FAC Artist Spotlight: Lisa Sisley-Blinn

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Foundry Art Centre Administrative Coordinator Jillian Schoettle. We talked about my current and past work, choice of mediums that support the work, my background and approach to teaching. Read it all here: http://www.foundryartcentre.org/blog/fac-artist-spotlight-lisa-sisley-blinn.


Her fluidity between series and projects allows for her to approach pieces again as new concepts emerge.


Article & Photographs by Jillian Schoettle. Thank you Jillian!

Online : Readings and Inspiration 8-24-2011

Like many, I use the Internet for information gathering, sourcing, and inspiration. I read news articles, find new art blogs, follow leads, and look at a lot of images. Here is a short list of what crossed my monitor this week.

Today my searches for information have centered around how to find support to sustain being an artist. This may take the form of grants and residencies, or advice on how to work with a gallery. Below are some of the most interesting sources I found this past week.


  • Alliance of Artists Communities
    Google Search Page Clip

    Even Google can help you if you have the time and endurance!

    “The Alliance of Artists Communities is a national and international association of artists’ communities and residencies — a diverse field of more than 1,000 programs worldwide that support artists of any discipline in the development of new creative work”

  • Res Artis
    “We are an association of over 300 centers and organizations in over 50 countries. Our members are dedicated to offering artists, curators, and all manner of creative people a time and place away from their every-day life, an experience framed within a unique geographic and cultural context.”
  • Creative Capital
    “Creative Capital is a national nonprofit organization that provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines. Our pioneering approach combines funding, counsel and career development services to enable a project’s success and foster sustainable practices for our grantees.”
  • CAA Opportunities (College Art Association). Nice long list.

What are your strategies for finding the best venues, competitions, and related artist opportunities? Post your ideas in a comment!

In the Studio: Iwatani Torch Burner Professional

Yes, I am a tool junkie. Can’t help it. Good tools just make life easier, unique and unusual tools make it exciting. Tools that you have been lusting over for a year are precious.

New to my studio is the Iwatani Torch Burner Professional, $34.00 plus shipping at the time of my purchase. I know, this is not new to many of you, nor is it huge, but it is a step up for me from my 10-year-old 5″ tall crème brûlée torch.  I will gradually make my way to the “Rambo” sized propane canister with wearable holster and torch on a flexible hose, but for now, baby steps.

As described on the Amazon.com site, it has the following features:

  • “Built-in pistol type piezo ignition

    Iwatani Torch Burner Professional

    Iwatani Torch Burner Professional

  • Use with Iwatani Cassette Gas
  • Easy to use Push’n Twist gas cylinder attachment
  • Built-in Flame Size adjustment
  • Air regulating knob”
The pistol ignition is as easy as advertised. The flame size adjustment and air regulating system is also as easy as described.  Just gently turn the gray knob on the back to start the fuel flow (you will hear it fizz a bit), and squeeze the trigger. Instant flame! The gray ring around the front metal barrel adjusts the flame from a very small and soft glow to a billowing flame. Between the fuel flow and the flame control you can adjust the amount of heat and surface area affected by the flame quickly. To turn the flame off, rotate the gray knob on the back until the fuel is no longer flowing, and the flame dies out.
The Iwatani Cassette Gas cylinder is recommended for this torch  (as shown in the picture). It has a special coupling ring, that has a 1/4th” notch that allows the torch to mount to the canister. Many canisters do not have this notched ring, so be careful when you make your purchase.]
GasOne Butane Fuel Canister

GasOne Butane Fuel Canister

Instead of the Iwatani Cassette Gas cylinder, I purchased the GasOne Butane Fuel Canister, 12 pack for $19.00. It has the notched ring, and was less expensive than the recommended brand. The torch fits perfectly. Now that I have the set, I can cheerfully work on larger encaustic pieces, and the electricity in my home studio, or class room at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, doesn’t set off a circuit breaker when a hot plate cycles on or more than one student turns on a heat gun! The product features are described as this:
  • Net Weight: 8oz (227g) per cartridge
  • Height: 7.25″ Diameter: 2.6″
  • Cartridge has a Notched Collar providing easier alignment in portable gas burners!
  • UL Listed (1st available UL Recognized Safety Container for butane fuel)
For those that are not ready for a big torch, and want to get started with something bigger than the tiny standard kitchen torch, this is a nice size. It fits in your hand and is not too heavy. It is good in the studio on medium-sized work, and great in a class room. It is easy to transport, and is not too scary for  beginning encaustic students. The main negative is that you do have to keep buying the fuel canisters.
What am I coveting now? Well, for fine work I’m now thinking about the Blazer PT 4000 Pen Torch
What torches and fuel are you using? Leave a comment.

Studio: “Introduction to Encaustic” Class Announcement

I am teaching four Saturday classes, “Introduction to Encaustic,” in my studio, O’Fallon, MO. USA. Each class is 4 hours long, and includes materials. See below for a copy of the class information handout

Studio Workshop: Introduction to Encaustic
With MFA artist Lisa Sisley-Blinn

Saturdays April 9, or 23; May 14, or 28
Each class: 10AM-2PM
Tuition: $75/4 hour class
Materials & Lab Fee: No fee, basic material pack included.
Location: Studio of Lisa Sisley-Blinn. O’Fallon, MO. 63368

Jumble Ice II

Jumble Ice II

Encaustic is a paint medium composed of beeswax infused with damar resin and ground pigments. Layers are fused with heat and can range from transparent to opaque, wispy thin to thick and dimensional. Encaustic is luminous, forgiving and versatile.

Currently there is a resurgence of interest in this medium that is over 2000 years old. New encaustic paints, materials and tools, books and blogs, and dedicated researchers and instructors have generated a wealth of support and information. Safe studio methods for working, as well as shipping are well documented. And, there is a growing community of artists that create intriguing works and share their knowledge.

“Introduction to Encaustics” is a beginner level workshop, which will focus on current methods, materials and artists. After a brief history, we will explore studio safety, tools and materials, supports, heat sources, encaustic paints and medium, mark making, transfers, direct and indirect drawing, collage and embedding techniques. Go to “Workshop: Introduction to Encaustic”, https://sisleyblinn.wordpress.com/workshop-introduction-to-encaustic/, for additional class information regarding the materials list and class information.

Lisa Sisley-Blinn earned a BA in Art Education and Biology from Carroll College, and an MFA from Western Michigan University. Sisley-Blinn has been working with the encaustic medium for over 9 years, has attended numerous encaustic workshops, as well as International Encaustic Artists conference. Sisley-Blinn has paintings, prints and drawings in both private and corporate collections.

To register email: lisa@sisleyblinn.com

Studio Time: 2009 Materials and Tools

Jumble Ice II

100 Thoughts Series: Jumble Ice II

I often wonder where other artists working with encaustics get their supplies. Some materials and tools are  easy to find, some hard, and some ingeniously come from unusual sources such as the kitchen, garage, or thrift stores. Looking over my acquisitions for 2009 revealed this  list of  frequently used sources.

Encaustic Painting Related:



Thank you everyone for your great tools, paints, materials, and caring support! (Disclaimer:  I do not get anything from these companies for listing them here. They have been excellent resources for me. Your mileage may vary.)

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