Tuesday, April 22, 2014

this beautiful natural world

Happy EARTH DAY-what will you be doing today?

One kind gesture towards this beautiful natural world can make a difference.

Voices of the air, encaustic on panels, 4x12in, copyright Jan Yates 2014, available

I will be throwing some milkweed seeds. 

Monday, April 14, 2014


For me, orchards in bloom mark replenishment and awakening. 

Spring is the natural world re-born. It is an intoxicating time –magic, mysterious, over the top with life. I love it.

April, waiting for May, oil on panel, 30x40in, copyright Jan Yates, 2014, available

Friday, April 11, 2014

what a difference a day makes

Finally. The last two days have been warm. sunny. promising.

The snow has melted.

Although  forceful winds had me tying the easel to a tree as well as wire the canvas to the easel, it was worth it just to be outside painting again.

That warm sun felt SSSOOO good!

 April, oil on canvas, plein air, 12x16in, copyright Jan Yates, 2014
750. secure online payment via Paypal, Visa, M/C. shipping arranged. inquire here


Last week; 

the same vineyard, on a cold, wet, grey day.

 April, thaw, oil on canvas, plein air, 11x14in, copyright Jan Yates 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

shared seeds

Many of our gardens are grown from shared seeds, planting memories of time and place. 

When I make these seed packet paintings I feel connected with my Mother. This one in particular, as she always had something red growing by her window or in her garden.

 Garden corner 4, encaustic, copper, seed packet, seeds on panels, 4x13in, copyright Jan Yates, 2014. 
(160.secure online payment, shipping arranged, purchase here)

Friday, April 4, 2014


-still enjoying the assemblage of small odd shaped panels, embedding them with seeds and  their packets, and then layering with encaustic, oil, and cold wax.

I think it would be interesting to include Non-GMO seeds-the challenge would be in the finding.

Garden corner 3, encaustic, cold wax  on panels, 4x12in, copyright Jan Yates,  2014 
(available: under 160.  online purchase via paypal, shipping arranged)

* i will be teaching a few encaustic workshops at my studio in April. 

For info, please click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

a time to sew

Another from my annual Spring seed packet series.

 This time of year the garden shops display tantalizing racks of optimism-waxy packages of bright promise.
 Garden Corner 2, encaustic on panels, diptych, 4x16in, 2014   copyright Jan Yates
under 200., Paypal accepted, shipping arranged. purchase here

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

this whole experiment of green

A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King, 
But God be with the Clown – 
Who ponders this tremendous scene – 
This whole Experiment of Green – 
As if it were his own!
Emily Dickinson

Garden Corner, encaustic /copper on panels, 4x10in, 2014 copyright Jan Yates

 (under 140. available online via Paypal. click here to purchase

Yes, I have posted this poem every Spring-it comes to me as soon as the weather turns, which it seems to be doing -finally- !!

Below is another encaustic workshop demo that i quite like. A friend gave me a box of small panels and i have been layering them to make new shapes. I've always been drawn to odd shapes and sizes.

Friday, March 28, 2014


This is another sketch to be considered for a large commission.

 Working small allows for experimentation and play. I have been changing /testing mediums (I like to make my own) as well as underpainting with cold wax and a lovely orange/red by Kama pigment.

Of course, what is underneath affects the work, so thinking through an idea helps, although often when I prepare surfaces, the physical process sparks the idea. I like the push-pull of planning and spontaneity.

*i also played with knives

 Escarpment fog (May), oil/cold wax on canvas, 8x10in
copyright Jan Yates, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

mind field

I am working on a few small oil sketches to possibly be made into larger commissioned paintings. Wanting to bring a plein air feel to the work, I wondered about the idea of revisiting May in March.

Apprehensive  about making a study indoors-I was afraid of losing that ‘plein air’ feel. But surprisingly, I found it did the opposite-it took me back outside.

 I was in the orchard, feeling that balmy May breeze, hearing the Spring bird voices, breathing the sweet smell of new-new grass, new blossoms, things were growing faster than I could paint them. 

I can go into the field of my mind. 

Waiting for May, oil/cold wax on canvas, 14x16in, 2014
copyright Jan Yates

Saturday, March 22, 2014

remains of the day

After being in Spring (Vancouver was resplendent with new growth-forsythia, daffodils, flowering trees)-I was not thrilled about returning to our Ontario winter. 

