Advanced Cold Wax Workshop with Jerry McLaughlin

January 30 - February 3, 2019

Berkeley, CA


Jerry is mentor, friend, instructor, and teacher. Patient, intelligent, articulate and passionate about art and sharing his knowledge. By far the most beneficial workshop I have ever participated in.
— Barbara S.

Jerry has made some changes to his 2019 workshops:

All workshops will be at least five days. This gives participants plenty of time to paint, practice, and incorporate the workshop topics.

All workshops include a 45-minute, one-on-one coaching/mentoring session with Jerry. Artists have the opportunity to address technical, artistic, or professional development issues specific to them.

To make travel more convenient, artist essentially need to bring only their tools, paints, creativity, and enthusiasm. Jerry provides all the following supplies:

  • Gamblin cold wax medium

  • Gamsol odorless mineral spirits

  • Arches oil paper

  • Painting surfaces (multimedia artboard)

  • Gloves

  • Paper towels

  • Waxed, non-stick, and a variety of other papers

  • Texture materials, PanPastels, dry pigments, sand

  • Palette paper

  • Inks and other water-soluble media

  • and more!

Thinking of taking Jerry’s workshop? Make it happen, no matter the inconvenience, cost, or timing.
— Judy V.
It was well thought out and more giving of experience and talent than any other workshop I have taken.
— Dana G.

Unless otherwise stated, Jerry hosts his workshops in his large, sunny, Berkeley, California studio. All tables are counter-height, and stools are provided. There is a refrigerator, microwave, and unlimited coffee and tea. There are many hotels, Airbnb, shops, and restaurants within walking distance or a short Uber/Lyft/taxi ride away. The SFMOMA, de Young Museum, Oakland Art Museum, BAMPFA, countless world-class art galleries, and some of the best food and wine in the world can be part of your experience.


These workshops for artists with prior experience using cold wax medium who want to take their work to a deeper level. In addition to reviewing traditional and advanced cold wax techniques, to help participants think more deeply about their work, Jerry will offer special presentations and focused one-on-one consultations. During this workshop artists will be challenged to push beyond the “how” of art and into the “why”. Each participant can choose what they want to explore. Options include:

  • working in series and building a body of work: artists commit to a series of 3 or more paintings with common elements such as scale, color, shapes, and marks

  • developing your vocabulary for looking at and talking about your work: artists practice looking at their work, putting into words what is and is not working

  • problem solving your work: artists practice evaluating their work and formulating a plan for the parts that are not working to serve their aesthetic or their expression

  • developing intentions: intentions are what we are trying to do and say with our work and how we want to accomplish them; artists focus on defining their intentions and translating those to their work

  • editing: artists will develop their skill in keeping only what is essential to their work and letting go of everything else

  • alignment of form and content: artists will explore the importance of aligning the form of their work (scale, color, texture, marks, shapes, etc) with the content (intent, mood, message, aesthetic, meaning, etc).

Before the workshop, participants can choose their area(s) of focus. Jerry will send materials approximately one month in advance so that you can begin thinking more intently even before the workshop starts. Artists are encouraged to bring work in progress and to create new work during the workshop. During your 1-on-1 session with Jerry you can address: your inner critic, keeping creative energy, getting to the studio, creative blocks, business aspects of art, and more. The choice is yours. 

Jerry will cover ideas, techniques, and other material from Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations. Bringing a copy of the book to the workshop is strongly recommended.

**Because this is an advanced class not focused on basic techniques, in order to assure that the workshop is a good fit, participants must have taken a prior workshop with Jerry or Rebecca or must submit 6-8 works for review.**

In addition to these topics, Jerry will cover they following important technical aspects of cold wax painting:

  • color: aspects of color contrast including value, warm/cool, transparent/opaque, intensity/saturation/chroma, neutral colors

  • working thoughtfully with opacity and transparency in your work

  • complex layering of cold wax

  • mastering texture and controlling your surface

  • borders, boundaries, and edges in your work: making your surface feel unified

  • overall aspects of contrast in painting: value, texture, color, dimension, shape, line, and more

  • working with blacks and grays

I can’t imagine getting better, more inspired instruction anywhere.
— Lynn


Jerry McLaughlin, MD, initially trained as a pediatric critical care physician. He began his artistic career as a fine art photographer, but realizing he had always wanted to be a painter, he abandoned photography and started painting. Although encaustic was his initial medium, once he discovered cold wax and oils, he quickly transitioned and has never gone back. His work has been collected across the US and internationally and has appeared in many publications. He works with HG Contemporary Gallery in New York, DZINE Gallery in San Francisco, and ARTERRA in Seattle. In 2017, Jerry, with co-author Rebecca Crowell, published Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations. It is the first ever comprehensive book exploring the myriad techniques and ways artists are using cold wax medium. Jerry is passionate about teaching, and he holds a certificate in adult education from the University of Washington. His strength lies in identifying and addressing the individual needs of his students and helping them analyze and develop solutions to the difficulties they are encountering. Jerry maintains an active artist mentoring and coaching practice, working with artists around the world. He lives in Oakland, CA with his husband Mike and their dog Bert.