Monday, January 13, 2014

new website, new blog, NEW YEAR!

I am pleased to unveil my brand spanking new website at  It was created over the holiday break with plenty of wine (and whine).  It has a blog built in under the "News" section and that will be where I announce new classes, collections, and exhibits.  There are two classes scheduled at River's Edge Studio: "Abstract Visions with Photography and Wax" and "Not Your Average Art Journal" -- sure to spice up the cold winter days!  I also teach private lessons and small group classes in my home studio, Erin Keane Studio, and would love to put something together just for you.  Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


March 1-2, 2013, two-day workshop
$295 tuition includes most materials
River's Edge Studio, Asheville NC

Are you interested in combining your own photography with special techniques to create unique art?  Discover beauty in shadows, reflections, textures, and fleeting moments through the lens of your camera.  We will take a photo walkabout through Asheville with a focus on content, composition, and charisma!  You will showcase your photos in a wall grouping using transfer process and encaustic beeswax, which will lend a luminous glow and a sense of depth to the finished artwork.

Reserve your spot now!  Classes are small to provide individualized attention and they fill up quickly.  Register by contacting me at 828-736-2980 or or with the studio director, Fleta Monaghan, at 828-776-2716 or  Hope to see you there!

(installation of 36 encaustic photographs... gratuitously installed in my very own dining room)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Abstract Visions

"Abstract Visions"
encaustic on wood
photography transfer
8" x 8" each, 24" x 24" series

(installation of 36 encaustic photographs... gratuitously installed in my very own dining room)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Awesome Sauce

Usually when I make a series of art, the title makes itself clear to me during the work process.  For some reason, the only words running incessantly through my head as I made these were "Awesome Sauce."  Totally not an appropriate title for a serious body of work, but it stuck.
(encaustic journals with photo transfer, mixed media collage, and decorative paper)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

walk through a different door (redux)

"Rather than take a scary baby step toward our dreams, we rush to the edge of the cliff
and then stand there, quaking, saying, 'I can't leap. I can't. I can't...."
The key... [is] to walk through a different door, one that you may have balked at."
~ Julia Cameron
Two years ago I found this door (on the left), a mural in progess, and it spoke to me symbolically about many doors of opportunity that were opening up to me at the time.  The mural is now finished (on the right and above) and notice the open door leads to MORE open doors!  Hello!  Symbolic much? 
When I walked past this the other day, I did a double take.  I hadn't realized the original mural was only an underpainting, a work in progress.  I had been drawn to the simplicity of it.  It just seemed so sweet, a door leading to... who knows where?  Now it takes on even more meaning.  If you choose to walk through one open door, it will likely lead to more open doors.  Say yes, and the universe says Hell Yes! one million fold.
The finished mural struck me on another level also.  I know if I were presented with a ginormous blank wall and asked to paint on it, I would balk.  I would stand there, quaking, saying "I can't leap.  I can't.  I can't...."  This artist instead said "I can" and took the baby steps necessary to produce an absolutely stunning public work of art.  Did you notice the trompe l'oeil street scene?  Wow, just wow!
I need to keep this lesson in mind and repeat it over and over in my head when I feel scared!  Lately I've been presented with many incredible opportunities.  Collaborations with other artists, artist residencies in schools, workshops inside and outside my studio.  All of which are super exciting and super inspiring (my brain is going haywire with creativity and billions of ideas!), but all of which also make me balk just a tiny little bit -- because every one of them is equivalent to a ginormous blank wall.  Well you know what?!  I'm going to paint a mental picture of a ginormous open door on these ginormous blank walls!
Walk through, Erin, walk through!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Collaborative Exhibit: Sept 20 - Oct 11

Collaborative Exhibit at the Transylvania Community Arts Council
September 20th - October 11th, 2013
Reception: Friday September 27th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm
* come see what we have up our sleeve(s) *

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Encaustic + Photo + Album

"So much of life is like taking a photograph.
We must pause to catch the moment and savor our delight."
~ Julia Cameron
These encaustic photo albums are another collaboration sparked by the upcoming Collaborative Exhibit at TC Arts.  Sue Hershey is a fine art photographer who owned Bluewood Gallery in Brevard for several years.  Her work was well-known to me (and much admired) and I'd interacted with her briefly in the past when coordinating mini gallery walks for my middle school students.  She recently sold the gallery and joined us at Number 7 Arts.  The first time we formally met, at one of the Fourth Friday Gallery Walks, she pointed to me and said "You!  I want to collaborate with you!"  I must admit, I just about pooped my pants.  It was that exciting to be recognized and acknowledged by someone whom I'd admired for so long.  She had been mutually admiring my encaustic work and we decided right then to become creative cohorts.
After talking about ideas and learning about one another's processes, we decided the most obvious and natural integration for a fine art photographer and an encaustic bookbinder would be (--wait for it--) an Encaustic Photo Album! We wanted her photographs to be highly recognizable and in full brilliant color, but with the added luminosity and texture of encaustic beeswax. I conducted a little research to figure out what would give the best results, and we decided to use professionally printed archival prints on matte art rag paper.  Our combined favorites were these close-up rust abstracts and barn structures:
I adhered the prints to wood panels and embedded them in a thin coat of wax.  The pages are thick Stonehenge with spacers to allow for the addition of photos, collage, and memorabilia.  I wanted the binding to be very sturdy and to stand out as a focal point, so I used an 8- and 10-station Coptic Stitch with a decorative weave embellishment.  There are 30 pages (60 back-to-front), all hand-torn in a way that preserved the original deckle edge.  As always, all materials are archival for excellent preservation.
"Encaustic + Photo + Album (in green and red)"

