ARTtalk 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 1990)
- posted June 1, 2015
(ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is posted on
the 1st of every month.)
Airbrush History Trivia
—Abner Peeler, of Webster City, IA, invented the
airbrush in 1878. Imagine, over 130 years ago! Abner, a
professional inventor who tinkered with things such as screw
machines, bicycles and typewriters, developed this painting
tool—originally called a “paint distributor”—specifically for
photographic retouching. The paint distributor, which was similar
to today’s oscillating internal-mix airbrush, had a wooden handle
with metal parts and sold for the incredible price of $10. The
first such airbrush was sold to S. M. Thomas, and we know that the
first painting completed with this paint distributor was a
self-portrait of Peeler himself done by his wife on an enlarged
The painter Man Ray (1890-1977) is probably the
first fine artist to exhibit paintings done exclusively with the
airbrush. Ray, considered the only American Dadaist, learned to use
the airbrush while working in an ad agency in New York City between
1917 and 1919. His fine art airbrush renderings were shown in NYC
galleries and called “aerographs.?nbsp; Looking at them with today’s
standards of what we consider airbrush painting, these works of art
would be considered simplistic—but at that time, totally new.
They consisted of images developed by airbrushing around found
objects, such as paper cutouts, tools and paper clips that were used
simply as stencils. Man Ray worked flat on a table, allowing
gravity to hold the stencils in place, and sprayed around them with
black ink. He repeated these images in both opaque and
transparent ink and the end products lent themselves to the look of
.It is said that Man Ray was primarily interested in
producing paintings with a smooth machine-like finish. And because
the ink was airbrushed onto the surface, there were no brush strokes
in the artwork, which imparted an industrial appearance. An
excellent collection of his works is held by and exhibited at The
Art Institute of Chicago; and even viewed today, their simplicity is
Pablo Ruiz Picasso 1881 - 1972
There is much that could be written about Pablo
Picasso, arguably the greatest artist of the 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.?
ART in Beacon NY
THE ARTIST’S MARKETPLACE
Robert Paschal, MFA
Basic Airbrush Workshop—Beacon,
Learn the fundamentals of airbrush technique in a concise 3-hour
hands-on class, designed for the novice who wishes to paint fine art,
crafts, signs, customized autos/bikes/snowboards and myriad other objects.
Seating is limited. All equipment/materials are provided. 845.831.1043;
Camp Cōkaboodie in the Adirondacks
Jerry Savarie Road (off Big Brook Road) Indian Lake, NY
are located on Lake Abanakee with beautiful views and sunsets!
of the 2015 National Heritage Fellowships have been announced,
with an awards ceremony and free concert scheduled for Oct. 1-2
in Washington, D.C. Included among the winners are three
quilters of Gee’s Bend, a Cambodian ceramicist and a Slovak
straw artist/egg decorator. The fellowships include an award of
$25,000. See details at arts.gov.
—Adults Targeted—Marvel has announced a new line
of adult coloring books featuring some of their most iconic
characters, stories and artwork to delight fans the world over.
Add your personal artistic style to Age of Ultron Coloring
Book (Oct.), Little Marvel by Skottie Young Coloring Book
and Civil War Coloring Book (both available in 2016).
—Anniversary Celebrated—The Clark Art Institute in
Williamstown, MA, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with
a special summer offering of exhibitions, lectures and programs
on the recently renovated campus. See Van Gogh and Nature
thru 9/13 and Whistler’s Mother: Grey, Black and White,
Named—Julia Rosenbaum, associate professor of art history
and faculty of the American Studies Program at Bard College,
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, has been named a senior fellow at the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC., for the 2015-16
academic year. The fellowship will support Rosenbaum’s new
project, “Curated Bodies: The Display of Science and Citizenry
in Post-Civil War America.”
—Winner Announced—The Guggenheim Helsinki Design
Competition, which began in June 2014 and generated a
record-making 1,715 submissions from more than 77 countries, has
been won by Moreau Kusunoki Architects, a firm founded in Paris
in 2011. The design invites visitors to engage with museum
artwork and programs across a gathering of linked pavilions and
plazas organized around an interior street.
