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Friday, July 24, 2015

Featured Artist: Leslie Neumann


"Good materials are crucial for good art - not only for the in-the-moment experience, but also for the legacy of the work.  Much of my work has been collected by museums and corporations and residential clients, and so I feel good that I use the best of everything.  I am a very loyal customer of R & F Handmade Paints, the pioneer in encaustics and oil pigment sticks, and now a partner with Ampersand Panels for their Encausticbord." ~Leslie Neumann
photography by George Blanchette
Florida artist Leslie Neumann, knew as a young child she was an artist, remembering drawing when she was two and three. During her freshmen college year, in the midst of family tragedy when she lost her only sibling in an automobile accident, she found herself committing to fine art full time.    Reinventing herself, she transferred to the California College of Art to receive her BFA and later moved to NYU for her MFA.  After years of living and teaching in New York, St. John's University in Queens, Leslie moved to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida to work full time as a painter and active environmentalist.

Installation at Firebirds, photo by Nancy Rankin
Leslie's love of landscape came with her move to Florida.  The figurative work faded away as the lush Florida vegetation and native bold colors caught her attention.  "I never gave myself permission to distort the figure- as did Francis Bacon or Willem DeKooning or Pablo Picasso, although they were my favorites, but I have no problem painting the landscape on my own terms.  While my landscapes are representative to a degree, they are quite abstract.  Paint is always the first and foremost consideration, not depicting something accurately," Leslie explains.  "In the last decade, I have added a cosmic dimension to my landscape-esque work.  It seems natural to me to be thoroughly immersed in the hot, primitive wetlands- and then to drift effortlessly up into the nether regions of space, where we are released from time and gravity."

Leslie began her journey as an oil painter, but found that her large impasto passages took years to dry.  In 1989 a friend gave her "some wax" to try and she never looked back.  The combination of the oils and wax gives her the impasto she likes along with the atmospheric and diaphanous look of the oil sticks.  She explains further, "I also love how you simply cannot predict what will happen with wax.  You put it down, but then when you heat it up to bond it to the surface of your substrate - anything can- and does happen.  You must be fully present when you work with wax, not just for the fire and safety aspect, but because you're making seat-of-the-pants decisions second by second.  I love the surprises.  I swear that half of what I end up with is a gift that comes from the materials!"
photography by George Blanchette

Besides the numerous corporate and private collections around the country, Leslie's work can be found in Firebird restaurants around the country as she was commissioned from the national chain's opening to create original work for each location.  You can also find Leslie online at her website, to see more of her collection and videos of her philosophy.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: Cheryl Williams


Cheryl Williams
Oregon Coast, 24" x 36", 2014, acrylic on Claybord

Cheryl Williams' work is in residential and corporate collections around the world.  Besides painting abstract landscapes and contemporary works in acrylic, she sculpts and creates Prosperity Bowls.  

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Top Ten Reasons to paint on Unprimed Basswood


Artist Panel
1.  No preparation needed in order to start with Encaustics.  If you're looking to try encaustics or need a dependable, solid panel for your artwork, look no further.

2.  Wide open to accept any type of ground: glue size, acrylic gesso, and oil-based or alkyd primeres.  Raw wood panels should be sealed first, however, before applying any ground to preevent support induced discoloration.  

3.  Free of seams, large knots and raised fibers.  Each panel is selected from the finest premium basswood.

4.  Smooth finish with limited wood grain, sanded to perfection.

5.  Available in sizes up to 18" x 24" and in two profiles 7/8 in and 1.5 in.  

6.  Great for mounting canvas, paper, giclees.  The smooth finish is perfect for mounting other art, prints or canvas and readily accepts most adhesives.  

7.   Ideal for intricate wood engraving, mixed media, painting, altered art and more.

8.   Superior dimension stability sturdy 4 mm plywood with solid pine cradles outperforms all other brands of plywood panel.  

9.  Easy to hang and frame!  Attach hanging hardware and you're ready to go!  For ideas on how to treat the edes of the cradle, consult this article on hanging and framing.

10.  Like all Ampersand products, the Unprimed Basswood is fully tested for durability and also for best performance with artists' paints.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: Andrea Raft

Andrea Raft
Into the Woods, 30" x 24", mixed media on Gessobord
photography by Aaron Sedway
"I collaborate with my son Aaron Sedway who is a photographer, and I use his photos in my mixed media pieces.  We are currently represented by Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California and we have shown our work throughout the California area." ~ Andrea Raft , California mixed media artist 

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Encaustic Image Transfers on Panel


Artwork by Cynthia Winika
Encaustic Transfers
Encaustic image transfer is the transference of a printed or drawn image onto wax. The adhesive properties of wax allow images to be transferred; a burnisher or spoon is the only tool necessary for transferring onto wax.

Black and white and colored photocopies and some computer ink jet and laser prints (all of which can be enlarged or reduced), carbon and graphite paper, graphite, charcoal, pastel, and oil drawings, colored transfer tape/book embossing tape, press type, and images transferred onto waxed paper can all be transferred onto wax.

The best method for transferring is to place the print or drawing face down onto a smooth, flat waxed surface that has been fused within the last half hour. The wax surface can be either encaustic medium or the pigmented paint. A smooth surface works best, as a textured surface will not pick up all the details of the image. Using the etching burnisher with pressure, rub in an overlapping circular manner the entire back of the image. This makes the image transfer from the paper to the tacky wax. If you are transferring from carbon paper or transfer tape, use a rounded tip (ball point) pen to avoid tearing the paper or tape. Certain copy machines make prints that are harder to transfer than others (the best machines are those in which the heat-setting device is broken or older machines in which the toner is less permanent or does not penetrate into the paper).

If the image does not transfer after the burnishing step, wet the back of the paper and continue to burnish. Pull off the paper, if it sticks, dab on more water and gently rub/roll the paper off. A small amount of paper stuck to the surface will not matter since the next step involves fusing which will transparentize any paper that remains. A light fusing should be done so that the wax encapsulates the transferred image. Allow the surface to cool. Keep in mind that the image will be delicate because it is close to the surface. It can be left this way or, apply a thin layer of medium over it to make it less vulnerable. A heavy fusing will cause the image to break up, and may leave an interesting effect. 

~from the Encaustic Resource Center on R+F Handmade Paints  

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.