Steal Like An Artist

Hi there! 
Welcome to the very first VLOG post here on the Art Blog. I have something great to share with you and this new video + blog = VLOG seemed like the quickest way to share this with you. Check out this awesome conversation where Chase Jarvis interviews Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist. Lot's of food for thought here and some treasured pearls-of-wisdom too! A must hear for every artist!



Fire in Your Belly

This painting reminds me of passion and pursuing things that really ignite my spirit . . .

. . .so today I’ve got my calendar out and I’m blocking out time in the new year (and the remaining days of 2017 )  to do things that I really want to do. Like seeing people I want to connect with and learning some new skills (want to try out some Thai cooking).  I’m also blocking in time just to relax and recharge my creative battery. 

The key here, is that I’m putting it down in writing...adding it to my calendars and making a commitment to myself. By doing so, I’m giving myself permission to pursue these goals and ideas and you can do the same thing! 

Give yourself permission to pursue your passions, however big or small they may be, and listen to that fire in your belly that lights you up inside. That excitement is your compass...trust it!

The one question that always gets me moving forward on my ideas is: If not now...then when? And if that answer is later, mark it in your calendar and move towards it with intention. 

Hope you find a little motivation and inspiration here and thank you so much for reading!  

Until next time...Cheers! 


Learn To Burn is Now Online!

The Learn To Burn E-Course is now available!


This course delivers all the detailed information and resources of my Live Workshops with the ease and convenience of an online class.

Oh my...YES...this day has come! 

Online Course is now Open for enrollment. 

You can head right on over to the Online Studio Portal now to sign up---or click here for more detailed course information and video previews.

The Learn To Burn e-course is a monumental labor of love that I am beyond thrilled to finally make available.

As an artist and a teacher, it is my honor to open up this virtual atelier and create an opportunity to share with you my knowledge and passion for encaustic painting.

I hope you'll come join me in the virtual studio.


Update: Online Encaustic Course is Live!

Oh my gosh...I am so excited!

I'm so giddy that I can hardly get a decent night's rest these days. And just in case you're wondering what's causing my insomnia and has me up all night... here's the skinny...

For several months now, my studio team and I have been working fiercely on the creation of a very special online encaustic course for you and now we are closing in on the launch date. Oh my...I can hardly believe it! 

Alicia Tormey 

...is almost here!

I'm spilling all my secrets and I just can't wait to share them with you. I will be making lots of milestone announcements as we near our actual release date! The online course will be available very soon (early October if all goes well). If you don't want to miss the launch party be sure to sign up for email notifications here:
Get the scoop: Alicia Tormey's Newsletter Sign-up

Shellac Attack...

This is a very in-depth encaustic program that covers the technical aspects of working with this material. Throughout the course you'll discover Pro Tips & Tricks and there's an extensive section on my Shellac Burn techniques. 

It's a love story...

My love affair with this medium began nearly 20 years ago and this course is packed with all the juicy tidbits I have developed and discovered along the waxy way. I've laid it all out for you in a beautifully produced video format. This online course goes into great detail showing you critical methods that will transform the way you work with encaustic and light the way if you're new to this magical medium. 

There's still some work to be done before we can get this baby out into the real world so check back at this link below for more course information, registration details and release dates as they become available:

Learn To Burn : Online Encaustic Course Info

...and then maybe...just maybe... I can finally sleep through the night! In the mean time, stay tuned for more updates! 


Begin Again…and Again…and Again.

With spring finally here I wanted to give you that extra bounce in your step with this inspiring reminder of the creative process. This is a video adaptation of the Ira Glass article I shared with you last month in my post about "showing up" and creating success in your creative practice. If your an artist or creative this will hopefully keep you from throwing in the towel too soon. Ira Glass shares a great reminder to us all that we are not alone as we struggle and strive to create better work. Hope you get a little jolt of inspiration from this.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.


A must watch for Creatives!

Even if you are not a writer I recommend watching this thoughtful and inspiring interview with Marie Forlio and author, Cheryl Strayed. 

