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All Things Ampersand

New Ampersand Products for this Spring

6″ x 8″ flat panels

A few weeks ago, we announced the new sizes, 6″ x 8″, in our Museum Series panels, packed in 3’s.  They are a fun new addition to our product line and will be immensely helpful to those who travel with panels or who work plein air.

But now. . . 

We are also carrying new profiles, 7/8″ and 1.5″ cradles for Aquabord™ and Hardbord™!  

And larger sizes for Encausticbord™ and Hardbord 2″ cradled panels, including 10″ x 10″, 16″ x 16″, 30″ x 30″ and 36″ x 36″ square plus 24″ x 36″, 30″x 40″ and 36″ x 48″.  

New Hardbord Cradles

And new 10″ x 10″ sand 16″ x 16″, flat profiles for both Claybord and Gessobord.  Seriously great stuff to build up your studio supplies.

And now, you can find Aquabord, Pastelbord, Scratchbord and Artist Panels on SALE!!!

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.

New Sizes for our Panels!!

This year, we added 6″ x 8″ inch flat panels to our size offering in Claybord™, Gessobord™, Pastelbord™, Encausticbord™ and Hardbord™, due to popular demand. They are small, lightweight and packed in threes for both convenience and cost effectiveness, and perfect for plein air painting.  Both Jerry’s Artarama and Dick Blick are  carrying the new sizes.  

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.

Featured Artist: Jessie Benson

Waiting to Be, 6″ x 6″

“Encaustic is the culmination of all my loves — drawing, painting, and sculpture.  It also has the surprise element of printmaking and developing black and white photography in which the final piece is never exactly like you expected, which I really like.  It is this all-in-one characteristic that keeps me returning to my studio again and again.” ~Jessie Benson

Lowfields Farm, 8″ x 10″

North Carolina artist, Jessie Benson creates encaustic work that encompasses not just her love of many art mediums, but also her deep respect and passion for nature.  She finds constant inspiration in the trees, leaves and birds around her.  “Birds are a favorite subject matter as well and I am fortunate to have a yard full of birds of many species.  They are constantly inspiring me,” she explains.  “I love to paint trees, birds, nests, flowers, really any part of nature I find beautiful.”  However, Jessie also likes the challenge of commissions, because the subjects aren’t normally what she would choose, such as a recent ship triptych.

Becoming the Moon, 6″ x 12″

Jessie has always been an art lover and began her path into painting with acrylic, ink, printmaking and even sculpture.  But it was encaustic that she was drawn to through seeing another artist’s work at a local art fair.  She explains, “after reading about encaustic painting, I went to Jerry’s to assemble the supplies including Ampersand Encausticbord™.  I loved the professional look of the cradled panels and the various sizes.  I also liked the way the final painting could be hung without needing framing.   I use all 1.5″ cradled boards because I like the way the painting depth is uniform when hanging multiple pieces for a show.  I also like knowing that when someone buys my painting they are getting quality materials.”  Jessie prepares around thirty of her boards at a time, in all different styles, ready to take on a painting at a moment’s notice.   “This variety in panel size allows me to create the piece as I have dreamed it up and having many panels on hand ready to go allows my creativity to flow freely.”  

Faith,  24″ x 18″

Jessie has new work opening tonight at the Visual Art Exchange’s MOVE show  including her favorite painting ‘Becoming The Moon.’  Come out to the opening reception with Raleigh’s First Friday events March 7 from 6-9 pm 309 W. Martin St. downtown Raleigh, NC.  Next week, Jessie will be in Woodstock, Illinois for the 27th Annual Women’s Works Show to display her work Faith, opening on March 13thTo see more of Jessie’s encaustic work, or her other art, tune in to her website at: starfruitworks.com.  As an extension of Jessie’s  love of nature, she gives a portion of her proceeds to the North Carolina nonprofit Center or Human-Earth Restoration that serves to reconnect adults and children with the natural world.

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.

Cold Wax and Daniel Smith Oils on Encausticbord™

Architectural Relic 2-111, oil, collage, wax, 12″ x12″

“The translucency of the wax mixed with oils allows light to penetrate into the paint body giving it richness and vibrancy of tone.” ~Ginny Herzog

Minneapolis-based artist Ginny Herzog has been an invaluable Ampersand enthusiast for many years. This past year at NAMTA in Minneapolis, we were honored to have Ginny in our booth demonstrating her work on Ampersand panels.  Ginny shares with us her mixed media work process on Encausticbord.

I have been using Ampersand’s panels for my mixed media paintings since they first came on the market in 1994. Until recently, I worked mainly in watercolor and collage on the Aquabord™. But over the past several months, I have fallen in love with a new medium: Daniel Smith oils mixed with Dorland’s (cold) Wax Medium. I practiced my first attempts on Aquabord™ and Gessobord™, but found that the new Ampersand Encausticbord™ was a more outstanding surface for my new medium especially since it is tailor-made for wax, oils, collage and mixed media. It provides me with a rigid, smooth and consistent, archival surface that withstands the abuse of various methods that I use to achieve my textural effects.

I began by adhering the collage sections 
with Daniel® Smith’s acrylic gel medium.

First, I take digital photos of architecture, both interiors and exteriors, manipulate them in Photoshop®, frequently eliminating objects or distorting the context of the original image. I print the photos on archival laser color paper and then use the prints as collage elements in my paintings.
Then, I added the oils mixed with Dorland’s 
wax medium using the Colour Shaper® tool.

I collage my photos onto the panel with Daniel Smith Ultimate Acrylic Medium (matte) by brushing it onto the back side of the photo copy with an old flat paintbrush, then placing it onto the panel and rolling over it with a rubber brayer to make sure it has adhered completely to the panel and that there are no air bubbles.

I blotted the painted wet surface with wadded 
up plastic wrap to get this soft textural effect.

Next, using Artist’s Masking Tape, I mask out the edges of the photo collage that I want to protect from the oil paint. I apply Daniel Smith Oils mixed with the Dorland’s Wax Medium using tools such as palette knives, Colour Shapers (shown) or dough scrapers. After a few applications of the paint and cold wax, I remove the artist’s masking tape so that successive layers of paint blend well around the crisp paper edges of the collage.

The wax medium also enables me to build up more textures by blotting the painted surface with plastic wrap (example shown in yellow areas), papers or other textural materials in an additive method, as well as gouging, scraping and using odorless thinner in a subtractive method.

I frequently include architectural references as the painting begins to dry, adding linear detail by drawing into the painted surface with dental carving tools, oil sticks and Derwent® Inktense pencils. It’s nice how cold wax paintings dry and cure faster than pure oil paintings and that I can use polishing cloths to buff the painting when it is dry. I use both the flat and cradled panels. Generally, I apply three coats of ebony Minwax® stain to the cradle with a foam brush, wiping between coats and finally buffing after the last coat.
I added the architectural elements with a 
ruled triangle and a dental tool

Featured Materials
• Encausticbord™ 12″x12″, 1.5″ DEEP
• Dorland’s Wax Medium
• Daniel Smith® Oil Colors
• Daniel Smith® Acrylic Medium, Matte
• Colour Shaper® 5 tip set
• Archival laser color copies
• Artist’s Masking Tape
• Derwent® inktense 24 pencil set
• Utility knife
• T-square and triangle
• Rubber brayer
• Turpenoid® Odorless Thinner
Optional or readily available materials:
• Minwax® wood stain and foam sponge
• Wilton® dough scraper (cooking tools)
• Pick, Carver & Spatula (dental/clay carving tools)
• Plastic wrap and papers for textural effects
• Polishing cloths and Rubber Gloves
• Scissors, Cutting Mat

For more about this prolific artist: www.herzogart.com

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

Encaustic Artist Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch Paints on ATCs

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch is known for her dynamic encaustic approach and inspiring instruction.  When Ampersand first came out with Artist Trading Cards in Encausticbord™, Patricia jumped on board to try them and demonstrate a project for us.

Ampersand first won my heart when I began translating my creative bent from mixed media work into encaustic on Claybord™. The luminous white surface, solid foundation and delectable option of a 2″ cradle all married beautifully with the ancient, yet contemporary feel of encaustic. Imagine my delight when I learned that Ampersand improved on this near-perfect relationship with new Encausticbord™ that offers the best of two worlds: R&F’s encaustic gesso paired with Ampersand’s expert wood panels and advanced coating technology.

The use of ATCs or “Artist Trading Cards” arose a few years ago as the next big art movement. Exploding on the scene, potentially as the next ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ trend, ATCs have managed to gain a permanent foothold. Ampersand has embraced this tradable palm-sized art form and I find myself embracing these miniature delights right back. I jump with both feet into Ampersand’s delicious Encausticbord ATCs! I adore R&F’s encaustic paints and mediums and put them to task here, along with Daniel Smith’s luscious oil paints. By choosing this triune of materials: Encausticbord, R&F Encaustic and Daniel Smith oils, I have assuredly set myself up for success!

To begin these paintings, and any paintings in encaustic, I first prime the board, though not in the traditional sense to which you may be accustomed. The priming is done with an initial layer of encaustic wax medium fused to the substrate with heat. Before applying this prime layer, I warm the Encausticbord first so that the wax will flow more evenly over the surface. This can be done by using a heat gun or by placing it on a hot plate/palette until the panel is warm to the touch. Use a natural bristle brush to quickly cover the panel with long smooth strokes that slightly overlap each other. Then, heat or “fuse” the whole surface to an even “wetness” and until there is a perfectly even film of wax covering the ground. Each layer of wax should be fused in this way before applying the next. For a few more basic tips on encaustic, visit: www.encausticcenter.com

For this project, I worked on multiple ATCs at once which gave me the opportunity to hang them as a multi-storied group or to hand them out as individual ATCs (fig.1). After applying the initial priming layer, I placed chip board die cut letters over the entire group of 12 ATCs and sprayed alcohol inks over them to create stencil effects (fig. 2). Once the ink dried, I removed the letters. Then, using a natural bristle brush, I applied a layer of R&F’s encaustic medium (made from beeswax and damar resin) (fig. 3).

I decided to paint stripes of R&F encaustic color across all the boards to unify them. I masked off the stripes with tape, painted them in with R&F color, then removed the tape while the wax was still tacky and then fused the layer (fig. 4). I collaged in Daniel Smith decorative papers (encaustic medium being its own wonderful glue) and then I fused again. For soft glazes of color, I rubbed on Daniel Smith oil paints and then wiped them away to show relief texture. Lastly, I dropped a touch of metal fleck glitter inside simple metal circles and melted them into place (fig. 1) This collection was inspiring to create. Enjoy!

Remember that Encausticbord, along with Claybord, Hardbord, Gessobord and ALL the Artist Panels are now on sale through the end of September.  Find a participating retailer near you: www.ampersandart.com/retailers

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