NOVEMBER 5 - 6, 2018


This workshop will teach you how to blend modern digital photography practices with the ancient art of encaustic painting. Leah has spent her career as an artist and professional photographer perfecting the balance of these two art forms for many years.

Experience brings knowledge. Leah will give you tips for understanding what makes a good photographic composition for the encaustic process. Every good painting starts with a strong under painting -- Leah starts with a strong black and white photograph. Leah will demonstrate a photo shoot using a live model. You are free to take your own photos of the model as well, and your photos will be printed at the workshop. Leah will teach you how to create a scene that is beautiful and will be the basis of your photo encaustic paintings.

We will discuss editing techniques in Photoshop including black and white filters that will make your digital work look like film. We will print our photographs using Hahnemuhle fine art papers — the perfect durable paper for your encaustic paintings. Leah has been sponsored by Hahnemuhle Paper Co for many years and is an expert in understanding what types of paper will work best for your mixed media needs. She will bring lots of different paper samples for printing and comparison. 

Leah will also teach you how to mount your photo prints to a sturdy wood substrate for a presentation that doesn’t require framing. We will use a variety of techniques and painting layers with both bleached beeswax, traditional encaustic (pigmented wax), and R&F pigment sticks.

DATES: November 5 & 6 (2 full days)

TIME: 9am - 5pm

INVESTMENT: $550 Canadian (+ tax)

*Includes lunch each day and Big Dramatic Questions artist kit

STUDENT EXPERIENCE LEVEL: beginner - advanced

ABOUT leah

My work is a dialogue between my imagination, my curiosity, my imperfections and my desires. I express the tales of womanhood, sharing stories through form, color and texture.

I am a portrait artist. I primarily photograph women and embellish the photographs with layers of beeswax, colored wax, painting and drawing. Adding wax for texture and color for mood changes the black and white photographs. Wax embellishes and veils my subjects and I draw to decorate and control the image. The ability to layer mediums and constantly change appearance and texture allows me to stray from reality and reach the playground of imagination. I am interested in images from nature and designs that have floral and intricate forms.

I have enjoyed a varied career path within the arts. I shoot digital commercial photography and I own a small company that designs handmade art books and wedding albums. I taught photography for 7 years at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I am currently the Education Curriculum Director at the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. In 2017 I was selected as the recipient of the NewCourtland Fellowship by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. Now, over twenty years into my career as an artist and art educator, I have taught and exhibited all over the world — from being invited to do a live encaustic painting demonstration on the Martha Stewart show to working in the theater as the scenic director of In My Body: The Musical.

My passion is sharing my art and creativity with others. I have taught workshops as large as thirty-five students and as small as one-on-one private sessions -- from private workshop retreats in France to teaching groups of elementary students in my backyard studio. I have grown to appreciate teaching all age groups for their unique needs and perspectives.

Visit Leah's portfolio & website

Follow Leah on instagram


Enhance your art retreat experience with a Ki Essence Bodywork session. Relax and rejuvenate with aromatic massage, energy medicine, Reiki treatments, and angel card readings. Contact Hilary Laidlaw for prices and to schedule your session. Email:  | Phone: 416-402-8605


Please contact Heather at for information regarding lodging, in and around the retreat centre.