Learning Encaustic and more fun in Portland

This past week was our final week in Portland, at least for a while. We stayed parked there for quite some time… longer than we usually stay in one given spot. Part of this past week was focused on learning a new (to me) kind of art medium. While I’m used to teaching workshops, this time I was the student, and the medium was encaustic. Encaustic basically means art created with beeswax, and I had been wanting to learn it for a while. I had been looking for a new an interesting way to display my photos, and encaustic really spoke to me.

I signed up for a two-day workshop in Portland with Linda Womack. I learned about the different methods and tools, and ended up going home with a handful of finished pieces. It’s definitely something that is better to learn hands-on in a class rather than just out of a book. Lots of the techniques are tedious and must be done very fast, because the wax is constantly drying. Now that I have a solid foundation, I’m probably going to start buying supplies so that I can practice on my own.

Here I am working on one of my pieces in the encaustic workshop.

One of my Rt. 66 images that has been transferred to wax, but not fused yet.

Here, I experimented with pigments under the photo.

I guess this was just a classroom kind of week for us, because Karen also took a class on knife skills at Portland’s Sur La Table. She had a little rule for herself, and that was she couldn’t buy a GOOD, sharp knife until she took a knife skills class. (she has been known to be a tad accident prone in the kitchen) She ended up loving the class and buying a new chef’s knife and paring knife shortly after.

Karen shot this before her knife skills class in Portland.

Aside from the classes, we had a fairly low-key week, with a few fun distractions. One of our favorite things to do in Portland is see movies at the McMinnemin’s Brew Pub Theaters. They have slightly older movies and only charge $2-3 for admission. What’s even better is that you can have beer and wine in the theater as well as GOOD food. We’ve gotten Thai bowls, hummus, salads, etc. This week, we went to see the movie “Looper,” and both enjoyed it. We also got to meet up with my friend and fellow photography instructor Chris Hurtt. He’s a Portland local and we spent a bunch of time catching up at The Bye & Bye, another one of our favorite places in Portland. It’s a vegan bar, and the food is actually amazing!

On a completely different note, I was featured on Nik Radio this week, where in my interview, I talk with Scott Sheppard about Photoshop, photography and gear. If you’re not familiar with Nik Radio, here’s what they do:

Nik Radio delivers a variety of educational programming created to inspire digital photographers of all levels. Sponsored by Nik Software, Nik Radio features digital imaging tips and techniques, highlights the work of popular professional photographers and experts through in-depth Pro Talks, showcases industry events, and shares insights and the stories behind the most popular images of our time. Listen today for unique educational content that will help you achieve your goals behind the camera and on the computer!

Click HERE to check out my interview

Well, that’s all the news for this week. We’re now making our way south the the Eugene, Oregon area where my vintage bus will be getting its new interior. More to come…