Below are detailed descriptions of the Pre- and Post-Conference workshops held at Castle Hill in Truro.  To register for a workshop, please click here.

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Pre-Conference, May 29 - 31, 2018

Photo Encaustic Theories and Practices
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
May 29, 30 and 31
10am - 4pm

This three-day immersive workshop will concentrate on the use of photography and the Encaustic technique, focusing on the beautiful aspect of memory found in both media. We will open the workshop with a discussion tracing the historical relationship between painting and photography, tracing a line from early tintypes to Degas, Muybridge, Cornell, Rauschenberg, the Starn Twins, Kiefer and to its present day uses. We will be demonstrating techniques of pouring, fusing, working on different papers as well exploring deconstructing and distressing our images . In addition, we will discuss archival techniques, methods of presentation, step-by-step instruction in the use of proper substrates, use of different papers, digital and collage techniques, as well as presentation – a “Digital for Dummies” (everything you were afraid to ask) to help you to create and produce your images. An individualized materials list will be provided in advance after two one-hour Skype consultations with the instructor prior to the workshop to make sure you are prepared to maximize our time together. In these consultations we will prepare and discuss your choice of imagery, any pre-production (digital or distressing) you may need to do, choice of papers, collage elements, and substrates with which you need to be prepared to bring with you to the workshop. An email communication outlining what to expect and how to best prepare prior to these consultations will be sent prior to these consultation.

Layers, Translucency & See Throughs
Wednesday & Thursday
May 30,  31
10am – 4pm

This is a two-day encaustic workshop designed to take students beyond the basics involved in working with encaustic. A hands-on studio course, this workshop will offer participants a deeper understanding of how to create paintings that suggest depth and dimension.  An emphasis will be placed on composition and expressing meaning through an exploration of accumulating marks, drawings, and image transfers at varying levels.  Students will have plenty of time to explore and develop their own personal ideas and visual vocabulary on larger or multiple panels.  

Learning outcomes:

+ Prepare white panel using paper, paint, or gesso
+ Different types of brushes and how to hold brushes to create smooth, even layers
+ Ways to fuse lightly
+ Image transfers using water or tracing paper
+ Creating translucent colored layers
+ Building depth in layers
+ Working with pigment stick    
+ Collage + embedding
+ Composition

What Do Colors Really Do?
Applying of Color Theory to the Paint You are Using
Wednesday & Thursday
May 30 & 31

10am - 4pm

The purpose of this workshop is to give a systematic hands-on exploration of color theory using R&F Pigment Sticks. There will be exercises using color theory principles in the mixing, layering, and juxtaposing of color. This workshop differs from traditional approaches to color theory, which rely on calibrated color sets, like Color-Aid. Instead, we will relate color theory to the specific pigments and mediums that you work with in your studio. This class approaches the subject with a practical application of the colors you are already familiar with and expands your knowledge of them. You will experiment with the different aspects of pigments – their opacity, temperature, saturation, and value – and see how they play crucial roles in mixing and color composition.  We also look at how different mediums, the absorbent properties of grounds, and the diffusing nature of texture can either radically or subtly affect the characteristics of colors and how they interact with light. The conversation will bring us to the “mechanics” of color – the physical and chemical processes that underlie those characteristics of pigments and mediums and grounds. We will see:

· How do the opaque or translucent characteristics of a pigment make its color brighter or deeper, muted or vivid?

·  How do the characteristics of pigments affect color relationships and mixing?

· What makes light influence a color?

The concepts examined in this workshop will provide tools for your own exploration of color in your studio and help you understand how to make more purposeful choices in contrast, balance, movement, and depth.

Transferred Images
Wednesday & Thursday
May 30 & 31
10am - 4pm

In this 2-day workshop, students will learn and rate photo-transfers on sample boards with an encaustic base, using 6 types of printed surfaces, 3 transfer methods, and 6 ways to “seal in” the image.  Students will learn how to do a proper encaustic medium Perfect Pour to prepare for transferring.  Students will also practice transferring a variety of other media besides photos and graphics, such as oil pastels, charcoal, and foils. 

