Each month you’ll find informative articles that deal with a variety of
subjects such as artists and art history, current events and art world
news, schools, competitions and workshops, and a Kids?Korner. Subjects
vary each month. art supplies, airbrushing, drawing, painting,
printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, matting and framing, arts and crafts,
and more. These explain various techniques—how to work and paint with
artist's watercolor on paper, oils or acrylics on artist canvas; how to
use pastels, pencils or pen and ink; how to work with different
surfaces grounds; how to paint with the airbrush and compatible materials;
the use of projectors and light boxes in your work and more. You’ll also
find artists information on magazines, art books. (Established
ARTtalk Cybercopy - posted August 1,
(ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is posted on
the 1st of every month.)
—Partnership Announced — eBay and Sotheby’s have announced a
partnership that will unite the global leader in online shopping with the
iconic international art business and auctioneer. Together they are
developing an innovative online platform that makes it easier for millions of
people worldwide to discover, browse and acquire exceptional works of art,
antiques and collectibles.
— Elizabeth A. Sackler has been elected Chair of the Brooklyn Museum. The
first woman in the nearly 200-year history of the Museum to serve in this
position, she succeeds retiring chair John S. Tamagni. Sackler is the founder
of the Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
— The 2014 Dutchess County (NY) Executive’s Arts Award winners have been
announced and will be honored on Oct. 9. See http://www.artsmidhudson.org/events/arts-awards/.
—Important Gift Received—The
Morgan Library & Museum has announced that it has received a major gift from
the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), including 21 sketchbooks by the
renowned artist, two of his early drawings and several original drawings by
artists who were part of his circle. The works were given by Lichtenstein’s
wife, Dorothy, in memory of her husband.
—Certificate of Excellence Awarded
— Recognized as a top performing attraction, as reviewed by travelers on the
world’s largest travel site, The Corning Museum of Glass (NY) has received a
Certificate of Excellence award for the fourth year in a row. The accolade is
given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler
reviews and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Currently at the
Museum through Jan. 4, the exhibition
René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass
brings together glass, jewelry, production molds and design drawings dating
Portrait Announced — The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, has
announced a new video portrait of jazz musician Esperanza Spalding. The work,
commissioned for the museum from 2013 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition
winner Bo Gehring, of Beacon, NY, is now showcased on the Portrait Gallery’s
YouTube page and will be on exhibit at the museum in May 2015. See at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OeZxytSV3M.
Obama has presented the 2013 National Medals of Arts, the highest award
given to artists and patrons of the arts by the U. S. government. Included
among the 12 honorees are patron of the arts Joan Harris and visual artist
James Turrell. — And the 2014 NEA National Heritage Fellowships,
the nation’s highest honors in the folk and traditional arts, have been
announced. Among the nine recipients recognized for their artistic excellence
and efforts to conserve America’s culture for future generations are Henry
Arquette, a Mohawk basketmaker; Yvonne Walker Keshick, an Odawa quill worker;
Carolyn Mazloomi, a quilting community advocate; and Vera Nakonechny, a
Ukrainian embroiderer and bead worker. They will be honored in September
with an awards ceremony and a concert.— The NEA will award 66 Our
Town grants totaling $5.07 million to organizations in 38 states,
investing in local efforts to leverage arts assets to drive community
development. Since 2011, 256 Our Town grants totaling more than $21
million have been awarded in all 50 states and the D.C.
People throughout the U.S. have voted for the works of American art they most
want to see installed in
Art Everywhere US,
the initiative that will transform bill- boards, bus shelters, subway
platforms, airport dioramas, movie theaters and more into a free, open-air art
gallery. As many as 50,000 displays, both static and digital, will be
installed among all 50 states. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks topped the
list of 58 selected artworks on display from Aug. 4—31. Also among the
winners was Jasper Francis Cropsey’s Autumn on the Hudson. http://arteverywhereus.org/
—In the Garden of Sonic Delights
is a major exhibition of sound art woven into the fabric of Westchester
County, NY. Centered at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, the
exhibition spans six of the region’s most dynamic cultural institutions and
features 15 commissioned, site-specific artworks by some of the world’s most
sought-after sound artists.
