My paintings and drawings and once in a while a work that I like.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thoughts on the Encaustic Masterclass

I am writing this on my way home from the Masters Encaustic workshop given by Joanne Mattera at Castle Hill. After all the difficulties and stresses that it took to get there, the experience, relationships and information made the whole experience well worth the effort.
I thought it might be helpful to let you know what went on in the workshop and the things that I felt were most informative and helpful. First off, it hasn’t been since I went to the South Pacific in 2001 that I have gone away and focused 100% on my art career. Otherwise, at home there are the regular distractions and chores that need to be done. So, that made the experience enjoyable and productive.
One thing that I can say about Joanne is that she is both professional and humanistic. She reminds me of one of my BFA mentors, Joe Ostraff. They are both people who want you to succeed at your own goals. Rather those pesky people who are very dogmatic and believe that their way and what they are is the best and only way to go. So, I felt that Joanne was very supportive and yet, not afraid to tell you what’s up—the kind of person who would tell you that in fact your butt does look massive in those jeans, but in a way that leaves you feeling that you are still amazingly sexy.
The workshop was flexible. Joanne had a schedule that we stuck to as much as we needed to. I do not feel like I sat through an incredibly long lecture while in the back of my mind singing the new Interpol album and blurring my vision to see what people look like in soft lines.
There was only one demonstration! I didn’t come all this way to learn to collage or transfer or make some sort of stylized painting. We had a simple and short mono printing demo. We were given the option of mono printing for a couple of afternoons, which I happily did. (It is such a soothing way of art making and you can get a smashing product.)
We had a few discussions on developing you career. I think was probably the most beneficial for me—I am not sure about the other work shop-ees—but, I have never gotten that type of advice from a surviving New York artist. I gobbled it up and am ready to try it out and see if it can work for me.
Joanne addresses archival issues throughout the week. This was helpful to me because I taught myself to use encaustics. In my undergrad studies I learned various archival issues of oil painting, drawing and printmaking, but I didn't know anyone who knew much of anything about encaustic. I feel like I walked away from the workshop with a much better understanding of the needs of the medium.
To top off all of this bliss, I really enjoyed my first visit to the Cape. City life is so taxing, but the fresh air and solitude helped relax my mind. Being away actually made me realize how much I both love and hate New York City. It has everything you could ever want, but too much of it at the same time. I am not really part of the artist workshop culture, one that until this week I didn’t know existed, but I would recommend doing a workshop here and there. It can be rather refreshing for yourself and your art.

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photo courtsey of Jamie Perkins

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About Me

Brooklyn, NY
I am a artist living in Brooklyn and currently an artist-in-residence with Chashama at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. I have been working in encaustic for the past few years, but am usually trying out a couple of different art making media at once. Peter Everett once called my work kitch, but I don't think it bothers me.