Encaustic Classes – I love teaching.

I love teaching, I think I was born to be a teacher. Nothing gives me a greater thrill than to share my knowledge. I typically use the analogy of the lightbulb for why I love teaching. It is thrilling to watch my students’ minds go while they are figuring out what’s going on and to see that “lightbulb” go on over their head when they finally get it.

Teaching can sometimes be difficult because there are so many different ways people learn. We, as teachers must learn to adjust our approach to be able to help those around us learn and understand in the easiest and best possible way for them. Staying calm and figuring out different approaches is how I work through all my teaching situations. It’s part of why I love teaching so much, it’s the puzzle and the challenge that helps keep me engaged. Also, teaching art is a BLAST!!!!

I have taught a variety of classes and techniques over the years and I never get tired of the inspiration that I consistently receive from my students. I love seeing others be creative and make art. Especially when they don’t think they can or have never tried a certain technique before. I was not supported for my artistic talents while I was growing up so being able to be supportive and watch people grow and develop is something that really means so much to me. It’s a very important part of life; learning new artistic techniques, growing your arsenal of abilities and changing your way of thinking about art can positively effect other areas of one’s life. Below are pictures of my students over the years and their amazing creations, I want to thank them for the joy they have brought me over the years.

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Selling ART at a Holiday Bazaar

I will be participating in a Holiday Bazaar. I’d love it if you would come by and say HI, buy some of my art and see what new things I’ve been up to. There will be a lot of other local artists selling their art there as well. Remember, how awesome it is to support local artists, and local stores. I know from experience that people love getting handmade local art for the holidays! I will have Encaustic Paintings and Monoprints as well as handmade journals and notecards for sale.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

7:00 am – 3:00 pm

Panama Bay Coffee Company

289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo

HERE IS A SNEAK PEAK AT WHAT I’LL BE BRINGING!

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30th Annual Juried Emeryville Celebration of the Arts Show

Do you love a good art show? With a lot of amazing talented artists? Well, you’re in LUCK!!

One of my Encaustic & Dry Pigment Mono-Prints was selected hang in the 30th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition. I will also have 5 encaustic & dry pigment mono-prints in the print bins.

This show will have over 125 artist works and is sponsored and produced by the non-profit Emeryville Celebration of the Arts, Inc.

The Opening night benefits the Emeryville Youth Art Program. It is being held Friday, October 7th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at  1550 Park Avenue, Emeryville (SW entrance).

Please see the invite below, and come if you’re able! There will be dancers, poets, performance art and lots and lots of amazing art!

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Encaustic Mono-Prints

Encaustic painting is an art form that I came to years after finishing art school. It’s something that has always intrigued me so finally I decided I would learn how. Fast forward 10 years and I have been experimenting with mono-printing with wax and dry pigment. It’s been such a blast! I love the whole process, to figuring out what type of colors to use, which dry pigment goes with the paint and then crossing my fingers the whole things turns out. I would say probably 65% of the prints turn out the way I had envisioned and another 10% turned out even though it wasn’t what I expected and about 25% end up in the trash. It’s such a fun, exciting and quick process, what’s not to like?

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detail shot of the print

I like monochromatic images as well as bright colors. The metallic aspect is really cool too!

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These are just a few examples of the work I have been doing lately. Silver, Gold & Copper. There is a large full image of the prints as well as a close-up detailed version.

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Encaustic Demo Love

Two of my favorite things to do are to paint and to teach. Ever since I can remember I always wanted to be a teacher. As I grew older I realized that it’s a profession that doesn’t really embrace financial stability. So I decided to go to art school – financial stability? Art? What craziness!!! Well, I believe I can do both and have stability in my life and be happy. I love art and I love to teach! The best thing for me would be to combine the two together. I have yet to become financially stable doing the two but I have to tell you, I am so glad that I am trying. I have a full time job in the art industry which is great for motivation, inspiration and pays the bills. What I am working on now is the ability to transition this life into one of teaching, doing art and fully supporting myself and my family.

I will be offering classes soon in my studio – but until I do, here are some fun pictures of artists and their art from a hands on demo at Flax Art Materials in San Francisco, CA. The first image is a piece I created a 3 from my students. Feel free to check out my website – Etsy site and share with all those you think would be interested in learning more about Encaustic!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensNestArt

http://www.theravensnestart.com/

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Mini Encaustic Demo and Hands on Fun

A few short weeks ago I participated in a very large outdoor art demonstration and hands on event in Santa Rosa, California. I prepped over 100 4″x4″ cradled wooded Art Alternative Panels for the event. I wanted to make it easier for the attendees to be able to get their waxy hands wet – so to speak. I was hoping this would enable more people to play with hot wax.

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I set up my table and with the help & samples from R&F Handmade Paints I was able to demo and teach a wide range of students that day.

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They ranged from sweet little enthusiastic youngsters,  beginners along with some amazing intermediate encaustic artists. It was such a fun day. I even had my table set up next to lovely flowers buzzing with bees.

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Here are some pictures of artists and their art from the day.

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By the end of my day, I was ready for an ice cream sandwich – thanks 3 Twins!

AND a BIG Thanks goes out to R&F Handmade Paints for making this awesome day possible. Your paint is the best!

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Please join me at an Art Walk Thursday 6/20

I will be participating in the Art of Point Richmond Art Walk, Thursday June 20th. It will be from 5-8pm and bound to be a lot of fun. There will be loads of other artists along with a farmer’s market filled with delicious fruits and vegetables.

I will be showcasing some new encaustic paintings……

Here is a sneak peak!

seascape study in red woodgrain

The Crafter’s Workshop & Encaustic Painting Demo Success

How many of you have either wanted to or have demoed art materials before?

