My Workshop Schedule

Crystal Neubauer, Artist

Workshop and Event Schedule

Crystal Neubauer seeks to create a dialogue around the issues of self worth, identity, and the perception of human value through the use of salvaged and found objects, old books, packaging material, and the every day detritus normally viewed as trash. She sees these items as a metaphor for our lives and seeks to bring them together in a way that opens the viewer to a deeper experience of an overarching theme of personal redemption – where every part of who you are is embraced and nurtured as important to the whole. Whether rendered in a 3-dimensional assemblage fashion, or a 2D picture plane, her fascination begins with found papers. She calls her process intuitive, but it all boils down to learning to trust and open herself to the voice inside; the one that can guide creative decisions and bring about a much richer work of art.

Crystal is the 2018 recipient of the RAM Artist Fellowship, with a featured solo show at the Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in August of 2019. Her work is represented in Seattle, Scottsdale, and Chicago and will be represented at SOFA EXPO Chicago in the Fall of 2018. Crystal has authored a book on the art of collage, teaches workshops nationwide, and seeks to educate and elevate the perception of collage as a fine art medium.

Find out more at:

Image by Melissa Hall

Upcoming Workshop and Event Schedule and News -

*Click the class title to take you to the venue or host site for more details and registration information. Full workshop descriptions, event information, and minis can also be viewed by scrolling below.

Winter 2020

January 17th, 2020 - Friday Night Lite: Incorporating Imagery in Encaustic Wax - My Studio, Racine, WI

Spring 2020

March 13-15, 2020 - Collage and The Intuitive Voice; A Collage and Writing Collaboration - Way Art Yonder Studio, Jamul, CA

May 28 - 30, 2020 - Pick Up Your Shield; A Collage and Encaustic Workshop - My Studio, Racine, WI

*Please review Frequently asked questions and refund policy here

Current Workshop Descriptions:

Friday Night Lite:
Join me for an evening of encaustic fun in my Racine studio this January.

Workshop is an ongoing series that includes light instruction with a specific focus and full use of the encaustic wax, supplies, tools, and studio time for you to explore the medium, expand your skills, and apply your own creative inspiration to the project of your choice.

Please note: A basic tutorial in wax application is available for an additional fee and will be held a half hour before each workshop for those with no encaustic experience. It is only necessary to take this introduction one time for those who have never worked with encaustic before.

Advanced students are welcome to utilize each class as an open study/open studio night with use of the encaustic wax and supplies.

*Most supplies included. See description in site listing for details specific to each month. 

Currently scheduled:
January Friday Night Lite, January 17, 2020
Encaustic with Imagery
The December workshop will focus on using traditional transfer techniques, surface drawing and alternative transfers, and embedding images in your wax composition. Almost all supplies needed for December's workshop are included, including some image transfers.
*An overview of the basics of encaustic is available prior to class for an additional fee

Collage and The Intuitive Voice: A Collage and Writing Collaboration:

“We often come to the table with the expectation that there is a right way and a wrong way to approach the canvas and fully expect that in every art medium there is the potential for a good or bad outcome based on how skilled we are at following the rules. The idea of letting go of control is intimidating, especially when using precious found materials and investing in expensive art supplies. We see the work of others online and in magazines, and think about the technical skill involved in producing that work of art and, if we have never had formal art training, immediately disqualify ourselves from being able to create something we feel emotionally connected to.” ~Crystal Neubauer, The Art of Expressive Collage
How do we develop our own style as an artist? How do we create work that speaks to the viewer, with a clearer understanding of what it is we want it to say ourselves? Is there really a right way and a wrong way to create good work? How do we combine all of the ideas and techniques we’ve learned over the years to create a cohesive body of work that is uniquely our own? These are just a few of the questions we’ll tackle in this workshop. Utilizing exercises in both the written word, and through the visual prompts we’ll discover through the art of collage, students will begin to identify their own unique style, while harnessing the power of owning their stories, whether explicitly written or through more subtle visual cues.
*Journaling exercises are a part of this workshop, however you will not be asked to share what you’ve written. Students can expect to leave the workshop with a number of finished collage works in multiple sizes that will be suitable for framing.
Currently Scheduled:
March 13-15, 2020
Way Art Yonder Studio 

Pick Up Your Shield! A Collage and Encaustic Workshop
A shield is a utilitarian object originally intended for protection. A place to hide oneself in the face of danger. When a warrior went off to battle, a shield was an important part of the armor. Literally intended to ward off blows from the enemy. Shields could be round, square, rectangular, oblong, tapered, or straight. They could be very heavy or thin and lightweight, large enough to cover the entire body, or small enough to deflect a knife in hand to hand combat. 

A shield was also a symbol of strength. Warriors had a special relationship with their shield, oftentimes adorning it with symbols representing their status or clan. Unique combinations of colors, patterns, shapes, and animals had specific meanings, codes to be read and heeded. In some cultures, shields were elaborately adorned for use in ritual dances and parades, identifying the strengths and achievements of the shield bearer. 