Thru Nov. 2.
—The World is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul
at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia,
includes a select gathering of 21 paintings with themes ranging from apples
and flowers to skulls, reappraising
monumental achievement in the genre. Thru Sept. 22.
—Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,
The Whitney (NYC), is the artist’s first major museum presentation in NY and
the first to fill nearly the entirety of the Marcel Breuer building with a
single artist’s work. This is also the only U.S. venue for the retrospective,
featuring 150 objects from 1978 to the present.
Thru Oct. 19.
Also, see Koons’ Split Rocker, a 37-foot-high form featuring
over 50,000 flowering plants at Rockefeller Center, NYC. Thru Sept. 12.
New Directions in Fiber,
9th Annual Open Juried Exhibit, IMAGO Foundation for the Arts, Warren, RI,
Oct. 17—Nov. 8.
Artists 18 and over may submit work created using or referencing any fiber
techniques and vocabularies, in any material. Techniques considered are
traditional as well as innovative, and materials may include cloth, thread,
paper, metal, glass, wood, clay, plastic, etc. Cash awards. Deadline:
August 31. http://www.onlinejuriedshows.com/Default.aspx?OJSID=313—
Grand National Exhibit,
The American Artists Professional League, Salmagundi Club, NYC, Nov. 10-21.
Open to all artists 18 or older; only works in representational or traditional
realism will be considered. Original oil, acrylic, watermedia, mixed media,
pastel, graphics and sculpture. Awards. Deadline: Sept. 6. http://www.americanartistsprofessionalleague.org/pdf/2014/prospectus_web_rev4.pdf
20th Anniversary International Juried Exhibition, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA,
Dec. 5—Jan. 30, 2015.
Open to all professional artists working in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood
and/or mixed media crafts. Work must be innovative and original in design.
Awards. Deadline: Sept. 12. http://craftformsentry.org/
Newmark Memorial Grant,
National Sculpture Society.
This memorial grant is an unrestricted prize of $5,000 for a sculptor
specializing in animal sculpture who has demonstrated a commitment to
sculpting and outstanding ability in his or her body of work. Applicants must
be citizens/residents of the U.S. Deadline: Oct. 1. http://www.nationalsculpture.org/nssN/index.cfm/fa/cProg.newmark
a free event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the naming of Madison Square
(NYC), will be held Sept. 6 from 3-9 p.m. The event will feature a
historically themed fair and contemporary art party in Madison Square Park.
Also see Rachel Feinstein’s Folly, a large-scale sculptural
installation of three architectural follies, thru Sept. 7.
Annual Windows on Main Street,
Beacon, NY—Aug. 9—Sept. 13. 35 local artists have been challenged to create a
unique piece of art inspired by and installed in a business storefront window
along Main St., competing for juried awards and prizes. beacon windows.org.
Working with Clay
Working in clay is one of the most interesting and
expressive things an artist can do. There is a universal feeling of
making "something" from what appears to be "nothing," and it is
great to have successes with that type of creative process. Clay is,
however, far from "nothing." It is a very precise combination of
materials that when joined together with moisture is a wonderfully
plastic and malleable material.
Clay formulas vary greatly in the degree of
smoothness or texture they possess. Porcelain, for instance, has
nearly no grit within the formula, so the surface will be smooth and
sleek for glazes. It is also fired to the highest temperatures to
achieve vitrification. Porcelain clay is usually a very light color
of gray or pure white once fired.
Earthenware clay is the other extreme. It is more
porous, has much more texture and glazes are less fluid on the
earthenware surface. Colors range from tans and yellows to rich
browns and reds. It is easier to manipulate than porcelain but not
as smooth or "polished" in appearance.
