jeudi 21 juillet 2022

From Lille to Provincetown : the 15th International Encaustic Conference

Before you read this article please find on the sidebar of my blog links to the blogs or websites of every artist I met during the Conference or artists I have known since I started to write this blog (some of them I’ve never met!). I put also some « Encaustic Ressources » (Workshops/Ateliers) for those who want to find a workshop. Feel free to contact me if you want to add your blog or site to my blog. It will be a pleasure for me to respond to you (see my e-mail adress on my profil). You can also contact me for anything else about this blog. 

Pleasant reading!

After attending the 14th International Encaustic Virtual Conference last year I needed more and I really wanted to meet the artists in person.
What began with an artists’s project became a family trip to Boston and Provincetown in May and June 2022.
We spent a couple of days in Boston, from the Boston Common to North End, South End and the Charles River. We also visited Newbury Street, the Public Library and then Cambridge and MIT. The parents found nice places to visit and the children had a lot of parks to play in: everyone was happy !
The first evening we arrived in Boston (our Hotel was in Washington Street near the Common) we went to the park with some take-out food to eat and suddenly there was a particuliar smell in the air that reminded us of our night out when we were students many years ago : the smell of Marijuana . We realized the day after that canabis is legal in Massachusetts!  
We spent three wonderful days together in Boston. We appreciated Memorial Day, it gave us the opportunity to visit historic places and to picnic with  American families in the park.

Flag garden in Boston Common

Newbury Street 

The Charles River

Then we took the Ferry to go to Provincetown, a totally gay area full of color and happy people. The gay community were preparing for the Pride for the first weekend of June. At the same time there was also a Pride in Lille, the most gay-friendly town after Paris in the north of France. During the first few days of our arrival the weather was cold and windy but the sun shined for the weekend! The children were happy to go to the pool of the hotel and they had a good time playing with the sand on the beach. 
Provincetown : what a nice, beautiful and creative place ! No urban zone, small houses close to the sea with beautiful gardens along Commercial street. What an inspiring town for artists.

Every morning I went to the Conference walking through Commercial street with my cup of tea and I met people who were jogging or just having a walk with their dogs. Just a smile or « hello » « good morning », everybody was kind and nice. It’s a safe place and we felt secure with the kids.
We visited the Provincetown Art Association and Museum with a beautiful exhibition of Rowland Scherman’s photography, the Spirit of the 60’s.

What could I say about the 15th International Encaustic Conference ? I went because of Encaustic of course but I met artists I wanted to meet for so many years and there is many I haven’t met yet. To meet Joanne Mattera of course is a dream come true. Year after year reading her blog and her memoir, looking at her art work I really felt that she’s a good person and so generous. I made friends from around the world : from different states of the U.S but also from Quebec (bonjour Louise !) Mexico and Europe (Ireland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Germany) and I had the pleasure to meet Adam and Marian Peck from the Adam Peck Gallery.
I am now happy to join the European Encaustic Artists group. There are other artists using encaustic in France, you can find them on the sidebar of my blog. 

Meeting of Joanne Mattera

The Hotel Fair

The three days of the Conference were perfect. The Provincetown Inn, the time shedule, the talks and demos, the food… everything. Cherie and all the team of Castle Hill are doing an amazing job all year long to prepare for this event and make it perfect. Maybe it’s an evidence to say that but it’s so professionnal ! A lot of people think that artists can’t be professionnal because artists are « out of time » a sort of romantic ancient perception of the artist (maybe more in France than in other countries….). Last year for the Virtual Conference I was really impressed and this year I saw it for real! 
I saw wonderful talks by Nancy Natale, Jodi Reeb, Joanne Mattera and demos of Eliaichi Kimaro, Elise Wagner, Laura Moriarty, Wayne Montecalvo and a very interesting  panel discussion with Deborah Dancy, Kara Rooney and Joanne Mattera.
At the beginning of the keynote I won a prize (a big thank to Paper Connection for my Washi Paper !) Definitly it was THE Year I had to go to the Conference !

I think the highlight of the Conference, and for a lot of Conferees as well, was the keynote of Michael David : a very sensitive person, a « tragic romantic » as he said.

Here is some of his words I noted down during the Conference :
« I believe in desire, not talent »
« Don’t be scared, there’s no mistake in art »

And there is 4 words that realy sum up the engagement of an artist’s life :

Last year, at the Virtual Conference, one of the highlight was the keynote of Joan Snyder and the visit of her studio in the Catskills Mountains. I still can see it in my head.
There is no great artist without generosity and Michael David, like Joan Snyder, shares his passion in art with a true intensity that make sense deep inside of you when you have the chance to hear and watch them.
I am proud to have shared that moment with all the conferees this year.
To be at The Conference was such a great experience for my artist’s life and all my family. We had a wonderful trip to Massachussets. 
For some reasons it’s the accomplishement of many years of waiting and working and on the other hand the beginning of a new period for my art work and life. I will be 50 next year and as I said to Joanne « I am prepare to be an artist over 50 !» 
Life is long and there is a lot of dreams and art to realize. The energy inside the community will help me for the next steps.

Thank you for reading this article,
You can also read this article in french


Lille is a beautiful town in the North of France (near Belgium and The Netherlands), full of museums, good food and nice places to visit. Don’t hesitate to visit it if you’re coming to France!

Thanks to John Simmons, my english teacher, who added the corrections to this article and made it easier to read!

I wish you a happy and creative summer !


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