Entries in encaustics (9)


Creative Expression and the Six-Figure Lifestyle

the Encaustic Experience: Beginner's Mind

opens tomorrow!


The class is over halfway filled, and I am ELATED by the group that has gathered so far.  Each time someone signs up, I connect with that person on such a unique level.  I imagine her (all women right now) looking through the description of the class, feeling that familiar creative pull I've felt so often, and hitting that "Pay Now" button with a bit of excitement mixed with fear.  

I allow myself to embody not only the trust she is placing in me to guide her into this experience, but the source she is acknowledging in herself and the awe-inspiring permission she has given to that source to play and explore.

It might seem a bit over-dramatic for "just" an encaustics class.  But this is how I feel about every one of my offerings to the world.  When someone responds - whether it is through a heart-felt comment, hard-earned money, or any other offering - I am deeply aware that we are both making a commitment.  

For this class, for six weeks, each of us has opened something up within ourselves that so many will never get the chance to experience.  Yes, we're learning about the art form of encaustics and materials and techniques and so on.  But we are also learning about so much more.  We are learning about our creative potential.  We are exploring what it means to create.  We will spend time exploring that self that is creating...and make time to express that self through a luminescent artistic medium.

To journey in this life doing this, and to be blessed enough to have others alongside doing the same?  THAT deserves respect.  I am honored, humbled, and fulfilled.

When considering these things, I can't help but think of something that has caught my attention for the past year or so.


I tread into the next few sentences carefully.  


There are many out there who are promoting the "six-figure lifestyle".  They want to show us how they've done it and how WE can do it too!  They give us photos of their beautiful lifestyle and tips on how we can have exactly the same thing.  There seems to be something magical about a six-figure income.  And there is definitely something attractive about all of the things they are offering.

There is nothing wrong with making money.  There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the hard work that has gone into earning that money, nor in appreciating the things that the money has made possible.

The trick is not falling into a trap that a six-figure income is the only way to succeed, or that it is even a way you want to succeed.

I'm not going to publicly declare it, but it isn't hard to figure out what I'm making from this class.  And even thinking about it makes me giddy.  Yes, money makes me happy.  (*gasp*)  But it is nowhere near six-figures (nor on track for that for the year).  

And, if I break down all of the time I've put (and will put) into this class, I can promise you I will be making less than minimum wage.  


I feel successful because I began with awareness, not with expectation.  I am aware of my own inner callings and sourcing my work from there.  I am aware the world needs so much more than another financially-successful entrepreneur.  I am aware that I NEED to be so much more than a financially-successful entrepreneur.  I am aware that every woman and man needs a chance to know themselves and to express themselves.  I am aware that, because I have this knowing, I have a responsibility to share it with the world.


I feel successful because I express THROUGH this awareness, not in spite or in ignorance of it.  

I feel successful because, as I type, there are a group of women, spread across the world, who at this very moment are giving themselves the opportunity to experience this awareness as well.  They are waking up to feed their children or picking up their keys to head out for errands or sitting perusing the internet.  

And tomorrow, we will all open a bit more to what is possible.  (By creating this class, I already have.  By signing up, each of the participants already have.)  On the surface, we might be learning "just encaustics".

But we are each learning so much more than that.  We are learning how to reconnect with our creative selves.  We are learning how to hear the thoughts that often chatter on unheard.  We are learning how to take what we learn and express it into the world....including with and yet far beyond a bit of melted wax.  We are learning to be successful because we are remembering how to live.

And you wonder why I'm excited.



p.s. And yes, registration is still open and there are a few spots left.  If expression through encaustics isn't for you, or the timing isn't right, please know I'll be offering this class again in late fall AND will be offering a by-donation Awareness Arts class (expected to open in late August).  In truth....you already know how to express yourself in the world.  Go Do It.



New Art

I've been blessed with some time recently to explore creatively.  And I'm finding that with Encaustic mixed media, there is no end to my creative exploration...

Here are two recently completed pieces.

Keeping Time, 6" x 6", Encaustic & Mixed Media on wood block


"Why does 'decay' seem negative, and 'preservation' a virtue?  This attitude arises again from the story...in which humanity's destiny is to transcend nature, to triumph over entropy, chaos, and decay..."

-Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics

That beautiful piece of bark, found on the sidewalk while on a walk with family one day, started this entire piece.

(Similar to nature's inspiration for this piece.)

That, combined with having recently read the above quote in Sacred Economics, shaped the entire structure of the piece before I'd even began.  I followed intuition the entire way, laing down the antique book text, using the torch to burn edges, stamps to imprint the numbers, several layers of wax for color and depth, and a final wax inscription.

This piece asks us, how do you keep time?  Do you watch the clock...Or the seasons?  Do you cling to the ticks and the tocks and do everything you can to make them last forever....or do you acknowledge the decay that is part of the cycle of all of life?

Close up of Keeping Time

It also challenges the notion that art pieces are supposed to last forever.  Everywhere these days you see "archival", "guaranteed for 100 years", etc.  Like the Wabi Sabi perspective, perhaps there is beauty in allowing all materials to follow the laws of nature.  Perhaps we could place our attention and our love in the creating instead of the holding on.


Untitled, 6"x6", Encaustic and Mixed Media on wood block

Waste not, want not.

One thing I feel guilty about with encaustic work is that I use a lot of paper towels.  (I can't wipe wax off of brushes or the griddle with a rag.)  I usually use a paper towel until it is completely saturated with wax.

While doing so, I've noticed that many of the towels become colorful works of art in their own regard.  I decided to incorporate this beauty into a more durable form.

The base of this piece is one of those paper towels adhered to the wood block.  I let the colors on the towel (previous wax colors) guide its creation.  From there, free-flowing design and text was etched in, then carefully filled with a white wax.  Final layers of oil paint sticks were rubbed in for unity.

The text speaks for this piece, but also hints at its creation.  All of us are reminded to let go of our attachments to the outcomes, to let go of our expectations and trust in the beauty of the world.  Artists are reminded to let go of our preconceived notions of what is "art-grade material" and what isn't...and to embrace the beauty of something as simple as a paper towel.








Untitled, 9" x 12", Encaustic & Mixed Media on Wood Panel
Created April 2012, Lisa Renee Wilson
What is our destiny?

Are we bound to some unalterable future by chains we didn't choose?  
Or do we, through one act, one thought after another, create the links that fall into an always changing shape...guided by the magnetic forces of karma (cause and consequence)?
For our future - individual and collective - it is a crucial question to ponder.