Between these two extremes is stoneware clay, the
most popular. The composition of stoneware offers a more rigid and
stronger base than that of earthenware but not as "tight" a surface
All three clays can be shaped/formed in the same way
- hand built, slip cast or thrown on the potter's wheel. In liquid
form (slip), all can be cast into molds for rapid and exact
duplication of shapes and forms. Of all choices of manipulation,
hand building is the method used most by potters who want to offer
creative and expressive forms for sale. Throwing on the potter's
wheel is fun and is a skill that can be worthwhile to learn. For the
creation of large forms the potter's wheel is very valuable.
However, most potters agree that once the mechanics of throwing are
learned, it is far less rewarding than the ability to create one-off
items with hand building.
in clay bodies, glaze formulas are a very precise measurement of
components. Some of the elements in a glaze help hold it on the clay
body. Some make glazes flow and intermix with the colorants. Some of
the colorants can react with the other components to create an
ever-changing array of glaze "activity." Potters want to have a
regiment of glazes that they can depend on and that will perform
well and as expected. That final step is vital to the success of any
Methods of glaze application are as varied as there
are potters. The order in which multiple glazes are applied can
affect the result in new and unexpected ways. That is not a bad
thing. New can be good. Some colorants react to a minor change in
glaze composition to give a huge range of colors with a very slight
change in formula. For those who are less interested in
experimentation or study, there are hundreds of very controlled and
beautiful glazes where all that is required is to open a jar and
apply the glaze. Easy can be good, too!
One can brush on glazes, singly or in layers.
Designs can be painted over a base glaze to create a completely new
look. Dipping is a choice of many clay artisans because in one dunk
you cover the entire surface. The base of a piece of pottery must be
clear of glaze or it will stick to the kiln shelf. If you dunk, you
either have to put on a wax-type resist to avoid the glaze coating
or wash off the base. Airbrushing glazes is a very fast application
method, and if applied one over another, you can create totally
unique colors and textures. Even in the method of application, there
are dozens of choices, so change can be a vital part of the learning
process with clay and glazes.
Carving through glazes to create designs that will
show the original color of the clay is also popular. Any tool can be
used that will render an area large enough to detect once the glaze
is fired. Runny glazes are obviously not a good choice if you want
your carving to show.
Two methods of firing clay are practical for most
potters: electric or gas firing. Electric is easiest but is a bit
limiting because of the oxygen-rich environment. Gas firing uses
this lack of oxygen to create red glazes with copper based glazes
but also fires any glaze well. Gas draws oxygen from the clay body,
through the glaze and transforms copper from green to red. Pretty
amazing, but if reds are your passion you can get them with electric
firing by purchasing ready-made glazes in red. Occasionally you will
find an artist who does wood firing. That is a wild and interesting
way to fire clay but not very practical for the average potter. The
kilns are huge and massive amounts of wood are needed.
This article barely scratches (carves!) the surface
of clays and glazes, but once an artisan becomes interested in the
practices, designing and—dare we say—chemistry of pottery, it is one
of the most engaging and creative ways to express one's artistic
abilities. If you get an opportunity to try any part of the clay
experience - take it! Visit
www.amaco.com for all your material/equipment needs from
clay to kilns.
Some Subjects That Can Be Found In
The Pages Of ARTtalk!
art, arts, paintings, painting, airbrush, airbrushes, airbrushers, paint,
sculpture, sculptors, printmakers, printmaking, pencils, pencil, brush, brushes,
decorative, women, drawings, pens, inks, papers, illustration, boards, canvases,
portrait, collages, colors, studios, exhibition, crafts, classes, workshop, drawing,
pen, ink, workshops, magic markers, landscapes, portraits, history, paper,
canvas, color theory, arts and crafts, studio, competitions, exhibitions, news,
oil, pictures, software, figure painting, erotic art, tattoo, framing, mat
cutting, matting, holidays gift, guide, kid's, children's, newsletter,
materials, products, marketplace, stores, supply, material, retailers,
wholesaler, organizations, books, frisket film, watercolor, acrylic, gouache,
carving, fine art, aquamedia, magazines, lessons, artists, painters,
printmakers, potters, weavers, weaving, textile, pottery, lithography, screen
printing, silkscreen, carving, wood, poster, tools, prints, compressors, museums,
galleries, schools, lessons, instruction.