Shield as protection, shield as identification, shield as adornment. 

In this workshop, we will have the opportunity to design our own shield. A symbolic representation of self. A physical object adorned with meaning to what empowers us to be our best, fullest, highest selves. 

Both project oriented, and technique driven, this class will help the student tap into their own unique interior world to create an artistic representation of what fuels, feeds, frees them as a person and an artist. 

Currently Scheduled:
May 28 - 30, 2020
My Studio, Racine Wisconsin

A Sampling of Previous Workshops:

Big and Little: An Intuitive Collage Workshop
"The intuitive artist is the artist who trusts what her eye tells her is good. She allows for the fact that she has a story to tell through art, but lets go of the notion that the story will be known before she starts working. It is not so much about learning a technique, as it is learning to trust that you know what you know. It is letting go of a plan, letting go of expectations, and creating in spite of your fear. If you have been formally trained in art it may mean learning to trust your eye rather than the rules. If you have never so much as taken an art workshop it may mean giving yourself permission to play with the tools and materials you once thought were only for professionals. Either way, to work intuitively allows for the finished work to be more than what the artist is capable of producing on his artistic merits alone. It allows for the voice within to translate to the canvas without the need to have to spell out the message and make it obvious to the viewer."
~Except from "The Art of Expressive Collage" by Crystal Neubauer
The concept for my newest workshop “Big and Little” came to me while working out the designs for a show. Posting my work in progress on social media, never fails to bring comments from other collage artists marveling at the scale. In my own journey as an artist, I found increasing the scale of my work to be challenging. The designs I found satisfying on a 4” or 10” scale, did not necessarily translate well to 30 or 40 inches. But there are elements in those smaller designs that I can capture when creating large. It took some time to begin to feel like I was getting it, but suddenly there were breakthroughs, and insights, and more frequent successes. This is what I want to impart to my students when they come to the table. You have everything you need to create satisfying work inside of you. I’ll guide you through the steps I took to tap in to that wellspring of creativity.

Whether you are an experienced artist or a novice, this workshop will dare you to let go of expectations and ignore the rules, beginning with a series of collage exercises designed to infuse freedom into your creativity and help you tap in to that intuitive voice as your personal guide.

Using these little works as small studies, we will turn our focus to a more intentional placement of elements, coming from that place of freedom and trusting what our eye and intuition knows is good, while learning tips, tricks, and techniques from a professional point of view, to translate what we see into a series of completed works on paper incrementally increasing the scale as we go.

Students will leave the workshop with a series of small 4" studies and multiple big works of art ranging from 6" up to 30" in size. * Note- all works will be created on watercolor as our substrate, discussion will include a variety of ways to display your completed collage work when you return home.

Join me in this deep dive into the art of paper and glue, to develop a working knowledge of collage, while connecting to the design and composition knowledge you already carry within, creating satisfying works of art in your own unique style.

Current Dates for Big and Little:

Mar 1-3, SOLD OUT - My Studio, Racine, Wisconsin - Follow this link to register.
May 3-5, Studio Joy, Kansas City, MO - Registration to Open Soon
Nov 8-10, Sedona Arts Center; Sedona, AZ - Follow this link to register. 

Shrines and Shadows: Finding Symbolism and Meaning In Your Work

This is a project oriented workshop with a focus on developing a structure, shrine, or shadow box that moves the viewer to enter in to their stories without feeling the need to be overt or literal in their creation. 

Class discussion will center on exploring the deeper meaning in our work, understanding and using symbolism, and developing a narrative through the selection of objects and materials used. 

Techniques will include light deconstruction and assembly, alternative attachments (with glue being a last resort for construction), creating niches, openings, veils, sculpting objects and details with collage, encaustic, and more. 

Students may bring any box or book to alter, or they may wish to build one from cardboard and alternative materials - appropriate demos will be included. 

Past Dates: Sept. 14-15, 2019 - My Studio, Racine, WI - Follow this link to register
Sept. 16, 2019 - Optional third day of studio time is listed separately at this link

Wax, Paper, Scissors Intensive 

Delve into the art of paper and glue, working through an intensive exploration of the art of abstract collage, intended to help you connect to the design knowledge you already carry within you to create satisfying works of art while discovering your own authentic style.
Create compositions utilizing both, elements with organic torn edges, and those deliberately cut with scissors. Learn to select the proper adhesive, determine what substrate to utilize, and alter a variety of salvaged materials for use in collage.
The class will include a hands on comparison of the unique nature and differences found between hot encaustic wax and cold wax medium when applied to the paper elements and incorporated into the design. We will examine the qualities unique to each of three protective finishes, hot encaustic wax, cold wax medium, and spray varnish, along with the surface design potential unique to each and leave the class with a new found confidence in your ability to determine which to use.
Past Dates for Wax, Paper, Scissors Intensive:

Feb 21-24, SOLD OUT - San Diego, CA, Way Out Yonder Studios

Explorations in Encaustic Collage With Alternative Materials and Substrates 

Beginning with a series of exercises designed to help the student let go of the inhibitions that can block intuition and the creative flow, this class will take an in depth look at the art of collage, the relationship between paper, the use of non-traditional and traditional substrates, and encaustic wax medium.

