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Friday, November 28, 2014

Top Ten Ideas for Finishing Cradled Edges

Thinking both about the versatility of wood and the creativity of art materials, here are the top ten ways to finish the cradled edges of our panels.  Some of these techniques can be applied before painting and some should be applied after, depending on the rest of the work and mediums used.
Blocking off edges pre-painting; Staining edges after completed painting

Consider taping off the edges before completing the painting to keep the cradles clear of paint.  Painters' tape works very well.  After completing the painting, remove the tape and apply a finish to the cradle.

If you have some other ideas or techniques, please share them with us in the comments below.

1.  Stain:  Wood stain shows the beauty of the natural wood grain through brilliant, lasting color.  Stains are available in opaque and transparent ranges with a huge variety of application styles, hues and outcome.  Consider finishing on top with a shellac or polyurethane to protect the integrity of the wood and prevent moisture damage.

2.  Texture gels:  Acrylic gels come in many viscosities and are extremely versatile; color via acrylic paint can also be added.  For collage or mixed media works, applying texture gels like a glass bead gel or molding paste will add a sculptural touch to a piece.

3.  Ink:  For brilliant color and staying power, ink can be applied to the natural wood before or after sealing with a polyurethane.  Inks can be acrylic or shellac based in a range of hues.  Shellac can also be colored with universal tints or aniline dye.

4.  Cold Wax:  Cold wax is an oil painting medium used to make oil paints thicker and more matte.  It can be applied with oil paint as a colorant, or used alone as a matte varnish.

5.  Polyurethane:  It is recommended to seal cradled edges to prevent minimum moisture damage over time for a completely archival piece of artwork.  However, polyurethane whether water or oil based may be tinted with colorant.  It can also be used in a satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish to get a range of effects.  Paint over a polyurethane to achieve a different finish or hue. 
Airbrush acrylic applied before sealing the cradled edges
Ultramarine blue and Transparent Brown Oxide GAC

6.  Acrylic paint:  Acrylic might be the single most versatile medium to apply to cradles.  A soft bodied or fluid acrylic can cover opaquely, finishing the edges in a solid color.  However, an airbrush paint covers with a translucent effect, showing the natural wood grain and giving brilliant color.  Sealing with a polyurethane can occur before or after using acrylics, depending on the desired effect.

7.  Furniture wax:  Since the cradled edges are high quality wood with a beautiful grain, they can be finished with a high grade furniture wax, either over stain or polyurethane or on bare wood.  Wax takes time to apply, but leaves a silky smooth finish that is easy to clean and protects the wood beautifully.

8.  Gilding:  Gilding is sensitive work, but stunning in effect as the metallic edges of a panel reflects the appearance of a traditional frame.  Take time to practice with metallic leaf on a flat surface before attempting a cradled edge, and be sure to seal the surface after gilding.  

9.  Danish Oil:  Danish oil is easy to apply, as beautiful as stain, and there is no need to seal.  Danish oil penetrates wood beautifully and comes in a range of hues or natural.  Since it is a mineral spirits base, it is vital to protect the surface of the work before applying.
Edges wrapped and collaged with old encyclopedia pages

10.  Collage:  The beauty of the cradled edge is that the artwork can be wrapped around the edge of the painting, treating the piece as three dimensional artwork.  Collage works well for this type of treatment and is intriguing from the side view.  


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, November 25, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Jane Carr



Big Dutchman, egg tempera on Claybord by Jane Carr

Upstate New York artist Jane Carr paints the landscape with egg tempera, taking careful notice of how the landscape changes with weather, farming, animals and buildings.  Jane regularly exhibits her work locally and nationally and will occasionally teach egg tempera in her home studio.  

