What happens when you combine hot wax and a group of young adults in recovery? A little magic.
Lisa Marie Sipe teaching an encaustic workshop at Sober College in Woodland Hills, California.


I was surprised at how open the class was to the encaustic medium.  When I was first introduced to encaustic I was a bit intimidated. The medium was practically backwards to the way I normally created my art and it took me a little while to really get going on my first piece because I was stuck in my head. These students, most of them non-artists, just grabbed a masonite canvas and hit the ground running. Maybe they had the advantage of seeing this as an ephemeral task.

I taught this class a bit differently than my normal workshop. I knew these students wouldn’t be into the history of encaustics and I wanted to make sure I presented the medium in a way that didn’t seem complicated and didn’t lose their interest. I kept the project simple, each student chose a photo (some photo copied from Juxtapoz magazine) and then painted on or around the photo as they wished. These are the results:

Student work from Sober College art class taught by Lisa Marie Sipe.


Student work from Sober College encaustic art class by guest instructor Lisa Marie Sipe


Student work from encaustic class at Sober College led by guest instructor Lisa Marie Sipe


I think the student who painted this piece thought what he was doing was a joke or over-the-top but I find the raw emotion of this piece intriguing.