Eclipse Airbrush, Iwata Airbrush, Medea Textile Colours, Medea Com-Art Colours,
Ampersand Art Supply, Artool, General Pencil Co., Silentaire Technology,
American Art Clay Co., Graphic Chemical & Ink, Grumbacher, Schmincke,
Chartpak, Higgins Ink
ART in Beacon NY
THE ARTIST’S MARKETPLACE
ARTtalk Local Beacon, N.Y.
Robert Paschal, MFA
October 25 2014
Equipment/Materials Provided for Use in Class
Relief Printing--History and Technique
Relief printing is defined as a printing process by which a carved
or otherwise created three-dimensional master is used to make
duplicates of an image. Woodblock, linocuts and wood engraving are
all relief print methods.
In woodblock printmaking, the parts of the block which are not to
appear on the print are removed from the block by cutting them away
with a knife or other tool. For printing, the raised parts of the
block are inked and the paper is pressed on it by hand or by a
Woodblock printing is one of the oldest printmaking techniques. Its
origin is linked to the creation of cutting or shaping stamps and
seals but the most important development for the creation of
woodblock prints was the development of paper. Around A.D. 105 in
China, the first printmaking techniques came to be. Stone rubbings
that were inked and rubbed with dampened paper have been documented.
These stone rubbings led to the development of more controlled
media, that of wood blocks. China is documented as having a
completed book created with woodblock prints that has been dated
868, the primary use for which was Buddhist teachings. Japan also
had prints dating in the 770’s which were printed in an edition of
one million, but the plate composition is unknown.
In Europe woodblock printmaking came much later. Printing on fabric
with wooden stencils was common for centuries, but woodblock
printing on paper began with paper production, somewhere around
Early European prints were single sheets, used mostly for religious
images. They were hand printed and often hand colored, usually using
stencils so that the painting would remain clearly visible. These
prints started with carved lines, and it wasn’t until 1400 that
cutting wide areas emerged.
With the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in
1440, much about printing methods began to change. Printed word
began to separate from imagery and the focus became the print rather
than the images.
In the 17th century, engraving and etching became the most commonly
used printmaking methods and replaced large-scale woodblock
printing. Economics changed again with the invention of lithography
and later photography, and woodcuts became a medium of fine art.
Japan’s woodblock prints of this era are some of the most coveted
Cherry and pear wood make excellent choices for woodcut masters.
They are hard and hold edges very well, but are not easily found.
When faced with the remaining choices, artists often find themselves
experimenting with a variety of woods. One that is easy to find and
works very well is a solid core, room-finished plywood. It is
usually about one-inch thick and very smooth on both sides. The
hard, solid core allows deeper cuts and very strong relief. Tools
you might choose to carve with include gouges and stencil knives,
and sometimes small grinders help to remove large areas. The edges
of important shapes should be cut with very sharp blades so that
they are distinct.
The same tools and inking methods can be used to create linoleum
prints. Carving can be done with almost any sharp tool because the
lino surface is soft. As in the case of carving wood blocks, gouges
can remove large areas and create interesting textures. The linoleum
that is preferred is called battleship linoleum and is the actual
floor covering used on battleship floors for decades. It is smooth,
about ¼-inch thick, and has a heavy jute backing for stability. When
slightly warmed, it makes the carving process even easier.
Inks are rolled on with brayers for even distribution. Slightly
moistened paper is used to pick up the images and all your detail
can be transferred to the sheets easily, even with hand transfer. A
smooth rounded tool such as the bowl of a spoon makes pickup of ink
very simple. Use even pressure and small circular patterns and the
ink will be transferred onto the paper.