This workshop is appropriate for students with intermediate through advanced knowledge/experience with encaustic.

Creating Depth with Encaustic and Paper
May 30
10am - 4pm

Whether you prefer working on paper or panels, Raé will teach effective use of translucent layers of encaustic, how to make marks in the wax with handmade stamps to give depth to the layers, and how to safely fuse with a torch on paper. She’ll demonstrate methods of creating deceptively thin layers, ways to make organic marks and underlayers, and working with pigment sticks and cold wax over the surface. Raé will also stress the importance of temperature control to achieve desired effects with encaustic. This workshop will teach you ways to achieve the visual depth artists are often seeking in their work. This intermediate level workshop requires a working knowledge of encaustic.

Sculptural Installations: bringing your BIG idea to life!
May 30
10am - 4pm

Does an empty space excite you? When you see a wall, room, or venue do you image ways to bring it to life with visual beauty? In this 2-day hands-on workshop, we are going to go through the process of creating an installation, with the focus of our work being 3D sculptured forms. We will begin by defining our installation site, analyze the components of access, placement, anchoring, lighting, and interaction/views. We will focus on specific sculpture techniques that utilize textiles, wire/armature, and plaster cloth. As a group, we will construct our sculpted pieces, with each student actively participating in making pieces of their own that will be incorporated into the single group installation. Through this collaborative process, each student will come away with an understanding and practical experience on how to approach designing and creating their own installation projects, as well as gaining knowledge on methods for creating 3D sculptures.

As a CORE Artist for R&F Handmade Paints Cari brings extensive knowledge and teaching experience, as well as providing R&F Handmade Paints products and supplies to work with during this workshop.

The Nature and Allure of Encaustic
May 30
10am - 4pm

There is so much more to encaustic than beeswax. This workshop will introduce you to this fascinating medium and allow you to discover its incredible versatility.  The basics of priming appropriate surfaces and fusing with heat will be covered, of course, but you will also learn to use many other 'wax friendly' techniques which can enhance your paintings, such as collage, image transfer, and combining oil and wax.  Set-up and safety will also be covered.  Come and find out what it is about this ancient art medium that is so alluring.

Expanding your Skill in Wax
May 31
10am - 4pm

This workshop is for students who are new to encaustic and for those who want to expand their skills, get another point of view or to explore more possibilities. Students will be oriented to all equipment, safety measures, materials and some history. Demonstrations and explanations of various techniques are offered in a step-by-step method with encouragement to improvise. These demos are offered at intervals with time to practice in between, throughout the course. Wherever you are in your experience working with encaustic, I will take you to the next level.

We will cover the following:
*Getting started with surface preparation
*Melting and fusing
*Working transparently
*Working with rubber stencils.
*Leaf and pine imprints and their wax reliefs
as time and interest allows
*Making lines and dots with the stylus and batik pen
* Using cold metal tools
* Making “jellyrolls and geodes”
* Working with accretion.
* Enhancing the surface with heat sensitive foil and pastels
* Working with printed transfers

Post-Conference, June 4 - 7, 2018

Visual Language: An Exploration of Marks and Medium.
Monday & Tuesday
June 4 & 5

10am - 4pm

This two-day workshop is for intermediate to advanced artists working in encaustic. The focus is on exploration, intuition and pushing out of your comfort zone. The first day will consist of quick exercises and prompts that encourage mark making to identify individual interests and personal language. We will be experimenting with charcoal, graphite, ink and pigment sticks, and other materials on a variety of papers developing source materials for the next day. Day two, we  will transfer, embed, cover over and dip the drawings in wax creating a visual reference of personal narrative. This class provides an insightful experience in personal creative development. Be prepared to be inspired.

