I aim for a sense of unity and  dimensionality—to be able to look “into” the painting– past the surface into layers that shift, open or reveal. More work at www.laurieblakely.com

 Pictures from the trip can be found on the WC MeetUp.com site: http://www.meetup.com/WaxCentric/photos/16991672/.

Inspiration: The Business of Galleries

In addition to creating work in the studio, I spend time looking for useful information that will help me work more effectively. I find topics of interest on blogs and websites, forums and help sites, e-newsletters and conferences, books and magazines, as well as from other artists.

Here are online articles regarding galleries that caught my attention this week on Art Biz Blog by Alyson Stanfield, and Joanne Mattera Art Blog:

I am currently reading Alyson Stanfield’s book, I’d Rather Be In The Studio. Interesting and inspiring with tangible steps and guidelines to get you organized with the business side of being an artist.

Thinking about getting your work into a gallery? Choose your target, research them online, and go for a visit. Nothing will be more valuable than seeing the space, talking to the staff, and determining if it is a good fit based on first hand experience. Make it a habit. Get to as many openings as you can while you do your research, keep notes, business cards, and follow-up on leads.

For readers in the greater St. Louis area, be sure to follow these sites for openings and opportunities::

Add your inspirational readings, resources and tips to a comment!

Welcome Artists Who Use Wax!

Front Page:
Link to Current EAI Online Magazine.  Read on …

Meet at ArtMart: Mark Witzling Cold Wax Demo

Open meeting! Non-members welcome.

Come watch Mark Witzling  give a demonstration of how he uses cold wax and oil paint to  create  his beautiful abstract paintings. See Mark’s work online: http://www.markwitzlingart.com/

There will be an opportunity to participate. Some oil paints and cold wax medium will be available to use. You may also bring your to use. Please either bring or buy a small canvas or board at ArtMart to paint on. (There is no fee.)

Cold wax medium is used with oil paint, so bring wax paper, or something to carefully wrap your piece to take home with you.

For more information email Lisa at waxcentric@gmail.com


Sunday, January 13, 2013
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM


2355 South Hanley Road, Saint Louis, MO

WaxCentric Blog: https://waxcentric.wordpress.com/
WaxCentric MeetUp: http://www.meetup.com/WaxCentric/
(Membership is free! Meetings average 1 time per month.)

Blog articles written about the 6th International Encaustic Conference. Provincetown, MA. 2012

7th International Encaustic Conference
Keynote Speaker: Barbara O’Brien
May 31-June 2, 2012.
Pre-Conference Workshops: May 28-30
Post Conference Workshops: June 3-5
Get a head start on information: http://encausticconference.blogspot.com/

Encaustic Arts Online Magazine (PDF)

Download  the magazine (PDF) : the current issue of the EAI’s online magazine. Always a good read.


Do you have ideas? Resources? Work to show? Let me know in a comment!