Hi all, I have some great classes and workshops coming up soon check them out:

This weekend: Portfolio Prep Workshop   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $49.00 Sat 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm  09/21/13  End 09/21/13  1 session  Location: Studio 3

High school students preparing for admission to college art programs will benefit from this workshop designed to foster the key elements of a successful portfolio. During class, students will draw from the still life using a variety of available media and receive an individual portfolio review encouraging their ideas and strengths. Instructor Vincent Colvin boasts years of college admissions experience as a former senior admissions counselor for the Tyler School of Art.

Starting on Wednesday: Drawing: The Basics   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $154.00  Supply/Model Fee: $25.00 Wed 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm  Start 09/18/13  End 10/16/13  5 sessions  Location: Studio 3

Learn to draw now! Practice with a new drawing medium each week in this short course. Enjoy drawing success in the very first class. Refine your technique as we focus on still life and found objects in a supportive environment for beginners. You will work with charcoal, pencil, pastels and more. All supplies provided.

Drawing Faster & Better   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $134.00  Supply/Model Fee: $0.00 Thu 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm  Start 11/21/13  End 12/19/13  4 sessions  Location: Studio 3  1207

Focus on the creative process, rather than the product, and you can draw faster and better than you thought you could! In this invigorating and supportive class, we will take gesture techniques far beyond typical warm-ups to produce sketches, studies and finished mixedmedia works. Incorporate charcoal, ink, pastel and watercolor. Increase your productivity, improve your observational skills, overcome your fear of the blank page and surprise yourself with your confident, spontaneous drawings. Beginners welcome!

Glazing Workshop for Painters   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $49.00  Supply/Model Fee: $0.00 Sat 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm  Start 12/07/13  End 12/07/13  1 session  Location: Studio 3  2222

Ever wanted to learn about oil glazing? Demystify the old master technique and break it into an approachable method you can incorporate into any painting. Students should bring one to three pre-made oil paintings (any size or style, and dry) needing a change or a greyand-white underpainting. We will experiment with various brushes and mediums, explore how they work and differ, and learn how to incorporate the rich process of glazing into your studio practice. Come see what transparent veils of color can breathe into any painting!

I will be giving a demo in encaustic at The Contemporary Art School @ Laguna Gloria this Sunday between 3-4 PM in Studio 3. The grounds at Laguna Gloria are a great place to stroll through and this weekend they have some great new exhibits going up from Miriam Vitale and Liam Gillick, and a live performance of “Inuksuit” @ 2pm, all of which looks like a blast to see in person.

The Contemporary just received a grant award of $9 million dollars to create a sculpture garden on the Laguna Gloria grounds. Charles Atlas, Tom Friedman, Orly Genger, Charles Long, Tom Sachs and Do Ho Suh are a few of the artists names being considered for commissions. This art museum is really progressing fast and is exciting to be a part of. Keep an eye on it in the coming months for some great events. They also have lectures, art talks and openings on a regular basis.

I am excited about the prospect of a work installed by Do Ho Suh on the grounds!

DO HO SUH Paratrooper-I , 2003 linen, polyester thread, cast stainless steel, cast concrete, plastic beads 122 x 153 x 254 inches

Paratrooper-I , 2003
linen, polyester thread, cast stainless steel, cast concrete, plastic beads
122 x 153 x 254 inches – 

Image from – http://www.lehmannmaupin.com/artists/do-ho-suh#23



Part II: I wanted to explain some of the properties of encaustic and provide a guide for understanding more about the medium for artists, galleries and buyers/collectors.

Steenstrup, Encaustic on Panel, 2013

Steenstrup, Encaustic on Panel, 2013

Good adhesion is one of the most important characteristics of an archival painting. Encaustic has excellent adhesive properties. When working in encaustic the artist brushes on layers of wax which are heated and fused into one another. Most of the encaustic work I make is on wood, metal or paper. On wood and paper the first few layers are heated into the substrate. The paper or wood literally soaks it in like a sponge making adhesion even stronger. In metal pieces adhesion is still high, I have never had a failure. I take care to give the metal a lot of tooth before beginning to encourage the adhesive qualities of the beginning layers giving them something to hold onto.

