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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Patricia Seggebruch

 

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, encaustic artist, experimenter extraordinaire, inventor, camp director, author, instructor, and a mom of four boys is possibly one of the busiest artists I know. She is truly a presence in the encaustic community and a leading instructor on this medium, with several books and DVDs out to instruct people on how accessible this medium can be. She makes encaustic possible and reachable to those that are hesitant to start the medium or to work in the arts at all.

 


Trish has always been creative–sewing when she was younger, creating her own designs and trying everything new in different mediums and techniques. When her boys were younger, she was working in mixed media for an artistic outlet, and wanted to get more texture in her pieces. While starting with paraffin on her own and doing some research, she came across encaustic and took a workshop. There was no going back.  

 

Since Trish was already familiar with Ampersand panels for her other mixed media work, primarily Claybord, it was a given that she would want the perfect surface for heated wax. In communicating with Elaine Salazar, Ampersand’s President/CEO, Trish began to discuss what was needed in a panel for encaustic. Soon after, Elaine started collaborating with Richard Frumess at R&F Handmade Paints to create the perfect panel.  to create just the right panel for encaustic. Watch the story of Encausticbord™ as told by Elaine and Richard on our YouTube Channel.

There are so many advantages for an artist to work with Encausticbord. Besides the heat resistent surface, the board is ideal for mixed media, and even accepts watercolors and acrylics, a unique attribute of this surface.  And with the encaustic medium itself, there is no varnishing. Only a light buffing is needed from time to time to remove dust. Also, like all Ampersand panels in the cradled profile, no extra framing is necessary.

 


Trish has created a unique workshop retreat just for encaustic, a week long experience starting from the basics up to all sorts of mixed media and advanced techniques. You can sign up for Encausticamp which is taking registrations until Dec 19th for 2013. It will take place outside of Seattle on a beautiful retreat, with instructors from all over the United States. Samples of Encausticbord will be included for you to try.

Trish advises new artists starting in encaustic to just go for it. The medium can be intimidating, as it is unique in using heated tools, but Trish is working to make it affordable and tangible for artists. She explains that her purpose as an instructor is to educate the next generation of people who can bring the medium back to students. To see more of Trish’s work, signup for her workshops, see her products and check out Encausticamp, peek at her website:  www.pbsartist.com

For those of you living close to Seattle, WA, you can catch a new opening of Trish’s work at the Hanson Scott Gallery, opening December 1, with a gallery talk on December 15.  

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.

Catalyst Tools on Ampersand Panels

Jenny Lerner

 

Princeton Brush has innovation and customer service at the top of the list.  They are continually reaching to improve tools that artists can use, hence the Catalyst tools came along.

“The Catalyst design team realized a need for both tools and brushes that worked especially well with heavy paint.  We wanted to give artists tools that answered this problem in a durable, yet elegant, way,” explains Virgina Cofer, Catalyst Production Manager.

The Catalyst tools do just that.  They are a FDA approved silicone shaped and molded in 6 different tips, sequential sizes and wedges in each.  Since they are heat resistent up to 450 degrees, they work very well with encaustic and won’t scratch hot palettes.  And, since they are silicone, they work quite well with acrylic, allowing the artist to leave the paint to dry on the tip before peeling off and tossing.  No need to wash.

Rebecca Crowell

 

Since many of the Ampersand panels work beautifully with innovative techniques, mixed media and heavy bodied paints, these tools are a perfect choice.  Encausticbord especially is structured for mixed media application and hot wax, so the blades and wedges can move easily on their surface.  And since panels hold the weight of gels and mediums unlike canvas or paper, Catalyst tools can be used to pile on the paint.  The pairing of Ampersand panels and Catalyst tools is a perfect match.

Rebecca Crowell

 

Even though the tools were designed to be used with any type of heavy medium in mind, they can be used with anything — even cooking and cake decorating if you’re so inclined.  To see some innovative techniques with the unusual tools, peek at the Catalyst YouTube channel.

Janice Mason Steeves

 

To see the Catalyst blades and wedges in person, you can purchase via Dick Blick, Utrecht, Cheap Joes and Sax Art Supplies as well as many local art supply stores.  You can also learn more about each shape from the Princeton Brush website.

Ampersand’s Warmest,
Andrea Pramuk
Marketing Director
Ampersand Art Supply

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

Fall Sale happening now: Claybord, Gessobord, Encausticbord and Artist Panel

The Fall Sale is on, so what does this mean for you?  And how can you get in on the action?

 

Well, a few times a year, Ampersand has a sale on a few of the products, which means that the Ampersand retailers can sell them 20%-50% off to you, the artist.  Not all the products go on sale each time, so you have to watch carefully for when your favorite panels are in the sales.  During each sale, the website, the blog and our social media outlets mention the products and places where you can purchase them easily.  

