After having been bitten by the encaustic bug two years ago, Carol Engler has opened up her 100 acre farm in Westfield to serve as an encaustic painting retreat.
The next retreat is scheduled for Oct. 14, 15, and 16 and will be the fourth time that the encaustic classes/retreats have been held.
According to Engler, she is a lifelong painter, having started in her twenties, but was drawn to encaustic after attending a one day workshop in Mebane with her longtime friend Jude Lobe.
After attending an additional workshop, Engler said Lobe urged her to utilize the resources she had at her disposal and hold regular encaustic workshops and retreats. While the retreats are in session, Engler hosts roughly four or five individuals in the two cabins that are located on her farm. In addition to the workshops, Engler explained that participants also partake in yoga, hiking, and swimming.
Encaustic painting is sometimes referred to as hot wax painting and involves adding colors and textures to the wax.
“Encaustic means to burn in,” Engler explained.
According to Engler, encaustic dates back to between 100 and 300 A.D. and was originally used to patch holes in ships, but was later discovered to lend itself to colorful and artistic expressions.
One of the reasons why Engler latched onto the art form is due to its fascinating history. She explained encaustic was also used in ancient Egypt, serving as masks for mummies.
Engler said the workshops teach everything from the history of encaustic to the tools used to create encaustic and the actual process of making encaustic paintings.
According to Engler, the process for creating encaustic paintings is as follows:
• Pour wax onto a grill, the grill must have a rigid surface
• Add in texture to the wax
• Embed a photo into the wax
• Add wood glue to make designs
“It comes out this beautiful crusty bronze color,” Engler said.
The artist stressed the fact only five participants are allowed per retreat due to housing limitations. Six individuals attended Engler’s first encaustic workshop, four people attended the second workshop, and three people attended the first official retreat that she held.
The farthest away someone has traveled to attend the workshops has been New Bern.
Engler encourages anyone who might be interested in attending one of the retreats to visit coldwazandoil.com/workshops.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.