Encaustic & Mixed Media Classes with Bethany February 28 2017, 0 Comments

Let's paint! Four new creative classes to help you explore encaustic or mixed media in a fun and relaxing setting. Treat yourself to creative play.

Bethany encaustic and mixed media classes in March 2017

 Exploring Encaustic 2017


Local Artist, World Event February 20 2017, 1 Comment

For Immediate Release Bethany & Peter Haubrich Encaustic grant

Local artist’s big trip down South made possible with support from CFSO and the Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund

Bethany Handfield was thrilled when she received the news from Cherie Mittenthal, the organizer of the 11th Annual Encaustic Conference that she was one of only two artists in Canada invited to this prestigious conference in Provincetown, MA via a bursary. There is fierce competition for bursaries as they are open internationally with only nine given out in 2017. There was only one hitch on accepting- the greater expense of getting there.

For those unfamiliar with encaustic, it is a modern take on an ancient style of painting. Pigmented beeswax is applied to a substrate using a heat source as part of the application process. In 2006, Handfield took an encaustic class with local artist and teacher Thea Haubrich and a wonderful relationship began. Said Handfield, “When I took my first class with Thea I was immediately hooked. Encaustic has a beautiful luminosity to it that is unlike any other medium I had worked with. Thea was an amazing and generous teacher so part of the draw was also continuing to learn from her. It was a huge honor in 2011 when Thea invited me to show with her in a dual art exhibition we called Untangled.”

When Thea was unable to continue in her art supply and teaching business due to illness, she asked Bethany to help out.  “I was very reluctant to start teaching at first as Thea was so well respected and knowledgeable on the topic. I could not have done it without her encouragement and support.  I can honestly say that I would not have advanced as far in my practice and career without Thea’s strong encouragement.”

Sadly Thea passed away in 2013 from her illness. Thea’s husband Peter and son Maarten set up the Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund in her honor with the Community Foundation South Okanagan (CFSO). The goal of the foundation is to encourage other artists wanting to learn encaustic through bursaries that would help them with educational costs. Bethany Handfield is the 2017 recipient of the fund and will be using the bursary to facilitate her journey to the Encaustic Conference in Massachusetts in July.  

“I am so appreciative to the Community Foundation and the Shatford Centre for supporting my application. It has a deeper meaning coming from the Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund and evokes great emotion. Thea and I had always hoped to go to this conference together and because of the fund, CFSO is helping to make part of that dream a reality. I will forever be grateful to her for bringing the gift of encaustic into my life and for her encouragement of my artistic growth.”

Bethany was the Meadowlark Nature Festival artist in 2015 and exhibits art frequently in the Okanagan. She continues to teach and is the coordinator of the WE: Project at the South Okanagan Women in Need Society which brings nurturing creative classes to the women and children that SOWINS’ serves. She has been nominated in the PDCAC Art Awards’ Visual Arts & Arts Educator categories for the past several years and was recently published as a guest artist in Linda Robertson’s foundational text Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax (2nd Edition).

Over the next few months Bethany will be teaching art classes to help raise funds for her trip, including Exploring Encaustic, the 4th annual 5 day encaustic class, that will be held at SOWINS with partial proceeds from class fees being donated to the SOWINS’ WE: Project.  

Bethany Encaustic Penticton Herald


I Love SOWINS! February 06 2017, 0 Comments

Exploring Encaustic Loves SOWINS
I am so excited to announce that the majority of my future encaustic classes will now be held at the South Okanagan Women in Need Society in their Training Room. 

This means that a portion from all class fees will do directly to SOWINS' programs and services that support women and children on their journey overcoming the effects of violence and abuse. 

When you take an art class from me not only are you nurturing yourself, you will also be supporting SOWINS and they work that they do. What a win win!

Please be on the look out for upcoming classes. My next encaustic classes will be on Feb 25th & March 18th plus the 5 day Exploring Encaustic in April :)

I will also be teaching some mixed media classes too.
Keep an eye on the newsletter for more news.

