Please Note: This schedule is subject to change, please check back in as the Conference dates approach!
Friday, May 31
9:30 - 10:30
DEMO: Expansive Wax Printmaking
Making prints on paper has a long tradition. This demonstration will expand the vocabulary of plates to printed surface by using innovative materials for exciting new approaches and effects. Painting hot wax onto Yupo, a 100% recyclable, waterproof, tree-free synthetic paper, creates an encaustic collagraph plate with unending textural appeal. After inking up with Akua soy base inks, the plates are printed on Evolon, a polyspun fabric like material which is absorbent, non-wrinkling and archival. Finished work can be matted, mounted, wrapped on wood or used in 3-D objects. The possibilities are endless. The entire process will be demonstrated step by step from beginning to end.
DEMO: Getting Down to Basics
This demo is intended as an introduction to encaustic, a medium that is incredibly simple and incredibly complicated at the same time. Laura will start by discussing the fundamentals, such as appropriate surfaces and brushes, fusing techniques, and of course temperature and ventilation. Then, through a free-flowing demonstration, she will illustrate how the simple process of painting with hot wax can be enhanced in a variety of ways using simple hand tools.
TALK: The Environmental Politics of Wax and the Future of Encaustic
What does the future hold for artists working with encaustic? Will encaustic remain sustainable? How are supplies of beeswax and dammar being affected by modern farming techniques and climate change? Are there synthetic alternatives to wax that are viable and desirable? Originally based in New York, but having lived in Europe for over 20 years, Janise Yntema offers a unique perspective of how different countries are approaching environmental regulations and concerns.
TALK: Blurring of Boundaries
We, as artists working primarily in the medium of encaustic, are fond of proposing and even insisting that “It’s not the medium, it’s the message.” Affirming this proposition, Sherrie will discuss combining other materials and encaustic techniques in order to convey our intent in the best way possible. Multi-disciplinary approaches can add dynamism, energy, texture and depth to our work. The talk will then focus on a more general blurring of boundaries between disciplines, such as visual art and poetry or dance, or the arts and the sciences. We will discuss why this synergistic approach is so important to us as individuals, community and the world.
10:30 - 11:30 BREAK
Including 10:45 - 11:15 Welcome and Orientation for Newcomers
11:30 - 12:30
DEMO: Drawing Within Painting - The Possibilities of the Line and Mark Within Your Encaustic Painting
This demonstration will explore the potential of drawing within encaustic painting. Experimentation, intuition and immediacy will be the focus in looking at ways to expand a drawing vocabulary. It will explore a wide range of techniques and tools to add and subtract lines and marks: additive processes such as drawing media compatible with encaustic, the flow pen, masking, transferring line and subtractive techniques such as intaglio, intarsia, using objects to make impressions.
DEMO: Encaustic + Cold Wax: A Synergistic Combination
In this Demo you’ll learn the basics of encaustic and cold wax painting and how, in combining the two materials, unique textures and effects can be achieved. The advantages of combining the materials and safe practices and limitations will be explored in-depth.
TALK: The Art and Craft of Teaching: Ongoing Professional Development for the Experienced Artist Teacher
Many of us are professional artists who create and sell a body of work or many bodies of work - if we are lucky! Our studio practice is well defined and our product is thoughtfully conceived and beautifully executed. As Artists who also Teach, are we giving the same amount of thoughtfulness to the Art and Craft of our Teaching? In this talk, I will partner with the experienced ArtistTeacher to guide them through thinking about ways to deepen their art teaching practice. Just like critiquing our own artwork, professional ArtistTeachers must also learn to critique their own teaching in order to grow as an ArtistTeacher. Topics to be covered will include: Who are your students? What is your syllabus? Does your target market (students) and your teaching match? What is your philosophy of education? What exactly are you teaching your students and why? What are your goals for your students given your time and space constraints? How do you best meet the needs of your students given your goals and your philosophy? How do you know if your students are meeting your teaching and learning goals? What type of art historical context do you provide and in what way? What type of feedback, critique or critical assessment do you provide your students, how and why?
TALK: Making Art in a Time of Trial
Vedran Smailović, the cellist of Sarajevo, captured the imagination of the world when he played his cello in the streets in the midst of war. You don’t have to be a brave musician or under fire to ponder the meaning of being an artist in a world so full of challenges. This lecture will speak to the value of art in difficult times, with examples of the ways contemporary art sits in relation to the issues of the day, from outwardly political to that which stakes a claim for beauty. This includes discussion on how art speaks to our time, from witness to memorial, revelation to action, reflective to inspirational, as well as how to see your work as having a meaningful role in the world no matter the form it takes.