Excavating Your Image: Working With Time, Layers and History to Create Resonance in Painting
Monday & Tuesday
June 4 & 5

10am - 4pm

Considering the idea of discovery through making, this workshop will focus on building a deeper conversation with the paint and finding new ways to express meaning through the medium. It will take an experimental approach to question the possibilities of encaustic paint. Thinking about the elements of time, layers and history, we’ll work through a toolbox of methodologies suitable for dipping in and out of at varying times during a painting practice (underpainting, incision and impressing, subtraction and complexity of the image). It will offer suggestions about play, critical looking and thinking. We will look at other artists work to support the explored ideas and methods. Participants will work on 4 panels simultaneously throughout the workshop.

Working with Fire

June 4
10am - 4pm

Who likes to play with fire? Pat Spainhour, assisted by blacksmith Paul Spainhour, will present a one day workshop experimenting with the charred surface and encaustic paint. Students will draw with firework sparklers, use hot metal to brand a wood panel, watch firecrackers become mark makers, and create texture with gunpowder. Encaustic paint will be introduced to the altered paper through encaustic monotypes techniques. Safety measures will be in place and the burning controlled. This is an unforgettable artistic experience.

Cold Wax Demystified
Monday & Tuesday
June 4 & 5

10am - 4pm

Are you intrigued with cold wax processes but just haven’t had the opportunity to try them out yet? This workshop explores the leading three material/methods:
o   Dorlands Wax Medium used with RF Pigment Sticks
o   Hylla Evans Cold Wax Paints
o   Cuni and Ceracolors Watersoluble Encaustics

 Students come prepared with their own ideas and resources for practice projects. The Instructor will overview the differences and similarities between each material/method, and demonstrate how each can be integrated into an existing hot-wax studio practice. Each student will receive individualized coaching on how to best choose and combine materials for their desired project.

*Please note this is an Intermediate/Advanced Level Course

Encaustic Monotypes and Monoprints: Beyond the basics
Monday & Tuesday
June 4 & 5
10am - 4pm

The goal of this workshop is to give artists a new perspective into the process of printmaking with encaustic, with the aim of breaking out of color, shape, and visual vocabulary ruts. I will offer some new tools and methods to employ in their studio practice that encourage experimentation and artistic growth.  In this session we will explore the experimental process of making monotypes and monoprints leading up to creating prints with a strong visual focus.  We will discuss pigment characteristics inherent in the paints that will enhance the layering and mixing of colors to their best effect. Instead of going into the studio with the pressure of always having to have the big idea, we will explore the virtues of the improvisational nature or monotype making. We will add techniques to create design elements for focus and repeatable shapes and textures to amplify their impact.

We will cover:
*Planning the printmaking process
*Tools for mark making and texture
*Color layering and mixing
*Cold composition
*Combining oil and wax on the palette
*Gel plates
*Combining several prints to create a unified new work
*Ways to finish and present the work

Encaustic and Alternative Surfaces
June 4
10am - 4pm

What do you use to impart some interesting surface finishes in your encaustic paintings? I will demonstrate alternative absorbent surfaces I have explored that can be partnered with encaustic painting.  We will use a variety of surface treatments including powdered graphite, glass shards and acrylic metallic paints that patina or oxidize. The paints are water-based and contain real metal particles such as iron, copper and bronze. To create beautiful, rusted and patinas finishes on the encaustic surface, we will a solution of peroxide, salt and vinegar, which speeds up the oxidation process. These surfaces can be layered with encaustic or be the final finish. I have tested these mediums on encaustic paint using the freezer method and have found them to be very durable and adhere well.  The metallic paints bind on porous and non-porous surfaces.

The Next Three Steps in Your Career

June 5
10am - 4pm

You’ve heard from the curators and gallerists about how to get your foot in the door. You’ve heard from the artists and authors (including me) about how to move your career forward. If you feel stuck professionally, it may be that your plan for advancement is not sufficiently well defined or that your priorities are out of order. We’ll start with where you are right now and work out your next three steps. Since each step will lead to the successive steps along your career path, formulating a plan for those next three will give you focus and direction, ideally leading you to success as you define it. As a group we’ll focus on basic professional issues, and in individual short sessions we’ll hone your specific three steps. You’ll have a series of projects to work on while individual sessions are taking place with the others, and we’ll wrap up the session as we start: with group discussion and Q&A.

