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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Finding Your Way - Mapping

After a long absence, it's exciting to find my way back to this blog.  The Evans Encaustic factory has moved to larger space and now includes manufacture of Holy Grail Colors for oil, acrylic, and pastel. More on that will be announced after the Ninth International Encaustic Conference.  

Our next online show, Mapping, will exhibit artwork about finding a way.  That may range from literal map references to an artist's metaphorical compass.  How do you express forward momentum in visual terms?  
This call for submissions is for members of ProWax only and that will be noted in my intro of the show.  Here are specifics:

  • One high resolution photo in jpg format, 
  • Your last name and artwork title as the name of the file you send,
  • Dimensions of the work in inches, height x width,
  • Your name and your website,
  • Artwork title, year, medium, and 
  • One or two sentences elaborating on the work, especially how it addresses mapping.
Deadline is May 13th.  Please send entries to HyllaEvans@gmail.com.  That email is for submissions only.

Thursday, November 21, 2013



Measuring quantities, counting qualities, focusing on more versus less versus just enough: more than a tool, these are the substance of the following paintings.
In some cases the artist has provided one sentence about the work.  Links are live to each website.

Now More Than EverShirley A. McElhaney, 2013
16" x 14"
"Some times in life things are now or never."

Drifting in SilenceSandra Quinn, 2013
encaustic, 13.5" x 11.5"
"There is a relationship between the circles, pairing as they move together and drift apart, creating a space of solitude to recount memories."

Grapheme 1Tracey Adams, 2013
encaustic and oil on panel, 48" x 48"
"Graphemes are the smallest unit in a language; they can include numerical digits, Chinese characters and symbols of any of the world's writing systems."

TimerBeverly Rippel, 2010/13
oil, 6" x 8"
" The flesh toned paint ticks incrementally away...marking Time."

Lucky 7sElena De La Ville, 2012
encaustic, 22" x 22"
"Lucky seven refers to the seventh day when I found out the good news."

Keeping Time, Kathryn Dettwiller, 2012
encaustic monotype on Asian paper 25"x 37"
Keeping Time is informed by the rhythms of my daily life: counting breaths in the mornings, the ticking of the clock as time elapses, entries in my journal before retiring at night.

Prime, Patricia Dusman, 2013
15" x 5" x 2"
"This piece is about a series of prime numbers, giving the viewer the ability to interact and solve for the missing number."

Spherical Harmonics # 10Michele Thrane, 2013
encaustic monotypes, digital images, staples, paper, 19" diameter
"The numbers in the equations come from my son's published physics papers, and they quantify the relationships of the variables that describe gravitational waves."

Ruche 0352.20, Karen Freedman, 2013
encaustic on panel, 12" x 12" x1.5"
"As I design each painting, I count the symmetrical rotations of the elements as well as the size and quantity of the elements in that design; while painting I count the ratios of the colors I custom mix."

Twin Primes IElizabeth Harris, 2013
18" x 24"
"Twin primes are one of the oldest unsolved problems in math; seeming to occur in twos, like 3 & 5, 17&19, and even as you go to higher numbers, as primes become very infrequent, they still will come with two together like that, even with numbers in the billions and higher."

Inventory ControlElaine Brady Smith, 2013
16" x 16"
"In the dusty ledgers of our mind, we keep inventory; one of accomplishments where there is expansion and stars for positive actions taken and one of remembrance that marks us from future misjudgments."

How Many?, Deborah Martin, 2013
encaustic on arches paper, 18" x 24"
"Numbers represent how many elephants have been killed last year, last month."

And So It Was Written, and So It Was Prescribed, Pamela Wallace, 2010
wax, oil graphite on panel, 20" x 16" x 2"
"This work that protests the over use of psychotropic medications."

SOH CAH TOA, Karen Nielsen-Fried2013
encaustic and oil on panel 24" x 46"

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Pulsating rhythm dominates these paintings, some in the natural ripples of water, air, or emotions, some as syncopations in open space.  The energy vibrations emanating from these works inspire toe-tapping, dancing, and sometimes a quiet,  static gathering of thoughts.


