An Encaustic Encounter

Yesterday was cold and everyone in our house was sick.  I had agreed to attend an all-day encaustic painting workshop but I was thinking seriously about not going.  I was tired, had a wicked cough, and almost no voice.  However, I had committed to going and I knew there weren't that many in the class so I got my butt in gear and made my way to the Distillery district where Joya Paul has her studio. 

I am SO HAPPY that I did not bail on this!  Joya is so much fun and a great teacher, and the two other gals in the class were hilarious.  And I discovered that encaustic painting (painting with wax) is THE BOMB.  It just has so many possibilities - there are so many ways of working the wax, so many potential applications... 

I went armed with some printouts of my photos and the intent to do a piece of the boys.  The photo above is actually a composite photo that required some work in Photoshop - I had one photo with Will in focus and the other with Cam in focus and had to put them together.  Joya helped me glue it to a board and then I mixed some colours and did some layers trying to blend in the edges of the photo.  I am pretty pleased with it (although part of me finds art like this a little cheesy...sorry...).

But from my first practice piece in the morning I was hooked.  HOOKED.  The others went for a coffee break and I kept on going.  They went for lunch and I kept on going.*  I tried all kinds of things, from etching, to drips, to collage, to building up layers, scraping the wax away... I did abstracts, textures, representational things... I blew a fuse using the heat gun.  I was in the ZONE people.  

The stuff I brought home is not going to be hung in any galleries any time soon, but the experience of giving in to every creative impulse from 10 am to 4 pm was such a joy.  It solidified what I have come to realize are essential truths for me:  I love MAKING stuff, and I love working with creative, inspiring people.  Whatever I end up doing next, I have to make sure that it includes these two elements.
Practice piece 

Practice 2 - Blossoms
High Park Blossoms
White on White
Beneath the Surface
thoughts reel

I think you should all call Joya immediately and book a workshop.  Bring your friends.  You can thank me later.  In fact, I may see you there - this encaustic stuff is addictive!

*Not long after they left for lunch, Joya came running back to get me - President's Choice was filming a commercial and there was a free BBQ with any kind of burger, all kind of fixings, salads, chips, dips, drinks, ice-cream - you name it!  Galen Weston was walking around chatting to people and handing out food.  It was delicious - the ice-cream sandwiches made with the cookies are unreal. I ate enough lunch for 6 people.  :)


  1. Dharma@WannabeMermaidApril 30, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    All this eye candy and you got a free lunch from Galen? Awesome :) Your piece "thoughts reel" speaks volumes to me. Love it.

  2. Very cool work, especially for your first time. A new career on the side perhaps?

  3. This post made me smile. You're enthusiasm is contagious.

  4. YOUR enthusiasm - sheesh! :-)


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