I guarantee this is time well spent. The topics discussed translate to any creative field or endeavor and as I watched,  I was replacing the word "writer" with the words "artist" and "painter".  This is empowering for those of us in creative fields and especially enlightening if you are waiting for permission to live out your creative life!  Watch this NOW!!!!



The Simple Secret to Achieving Success

Is there a secret to success? Yes! And I'm about to let you in on it. It's one of the best known secrets for achieving success as an artist, (or writer, musician, photographer, maker…you name it)!

It's surprisingly simple really. 
The big secret is this...

Seriously…that's it! Show up! Show up for yourself, for your craft and for your own success. Show up everyday and do something that will impact your creative goals. If you only have an hour…then devote that entire hour and do nothing but focus on your project or goal during this creative time.( see my tips below for help with this) Obviously the more time you commit to showing up for yourself the sooner you will see results.

You will be surprised at how quickly your time compounds into real progress…and how progress can translate into success. 

Make it a priority to show up in your studio and produce your art, compose your music or write that novelSometimes you'll make really great things happen, but many times you're more likely going to make mediocre and even terrible creations. Ignore your inner critic and just keep it up. 

If you consistently show up you will eventually produce work that moves you, amazes you and even sometimes surprises you.

One thing I have learned from over 30 years as a professional artist is that making decent artwork is kind of like going to the gym…very difficult at first... but after you consistently workout for awhile you start to see improvements and feel positive changes in your body. Well…the same goes for your creative practice and the work that you are putting out. Give it some time and you'll start to see improvements in your art, your music, your novel...etc). 

How to Show Up For Your Own Success:

Make it a Date: Add your creative time to your daily or weekly calendar. Just as you would block out time for other reoccurring activities such as yoga class or social commitments, regularly book your studio time and keep it sacred. You'll quickly form the habit of showing up for yourself and your future success.

Tune Out: This one's a biggie so listen up! Limit your distractions and honor this creative time. Mute all notifications on your phone and other devices. Shut down your computer and set your phone to Airplane Mode. Close your door and shut out anything else that may break your focus. Your time expands when you reduce the number of interruptions that can disturb your flow.

Beat The Clock: Try this…you will see impressive results on your very first round. Use the timer on your phone (that is now set to Airplane Mode) or some other timing device with an alarm on it. Block out a specific amount of time to devote to your creative project. Work in time modules (I prefer 30 to 90 minute sessions) and keep working until the alarm rings. (no cheating) Feel free to keep going once your alarm goes off or set up another round on your timer.

Make it Sexy: Turn your creative area into a luxurious and inspiring place that you just can't wait to hangout in. Add special furnishings, lighting and objects that "lure" you into your creative space and "seduce" you into a creative state of mind. Warning: Be careful not to go overboard and clutter up your space…clutter is distracting.

Take Bribes: Reward yourself for staying committed or completing some aspect of your project. It could be as simple as allowing yourself 20 minutes to flip through your favorite magazine or something more indulgent like a latte or lunch with a friend. This works best if you set up a specific reward before you begin your session or task. When a distraction calls for your attention set it up as your reward for completing a time module.

Think Present Tense: Stop putting projects off for your future self to accomplish "someday". Make it your "today self" and think in terms of days and hours instead of weeks, months and years. Instead of telling yourself my deadline is in three weeks...no no no dear one...your deadline is in 21 days. See how that makes you think in terms of action instead of planning? It's a cool trick and your mind will fall for it every time.

These are just a few ways that you can increase the amount of time you devote to your creative practice and show up for yourself and your success. You will see significant progress in your work if you start implementing some of these tips and while there aren't many sure things in life... I can guarantee: When you do nothing...nothing happens! Start showing up right now and you'll begin to experience success. 

Check out this fantastic article on Success from Ira Glass, the host and executive producer of the popular National Public Radio show, This American Life.



Terra: Adventure Begins Oct 7th

I'd like to invite you to come on an adventure with me. There’s no need to worry about packing, airports or lost luggage because I’m talking about virtual travel; a form of mental globe trotting.

I’ve been traveling like this for months now... hiking up mountains to view distant valleys, wading through tide pools that stretch out beyond the horizon and exploring lush exotic gardens filled with rare botanicals. This is all my conception, of course, but when I’m depicting this place through my artwork, it becomes very real to me. So real that I can sense the mist on my skin, feel the mossy ground under my feet and smell the intoxicating perfumes of it’s strange and wild flora.

