The Lofts at Beacon Gallery
18 Front St., Beacon NY
February 8—March 8
Sat., February 8, 6-9 p.m.
A very early drawing experience during childhood might
be one with a pen and staff and a bottle of
It remains a favorite way for many to express their artistic talents.
is a relatively
art technique to try
and the materials are easily carried wherever you go. Those two reasons
make it very appealing to both old and young artists.
The pen you use is the first place to
Everything from real feather quills and commercial "quill"
to elaborate points and staff collections is an option. Everyone who
wants to do ink
drawings should experiment with a wide range of
instruments before settling on just one. Many artists pride themselves
on the use of high quality tools. One company that offers a wide range
of materials is Koh-I-Noor. They offer all styles of pens from exquisite
fine writing instruments
to sketching pens. They also have a good range of inks—bottled, bulk for
style—from which to choose.
But your "pen" might not be a pen at all. Some artists
love to use a long, flexible twig. Dip it in ink, stand over the sheet
drawing pad and do a
drawing standing up. This is great for gesture drawing but is fun in any
situation. Feather quills are pretty neat too, because they make
irregular lines...thick and thin and changing all the time. That freedom
of line is a
to loosen up - like doing artistic warm-up exercises. Don't like that
look? Why not flip the feather and draw with the soft, fluffy end? Who
knows what you might discover?
Inks come in every
degree of opaqueness.
India ink is thick and extremely opaque. Some liquid stains make great
inks, too. And there are metallic inks created with minute iridescent
particles. Clear or opaque, the style of your work will change with any
of the choices. And isn't that a great creative opportunity?
After selecting your pen—or instrument—and ink, the only
thing remaining is the surface upon which to draw. Choices are abundant.
Pads, sheets and bound books of high quality papers abound and the
surface textures vary enough to give you just the feel you want. Slick
Bristol papers are good for ink because they allow the lines to sit on
the surface for
complete clarity and definition. Softer styles of
paper, even some handmade sheets, are great for many methods, and the
slight snags and catches they create can give an entirely new look to
Panels and boards, like gessoed panels and illustration
boards, are great for high quality, absorbent yet smooth surfaces for
drawing. Claybord by Ampersand,
http://www.ampersandart.com/claybord.html, is one
of the coolest surfaces for ink work. The surface is slick and smooth
and just absorbent enough to take and hold the ink. If you want to
recover whites, simply scratch through the clay coating and voila! You
have a pure uncompromised white again. Any sharp scraping tool, from
blade to needle, can be used.
Artists love to find new surfaces, tools and methods
with which to experiment. Ink and paper have been around for hundreds of
years, but they still offer a great experience when it comes to
creativity. And remember that you can take your "tools" with you so
easily, they might even fit in a sealable plastic
sandwich bag. Traveling offers new visions and
subjects - what could be easier or smaller? Why not take advantage of
the ease with which you can do drawings and carry your creativity along
for the ride?
Airbrushing Water-Based Artist Colors: Watercolor, Gouache and Acrylic
Water-based paints are well suited for use in the airbrush for several
Artist watercolors were the first mediums employed in airbrush technique.
Early in airbrush history, they were used for photo retouching and
illustration; and today they are used in both of these applications as well
as fine art painting. Watercolor is especially good for use with the
airbrush because it doesn’t tend to clog the tip.
Both pan watercolors and those in tubes can be thinned with water for
airbrushing. When using pan watercolors you can lather the paint with
a paint brush and then transfer it via the brush to the airbrush color cup
(or reservoir) for spraying. Tube watercolor, the type most commonly
used, can be thinned with water in a cup or jar and then poured into the
Beware! Watercolor in pans or blocks can easily turn into “mud” when
intermixing colors. Mixing and thinning tube watercolor in a container
makes cross-contamination of colors less likely. Once the watercolor
is dry in the container, it can easily be reconstituted by adding water, so
there is little waste of paint.
Gouache was originally the name of a painting technique using an opaque
watercolor. Gouache is made of the same materials as transparent
watercolor with the addition of precipitated chalk, which makes it opaque.
Today the term gouache refers to the medium rather than the technique.
This paint was preferred by illustrators and photo retouchers alike and
years ago it was handmade by artists. It’s a somewhat easy paint to
make and at first was not necessarily designed to be colorfast or permanent.
Illustrators were primarily interested in the speed of application rather
than the longevity of their artwork, since the artwork was to be reproduced
and not exhibited. However, years later many renowned illustrators
regretted doing renderings that had become valuable over time in a less than
Today, the commercial brands of gouache are referred to and known as
designers’ gouache, still manufactured for the commercial field but also as
a fine art medium. Contemporary gouache is lightfast and very durable
with a brilliant, extremely opaque color range. Like watercolor,
gouache is easily reduced with water.