                                    Step By Step 5,   Sandra Quinn  2010
                            encaustic  22" x 24"

                      Embryo Three,  Pat Spainhour  2011
                           encaustic,  16" x 16"

The Night Swim,  Neverne Covington  2010
oil,  9" x 12"

Ruche 0391,  Karen Freedman 2011
encaustic  12" x 12"

Sanctuary 3,  Marci Borland 2012
encaustic, 14" x 14"

Kyoto Moon Series: Akatombo: Red Dragonflies, Lin Golden   2011
encaustic  10" x 8"

The Return of the Native, Senna 2,  Debra Claffey  2011
encaustic, oil  18" x 12"

Invisible Family, Helga Winter 2012
encaustic,  7" x 10"

For All We Know,  Karen Nielsen-Fried  2012
encaustic, oil, pastel  30" x 28"

Tendency of Thought,  Alicia Forestall-Boehm  2012
encaustic  18" x 18"

Years,  Michelle Beaulieu  2012
encaustic  7.5" x 6"

Co-exist,  NJ Weaver   2011
encaustic  12" x 12"

Thickly Veiled,  Helen Dannelly  2012
encaustic,  18" x 12"

Hanky 1,  Joan Stuart Ross  2012
encaustic, 12" x 12"

Home Woven Wax,  Christine Rooney  2012
encaustic,  5" x 7"

Trinity - Variation 1,  Cat Crotchett 2011
encaustic,  12" x 12"

Paring Away,  Leslie Ford  2011
lightfast dyes,  20" x 14"

Green Gig,  Carol Brody 2012
encaustic,  12" x 12"

Onion Domes,  Lorna Strotz  2011
watercolor,  11" x 12"

Taiko IV,  Paula Roland  2011
encaustic,  40" x 26"

Radix 4,  Tracey Adams  2012
mixed media, 40" x 40"

Finding Moses 2,  Susanne Arnold  2012
encaustic, beeswax  8" x 8"

Ostinato,  Reni Gower  2012
encaustic,  15" x 18.5"

True Grid,  Daniella Woolf   2011
encaustic,  8" x 8"

Paint On Canvas X (Red Family),  Beverly Rippel  2011
oil,  12" x 12"

RedPinkCB (Somebody),  Louise P. Sloane  2012
acrylic/polymer,  50" x 46"

Cells 3,  Kay Hartung  2012
encaustic,  6" x 6"

Interweave,  Lynda Ray  2012
encaustic,  18" x 24"

Prayers for the Earth: Agave/Agape,  Fanne Fernow  2011
encaustic,  22" x 48"

Very many terrific paintings were submitted and some of them will show up on this blog in the future.  Thanks go to the fine artists who work hard and are generous to send me a glimpse of what're they're doing.  Fabulous work is happening out there in the real world!  - Hylla Evans

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pattern - That's What I'm Talkin' 'Bout!

Sandra Quinn, Step by Step 1, 14" x 16" encaustic  2009

This does not qualify for the upcoming Pattern show because it was done in 2009 but it is a stunning example of pattern creating rhythm in a painting.

Deadline for entries is Labor Day, September 3rd.  See below for details on how and what to enter.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


INTRO TO ENCAUSTIC PAINTING      Hylla Evans (hylla@comcast.net)
Supplies to Start Encaustic Painting in Your Own Studio 

Remove any solvents or flammable materials from work area first!

BURN CREAM and access to cold water
absorbent painting supports (untreated wood, paper, bisqueware)
electric pancake griddle and extension cord
fan to exhaust fumes out the window and an open door or window to bring fresh air inside
glass cooking thermometer  (Keep wax paint under 220F.)
paper towels
non-stick muffin tins and loaf pans (flat bottoms, NOT cans from foods)
natural bristle brushes with wood handles (hake without metal are best)
scraping tools and pointed tools, spatula
natural unbleached beeswax (or medium can substitute)
encaustic paints and medium
heat glove
ladle  (for adding medium to paints)
propane torch with trigger start fitting TS-4000 BernzOMatic
"The Art of Encaustic Painting" by Joanne Mattera


This is the first of several posts on teaching encaustic painting to beginners.  Next post will have a syllabus. Post #3 is a supply list for teachers.  Post #4 is a class handout for students.  Feel free to add your own comments on the topic of each  post. Yes, you may print this series for your own use as long as you include:  ©Hylla Evans 2012, All rights reserved.  Do not distribute by any means.

Know your material inside out.
Knowing comes from both cerebral learning and studio practice.  One without the other is not enough.
Know an accurate history of encaustic.  The gold standard is in The Art of Encaustic Painting by Joanne Mattera.  Have that book available (plus any others you like) for students to peruse during breaks.  Much information is available on the internet and some is blatantly wrong.  The internet is not a vetted source.
Assemble all technical information about waxes, the nature of medium,  and reasons for fusing tools and the techniques of each, various substrates and their properties.  Know how encaustic behaves alongside other media.  Know this from your own experiments in addition to what you've been taught.
Know every tool artists use with encaustic.  Though you won't show every tool in class, you will get questions.  The breadth of misinformation out there is astounding.

