My CanwaxWest Weekend

Posted by Bethany Handfield on

Friends, Fun & Wax!

Last weekend was 3 days of encaustic fun. I got to hang with my tribe, meet old friends in person for the first time and learn some new techniques. A banner time was had by all!

Angela Hansen and her artFriday night was Lake Country artist Angela Hansen’s talk “Finding My Voice in Wax: the progression of personal imagery while exploring the encaustic medium”. A graduate of Emily Carr and an art teacher for high school and private practice students, Angela shared her journey with us and spoke to the deep connection and meaning that she places into her paintings. It was a very inspiring and open heartfelt talk.

Angela was also the instructor for the 2 day CanwaxWest annual course that was held at the Shatford Centre in Penticton, BC. The topic – Extreme Texture!


Our group comprised local members from our CanwaxWest chapter and also some out of town friends. I was so excited to share my table with Anita Bidulka and Irene Gut from Cecil Lake, BC. Anita and I have known each other for years through emails with Encaustic Supply Canada, but had never met in person. It was a very touching time as it was through Thea Haubrich that we first met. Anita sells encaustic supplies and Irene teaches in their hometown. 

Anita, Bethany, Irene & Karen

I had met Irene at the previous 2 CanwaxWest events and was so happy to have her back again. Rounding out our table was the lovely Karen Griggs of the famous Bead Trails! If you ever come to the Okanagan you must go on the Bead Trail!

CanwaxWest AGM 2015

At the CanwaxWest Annual General Meeting a new batch of volunteers stepped up to continue this great adventure. Judy Byer and I were stepping down and passing the torch after many years of service. I can remember when CanwaxWest was first conceived at the 2011 IEA conference in Portland with Thea & Shary Bartlett at the helm. It is amazing to see how far this group has come along – and it is all to the dedication of volunteers. Encaustic artists are a wonderful bunch. Chris Cornett of Photography by Chris also came to speak with us about photographing our work.


I have to tell you we had an absolute blast in this class working with extreme texture. It always amazes me how given the same tools and materials everyone can come out with something so different. Angela was a fabulous teacher – keeping us laughing, inspired and providing great constructive feedback.

Extreme Textures class

My favorite new tool is the Ronson Tech Torch. It has a gentle fusing attachment that lets you get in close to small areas to fuse with a very light touch. Everyone working with encaustic should have one in their tool kit.

Oh! And did I mention the swag bag??? So many goodies from R&F Paints, Enkaustikos, Kama Pigments, Planet Bee, Fabricland and Encaustic Supply Canada/Exploring Encaustic! Check these out. Can’t wait for next year xoxo

swag bag






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