12:30 - 1:30 BUFFET LUNCH
1:30 - 2:30
This is the third installment of the series VARIATIONS ON COLOR, UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW. The previous two presentations discussed OPAQUE AND TRANSLUCENT COLORS and BLACK AND WHITE. This time the subject is MUD… as in dull colors or mixes that seem lifeless. So when you’re stuck in the mud, what do you do? You can, of course, always throw your painting in the garbage. But you won’t learn anything by doing that. Or you can stop and ask yourself how you got stuck. And then, since you can’t call a AAA tow truck to pull you out, you explore colors that will. And in the process you find there is no mud that can’t be turned into a color of great usefulness.
DEMO: Mixing Your Mediums (and Maybe Metaphors): Oil Paint, R&F Blending Medium with Encaustic
Using a very absorbent paper (I use Rives BFK) on a panel. An initial drawing is made with white or clear encaustic paint and lightly fused. The next layer is put down with R&F pigment sticks or oil paint with R&F Blending medium. The paint will slide over the encaustic and absorb into the open space on the Rives BFK in a unique mix of texture and surface.
TALK: Materials, Method and Process
Process is simply defined as a specific, continuous action, operation or series of changes that produce development. Artists who use process in their work possess a strong sense of connection to their materials, yet there is always a struggle over control. In some cases this struggle may serve as a catalyst for the discovery of new processes. This lecture presents contemporary artists whose work utilizes alternative materials as well as process, and the repetition of that process to generate structure, form and content. Sculptors, painters, craft and fiber artists work is grouped into process categories such as repetition of a single action, restriction by a set of rules and restriction of use of one material and one process. The materials which these artists use is as wide as it is varied and include, found, household and recycled materials, Tyvek, hair, rubber, adhesives, stitch, fire and encaustic to name a few. These artists inspire, as they not only exploit the inherent properties of their materials, yet at the same time transform the materials from their original use.
TALK: Thinking Through Space
Are you working dimensionally and interested in shaping space with your work? Are you challenged and intrigued by site specific work and installation? This talk will feature artists who create sculpture and installation that utilize space to actively engage the viewer, and include insights into the evolution of the thinking process inherent in envisioning dimensional work in space. How these artists address space and use it as one of the elements integral to the success of the work itself, as well as consideration of scale, lighting, height, movement, placement and sound will be illustrated and addressed.
2:30 - 3:00 BREAK
3:00 - 5:00
PANEL: It’s Not ALL about the Wax but a Tool in the Toolbox
PANELISTS: Michael David, Joanne Mattera, Deborah Kapoor, Susan Lasch Krevitt
Moderated by: CHERIE MITTENTHAL
Saturday, June 1
9:30 - 11:30
KEYNOTE: Judy Pfaff
11:30 - 12:00 BREAK
12:00 - 1:00 BUFFET LUNCH
1:00 - 2:30
DEMO: Working Dimensionally with Moldable FOSS SHAPE
Foss Shape is a flexible felt-like fabric that can be molded with heat to use as a substrate for encaustic. In this presentation, Deborah will show how this material can be used to create depth and additional layers for books or collage, or for deeper dimensional layering as either a stiffener or to create freestanding sculptural structures. A variety of techniques with heat will be shared along with work by artists who have used this material in exciting and innovative ways.
DEMO: Image Transfers Using Transfer Film and Transfierz
This process allows one to make full color or black and white transfers directly onto wax. This seminar will show you how to transfer an image or element of an image onto a variety of surfaces using Ink Aid Transfierz or Dass Super Sauce. We will look at a variety of ways to incorporate photographic images into your art. These can be full scale images or parts of an image and can then be distressed, marked and painted and drawn over. The process: an image is printed onto transfer Film thru an inkjet printer. The substrate (board, fabric, paper) can be waxed or waxed later is coated with the transparent solution and becomes the wet receiving layer. The film is laid down and then removed when it is “done”. After drying, you can continue working.
TALK: Out of the Box
SUSAN LASCH KREVITT
This slide presentation is a survey of artists, past and present, using cardboard as an important element in their work. Historically, artists have used cardboard since it’s invention in the 1800’s. While it’s sometimes used for its structural properties, it’s also been a favorite of artists seeking free or low cost materials. Images will include geometric and organic 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional artwork using encaustic and other forms of paint.
TALK: Grant Writing For Artists
You’ve developed a strong body of work and now want to write a proposal for a grant or exhibition. This lecture covers the essential elements of proposal writing, including best practices to: write compelling, clear, specific texts about your work; understand application questions; create competitive budgets and make a compelling case for funding; and present persuasive proposals, all while using strategic planning practices to focus your artistic and career goals.
