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Artist Terry Honstead explores all areas of art in her work

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GULL LAKE — Terry Honstead has moved to Gull Lake, so don’t go looking for her studio on Lake Avenue in Bemidji this year.

Honstead’s new studio is above a three-car garage with lots of open space so she can work on several different projects at the same time, which is indicative of Honstead’s work. She is known for her mixed media, watercolor, acrylics, glass beads and sculpture, and has just recently added a new medium to her repertoire.

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"This summer, I taught myself encaustic, one of the oldest forms of art," Honstead said. "The ancient Greeks who lived in Egypt at that time painted realistic encaustic portraits that they put on their mummies that are intact today. They are called the Fayum Portraits. I saw those and was fascinated by the process. But it was difficult to start because it was expensive and so different from anything I have done."

Encaustic painting involves using a base of bees wax and a special kind of resin that are heated together. The pigments are mixed into the hot wax and then applied to a wooden board, although sometimes canvas is used. Using a paint brush, a layer of colored hot wax is applied to the board and then a torch or hot air gun is used to melt the wax to fuse it to the board.

"It is especially nice to use with mixed media because you can put other things in the wax," said Honstead. "You can cut into the wax, you can put a collage into the wax, but it’s not compatible with acrylics. But it is with oil so I use oil sticks and rub those into the cuts I make ahead of time to get those nice little lines that you can’t get with a brush."

Honstead will demonstrate the art form during this year’s Studio Cruise and will have samples of her mixed media work for sale. Her painting of Chief Bemidji, painted from a photograph, was donated to the visitor’s center a few years back because she felt the Chief needed some representation. Honstead is finishing up her two-year term as president of Artists of Minnesota, a volunteer job she liked having because it afforded her the opportunity to meet with different artists throughout the state. But those duties did not deter Honstead from entering different competitions.

One of her paintings, "Summer Blossoms" is in the first edition of a book "Insight, Dreams Realized, The Best of Mixed Media," and it also is in the member’s show at Bemidji Community Arts Center this month.

"I have a sculpture in my studio right now that’s from an online contest," said Honstead. "You send them the money and you get a kit in the mail with all the pieces that you will need to finish a piece. This year the subject of the contest was art; I chose a famous art piece, "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt. I made a mixed media sculpture of that painting and it’s in my studio."

Another online competition Honstead entered was the Avant Guard art challenge from the Contemporary Fine Arts Institute. Her mixed media in acrylic, "Lean on Me," featured a man and woman whose faces were actually air brushed egg shells. The hand around the woman is raised above the canvas. The piece won "Best in Show" and will be on display at her studio during the cruise.

This year’s Studio Cruise will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 18-19 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 20. As in past years, the tour is separated by location into the orange, red and purple tours. The Honstead tour is on the orange tour with Don Houseman, Jeff Burger, Monica Hansmeyer, Kathy Gustafson and Dee Najjar, who will be sharing space in Pat Shough’s studio, Jane Carlstrom and Melissa Burness.

Color brochures with detailed cruise map and instructions are available at the Visitor’s Center downtown by Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox and at BCAC. The three-day event is free and open to the public, and there are early shopping opportunities as there are also retail merchants and galleries on the different routes.

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