First Night at AAHC

I went! I did it! I MET PEOPLE!

The Artist’s Alliance of the Hill Country folks were so welcoming and warm, I was once again reminded of why I love Texas.

As I drove to the barn where everybody was meeting, I thought again about why I had resisted doing this for so long. I think it has something to do with how serious I am about my art.

The encaustic demo begins

The encaustic demo begins

My creative work is what defines me, it is my window to the world, it is the language I use to explore all that is. That’s an intimidating set of ideas right there, and it’s scary even writing in those terms because it’s such a private, spiritual experience. Creating my work is at once uplifting and exhausting, and the idea of getting together in a room with other people like that has been something I’ve always avoided, and I always had this idea that getting together with artists would be… annoying. Because I annoy myself!

melting the waxy pigment

melting the waxy pigment

Only it wasn’t. It was a room full of friendly, creative folks who are all happy doing what they do and just enjoy sharing energy. And what they DO! It was so diverse! I met photographers, glass artists, jewelry makers – I was delighted by how many different creative techniques were represented in the room. It was… dare I say? INSPIRING!

one of the artist's encaustic paintings on wood panel

one of the artist’s encaustic paintings on wood panel

They made introductions, and it was a testament to the fast growth of the group that there were four other new members besides myself last night.

Then the fun began. We all gathered around a makeshift studio table while one of the members proceeded to give us a demonstration of how she makes encaustic prints.

I have never worked with encaustics and it was absolutely fascinating. The best part of encaustic for me is that matte, beeswax surface – it’s tactile, earthy and beautiful. I had never considered wax printmaking techniques, and it was fun to watch her melt the pigments on her hotplate, lay rice paper on top and lift it to reveal the printed image.

My first encaustic print! It is entitled "Happy Accident"and is available for purchase at the price of $1,000,000.

My first encaustic print! It is entitled “Happy Accident”and is available for purchase at the price of $1,000,000.

I even got to make my own print! I stepped up and melted my colors, and when I went to lay my rice paper on top it shifted and only picked up half. But that was ok, I picked up the rest of the image on the other side of the paper and let it just be what it was – a fun experiment, with no outcome expected other than enjoying the feel of the new and exciting materials.

The group cheered when I lifted my paper, and I grinned. These are my kind of people.