Artists who incorporate airbrush technique in their work prefer artist
acrylic colors when working on canvas. Unlike oil paint, acrylic paint
dries very quickly. Therefore, artists are able to easily work with
all the different types of stencil materials. Acrylics are also fairly
easy to clean from the airbrush (but not as easy as watercolors) with the
use of soap/water or commercial water-based paint airbrush cleaner. In
addition, they are also low in toxicity and somewhat waterproof when dry.
And, like oil paints, acrylic paints are colorfast. They are also
ideal for working on paper, illustration board, acetate, Claybord, etc.
Most artists working in the fine and commercial arts who utilize an airbrush
in part—if not all—of a rendering, will use water-based artist colors.
See your retailer and ask for Academy Acrylics, Academy Watercolor
and Finest Watercolor by Grumbacher and Horadam Watercolor
and Gouache by Schmincke; and visit
Each month you’ll find informative articles that deal with a variety of
subjects such as artists and art history, current events and art world
news, schools, competitions and workshops, and a Kids’ Korner. Subjects
vary each month. art supplies, airbrushing, drawing, painting,
printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, matting and framing, arts and crafts,
and more. These explain various techniques—how to work and paint with
artist's watercolor on paper, oils or acrylics on artist canvas; how to
use pastels, pencils or pen and ink; how to work with different
surfaces grounds; how to paint with the airbrush and compatible materials;
the use of projectors and light boxes in your work and more. You’ll also
find artists information on magazines, art books. (Established
ARTtalk Cybercopy - posted
February 1, 2014
(ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is posted on
the 1st of every month.)
Birthday to be Celebrated—The
Brooklyn Museum will celebrate Judy Chicago’s 75th birthday with
Chicago in L.A.:
Judy Chicago’s Early Work 1963-74,
a Survey of the Artist’s Early Career. Opening April 4 through Sept. 28, it
will bring together more than 55 objects that feature the artist’s minimalist
sculpture alongside her
Series, her large-scale
paintings and documentation of her environments and performances.
Philadelphia Museum of Art has announced the acquisition of one of the nation’s
leading private collections of contemporary art, formed by Keith L. and
Katherine Sachs. This promised gift of 97 works has a concentration of works by
Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly, a strong focus on major British and German
artists and important works of outdoor sculpture, large-scale photography and
will present a central sculpture from Jeff Koons’ highly acclaimed
series at the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Feb. 13 in
London. Cracked Egg
(Magenta) (1994-2006), mirror-polished stainless steel
with transparent color coating and standing over 6 ft. tall, is expected to
realize between $16 and $24 million.
Uplifted: The Rise of African-American Fine Art on
Feb. 13; view the catalog online at swanngalleries.com.
by Anna Hyatt Huntington will fund a science education
program at The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, CT, after
realizing $315,000 at
Heritage Auctions recently.
K. Littleton, internationally acclaimed and recognized for his work in founding
the American Studio Glass Movement in 1962, has died in North Carolina at age
91. His promotion resulted in the introduction of glass programs at art schools
and universities, etc., throughout the country during the late ‘60s to early
Costume Institute Renamed—The
Metropolitan Museum (NYC) will designate the space occupied by The Costume
Institute as the Anna Wintour Costume Center. The complex has been completely
redesigned and renovated and will reopen on May 8 with the inaugural exhibition
Charles James: Beyond
Fashion. Ms. Wintour is Artistic Director of Condé
Nast and Editor-in-Chief of
as well as a Trustee of the Met.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, has announced that it has
received a $9.6 million bequest from the estate of Charles H. Schwartz. The
largest bequest ever received by the museum, it will establish an endowment to
expand and enhance the museum’s collection of English and European works of art
from the 18th century and earlier in memory of the late Schwartz, a former
New Kids’ Blog—Madison
Square Kids has launched the
Mad. Sq. Kids Cubby,
a monthly blog presenting arts and craft activities, scavenger hunts throughout
the park, recipes and fun family activities. See http://www.madisonsquarepark.org/things-to-do/calendar/kids/kids-cubby-snowmen.
Madison Square Park, a seven-acre urban oasis, is located in the heart of
Manhattan’s Flatiron District .
