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SEPTEMBER 16 - 19, 2019


In this workshop we will work with encaustic on 3 dimensional substrates. The substrates for our encaustic can be freestanding pieces or panels with dimensional objects. My workshops are characterized by hard work and humor, problem solving and a few aha’s. I emphasize trying new things, making mistakes and going home with some new ways of thinking and making. Each day will start with something to inspire you- a poem, some prose, some words to get you going. I will talk with you throughout the time we are together about content and editing, decision making and letting go.

In this workshop, the following will be explored:

  • Building new three dimensional wood substrates

  • Assembling found object pieces to be sculptural substrates

  • Creating fluid forms with sculptor’s wire and plaster

  • Using carving foam as a base

  • Dipping paper into wax, building up layers and forming shapes.

Day 1: We will discuss the various ways of creating three dimensional forms suitable for encaustic. I will talk about scale, proportion and methods of constructing freestanding objects. I will generally cover the concepts of surface treatments so you have in your minds what you want to do as you build the armatures. More detailed information on this will come on Day 2. There will be a few demos to show the various ways of making geometric forms as well as free form “fluid” shapes. Wire and plaster, carving foam and wood (found and new) will be used. I will show you how to dip paper or cloth into wax and form it into shapes. We will begin to create the armatures for our pieces

Day 2: Surface treatments will be discussed in detail. Encaustic will be our medium for paint and with it, oil and pigment sticks. Embedding imagery into the surface will be covered as will mark making and stenciling. We will continue building structures on Day 2.

Day 3: Painting and embellishment will be the focus for this day. I will work with each of you as you need.

Day 4: Individual work continues with lots of one on one help as desired. End of day we will have a show and tell before we clean up.

INVESTMENT: $1,280 Canadian (+ tax)  *Lodging not included


“Inspiration — It’s everywhere. It’s a wall, or a word. It’s in books. It’s the entire city of Rome. It’s remembering a morning row on the Huron River. Inspiration is whatever I am obsessed with at any given time. A subject I return to again and again is science, especially as it relates to space. I am a child of the 60’s and the absolute wonder and awe of space exploration has never left me. I am also inspired by architecture and archaeology and these frequently drive the look of my paintings. I love the look and mythology associated with broken down buildings, abandoned factories, forgotten places.”

“I most often begin with a word, phrase or a scientific or mathematical concept in my head. I have lists of these things on my studio wall or in sketchbooks. I am constantly listening and reading, looking for the spark from my engagement with a word or two. I imagine what this word, etc. “looks like” , what mood it evokes for me, and begin by laying down color onto a substrate to start the painting process. Frequently the painting takes shape as I work it. It is rare that I know exactly what a piece will look like before I begin therefore it’s a very active, conscious process that evolves over the time I am working.”

“I paint and I construct. Both my paintings and assemblages use the metaphor of excavation. My formal education in landscape architecture and classical archaeology provides structure to artistic flights of fancy that always seem to revolve around some form of revelation: The attempt to unearth an object or solve a mystery. Uncovering/Covering. Leaving a Trace, a Vestige, a Palimpsest.”

“Abstraction was always the style of painting that I was moved by as a viewer. Particular abstract works made my heart beat faster. Tapies, Rothko, Motherwell, Mitchell, Twombley— these artists made marks and gestures on canvas that seemed like a secret alphabet to me— yet one that I could read somehow. Later, in college, my training in design probably cemented my interest in seeing form and color over representation. Abstraction is a natural way for me to ‘talk’ — when someone clutches their heart or covers their mouth in front of one of my paintings, I know I’ve been successful.”

Graceann Warn, American, was born and raised in New Jersey.  From Michigan State University she graduated with a degree in landscape architecture. Later, while pursuing a Master's in Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan and working as a landscape architect, she visited an exhibition of the last paintings of Mark Rothko. The emotional impact of that exhibition was the catalyst for great change. Within a year she made the decision to devote her life to making art. She has been a full time studio artist since 1985 with work exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. She lives in in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband Geoff.

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Pay in Full: Beyond the Panel

(+ tax)

September 16 - 19, 2019

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Make a Deposit: Beyond the Panel

(+ tax)

*Remainder of payment due 30 days before workshop

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*Refund Policy: Cancellations 90+ days prior to event will receive a 90% refund (10% retained for administration costs). Cancellations made 90-30 days before event will receive a 75% refund. For all cancellations made less than 30 days prior to event, a 25% refund is available or tuition can be applied as a credit toward a future workshop.

Meals & Accommodation

The costs of the workshops include lunch for each workshop day.  Dinners are usually spent together, but costs are personally borne.

There is space to stay at Studio AHA for six people, shared accommodation, sharing two washrooms.  Shared accommodation is $50 a night with light breakfast, and if single accommodation requested, it is $100 a night.  There is also ample accommodation in the near vicinity, google Blue Mountain Village resort, or vrbo and airbnbs in the Blue Mountain, Collingwood and Thornbury Ontario areas. Please contact Heather at for more information regarding lodging, in and around the retreat centre.


We are blessed with many ‘healers’ and energy workers in the area, who can offer anything from angel card readings to massage therapy to energy work.  If you have any interest in booking a session please let Heather know.  647 923 9633.  More often than not it is a good idea to have some body work during a vigorous session of art making.