This morning, at 9:30, I attended the Keynote address. Sharon Louden focused on the topic “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life.” Sharon is a vibrant speaker and so generous in sharing her knowledge about her creative community and how she has sustained her artistic life. Then she shared other artists’ stories such as Julie Blackmon who lives in a small community and takes photographs of her surroundings. In Julie’s artist statement she talks about investigating the struggles she encounters between her role as a mother in relation to her passion for taking photographs of human cultural interactions in the community where she lives.
In her talk Sharon explored how each artist pushed boundaries by creating their own community of like minded individuals and how this notion of “community” helped sustain their creative voices. Sharon stressed that an artist has to make the best art that he or she can, be consistent and never give up, do the research of what it is you need to sustain your practice, and never give up when one gets a rejection. “Rejection is just a difference of opinions.” And finally, be generous with your ideas, techniques, support, etc. Artists need to establish a community of like-minded individuals that you support and then they will support you. Such an inspirational talk and thank you Sharon Louden.
After this talk I arranged a Canadian gathering at lunch time. Met fabulous Canadians who love working in encaustic. A great time for networking and creating a community of liked minded artists. Thanks to all that came to our luncheon meeting,
Michael David: Encaustic Theories and Practices
The first talk that I attended after lunch was led by artist Michael David. His talk on Encaustic Theories and Practices: History of Contemporary was a passionate dialogue explaining how famous artists used encaustic because no other process could push their voices. Yes, Jasper Johns famous American flag paintings was shown along with Brice Marden, Linda Benglis, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Cornell, and Joanne Mattera. Michael David also included images of his own works.
Brice Marden, 1969, oil and wax on canvas.
Lynda Benglis, Embryo II 1967, encaustic on panel
Michael David discussed why he chose encaustic. He stated that he could not build up the surface in the same way with any other medium. Pushing the limit of the liquid wax is his passion. Burying the painting, burning it, adding found elements and then embedding these elements into the wax is a process that calls him.
Michael David is passionate and a powerful speaker. I did not want his talk to end. In my notes I wrote these questions: “What am I doing with encaustic and why use this particular process?” “How do I manipulate the medium of wax in an unusual way to make it my own technique?” “Do I go deeply into me and to no-one else? “And how does my work reflect my life?” I have a lot to ponder over the next few months.
In the Next Post I share Sunday’s events and Monday and Tuesday’s workshop experience with Karen Freedman.