Monday, July 21, 2008

Encaustic lessons

So now I've started the encaustic class at Penland. The first official class was last night... but that was mainly an introduction and the same 45 min. safety demo... but since we are working with hot wax and fire, it was more appropriate than when I was working with watercolor paints.

This class is all women, except for our instructor (poor guy). This is the first class I've been in here where there are other people my age. Not way younger or older... but my age! Two of the girls in my class look really familiar. One of them was in marketing for a long time and just started going back to art school and painting a year ago... sound familiar?

We started out this morning looking at slides of encaustic painting and it's history. Mummy portraits were painted in encaustic. Also, I didn't realize that encaustic is similar to oil paint (well, kinda), and you can use encaustic with oil paint... I suck at oil painting... I've never learned how, and every time I've tried I just end up finger painting a big ol' mess.

Then we learned how to make our own medium by melting bees wax and Damar resin, and then this afternoon we were set free to experiment. I'm just feeling it out... making a huge waxy mess right now, and experimenting... Our instructor (Jeff) left at 5... I have a whole bunch of questions for him tomorrow.

I feel really comfortable in this class. I'm not sure if it's because my head and heart are in a better place than when I started my last two classes... or if it's the class dynamic. It's really hard to tell. I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I enjoy meeting people and talking to them... I didn't feel that way before. Maybe it's because I'm more familiar with Penland, or that I consider myself just as much as an artist as the other students... I wasn't self-confident at all before.

I talked to Jeff for a bit today. He told me he saw my website and really liked my work. He said it was "strong." That made me feel validated again. Please, gimme more complements! Brag on me all you want! :) But then I thought, how would he have seen my work? So I asked him if he googled me. He had (me along with all of the other classmates). I'm relieved that he already knows what I've been through.

He did say, "It looks like you've got a great support network behind you. It's neat to see that. And you can tell what a great guy Carter was by how much so many people loved him."

Wow. That made me feel really good that someone who doesn't know either of us got that after just googling me. It's completely true. I'm very blessed to have my support system of family, friends and loved ones, and to have had C's presence and love in my life.

No comments: