Ampersand Blog

It’s hard not to get swept up in the work of John Cruz. His paintings are at once recognizable and yet abstracted. Not only abstract in the customary execution, but also in the range of feelings that his imagery evokes.

From a very early age, Jeanne Rhea thought of herself as an artist. And yet, as many do, she hesitated to call herself one. “Others should make that determination… my art should speak for itself.” It was only within the last ten years that she has felt comfortable assuming the title.

Lynnette Shelley

Lynnette Shelley's unusual and culturally charged artwork has won numerous awards and found its way into collections across the world. Her mixed media pieces are a conglomeration of her drawing passion and the collection of interests she has pulled from Celtic art, wildlife, archetypal symbology and art nouveau.

This painting was inspired by a woman that was watching a procession in a small piazza in Italy. I am usually inspired by a particular subject, light quality, shadow pattern, or overall mood based on a life experience. When not able to work from life, I try to work from a combination of quick sketches, color studies, and photographs.

Natalie Oswald is a fine artist and illustrator living in Seattle Washington. Exploring new mediums and techniques keeps your painting process exciting and can lead to stylistic breakthroughs. I enjoy working in layers and playing with decorative elements such as gold leaf and repetitive patterns to make my painting surfaces richer and more interesting.

Washington-based colored pencil artist, Ranjini Venkatachari, shares her work and her process of working on Pastelbord. She explains why Pastelbord's surface has worked so easily for her style and experimentation.

Watercolor artist Ali Cavanaugh discovered Aquabord and explains how its "flawless, pebbly surface" takes layers and layers of pigment without wearing it down.