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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 Oct. 1, 2014
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Art Institute of Chicago

Mother and daughter in the Ryan Education Center

 

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago for family fun this season. Download our latest brochure and find a program that fits your family.

Admission to the Ryan Education Center is always free, so visit as often as you like! Children must be accompanied by an adult.

 
 
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#OctoberTogether
Get in the spirit for another SF Giants win tonight—and a giant new exhibition opening November 8 at the de Young. Keith Haring: The Political Line will feature more than 130 works of art by the preeminent artist and social activist. Get your tickets early for the US premiere of the first major Keith Haring show on the West Coast in nearly two decades. 
 
For a limited time during #OrangeOctober, get 20% off when you purchase adult tickets for Keith Haring: The Political LineUse code SFGIANTS now through October 31 to receive this discount when you click the link below. Keep up with us @deyoungmuseum #PoliticalHaring.
Reserve Tickets Now!
Copyright © 2014 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, All rights reserved.

 

ARTPOURRI—NEWS

 

New Director Named—The Dia Art Foundation has appointed Jessica Morgan as its next Director.  Upon assuming her position in Jan. 2015, Morgan will lead Dia into its next era, strengthening and activating all parts of Dia’s multivalent program, including its pioneering Western land projects,   site-specific commissions and collections and programs at Dia:Beacon, as well as reinvigorating its artistic and intellectual presence in NYC.

 

Project Complete—The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s (NYC) newly redesigned David H. Koch Plaza has opened to the public after a major two-year reconstruction.  Running along Fifth Ave. for four city blocks this outdoor space now features new fountains, paving, lighting, allées and bosques of trees leading to the Museum’s entrances, as well as seating areas.  Koch, a Museum Trustee, contributed the entire $65 million cost of the project.

 

Glass Residency Established—The Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Inc. have launched a new artist residency program, which will support artists in adapting specialty glass materials for the creation of new work.  The first artist selected for this unique collaboration is American sculptor Albert Paley, who is best known for his large-scale works in metal.

 

NEA News—The NEA is launching new resources to assist practitioners who are working on arts-based community development projects: “Exploring Our Town,?an online resource featuring case studies; ?015 Our Town Guidelines? and “Beyond the Building:  Performing Art Organizations and Transforming Place,?a national convening to be held on Nov. 3.  arts.gov.

 

Top Museums Named—In addition to being named the #1 Travelers?Choice Museum in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, the internet’s leading travel resource, the Art Institute of Chicago has also been named the #1 museum in the world.  “World?winners also included The Getty Center at #4 and The Metropolitan Museum of Art at #7.

 

Winners Announced—Beacon, New York’s 10th Annual Windows on Main Street has awarded Tess Elliott the Grand Prize as well as the Gallerists?Pick Award for her work in the window of People’s Bicycle, on view at 430 Main St. through the winter.  The People’s Choice award was won by Ezequiel Martin Consoli for his installation in the window of Beacon Homebrew, 469 Main St.

 

Auction News—On Nov. 11 Sotheby’s will present Jasper John’s Flag, encaustic on silk on canvas, in the Contemporary Art Evening sale, with an estimate of $15-20 million.—Christies will present a pop-up Andy Warhol selling event in Seattle on Oct. 3-8 at Sole Repair Shop, with more than 40 photos, prints and works on paper.  It will coincide with the “Pop Departures? exhibit at the Seattle

A/M, featuring the works of Warhol and others.

 

 ART EXHIBITIONS

 

?/font>New Directions ?4, a national juried contemporary art exhibition, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, is on view through Nov. 8.  Artist info and accepted works are viewable online at www.barrettartcenter.org.

 

?/font>Thread Lines, The Drawing Center, NYC, thru Dec. 14, features a group exhibition that features 16 artists who engage in sewing, knitting and weaving to create a wide-range of works that activate the expressive and conceptual potential of line and illuminate affinities between the mediums of textile and drawing.

 

?/font>Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini:  Sculptors?Drawings from Renaissance Italy, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Oct. 23-Jan. 19, examines the multifaceted relationship between drawing and sculpture in Renaissance Italy and features 45 drawings along with select sculptures by several Italian masters.

 

?/font>Imperial Augsburg:  Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475-1540, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Gallery, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, features prints, drawings, illustrated books, medals and armor from a cultural golden age in Augsburg, Germany, that address the themes of Christian devotion/the Reformation, moral conduct and everyday life, etc.  Thru Dec. 14

 

ART OPPORTUNITIES

 

?/font>Margo Harris Hammerschlag Biennial Award—The National Association of Women Artists welcomes American women sculptors whose medium is direct carving to apply for this prestigious award of $5,000.  Applicants must be 18+, U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents.  Deadline: Nov. 22www.thenawa.org

 

?/font>Art Basel-Miami 2014|Cosmic Connections Exhibition at Concept Fair.  All emerging and established artists 18 and older are asked to respond to the theme “Cosmic Connections.?nbsp; Media:  computer art, mixed media, painting, photography, short films, small and monumental sculptures, video, 3D printing, and all innovative new technologies in art.  Awards.  Deadline: Oct. 31 http://contemporaryartprojectsusa.com/

 

?/font>Dutchess Handmade at Arts Mid-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY.  Small items (jewelry, functional ceramics, textiles, soaps, small matted prints/paintings, handmade books/paper pieces, etc.) from artists/artisans for collecting and holiday gifts are wanted for the handmade shop that will run Nov.1—Dec. 30.  Deadline:  Oct. 20 http://www.artsmidhudson.org/dutchess-handmade/

 

?/font>Day of Learning:  Stitched in Time, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, Oct. 13, 9:30-2:30.  Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Let Me Quilt One More Day, experts will discuss the history of New England quilts, contemporary art quilt making and the why/how of appraising antique, vintage and contemporary quilts.  Reservations: whitehouseh@nbmaa.org ; 860-229-0257, ext. 203

 

?/font>MoMA After Hours:  Toulouse-Lautrec’s Nightlife, NYC, Oct. 16 or 22, 6-9 p.m.  Designed in conjunction with the exhibit The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec:  Prints and Posters, this class offers students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world Toulouse-Lautrec captured.  Food, wine, lively dialogue.  http://www.moma.org/learn/courses/courses#course241

 

 

   

 
 
       
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    Basic Airbrush Techniques

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    Airbrush

    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.

    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 astoundingly modern.

     

    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

    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

    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
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    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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