I just attended the 5th International Encaustic Conference at the Provincetown Inn in Cape Cod. I’ve never attended an art conference before so I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I found the conference provided me exactly what I needed. I learned from and was inspired by my peers. I was shown new and refined encaustic techniques and I was infused with inspiration. There were so many experiences at the conference I’m going to do several blog posts to cover the full experience. First I have to say the location was amazing. This was my first visit to the Cape and it is a magical place. The people were friendly, the food was good and the views were breathtaking. As a desert dweller I took every opportunity to breath in the salt air.
The first day of the conference was loosely structured and I visited the encaustic vendors, saw some demos and attended an art opening. I managed not to spend too much money in the vendor room but I did find a few gems. I’ve never worked with heated tools so I picked up one from R&F Encaustics with a few different tips: Horn Tip, Burnisher Tip and Iron Tip. I also discovered a wax solvent from Miles Conrad Encaustics called Solve It© that can remove wax from cloth (among other things). This is a must have product for any encaustic artist, it was a great find. Miles also had a Soy Wax Brush Cleaner I will definitely be buying in the future. Another new product I had never seen before was water-soluble encaustic paint in a tube from Cuni. The company researched the composition of ancient encaustic to come up with the formula for their paint. It is used without heat, yes you heard that right, encaustic with no heat!
Later that evening Beeline opened at Kobalt Gallery. The show was juried by Francine D’Olimpio and included a wide variety of bee-themed artwork from conference attendees. I really wish I would have snapped a photo of Mary Beth Rothman’s piece, it was photo layered encaustic that included a picture of her as Nefertiti with a beehive-like hairdo. My description really doesn’t do it justice, hopefully she will include a photo of it on her website soon. I did manage to snap a pic of Nancy Lowe’s sculptural honeycomb piece “Hive Mentality,” which is encaustic and photo transfer on paper.
Other Provincetown galleries featured encaustic work. My favorite was at Ernden Fine Art Gallery by artist Milisa Galazzi. Milisa’s work is delicate and natural, she uses lace in various ways to reference the history of lace making as well as reference present day dualities. I was fortunate to visit while she was in the gallery so I was able to learn about her work directly.
All of these exciting things happened and it was only the first day of the conference! In my next blog post I’m going to share my experience at the encaustic conference demos.