"Encaustic + Photo + Album (in shades of rust)"
The photo albums are not only functional but are almost statuesque at a size of 8" x 10" and 10" x 8" -- they are eye-catching centerpieces and an impressive exhibit for cherished memories.
"Encaustic + Photo + Album" will be on display at the Transylvania Community Arts Council from September 20th - October 11th, with a reception on Friday September 27th from 5-9 pm.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Conversations: Open Book, Closed Book

"Conversations: Open Book, Closed Book"
(clay, paper, and wax)
There is an upcoming Collaborative Exhibit at the Transylvania Community Arts Council and it sparked some interesting ideas for this encaustic bookbinder!  Sue Grier is a ceramic artist and one of her favorite forms to create is the ladder back chair, an object which became a metaphor in this collaborative work.  The idea came to me one night as I drifted off to sleep, and I ran to the studio to jot down my thoughts (good thing, because I didn't remember even having the idea come the next morning!).  My vision was to create a book with chairs as covers -- when the book is open, the chairs sit next to one another in a position that is conducive to an open conversation.  When the book is closed, the chairs face away from one another... and hence the conversation is closed.
I approached Sue about this idea and she immediately was game for the challenge, with tons of enthusiasm and inklings of ideas for future spinoffs.  She got right to work constructing chairs from clay, using texture and scale compatible with the proposed book dimensions:
She handed them off to me and I got to work on my part:
I began by hand-tearing paper folios down to the appropriate size for pages.  I wanted to make this "book" more of a sculptural work, so I painted encaustic wax on every single page to harden it up and remove the functionality of it.  It was a laborious process and I really wasn't sure what the end results would look like, so I was continually mocking up the final book to make sure it was heading in the right direction.
I decided to use a variation of Coptic binding called "Greek Stitch" for beauty and function.  This binding is sewn in two halves that meet together in the middle, and that seemed more practical since we were using three-dimensional chairs as covers.  The stitch is very beautiful and also sturdy and substantial, a lovely focal point on the exposed spine.
The final challenge was how to display these sculptural books.  Due to the property of clay, the legs did not sit evenly on the table surface.  Additionally, I wanted the books to remain either open or closed, and the encausticated pages combined with the tight binding resulted in them being in a perpetually half-open position.  So I used a strong glue to attach them to a base and then I applied many layers of encaustic wax to strengthen the connection and tie the textures together.
Here are the final results, including some close-ups of the details:

Sue and I were both giddy over the results.  This stretched us in a new direction as it's one of the more conceptual works we've ever done -- individually or collaboratively.  We are already brainstorming ideas for a series of future works... we imagine a full installation!
"Conversations: Open Book, Closed Book" will be on display at the Transylvania Community Arts Council from September 20th - October 11th, with a reception on Friday September 27th from 5-9 pm.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Class Announcement: Oct 19-20

I am pleased to announce an Encaustic Journal class at River's Edge Studio in the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina.  River's Edge Studio focuses on contemporary art and has become a premiere instructional venue for learning about archival and experimental encaustic methods.
Register with Fleta Monaghan at 828-776-2716 or at

ENCAUSTIC JOURNALS: Saturday October 19th - Sunday October 20th, $295 includes most materials

Combine the art of encaustic with the craft of bookbinding to create a highly unique journal--with your original encaustic artwork on the covers! We will explore various mixed media encaustic techniques and transform your favorites into a book using historical Coptic binding. You will walk away with at least one completed journal, ready for your creative meanderings! All specialty materials and tools are provided.
Encaustic journals began as a personal experiment and have turned into a signature item, something I'd really like to share with you.  Let me know if you have any questions, and hope to see you there!  xo, Erin

Monday, August 12, 2013

In the Quiet Space

quiet, contemplative, meditative, centered






encaustic on wood
6.5" x 6.5" framed

Friday, August 2, 2013


convergence [kənˈvɜːdʒəns] n. 1) moving toward union; 2) merging into a unified whole

two photographs converge into one abstract story...
six abstract stories converge into one inner landscape.... 

"Sea and Sky" ~~~ "Intention"

"Quiet the Mind" ~~~ "Scenic View"

"Urban Landscape" ~~~ "Hush and Hold"
encaustic on wood
18" x 8.5" framed