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Friday, April 25, 2014

New Ampersand Products for this Spring


6" x 8" flat panels
A few weeks ago, we announced the new sizes, 6" x 8", in our Museum Series panels, packed in 3's.  They are a fun new addition to our product line and will be immensely helpful to those who travel with panels or who work plein air.

But now. . . 


We are also carrying new profiles, 7/8" and 1.5" cradles for Aquabord™ and Hardbord™!  

And larger sizes for Encausticbord™ and Hardbord 2" cradled panels, including 10" x 10", 16" x 16", 30" x 30" and 36" x 36" square plus 24" x 36", 30"x 40" and 36" x 48".  
New Hardbord Cradles

And new 10" x 10" sand 16" x 16", flat profiles for both Claybord and Gessobord.  Seriously great stuff to build up your studio supplies.

And now, you can find Aquabord, Pastelbord, Scratchbord and Artist Panels on SALE!!!

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 18, 2014

The Artist Panel: Unprimed Basswood

The Unprimed Basswood panel is handcrafted using a non-flexible basswood top, sanded perfectly smooth and ready to seal and prime with the ground of your choice. Compared with other wood panels on the market, the Unprimed Basswood is sanded perfectly smooth and lacks plywood seams, knots or raised fibers providing the cleaner, more professional look artists’ want. The support frames are made with quality solid pine strips that can be finished with paint or stain. Unprimed Basswood is great for encaustic, mixed media, collage and wood engraving and accepts all types of painting grounds .

All wood should be sealed and primed. For further instructions on sealing a priming, visit these previous blog posts:  
Available in two standard cradled profiles, 7/8” and 1.5”, both are simple to hang or frame.  You can find a chart on the standard sizes here:  Standard Sizes for Unprimed Basswood.  Ultra-stable, these wood panels will not give, bend or flex and like all Ampersand’s panels, they are made with quality materials that have been tested not only for durability, but also for performance with artists’ paints. For ideas on how to treat the edges of the cradle, consult this article on hanging and framing.

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 11, 2014

Featured Artist: Linda Merchant

Eggs and Pitcher, 11" x 14", 2012
"As a realist artist, it is my task to create light from pigment, dimensionality from a flat plane, movement from stillness. The inhaled breath just before flight, the flickering of an egret's feathers. The moment between moments, where one can pause and wonder at an instant in time, preserved forever. My goal as an artist is to find the small, hidden beauty in the world, to bring it closer to your eye, as a reminder to take the time to appreciate the wonder of light and form and color that surrounds us."  ~Linda Merchant
Bed Head, 11" x 14", 2012

Special education teacher, Linda Merchant, grew up drawing, enjoying artwork through frequent gallery visits, encouraged to paint and create with supplies and lessons, and mesmerized by the works of representational artists.  "I'd have my nose an inch away from some of these prints studying the brush strokes.  I couldn't fathom how they were done so realistically, and that kind of became my challenge from then on, to figure out how to do that," she explains.
Bowl of Oranges, 2014

Linda pursued her challenge, primarily self-taught, learning from other artists through online forums and videos where she could see technique and get an understanding for all of the variables of painting.  Linda also shares how important it is to understand one's subject matter from life.  "Studying from life is crucial, because many important details don't show up in photos - colors may not be accurate, and details in dark areas may not be visible.  Study how light reacts and bounces around the environment.  It's important to do a variety of different subjects, as each one will react to light differently, but by doing a lot you gain a catalog of how light should behave in a certain situation, and what to look for."  In her own work, Linda exemplifies what she has gained from observing nature and objects closely.  She paints some of her own subjects from photos she has taken, looking for interesting light patterns, textures or colors to keep her interested.  Moving from still life to animal life keeps her challenged and entertained in her work.  

Linda works in both pastels and oils, preferring these materials for their luminosity and brilliance.  She uses traditional ways of creating her work, spending hours layering and glazing.  Getting to know her materials is just as important as getting to know her subject matter.  Linda explains how moving from student grade paint to artist grade made such a difference in not only how much paint she was using, but in the richness of her work.  "I used student grade paint for a long time before switching to artist's grade, and it's amazing the difference using quality materials has."  Linda came to Ampersand Gessobord™ for similar reasons on using the best, finding that the higher quality board made for a better smooth surface to hold paint, allow for the proper amount of oil absorption, and will not deform over time.  Plus, the boards store and frame easily.  Her preference to create quality and use quality materials go hand in hand, and her work shows it.
Keeping Watch, 11" x 14", 2011

Even though Linda's full time work is special education, she finds time to teach art and paint meticulously.  You can see Linda's work in person, as she will be demonstrating at Art Fest  at High Hand Gallery in Loomis, CA this weekend.  This year, there will be about 30 different artists doing their craft, April 12th and 13th from 10-5.   You can also see more of Linda's stunning work in her online gallery at:  www.lamgallery.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.