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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gessobord and the Environment: A review from Jivan Lee

Santa Fe artist and environmental consultant, Jivan Lee shared some insightful details with us recently about his experience with Ampersand panels.


Contemplating the Nei Jing, 72" x 72"
"I'm a professional artist with a Master of Science in environmental policy. As an artist, I paint large gestural oil paintings on location using big brushes and palette knives, creating finished works that are thick with impasto and end up somewhere between representational and abstract.  I've had paintings exhibited nationally at museums and educational institutions and been featured in publications such as Plein Air Magazine and Art Business News. As a consultant on environmental issues, I've worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) "greening" sports stadiums and figuring out innovative business-friendly responses to climate change in the West; I've supported local food systems in northern New Mexico and traveled internationally doing the same; and, I've directed a small non-profit program, the Project for Art and the Environment, that works with the Taos Pueblo tribe in Taos, NM." 
A Moments Peace,  20"x 16"

"I choose Ampersand products for their artistic merit. The simple reason is that Gessobord is the best surface I've found, the one most able to meet my needs. Because Gessobord is archival, I trust it to stand the test of time and protect finished works without interrupting their original intent, thereby protecting my collectors' investments. I also trust Ampersand's craftsmanship to reliably produce surfaces that stay stable through the varied weather and climatic conditions that my work faces – be it on-site in blustery northern New Mexico or when shipping works across the country. In terms of performance, I prefer Gessobord's consistent surface response and ability to stand up to my rough application of paint. And the little bit of tooth ensures that my paint adheres to the Gessobord surface but is not interrupted in the middle of long passages or brushstrokes.


Piedra Lumbre, 24" x 36"
Were Ampersand products lower quality, I wouldn't use them. But it is also true that were they not made of Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials, I would have been far less likely to give Ampersand a try. FSC is one of the truly reputable organizations overseeing the use of forest-based materials -- according to NRDC, it’s the only credible forestry certification. Seeing Ampersand's sourcing decisions, as well as its more systematic thinking with regard to solvent use and manufacturing processes, helped me gauge whether the company was "green washing" or truly making a genuine effort to reduce its impact. I believe it is the latter. Taking steps toward an improved environmental impact also meant looking for products manufactured closer to home; Ampersand makes its panels here the US. A third criteria was whether a company treated its customers with respect and modeled being a good community member. Every exchange I've had with Ampersand has left me heartened and happy to be using its products – the employees have consistently been friendly, prompt, helpful, and accountable. 

The Magic Sky, sunset, 18" x 24"
I paint because I love this world and want to share its beauty with others. Using products made by people who clearly care about their craft and the world around them is an essential part of my larger philosophy of positive change. And so wherever possible I choose Ampersand for my painting surfaces."

Thank you Jivan.   To see more of Jivan's work and his upcoming show schedule, take a look at his website:  www.jivanlee.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.

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