This session is for emerging artists of any age who have a serious studio practice but who have yet to experience a greater interaction with the art world, whether it be in terms of exhibition opportunities, representation, critical response, or achieving the kind of visibility that leads to career advancement. 

Forms and Foundations: Sculpting with Wire, Paper, and Pulp

June 5

10am - 4pm

In this class we will be constructing lightweight sculptures using wire armature, paper and pulp. Soldering and wire wrapping will be our main method for joining giving the work permanence and stability. We experiment with wet sheets of unsized abaca paper and pulp to create skin like coatings over our armature pieces. Students will also be introduced to techniques that use manufactured Asian papers to create similar effects, including kozo, tengucho and kitakata. Encaustic and Pigment Sticks are introduced as a finishing materials adding color, texture and luminosity to finished pieces.

Creating Elements with Cyanotypes, Textiles and Encaustic
Wednesday & Thursday
June 6 & 7
10 – 4pm

 Cyanotypes are one-of-a-kind prints created using a sun sensitive process that’s remained virtually unchanged since its invention in 1842. Water is used as the developer. In this 2-day workshop you’ll learn techniques for making beautiful blue (cyan) abstract and figurative images on textiles as well as the most secure methods to incorporate them into your 2D and 3D encaustic work. I’ll demo the use of plants, lace, cut paper and glass as well as shibori techniques and drawings/mark making. If you’ve been looking for a way to include or expand imagery in your 2D and 3D encaustic work, this is it! On Day 1 we’ll make lots of prints and learn how to work with them. On Day 2 you are encouraged to create a finished piece.

The materials fee covers 2 contact printing frames (yours to take home) and a light-blocking envelope packed with sensitized silk, cotton and linen fabrics in a range of colors and opacities. You’ll complete this workshop with enough knowledge and materials to continue making prints in your own studio.

Taking Reference to the Poetic
Wednesday & Thursday
June 6 & 7
10am - 4pm

This workshop will address several possibilities and strategies for using references as a source of subject matter in encaustic painting. The tactile, almost visceral beauty and response to the encaustic medium is often an uneasy vehicle for translating various references into paint. The image of a painter happily confronting the subject, palette and brush in hand gives way to a cumbersome arrangement of hotplates, cords and essentially an unwieldy set-up. For some 35 years I have confronted this reality with each painting session, and during that time I have explored a wide range of approaches to the challenge. This class will focus on the process of opening possibilities in the presence of limitation. Highly personal and diverse methods are encouraged and celebrated as the search for moving expression in painting. The use of a variety of reference material will be the starting point for a lively visual dialogue with the goal of equipping the painter for future interaction with various subjects. Painting is ultimately concerned with using the “how” to communicate the “why “of visual pursuits. This search for “how and why” is the foundation for fruitful encounters for the artist and viewer of the finished painting.

Grids: Exploring Pattern, Structure and Multiple Units
Wednesday & Thursday
June 6 & 7

10am - 4pm

Grids are integral to the building of our homes, streets, and cities. We see them as calendars, ledgers, fences, windows, puzzles and games. Grids and variations of the grid form the basic structure of decorative patterns. This class explores how, in artwork, grids can provide an underlying structure, be involved conceptually, and present options for groupings and installations. Participants will explore different layouts for creating patterns, how grids can be used compositionally, and the flexibility of working with individual modules to create larger pieces. Discussions and slide presentation to include other artists and inspiration from the environment. Using encaustic and mixed media techniques on panel, participants will be encouraged to investigate their individual interests in response to the presented material.

Mainly Metals
June 6
10am - 4pm

This workshop focuses on the metallic. Demonstrations include a variety of techniques and materials for integrating metal leaf and metal with encaustic painting: gilding above and below the surface with genuine and imitation metal leaf, flakes, metallic foils, metallic oil sticks, mica powders, and iridescent pigments. Embedding metal shavings, shards, and sheets of metal will also be demonstrated. Students will integrate these materials and techniques into their own projects with Charyl’s assistance.