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 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)

ARTtalk Cybercopy - posted Sept. 1, 2014
(ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is posted on the 1st of every month.)

CPortland Art Museum | 1219 SW Park Avenue Portland, OR 97205 | 503-276-4365


Wednesday, October 1, 2014
6:00 p.m.

Kridel Grand Ballroom, Mark Building

Join us for the opportunity to play a role in selecting works of art to enter the Museum’s permanent collection. You will receive one vote per round in deciding which works of art will be purchased. Before dinner you will meet the seven curators, view their choices, and have one-on-one conversations about their selections.
Learn more about how it works.

Watch Oregon Art Beat’s Battle of the Curators to see clips from 2013

Master of Ceremonies
Jamey Hampton
Co-Founder & Artistic Director of BODYVOX

6:00 p.m. Cocktails and Art Viewing
7:00 p.m. Dinner and Curators’ Presentations
8:30 p.m. Voting

Cocktail attire
Valet parking


Purchase Tickets Online
Individual tickets are $500 per person ($400 is tax deductible)

For more information about tickets or sponsorship opportunities,
please contact Julia Meskel or call 503-276-4365.

Bonhams; Christie's; Janet and Richard Geary; Ronna and Eric Hoffman Fund of OCF; Laura S. Meier;
Arlene Schnitzer; Walter C. Hill and Family Foundation; Nani S. Warren / The Swigert Warren Foundation;
Bill and Helen Jo Whitsell; Dr. and Mrs. Alton E. Wiebe; REX HILL.

Selby and Douglas Key; Sharon and Keith Barnes; Mia Hervin Moore;
Andrée H. Stevens; Jim and Susan Winkler.






In Memoriam—The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has installed a photo of celebrated American comedian and actor Robin Williams—taken for Time magazine by Michael Dressler in 1979.  The work is in the first floor gallery where the museum memorializes the passing and celebrates the lives of people represented in the museum’s collection. 

Grant Received—The Norman Rockwell Museum has received a two-year, $500,000 grant from the George Lucas Family Foundation.  It will provide the opportunity to re-imagine the museum’s national education offerings and modernize its online content delivery system to reach a larger and more diverse population of students, teachers and life-long learners.

Timed Tickets Required—Order your tickets now for Henri Matisse:  The Cut-Outs, opening Oct. 12 at MoMA, NYC.  Approximately 100 cut-outs—along with related drawings, prints, illustrated books, stained glass and textiles—will be on view in-depth for the first time since 1961 to NY audiences.

Auction NewsChristie’s has enjoyed a record half year with art sales totaling $4.5 billion.  They sold 51 works of art for over $10 million during the first half of 2014 and saw a record-breaking six months in Post War & Contemporary Art, as well as a 71% increase in online activity.  Sotheby’s 1-2Q ending 6/30/14 saw a 24% increase in net auction sales.

Awards Announced—The Hammer Museum, L.A., has announced the recipients of the three Made in L.A. 2014 Mohn awards. Alice Konitz received the award honoring artistic excellence; Magdalena Suarez Frimkess and Michael Frimkess received the Career Achievement Award honoring brilliance and resilience; and Jennifer Moon received the Public Recognition Award determined by public vote.  This biennial exhibition highlighting emerging and under-recognized artists is on view through 9/7.

Selfie Showdown—The Cincinnati Art Museum is running a social media contest to celebrate Conversations Around American Gothic, on view thru Nov. 16.  Join in the fun and help promote this iconic painting (by Grant Wood) and exhibition by submitting your best impression to Facebook, Twitter or instagram with the tag #CAMericanGothic.

Fee Changes—Beginning Sept. 3, admission to the Brooklyn Museum will be free for visitors ages 19 and under, offering greatly increased accessibility and encouragement to visit the Museum.   And it will increase suggested general admission fees to $16, except for ticketed exhibitions and events, and to $10 for adults 62 and over and for students with valid I.D.  Current school group pricing will remain the same.

Mural Dedicated—An 8 x 12 ft. acrylic mural in honor of Pete and Toshi Seeger by Nestor Madalengoitia, Songs of the Hudson, was recently presented to the City of Beacon, NY.  The art was realized in collaboration with youth from Beacon’s MLK Center and originally funded by a grant administered by Arts MidHudson.

Art on T’s—The Phillips Collection has partnered with DC artist Kelly Towles to create two original T-shirt designs based on works from the exhibition Made in the USA.  Towles added his signature street art style to repros of Whistler’s Miss Lillian Woakes and Hopper’s Approaching a City.  Available at the museum shop.       



Rhinebeck Arts Festival, Dutchess County Fairgrounds (NY), Sept. 26-28, with a focus on craft and visual art, will celebrate the very concept of creativity with over 200 artists and craftspeople from across the country.

53rd Annual Seminar on Glass:  René Lalique:  Enchanted by Glass, Corning Museum of Glass, NY, Oct. 17-18, will focus on the life, works and legacy of the master French artist and designer.  Also, press your own glass medallion.

—The Fine Home Source Show invites you to a Paint Out on Sept. 27, where 25 artists will participate.  Paintings will be up for sale by silent auction beginning at 4:30p.m. Village of Millbrook, NY.


—The Back Room Gallery, Beacon, NY, will host a music concert with Gail Watson, soprano, and Sally Fenley, pianist, on Oct. 11, 6-9 p.m. for the opening reception of the Halloween Vintage Decorated Crepe Designs from the Early 1900’s—on view Oct. 3-31.  845.838.1838.

A Cinematic History of Virtual Reality, The Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m., is a screening that surveys the chronology of virtual reality in cinema, 1935-2014.

Newburgh Open Studios 2014, Newburgh, NY—Sept. 27—28, 11 a.m.—5 p.m. each day.  This self-guided tour is a Newburgh Last Saturdays event.




Dick Polich:  Transforming Metal into Art


Since the 1960’s, hundreds of artists, including Isamu Noguchi, Nancy Graves, Roy Lichtenstein and Martin Puryear, have worked with metallurgist and foundry owner Dick Polich (at first Tallix and now Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry) to realize their visions in bronze, aluminum, steel and iron.  This is the first exhibition to explore this Hudson Valley master’s significant impact on contemporary art and the creative process of sketch to monument through the presentation of major works of sculpture and techniques in industrial sculpture production.  SUNY New Paltz-Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art,  Thru Dec. 14.  Reception: Sept. 6, 5-7 p.m.



Sculpture Expo 2014 is an outdoor large-scale sculpture exposition of 15 works of art by eight sculptors from the New York regional area located along Routes 9 and 199 in the Village of Red Hook, NY.  Thru Nov. 21.

Modern and Contemporary Art Since 1945, the new permanent collection installation at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., highlights the strengths of the modern and contemporary art holdings.  Major works are presented by Bontecou, Colescott, Kelly, Puryear, Scully, Stockholder, Truitt, Warhol and others.

The Hudson River Portfolio:  A Beginning for the Hudson River School consists of a suite of famous aquatints made between 1821 and 1825 and published in NYC. Each depicts an iconic view along the Hudson River from north of Troy south to Governor’s Island. On view through Nov. 30 at Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison, NY.

—Tony Cragg's Walks of Life, consisting of three monumental bronze sculptures, will grace three lawns in Madison Square Park, NYC, from Sept. 8—Feb. 8, 2015.




Nelson Mandela Memorial Design Competition—Public memorial project to be displayed at Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo, CA.  Open to legal residents of the U.S. and the D.C., ages 13 and older.  Deadline:  Oct.15.

Triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, National Portrait Gallery, D.C., March 12, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017. Open to artists 18 and over to submit portraits created after Jan. 1, 2013, in any visual medium including painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, photography, textiles, performance and digital media.  $25,000 cash award and possible commission. Deadline:  Nov. 30

American Fine Craft Show|Wadsworth Museum of Art will benefit the Costume & Textile Society of the Wadsworth Museum—XL Center, Hartford, CT, April 24-26, 2015.  Work must be made in the USA or Canada by the exhibiting artist:  ceramics, fiber-decorative, fiber-wearable, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, sculpture and wood.  Deadlines:  Sept. 16 and Nov. 26.

—The Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition features over 400 pieces of the most outstanding works created throughout each year.  Open to artists worldwide, all accepted entries will be reproduced in full color in the Illustrators 57 annual and included in the exhibit at the Society on display Jan.7—Feb. 28, 2015.  Deadline:  Oct. 27.

2014 Photographers’ Fellowship Fund—Center for Photography at Woodstock (NY).  One $2,500 fellowship will be granted to a regional artist selected by guest juror Sasha Wolf.  Artists working in photography, digital imagery, mixed media and/or artwork that incorporates photography are welcome to apply.  Deadline:  Sept. 19.  Visit for details.





 The Lofts at Beacon Gallery

18 Front St., Beacon, NY  —  (845) 202-7211


40 Years Later

Five SUNY New Paltz Grads




Peg Borcherdt  — Dennis Connors

Jack Murphy  — Robert Paschal

Peter Sheehan


Reception:  Oct. 4, 4-8            Oct. 4—31, 2014






The National Gallery of Art now has an instagram feed.  Find and follow them and share your images:

Get up close and personal with the Art Institute of Chicago’s illustrious collection of Monet paintings with a free online resource:

The Met Museum has launched a new iPad app, 82nd & Fifth, in which 100 curators talk about 100 works of art from the collection that changed the way they see the world:

The new, free MoMA App is available for iOS devices—explore, listen, view, create, share:


The Lofts at Beacon Gallery

18 Front St., Beacon, NY  —  (845) 202-7211


Stilled Lives

Photography exhibit curated by photographer Donna Francis


and featuring works by

Karl Hine  —   Naomi Lore

Naz Shahrokh  —  Dan Wolf


Reception: Sept. 6, 5-8            Sept. 6—28, 2014






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 as porcelain.

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.

As 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 clay artisan.

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 for all your material/equipment needs from clay to kilns.


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    Artist Profile

    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 working.

    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 of colors.

    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 figures.

    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 strong similarities.

    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 without collage?

    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>

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    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 gigantic.

    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.

    Application 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 artworks.

    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 inches.

    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 dealers
    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.

    Finally, following is a simple explanation of some terms associated with printmaking:

    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 design.

    mordant - an acid or other corrosive substance used to “bite?into a metal plate to create an image on that plate.

    gouge ?a V- or U-shaped tool for cutting a wood or linoleum block.



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