Wood engraving is actually very similar to woodcuts, but is
completed with more refined tools. The images, more refined and very
detailed, are created with the use of finely textured wood grain
planks. The grain must be very tight to hold the fine detail.
Photoengraving differs from other engraving because it is the
melding of two very different media. Photographic images are used to
create a metal plate that has very slight "highs" and "lows." The
major subjects are the high areas, while the background or negative
areas are the lows. It is the taller areas of the metal plate that
are printed with the introduction of ink to the plate. They are
known for their elegant, almost dreamy appearance, unlike other
forms of etching that are sharp and highly detailed.
Relief printing can be done with very simple and inexpensive
materials. Wax blocks and even Styrofoam can be carved and indented
to create a relief that can be printed. Nothing could be more fun
and interesting as printmaking with found materials that yield
interesting and unique results. So there is no reason to avoid
printmaking because of the materials or the methods.
Printmaking is fun, easy and can be very rewarding. Experiment with
a variety of materials and methods. You might find it is perfect for
you and the images you want to create.
Painting on a Grand Scale
When artists gravitate towards large scale works,
they face some interesting challenges along with the actual creative
process. How art is created ?on a grand scale ?is different from
small artworks. Every aspect of the act of mural painting and other
large scale artwork has considerations that make it fun and
stimulating - well worth those deliberations.
From the very ground onto which the artist places
sketch lines, brushes of paint and blended colors, large scale
nudges the artist into new realms of production. In order to paint
large scale, the preferred ground ?canvas of some sort ?must be
acquired in an appropriate size. The content of the canvas and its
weight are both vital considerations when the painted surface is
Widths/lengths and fiber content of canvas-type
grounds vary greatly, but there are sizes as large as 12 feet wide.
More commonly, large scale works are completed on canvas of 60? 72?
or 84?widths. Roll length purchases are necessary and can vary by
manufacturer ?from 6 feet to 25 yards.
But, after width and length, the fiber content may
be the single most important element of the painting. As you would
expect, there is cotton fiber in a variety of weights, but there is
also linen, jute, cotton/linen blends polyester (all synthetic) and
cotton/poly blends and all can be found primed and unprimed. The
weight and texture of the canvas will have an important bearing on
the finished artwork, and most artists match their style with the
texture and surface of their ground. Choices abound!
Rather than traditionally sized tubes of paint, most
muralists/large scale painters use jars, tubs ?even gallons of
artists?colors. Most manufacturers of paint offer a wide selection
in larger quantities. Selection of textures in those containers is
also sometimes available. Thicker paint means more pigment for
application and working into large spaces.
tools include brushes for sure, but those used are much larger in
size. Consider when doing any work—if the scale were huge, you would
want to use larger brushes. And, additionally, rollers (like those
used for wall painting) and trowels are also used in larger scale
works ?tools that would be difficult to use small scale become a
necessity for bigger works. Trowels, scrapers, and tools not often
associated with “painterly?applications are used by muralists and
accomplish the job they want. Painting pads and hand “mops?for
decorative surfacing of walls can come in very handy on larger scale
Easels play a big part in big works. Studio easels
in both wood and metal often accept works as large as 5-8 feet tall.
They help hold the work at the proper level ?that at which it will
be viewed ?so the artist is always aware of the scope, perspective
and dynamics of his/her work. Some artists who do large scale work
cover a wall with plywood and then staple or tack their canvas to
that surface at the proper level for work and viewing. Easels and
wall attachments ?whatever they might be ?help artists by allowing
them to step back and take in the “big picture.?For large stretched
canvas, wall mounted easels are great. They can accommodate works of
around 100 inches in height. They are sturdy, help hold the
stretched canvas firmly and adjust to all points up to around 100
And lastly some artists employ the use of airbrush
to do a lot of the design layout and fill-in on large works.
Texturing with an airbrush can be accomplished by painting through
screening, metal mesh, decorative pierced metal sheeting and many
more items. Airbrush gives the type of color gradation almost
impossible to achieve in any other way. Mists of tone-on-tone and
the softness achieved is a huge asset to some muralists.