Students will have the opportunity to explore alternative mediums and develop a series of works utilizing mediums and materials such as watercolor paper, ephemera, fabric, plaster, found objects, salvaged wood, cardboard, and more. Working in both 2D composition and 3D sculptural form, each work will reflect the style and creative influence unique to each individual.

Past Dates for Explorations in Encaustic and Collage:

SOLD OUT - Sat-Sun February 9-10, 2019 - Santa Cruz County, CA 
SOLD OUT - Sat-Sun February 16-17, 2019 - Santa Cruz County, CA 

Sat-Sun April 6-7, 2019, Racine, Wi - Follow this link for details and to register

Brush Making and The Art Of The Mark Workshop and Open Studio Event

Saturday and Sunday January 12-13, 2019
10am - 4:30pm

"Make objects that talk and then listen to what they have to say." ~Art and Fear

What: Brush and Mark Making Workshop 
Where: 16th Street Studios; 1405 16th Street; Racine, Wisconsin - Studio #3630
When: Saturday and Sunday January 12 & 13th
Time: 10am - 4:30pm each day

Join me for this relaxing two day art experience crafting handmade brushes from found objects and natural materials, and then using them to create your own visual language!

With a focus on, both the aesthetic beauty of the brush, and the potential it has to create beautiful marks, the class will introduce the art of asemic writing- the art of making marks that convey our emotional energy and impart our innermost longings. Through a series of exercises, you will learn to let go of the inhibitions that block your creative freedom and turn your intuitive energy into a unique language to help you connect to your own art practices at a deeper level. 

This class is a combination of technique, process, and project oriented. The student will walk away with several handmade brushes, an array of marked papers to use in other projects, and compositions you may find suitable for framing. 

*All supplies are included in this class, but you may wish to bring a lock of your own, a loved one, or favorite pet's hair.

Boxing Encaustic 

This is a very special opportunity to take a workshop in my studio in a small group setting. Limited to 6 participants, this class will focus on the creating collage with encuastic wax on cradled panels with the introduction to incorporating assemblage elements into your work. 

The supply list is small and will be emailed to you, but mainly includes bringing your own collection of collage material and found objects. 

The Art of Expressive Freedom in Mixed-media and Collage 

We often come to the table with the expectation that there is a right and a wrong way to approach the canvas and fully expect that in every art medium there is a potential for a good or bad outcome based on how skilled we are at following the rules. The idea of letting go of control is intimidating, especially when using precious found materials and investing in expensive art supplies.
Whether you are an experienced artist, or a novice, this workshop will dare you to let go of expectations and ignore the rules through exercises designed to infuse freedom into your creativity. We will begin the workshop scavenging the grounds around the studio for material to create our own mark-making tools. We will then explore a variety of mixed-media activities using paint, pastels, traditional drawing and mark-making tools, and collage. With new-found confidence in your own artistic voice, the class will culminate in a final project with a focus on mixed-media collage.

Encaustic Wax and Plexi Combinations 

Plexiglas as a foundation for encaustic wax offers options that cannot be achieved with a traditional canvas. For beginner to experienced artist, this encaustic how-to workshop provides an excellent overview for combining encaustic wax with the mixed-media collage look you love while achieving a beautiful light filtering luminosity.

Using clear acrylic Plexiglas as the foundation through which the finished piece will be viewed, the class will build the collage from the front, back, or both sides of the “canvas”, learning important information on the basics of encaustic wax and collage practices, along with techniques that are friendly to the encaustic medium, including image transfers, incising and mark-making, simple monoprint transfers, and more!

Most supplies are included with this workshop. A list of supplies students should bring will be provided before workshop date.

Collage and the Canvas

The interplay between paint and ephemera are as familiar to mixed-media as a marriage between old friends; a staple in many an artist’s studio, as comfortable as your childhood school supplies. Yet this class will dare you to step out of the realm of the expected and allow your intuitive voice to have its say. The collaboration of materials begins with several collage and mark-making exercises on paper designed to help you loosen up and let go of controlling the outcome, while still creating a very satisfying work of art. With confidence bolstered, the main project begins with a collage as the focal point and then takes it to the canvas with paint, pastel and more. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged. 

Painted Papers and Collage 

The use of paint in collage and mixed media can be both exciting and intimidating. Fear of making a muddy mess on the canvas can prevent the free and spontaneous play essential to a vibrant work of art. Release your creative voice in this no pressure evening painting papers with layers of delicious marks for your own colorful stash of collage fodder. This stockpile will be large enough to use in other workshops at AU, including my full day Exploring Collage Combinations, but we will also end the evening with several quick collage exercises to give each student the confidence to use their new collection of painted materials at home on their own.

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