Baldessin Press Workshop

My next encaustic workshop will be at Baldessin Press, near Melbourne, on the 24th and 25th of August. There are only eight places available for what will be a great weekend exploring encaustic and paper in  beautiful surroundings. The studio was built by renowned printmaker and sculptor George Baldessin at St Andrews, largely from recycled materials.

Baldessin Press
Baldessin Press

This course will take an experimental approach to using encaustic on paper. You will learn how to collage prints together using encaustic, how to exploit the characteristics of wax to layer and combine imagery, and how to work into the surface with wax and pigment to create interesting and compelling surfaces. We will cover the health and safety aspects of encaustic, and setting up an encaustic studio, so that you are equipped to explore further on your own. The course is suitable for all levels of experience.

I’m really looking forward to it, because I love teaching, I love spending time in Melbourne (even when its cold), and I will enjoy visiting George’s studio. I’ve always admired his work.

Colour – Day 2

I haven’t had time to photograph the work properly, but here’s a small taste. One work leads on to another, and it is quite addictive.

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Paula’s demonstration piece.

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Long scrolls from Achsah O’Donovan, myself and Angela Noble, reading from left to right.

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Gayle Childress’s work.

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Some more of Gayle’s work.

This is just a fraction of the beautiful work which was created yesterday. I was so busy making that I didn’t get the chance to record much of the work. I will try and rectify that tomorrow.

Black and White: first day of Paula’s workshop

Yesterday was the first day of Paula’s workshop. We began by making long scroll forms using brush and ink. Firstly we followed our breath, and then we used our gloved hands to work on the surface. iIt was a very direct and intimate way of making marks on the surface of the paper.
Here is my breath piece:

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And here are some of our scrolls hanging together:

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My scroll made by directly drawing on the paper with my hands is on the extreme right, next to the breath scroll.

Later we may add colour to this work, or cut it up for a book. We also made smaller pieces, exploring the variety of marks we could make.

This is a desert environment. Here are some photos of desert plants:

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Santa Fe!

We’re here in Santa Fe on the last leg of our journey, to take the mark making workshop with Paula Roland. The differences between the three places we have visited are quite striking – they could be three different countries, not just three different states.

Santa Fe is high desert country, and it is also having a drought at the moment. The landscape is
arid, bare, dotted with juniper. Such grass as is there is bleached like straw. At night you can hear the coyotes howl.

The rolling hills give way to mountains capped with drifts of snow.

This landscape has captivated artists for generations. The shifting patterns of light on the mountains, the extraordinary skies, and the sense of intimacy and space could be the stuff of endless interpretation. I wish I had brought my long lens!

And the culture and architecture are completely different, too, and fit so well into the landscape you couldn’t imagine them elsewhere.

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The Voodoo Donuts, the Atelier and the prints.

We spent today at Atelier Meridian, printing the plates we made yesterday at Elise Wagners studio. tomorrow will also be spent printing.

Those bad women Elise and Jane had bought us some voodoo donuts for breakfast. Words fail me!
Let this photograph speak instead:

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Enough said!

The Atelier is a large space, with three beautiful etching presses, including a big Takach, and a letterpress. There is also a Lino press. Full membership of the atelier is $125 a month, and gives you unlimited access 24/7!

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I will show you more of my results tomorrow, but here is a print from one of my plates.

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We finished the afternoon with a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers. Very civilised!

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Barbara Mason, Elise Wagner and Jane Pagliarulo.

Elise Wagner Workshop

We have arrived in Portland, Oregon, to take a three day Encaustic Collagraph workshop with Elise Wagner. We are staying with Barbara Mason. Barbara is a printmaker of many years standing. I met her more than a decade ago, when I taught a workshop for her here in Portland.

Elise works together with Jane Pagliarulo, who, together with Barbara, founded a Print Studio called Atelier Meridian.

Here are some shots of Elise’s Studio. Brittany, Jane’s intern, is in the second shot. All the work on the walls is by Elise Wagner.

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And here are some of the plates I made. Tomorrow we spend the day printing at the Atelier, and I will see what I can do with my plates. The scraper above the plates is used to carve the wax down.
We will be using Akua Inks.

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Codex

On Monday we went with Daniella to Codex at Richmond, near San Francisco. She has written about it in her blog and included links to her favourites, which are pretty much also mine, so I will direct you to her blog to explore. It was the first time I had been to Codex, also, and I was knocked out by the quality of the work on display. We only had a few hours, but you could have spent days looking at the beautiful books there.
It was interesting for me, because although I love looking at Artists books, I haven’t really been terribly interested in making them, and I finally worked out why. It seems to me that each page of the book seems to aspire to be perfect, to be completely finished. I feel as if the things I make are just a step on a journey, that its still possible to change them, that they aren’t ‘set in stone’ . I know that there is really no reason why I couldn’t make a book of fragments, of impressions, and perhaps someday I might. But up until now, it’s seemed like too much of a statement!

The building the Fair is held in is very impressive, a huge industrial building with floor to ceiling windows as well as skylights. The light floods in, and on a sunny day, it is beautifully warm in there.

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From the forecourt of the building there are views across to San Francisco.

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