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 August 1,
(ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is posted on
the 1st of every month.)
Brooklyn-Based Artist Swoon's Immersive
Installation at Brooklyn Museum closes August 24th
Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, Brooklyn Museum
Swoon: Submerged Motherlands
closes, Sunday, August 24. The
installation centers on an approximately
60-foot tall monumental
sculptural tree, which rises into the
rotunda's dome, with a constructed
environment at its base. Featuring Swoon's
signature figurative prints and drawings,
and cut-paper foliage, the installation
also includes the rafts that Swoon created
and sailed on the Grand Canal uninvited
during the 2009 Venice Biennale. In this
performance project, Swimming
Cities of Serenissima,
Swoon and a crew of thirty sailed from
Slovenia to Venice on rafts made primarily
of New York City garbage, collecting
scrapped material in Slovenia, and
artifacts and curiosities along their
For up to date information from the Public
Information office follow
?b>Partnership Announced ?eBay and Sotheby’s have announced a
partnership that will unite the global leader in online shopping with the
iconic international art business and auctioneer. Together they are
developing an innovative online platform that makes it easier for millions of
people worldwide to discover, browse and acquire exceptional works of art,
antiques and collectibles.
?Elizabeth A. Sackler has been elected Chair of the Brooklyn Museum. The
first woman in the nearly 200-year history of the Museum to serve in this
position, she succeeds retiring chair John S. Tamagni. Sackler is the founder
of the Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
?The 2014 Dutchess County (NY) Executive’s Arts Award winners have been
announced and will be honored on Oct. 9. See http://www.artsmidhudson.org/events/arts-awards/.
—Important Gift Received—The
Morgan Library & Museum has announced that it has received a major gift from
the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), including 21 sketchbooks by the
renowned artist, two of his early drawings and several original drawings by
artists who were part of his circle. The works were given by Lichtenstein’s
wife, Dorothy, in memory of her husband.
—Certificate of Excellence Awarded
?Recognized as a top performing attraction, as reviewed by travelers on the
world’s largest travel site, The Corning Museum of Glass (NY) has received a
Certificate of Excellence award for the fourth year in a row. The accolade is
given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler
reviews and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Currently at the
Museum through Jan. 4, the exhibition
Ren?Lalique: Enchanted by Glass
brings together glass, jewelry, production molds and design drawings dating
Portrait Announced ?The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, has
announced a new video portrait of jazz musician Esperanza Spalding. The work,
commissioned for the museum from 2013 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition
winner Bo Gehring, of Beacon, NY, is now showcased on the Portrait Gallery’s
YouTube page and will be on exhibit at the museum in May 2015. See at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OeZxytSV3M.
Obama has presented the 2013 National Medals of Arts, the highest award
given to artists and patrons of the arts by the U. S. government. Included
among the 12 honorees are patron of the arts Joan Harris and visual artist
James Turrell. ?/b> And the 2014 NEA National Heritage Fellowships,
the nation’s highest honors in the folk and traditional arts, have been
announced. Among the nine recipients recognized for their artistic excellence
and efforts to conserve America’s culture for future generations are Henry
Arquette, a Mohawk basketmaker; Yvonne Walker Keshick, an Odawa quill worker;
Carolyn Mazloomi, a quilting community advocate; and Vera Nakonechny, a
Ukrainian embroiderer and bead worker. They will be honored in September
with an awards ceremony and a concert.?/b> The NEA will award 66 Our
Town grants totaling $5.07 million to organizations in 38 states,
investing in local efforts to leverage arts assets to drive community
development. Since 2011, 256 Our Town grants totaling more than $21
million have been awarded in all 50 states and the D.C.
People throughout the U.S. have voted for the works of American art they most
want to see installed in
Art Everywhere US,
the initiative that will transform bill- boards, bus shelters, subway
platforms, airport dioramas, movie theaters and more into a free, open-air art
gallery. As many as 50,000 displays, both static and digital, will be
installed among all 50 states. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks topped the
list of 58 selected artworks on display from Aug. 4?1. Also among the
winners was Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Autumn on the Hudson. http://arteverywhereus.org/
—In the Garden of Sonic Delights
is a major exhibition of sound art woven into the fabric of Westchester
County, NY. Centered at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the
exhibition spans six of the region’s most dynamic cultural institutions and
features 15 commissioned, site-specific artworks by some of the world’s most
sought-after sound artists.
Thru Nov. 2.
—The World is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul
at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia,
includes a select gathering of 21 paintings with themes ranging from apples
and flowers to skulls, reappraising
monumental achievement in the genre. Thru Sept. 22.
—Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,
The Whitney (NYC), is the artist’s first major museum presentation in NY and
the first to fill nearly the entirety of the Marcel Breuer building with a
single artist’s work. This is also the only U.S. venue for the retrospective,
featuring 150 objects from 1978 to the present.
Thru Oct. 19.
Also, see Koons?Split Rocker, a 37-foot-high form featuring
over 50,000 flowering plants at Rockefeller Center, NYC. Thru Sept. 12.
New Directions in Fiber,
9th Annual Open Juried Exhibit, IMAGO Foundation for the Arts, Warren, RI,
Oct. 17—Nov. 8.
Artists 18 and over may submit work created using or referencing any fiber
techniques and vocabularies, in any material. Techniques considered are
traditional as well as innovative, and materials may include cloth, thread,
paper, metal, glass, wood, clay, plastic, etc. Cash awards. Deadline:
August 31. http://www.onlinejuriedshows.com/Default.aspx?OJSID=313?/span>
Grand National Exhibit,
The American Artists Professional League, Salmagundi Club, NYC, Nov. 10-21.
Open to all artists 18 or older; only works in representational or traditional
realism will be considered. Original oil, acrylic, watermedia, mixed media,
pastel, graphics and sculpture. Awards. Deadline: Sept. 6. http://www.americanartistsprofessionalleague.org/pdf/2014/prospectus_web_rev4.pdf
20th Anniversary International Juried Exhibition, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA,
Dec. 5—Jan. 30, 2015.
Open to all professional artists working in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood
and/or mixed media crafts. Work must be innovative and original in design.
Awards. Deadline: Sept. 12. http://craftformsentry.org/
Newmark Memorial Grant,
National Sculpture Society.
This memorial grant is an unrestricted prize of $5,000 for a sculptor
specializing in animal sculpture who has demonstrated a commitment to
sculpting and outstanding ability in his or her body of work. Applicants must
be citizens/residents of the U.S. Deadline: Oct. 1. http://www.nationalsculpture.org/nssN/index.cfm/fa/cProg.newmark
a free event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the naming of Madison Square
(NYC), will be held Sept. 6 from 3-9 p.m. The event will feature a
historically themed fair and contemporary art party in Madison Square Park.
Also see Rachel Feinstein’s Folly, a large-scale sculptural
installation of three architectural follies, thru Sept. 7.
Annual Windows on Main Street,
Beacon, NY—Aug. 9—Sept. 13. 35 local artists have been challenged to create a
unique piece of art inspired by and installed in a business storefront window
along Main St., competing for juried awards and prizes. beacon windows.org.
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.
Some Subjects That Can Be Found In
The Pages Of ARTtalk!
art, arts, paintings, painting, airbrush, airbrushes, airbrushers, paint,
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
ART in Beacon NY
THE ARTIST’S MARKETPLACE
ARTtalk Local Beacon, N.Y.
Robert Paschal, MFA
October 25 2014
Equipment/Materials Provided for Use in Class
Pablo Ruiz Picasso 1881 - 1972
There is much that could be written about Pablo
Picasso, arguably the greatest artist of the 20th
century. The enormous volume of work he completed stands without
question as legend. His influence on several generations of artists
and his recognition as the founder of many art periods, most
famously that of cubism, attests to his immersion in creativity. For
80 years of the 91 he lived, he devoted himself to an artistic
production that contributed to development of modern art of the 20th
century. And, all the while, Picasso was a man who loved women.
During his life he had affairs, lived with or married over six women
and fathered four children. He abhorred being alone when he was not
Aside from the tumultuous personal life, Picasso was
devoted to his art. During his early years he abandoned most of the
classical training given him by his father and first instructor for
his own interpretation of the world around him. Five “periods?are
recognized as brought to life by Picasso.
Most have heard of his Blue Period that lasted from
1901 to 1904 in which somber, blue tinted paintings prevailed. These
were influenced by the loss of a friend. Images of this period
include depictions of acrobats, prostitutes, beggars and artists.
His Rose Period (1905 to 1907) brought out paintings
with overall tones of orange and pink, many involving images of
harlequins. During this period he was seriously romantically
involved and the warmth of the relationship is seen in his palette
Soon after the Rose Period came an African Period
(1907 to 1909) that was influenced by artifacts from his personal
collection. Many paintings of this period repeat the use of two
Cubism, the style for which Picasso is most famous,
came into being when he and his friend and painter Braque challenged
each other to dissect and “analyze?objects, then paint them in
terms of their shapes. Color played a large part in this period of
work ?monochromatic browns and shadow tones prevailed as a common
thread. Each artist developed the style in his own way and each had
His Cubist Period ran from 1909 to 1919, and
included the use of collage as a fine art form. Heretofore, no
artist had used collage and cut paper to convey images. Imagine art
Picasso had many artist friends and some rivals.