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, November 20, 2014

Featured Artist: Rock Newcomb

Southwest Hotties, 11" x 17", acrylic on Claybord
Arizona artist, Rock Newcomb has had a life long love affair with creating art.  From an early age, he was drawing portraits and he continued to study through college and graduate school, obtaining both a Bachelors and Masters in Fine Art at California State University.  Before working full time as an artist, Rock taught art for over 25 years at high school and junior college.
Pueblo Colors, 30" x 20", acrylic on Claybord

In college, Rock's undergraduate degree was in illustration and his graduate degree was in the fine arts, where he  experienced a range of art materials and media.  With his sense of detail and representational style, watercolor, gouache, oil and colored scratchboard served his purposes.  However, Rock found acrylic to be a more suitable medium.  "Approximately 18 years ago, after working on a watercolor for numerous days, I accidentally spilled iced tea on it and helplessly watched as the painting partially dissolved.  The next day, I purchased the three primary and black and white colors in acrylic.  Using techniques acquired working with oil and watercolor, I began teaching myself the use of acrylic, and have been working with them ever since," he explains further.  

Claybord was a natural substrate for him to try while Rock was practicing scratchboard art 18 or so years ago.  A fellow artist gave him some samples, and he has been using Claybord and Gessobord exclusively since.

With Rock's busy exhibition and commitment schedule, he hasn't had time to teach workshops in the past several years.  However, you can see much more of Rock's work online and in person represented at these galleries: Astoria Fine Art, in Jackson, Wyoming; Huey’s Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona; and Lord Nelson’s Gallery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Sun Seekers, 12" x 9", acrylic on Claybord


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, November 18, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Nancy Bass

Nancy Bass
Zoe and Ella, oil on Gessobord

"My paintings take a contemporary look at the beauty and personalities of animals.  Set against abstract fields of color, my models - each with a unique name and face - are two herds of cattle I have raised with my husband for the past thirty years on our farm in Southern Albemarle." ~Nancy Bass

Nancy Bass does teach workshops and exhibit her work regulary.  Join her eNewsletter list or follow her website for regular updates on her events.  

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, November 11, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Steve Miller


"September Morning" by Steve Miller
September Morning, soft pastel on Pastelbord, 24" x 36"

Steve Miller's work, "September Morning" was accepted into the 33rd Annual Pastel Society of the Southwest National Juried Exhibition now showing in the Convention Center and Visitors Bureau in Grapevine, TX through November 28th.

Steve is also part of the juried exhibition Broadview: A Spectrum of Nature to benefit the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, running through November 23rd.

Texas artist, Steve Miller works in both oil and pastel, represented by the Weller House Gallery in Ft. Worth, TX, the Adobe Western Art Gallery in Ft. Worth and The White Buffalo Gallery in Glen Rose, TX.

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, November 7, 2014

The Artist Panel: Canvas Texture

The top benefits of using the Artist Panel in Canvas Texture:

canvas texture panel

Value Series Artist Panel™
• Acrylic gesso ground on MDF
• Medium canvas texture for optimum paint control
• Ampersand quality at an affordable price

Many Fine Art and Craft Uses:
• Ready to paint with oils, acrylics and mixed media
• Perfect for altered art, collage and found objects
• Simple to hang and frame

Do you want more control over your paint applications and brighter truer colors? Then try the Artist Panel™, a top quality MDF panel sealed with acid-free acrylic gesso with added canvas texture. Perfect with oil paints and acrylics, the ready-to-paint canvas-like texture gives artists all the advantages of painting on panel, but with the familiar feel of a fine linen or canvas. The durable rigid medium density fiberboard support makes the Artist Panel ideal for palette-knife painting and multi-media applications. Available in a 9mm panel with hanging slots on the back, a ¾" and a 1.5" cradled profile. The cradle support frames are hand made using 1/2” birch plywood offering maximum stability and support. 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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Janel Hart-Eleftherakis



Sepia 3, 30" x 30", oil on Gessobord
Massachusetts artist Janel Hart-Eleftherakis works in both oil and acrylic, creating contemporary portraits, often from photos taken by her daughter, Jenny.  
You can find more of her work at artbyjanel.com or through her gallery at Saatchi.  

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.