Required—High Line Art, (at W. 30th St., NYC) features
Olafur Eliasson’s The collectivity project, an
interactive installation of white LEGO®
bricks that features an imaginary cityscape. Every Tuesday and
Thursday from 4-6 p.m. kids can build, play and dream about
cities using LEGOs and their imagination; and every Wednesday
and Friday from 5-7 p.m. adults can learn more about urban
planning, architecture and community using LEGOs and their
imagination. Both are led by a High Line Educator, thru
NYC, has launched Prime Time, an initiative offering an array of
gallery conversations, film screenings, online courses and
more. The program is designed to enhance cultural participation
and provide opportunities for older adults to engage with modern
and contemporary art and is free to NYC residents ages 65 and
Online Series Continues—Season
2 of The Met’s online video series The Artist Project
has begun. In this series, 100 artists have been invited to
choose single works of art or galleries that spark their
imaginations and then share their personal, passionate ways of
seeing and experiencing art. metmuseum.org
Sotheby’s recent auction of American Art, Georgia O’Keeffe’s
White Calla Lily led at $8.97 million, the second
highest auction result for any work by the artist. American
Illustration was led by Norman Rockwell’s The Bookworm at
Art in Sight—This
is a free program at MoMA, NYC, for individuals who are blind or
partially sighted. Each month, specially trained MoMA lecturers
highlight specific themes, artists or exhibitions through verbal
description and touch. July 21, 2-4 p.m.: “Artist Processes
and Materials.” Space is limited and preregistration is
Arts for Healing—This
is an offering from the Mill Street Loft, Poughkeepsie,
NY, “to provide a broad spectrum of diverse populations in our
community with creative, transformational and uplifting
experiences using the visual arts, storytelling, music and
movement.” For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org;
—Photowork ‘15 National Juried Photography
Exhibition, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, thru
—Maurice Prendergast: Boston Public Garden
Watercolors, Met Museum, NYC, thru 9/7.
—Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel
and the New Painting, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA,
thru 9/13, examines the early struggles and ultimate
triumph of the artists who created the style known as
impressionism and the role that the great Parisian art dealer
Paul Durand-Ruel played in their success. philamuseum.org
—Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., thru 10/4,
features some 50 paintings from 1875-1882 by this critically
noted impressionist. nga.gov.
—The Stories We Tell: Hudson Valley Artists 2015,
Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz, NY, with works by 26 artists
focuses on the narrative form of contemporary art and examines
how stories shape our experience and our understanding of the
world. Thru 11/8.
Allied Artists of America,
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY, Sept. 3-13. Open to all artists
18 years and older, including non-members. Original paintings
in oil; watermedia, pastel and graphics; sculpture in the round
or relief. No crafts, photos or classwork. Styles:
traditional, contemporary and abstract. Deadline:
July 18. alliedartistsofamerica.org.
Northeast Watercolor Society 39th
Annual Int’l. Juried Exhibition,
The Gallery at Kent Art Association, Kent, CT. Watercolors
executed within the last 3 years and not previously exhibited at
NEWS Internationals are eligible. No collage or pastels.
Awards. Deadline: July 25. northeastws.com.
Finding Our Place: The Geography of
Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Dowell, MD, Oct.
16-Jan. 3. Open to artists 18 and older working in the U.S.
All media welcome. Deadline: Aug. 14. http://www.annmariegarden.org/annmarie2/node/112
Arts Society of Kingston requests photo submissions that portray
the “Renaissance” of commercial and industrial buildings in the
new “art economy” of Kingston, NY. Selected photos will be
featured in ASK’s 2016 Kingston Community Calendar. Honorarium.
Deadline: Aug. 15. askforarts.org/kingstoncalendar.html.
Small Matters of Great Importance:
Light & Shadow,
Edward Hopper House Art Center, Nyack, NY, Oct. 24-Jan. 3. Open
to all artists age 18 and over working in any medium, with work
executed within the past 2 years. Awards. Deadline:
Sept. 1. edwardhopperhouse.org.
is the 6th year of Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative
placemaking program, and will be available for projects in arts
engagement, design and planning and in knowledge building. The
application deadline is earlier than in years past: Sept.
21. Visit the Apply for a Grant section at arts.gov for
the exhibition Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin
(thru 8/30) at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, Michael Evert
will live sculpt a variety of models in the re-created studio.
Included are fashion designers Anna Sui on 7/23 and Isabel
Toledo on 8/27. 6 p.m., free with admission. madmuseum.org.
Digital Portrait Studio—The
Dorsky, SUNY New Paltz, July 11 and Aug. 8, 12-4 p.m. Museum
visitors are invited to sit for a 20-minute sketched portrait.
Hudson Valley artist Tasha Depp uses her iPad to create images
of visitors, which will be added to her Live Sketch Project.
Reserve a timeslot at email@example.com.
40 artists will participate in the Saugerties (NY) Artists
Studio Tour from Aug. 14-16. See saugertiesarttour.com for
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 5 from
1-4 p.m. play an exhibition copy of Yoko Ono’s White
Chess Set (1966) at the MoMA, NYC, Sculpture Garden (weather
permitting). By remaking the chess set in all white, the artist
changed the nature of the game. A special collaboration with
Chess in the Schools, this program is open to visitors of all
ages and abilities and is presented in conjunction with Yoko
Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971. Free with admission.
Community Free Day—on
July 11, Dia:Beacon will offer a Community Free Day with
programs throughout the day suitable for a broad audience. See
more info at http://www.diaart.org/programs/main/78.
Here for the
Monthly Issue of ARTtalk Local Beacon, N.Y.
Painting How To
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
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
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
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.