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
- posted May 1, 2016
(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 photograph.
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 cubism
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 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
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.?
ART in Beacon NY
THE ARTIST’S MARKETPLACE
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!
ARTtalk Local Beacon, N.Y.
—Miami Celebrates “Cycle de Mayo”—The Perez Art Museum
Miami kicks off a month of free museum
admission for cyclists with Cycle de Mayo on Thursday, May 5, 6-9
p.m. Free bike checkups/raffle/valet and create your own spoke
cards with PAMM teaching artists. Galleries open until 9 p.m.
And, in celebration of National Bike Month and in support of
transportation, PAMM will offer free admission to all who arrive
to the museum by bike throughout the month of May. For specifics,
Opportunity for Sculptors—The
National Sculpture Society will be hosting an exhibition at the
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (NYC) during summer of 2017,
opening in June. Twenty-eight monumental works depicting animals
will be selected, with jurying taking place in late 2016. Further
info will be included in future issues of SculptureNews.
on the Hudson, which knocks off the 2016 season on May 1st, is the
NYC Parks Department’s annual outdoor arts and culture festival
that takes place in Riverside Park from 59th St. to 153rd St.,
with activities for everyone. Programs and events are free to the
public and registration is not required in most cases. See
schedule/updates at www.nycgovparks.org/events/summer on the
Street Loft, Poughkeepsie, NY, has announced that Imani Jones from
Poughkeepsie High School, had her proposal to present her Senior
Thesis, “Life as a Black Teen in the U.S.,” accepted by the NYS
Art Teachers Association Region 7, 11th annual Symposium for Art
Education, held in April at SUNY New Paltz. The Loft has a long
history of teaching young
artists/students in the community to be active,
responsible and creative professionals through their outreach,
mentoring and visual arts programs.
Brooklyn Museum has launched the Android version of its ASK
Museum app, which enables visitors to interact in real time with
museum experts. Funded by Bloomberg
Philanthropies through its Bloomberg Connects program, it’s
available on all Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded
free from the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Download: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/ask.
the first time, the U. S. Government will support artistic
cultural exchanges between U.S. and Cuban artists, thanks to a
commitment by the NEA.
Totaling $100,000, these are among the first awards made by the
government to support artistic and cultural activities with Cuba
and Cuban artists. These two exchange opportunities build in
existing NEA programs: USArtists International and Southern
Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America.
illustrator Peggy Fortnum has died at age 96. She created
Paddington, children’s book icon, for the book “A Bear Called
Paddington” (1958) and went on to illustrate a series of
Paddington books until 1983.
Inaugural Whitney Collection Award has been presented to Leonard
A. Lauder, the Museum’s Chairman Emeritus, to honor him for more
than four decades of unstinting support. As the award was
bestowed upon Mr. Lauder, it was announced that the Whitney’s new
home in the Meatpacking District is being named the Leonard A.
Lauder Building in his honor.
Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant
supports writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art
through project-based grants issued directly to individual
authors. Article, Blog, Book, New and Alternative Media and
Short-Form Writing. Deadline: May 18. http://www.artswriters.org/about/
Big Read Teen Art Contest—Poughkeepsie
(NY) Public Library District. As part of this national
initiative, High School students may create a painting, collage or
photograph that represents a theme from “Into the Beautiful North”
by Luis Alberto Urrea. Matted artwork with entry form must be
delivered in person to the Adriance Memorial Library. Cash prizes
will be given in each of two categories and all submitted works
will be displayed in the library in June. Deadline: May 25.
Art to Honor E. L. Doctorow—The
New Rochelle (NY) Council on the Arts is seeking proposals from
artists for a work of public art to honor the memory of American
author, editor and professor E. L. Doctorow. Open to professional
artists who have previous experience in the design, fabrication
and installation of life-size and monumental-size, original works
of art (or a design team that includes a professional artist. The
work will be installed in Huguenot Park in June 2017. $15,000 in
addition to a project budget of $80,000.
Deadline: June 15.
Waterfront Artists Coalition, July 23-Aug. 14. Open to all
residents of the U.S. and its territories 18 and older.
Traditional and non-traditional 2D and 3D media, including
film/video when part of an installation. Oversize work,
assemblages and installations are welcome. Early Deadline: May
19; Final Deadline: June 2. http://bwac.org/
Dayz Festival, Historic St. Margaret’s Home, Red Hook, NY, July
15-24. Red Hook Community Artists Network. Open to all area
artists who can drop off and pick up their work. 2-D visual art
of all sorts and some sculpture may be possible. Deadline:
June 25. http://www.rhcan.com/
—Three Centuries of American Prints from the
National Gallery of Art—Washington,
thru July 24.
Timed to coincide with the Gallery’s 75th anniversary, this
exhibit includes some 150 masterful prints from the Colonial era
to the present and highlights major movements in American art.
Fly Tying: The Art of Artifice—BYRDCLIFFE
Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, NY, May 6-June
26. Showcased are color photographs of Catskill-style fishing
flies—beautiful miniature sculptures—by professional photographer
and fly fishing guide Mark Loete. www.woodstockguild.org
Golf at the IMA—Indianapolis
Museum of Art, opening May 10. Located on the Alliance
Sculpture Court, the course features 18 holes designed by local
and regional artists, with each hole inspired in honor of
Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial. Included with admission, but members
always play free; and there’s a small cost to play during special
—Second Annual Art Auction to benefit the O+
Festival—May 20, 6:30 p.m., at outdated: an antique café,
Kingston, NY. Enjoy an evening of bidding on art, art objects and
vintage art donated by collectors and the artists themselves.
Preview night: May 19.
June 14, 6-9 p.m., rain or shine, Fifth Avenue from 82nd St. to
105th St., NYC -
This annual celebration of art and culture offers free museum
admission to 7 major museums, art-related activities for kids,
live music and street performers. http://museummilefestival.org/
with artists, view their artwork, ask questions and learn about
artistic media and creative processes at the following:
8th Annual Beacon Open Studios,
Beacon, NY—May 21-22, Noon—6 p.m. ww.beaconopenstudios.org
19th Annual Peekskill Open Studios,
Peekskill, NY—June 4-5, Noon-5 p.m.
2nd Annual Poughkeepsie Open Studios,
Poughkeepsie, NY—June 18, 11 a.m.—5 p.m.
May 14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy tours/talks/workshops/performances.
Free to residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam,
Rockland, Ulster and Westchester Counties.
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 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.
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 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
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
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
(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.
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 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.