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Friday, July 31, 2015

Current Events: Diana Lee

One of our Scratchbord artist friends, Diana Lee, has a lot going on this year.  Having just closed an annual exhibition with the Silicon Valley Women's Caucus for Art, Diana's full year is just getting going.

Currently, Diana's work is hanging in the O'Hanlon Center for the Arts, featuring the Bay Area Women Artists in a juried exhibition running through August 20th.  The opening reception is on August 4th along with a roundtable discussion of the participating artists on their creative process.


Diana Lee
Camellias Reflecting
Diana also had work in the annual International Society for Scratchbord Artists exhibition, where she was honored with the People's Choice Award with her work Camellias Reflecting.

This coming October, Diana will open her home studio give viewers a chance to see her art in person. This year during the Art Trails weekends, October 10/11 and October 17/18, there will be a sale wall where some of her work will be more affordably priced.  To keep up with everything that Diana is working on, follow her Facebook page or 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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: José M. Fontaiña


Out of the Blue, acrylic on Gessobord
Jose is an internationally reknowned artist, born in Spain and partially raised in the U.S.  He exhibits internationally and more of his beautiful work can be found on his website:  josefontaina.webs.com

"My paintings are a true reflection of myself and I enjoy the wonderful freedom that originality provides,” says Fontaiña. I describe my work as being a good Caldo Gallego, a delicious Galician soup made by mixing together many vegetables and meats. Instead of using cooking ingredients, I use the elements of art. Creating art is my full time job. I am obsessed with it, but it is a healthy and rewarding obsession. Each blank surface is a painting with a new beginning, an intriguing puzzle that must be solved, and a wonderful means for discovering myself in a way of life that I love to live.”    ~José Fontaiña   

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, July 24, 2015

Featured Artist: Leslie Neumann


"Good materials are crucial for good art - not only for the in-the-moment experience, but also for the legacy of the work.  Much of my work has been collected by museums and corporations and residential clients, and so I feel good that I use the best of everything.  I am a very loyal customer of R & F Handmade Paints, the pioneer in encaustics and oil pigment sticks, and now a partner with Ampersand Panels for their Encausticbord." ~Leslie Neumann
photography by George Blanchette
Florida artist Leslie Neumann, knew as a young child she was an artist, remembering drawing when she was two and three. During her freshmen college year, in the midst of family tragedy when she lost her only sibling in an automobile accident, she found herself committing to fine art full time.    Reinventing herself, she transferred to the California College of Art to receive her BFA and later moved to NYU for her MFA.  After years of living and teaching in New York, St. John's University in Queens, Leslie moved to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida to work full time as a painter and active environmentalist.

Installation at Firebirds, photo by Nancy Rankin
Leslie's love of landscape came with her move to Florida.  The figurative work faded away as the lush Florida vegetation and native bold colors caught her attention.  "I never gave myself permission to distort the figure- as did Francis Bacon or Willem DeKooning or Pablo Picasso, although they were my favorites, but I have no problem painting the landscape on my own terms.  While my landscapes are representative to a degree, they are quite abstract.  Paint is always the first and foremost consideration, not depicting something accurately," Leslie explains.  "In the last decade, I have added a cosmic dimension to my landscape-esque work.  It seems natural to me to be thoroughly immersed in the hot, primitive wetlands- and then to drift effortlessly up into the nether regions of space, where we are released from time and gravity."

Leslie began her journey as an oil painter, but found that her large impasto passages took years to dry.  In 1989 a friend gave her "some wax" to try and she never looked back.  The combination of the oils and wax gives her the impasto she likes along with the atmospheric and diaphanous look of the oil sticks.  She explains further, "I also love how you simply cannot predict what will happen with wax.  You put it down, but then when you heat it up to bond it to the surface of your substrate - anything can- and does happen.  You must be fully present when you work with wax, not just for the fire and safety aspect, but because you're making seat-of-the-pants decisions second by second.  I love the surprises.  I swear that half of what I end up with is a gift that comes from the materials!"
photography by George Blanchette

Besides the numerous corporate and private collections around the country, Leslie's work can be found in Firebird restaurants around the country as she was commissioned from the national chain's opening to create original work for each location.  You can also find Leslie online at her website, to see more of her collection and videos of her philosophy.

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, July 17, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: Cheryl Williams


Cheryl Williams
Oregon Coast, 24" x 36", 2014, acrylic on Claybord

Cheryl Williams' work is in residential and corporate collections around the world.  Besides painting abstract landscapes and contemporary works in acrylic, she sculpts and creates Prosperity Bowls.  

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, July 15, 2015

Top Ten Reasons to paint on Unprimed Basswood


Artist Panel
1.  No preparation needed in order to start with Encaustics.  If you're looking to try encaustics or need a dependable, solid panel for your artwork, look no further.

2.  Wide open to accept any type of ground: glue size, acrylic gesso, and oil-based or alkyd primeres.  Raw wood panels should be sealed first, however, before applying any ground to preevent support induced discoloration.  

3.  Free of seams, large knots and raised fibers.  Each panel is selected from the finest premium basswood.

4.  Smooth finish with limited wood grain, sanded to perfection.

5.  Available in sizes up to 18" x 24" and in two profiles 7/8 in and 1.5 in.  

6.  Great for mounting canvas, paper, giclees.  The smooth finish is perfect for mounting other art, prints or canvas and readily accepts most adhesives.  

7.   Ideal for intricate wood engraving, mixed media, painting, altered art and more.

8.   Superior dimension stability sturdy 4 mm plywood with solid pine cradles outperforms all other brands of plywood panel.  

9.  Easy to hang and frame!  Attach hanging hardware and you're ready to go!  For ideas on how to treat the edes of the cradle, consult this article on hanging and framing.

10.  Like all Ampersand products, the Unprimed Basswood is fully tested for durability and also for best performance with artists' paints.

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, July 3, 2015

Featured Gallery Artist: Andrea Raft

Andrea Raft
Into the Woods, 30" x 24", mixed media on Gessobord
photography by Aaron Sedway
"I collaborate with my son Aaron Sedway who is a photographer, and I use his photos in my mixed media pieces.  We are currently represented by Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, California and we have shown our work throughout the California area." ~ Andrea Raft , California mixed media artist 

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.