Know how to impart your information generously and accurately.
Teaching encaustic is not a good plan if you don't have training and experience in teaching itself.  Learning styles vary, artistic development varies, students come to class with strong interest and some knowledge.  As teacher, your handling of each of these differences is critical to everyone's success.  It's important that you be able to mentally identify the learning style of each student in the class quickly.  Draw them out at the start of the day to gauge HOW each learns.  If you want books on general teaching methods and identifying learning skills, you can easily find those.  I recommend the Teachers College bookstore or online articles.  
I'm not suggesting that you give students a test on entry.  Have one go round of students introducing themselves, keeping it simple but giving you good information.  Ask them to address any of these: what is their art medium in which they are most comfortable, have they taken a class in encaustic or read books, how do they come to find this particular class?  Provide name tags then you make notes on what you glean from each student telling you about herself.  Though your class will be diverse in experience, you need to help each artist move forward from where she is now.  You want to encourage each individually in the course of the class and with follow up email.  Encourage them to contact you by email but don't require it.  
Respect each student's privacy, strengths, and vulnerabilities.  Class is not a competition and you need to diffuse any notion that one student is better than another.  
If there is a question to which you don't know the answer, say so.  Get the answer and communicate it to the whole class the next session or by email if there isn't another session.
Unless the class is convened specifically to teach your own methods of making your own art work, do not make that a subject of conversation and try to diffuse such requests to after class or during a break.  People cannot help but to try to please the teacher and consciously or not, some will mimic your work.

© Hylla Evans 2012

TEACHING ENCAUSTIC #3 - Teacher Supplies

This is a basic list of what I have on hand for an intro class.

  • tables, floor covering, table covering
  • extension cords (test to be sure of circuit loads)
  • fire extinguisher
  • cold or ice water 
  • burn cream, Tylenol
  • heated palettes (tested, working)
  • infrared thermometer
  • containers for medium and paint colors (flat bottoms)
  • brushes and spares
  • Holy Grail gesso and brush
  • propane torches
  • medium and brushes (plus extra brushes)
  • paints sorted by color groups (variety of manufacturers)
  • tools for scraping, incising, cutting, smoothing, writing
  • heat gloves
  • latex or similar for working with oil paint
  • oil pastels
  • watercolor crayons
  • oil paint (must wear gloves)  (NO SOLVENTS!)
  • oil to clean and remove oil paint
  • books and art reproductions
  • handouts for students, extra pens
  • photocopies for use in class 
  • collage materials - wide variety
  • stencils
  • low tack painter's tape
  • paper towels and more paper towels
  • anodized aluminum plate in case there's time to demo and discuss
  • variety of papers in case there's time to demo monotype 
  • lozenges for inevitable dry throat


Syllabi vary depending on subject matter and audience.  A class that lasts longer than one or two full days will expand more into some issues, possibly including critique and homework along the way.
This is my basic, bare minimum syllabus for Intro to Encaustic Painting.  I've put more notes at the end that reflect topics covered throughout the class.

  • Have each artist gesso a section of one panel (so it will dry and be available for comparison of primed vs unprimed wood)
  • Distribute any handouts along with name tags
  • Introductions around the room - light but informative
  • History of Encaustic: who, what, where, when, and why (reproductions or projected images)
  • Archival properties of encaustic vs other media
  • Safety precautions (burn treatment, ventilation, safe studio practices, when to see a doctor)
  • Supply list and resources list (see later blog post for the lists I use as example)
  • Discussion of materials being used in class (properties of beeswax, medium, hot palette, tools, brushes, supports, gesso, paints)
  • Explanation of additional materials that are not available in class
  • Here comes the How.  Demonstrate priming, taping sides if desired, applying base layer, fusing
  • Explain the role heat plays in decomposition of the wax, in fusing, in texture vs fluidity
  • "Gentle fusing" distance from surface and time between fusings to cool (You will return to this in talk and demo repeatedly. Distance + patience = gentle fusing.)
  • Keeping work at its best: photographing, shipping, labels and packing encaustic work
  • Transparency and adding layers
  • Using layers of clear medium within the painting
  • Scraping or subtracting partial layers
  • Many ways to achieve fine lines and clean edges 
  • Transfers (importance of using one's own imagery)
  • Collage
  • Mention further classes for works on paper, color theory, 3D, professional development, etc.
  • Frequent Q & A
  • Finishing work: polishing, bloom, hanging
  • In a clean area, artists talk about their works done in class and take questions.