2:30 - 3:00 BREAK
3:00 - 4:30
DEMO: Casting with Encaustic
Contemporary artists are looking for alternatives to making sculptural multiples. Working both three-dimensionally and in relief formats, Artists can now use eco-friendly and reusable “Impressive Putty” specifically to be cast with encaustic. In this demonstration, we will learn how to mold found objects, bisqued clay, polymer originals, collographs, relief sculptures, and textured surfaces with ImPRESSive Putty! Digital slides and hands-on samples will be shared to exemplify these process options casted with encaustic. It will also be covered how to make multiple molds from the same material. This reusable moldmaking material has an extended working time to push or wrap around an object, chills to solidify, and casts beautifully with encaustic. It makes excellent press or push molds. This demonstration will be a perfect fit for a novice and experienced moldmaker.
TALK: Critical Thinking and the Use of Encaustic in Abstraction
TALK: Growing Together: Mentors and Mentees
JEN GREELY & JEFF HIRST
Presentation and discussion regarding the ins and outs of mentoring: how to find a mentor, when it might be time to find a mentor, what different mentoring structures look like, benefits of mentoring to both the mentee and the mentor, long-distance vs. local mentors, as well as how to successfully separate from a mentoring relationship if the time is right. Panel to include Jen Greely and Jeffrey Hirst, who have worked together as mentor/mentee since 2017, along with one more artist mentor.
Sunday, June 3
9:30 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:30
12:30 - 1:30 BUFFET LUNCH
1:30 - 2:30
DEMO: Encaustic Monoprint with an Asian Flair
PAT SPAINHOUR & LAUREN PEARLMEN SUGITA
What is Gampi? Hanji paper comes from where? How do I use rayon paper? Clear up the confusion on how to use these papers for encaustic monotypes created on the Roland Hotbox. This extraordinary session will be co-taught by artist Pat Spainhour and paper expert Lauren Pearlman, Paper Connection International. Lauren will discuss the characteristics of Washi (Japanese papers), a few of which are Kozo, Gampi, and a paper made from bamboo. Pat Spainhour will demonstrate how to use each paper, as she creates monotypes through a variety of encaustic techniques.
DEMO: Leaf Stencils + Organic Materials
DIETLIND VANDER SCHAAF
This demo will cover how to create stencils from fresh leaves as well as working with dried plant material and encaustic. The use of Pigment Sticks will be demonstrated.
TALK: Cultivating Creativity
Looking for inspiration? Feeling stuck? Need to shake things up? In this energized and interactive talk, participants will be guided through a plethora of playful exercises that promise to inspire and build creative confidence. We will focus on the creative process in an atmosphere where generating ideas and finding ‘flow’ are the goal. Participants will leave with an arsenal of go-to strategies they can continue to revisit for inspiration.
TALK: How to Store, Inventory, and Archive your Works
Nancy was part of the five-member team of artist friends who prepared Binnie Birstein’s work for her retrospective show and sale after her death. The team included: Christine Aaron, Jen Greely, Elisa Keogh and Nancy. We will talk about how we sorted through the work, photographed and marked each piece, recorded and archived it for sale, storage, and other distribution. We used methods every artist can follow to take control of their work production for ease of access. In addition to our experience, I will include other information about disposing of unsold and stored work during an artist’s lifetime and thinking about estate preparation.
2:30 - 3:00 BREAK
3:00 - 4:00
DEMO: Alternative Surfaces
I will demonstrate how to create alternative metallic surfaces that can be partnered with encaustic painting. The paints contain real metal particles such as iron, copper and bronze. These finishes create beautiful, rusted and patina affects on the encaustic surface. I will also show how to add a variety of surface treatments including powdered graphite, metal leafing and embedding glass shards. These surfaces can be layered with encaustic or be the final finish. The metallic paints bind on porous and non-porous surfaces.
DEMO: Working with EncaustiFlex
Finding a new art making component or material that solves issues which allows artists to create the work they envision can be a game-changer. Encaustiflex is that material for me. I wanted to be able to add heavy machine embroideries directly into my encaustic paintings without tearing. Encaustiflex solved this but as I experimented more I found the micro-fiber material solved other issues important to other artists, as well. I will share how Encaustiflex works with Cold Wax, Digital Printing, Encaustic Collagraph and Suminagashi Marbling. Since Encaustiflex holds so much paint, I will show how deeply layered an image on a paper-like substrate can be. Encaustiflex is rip-proof so I will show how it can be cut, woven and grommeted, etc. for sculptural works and hanging applications. Lots to show and tell.
TALK: Writing the Perfect Artist Statement
The Artist Statement is that much maligned document that nobody like to write but everybody reads. If you exhibit, apply for grants, or simply wish to engage with the art world in a verbal way, you need one. Do you have to be a great writer to produce a strong statement? No. You just need to follow 10 tips, which I’ll lay out for you.
4:15 - 4:30
Wrap up in Mayflower Room
Closing remarks from Cherie