Lisa Pressman’s Workshop

After the International Encaustic Conference I attended a two day workshop with Lisa Pressman.  She gave us so many ideas on how to prepare panels with three layers of wax medium, then how to layer the pigmented wax onto the surface and scrape the surface with blades. One important point she shared was the use and layering of transparent paint.  The trick is to use very little colored wax and lots of medium.   So, I just followed Lisa’s guidelines of adding imagery, repeating the covering of the images and scraping back the surface. So, the surface of the panel looked like an excavation site with many layers poking through next to solid areas   Interspersed we created lots of small drawings using different mark making tools such as oil stick, graphite, inks, pigments, etc. Then these drawings were transferred onto the surface. It was two days of intense working on 4 – 6 panels at a time.  I understood how to work in a series by painting on multiple panels at the same time.

Throughout the workshop Lisa came around to discuss the notion of “intent” – What am I trying to say through my works? I shared my thoughts on what I would like to achieve in my works.   I would like to use formalism as a way to describe my state of being in relation to the landscape in a non-objective way.

I am interested in capturing the notion of beauty within nature, the light reflecting on water, the shifting colors of the different seasons, the peacefulness over a lake early in the morning. The image of the sun’s light hitting the variegated green leaves of a pickerelweed and then bouncing onto the head of the purple blue flower heads and floating aimlessly down towards the surrounding water.  At the same time capturing the tensions within nature.  The incredible storms that wreak havoc in a few minutes – darkness moving in only to be released by light – the destruction that humans do to the landscape with no regard for the beauty of the surrounding landscape. My goal is to capture this turbulence and unbalance of nature in relation to its serenity and beauty in a nonrepresentational way.

Below I have included the four artworks that I completed in Lisa’s class. Each work is 12″ X 12″ on birch panels.

P10508336 copy P1050833 copy2 P1050833 copy5 P1050833 copy 2 

For two days I became an archeologist and a genealogist searching for my roots. So I buried, dug, swept, covered, uncovered and layered a history within the panels. These are my final four pieces that are still not finished but are a beginning of works based on the personal


Author: Anna

I am a painter and sculptor and have a studio beside a beautiful lake. For the past 40 years, I designed and built puppets, masks and sculptures and had solo exhibitions of these works. In 2013, I went back to painting and started working in encaustic. I am interested in issues of identity in terms of weavings as coverings to protect or to hide. The intersecting lines that I create over landscapes create an internal conversation versus the external between nature vs. nurture. Or how actual or psychological barriers erected in an environment can disrupt a cherished place. My engagement with woven structures speak to complex dialogues between identity and psychological barriers. My second passion is teaching. I try to encompass more than teaching my students art techniques. I encourage students to, not only learn the language of art, but to also engage in critiquing art. Additionally, we continually explore ways to enhance one's voice through art in relation to contemporary and historical issues. Encaustic adventures is a blog where not only processes and techniques are taught, but hopefully this sites will engage in a dialogue about the making of art, notions of voice, identity, themes, and ways to establish a body of work within an historical contexts.

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