An exhibition of my latest work, revealing this inner universe, will be on display next month at Hall Spassov Gallery. I invite you to bring your imagination and join me for the debut of Terra: New Encaustic Works. 

Opening reception: Friday, Oct. 7th from 5pm to 9pm.

800 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 150, Bellevue, WA 98004

Collectors Preview -  Sunday, Oct. 2nd: In addition to the opening on October 7th, the gallery will also be hosting a special Collectors Preview of TERRA at their auxiliary studio space on Oct. 2nd from 12 - 5. All are welcome to the preview event but you’ll need to RSVP the gallery beforehand in order to attend.

Attend the Collectors Preview RSVP


Open Studios @ INSCAPE

It's time for the summer Open Studios Event at INSCAPE

Come get inspired by this historic Seattle building now home to more than 100 artists and creative entrepreneurs. Join us on Sunday, June 5th, from 1pm to 6pm as we open our doors to the public for the first time this year. Take advantage of the Free Parking for the day in the back lot. 

Don't forget to come by studio 118 and say hello to my new buddy, Winston! 

Here are all the deets:
WHAT: Inscape Open Studios
WHERE: 815 Seattle Blvd, Seattle WA 98134
WHEN: Sunday, June 5th - 1pm to 6pm
Check out the Inscape Facebook Page too! 


Blast Off!

How could I have forgottenjust how much fun it is to teach encaustic classes? It’s been several years since I taught my last encaustic workshop and I had put it out of my mind just how delightful it truly is to teach and share my passion for this amazing medium. And as an added bonus, I get to meet so many lovely creative people at the same time. 

Private studio session in progress!

It all came flooding back to me last week as I initiated the re-launch of my Encaustic Workshop Program with two charming ladies from Down Under. They traveled all the way from Melbourne, Australia to join me for a private studio session. How cool is that!?

This was the studio before the encaustic party got going! Calm before the wax storm!

I am honored they made such a great effort to be here and we had an absolute blast flinging wax and creating art in my studio for four days. 

Judy putting some new techniques to the test.

I taught them all my tricks and techniques and they taught me some fun Australian slang words. “No Wingers!” Pronounced like gingers with a “w” and it Means...No Whiners!  

Donna shows off her latest work …
but could not stop laughing!

We laughed a lot and got to know each other while I showed them how to create beautiful encaustic paintings using some of my signature techniques. 


Judy showing off her torch skills! 
Lots of fresh hot wax at the ready! 

Had so much fun with these ladies, Donna and Judy!

My Aussie gals left with arms full of gorgeous new work and all of our hearts filled with a newfound friendship. 

If you would like to join me in the studio I still have a few spots available for the March 5th and June 11th 1-Day Encaustic Intensive and a couple spots in the October 15/16 2-Day Encaustic Immersion Workshop. If a private session is more your speed let’s coordinate our calendars and get you in here before I'm all booked up.  Please visit my Workshops Page on my website for all the deets. 

I am working on a fun commission project at the moment so I’ll fill you in on it once it’s completed.  Stay inspired my friends!

Cheers ~ Alicia


Ice Dreams

Celebrating the first official day of winter with some amazing icy art! 

On Mount Javornik, part of a mountain range in eastern Slovenia, photographer Marko Korosek captured these beautiful images of ice that is formed by high winds and freezing fog.  Some great inspiration here for sculpture. 

Russian photographer Andrew Osokin captures wintery magic at a micro level. Check out these captivating images of ice formations:

Francis Latreille captures mother natures stunning arctic sculptures. Love the dark blues and the beautiful layers. So inspiring...

Any ice art collection must include a few works by one of my favorites…

Andy Goldworthy:

Stay warm and cozy my friends!


They're Back! Workshops in 2016!

Good news my friends…I am offering encaustic workshops in 2016 and have posted the new line up on my website: Encaustic Workshops

Choose a session that's right for you:

1-Day Encaustic Intensive 

2-Day Encaustic Immersion

1, 2 or 3-Day Private Sessions 

Space is limited and early registration is recommended. The April 2-Day is nearly full but I have spaces open for all classes at the moment. 

