IEA Member Artist Profile

Josie Rodriguez

Words From The Wise

Early Spring 2024 Featured Artist

A little more than twenty years ago, friends of collage artist Josie Rodriguez introduced her to encaustic painting, which had quite an impact.  Captivated by what she saw, Josie decided to explore the medium further by taking a variety of workshops both here in the US and abroad.

Since those early days, much of Josie’s work has morphed into a hybrid practice - blending both collage and encaustic techniques to create paintings, vessels and sculptural pieces that come from repurposing found objects with wax, natural elements and other textural materials.

Left: WHAT I SAW IN THE DARK, 20x20, Encaustic and ink on cradled wood panel, Josie Rodriguez

Three dimensional assemblage became a natural evolution for Josie due to her love for and experience with mixed media. She professes to be an intuitive artist and that she’ll often ask herself, “what if”?  The answer is usually unexpected with delightful results.  “It’s so much fun to repurpose things by adding ephemera to everyday items originally created for some mundane purpose,”  Josie shares.


Above left: RADICAL TRANSFORMATION, 18x10x18, Encaustic and paper Assemblage, Josie Rodriguez

Above right: CAPTURED BY THE LIGHT, 15x12x15, Encaustic and paper Assemblage, Josie Rodriguez

“My process is often deeply challenging yet gratifying because I am most often led by curiosity, especially when there are problems to be solved,” reports Josie. And that problem-solving ability has paid off. Many of her award-winning creations have been featured in a variety of online and print publications and accepted for a myriad of solo and group exhibitions. Josie’s work has also become part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe, NM.

In Josie’s personal practice, she takes inspiration from nature and is quick to recognize honeybees for their contribution to her art. From a technical perspective, she loves the variety of products that have been developed to be compatible with encaustic. As far as design is concerned, many of her paintings and sculptures are embellished with Josie’s poems and other writings that reflect her frame of mind during the creative process.

Josie often produces pieces in triplicate which she says helps her become more adept with a particular process or the elements of a piece. Experimenting and reproducing versions of the same subject often helps to improve a design. According to other expert artists, working in a series is considered a ‘best practice’. It is said that when you do a series, the real work begins after several versions - when your imagination is really put to the test. “Encaustic lends itself to so many techniques” Josie exclaims. “Trying new approaches fires up my imagination - experimentation is the most satisfying part of creating art. The possibilities are limitless!” Josie declares.

Right: Josie Rodriguez in her studio

Marketing her artwork has been a challenge for her, as it is for many artists. But Josie has become adept at selectively submitting her work for juried exhibitions and events over the years. This strategy has helped put her work in front of the public as well as other artists, which can provide valuable feedback. “Gradually, I decided to do what I can to stay visible and not fret about not doing what doesn’t suit me,” Josie quips.


Above left: THE LIGHTEST TOUCH, 10x10, Encaustic on cradled wood panel, Josie Rodriguez

Above right: ILLUMINATING, 10x10 inches, Encaustic on cradled wood panel, Josie Rodriguez

Widely exhibiting her work has also paid off by helping her connect with potential buyers who sometimes commission an original piece of art, a process that she really enjoys. Josie also likes giving encaustic demonstrations when the opportunity arises, which sometimes introduces her to potential students.

Teaching has become a notable part of Josie’s artistic pursuit and fortunately she has a home studio behind her main house, which has been an ideal place for her own practice as well as teaching others. Although a separate studio space is often considered a luxury, from a practical standpoint, Josie thinks that it can help to have the comforts of home out of sight and mind. Some say that having a dedicated workspace often replicates the feeling of ‘going to work’ and that moving from home to studio can help prepare for a day of productivity.

Left: Josie Rodriguez with her installation for an exhibit in Encintas, California

Josie teaches basic encaustic technique, assemblage, and mark making, and offers practice sessions at her studio. Having had a career as a teacher and a counselor, she has been able to use her talents and acquired skills to help other artists. Her teaching system, especially for beginners, starts with a conversation that is meant to uncover their reasons for being there. Josie then structures her classes with the individual’s goals in mind.

Josie is big on encouraging her students to be brave and just try, experiment and risk failure - in other words, learn by doing. Lots of people are talented but those who really succeed differentiate themselves through patience and willingness to take risks and work through the problems that arise.


Above Left: IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, 20x20, Encaustic and ink on cradled wood panel, Josie Rodriguez

Above Right: PERIPHERAL VISION, 20x20, Encaustic, ink, collage on cradled panel, Josie Rodriguez

“Every so often an artist will want to further their study and may even ask me to mentor them,” Josie states. “If they have shown a willingness to commit, I’m willing to help. In fact, over the years, I’ve seen several of my students improve their skill level to become confident and successful professionals. I’ve also noticed that several of them are adept at promoting themselves and their artwork - they know all about technology and how to maximize their presence on social media. It’s been really amazing to see and gratifying to know that I was able to help.”

Josie says she’s currently organizing a schedule that will allow time for past and present students to practice at her studio under her watchful eye. “It’ll be different than taking one of my classes and will be less structured in order to allow for more spontaneous creativity and experimentation,” Josie adds. “It’s all fun!”


Above: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE THROUGH, 24x36, Encaustic on cradled wood panel, Josie Rodriguez

In addition to creating her own new pieces, teaching and mentoring, Josie seeks out ways to connect with fellow artists by being an active member of International Encaustic Artists and closer to home, the artist guilds of Oceanside Museum of Art and San Diego Museum of Art.

About Josie:

Josie Rodriguez lives in the Mission Hills area of San Diego, CA.

You can see her work on Instagram at @josierodriguez1009

For more information, you can visit her website:

Many thanks to IEA Artist Profile author, Lin Holzinger, for this insightful Artist Profile of Josie Rodriguez!

An avid encaustic painter and art advocate, Lin Holzinger lives in a suburb of San Diego, CA, where she practices her art and enthusiastically demonstrates encaustic painting and monotype techniques to anyone who asks!

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"Ephemeral" -
IEA's Juried Exhibition
October 10 - November 15  , 2023
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