Amanda Jolley

Reflection on pattern and abstraction of the subconscious

The Why

Yesterday a group of us gathered in my studio to learn about the magic of encaustic painting and all its potential. As the instructor, my intent was not just to share the technicalities involved. I always have a greater intention for those who enter my studio doors. I want them to find home, that space within where the true self lies. I want my studio space to be an environment where tapping into and expressing the true self feels safe.

The process of creation, play, and experimentation is a powerful way to release all the trappings of our culture, the sense of a need to produce work of value in the eyes of others, the idea that every thing we do must be a commodified or exhibit worthy. That same process of play and experimentation is a hella way to learn because it comes with an inherent freedom, a letting go of a hierarchical value system.

After a full day of discovery of the encaustic painting process, we sat around the gathering table and shared our aha moments. From the vulnerable thoughts that were shared, I’d say my greater goals were met. And that is why I teach. My larger goal will always be deeper knowing of self in a safe inclusive space.

I don’t teach often anymore. At one time, I had an established goal of being a teaching artist. Through the process of preparing content, traveling, setting up, tearing down, I learned my own limitations. The rest found during our sequestered time amidst the pandemic and the recent discovery that I am autistic have given me even greater pause to listen to my body and only teach as I am able so as not to debilitate myself. 

But dang, I don’t ever want to stop. The JOY I feel in giving others space to be and express themselves outweighs any bit of exhaustion.

In the future, I will be teaching two in-person workshops per year, an Intro to Encaustic workshop and an expanded workshop focused on attuning to the inner voice. My next workshop is a 2-day Asemic Writing with Encaustic Exploration in March 2022. I have no doubt it will be a full workshop. I invite you to enter this sacred space with me as a guide.

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