Exploring Encaustic 2017 January 24 2017, 0 Comments

Exploring Encaustic 2017 Bethany Handfield

April 13-17, 2017

Please join me for 5 full days of painting with encaustic.

Registration is now open. Click here to register

This annual course is perfect for students of all levels. For those who are new to encaustic it is a full immersion into encaustic painting and techniques. For those who are more experienced it is an opportunity to deepen your practice and refresh your skills.

  • Studio set up and safety
  • Basics of painting and fusing
  • Creating Texture
  • Mixed Media 
  • Images & encaustic
  • Studio 1/2 Day - open time to bring everything together

Where: SOWINS* Training Room  #102 - 1027 Westminster Ave W. Penticton, BC

Thursday: 1:30 to 7:00pm - with a snack break

Friday to Monday: 10:30am to 4:00pm each day. Lunch is at 12:30pm for 45 mins

The fee for the whole week is $600 All supplies included

Students receive a goody bag containing samples from R&F Paints, Kama Pigments & Enkaustikos!

Bursaries may be available through the Okanagan School of the Arts & the Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund for students who live in the South Okanagan.

Thea Haubrich Legacy Fun Grant Application Information**

Accommodation & Local Gallery Information

Registration is now open. Click here to register...
* Partial proceeds from this class will go towards the South Okanagan Women in Need Society's WE Project which brings art into the lives of women and children overcoming the effects of violence and abuse.

Holiday Shipping December 07 2016, 0 Comments

Be sure to get your parcels in time for the holidays. Parecels are shipped Expedited and can take anywhere from 2 to 13 days depending on where you live in Canada. If you are unsure if your parcel will arrive in time, please email me your postcode and I can check for you.

All orders in December receive a free bonus gift!

New from Enkaustikos & PanPastel November 30 2016, 0 Comments

New Products & Holiday Workshop

New items from PanPastel & Enkaustikos

Do you like sparkle as much as I do? I have some tasty new products for you in the shop!

New from PanPastel:
Along with new extra colours, I have added some of the PanPastel mediums to the shop. In black or white (coarse or fine) these pastels in a pan add sparkle and sheen. To any painting. They are so easy to use. Just wipe on and gently fuse.

Mix them with other colours to make a sparkly tint or share. Delicious!

I now have Paynes Grey, Phthalo Blue, Bright Yellow Green +  other colors back in stock.

New from Enkaustikos*:
Continuing with the sparkle & sheen theme I am now carrying the Opal Hot Sticks* set and Interference Wax Snaps* set. Really amp up your paintings with thses lovely paints. Use them on their own or mix them to create new colours.

Interference Series can be used in several ways. You can use then as an embellishment to your paintings and prints for added dimensional effects. They are so highly pigmented you can also think of them as paint. Add any transparent paints to create your own custom Interference colors. 

Opal Series is an expansion of two of our best sellers, Opal Aquamarine and Opal Calypso Green. We have brought back our Opal Rose and are introducing two new colors; Opal Sapphire and Opal Sun. Each of these paints has either an interference gold or blue added that really gives it an opalescent quality. To learn more about how interference colors work click on the images above.

The flourescent and shimmer Enkaustikolors and bags of medium are back in stock. Keep an eye on the next newsletter, Facebook, or Instagram as I will be launching 4 Hot Stick combo sets as well. They will combine some of my favourite colors in a fun set. 

(*Not for use with the iron unless thinned out with medium)

Happy Painting and have a wonderful day!
-Bethany & the Exploring Encaustic Team

Everyone Gets a Gift in December! November 30 2016, 1 Comment

Exploring Encaustic Holiday Bees

What will it be? That is a surprise :) It maybe a Fayum Portrait magnet from my trip to the Royal Ontario Museum early this year. Perhaps it is a discount code for 10-50% off an order or an item. It might be free shipping on your next order. There could also be gifts of paint, painting cards, brushes, sponges, and more!

You will have to wait and see....

Don't Buy Anything From My Shop Today November 28 2016, 0 Comments

Today is Cyber Monday when there are a ton of sales online, but I am asking you not to purchase anything from my shop today. Why? Isn't that a bit strange? Yes, maybe. But you see tomorrow is #GivingTuesday and I would much rather that you consider making a donation to your local not for profit instead.

