Embracing Chaos with Melinda Cootsona


Using Cold Wax Medium to Explore New Ideas in Your Work

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DATE: May 20 – 21, 2019
TIME: 10:00am to 5:00pm
FEE: $420 +  $20 (to be paid in person to Melinda at the beginning of the workshop for some supplies she’ll provide, including the cold wax and odorless mineral spirits)
LOCATION: 1401 S. Bloodworth St. Raleigh, NC 27610
LEVEL: Intermediate to advanced | STUDENTS: max. 12, minimum 8


In this two-day workshop, Melinda will demonstrate numerous techniques using this exciting ‘new’ medium that is rapidly gaining popularity with oil painters. In addition to speeding up drying time, Cold Wax brings an element of the unexpected to the painting process which is ideal for artists yearning to work more abstractly and intuitively. Known for her abstract figurative work, Melinda will include some focus on the figure, however all subject matter is welcome in this class. Students will leave with many new techniques and concepts to explore in their own work.

Students should have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of oil painting. (Acrylics will not work with cold wax).


Melinda Cootsona is a figurative painter in Northern California. Greatly influenced by the Bay Area artistic tradition, her paintings focus on the strength of the female figure. The paintings are created with layers of oil paint, applied and then scraped away revealing figures that fill the canvas in varying poses of contemplation or reflection in abstracted surroundings. Whether in a soft or harsh surrounding, the strength of the female figure is primary.

Having taught oil painting for almost 20 years to students around the globe, Melinda takes particular care to interact with each student individually to help them discover their own voice and work on their unique needs.

Melinda’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Triton Museum in California, The San Francisco Art Market, The Coos Bay Museum of Art in Oregon, and Art Basel Miami, as well as many group and solo shows throughout the U.S.


If a month before the workshop we haven’t reached the minimum amount of students for the workshop to happen the workshop will be canceled and students will receive a full refund.

If you cancel less than 60 DAYS prior to the start of a workshop you will receive half of your registration fee, If you cancel less than 30 DAYS prior the start of the workshop you will not receive a refund. If you must cancel in this time frame we encourage you to find a replacement, and your replacement can reimburse you for your course fee. If you cancel before the 60-day limit you will receive a full refund minus 3% processing fee.  Unfortunately, students who start a multiple-day class and are unable to attend any portion will not receive a refund.


Workshop will be canceled or rescheduled if inclement weather (hurricanes, snow storm, tropical storm, black ice, flooding, etc.) is on the forecast. No one should take any unnecessary risks. If the workshop is canceled, all registration money will be returned to the students minus 3% processing fee.  The workshop will be re-scheduled if possible for both parties.


Please do not hesitate to contact Melinda with any questions:

Oil Paint:
I prefer standard oil-based paint and not water soluble oil-based paint. Water soluble paints can be used with cold wax but you cannot use water with cold wax. You would still need solvent for many effects, so there is no particular advantage to using them with cold wax. Plus, I find that regular oil paints are superior.

This is a basic list of oil paint colors. Feel free to bring any colors that you are comfortable working with. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of new colors if you already have ones similar to those listed. I would recommend that you bring two or more transparent colors such as Indian Yellow, Transparent Red Oxide, Transparent Orange, Transparent Turquoise, Asphaltum (Gamblin), or a Quinacridone. Again, you don’t need all of these; those are just examples!!! Possibly a warm transparent and a cool one to experiment with.

• Titanium White (Large tube)
• Cadmium Yellow
• Cadmium Red
• Quinacridone Red or Alizarin Crimson
• Ultramarine Blue
• Manganese Blue
• A green of your choice such as Viridian, Sap, or Green Gold
• Gold Ochre
• One or two neutrals such as umbers and siennas
• Ivory Black (or any black you prefer)
If you are new to oil painting, Soho Urban Oils from Jerry’s Artarama has a starter set of 24 colors for around
$30. www.jerrysartarama.com

• 15-20 sheets of Arches Oil Paper 9 x 12 inches (No need to prepare or gesso this paper). We will be using this for small quick studies.
• 4-6 Panels (more if you work fast). The largest size should be no more than 20 x 20. You will be learning layering techniques and if the panels are too large you may not complete as many layers and therefore have as much fun!!

Options include:
Multimedia artboard which is great/easy to travel with and comes in many sizes.
Gessoboard or Clayboard by Ampersand
Wood panels cradled or uncradled, just be certain that they have been pre-gessoed by the manufacturer or you, and the gesso is dry before you arrive. Dick Blick has many options:

Mediums and Solvents:
I will bring Cold Wax and Odorless Mineral Spirits for your use, especially for those of you flying in who cannot bring these items on the plane. If you do live locally and want to bring some of your own that is fine too.

Odorless mineral spirits only, preferably Gamblin. I also prefer Gamblins’s Cold Wax medium.

Mediums such as Liquin or Gamblin’s Solvent Free Gel, etc.

•Two 4” rubber brayer, soft. I generally work with about 4 brayers at once in sizes ranging from 1.5 inches to 4 inches on the support sizes we will be working with. But you will want at the very least two 4” brayers.
Squeegee press now sells their own in several sizes. (https://squeegee-press.myshopify.com/) Other options include Speedball and Inovart. Make sure they are soft.
• Palette knife (at least one). My favorite style is Style #4 https://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-palette-knives-by-rgm/
• Squeegee, begin with the 6” version if you buy only one: either Mesermeister Silicon Bowl Scraper from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Messermeister-Silicone-Bowl-Scraper-Blue/dp/B003J373TQ)
One from Squeegee Press
• 1-2 brushes Generally we do not use brushes too much with cold wax, however bring one or two for certain
techniques. Any sizes, 6-12.

• Glass container with lid for mineral spirits (such as a small jam jar)
• Gloves
• Painter’s Tape (the blue kind) 1” – 1 and 3/4” width
• 1 Roll Paper Towels (Viva are the best)
• 1 Roll of Freezer Paper. You can often find this at your grocery store, but here is also a link.

These items can all be used with cold wax. Feel free to bring any that you have. I will also have some of these
on hand for you to try.
• Oil Bars such as Winsor Newton, Shiva, or R&F (NOT oil pastels)
• Pan pastels and/or regular pastels
• Materials and tools that you can use to create texture in wet paint surfaces
• Marble dust
• Graphite Powder

I highly recommend purchasing a copy of The Cold Wax Book if you become or are serious about using Cold Wax Medium. You do not need to bring it to class. https://squeegee-press.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage

Melinda will Supply:
Cold Wax
Odorless Mineral Spirits
From her own supplies, various dry pigments, oil bars and other fun items for you to try.
Please do not hesitate to contact Melinda with any questions:

Paint, mediums, oil bars, brayers, palette knives, brushes, Gessoboard and Clayboard by Ampersand available
Multimedia Artboard available at:

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Cold Wax Book, Squeegees, Brayers available at:


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