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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Ginger Gehres

North Carolina artist, Ginger Gehres, was one of our three artists back in the spring that won our “Share your Studio” contest.  With such a strong affection for Ampersand panels and a wide range of experience in art, it was an easy choice to support her work here on our blog.

Ginger’s life long affair with art is truly life-long.  “I never knew I wasn’t an artist. One of my Grandmothers was a fine artist, the other was an excellent sewer, my Dad built homes and my Mom could paint, but preferred artisanal craft work and she was a professional dancer at one time. Creativity was the norm in our home,” she explains.  It isn’t that Ginger hasn’t taken the time to hone her talent with the study from professionals, but she did get a jump start on her learning with an internationally recognized artist grandmother, Twyla Rose.  
Ampersand panels came into Ginger’s life relatively recently when she found them at a local Jerry’s Artarama.  She liked working on the hard surface with acrylics, and appreciated their durability.  “In November of 2011, Susie Willis, a friend and fellow artist, ask me to come with her to Art of the Carolinas sponsored by Jerry’s.  I’d never been and was overjoyed when I saw the Ampersand booth,” she explains.  Along with other art material manufacturers, Ampersand was there selling panels and demonstrating how to work on them.  “I was stocking up on boards when I saw a striking flower on a black background as a display piece. I had no clue it would change my whole perspective on art. I was told that it was “scratchboard” and Dana, one of Ampersand’s very fine folks, explained how it was done.  I tried out the giraffe in Sally Maxwell’s book, got hooked and never turned back!”

Ginger primarily works in Scratchbord and Claybord with acrylic, always doing more than one project at a time.  Her studio is laid out so that she can work on tables or an easel, with a dog or two nearby.  Her subject matter is simply a matter of what comes to her, what subjects draw her in emotionally.  Her new challenges are working on textures in the Scratchbord, fur, skin, scales, metal or rust.  “I found a toad in a nursery a few years ago and my husband discovered me on the ground, taking it’s picture.  Thankfully, he’s not easily embarrassed and I was able to do a scratchboard piece that had warts,” says Ginger.

Ginger just finished the June show in Vancouver for The International Society of Scratchbord Artists where she had three pieces juried in, and she is the current exhibition director where she’ll be heavily involved in the annual juried show in 2014 in Cary, NC.  You can find Ginger online, she is part of the Scratchbord Group on Facebook, has her own page and website where you can see more of her work, graphic design and illustration. 

Our fall sales event is starting soon, 20-50% off on Claybord, Gessobord, Hardbord, Encausticbord and The Artist Panel at select dealers.

All things Ampersand,
Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Artist & Social Media Specialist
Ampersand Art Supply

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

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