Works on Loan—Olana,
home of Hudson River artist Frederic Edwin Church in Hudson, NY, has loaned five
works to the exhibition In
the Temple of the Self: The Artist’s Residence as a Total Work of Art,
presented by the Museum Villa Stuck,
Munich, Germany, through March 2. Olana is one of 20 artist homes highlighted
in the exhibition and one of only three representing the U.S.
2014 Cole Fellowship—The
Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill, NY, is reviewing applications for
fellows to participate in the research and interpretation of the work, home and
studio of Thomas Cole (1801-1848). Three applicants will be selected to join
the site from June 4-Nov. 5, 2014. A monthly stipend and free shared housing at
the site is provided. Deadline: Feb. 18. See http://www.thomascole.org/internships/.
Northeast National Pastel Exhibition-View,
Old Forge, NY—June 28—August 3. Open to all artists working in soft pastel.
Entries must be of original design and personal execution, and at least 80% of
the final paint surface must be executed in soft pastel. Awards. Deadline:
March 15. http://viewarts.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79&Itemid=183
Beacon Open Studios—This
annual event is scheduled for May 2-4, Noon-6 p.m. Standard
registration is through Feb. 28; late registration is March 1-May 1.
(Late registrants will not be included on the map and will not be guaranteed a
spot in the Kickoff Show.)
NEA Funding Programs—The
National Endowment for the Arts has announced that application guidelines are
now available for Art Works and Challenge America
Fast-Track at the NEA’s website, arts.gov, for 2015 projects.
Organizations are encouraged to consider applying through Art Works for
funding to support innovative collaborations that strengthen the field of
community arts journalism and arts criticism or create new art out of
partnerships between artists and those from sectors outside the arts . Depending
on the type of project in the application, the Art Works deadline is
either Feb. 20 or July 24. Challenge America Fast-Track
offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that
extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. Deadline is May 8.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Internship
college, a recent grad or a young adult looking to make a career transition,
this is an opportunity to learn in an “out-of-the-classroom” setting.
Priority Deadline for
Summer 2014 is April 7.
High School students from the Art
Institute of Mill Street Loft, Poughkeepsie, have been awarded 72 Regional
Scholastic Art Awards in an annual competition sponsored by Scholastic, Inc.,
honoring students for creative excellence. Included were 32 individual Gold
Keys, 31 individual Silver Keys, 3 Gold Key Portfolios and 3 Silver Key
Portfolios. Three American Visions winners and 5 of their award-winning peers
will host a panel discussion at Mill Street Loft on Sat., Feb. 15, 5-6:30 p.m.
They will discuss their creative process and their participation in the Art
Institute’s rigorous Senior Project course. millstreetloft.org
Artists’ Collective of Hyde Park—Feb.
7, 5-8 p.m., fundraising event for the House of Hope
features wine and chocolates, raffle, prizes and an art purchase discount. Feb.
14, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Second Annual Have a Heart-Buy Some Art Fundraiser for the
Heart Association. Bring your sweetie to this Valentine’s Day wine and
gourmet chocolate tasting event and enjoy art, a silent auction, door prizes and
Young Collectors Party, Feb. 27,
7:30 p.m., features dinner in the
Wright restaurant followed by a celebration in the rotunda at 9. Funds raised
will help purchase new acquisitions of works by emerging artists. guggenheim.org.
The Armory Show,
Piers 92 and 94, NYC, March 6-9. Xu
Zhen has been chosen as the commissioned artist for the 2014 edition.
Center for Digital
Arts Student Show, Peekskill Division of Westchester Comm. College,
includes the traditional fine art of painting and drawing, including work from
the digital arts. An Opening on Feb. 4 includes special animation and video
screening. Through Feb. 22.
Washington, National Portrait Gallery,
Washington, DC, uses
reproductions of original photographs, prints, drawings and maps to document
how the Civil War affected patterns of life in the District of
Columbia. Through Jan. 25,
All Fired Up, a
National Juried Glass & Ceramic Exhibit, Gallery 66 NY, Cold Spring, NY, opens
Feb. 7—March 2. Fourteen glass/ceramics artists have been selected to
participate, with sculpture, objets d’art, wall pieces and art installations
Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, Manhattan, is presented in commemoration of
Black History Month. Included are works by 17 artists that reflect on the
struggles and victories of the Civil Rights Movement past, present and future,
as well as those individuals who have advanced the cause. Thru Feb. 27.
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The Pages Of ARTtalk!
