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All Things Ampersand

Insights from the World of Scratchbord, Part 4

The fourth part of the series, “Insights from the World of Scratchbord” by Lisa Goesling:

Cape Buffalo, 36″ x 48″, Sally Maxwell

“Sally Maxwell discovered scratchboard in 1967 while creating illustrations for brochures and magazines. At the time, she was exhibiting at a local art show when a judge came up to her and said that he would buy every one of her drawings outright if she could add color to them. Since he was the curator for Marshall Field’s Department Store’s Art Gallery in Chicago, she decided to appease him. Sally figured out a way to add color to her scratchboards and the rest is history. She has had a path that lead her to everything from published limited edition prints to having her designs produced on Collector Plates.

Upon moving to Austin, TX, she learned about a new start-up company, Ampersand Art, and approached them about creating Scratchboard kits, videos/DVD’s, and instructional booklets. Working together with Ampersand, they produced a line of quality colored inks to work in unison with the Scratchbords. Sally mentioned how far scratchboards have come, “…hard surfaces that withstand major removal and multiple additions and subtractions of its surface allowing so much leeway for artists. The addition of ‘cradled’ boards offers a ‘gallery wrapped look’ providing strong support.” Scratchboards used to be limited to smaller sizes because of the risk of the clay cracking from the weight of a larger board. With the introduction of ‘cradled’ boards, artists can work on any size knowing that Ampersand’s cradled system will keep their Scratchbord secure.

Silent Swan, 18″ x 24″, Sally Maxwell

Sally has had gallery representation throughout the years, her longest relationship being with Cantrell Gallery of Little Rock, AR. She is presently represented by Seaside Gallery in Pismo Beach, CA. She is one of those rare artists whose galleries buy her art outright rather than on consignment knowing full well that it will sell.

Sally’s annual average has been in the six figures plus range for the past five years. Her largest Facebook sale to date was for $17,500.  “We, (Sally’s husband and her) do six shows a year. I do a simple demonstration of how it is done, talk about the piece, where we were when the photo was taken, our adventure with the subject and what it means to us. My collectors are drawn by the drama of the medium and the uniqueness, appreciating it even more when they learn how it is done. My pieces are powerful, and the powerful are attracted to them. I think another thing that has contributed to my success is that I do not immediately look at the bottom line or net profit from an exhibit. I look for one new collector per show, someone who will continue to purchase, not a one time buyer. Establishing relationships with collectors and keeping them going through the years is my goal.”
Essence of a Giraffe, 24″ x 60″,
Sally Maxwell

Sally added that she sells from her four-year old studio to preexisting clients who have seen something on the Internet or Facebook. She and her husband are in the process of remodeling their guesthouse so that buyers can visit for the weekend and spend time in her Studio in the Woods.

Scratchboard artists have elevated this medium into the realm of fine art. I encourage you to explore these boards and begin to make your own mark in the world.”

An excerpt of “Insights from the World of Scratchbord” by Lisa Goesling.

For more information on using Scratchbord, check out this post on “The World of Scratchbord” as well as our videos on using Scratchbord on YouTube.

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

One thought on “Insights from the World of Scratchbord, Part 4”

  1. Sincerely appreciate your posting about Sally Maxwell, her art is extraordinary! Thanks so much, Karyn!

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