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Encaustic and acrylic artist: Off the clock with Vashty Hawkins


Vashty Hawkins, Assistant to the Vice Dean,
Continuing Professional Development, Medicine


Vashty has been with the University of Toronto (U of T) since 1989.


What do you do off the clock?

Vashty HawkinsI am an encaustic (wax) and acrylic artist, currently a member of the Rose Will Studio artist collective in the west end and also currently artist-in-residence at Toronto-based independent theatre company Royal Porcupine Productions. In addition, I host a website for my own work and offer encaustic painting workshops for beginners throughout the year.

How did you first become interested in painting?

Ever since I can remember, I was doodling with crayons as a toddler, then with watercolours and gouache (and probably macaroni and glitter!) as a child, then in oils as an adult. After spending some time away from painting, I started again in 2007 using acrylics and mixed media. I learned how to create encaustic paintings a couple of years later. I joined the Rose Will Studio collective in 2012, along with several other artists and photographers.

Vashty Hawkins' artwork

Where do you show your work? What medium do you work in?

Right now I work exclusively in either acrylic or encaustic mediums, and have also incorporated my digital photography into several of my pieces. I am represented currently by the Rose Will Studio collective and participate in a series of monthly shows there. I have also been featured at the Rhino, Scarborough Arts Centre, the Press Club, Gay Lea, the 3030, Goodfellas Gallery, Full of Beans Café, the Space on Wade, the historic Burroughes Building on Queen Street West, and the Twist Gallery in Parkdale.

Lastly (for now), I will be exhibiting my artwork for the entire month of June 2014 at the Fairview Branch of the Toronto Public Library.

What (or who) inspires or influences your work?

My artistic influences include (but are not limited to) Norval Morrisseau, Aubrey Beardsley, Mucha, Pauline Boty, David Hockney, Georgia O’Keefe, Tony Sherman, and Andy Warhol.

Vashty also posts work on her Twitter account.