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 2 - Blossoms|
|High Park Blossoms|
|White on White|
|Beneath the Surface|
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. :)