Along the way, show reproductions of art that show a large range of what's being done with encaustic.  Make sure that each work referenced has copyright credit and full attribution under it.   Provide a handout of links and be sure each artist you've referenced is included.  The reproductions you show should be of high quality and they are for use in class only.  Do not distribute reproductions for students to keep.
As class progresses and students have attained skills, work individually to prompt thinking about how those skills will be put to use in their own work.  Are new doors opened?  Techniques support work at hand but they can also be the impetus for new content or a new artistic direction.  Supporting artistic growth has to include discussion of works in a larger art context.  Take the opportunity to have artists talk about their work, perhaps write about it, and encourage critical thinking about principles of design and meaning in their art.  Even in a technique class, you set the bar as high as possible for artistic growth.  If you don't do that during class, they may not necessarily think through those issues on their own.
After each class break (lunch or overnight), introduce the basic schedule for the day and review interactively the prior information as you perceive the need.

© Hylla Evans 2012 All rights reserved (do not distribute).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Call for Entries: PATTERN

Pattern as a design principle can be simply defined as repetition of a shape or form within a work.  The separating interval may be regular or changing, but such a repetition creates a rhythm.  These patterns are never accidental.  They play an outstanding role in communicating the meaning of the work.  

AndrĂ© Derain, Barque au Port de Collioure 1905

Submit your own work that relies on pattern to do the heavy lifting of communicating your intent.
Email one or two jpgs with your name and painting title in the label of each jpg.  Paintings may have been made in any medium but must be created in the last two years and must be your original work.
In the body of the email please be sure to provide your full name, your website link, the title, medium and dimensions of the work as well as the year it was created.
Labor Day, September 3, 2012 is the deadline for entries.

There is no fee to enter and the work does not need to be shipped.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Color and August Special

FOG - Limited Edition
This Fog was included in the 2011 Provincetown Set, available only at the Conference. The 2012 set had no Fog.
There is a limited quantity freshly rolled in, available in Paint Stick (tm) $20. This is a light color, precisely the color of shallow marine fog at the beach, slightly cool and much welcome this time of year.

Receive a 120 ml cake of encaustic medium free when you order more than $50 of Paint Sticks (tm).  This won't show in your cart but you will receive it with every order placed in August.
The size 120 ml is the volume of a jumbo muffin tin cake.

Continuing our look at specific elements of design, the next show will be limited to encaustic paintings that rely on pattern more heavily than other elements.  No artist statement is needed.  Please submit up to two works in which pattern creates a rhythm clearly.
Deadline is Labor Day.  Email to HyllaEvans@gmail.com and include the painting year and dimensions and title.  File should be high resolution but not exceed 1 mb size.  This must be solely your own work and I need the link to your own website even if the work is not shown there.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome, Violet Gray

Violet Gray is now a permanent addition to the colors available at Evans Encaustic.
Thanks go out to the artists who requested this color since it appeared as a Limited Edition.  It also happens to be my own personal favorite.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Here are twelve paintings in which lighting clearly sets the tone in the meaning of the piece and seems to carry the piece more than other elements of design.
Artists' names are hyperlinks to their websites. Most have informative statements there. They are all articulate and would love to hear from you.

Karen Frey, "Mountain View Cemetery III"
encaustic 30" x 20" 2012

Dayna Talbot, "Tuscan Glow"
encaustic and mixed media 16"x 16" 2012

Alexandre Masino, "Les Trois Nornes (Bijutsu)"
encaustic 14.5" x 21" 2012

Tiffany Johnson, "One of Those Days" 
oil 2012

Russell Thurston, "Fathom #2"
encaustic, oil dry pigment and aspen leaves
24" x 24" 2011 

Nash Hyon, "Long Shore (sun)"
encaustic with pigment print 12" x 12" 2011

Linda Cordner,  "End of Day"
encaustic  12" x 12"  2011

Leslie Ford, "Westward Look"
oil 20" x 20"  2011

Jane Guthridge, "Dancing Light"
encaustic 2011

Beverly Rippel, "State Street, Boston"
oil 14" x 11"  2012

Judith Parenio, "Night Fly"
encaustic 11" x 24" 2011

Leslie Neumann, "Angle of Re-entry"
oil and encaustic  36" x 48" 2011