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A Waxy Weekend in Provincetown

Susan in Provincetown

I recently returned from Provincetown, MA, where I attended the Sixth International Encaustic Conference. Over the course of three days, attendees are overwhelmed with information, art, and good food.

This is the second year I’ve gone to the conference, and the best part for me has been catching up with Felicia, who got me started with encaustic in the first place. Two other members of the Newport Encaustic Posse, Judy and Kathy, also went this year. It was so much fun to catch up with them during the weekend. Here Judy and Kathy are enjoying dinner at Napi‘s, a quirky restaurant with delicious food and great service. I highly recommend it!

The conference itself was a mixed bag. Many of the presenters seemed reluctant to share information about their process. In the words of Suze Orman, “Are you kidding me?!” My work will never in a million years look like another artist’s work, no matter how hard I try. Also, there always seemed to be a few technical difficulties in the main room. For example, the microphone slowly slipped down to waist level for every demo/presentation I attended. And the camera over the work surface is a great idea, with a giant screen allowing everyone in the room to see what’s happening. Except that the lighting on the surface was terrible and you couldn’t see what was happening.

I loved Mo Godbeer‘s talk about encaustic artists in Australia. She played some Men at Work and had a sense of humor about things. It occurred to me that more than a few conference attendees took things a little too seriously. After all, making art is supposed to be enjoyable, right?

Supria Karmakar‘s altered bookmaking demo was also terrific. Talk about contagious enthusiasm! Her work is so appealing: her color palette, the imagery she uses, the textures, and the dimensionality are so wonderful.

The lunches on Saturday and Sunday were much better than at last year’s conference. The Provincetown Inn, where the whole event took place, provided a fantastic buffet of salads, cheeses, coldcuts, breads, desserts, and drinks. It really was very nice.

The weather was grim for most of the conference, except for the first day. Friday night was perfect for walking from gallery to gallery for all the openings. Many of the galleries had encaustic works in their shows, but there were lots of other media, too. Felicia got two pieces juried into “Confluence: The Embrace of Water and Light” at Kobalt Gallery. Here’s Felicia with her two works:

Felicia Touhey with two of her encaustic paintings

(The photo of me with the whale at the top of this post was taken during a visit to P’town in 2010. Thank you, Wendell!)

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