What is #GivingTuesday?
It is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. This year it is on November, 29th. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

Ways to Give
Here are a list of some of my favourite not for profits. If you are not in the South Okanagan consider making a donation to your local women's shelter, animal rescue, or public art gallery / arts council.

  1. Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund: Thea was instrumental in spreading the word about encaustic across Canada (and beyond). This fund ensures that artists in the South Okanagan have the opportunity to learn about encaustic and keep the movement going.
  2. Shelter Safe: Find a Transition House or Safe Home in your area to donate to using the Shelter Safe website.  I work at the South Okangan Women in Need Society here is Penticton, BC so I will be supporting the amazing work that they do.
  3. The SPCA or other animal shelters / rescue: I support AlleyCats Alliance my area
  4. What matters most to you? This is such a personal thing. Everyone of us has a story of personal importance with an organization that has touched our hearts.
My shop will always be here when you do want to buy, and there will be some great bonuses coming up in December, so maybe have a think about #GivingTuesday and pass this great idea along to your network too.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!
-Bethany & the Exploring Encaustic Team

Stronger Together (they didn't know we were seeds) November 21 2016, 0 Comments

My latest piece for Waxing Poetic 2016 + Poem

Stronger Together Encaustic Bethany Handfield

Stronger Together (they didn’t know we were seeds)

I wanted to paint you a pretty picture

but my heart was cut open wide

by the  country of my birth

from this we cannot hide


I wanted to paint you a pretty picture

but the landscape was divided

flowers wilted

white cloaks out of hiding


Instead of a pretty picture

I ask you to Do The Right Thing

Stand UP for those who are weeping

Stand Up for those who are shaking

Stand Up for those being counted

                for those who are loving

                for those who are just like you and me

Stand Up together in solidarity


They tried to bury us but they didn’t know we were seeds planting love that will

grow and Grow and Grow and GROw and GROW

©Bethany Handfield (2016)

Back of Stronger Together

Here's to the Red Dots! November 20 2016, 0 Comments

Red Dots

I had an interesting conversation with someone at a recent art show opening about artists and the sale of paintings. I was very excited as many of my fellow artists were getting red dots next to their paintings. A red dot equals a sale.

The person asked me why that was so important. "Why do artists need to sell their work? Don't they all just do it because they love it? Or is the main purpose of painting for the art to be sold?"

Yes some lucky people are able to paint and create just because they love it and the sale at the end of the day is a cherry on top. But for the majority of working artists that sale represents their livelihood. It is their paycheck.

Here in lies a very interesting conundrum facing the public's perception about artists. Yes, artists create because they are passionate about it, have something to say and share about the world, and have undertaken study in a particular medium - however it is also their job. Just like you have a job. It is literally " art-work".  

The sales pay for bills, food, rent, and gas. Sales allow the artist to buy more materials, rent studio space, take classes, and maybe take risks on some not so commercial work that won't necessarily be for sale but will speak from the artist's soul about our world today.

The purpose of a commercial gallery is to sell art. The galleries get a commission, the artists get paid, and everyone eats. Yes, it is about the exposure of ideas, interesting images, and they are places to come in and have a look around, but they are business like any other.  

I really hope that when people go to galleries they keep this thought in mind. By purchasing art you are supporting the artists' "work" and therefore their livelihood. You are keeping the money in your community.

Many galleries have layaway plans. Why buy something mass produced when you can have an original? There is art available for any budget and taste. Artists that you meet on social media are more than happy to ship their work to you. 

So please keep those red dots coming! Especially at the holidays when everyone is buying gifts. A unique piece of art - be it a painting, potter, sculpture, art doll, jewelry, weaving, fiber art, print, or photograph -is a gift that lasts forever. Is something that can be enjoyed for years to come (and in some cases is a gift that will increase in value as the years go on). 

A huge congratulations to everyone who made a sale last recently and an even bigger thank you to the wonderful patrons who made that purchase. Way to go! xoxo