This weeks posts are from Shary Bartlett! This is the fifth week in our collaborative exhibit share; in case you have missed  the previous I encourage you to take a look! Begin with Michelle Belto, follow on to Amanda JolleyCrystal Neubauer and Erin Keane. Enjoy!


What to do when we have a crisis of confidence? Should we give in? Soldier on? This is my penultimate moment with this series and the toughest time. I hear all the adages I employ to encourage my students: “Don’t fuss about achieving smooth surfaces – part of the allure of wax is its texture…“Don’t seek perfection.” “Encaustic is so forgiving. You can always rework it.”…“Loosen up and enjoy the process – it’s just a board and a bit of wax.”

I will hear nothing of my own advice!


There’s nothing that beats a solid and supportive art friend at times of crises of confidence. I write and send photos to a couple of instructors on our talented and wonderful Encausticamp team and ask for their guidance. Within minutes they’ve responded with encouragement, cries not to abandon ship, and pithy suggestions. Funnily, they both give me the same advice! And they’re right!

With this counsel I’m off to the finish line. I remember that the original inspiration for my Seven Degrees series was a calligraphic work I made with scrap wood from laser-cut wood lettering.

sh2My original inspiration

Before I began, I’d wondered if the bones might serve as narrative characters, so I’d wired a bone over the original piece, displaying it in my studio to steer me. I’d become so involved in this series that I’d lost sight of my inspiration!


And so I scribe the final marks to complete the stories of each seven years. In my mind, I recall the highlights of each phase as I carve into the soft wax, polish oils into the grooves. Suddenly, Seven Degrees of Connection is complete!

I savour this final magic moment: pulling the protective tape and backings couched around the boards, and sit down with a cup of chicken soup to enjoy!