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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Featured Artist: Lynnette Shelley

Nightlight, "11 x 14", ink and acrylic on Aquabord

Pennsylvania artist, Lynnette Shelley's unusual and culturally charged artwork has won numerous awards and found its way into collections across the world.  Her mixed media pieces are a conglomeration of her drawing passion and the collection of interests she has pulled from Celtic art, wildlife, archetypal symbology and art nouveau.  Lynnette explains, "I've been fascinated by artwork from native cultures from all around the world, and also by the folklore and mythology from those cultures. This was natural as when I was a child, Greek mythology and fairytales were some of my favorite reading material. So, my current style is an amalgam of things I have picked up over the years as well as my love for patterns and stylized shapes. These sort of all meld into the pictures I am creating now."

Scolding Bird and Horse, 18" x 24", ink, acrylic
and Pysanky eggshell mosaic on Aquabord
Lynnette's drawing has been the primary focus of her work, guiding her to mixed media and to find Aquabord™, a toothy surface that grabs her drawing utensils. "I originally worked on paper and illustration board since I am heavily into drawing. However, as I developed my background splash techniques, I needed a sturdier surface and one that could absorb water well. I also wanted to be able to eliminate glass framing from the finished process as I did not want a barrier between the viewer and the artwork, not to mention the expense of custom glass frames. Doing some research online, I came across Ampersand's Aquabords. These seemed to be the perfect solution for what I wanted to do. I picked some up several years ago and they have been a game changer in my artwork practice. I would say at this point 85 percent of my artworks are on Ampersand Panels. Usually Aquabord, though I have also used Gessobord and Hardbord as of late," she shares.  Lynnette works with ink, acrylic and sometimes unique materials like Pysanky eggshells.  Her subjects, passions and media come together as a story all in one striking piece.

El Pulpo, 12" x 12", ink and acrylic on Gessobord
This coming July, Lynnette will be part of a Philadelphia exhibit, DNC Donkeys Around Town, featuring 28 artists who have painted 57 life-size fiberglass donkeys, representing the fifty states, six U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. The exhibit, for the Democratic National Convention, will be displayed around Philadelphia at popular tourist spots and Lynnette will be featuring Missouri and Oklahoma for her two donkeys.  However, if you would like to see Lynnette's work on panels, or purchase her work, you can find her in numerous places.
Lynnette regularly exhibits her work and is represented by (and co-curates) at the JAM Gallery in Malvern, PA and also by Mala Galleria in Kennett Square, PA.  You can keep up with her current work on our Facebook Group where she posts frequently, or you can find her full exhibition schedule on her website:  lynnetteshelley.com/art-shows

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.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Current Events with Encaustics & Ampersand Artists

There is always a lot going on with exhibitions, workshops, book releases and awards with our followers and Ampersand artists.  This month, encaustic artists, Bonny Leibowitz and Elise Wagner both have great happenings in their regions.

Announcing a new 2 day workshop with T.E. Siewert at The Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX. The workshop, Cold Wax and Oil Expressions: "Exercising your Artistic Voice" will run August 27th and 28th many of the materials supplied,  including Ampersand Gessobord™.  This is an exploratory class to demonstrate and allow students to engage cold wax medium with oil paint.  The instructor will demonstrate various techniques and work individually with each student to develop color palette and basic compositions.  For more information, the details are coming to The Encaustic Center website.


Elise Wagner "Genesis"
work from Elise Wagner's "Genesis" exhibition
Portland Artist, Elise Wagner has a solo exhibit, "Genesis" running now through May 28th at the Butters Gallery in Portland, Oregon.  She uses encaustic painting and a unique printing process called "encaustic collagraph" to create her complex, layered artwork.  

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, May 13, 2016

Encaustic Resources: Tips on Beginning with Encaustic Paint

The first step to painting with encaustic is melting the paint. At room temperature encaustic paint is a solid. When heated it becomes a workable liquid.  In this liquid state it can be applied to the surface with brushes, but you can also get paint on the surface by pouring, dipping or using heated tools.  

