The Heroine’s Journey of Lorraine Glessner

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I work with encaustic (pigmented wax). I love the surface texture, the luminosity, the warmth and the smell of the beeswax satisfies all of my senses. The versatility of the medium itself allows me to paint, carve, sculpt and play. Beyond the medium, I am able to make work that reflects a combination of all that is around me and in me-the good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Making art in a peaceful environment close to nature, surrounded by those I love.

What is my greatest fear? Losing the ability to do the things I love to do.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I’m a workaholic and I don’t know how to relax sometimes.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Anyone who has overcome a hardship to do what they love to do.  Anyone who has gone against the voices who told them they couldn’t, but they did it anyway. Anyone who is driven by a desire to put something amazing out in the world in order to make it a better place.

What is my greatest extravagance? Art supplies. I love to browse art supply and craft stores looking for the new things that I can take home and experiment with in my work.

On what occasion would I lie? To prevent hurting someone’s feelings.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I think it’s more about how I approach it, than the work itself and it’s that I can be too fussy with it sometimes.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Now, when I’m painting is my happiest of happy.

If I could, what would I change about myself? My short temper.

What is my greatest achievement in work? My work in teaching, inspiring and helping others become successful artists.

Where would I most like to live? Utah, Colorado or Australia.

What is my most treasured possession? Special things that I’ve collected while hiking in the woods and desert-rocks, feathers, seed pods, branches, antlers, shells, leaves, robin’s egg shells, etc.

What is my most marked characteristic? I never say no to an opportunity and I rarely give in to a challenge, even if it seems impossible to achieve.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I love the gardens and walking trails in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, both in the city and suburbs. I like the trails less traveled in the woods, without pavement and where few people are.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? In my backyard, with my plants and my animals.

What books influenced my life and how? The Spell of the Sensuous so thoughtfully and poetically describes the human connection to the land. It changed the way I approached my work when I first read it many years ago and I still frequently read my favorite quotes.

Who are my favorite writers? Alice Hoffman, Rebecca Solnit, Annie Dillard, Italo Calvino, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julia Alvarez, Henry Miller, Jane Austin, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, the list goes on and on.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I have a very eclectic taste in music, I listen to everything. Always, makes me happy to listen to early Pearl Jam,  anything Radiohead, anything My Morning jacket and Led Zeppelin has remained a favorite since I was a teenager.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? There are so many great female characters, but the first one that comes to mind is Tita from the story, Like Water for Chocolate. I love her will of steel, her patience, her passion and her talent. And if the film is all you’ve seen, you must read the book-the film is actually pretty good, but the book is so much better.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Anyone who has overcome extreme hardship, abuse, loss, but has retained their human-ness and a spirit of learning, giving and gratitude.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? That’s like asking to pick a favorite potato chip, I have so many favorites. I would have to say Pan’s Labyrinth and Suspiria for bizarreness that inspires and always visually stimulating no matter how many times I’ve seen them.

What role plays art in my life and work? The two are one in the same, one can’t exist without the other.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I have many friends and family who help me do what I do and I couldn’t do any of it without them. But my husband is my biggest supporter and helper.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would love to collaborate with a poet.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? I would love to meet Judy Pfaff. I have always admired her work and since reading an interview with her 15 years ago, I have always wanted to meet her. She seems like a brilliant, yet down to earth person and I think it would be fun to talk with her for a while.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I always look forward to the time I set aside in the studio to experiment with different materials. Usually that time happens in the colder months..December through February. I have a list of possible experiments I keep all year. I’ve been playing with the idea of layers and doing a series of chunky sculptures I’m calling Layer Cakes, which incorporate fiber, wax, oil and other tactile  materials. Can’t wait.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? I will be presenting at the International Encaustic Conference in June and showing my work at several exhibitions. My full teaching and exhibition schedule can be seen on my web site at

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? It means that when you love what you do, you never stop doing it. No matter how old or tired your body is, you will always keep working.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? My dear friends..

Christine Shannon Aaron…

Dora Ficher…

Diana Gonzalez Gandofi…

How can you contact me?

Web site:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s