3 day adventure in Coupeville

Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA

Has it been a week already since I got back from teaching my 3 day workshop at the Pacific Northwest Art School?! It usually takes me a bit to decompress from being on the go and to get myself and my family settled back into our normal routine. From April 4- April 6 I was over in Whidbey Island, WA teaching 3 days of making artist books using encaustic. Our focus was on how to incorporate our photographs and images with encaustic and in book from. My experience teaching at the the Pacific Northwest School was fantastic not just because I was in the pacific northwest, my happy place, but because of the wonderful group that came out to experiment with encaustic, book arts, and a variety of mixed media techniques.

On the first day we covered the basics of painting in encaustic. People always come to workshops with such a wide range of experience with encaustic that I like to just make sure everyone is on the same page. So we worked on making covers for one of the books we would be making. So we practiced a variety of panting techniques on small panels.

Kathie Vezzani

Deborah C

Debbie S

On Day 2 we worked on plaster pages that we either bound up as an accordion book or we sewed together to hang down. I showed them the different methods just to get them started and guided them through the different binding options. I think of my role as an instructor as a facilitator, not dictator. These are project based, yes, but the point is not to do it exactly as how I do it. My way is just a starting point.

Kristina working on her book

Deb G’s plaster book

another plaster book by Deb G

Kathie Vezzani

Lucy’s plaster piece

Lucy works with clay and came to the workshop to learn different ways of bringing encaustic to her clay work. This is a plaster piece she made that is similar to one of her clay pieces she brought in to show me. I loved seeing how she was transferring what she was picking up in the workshop to how she works with clay.

In the afternoon we started working on encaustic and paper and a variety of mixed media techniques. Really fun to see how everyone’s books unfolded.


Sara W’s encaustic mixed media book

Debbie S

Nancy O’s book

On the 3rd day we made journals. Yes, I saved the hardest for last! But we all managed to bind our journals and they all turned out so lovely.

Leslie W’s book

Kristina’s book

And here we are all together right before we said our goodbyes. A really fantastic group, I have to say. We did so much in 3 days and they were all in good spirits at the end, including myself. Even after saving the coptic stitch binding for last!


I remember on the second morning that I was there, I woke up at the inn I was staying at and thought, how lucky am I? To get to travel to one my most favorite places and guide other creative people in doing the things that I love to do? Very lucky. I am grateful. To see more of the work that everyone did in my workshop, please visit my flickr page and go to the workshops set. I have several workshops on there, but it’s the first 40 or so in the set.

When I left Seattle to go back home, I was happy to know that I will be returning this summer, but this time with my family. I’m coming to do an artist talk at EncaustiCamp. I won’t be teaching this year because I have a lot going on this summer with my family, but Trish asked me to come talk one of the evenings. I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to be in my beloved Seattle! So I’ll be there in July, hurrah!


  1. It looks like everybody had a wonderful time and that you guided them in the creation of some unique works of art. Glad it was such a positive experience.

  2. Oh, so glad you are returning this summer, Bridgette! I don’t think that I can attend the entire camp yet, perhaps Trish would let me come the evening you are speaking and say hello to all!

    Isn’t Coupeville lovely in the spring?!

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