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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


"Transformation", originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Inspiring mixed media work by Fran Hardy on Claybord.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Featured Video: Demo from Kendra Ferreira

Artist Kendra Ferreira has a full background in drawing and portraiture and a range of skills using all types of media, but her love is colored pencil.  

After joining the Colored Pencil Society, Kendra came upon Ampersand products and has been working on Pastelbord™.  With a modern technique using solvents or water and brushes, Kendra is able to work the soft pigments of the pencils into the Pastelbord, layering color upon color.  Many people find her work to look like paintings.  In these videos, Kendra shares her technique and you can get a close up view of her teaching style.

Kendra also teaches workshops regularly in Rhode Island; upcoming workshops include Colored Pencil at the Providence Art Club and Colored Pencil Drawing at the Newport Art Museum.  You can find out more information at her website:

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, October 23, 2013

Featured Artist: Jonathan Webb

Jonthan's studio and Scratchbord awating.
This past spring, we invited artists to share their studios with us in pictures of their work spaces, where our panels lay waiting.  Jonathan Webb, scratchboard artist, was chosen  from this studio shot to be the featured artist on our blog.  Jonathan shares with us his artistic journey and finding Scratchbord™.

Renzo, 5" x 7"
I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in artwork, having sketched and drawn as a wee tyke. As a young teen, I branched out into watercolor and pastels and was encouraged to nurture this "gift," though I only thought of it as fun. Things changed dramatically when I discovered the Impressionists in my mid-teens. I was mesmerized by light and color, so I graduated to oils. I can't say I was self-taught because I bought every book I could find with tutorials in technique and color theory. Things started blossoming and after high school, I set up my own little portraiture business while doing landscapes and still life studies on the side. 

Then, in 1973, I discovered scratchboard and it was a real game-changer. I was immediately drawn to the addictive ability to produce very detailed work while satisfying the lust for exploring light and dark in ways that pen and ink and other mediums couldn't touch. Back then, I only had Essdee Professional Series to work with. It was fun, yet poster-board thin, difficult to properly mount and fairly unforgiving of mistakes. After moving to the Colorado high country in 1984, I continued to work with scratchboard, but plein air oils took the forefront again. I was smitten by the beauty of the scenery and couldn't resist. 
Tiber River Dusk, 9"x 12"

As the years progressed, I reluctantly had to put my artwork aside due to the progressive loss of fine motor skills and pressing family matters. I thought the art chapter in my life was over, so I resigned in despair and sold most of my studio equipment. 

Then, an odd thing happened. I found Facebook and eventually joined the Scratchboard Artist's group. I was dazzled by the work I saw there, and, just for grins, posted some of my older scratchboard pieces. I was so stunned by the wonderfully encouraging feedback that I found the "dark side" embers rekindled. 

Light Dreams ~ St. Peter's Basilica, 16" x 24"
Enter Ampersand! I learned of this fine product through Wet Canvas! and the FB scratchboard artist's group, so decided to give it a try. To my delight, I found the unique, buttery "tooth" of Ampersand Scratchbord™ actually helped steady my hand significantly. I was hooked and off to the races, resurrecting a long dormant passion. When coupled with Ampersand's inks, the archival quality of both truly satisfied my love of addictive, tactile black and white work while opening the door for my love of color and light. Nirvana!

To the beginning artist, I would say: Follow your bliss. Practice. Do artwork when you feel like it, do artwork when you don't feel like it, do artwork until you do feel like it. Just do it! And, as I learned the hard way, never, ever give up! When life's obstacles throw seemingly insurmountable curve balls your way, look for other doors to open to express your passion. Ampersand was that door for me. Thank you Ampersand!

To see more of Jonathan's work, follow him on Facebook:

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Dialogue with integrity"

India ink and acrylic on Claybord, 30"x 40" by Charles Ewing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"West Texas Sunset"

"West Texas Sunset", originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Soft pastel on Pastelbord, 24" x 36" by Mike Etie.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Art that Lifts Our Spirits Ampersand Award Winner: Lisa Goesling

Emerumus, 12" x12", Scratchbord with Ampersand Ink
Manhattan Arts International is one of several venues that Ampersand supports and sponsors regularly. It is a growing online resource and gallery for artists to gain exposure and business experience.  In the current exhibition,  "Art that Lifts Our Spirits", Ampersand was honored to choose a winner to receive the Ampersand Award, a blog post and representation on our website.  We chose Lisa Goesling's work, Emerumus, for it's beauty, simplicity, and complete conformation to the essence of the show, a work that truly does "Lift Our Spirits".