In review, large scale artworks bring new thought
processes to ponder and hurdles to overcome. But, isn’t that what
contributes to making art so enjoyable and rewarding—to accept the
intellectual stimulation of such works and to succeed.
Printmaking Techniques & Materials
Printmaking is an enjoyable expression and is
accompanied by some terms that often seem a bit difficult to
understand. So, here some of the common terms and techniques will be
explained. The scope of printmaking is huge and can be enjoyed by
nearly any age group. Some of the materials used are found around
the home, while others must be purchased from art material
Graphic Chemical & Ink Co.
No matter the level of your involvement with
printmaking, it is sure to be exciting. In some techniques,
duplication of results is nearly impossible, which seems a bit
contradictory to the basic term: printmaking. Let’s take, for our
first example, the most direct and simple of prints…monoprints.
A monoprint (mono meaning one) is created by
applying ink or paint to a hard flat surface (plate), pressing paper
against the plate and lifting the paper from the plate. The
resulting print is one-of-a-kind, since ink or paint would be nearly
impossible to set in the same place time after time. Simple doesn’t
mean uninteresting, and this is a great technique for any artist.
Collagraph, a very simple form of
printmaking, is a print created from a plate (Masonite, mat board,
chip board, etc.) that has natural and/or found objects with texture
glued to it. The surface of the plate is sealed and, when dry, is
inked on the textured plate, excess removed and a paper placed on
top. Downward pressure (using a press or hand roller) presses the
paper and ink together and the images are transferred (in reverse)
to the paper. Again, the simplicity of collagraph prints makes them
easy for everyone to try. Many, but not unlimited, prints can be
made from a master collagraph plate.
Wood block (woodcut) printing advances in
difficulty because the artist uses special gouges and carving tools
to create a dimensional image in a wood block. The high surfaces of
the wood block are inked, paper is pressed against the inked areas
and the resulting image is a woodblock print. Surfaces other than
wood can be used; linoleum, wax, and rubber are a few that are a bit
easier to carve. Early wood block designs were used for fabric
embellishment and those blocks endure as collectables.
Reduction prints are created with care by
print artists who desire more color and texture in their work. Each
color is printed individually on the ever-decreasing wood block.
Working from back to front colorwise, the artist reduces the wood
block with every color, printing that part of the plate that will
reflect a specific color, and then removing more mass to print the
next color. When finished, the only areas that remain on the block
are those representing the very last color.
Drypoint etching is more involved because it
starts with a metal plate. The plate is scribed (scratched) by the
artist to record a subject. Ink is rubbed into the slight toothy
grooves created by the scribing. Paper is then put on the plate,
pressed and the resulting print is pulled away from the plate. For
all but the tiniest of printed images, a printing press is
invaluable in the process. Strong definition and evenness is
difficult with hand pressing methods. Many prints can be made from
the original plate. Etching can be taken yet another step by using
acid to enlarge and remove areas of the metal surface.
Intaglio prints are made from a metal base
into which designs have been created. This is often done with harsh
chemicals, the metal dissolving where there are scribed or etched
lines that have been made through a protective covering. Because of
the chemical contact (acids), this level of printmaking is
considered advanced and should be done under supervision and
instruction. Many prints can be made from the original plate. Ink is
rubbed into the low areas, paper is pressed to the surface and a
print is created.
following is a simple explanation of some terms associated with
brayer - a hard rubber roller on a handle
used to transfer ink to the plate.
plate ?a surface on which an image is
formed, usually metal.
baren - a circular padded tool used to rub
against the back of paper to obtain an image from a master.
hard ground -an acid-resistant material
applied to an etching plate through which you scribe to create a
mordant - an acid or other corrosive
substance used to “bite?into a metal plate to create an image on
gouge ?a V- or U-shaped tool for cutting a
wood or linoleum block.