I love demoing/teaching about art supplies and all the different ways one can use them. There is nothing like showing and sharing what you know and seeing that light in someone’s eyes when they realize all the possibilities. Believe me when I tell you – what we can accomplish with art is endless and there is always something new to learn and explore.

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I have done a lot of demos and sometimes I have just “winged” it and sometimes I have planned it down to the very last detail. I want to talk to today about planning, what strategies I use when preparing to share my knowledge and teach fun projects or just basic techniques. Today I want to share with you how I plan and execute a successful demo using Encaustic Paint, Mixed Media supplies and my favorite thing – The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils.

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There are a few things to take into consideration when planning a demo; who will be there, what could I possibly need, what can go wrong, what can go right, how can I be sure to have everything I need for what I want to demo and last but not least – where will I be during this demo.

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Last weekend I was asked to give a 45 minute lecture on encaustic painting and then demo for the rest of the day. I thought about what I would bring, what I would need for a successful demo and lecture. I think I may have brought too much, but I felt better to be over prepared than underprepared.  One of my favorite things to use in encaustic painting are The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils. They are so versatile and easy to use, easy to clean up and they are great for demoing from beginners all the way to  professionals. There is nothing like using a stencil and seeing such immediate and awesome results with stencils.

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Ok, so I thought about what I needed to bring – Next I needed to think about who was going to be attending the lecture and the demo. I asked the manager/owner of the store who he thought would be attending and he said all new encaustic students will be attending the lecture and he wasn’t sure about the demo. It is always best to teach to the lowest common denominator. I talked about the basics; how to set up your studio and safety. Next, I talked about all the fun things one gets to use in the studio. There is so many fun things one can use in a studio such as heated pallets, colored bees wax, professional and found tools,  blow torches and practically anything else you can think of.

After my lecture I went out into the store to demo for the rest of the day. It was great fun! I was able to work on a bunch of different projects all at one time. I talked about the projects along with teaching all types of techniques. It was like a bunch of mini classes all during the day. I was prepared for all types of questions and there were some really good ones. It’s so exciting to watch people learn and understand what you teaching. It was great fun!

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The last thing I wanted to do to prepare for this demo was to make a list of all the different things people could do with encaustics. I made a list of all the different projects and brought more than enough material for each project along with extra substrates incase something got messed up. I have found that it is important to go with the flow and not worry too much, it seems there will always be something you weren’t prepared for. That day it was electricity. The extension chord didn’t work – no big deal – just finish setting up while it got fixed. I sometimes forget that people attending are flexible and will wait.

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I was prepared for all types of questions and there were some really good ones. It’s so exciting to watch people learn and understand what you teaching. I guess the most important thing to remember about demoing: HAVE FUN!

Here is a picture of me having fun!

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Selling on Esty & Goodsmiths

I have been wanting to get a website together but feel very overwhelmed by the whole prospect. I am very smart when it comes to many things but haven’t put a website together before. I think I can do it but feel scared so in the meantime I have put all my art on Esty and Goodsmiths on line stores.

I have done pretty ok during the first year, selling a few things here and there but not great. I was beginning to wonder if it was really worth all the trouble. This past year I participated in 6 different shows and sold quite a bit of my art and was beginning to think about putting my own website together and taking my stuff off of Etsy and Goodsmiths. Lately my paintings, handmade books, journals, photo albums and address book sales are taking off. I have sold quite a few things on Etsy – including selling to a woman who lives in Spain. I think it’s pretty cool to send my paintings overseas.

I keep thinking I want to get my own website together but I wonder how much exposure I will get by promoting my site myself. I know that I have the potential to have a much larger audience on Etsy (not so much Goodsmiths because it’s not as well known) than from my own website but eventually I will get over my fears, sit down and act on what I have wanted for awhile. I know that there are many sites out there to help me with my website, I just have to find the right one.

I will let you all know when I have a website and will link it to this blog. I just want to share with you the painting I have sold this past week that will be heading out to Spain on Tuesday.

Je t'aime Paris

50 has Come & Gone and I am Grateful

Well, my birthday has come and gone. I am 50 and it seems like things are still as they were, nothing feels or  looks different. I had a wonderful party with loads of friends, good food, and lots of laughter. I think it was probably the best way to spend my birthday. Sometimes when I think about my age it still freaks me out at bit, I think “how did I get here – wasn’t it just yesterday I was living in France and going to school?”

Life moves so quickly,  I need to remember that and live each day like it is THE most important day. I must remember that I have a sweat life; a partner whom I love dearly and who loves me more than anyone has my whole life. I have the dog of my dreams, I have wanted this dog for at least 20 years. I have a wonderful home and have the best job in the world, AND – I get to create art everyday in studio in the back of my home.

Through out my life, people have come and gone – family has come and gone but through all of this I have loved everyone. I know that one day everyone will know how much I have loved them. I have lived my life with respect for others and tried to be the best person I can. I have tried not to judge others and  tried earnestly to live and let live. I know that even through my life’s choices some of my friends and family have judged me and have said and done things that have been hurtful.  What they don’t understand is that the choices I have made through out my life made me the woman I am today. We all have made choices in our lives that others may not understand – but that’s the funny thing about our lives – they are all different. My choices and decisions that I have made throughout my life have brought me to this most awesome place – and at the age of 50 I can say it with all my heart – MY LIFE IS GREAT!

I am grateful for all the things I have done, the places I have gone, the adventures I have been on (good & bad) all the people who are and were in my life – all of this has shaped who I am today – I KICK ASS 50-year-old woman, artist, dog mom and wife.

Pictures below: 1. Me and my partner 2. The view from my studio 3. My dog – Chimay  4. My last art show in San Francisco

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My Belgian Malinois playing at Yosemite - Chimay
My Belgian Malinois playing at Yosemite – Chimay

Raven at the Gallery