Inside of an Iris, Critics Choice Award for
Celebrate the Healing Power of Art
Colored Columbine
Most of Lisa's work is art that lifts our spirits.  Lisa is a two time cancer survivor who utilized art in her own therapy and healing and now takes her Scratchbord™ into hospitals to help other cancer and chronically ill patients.  She has always been artistic, a graphic designer before becoming a full time artist.  But, it was the Scratchbord work that Lisa came to when her own illness surfaced.  She found the boards were easy to travel with for treatments and the unique medium works extremely well for Lisa's chosen subjects- flowers and plants.  The black and white contrast of Scratchbord calls for a keen eye in drawing, and sometimes, the subject calls for color.   

This is the second time that Lisa's soothing, interesting Scratchbord work has caught the eye of Manhattan Arts International.  She entered the "Celebrate the Healing Power of Art" competition earlier this year and won three awards for her piece, Inside of an Iris.  It is evident that Lisa's work has not only been healing for her, but also brings healing and inspiration to others.

Along with Lisa's shows and awards this year, she was recently interviewed by Enid Silverman, host on Artist to Artist.  I pulled some footage from the show and posted it on the website a few weeks back, so you could see Lisa demonstrate Scratchbord.  Her skill, encouraging temperament and artistic eye are not going unnoticed.

Lisa's work is currently hanging in several exhibitions as well as online at her Manhattan Arts Membership page:  You can visit her work in person at her solo exhibition at the Envision Art Gallery in Chicago, extended through November 10th.  Her work is also hanging at the Cook County Law Library at the Chicago Daley Center through March of next year.  If you want to see more of Lisa's current work, process and keep up with her blog, tune in to her website:

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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Color Codes no. 10"

Encaustic and collage on Hardbord by Brad Ellis, 24" x 24", 2007.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"The bride wore white"

Watercolor work on Aquabord by Brad Diddams. More of his work at

Monday, October 14, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cold Wax and Daniel Smith Oils on Encausticbord™

Architectural Relic 2-111, oil, collage, wax, 12" x12"
“The translucency of the wax mixed with oils allows light to penetrate into the paint body giving it richness and vibrancy of tone.” ~Ginny Herzog

Minneapolis-based artist Ginny Herzog has been an invaluable Ampersand enthusiast for many years. This past year at NAMTA in Minneapolis, we were honored to have Ginny in our booth demonstrating her work on Ampersand panels.  Ginny shares with us her mixed media work process on Encausticbord.

I have been using Ampersand’s panels for my mixed media paintings since they first came on the market in 1994. Until recently, I worked mainly in watercolor and collage on the Aquabord™. But over the past several months, I have fallen in love with a new medium: Daniel Smith oils mixed with Dorland’s (cold) Wax Medium. I practiced my first attempts on Aquabord™ and Gessobord™, but found that the new Ampersand Encausticbord™ was a more outstanding surface for my new medium especially since it is tailor-made for wax, oils, collage and mixed media. It provides me with a rigid, smooth and consistent, archival surface that withstands the abuse of various methods that I use to achieve my textural effects.
I began by adhering the collage sections 
with Daniel® Smith's acrylic gel medium.

First, I take digital photos of architecture, both interiors and exteriors, manipulate them in Photoshop®, frequently eliminating objects or distorting the context of the original image. I print the photos on archival laser color paper and then use the prints as collage elements in my paintings.

Then, I added the oils mixed with Dorland's 
wax medium using the Colour Shaper® tool.
I collage my photos onto the panel with Daniel Smith Ultimate Acrylic Medium (matte) by brushing it onto the back side of the photo copy with an old flat paintbrush, then placing it onto the panel and rolling over it with a rubber brayer to make sure it has adhered completely to the panel and that there are no air bubbles.

I blotted the painted wet surface with wadded 
up plastic wrap to get this soft textural effect.
Next, using Artist’s Masking Tape, I mask out the edges of the photo collage that I want to protect from the oil paint. I apply Daniel Smith Oils mixed with the Dorland’s Wax Medium using tools such as palette knives, Colour Shapers (shown) or dough scrapers. After a few applications of the paint and cold wax, I remove the artist’s masking tape so that successive layers of paint blend well around the crisp paper edges of the collage.

The wax medium also enables me to build up more textures by blotting the painted surface with plastic wrap (example shown in yellow areas), papers or other textural materials in an additive method, as well as gouging, scraping and using odorless thinner in a subtractive method.