 Needless to say it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted with a warm sun melting the mounds of snow-things were starting to thaw.

It felt great to find my paints after going without for ten days. The spring warmth was enough for me to stand outside on the front porch and make a little painting –a wee promise.

 March, Remans of the Day, oil on canvas, plein air, 8x10in, copyright Jan yates 2014
 under 200 incl. tax. Visa, Paypal, Mastercard. 

milkweed, goldenrod, snow. copyright Jan Yates 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

a wee drop

Before I left for Vancouver I decided to change my space at the Jordan Art Gallery to reflect some optimism for Spring.

Waiting for May, oil on canvas, 40x40in, 2013, copyright Jan Yates
under 2500.
 We have had such a long, winter season and it seems there is no relief (or green) in sight!

So if you are in the area, stop by for a wee drop of colour

PictureWaiting for May, oil / cold wax on canvas, 30x36in, 2013, copyright Jan Yates

under 1900.

plus some new encaustic work

contemporary work in Niagara since 2001
Jordan Village, ON, Canada

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I am currently in Vancouver visiting my daughter-and relishing the early Spring colours-no white!

Wandering the city streets is invigorating and inspiring, and I love encountering environmental art.

This community garden is a collaborative endeavour to bring back the bees.

Monday, March 3, 2014

art adoption

 August, remains of the day, oil on canvas, plein air, 2012 , copyright Jan Yates

Our gallery is featuring a selection of work this month to help support Women's Place of South Niagara Inc.

The auction runs through March and bids can also be made online.
Check it out here

Friday, February 28, 2014

Aurora Borealis

Although I won’t be going until 2015, the Shetland residency has me voraciously researching all things Shetland.

Right now it is Aurora Borealis season, and I have joined a few sites that have been posting absolutely spellbinding images and videos. I doubt I will ever experience seeing the ‘mirrie dancers’ live (I will be there in Spring) but have interpreted my response via paint-

 February, Mirrie Dancers, encaustic on panels, 12x14in, copyright Jan Yates, 2014

I had fanciful thoughts about a romantic origin to the Scottish name for the Northern lights, so was a wee bit taken aback when I read this: 

‘In Scotland, the northern lights were known as "the mirrie dancers" or na fir-chlis. There are many old sayings about them, including the Scottish Gaelic proverb "When the mirrie dancers play, they are like to slay." The playfulness of the mirrie dancers was supposed to end occasionally in quite a serious fight, and next morning when children saw patches of red lichen on the stones, they say among themselves that "the mirrie dancers bled each other last night".

 February, Mirrie Dancers 2, encaustic on panel, 4x7in, copyright Jan Yates, 2014

My favourite interpretation comes from the Inuit:

The Inuit people of Alaska tell the traditional tale of their ancient ancestors who are seen in the rippling movements of the northern lights. They say that the "shadows" within the display are relatives and friends who have gone to the sky and march along or dance to remind the living people of their presence. When the dogs bark and howl at the sounds of the aurora borealis, it's said that the dogs recognize their one-time companions in the colourful display.

Read more info on the northern lights here 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Upcoming encaustic workshops

almanac moons, copyright Jan yates


These sessions are enjoyable for those who have taken an introductory encaustic class and want to further explore this alluring and tactile medium. I will share techniques including image transfer/collage, colour, glazing, relief, and drawing with charcoal, graphite and pastel.

Ruby's pear

Participants will also explore alternative media incorporated with encaustic including sand, plaster, metallic pigment and shellac.

 Firefly Moondance, copyright Jan Yates

*Encaustic painting is natural, safe and non-toxic. Ancient and intriguing, this method of painting originated in Greece, where it was used for the earliest easel and mural painting. A heady combination of colour, melting wax and heat, encaustic mixes dry and oil pigments in hot beeswax.

Workshop Location:

Grimsby Public Art Gallery

Held Saturdays: 

February 22, March 1, and March 8, 2014

2pm - 4pm
To register, please contact the Gallery! (905) 945-3246 
or email: gpag@grimsby.ca

Thursday, February 13, 2014

wishful thinking

  1. To melt, dissolve, or become fluid; to soften;
  2. To become so warm as to melt ice and snow;
  3. To grow gentle or genial.

February, thaw, oil on canvas, plein air, 8x10in
copyright Jan Yates 2014