NOVEMBER 8 - 10, 2019


Figure studies & landscape photography, collage & encaustic painting — a little of this and that. This workshop is all about transformation! Students will combine photographic imagery with with collage and encaustic painting to create an alchemy of textural, dream-like imagery. In this workshop students will create alternative landscapes and surrealistic narratives using their own photographic imagery combined with other source material, ephemera and encaustic painting. We will focus on juxtaposing visual elements, playing with scale, pattern, and symbolism to create a cohesive mixed media artwork.

The first day of the workshop will be a two-part photo shoot -- students will photograph a model in the studio (our "main character") and then we will go out on location to photograph a landscape or environment of the students' choice. We will then combine these photographs via collage to take our model out of the studio and juxtapose her into a new world. 

Leah will teach you techniques and tips for working with a model, arranging props, and creating interesting compositions. After the photo shoots, students will review their images and have a personalized editing session with Leah to discuss ideas for a visual narrative and select images that will work best in a composition. Leah will discuss and give students tips on the best types of ink jet papers for printing photographs on your home printer. 

The remaining two days will be focused on collage and encaustic painting. Students will be encouraged to think creatively, symbolically, and intuitively. Students will learn about the rich history encaustic painting and the versatility of working with wax.  Leah will demonstrate techniques for layering and building up the surface of your composition to create a textural work of mixed media art. Leah will also share examples of other contemporary artists working with collage and mixed media, including the work of: Kara Taylor, Kamil Vojnar, Jerry Uelsmann, and Athena Petra Tasiopoulos. 

On the final day we will complete our projects and share / discuss our work and review what we've learned. 

INVESTMENT: $900 CA *Lodging not included

*Please note: CA dollar is about 25% less than US dollar

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


Pay in Full: This and That - Photo Collage & Encaustics

(+ tax)

November 8 - 10, 2019

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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.


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 bigdramaticquestions@gmail.com 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.