Matisse was one of the “gentle?rivalries experienced in Picasso’s
lifetime. Both were strong, talented and seemed to challenge one
another. A recent collection of works by both artists reveals they
had a lot in common, although their styles were personal and not
derivative. The bold, outlined and highly decorative nature of both
artists?works is without question.
Historically, a lot happened during the 90+ years
Picasso lived, but he remained detached from any personal
commitment. He was a proclaimed pacifist, refusing to fight for any
side in the Spanish American War, World War I or World War II. If
was thought by many of his contemporaries that his dislike of war
and his unwillingness to fight was less political and more
cowardice. Being Spanish but living in France during these
conflicts, he escaped involvement and thus proclaimed and solidified
his pacifistic standing. He did, however, remain a member of the
Communist Party until his death.
At the time of his death, Picasso had enjoyed wide
acceptance as the greatest artist of his time. Many of his works
were recognized within his lifetime. Some include The Old
Guitarist from Picasso’s Blue Period, on display at the Museum
of Modern Art; Las Meninas Series, on display at the Picasso
Museum in Barcelona, Spain; and Guernica, in Madrid, Spain.
“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you
will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.?
Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.?- Pablo Ruiz
Picasso. Last words: “Drink to me.?/td>
Painting on a Grand Scale
When artists gravitate towards large scale works,
they face some interesting challenges along with the actual creative
process. How art is created ?on a grand scale ?is different from
small artworks. Every aspect of the act of mural painting and other
large scale artwork has considerations that make it fun and
stimulating - well worth those deliberations.
From the very ground onto which the artist places
sketch lines, brushes of paint and blended colors, large scale
nudges the artist into new realms of production. In order to paint
large scale, the preferred ground ?canvas of some sort ?must be
acquired in an appropriate size. The content of the canvas and its
weight are both vital considerations when the painted surface is
Widths/lengths and fiber content of canvas-type
grounds vary greatly, but there are sizes as large as 12 feet wide.
More commonly, large scale works are completed on canvas of 60? 72?
or 84?widths. Roll length purchases are necessary and can vary by
manufacturer ?from 6 feet to 25 yards.
But, after width and length, the fiber content may
be the single most important element of the painting. As you would
expect, there is cotton fiber in a variety of weights, but there is
also linen, jute, cotton/linen blends polyester (all synthetic) and
cotton/poly blends and all can be found primed and unprimed. The
weight and texture of the canvas will have an important bearing on
the finished artwork, and most artists match their style with the
texture and surface of their ground. Choices abound!
Rather than traditionally sized tubes of paint, most
muralists/large scale painters use jars, tubs ?even gallons of
artists?colors. Most manufacturers of paint offer a wide selection
in larger quantities. Selection of textures in those containers is
also sometimes available. Thicker paint means more pigment for
application and working into large spaces.
tools include brushes for sure, but those used are much larger in
size. Consider when doing any work—if the scale were huge, you would
want to use larger brushes. And, additionally, rollers (like those
used for wall painting) and trowels are also used in larger scale
works ?tools that would be difficult to use small scale become a
necessity for bigger works. Trowels, scrapers, and tools not often
associated with “painterly?applications are used by muralists and
accomplish the job they want. Painting pads and hand “mops?for
decorative surfacing of walls can come in very handy on larger scale
Easels play a big part in big works. Studio easels
in both wood and metal often accept works as large as 5-8 feet tall.
They help hold the work at the proper level ?that at which it will
be viewed ?so the artist is always aware of the scope, perspective
and dynamics of his/her work. Some artists who do large scale work
cover a wall with plywood and then staple or tack their canvas to
that surface at the proper level for work and viewing. Easels and
wall attachments ?whatever they might be ?help artists by allowing
them to step back and take in the “big picture.?For large stretched
canvas, wall mounted easels are great. They can accommodate works of
around 100 inches in height. They are sturdy, help hold the
stretched canvas firmly and adjust to all points up to around 100
And lastly some artists employ the use of airbrush
to do a lot of the design layout and fill-in on large works.
Texturing with an airbrush can be accomplished by painting through
screening, metal mesh, decorative pierced metal sheeting and many
more items. Airbrush gives the type of color gradation almost
impossible to achieve in any other way. Mists of tone-on-tone and
the softness achieved is a huge asset to some muralists.
In review, large scale artworks bring new thought
processes to ponder and hurdles to overcome. But, isn’t that what
contributes to making art so enjoyable and rewarding—to accept the
intellectual stimulation of such works and to succeed.
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.