I am excited to share some news with you about two of my favourite artists who work with encaustic: Michelle Belto & Cathy Nichols!
Michelle will be teaching an online class "Nature Paper Beeswax Bundles" at the Artful Gathering Retreats. Michelle is a delightful instructor and we were very lucky to have her come and teach her paper making and encaustic class to the members of CanwaxWest in Penticton several years back. Be sure and check out her website too to see her sculptural work.
Cathy Nichols has been hard at work on her new book "Storytelling Art Studio". Some of you may remember that I was super lucky to play with Cathy in her studio in North Carolina last year. I can say first hand how gorgeous her paintings are and how this book would be an excellent edition to your library.
Rebranding has started for Encaustic Art - The Original!
Encaustic Art - The Original is starting the roll out of their new rebranding. The first item out is the new Starter Set. Over the course of the year they will begin rolling out new branding on the packaging as well as some new items! Can't wait to see what they will be.
The new Starter Set contains:
1 encaustic painting iron
30 x A6 white painting cards
10 x A5 painting cards
1 Starter Wax set (16 blocks)
Metal Scribe Tool
1 Starter Set Guide
Unfortunately due to illness I am having to put all future classes and trips on hold right now. This also means not going to the Encaustic Conference in Provincetown. I am sure you can understand what a huge disappointment this is. I am hoping that we can have a report from some of the other Canadian artists attending that can be shared with everyone.
The online shop will still be open, but the five day Exploring Encaustic class and other classes are postponed until later this year (fingers crossed). If you were interested in attending, please let me know.
Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to me via Instagram and Facebook. I really appreciate your kind words. It is truly an amazing encaustic community. Big Hugs xo
Thank you and have a wonderful day, Bethany & the Exploring Encaustic Team
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.