Here are some basic tips for painting with encaustic: 

  • Make sure your temperature is between 180-200°F and you have your surface thermometer on your palette. 
  • Select the colors you will be using and decide if you want to melt paint directly on your palette or in palette cups. 
  • Decide which brushes you would like to use and arrange them on or next to your palette. You will notice that it is necessary to keep your brushes warm so that they remain soft and ready to use; pausing with your brush will cool and harden the paint.  The types of brushes you use will affect the way you apply the paint to the surface; a soft hake brush will leave almost no brushstrokes while a bristle brush will. 
  • If you apply warm paint to a warm panel the paint will flow more readily onto the board, while if you apply warm paint to a cool panel the paint will cool quickly and create texture. 
  • It is helpful to heat your support directly on your palette or with the use of a heat gun. If you skip this step the paint will cool very quickly and you will have short brushstrokes. 
  • You can come back to a painting at any time to rework it with the addition of heat. 


This content is from the R+F Handmade Paints blog and website.  For more resources on encaustic painting,check out our Encaustic Resource Center.

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, April 29, 2016

Gessobord Basics

Jennifer Philips
Starting Point
mixed media on Gessobord by Jennifer Philips

Museum Series Gessobord™ is the most trusted pre-gessoed wood panel by artists for their work. The coating is 88% thicker than other gessoed panels on the market.
The superior quality acrylic gesso ground does not dull colors, and the wonderful lightly sanded surface provides exceptional brush control. 

Made with true high density hardboard, from US-grown and renewable Aspen wood fibers, and coated with Archiva-Seal™ technology-- the surface is acid-free, non-yellowing, and archival. Every panel is protected by our proprietary Archival-Seal™ barrier technology, the most advanced formula for sealing wood that prevents support induced discoloration. Gessobord is archival, eco-friendly and formaldehyde-free, it doesn't get better than that! 

These panels are perfect for all painting styles with oil paints, acrylics and mixed media. We build our cradles by hand with premium grade 13-ply birch plywood for maximum stability and a clean, finished look from edge to edge. The cradle can easily be painted or stained to complement the artwork or primed with gesso to wrap the image around the edges. 





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, April 22, 2016

Featured Artist: David Somers

Seattle artist, David Somers recently started using Claybord™ for his laser engraving work and has shared his process and some of his work with us.  Below are two of his recent pieces in the process.  A big thanks to David for sharing so much of his learning and process with us.  This is such an interesting and original way to take on Claybord.  


Mt. Vernon Tulips, Laser Engraved Claybord, 5" x 5" 
before color application
"Laser engraving and laser cutting is typically done with lasers that create their beam by exciting CO2 gas using a number of techniques.  The materials they work on are mostly organic materials like wood, acrylic, plastics, leather, paper, glass, and rubber. A laser works by creating a coherent beam of laser light, one in which the rays of light are all parallel to each other.  Think of of it as a cylinder of light as opposed to the spreading cone of light you get from a flashlight.   That beam gets directed around the machine with mirrors until the beam is aimed down a tube and through a lens that is much like a magnifying glass.  That lens focuses the laser beam to a tiny point which is where it has the power to affect your material by either cutting all the way through it or just engraving a certain distance into the material.

In the case of Claybord I tried engraving the surface.  I found that by varying the power and speed of the engraving I could just kiss the surface of the Claybord, removing some of the clay layer without breaking through into the tempered masonite below it, or I could break through the clay layer and expose the dark board.  By applying more power and slower speeds I could dig deeper into the board if I wanted to create more of a bas relief effect.
Mount Ranier & Lodge, Laser engraved Claybord 
with Prismacolor pens & alcohol

My process so far is to take a photograph, usually a color image, and to convert it to gray scale.  Then I run that image through any number of digital photographic filters to reduce the image to a line drawing.   The laser engraving doesn't show until the surface of the Claybord is breached to reveal the board underneath.   The result is a two tone image made up of the white clay and the darker under-layer MDF.  Lightly scoring the surface of the clay does create a faint subtle shadow depending on your lighting but that is not enough to simulate a gray scale image.  The process does create a certain amount of soot as the clay is lased away.   Once the engraving is done I have used plain water, dish soap and sometimes a mild scrubber to wash the soot off.   

Once I confirmed this process worked well I played with applying some media to the Claybord.  So far I have only tried Prismacolor pens and watercolor.  I am not an artist so these are fairly feeble attempts that someone with even modest skill in any painting media could surely improve on.  The engraving process didn't seem to affect the remaining clay layer in terms of its ability to accept a paint."


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.