Encaustic is impervious to moisture. Colors mixed or encased within layers of encaustic will not yellow or change over time. Therefore, pigments will retain their original luminosity for years to come.

As it cures, a process that takes about 1 year from the date the painting was completed, encaustic actually gets more transparent. When on display, plain Beeswax on its own will sometimes get cloudy blooms, making the work less transparent. Not so with encaustic. Encaustic will not get cloudy over time. This is because encaustic medium is not only beeswax, but also is made with a resin.

Encaustic medium is made up of just 2 main components: Purified beeswax and dammar resin crystals. Dammar crystals are a natural resin, a tree sap, that when thinned with turpentine traditionally made dammar varnish. Dammar varnish is a common final coat to traditional oil paintings to seal and protect them as well as drastically increase the luminosity of the colors underneath.

Adding Damar Resin Crystals

Adding Damar Resin Crystals to Purified Beeswax to make Encaustic Medium

The dammar does a few key things to the properties of the wax.

  1. Dammar acts as a hardener, making the wax stronger and more resistant to abuse.
  2. Dammar increases the melting point of the beeswax to above 160 degrees. Making the medium stable in a variety of conditions.
  3. True encaustic medium made with dammar will not get cloudy over time. As the piece cures over a period of about 1 year (from the last time it was heated) the surface will become more clear. It will also hold a higher sheen when buffed.
Meet the Artist: Vincent Colvin

Meet the Artist: Vincent Colvin

I will be giving a talk about my latest work now showing at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio. I will be sharing many of the tools, processes and techniques for how the pieces were made. The show delves into the retelling of stories and memories and there will be an opportunity to discuss what the works represent for the artist as well as for you the viewer. To learn more follow  the Facebook Event, to be held on Saturday August 17th, 2013.

Galbraith, 2013, Encaustic and Oil on Found Wood, 16" x 26", Vincent Colvin

Detail from “Galbraith”, Encaustic and Oil on Found Wood, 16″ x 26″, Vincent Colvin, 2013

I’ve noticed that there are concerns and misconceptions out there about encaustic art and how to care for it in your home. I wanted to shed some light on this and provide a guide for understanding more about the medium for artists, galleries and buyers/collectors. I’ll do this in 2 posts.

Fayum Funeral Portrait, 98-117 A.D., Encaustic on wood. (That's old! Older than any oil paintings on wood in existence I know of...)

Fayum Funeral Portrait, 98-117 A.D., Encaustic on wood. (That’s old! Older than any oil paintings on wood in existence I know of…)

The take away from all this: Encaustic is one of the oldest and most archival of all paint mediums. The care of it is not very different than that of any oil painting.

Care for Your Encaustic Painting:

What is it?: Encaustic is a painting medium made of natural beeswax and dammar resin.

Sunlight: While it is not recommended to display your encaustic piece (or really any work of art) in direct sunlight, do not fear the heat of the sun. See below.

Temperature/Mositure: In your home as long as temperatures do not drop below freezing or get over 160 degrees your encaustic piece will remain unchanged. Normal home temperatures fluctuate between 60 and 90 degrees. I have had many pieces in very cold temperatures with no issues, think Philadelphia-snow-magedon no heat… I have displayed works that get sunlight in the morning or afternoon with no damage to the work over years of time. I have even displayed encaustic work in the bathroom, a place with quick temperature changes due to steamy showers and seen no issues or change in works. Wood substrates should be sealed on the back to discourage moisture absorption.

