Poster artist for Fresh Paint festival paints with beeswax

Machias artist Jackie Cort demonstrates her encaustic work with colored bees wax. Cort is the poster artist for this year’s Schack Art Center Fresh Paint Festival of Artists at Work. She also will be demonstrating her work Aug. 19 and 20 at the festival in Everett. (Gale Fiege / The Herald)

She calls herself the Wax Slayer.

The name refers to encaustic painter Jackie Cort’s obsession with beeswax, her favorite artistic medium.

In her encaustic paintings, Cort adds vivid color (orange is a favorite) to molten beeswax and then brushes the buttery paste onto wood or canvas to create bold and abstract pieces. You can see her do this during the Schack Art Center’s free Fresh Paint: Festival of Artists at Work on Saturday and Sunday at the Port of Everett Marina.

Cort is the poster artist for this year’s festival. Her encaustic work, “Dancing Glass,” (on the cover of today’s A&E section) was inspired by Merrilee Moore’s glass sculptures, which are popular at Fresh Paint, she said.

An encaustic by Cort is finished off with a bit of carving in the wax, some heat from a blow torch, which melds the colors, and a rub with her palm when the wax cools. It doesn’t need framing or glass. The durable encaustic by the Wax Slayer is ready to hang.

“Encaustic comes alive more than paint,” Cort said. “Wax wants to do its own thing. You never know what’s going to happen, so you tame it as you go. The challenge with encaustic is knowing when to stop.”

After raising two children, now 33 and 26, and working various day jobs for years, Cort became a full-time artist in 2010. She also teaches classes at the home she shares with her husband in the Machias area and does numerous workshops for the Schack in Everett. Learn more at

This will be Cort’s seventh Fresh Paint festival. When she isn’t talking with her fans, Cort plans to demonstrate the encaustic process.

“Fresh Paint is a good place to learn more about art and how it is made,” she said. “It’s fun for me to visit with kids, who always ask good questions.”

Cort embraced art as a survival technique during her childhood, which wasn’t always happy, and spent lots of time drawing by herself. Art and meditation continue to be sources of creativity and strength, she said.

She picked up encaustic after taking classes with Binky Bergsman, who was part of a Snohomish County group called Women in Wax, aka Women with Torches.

“I was a teen mom and I never went to art school, but Binky was my mentor and she made me feel confident,” Cort said. “Now that I teach, I realize how much I learn from my students, too.”

Cort hopes to meet with lots of people this weekend.

“Fresh Paint has the feel of a reunion,” she said. “It’s lovely.”

Learn more about Cort at

More about the festival is at

Artists working at Fresh Paint

More than 100 artists booths will be open during the festival. The Schack’s featured demonstrations include the popular festival hot shop for glass blowing by Cloud Cap Glass and wood carving by Quilceda Carvers.

Local artists who will be at the festival include Yukie Adams, Rocky Barrick, Wolff Bowden, Monica Bretherton, Cheryl Brown, Jody Cain, Dennis Cant, Allan Carandang, Rin Causey, Jackie Cort, Katherine Critchfield, Lisa Dahl, Sandy Dahlberg, Ann Davenport, Rick Davenport, Teri Davis, Margaret Demarse, Amy Duncan, Garrett Eckard, Beth Francois, Diane Frederick and Janet Hamilton.

Also, Ron Hinshaw, Cherie Keese, Patricia Larzelier, Melissa Luna, Jerry Lyman, Katie Matson, Susan McManamen, Hung Nguyen, Isidro Nilsson, Rodney Patzer, Julie Perrine, Elizabeth Person, Evan Peterson, Dave Roseburg, Dolors Ruscha, Siwen Tao, Julie Tosch, Roxann Van Wyk, Jamie Wick, Thomas Williams, Beth Wright and Karen Young.

Ride the bus to Fresh Paint

The festival is located at 1700 W. Marine View Drive where parking is limited. Everett Transit is offering Route 6 bus service between Everett Station and the Port of Everett Marina. Catch the bus at any bus stop regularly served by Route 6. Regular fares apply. Visit for schedule information.

Musical entertainment

The festival’s new beer and wine garden by Everett Music Initiative is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Food booths also will be on hand, or you can take in a meal at one of the marina restaurants.

The scheduled musical artists on the main stage Aug. 19 are the Ginger Ups at 10 a.m., IvyLane at noon and The Winterlings at 2 p.m. On the stage near the festival hot shop will be Glen Cunningham at 10 a.m., Ronnda Cadle at noon and Joel and Ivy Ricci at 2:30 p.m.

On Aug. 20, hear Feire Warning at 10 a.m., Sundae & Mr. Goessl at noon, The Sidewalk Trio at 2 p.m. and see the Baile Folklore Colibri dance group at 4 p.m., all on the main stage. The hot shop stage features Rondo Swing at 10 a.m., Ronnda Cadle at noon and Murray Reid the juggler at 2 p.m.

The Float Find

Just north of the main event, the 10th annual Fresh Paint Float Find takes place on Jetty Island on Saturday. Walk the sandy shore in search of glass sea floats made in the Schack hot shop. Visitors may take the passenger ferry from the 10th Street Marina Park starting at 8:30 a.m., but the beach will not open for this mad hunt until 10:30 a.m. The Float Find is a free community activity and reservations are highly recommended. To make ferry reservations, call 425-257-8304.

Don’t have time for the Float Find? Stop by the Schack Art Center and blow your own glass float on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Cost is $55 per slot. To register, call 425-259-5050.

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