I frequently include architectural references as the painting begins to dry, adding linear detail by drawing into the painted surface with dental carving tools, oil sticks and Derwent® Inktense pencils. It’s nice how cold wax paintings dry and cure faster than pure oil paintings and that I can use polishing cloths to buff the painting when it is dry. I use both the flat and cradled panels. Generally, I apply three coats of ebony Minwax® stain to the cradle with a foam brush, wiping between coats and finally buffing after the last coat.
I added the architectural elements with a 
ruled triangle and a dental tool

Featured Materials
• Encausticbord™ 12"x12", 1.5" DEEP
• Dorland’s Wax Medium
• Daniel Smith® Oil Colors
• Daniel Smith® Acrylic Medium, Matte
• Colour Shaper® 5 tip set
• Archival laser color copies
• Artist’s Masking Tape
• Derwent® inktense 24 pencil set
• Utility knife
• T-square and triangle
• Rubber brayer
• Turpenoid® Odorless Thinner

Optional or readily available materials:
• Minwax® wood stain and foam sponge
• Wilton® dough scraper (cooking tools)
• Pick, Carver & Spatula (dental/clay carving tools)
• Plastic wrap and papers for textural effects
• Polishing cloths and Rubber Gloves
• Scissors, Cutting Mat

For more about this prolific artist:

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Bliss, originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Stunning watercolor on Claybord by Susan Wahlrab, 24" x 24". More of her work on

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Earth Echos"

Earth Echos, originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Beautiful symmetry and pattern work in acrylic on Gessobord by Brian Sylvester, 18" x 24". More of his work at

Monday, October 7, 2013


Shooters, originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Fabulous realism: Colored pencil on Pastelbord, 8" x 19" by Donna Slade.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Featured Artist: Susan Medyn

"I first became aware of Ampersand from bloggers I follow.  I read their glowing reviews and had to try it.  I love the forgiving nature of the surface and the ability to make works that literally sparkle on the board.  I have changed my style of painting since using Aquabord and this has opened a world of opportunities for me."  ~Susan Medyn

Egyptian Jungle
New England artist, Susan Medyn began painting 36 years ago, when she was dating an artist and couldn't keep away from the art materials.  Although she has formally trained as a therapist, Susan has taken numerous classes and workshops in painting over the years.  Mostly self taught, however, Susan has truly created a style all her own.  Her paintings are fantastical landscapes, plants and animals, telling a story in brilliant color and detail.

Gustave's Reverie
Susan has only more recently found Ampersand and Aquabord™.  She has been painting her whimsical stories on heavy weight watercolor paper for years, but has been drawn to Aquabord for it's unique abilities, to brighten hues and to hold up to layers and layers of working paint.  "Recently I have been using Aquabord for my more ambitious works, and I love the results. Aquabord makes a wonderful durable surface to paint on and I love being able to varnish my finished work," Susan explains.  "My process remains the same in that I draw my paintings in pencil, make revisions as necessary, then outline my painting with a crow quill pen and indelible ink, because I like the definition of form that it provides.  I think paint my picture often using a rich and bright color palette.  I feel that I am always learning and my early works on Aquabord had a much more reserved feel to them than my current works."

Rebirth of Venus
Susan's advice for art beginners are words that she lives by, reflected in her work and her blog.  "Work as hard as you can.  Do what you love.  Don't be afraid to experiment, create everyday, push your limits, take time to reflect and evaluate.  Your goals and your abilities may not be in sync for quite a while, but be kind to yourself and keep on working.  Listen to advice from other artists, keep what feels right for you and store what doesn't.  Take classes, play, listen to your creative spirit, spend time in museums, think outside the box, learn the language of art."
I like it That Way

There are a lot of international opportunities to see Susan's work this fall, winter and on into 2014.  She will be exhibiting at the Attleboro Art Museum in Attleboro, MA and at the Fall River Historical Association in November.  Starting in November and going through February, Susan's work will be in the Sian Group Exhibition in Bucharest and Jassy, Romania.  More details and all of her exhibitions can be found on her blog:

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.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"The Lover of Dawn"

The Lover of Dawn, originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Oil on black gessoed Hardbord by Stephen Schrimpf, 36" x 36", 2010. Stephen's work can also be found at his website:

Are you a Hardbord artist? Let us know and send pictures of your work to us!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Snakesong, originally uploaded by Ampersand Art Supply.

Detailed work by Darick Ritter, ink on Claybord, 30" x 30", 2011. More of his work on his website:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013