Surface: In the first year your work will go through some slight changes. The piece will become more clear over time increasing the beauty of the surface and transparency between layers. Occasionally, gently wipe dust off of your piece with a clean and lint free rag. I prefer lint free cotton rags, or even better eye glass/computer cleaning cloths. Optional: With a new clean rag, for encaustic that has a smooth final surface you can gently buff, in a circular motion, the surface of the wax. This will add a beautiful sheen to the work and discourage dust buildup on the surface. In the first year if you want the sheen all the time in the work you may need to do this once a month or so. After a year when the wax cures you will rarely to do this to keep the sheen, maybe once a year. Note: Works with high surface texture or oil paint on the surface should not be buffed in these areas. Dust these with a soft brush.

Shipping or Moving Homes: Transporting encaustic is best left to an art handler as is any high quality work of art. If you choose to do this yourself there is a right way, a wrong way, and an easy way.

  • Living in the "Danger Zone", How I brought my work to my recent show.  Rented a cargo van and got the A/C steady to beat the TX summer heat.

    Living in the “Danger Zone”, How I brought my work to my recent show. Rented a cargo van and got the A/C steady to beat the TX summer heat. Worked great for this short distance.

    The right way is to build a box unique to the piece that allows the encaustic surface to never make contact with anything other than a silicone release paper. Contact the artist or an art dealer to make this.

  • The wrong way is bubble wrap or newspaper or transporting in anything hot, ie: back of the moving truck during summer or your car without the A/C on, your hot trunk etc.
  • The easy way is to go to the local arts and craft store and buy a few large clear plastic bags that are designed for buying sheets of high quality paper like Arches or Rives. Even better, also buy silicone release paper and cover the surface first. You can wrap the piece in the release paper, plastic and then foam or bubble wrap, put it in a box etc. Still  be sure to consider temperature. This way is suitable to get the work to a destination, but not a good way to store the work long term.
  • Do not lean an encaustic work against a wall, or any art work, on its front edge, you may damage it.

Wrapping Up: Okay so this sounds like a lot of special consideration right? Well honestly, not really…. lets consider an oil painting on canvas. It needs to be dusted and cleaned yearly or more, to be displayed out of constant direct sunlight, to be properly packaged when moving or it can warp or the canvas can be torn, be protected from extreme temperatures or the paint can crack or flake off. There really is very little difference.

Generally when I am transporting works, I wrap them as I mentioned in plastic and take them directly to the destination. When I stop on the way I keep the A/C on and the car running ( I live in Texas now after all) When I ship them I send large works with a art shipper and small works overnight (not in the summer). In most cases encaustic can be repaired if an accident occurs. Contact the artist to see if they can provide the service. I do, if anyone needs advice or help just let me know.

My next post will be about the archival characteristics of the encaustic medium! Stay tuned. – Vincent


I have been working on combining encaustic and charcoal drawings. Including a series of tests to confirm the process is archival. I am not aware of very many people doing this, so I am excited to try and expand this technique. Next up I will be layering charcoal drawing transfers into the encaustic wax and bringing oil and encaustic paint into the piece. This work is 11″ x 54″.

Tagia, Detail, Oil Glazes on Steel, 24″ x 32″, 2013

I am busy preparing for my solo show, Simultaneous Passage, at the Southwest School of Art in July. The exhibition will be on view from July 18th to August 23rd. I had posted some earlier stages of this piece, “Tagia” about 3 posts back. It is built up of many layers of rust, oil and glaze mediums that are brushed on, applied by hand, wiped, scraped, sanded, smeared and gouged. The show will consist of a variety of paintings drawings and prints.

Blending scapes of land and sea, Simultaneous Passage, also blurs the lines of process, media, and viewing. The imagery triggers a memory or creates responses to birth a new one. The stories told depict a interpretation of the past. These individual moments take place within our collective memory, whether you are an observer or a creator, making us all somehow participants of the story. Art allows the viewer to become creator using their mind as an extension of the piece viewed. The events live in multiple time frames as they transition their own lifespan of creation, experience and subsequently, memory.