An expert at hot wax painting, Taleen Batalian also has a burning passion for art education that she shares weekly as an instructor at the South County Art Association. “I’ve experienced moments of pure joy seeing my students – some of who are octogenarians – outdoors, in the brush, on their hands and knees drawing shadows on giant paper during an exercise in my Realism Into Abstraction class,” she says.
An alumna of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, faculty member in the Rhode Island School of Design’s Continuing Education program, and the former education director of Providence CityArts for Youth, Taleen says the classes are serious, but fun.
“Whether a beginner, ‘seeker of personal enrichment,’ or experienced artist, I make it my personal goal to meet each individual student where they are, being present to each one by listening and observing so I can get a sense of their strengths or possible inhibitions,” she says. “Saying the right thing to them at the right time can be key to getting them to do the work.”
Encaustic painting, as hot wax painting is known formally, is one of the techniques Taleen teaches to South County students, who craft their works of art using heat guns, irons, and griddles. “I’m attracted to the art form’s depth and intense, visceral qualities,” she says.