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Friday, February 26, 2016

Artists Changing Tomorrow 2016

work by Ken Muezenmayer in acrylic
In 2010, ARTS (Arts for Rural Texas) launched the first ACT International Invitational Exhibition.  ACT, Artists Changing Tomorrow, has been developed to sustain and maintain the arts and bring together the people who are interested in maintaining the arts' ever important cultural contribution. ACT is a prgram designed by and supported by artists, patrons and sponsors that understand the critical need to maintain the arts. These artists and patrons work tirelessly to "pay it forward." ACT's purpose is to raise funds to sustain the arts throughout the world.  Since 2010, ACT has raised over $100,000 that has contributed to arts and cultural events for over 6000 children and adults. 

We often say the arts are a universal language, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. The contributing membership of ACT truly believes this. Learning through the arts not only results in the creation of beautiful works, but contributes to greater academic achievement, higher test scores, and the creative thought that leads nations.  As well, art education helps develop a well rounded individual with better communication skills. 

The ACT International Invitational Exhibition is held biennially and consists of 100 works of art contributed by artists from across the world.  The exhibit and silent auction raises funds that ARTSa 501(c)(3) organization, uses to expand art education in an effort to offset the cutbacks in art education in schools.  

Ampersand is a proud sponsor of ARTS and this event, donating panels for each artist who contributes their work.  You can view the full gallery of this upcoming exhibition on the ACT 2016 website, and you can join the auction by proxy if you are unable to attend in person.

~Content from the ARTS and ACT websites.

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, February 23, 2016

Pastelbord™ Basics

Pastelbord™ is one of our absorbent textured surfaces, created for endless layering with soft pastel, oil pastel or colored pencil artists in mind.  Pastelbord is a clay and gesso coated hardboard panel with a granular marble dust finish comparable to a sanded pastel paper except more durable and more versatile.  It can be used with a combination of wet and dry media.  

An underpainting or wash can be applied to the entire surface with acrylic or watercolor before working pastel onto the surface. Blending with water or solvent, an artist can create layers of color for a deep, rich finish.  Water will not make Pastelbord rip or buckle, so you can use a damp cloth to blot away pastel marks to completely rework the image.   

Artist Ken Muenzenmayer has found Pastelbord to be one of his favorite surfaces for acrylic painting because the texture holds a long open time.  He finds that he can get rich, glowing color on Pastelbord that surpasses any other surface.

For more techniques on using Pastelbord, take a peek at our YouTube Channel.  Artist Kendra Ferreira shares her blending techniques with colored pencil and watercolor pencil on Pastelbord to get rich color underpainting.  




Pastelbord is not available in cradled panels as pastels need to be framed under glass for the most protection.  However, Pastelbord does come in four colors:  grey, green, sand and white and a variety of sizes.  

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, February 12, 2016

Current Events with Ampersand Artists



Exhibition in Scratchbord
The International Society of Scratchbord Artists is holding their annual exhibition this year at the at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in the Ironwood Gallery. The show will include 70 scratchboard works from artists around the world (represented this year are USA, Canada, Australia, and China). The public is welcome and invited to attend our show reception on April 8. The show will hang at the museum from April 8 - May 29.  More information about the event at www.scratchboardsociety.com

Workshop at Ampersand with Sandra Duran Wilson
Mixed Media artist and writer, Sandra Duran Wilson will be teaching numerous workshops this year, including one at Ampersand in Buda, Texas the first week in April. Information and registration for the class: Acrylic for Special Effects. In addition to her busy workshop schedule, Sandra is featured in the January Catalog at Xanadu  and in the January/February Issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

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, February 5, 2016

Featured Artist: Chantel Barber

Barber
Brennan on the Beach, 7" x 5"
Tennessee artist, Chantel Barber, has been a life-long portrait artist. Knowing at the ripe age of six that she was already an artist, Chantel told her parents that she would one day work for Walt Disney Studios. When she was ten, Chantel's family moved to San Diego, and she was able to see an art museum for the first time and began taking art lessons. Even at that early age, she poured herself into capturing the human soul. People have always been her favorite subject, even now. She explains, "I am drawn to a lot of things, but people tend to inspire me the most. I love telling their stories through paint. I do work from life but when approaching the smaller pieces that I love, I use my own photographs as references."  

Barber
She Paused, 5" x 5"
Chantel's early preference to drawing people was a quicker journey than that of finding the perfect medium.  It was in adulthood when she found acrylics.  Chantel came to acrylics because she needed a painting medium that would be transported easily, moving around quite a bit for her family needs.  Acrylics made more sense than the flammable oils she was using, and panels made sense for their durability over the paper she had originally used for pastel work. At first, Chantel made her own panels for painting, but discovered Pastelbord™ while looking for something more substantial.  Finding the panels to be a great fit, Chantel explored other ideas for her acrylic work and found Gessobord™.  "I remember how excited I was when they arrived in the mail.  It only took one painting to know I was hooked.  I also love that I can get them in smaller 4 x 4" and 5" x 5"s as I have found great satisfaction in creating small but powerful art." Chantel's thoughtful portraits recently caught the attention of Acrylic Artist Magazine, and her small, but powerful portraits are featured in the Winter 2015 issue.  
Barber
My Voice, 4" x 4"

Along with her commitments to painting, Chantel teaches and writes about her work. She is an instructor teaching portraits in acrylic and offering private painting critiques, in and around her home town of Bartlett, TN, which you can find out more about through her website: www.chantelsoriginals.com. She also has several of her own books published, including a new one she published this past summer, Capturing Life in Acrylic:  Step by Step Techniques.  Chantel keeps up a regular blog with her work and teaching at:  chantelsoriginals.blogspot.com.  And later this year, Chantel has several of her small paintings coming out in a children's book.

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, February 2, 2016

Featured Gallery Artist: Leslie Watts

Stefan, 23, 20" x 16", egg tempera on Claybord

Ontario artist, Leslie Watts is a portrait, landscape and still life artist, working in egg tempera on Claybord™.  She teaches privately in all age groups and there is a waiting list to get into her classes, to grasp not only the medium, but to get to know this Internationally recognized painter.  Leslie's work has been at the National Portrait Gallery in the UK and this past fall she was awarded the Honorable Mention of the Kingston Prize for her work, Stefan, 23.  The touring exhibit of the Kingston Prize will be on view at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and will run until February 14, 2016. On March 16, 2016, it will travel to Galerie d'Art Desjardins in Drummondville, Qu├ębec. Leslie shares quite a bit about both her technique and her new work on her blogs at:  lesliewattsportraits.blogspot.ca  and at lesliewatts.blogspot.ca.  You can also find out about her graphite and conservator's wax on Claybord:  new-work-in-graphite-and-conservators.html.

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.