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Friday, February 5, 2016

Featured Artist: Chantel Barber

Barber
Brennan on the Beach, 7" x 5"
Tennessee artist, Chantel Barber, has been a life-long portrait artist. Knowing at the ripe age of six that she was already an artist, Chantel told her parents that she would one day work for Walt Disney Studios. When she was ten, Chantel's family moved to San Diego, and she was able to see an art museum for the first time and began taking art lessons. Even at that early age, she poured herself into capturing the human soul. People have always been her favorite subject, even now. She explains, "I am drawn to a lot of things, but people tend to inspire me the most. I love telling their stories through paint. I do work from life but when approaching the smaller pieces that I love, I use my own photographs as references."  

Barber
She Paused, 5" x 5"
Chantel's early preference to drawing people was a quicker journey than that of finding the perfect medium.  It was in adulthood when she found acrylics.  Chantel came to acrylics because she needed a painting medium that would be transported easily, moving around quite a bit for her family needs.  Acrylics made more sense than the flammable oils she was using, and panels made sense for their durability over the paper she had originally used for pastel work. At first, Chantel made her own panels for painting, but discovered Pastelbord™ while looking for something more substantial.  Finding the panels to be a great fit, Chantel explored other ideas for her acrylic work and found Gessobord™.  "I remember how excited I was when they arrived in the mail.  It only took one painting to know I was hooked.  I also love that I can get them in smaller 4 x 4" and 5" x 5"s as I have found great satisfaction in creating small but powerful art." Chantel's thoughtful portraits recently caught the attention of Acrylic Artist Magazine, and her small, but powerful portraits are featured in the Winter 2015 issue.  
Barber
My Voice, 4" x 4"

Along with her commitments to painting, Chantel teaches and writes about her work. She is an instructor teaching portraits in acrylic and offering private painting critiques, in and around her home town of Bartlett, TN, which you can find out more about through her website: www.chantelsoriginals.com. She also has several of her own books published, including a new one she published this past summer, Capturing Life in Acrylic:  Step by Step Techniques.  Chantel keeps up a regular blog with her work and teaching at:  chantelsoriginals.blogspot.com.  And later this year, Chantel has several of her small paintings coming out in a children's book.

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.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Featured Gallery Artist: Leslie Watts

Stefan, 23, 20" x 16", egg tempera on Claybord

Ontario artist, Leslie Watts is a portrait, landscape and still life artist, working in egg tempera on Claybord™.  She teaches privately in all age groups and there is a waiting list to get into her classes, to grasp not only the medium, but to get to know this Internationally recognized painter.  Leslie's work has been at the National Portrait Gallery in the UK and this past fall she was awarded the Honorable Mention of the Kingston Prize for her work, Stefan, 23.  The touring exhibit of the Kingston Prize will be on view at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and will run until February 14, 2016. On March 16, 2016, it will travel to Galerie d'Art Desjardins in Drummondville, Qu├ębec. Leslie shares quite a bit about both her technique and her new work on her blogs at:  lesliewattsportraits.blogspot.ca  and at lesliewatts.blogspot.ca.  You can also find out about her graphite and conservator's wax on Claybord:  new-work-in-graphite-and-conservators.html.

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, January 29, 2016

Aquabord Basics

Aquabord™ is an acid-free textured clay surface that absorbs watercolors like a fine paper.  If you are not yet familiar with our Aquabord, then here are some basic tips on how it works:
  • Colors retain their purity and vibrancy in a way that even the finest of watercolor papers can never match. 
  • This multimedia panel simulates the absorbency and texture of cold pressed watercolor paper, but allows color to be lifted back to white easily. 
  • It is perfect for watercolors and gouache, but is also ideal for casein and acrylics. 
  • Will not tear, shrink or buckle even under heavy water application. 
  • For best results, it’s a good idea to first “flush out” the surface of the panel with water using a large flat watercolor brush to release trapped air. Once the surface is slightly damp, it is ready to use. Rewetting may be needed as you work. Note that heavy water applications may release more air. Use a blow dryer to dry and also to dissipate air if needed.
  • Seal finished watercolors or gouache with several light coats of spray varnish (or fixative). We recommend the Krylon UV Archival Varnishes.
  • For additional protection against scratches during transport and also ultraviolet light, follow the application of Krylon® spray varnish with Golden® MSA UVLS or Golden® Polymer UVLS varnish. About 4 coats brushed-on, provides a very durable archival finish and is also removable for conservation purposes.
  • Aquabord is available in a 1/8in flat panel for standard framing behind glass and in a 7/8in, 1.5in or 2in cradle for either frameless presentation or for use with floater frames. 
  • As with all of our Museum Series, Aquabord is archival, eco-friendly and made in the USA.
Karen Vernon
watercolor on Aquabord by Karen Vernon
There are some amazing artists using Aquabord for their work; Karen Vernon shares more about how to start on Aquabord in this article:  Unleashing Dynamic Watercolors.

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, January 22, 2016

Featured Artist: Patricia Isaac

Isaac
Harbor at Peggy's Cove, 13" x 28", oil pastel on Hardbord

Patricia Isaac
Sunkist, 12" x 12", oil pastel on Encausticbord
Patricia Isaac is a life long artist and taught for many years in Massachusetts before settling into work as a full time artist in her favorite medium: oil pastel.  She is a founding member of the Oil Pastel Society and nationally recognized for her work.  Patricia shares how she came to find Ampersand and why it is a favorite material for her work.

"I had been using sanded papers for my oil pastels and wanted a way not to have to mat them, so I gessoed some masonite, but really found the surface too rough. I purchased some Ampersand panels already gessoed while in an art store one day. I really liked the smoothness with just enough tooth, so I was hooked. I also received a sample of the Encausticbord™ when it came out. I loved the surface, but find I can only do small paintings on it as the larger sizes are cradeled. These are my 2 favorite surfaces. I blend my oil pastels and the smoother surfaces work. I use Sennelier, Holbein and Caran’Ache oil pastels exclusively, and I am able to build many layers on these surfaces. For a long time I was an oil painter, but when I found oil pastels I never looked back. For me they are the best of both worlds, drawing and painting."

Patricia can be found online at her website and blog and her work at the ET Wright Building in Rockland, MA.

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, January 15, 2016

Current Exhibitons with Ampersand Artists

Cavanaugh
work by Ali Cavanaugh
Ali Cavanaugh has a new solo exhibit, Immerse, opening at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery in St. Louis, MO. The exhibit runs from January 15 - February 12, 2016 with the opening reception January 22, 2016 from 6 - 8 pm.  

Ali spent seven years in Santa Fe where she developed her modern fresco process on kaolin clay, our Aquabord. Her paintings have been the subject of numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. Cavanaugh's paintings have been featured on book covers, countless internet features such as the Huffington Post, Fine Art Connoisseur, Hi-Fructose and in numerous print publications including The New York Times Magazine, American Art Collector, American Artist Watercolor. 
Schowachert
work by Elizabeth Schowachert

A new Organic Fusion workshop at the Encaustic Center, March 25-26, 2016 with Elizabeth Schowachert, including Elizabeth's ink techniques and all supplies included.  The price of the workshop is $275 including two cradled 12x12 boards and one 20x20 along with MANY other supplies. These spaces fill up very quickly, so you'll want to register soon.  

The Encaustic Center has ongoing workshops with many amazing wax artists, and you can find more about the center, their resources and their workshop schedule online at their website:  theencausticcenter.com.

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.