Join me in the studio for an in depth exploration into the art of painting with encaustic. I will demystify the process of working with this medium and share some of my methods for creating unique painting effects.

Small class size (usually 6 to 8 students) makes for a very personalized learning experience and students of all skill levels gain from the intimate studio environment. Due to the limited number of spaces available per class early registration is recommended to secure your spot.

In combination with encaustic, students will be introduced to the use of image transfer, embedding elements into wax, incorporating mixed media such as oil paint, pastels and paper as well as a variety of mark making devices and techniques. You will learn how to make your own medium and be provided with additional resources on materials and safe studio practices. Basic materials for all workshops will be supplied in the studio for an additional fee. Materials fee includes: panels, encaustic medium and the use of tools.

See you in the studio!


UPDATE: 12 Ways to Motivate an Artist

We all need a little push now and then so I put together this list of tips that have helped me stay motivated and perhaps they can help someone else too…

1. Show Up: This is the single most effective thing you can do to improve your productivity in the studio. Get in there. Even if you are just making phone calls, sorting out your brushes or organizing your supplies. Simply spending time in your studio will get you into the habit of creating. Daily time spent in your studio will improve your productivity.

2. Set Goals: Set goals for yourself and break them down into smaller categories: Long Range, Short Term and Immediate. Example: I am going to paint 5 pieces this month, 2 paintings this week and prep 1 panel this afternoon.

3. Dress the Part: Put on your favorite work clothes for motivation. I have a great pair of funky old shoes (see photo) a beautiful scarf and a paint-encrusted smock that make me feel super creative the moment I slip them on. Discover your power outfit and wear it when you need some extra motivation.

These are my favorite shoes to work in.

4. Connect with Community: Join an online forum and leave comments. Create or join a local chapter for artists in your area and meet once a month to discuss your progress and share resources. Start a blog and invite people to share their comments. Connecting with others will keep you going.

5. Make Yourself Accountable: Tell someone what you are working towards and share your progress with them. Enlist their help to keep you on track. Knowing that someone is waiting to see your results can help maintain your momentum.

6. Lower Your Expectations: Not everything you create will be a masterpiece so allow yourself some time to make the experimental work and rough pieces that will inform your next masterpiece.

7. Open Your Studio: Invite a guest or the whole neighborhood to visit your studio. This will help you to get things organized and asses the amount of work you have ready to display.

8. Apply for Calls: Nothing like a deadline to get you motivated so apply for juried shows and art opportunities and create new work to submit. Even if you don’t get accepted the exercise of assessing your work is invaluable. Here are a few links to organizations that post National Calls For Art and other art opportunities: Art Deadline.com Washington State Arts Commission and National Calls For Entry

9. Take a Class: Sign up for a creative class or workshop. I prefer workshops because they tend to be condensed and intense. This will help you plug into your arts community and connect with like minded folks. It’s easy to comeback to your studio and continue working if you are already in the zone and dressed for the occasion. Arrange to meet with other students after the class. Here's a link to my own workshops page: Learn to Burn Workshops

10. Host an Art Exchange: Throw an art exchange party – Invite guests to bring a small piece of original art in a plain brown wrapper to swap with other guests. When you know your work will be judged by your peers it can motivate you to up your game.

Plain paper wrapping helps hide the identity of each artist.

11. Trade Critiques: Swap critiques with another artist. Share your work and use the feedback you receive to propel your work forward. Make changes and submit the new work for additional feedback – The exchange of ideas will help you stay focused and energized.

12. Give Yourself Permission: This is the most important tip of all...Don’t let other work or a looming deadline trap you into paralysis. The dishes, the laundry and the shopping can wait. Schedule time to be in the studio and give yourself permission to be there.

A few inspiring reads:

Artist to Artist: Inspiration and Advice from Artists Past & Present

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers

To learn more about Alicia Tormey visit 
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If you have other tips for getting motivated please feel free to share them here. I will post some tips on finding inspiration in the coming weeks. Cheers!