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sculpture, sculptors, printmakers, printmaking, pencils, pencil, brush, brushes,
decorative, women, drawings, pens, inks, papers, illustration, boards, canvases,
portrait, collages, colors, studios, exhibition, crafts, classes, workshop, drawing,
pen, ink, workshops, magic markers, landscapes, portraits, history, paper,
canvas, color theory, arts and crafts, studio, competitions, exhibitions, news,
oil, pictures, software, figure painting, erotic art, tattoo, framing, mat
cutting, matting, holidays gift, guide, kid's, children's, newsletter,
materials, products, marketplace, stores, supply, material, retailers,
wholesaler, organizations, books, frisket film, watercolor, acrylic, gouache,
carving, fine art, aquamedia, magazines, lessons, artists, painters,
printmakers, potters, weavers, weaving, textile, pottery, lithography, screen
printing, silkscreen, carving, wood, poster, tools, prints, compressors, museums,
galleries, schools, lessons, instruction.
Eclipse Airbrush, Iwata Airbrush, Medea Textile Colours, Medea Com-Art Colours,
Ampersand Art Supply, Artool, General Pencil Co., Silentaire Technology,
American Art Clay Co., Graphic Chemical & Ink, Grumbacher, Schmincke,
Chartpak, Higgins Ink
Get a copy of ARTtalk at
Genesis Art Supplies, Prizm, Artcetera (Bermuda), Coast Airbrush,
Reuel's Art & Frame, Blick Art Materials, Artist & Display, Utrecht, Reddi Arts,
Discount Art, Continental Art Supplies, Graphaids, Commercial Screen Supply,
Keith Coldsnow, Blaines, Bellevue Art and Frame, New York City Art Supply,
ART in Beacon NY
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Printmaking Techniques & Materials
Printmaking is an enjoyable expression and is
accompanied by some terms that often seem a bit difficult to
understand. So, here some of the common terms and techniques will be
explained. The scope of printmaking is huge and can be enjoyed by
nearly any age group. Some of the materials used are found around
the home, while others must be purchased from art material
Graphic Chemical & Ink Co.
No matter the level of your involvement with
printmaking, it is sure to be exciting. In some techniques,
duplication of results is nearly impossible, which seems a bit
contradictory to the basic term: printmaking. Let’s take, for our
first example, the most direct and simple of prints…monoprints.
A monoprint (mono meaning one) is created by
applying ink or paint to a hard flat surface (plate), pressing paper
against the plate and lifting the paper from the plate. The
resulting print is one-of-a-kind, since ink or paint would be nearly
impossible to set in the same place time after time. Simple doesn’t
mean uninteresting, and this is a great technique for any artist.
Collagraph, a very simple form of
printmaking, is a print created from a plate (Masonite, mat board,
chip board, etc.) that has natural and/or found objects with texture
glued to it. The surface of the plate is sealed and, when dry, is
inked on the textured plate, excess removed and a paper placed on
top. Downward pressure (using a press or hand roller) presses the
paper and ink together and the images are transferred (in reverse)
to the paper. Again, the simplicity of collagraph prints makes them
easy for everyone to try. Many, but not unlimited, prints can be
made from a master collagraph plate.
Wood block (woodcut) printing advances in
difficulty because the artist uses special gouges and carving tools
to create a dimensional image in a wood block. The high surfaces of
the wood block are inked, paper is pressed against the inked areas
and the resulting image is a woodblock print. Surfaces other than
wood can be used; linoleum, wax, and rubber are a few that are a bit
easier to carve. Early wood block designs were used for fabric
embellishment and those blocks endure as collectables.
Reduction prints are created with care by
print artists who desire more color and texture in their work. Each
color is printed individually on the ever-decreasing wood block.
Working from back to front colorwise, the artist reduces the wood
block with every color, printing that part of the plate that will
reflect a specific color, and then removing more mass to print the
next color. When finished, the only areas that remain on the block
are those representing the very last color.
Drypoint etching is more involved because it
starts with a metal plate. The plate is scribed (scratched) by the
artist to record a subject. Ink is rubbed into the slight toothy
grooves created by the scribing. Paper is then put on the plate,
pressed and the resulting print is pulled away from the plate. For
all but the tiniest of printed images, a printing press is
invaluable in the process. Strong definition and evenness is
difficult with hand pressing methods. Many prints can be made from
the original plate. Etching can be taken yet another step by using
acid to enlarge and remove areas of the metal surface.
