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Friday, January 29, 2016

Aquabord Basics

Aquabord™ is an acid-free textured clay surface that absorbs watercolors like a fine paper.  If you are not yet familiar with our Aquabord, then here are some basic tips on how it works:
  • Colors retain their purity and vibrancy in a way that even the finest of watercolor papers can never match. 
  • This multimedia panel simulates the absorbency and texture of cold pressed watercolor paper, but allows color to be lifted back to white easily. 
  • It is perfect for watercolors and gouache, but is also ideal for casein and acrylics. 
  • Will not tear, shrink or buckle even under heavy water application. 
  • For best results, it’s a good idea to first “flush out” the surface of the panel with water using a large flat watercolor brush to release trapped air. Once the surface is slightly damp, it is ready to use. Rewetting may be needed as you work. Note that heavy water applications may release more air. Use a blow dryer to dry and also to dissipate air if needed.
  • Seal finished watercolors or gouache with several light coats of spray varnish (or fixative). We recommend the Krylon UV Archival Varnishes.
  • For additional protection against scratches during transport and also ultraviolet light, follow the application of Krylon® spray varnish with Golden® MSA UVLS or Golden® Polymer UVLS varnish. About 4 coats brushed-on, provides a very durable archival finish and is also removable for conservation purposes.
  • Aquabord is available in a 1/8in flat panel for standard framing behind glass and in a 7/8in, 1.5in or 2in cradle for either frameless presentation or for use with floater frames. 
  • As with all of our Museum Series, Aquabord is archival, eco-friendly and made in the USA.
Karen Vernon
watercolor on Aquabord by Karen Vernon
There are some amazing artists using Aquabord for their work; Karen Vernon shares more about how to start on Aquabord in this article:  Unleashing Dynamic Watercolors.

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, January 22, 2016

Featured Artist: Patricia Isaac

Isaac
Harbor at Peggy's Cove, 13" x 28", oil pastel on Hardbord

Patricia Isaac
Sunkist, 12" x 12", oil pastel on Encausticbord
Patricia Isaac is a life long artist and taught for many years in Massachusetts before settling into work as a full time artist in her favorite medium: oil pastel.  She is a founding member of the Oil Pastel Society and nationally recognized for her work.  Patricia shares how she came to find Ampersand and why it is a favorite material for her work.

"I had been using sanded papers for my oil pastels and wanted a way not to have to mat them, so I gessoed some masonite, but really found the surface too rough. I purchased some Ampersand panels already gessoed while in an art store one day. I really liked the smoothness with just enough tooth, so I was hooked. I also received a sample of the Encausticbord™ when it came out. I loved the surface, but find I can only do small paintings on it as the larger sizes are cradeled. These are my 2 favorite surfaces. I blend my oil pastels and the smoother surfaces work. I use Sennelier, Holbein and Caran’Ache oil pastels exclusively, and I am able to build many layers on these surfaces. For a long time I was an oil painter, but when I found oil pastels I never looked back. For me they are the best of both worlds, drawing and painting."

Patricia can be found online at her website and blog and her work at the ET Wright Building in Rockland, MA.

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, January 15, 2016

Current Exhibitons with Ampersand Artists

Cavanaugh
work by Ali Cavanaugh
Ali Cavanaugh has a new solo exhibit, Immerse, opening at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery in St. Louis, MO. The exhibit runs from January 15 - February 12, 2016 with the opening reception January 22, 2016 from 6 - 8 pm.  

Ali spent seven years in Santa Fe where she developed her modern fresco process on kaolin clay, our Aquabord. Her paintings have been the subject of numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. Cavanaugh's paintings have been featured on book covers, countless internet features such as the Huffington Post, Fine Art Connoisseur, Hi-Fructose and in numerous print publications including The New York Times Magazine, American Art Collector, American Artist Watercolor. 
Schowachert
work by Elizabeth Schowachert

A new Organic Fusion workshop at the Encaustic Center, March 25-26, 2016 with Elizabeth Schowachert, including Elizabeth's ink techniques and all supplies included.  The price of the workshop is $275 including two cradled 12x12 boards and one 20x20 along with MANY other supplies. These spaces fill up very quickly, so you'll want to register soon.  

The Encaustic Center has ongoing workshops with many amazing wax artists, and you can find more about the center, their resources and their workshop schedule online at their website:  theencausticcenter.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.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Featured Artist: Scott Daryn Tillett

"I've tried many of Ampersand's surfaces, but the Pastelbord seemed to compliment my technique the best.  They are truly the best surface I've ever used.  As long as you guys keep making them, I'll keep using them." ~Scott Daryn Tillett

The Spirit Within
Timeless Serenade
Colored pencil artist, Scott Daryn Tillett works his brilliant, detailed pieces through a tried and true formula, but with an interesting twist on his subject matter.  Even though his creations are built with careful planning, layout, and technical knowledge, Scott's mystical imagery comes to him from the dreamworld.  The highly detailed designs he creates are first sketched out in his morning routine through a dream sketchbook, kept by the bedside.  He explains, "I keep a dream sketchbook next to my bed that I sketch in every morning.  I take those sketches and fine tune them into a final work.  My subject matter changes depending on what dreams I have an how interesting I think other people might find them.  Most of my dreams include some type of nature, usually with spiritual overtones."  This couldn't be more evident than in his most recent work, Timeless Serenade and The Spirit Within.

Scott has been working in colored pencil for years, finding it to be his favorite medium, and building it up smoothly in layers to appear as oil paint, like the old Masters' work.  He began his study in colored pencil by trying layers with a soft touch, working on paper, testing out several brands of pencil, and finally changing up his surface.  He shares further, "I use Prismacolor pencils exclusively because of a wax binder they put into their pencils. I've tried the oil based pencils but they didn't seem to blend as well when using a heavy approach. With this in mind, I started applying the wax pigment with more force, completely covering my surface with color and not allowing the color of the support to show through. Back in those days, I was using paper, and I quickly realized that I was going to need a paper that had a lot of tooth so that I could apply heavy layer over heavy layer without destroying the paper. There are quite a few heavy papers on the market, and one of the best that fit my new technique nicely is sanded paper. I created a couple of works on this surface with good results but I was still not completely satisfied because now that the artwork was finished, it required some protection as the art was created on paper. I really didn't want to go through the expense of having to mat and frame my work behind glass, so I set out to find a surface that would compliment my technique as well as allow me to varnish and frame my artwork like an oil painting. This is when I discovered Ampersand." 
Crimson Window

Scott's work was recently featured in two colored pencil magazines last month, Colored Pencil Magazine and in Color Magazine.  Scott posts his most recent work, exhibition information, and sales information through his regularly updated Facebook page:  Artistic Visions of Scott Daryn Tillett.

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.