COLUMN: Art class teaches encaustic painting

There is nothing quite like being able to really personalize something you plan of giving to someone during the holidays.

There is nothing quite like being able to really personalize something you plan of giving to someone during the holidays.

Sometimes, that little bit of an added touch or personal twist can mean the difference between just another gift andsomething from the heart. As always, we’re very lucky to have the variety of artists that we do around here and, even moreso, we’re lucky that a lot of them love to teach.

On that note, if you’ve ever wanted to make your own set of Christmas cards, there is a pair of workshops coming up thatwill help you do just that.

Local artist Bethany Handfield is holding workshops on creating holiday cards using encaustic, stamps and stickers.

For those who aren’t sure what encaustic is, it’s a method of painting using hot wax with various pigments mixed in.

The end result is quite lovely and gives the piece a very unique look and feel. The workshops are an excellent opportunityfor people who have wanted to try making their own cards and for those who have always wanted to try their hand atencaustic, which is always best explored with an instructor for the first time because of the risks associated with workingwith heat and wax.

There will be two workshops, one on Nov. 27 and the other on Dec. 4.

The cost includes all materials. For more information visits www.exploringencaustic.com/pages/classes.

As a reminder, in case you missed last week’s column, there is also a Living Wreath workshop on Saturday, Nov. 26 at theArt Centre on Wharton St.

If you’re thinking about making your own cards, making your own wreath is a good way to keep with the theme of doing ityourself this year.

Finally, some words of encouragement for anyone out there who was brave enough to try NaNoWriMo.

At this point, you’re probably feeling pretty worn down and like you’ve just spent the last 24 days working on somethingthat isn’t all that great.

Those are reasonable thoughts, but hang in there.

Experience has taught me that it’s probably not as bad as you think it is. It rarely is.

And, on the odd chance that it isn’t that great, it’s still not the end of the world.

A lot of first drafts aren’t that great. They’re not meant to be. They’re meant to be kind of messy, full of mistakes, plotholes, cheesy dialogue and, at least as far as my first drafts go, they’re full of vague notes to yourself about ways toimprove the book like, “Go back and do that thing you thought about at breakfast today.”

The next draft will always be better, as will the one after that.

The hard part is just getting that first one done.

Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him atdgpaton80@gmail.com.