Intaglio prints are made from a metal base
into which designs have been created. This is often done with harsh
chemicals, the metal dissolving where there are scribed or etched
lines that have been made through a protective covering. Because of
the chemical contact (acids), this level of printmaking is
considered advanced and should be done under supervision and
instruction. Many prints can be made from the original plate. Ink is
rubbed into the low areas, paper is pressed to the surface and a
print is created.
following is a simple explanation of some terms associated with
brayer - a hard rubber roller on a handle
used to transfer ink to the plate.
plate – a surface on which an image is
formed, usually metal.
baren - a circular padded tool used to rub
against the back of paper to obtain an image from a master.
hard ground -an acid-resistant material
applied to an etching plate through which you scribe to create a
mordant - an acid or other corrosive
substance used to “bite” into a metal plate to create an image on
gouge – a V- or U-shaped tool for cutting a
wood or linoleum block.
Working with Clay
Working in clay is one of the most interesting and
expressive things an artist can do. There is a universal feeling of
making "something" from what appears to be "nothing," and it is
great to have successes with that type of creative process. Clay is,
however, far from "nothing." It is a very precise combination of
materials that when joined together with moisture is a wonderfully
plastic and malleable material.
Clay formulas vary greatly in the degree of
smoothness or texture they possess. Porcelain, for instance, has
nearly no grit within the formula, so the surface will be smooth and
sleek for glazes. It is also fired to the highest temperatures to
achieve vitrification. Porcelain clay is usually a very light color
of gray or pure white once fired.
Earthenware clay is the other extreme. It is more
porous, has much more texture and glazes are less fluid on the
earthenware surface. Colors range from tans and yellows to rich
browns and reds. It is easier to manipulate than porcelain but not
as smooth or "polished" in appearance.
Between these two extremes is stoneware clay, the
most popular. The composition of stoneware offers a more rigid and
stronger base than that of earthenware but not as "tight" a surface
All three clays can be shaped/formed in the same way
- hand built, slip cast or thrown on the potter's wheel. In liquid
form (slip), all can be cast into molds for rapid and exact
duplication of shapes and forms. Of all choices of manipulation,
hand building is the method used most by potters who want to offer
creative and expressive forms for sale. Throwing on the potter's
wheel is fun and is a skill that can be worthwhile to learn. For the
creation of large forms the potter's wheel is very valuable.
However, most potters agree that once the mechanics of throwing are
learned, it is far less rewarding than the ability to create one-off
items with hand building.
in clay bodies, glaze formulas are a very precise measurement of
components. Some of the elements in a glaze help hold it on the clay
body. Some make glazes flow and intermix with the colorants. Some of
the colorants can react with the other components to create an
ever-changing array of glaze "activity." Potters want to have a
regiment of glazes that they can depend on and that will perform
well and as expected. That final step is vital to the success of any
Methods of glaze application are as varied as there
are potters. The order in which multiple glazes are applied can
affect the result in new and unexpected ways. That is not a bad
thing. New can be good. Some colorants react to a minor change in
glaze composition to give a huge range of colors with a very slight
change in formula. For those who are less interested in
experimentation or study, there are hundreds of very controlled and
beautiful glazes where all that is required is to open a jar and
apply the glaze. Easy can be good, too!
One can brush on glazes, singly or in layers.
Designs can be painted over a base glaze to create a completely new
look. Dipping is a choice of many clay artisans because in one dunk
you cover the entire surface. The base of a piece of pottery must be
clear of glaze or it will stick to the kiln shelf. If you dunk, you
either have to put on a wax-type resist to avoid the glaze coating
or wash off the base. Airbrushing glazes is a very fast application
method, and if applied one over another, you can create totally
unique colors and textures. Even in the method of application, there
are dozens of choices, so change can be a vital part of the learning
process with clay and glazes.
Carving through glazes to create designs that will
show the original color of the clay is also popular. Any tool can be
used that will render an area large enough to detect once the glaze
is fired. Runny glazes are obviously not a good choice if you want
your carving to show.
Two methods of firing clay are practical for most
potters: electric or gas firing. Electric is easiest but is a bit
limiting because of the oxygen-rich environment. Gas firing uses
this lack of oxygen to create red glazes with copper based glazes
but also fires any glaze well. Gas draws oxygen from the clay body,
through the glaze and transforms copper from green to red. Pretty
amazing, but if reds are your passion you can get them with electric
firing by purchasing ready-made glazes in red. Occasionally you will
find an artist who does wood firing. That is a wild and interesting
way to fire clay but not very practical for the average potter. The
kilns are huge and massive amounts of wood are needed.
This article barely scratches (carves!) the surface
of clays and glazes, but once an artisan becomes interested in the
practices, designing and—dare we say—chemistry of pottery, it is one
of the most engaging and creative ways to express one's artistic
abilities. If you get an opportunity to try any part of the clay
experience - take it! Visit
www.amaco.com for all your material/equipment needs from
clay to kilns.