Experimental Encaustic workshop with Shawna Moore
It has been a busy, busy time of year and there are so many things that I want to post about, but just not enough time! So, I’m just going to update when I can and it may be a little out of order, but I’m ok with that. I really want to share a workshop that I took with Shawna Moore last weekend at the Zhou B Art Center. Her workshop was called “Experimental Encaustic” and it was hosted by Jenny Learner in her wonderful studio, Studio 303.
It’s been over 5 years since I’ve been in a workshop and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the energy of being there, the spirit of exploration and just having the luxury of having a day in a studio, having fun. No pressure to actually produce something finished.
Now, why haven’t I taken workshops? Well, first I don’t time. My art time is so very limited. Second, I’m frugal with my art budget. Third, I am a total loner in the studio. I need to be alone, shut out the outside world. When I have been in a workshop setting, I tend to flounder around. The workshop I took 5 years ago was with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch to ensure that what I had been teaching myself with encaustic was correct before I started to show and sell my encaustic work. And with that foundation, I felt good about continuing with my own explorations and research through the various books that have come out. And now I am able to discuss things in person with fellow FUSEDChicago artists.
BUT, there are several artists that I would just love to have a chance to be in a studio with them and discuss the process and observe their approach. When I found out that Jenny had invited Shawna to come to Chicago, I jumped at the chance. Shawna was going to cover the combination of encaustic with oil paint,creating transparent layers, as well as various mark making methods.
such lovely wide brushes
Combining encaustic with oil paint, creating transparent layers and mark making…..all things I do already, right? I didn’t care- the point was that I would get an opportunity to observe an artist whose work I admire. I know that I can always learn something new- like a tweaking of a technique, or even just a new way to think about things, or even a new tool. So, I was really looking forward to this workshop that I was treating myself to.
Well, Shawna Moore didn’t disappoint. Not only is her work powerful and exhibits a mastery of the medium, she is an excellent, excellent instructor. The day wasn’t just about technique- she would really explain the how and why the paints worked the way they did. For me, while I have studied all this on my own and have an understanding of it, it was still so very helpful to hear the things that I know from both gut and from my own experiments articulated in such an intelligent and clear way. She brought clarity to me, for sure. She also discussed her creative process and approach which was enlightening. And since I do work more opaquely, I forced myself to really work and explore the wonderful transparency of the encaustic medium. In fact, we did not work with encaustic paint the entire day! We only used encaustic medium with pigment sticks or oil paint. That was a learning experience, for sure.
Shawna discussing her work at the end of the day
And besides all that, there were a couple of other FUSEDChicago members there and it was so much fun painting alongside my friends and colleagues. That experience alone is worthwhile to taking a workshop. We often just see each other’s finished paintings, never the beginnings, the mistakes, the surprises. Maike took a lot of photos and they are posted on the FUSEDChicago Facebook page.
a painting I created during the workshop, still going to work on it a bit when I get to the studio…hopefully soon!