This September, Claybord™, Gessobord, Hardbord Encausticbord and the Artist Panel are all on sale.  For a quick reminder on all the pros of each panel, check the list below and notice the new products:  Artist Panel Primed Smooth and Artist Panel Unprimed Basswood as well as 1.5″ profiles for Claybord and Gessobord.   

Claybord

Patti’s New Bowl, colored pencil on Gessobord by Kendra Ferreira

•  Superior performance with mixed media

•  Ultra-smooth, highly absorbent finish
•  Ideal for inks, acrylics, pencil and gouache

Gessobord
•  Ideal for oils and acrylics
•  Consistently even, bright white finish
•  Perfect level of absorbency for paints

Hardbord

•  Build up your own painting surfaces
•  Accepts all types of gesso grounds
•  Eco-friendly, high-density Aspen fiber core

Encausticbord
•  Ready-to-use encaustic gesso surface
•  Use with encaustic, collage, inks and mixed media
•  Absorbent and heat resistant

“Tree of Life”, by Andrea Pramuk, on Artist Panel

 

The Artist Panel Canvas Texture

•  Ready to use with oils and acrylics
•  Achieve better and truer color
•  Medium canvas texture for optimum paint control

New!  The Artist Panel Primed Smooth
•  Fully primed top and sides
•  Super smooth acrylic gesso finish
•  Ideal for oils, acrylics and pencil

New! The Artist Panel Unprimed Basswood
•  Good with all painting grounds
•  Smooth uniform basswood finish
•  Free of knots, seams and raised fibers

New! Ampersand 1.5” Cradle Profiles
•  Fit into floater frames (1.5” total depth)
•  Paint, wax or stain the sides
•  Choose from Claybord™ or Gessobord™

To find a retailer in the sale near you:  Fall Sale 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.

Ampersand Faces: Andrea Pramuk

Andrea in her studio, working on Aquabord

 

Ampersand has several talented artists on staff, so it is high time that I share with you the art they are making.  

Andrea Pramuk is the marketing director for Ampersand, and many of you may know her via our social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Or, you may have met Andrea when you’ve called Ampersand to ask questions about the boards, about advertising, about workshops or just wanting to share your art.  She wears many hats, both with Ampersand and on her own as a full time working artist.  Since Ampersand is a young company with a smaller staff, many people play a lot of roles.  Andrea has been with Ampersand now for 16 years, moving into the marketing director and graphic designer role straight from graduate school.

“Call me Baby”, alcohol ink, wax paper image transfer on Claybord

 

Andrea’s art began in utero it seems, as she hails from an active art family and was in the studio at her own easel by the age of two.  Her father’s way of guarding his own time to paint was to set Andrea up nearby so that he could work and she would find the studio a comforting place.  She has painted continuously since then, studying art at Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA and moving to Austin to study at the University of Texas for her MFA.  


Her career is blossoming, as Andrea regularly sells and shows her work around the country,
developing her style both with the mediums she is using and with where her art takes her.  Earlier works see Andrea’s skill as a figurative painter, tapping into oils and acrylics.  The most recent abstract works are watercolors, alcohol inks, oils and a range of mixed media.  In her profession at Ampersand, Andrea comes across many art materials and hones her own practice based on testing and trying new products and gathers inspiration™ from other artists along the way. But even in the midst of all the materials she could try, Andrea chooses Claybord™, Aquabord™ and Encausticbord™ for most of her work because each is so well suited to mixed media and experimentation. She says “I never worry about the surfaces getting overworked or damaged with my heavy handed treatments and unorthodox use of materials. It’s also important to me that I use the most archival materials and practices for my art.”

“Resonance”, alcohol inks on Claybord

 

To connect further with Andrea, friend her on Facebook or her Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, or check out  her blog.  

Right now Aquabord™, Pastelbord™, Scratchbord™ and Artist Panel are on sale at local dealers around the country.  Click on the banner to be directed to a participating dealer near you.

Top Ten Reasons for Painting on Ampersand Panels

In today’s art supply market, artists have a plethora of surfaces to choose from to create their work. We’d like to share some information regarding the advantages of painting on not just a rigid panel, but the true advantages of painting on an Ampersand panel that has been well prepared. 

     

  1. Well-prepared rigid panels are the best support for an artwork — It is difficult, over time, for a stretched canvas to support thick layers of oil colors, acrylic paints or alkyds without resulting in cracking of the paint film. Stretched canvas is also much more susceptible to atmospheric changes in moisture and temperature – again affecting the stability of the artwork over time. Rigid substrates, on the other hand, can support heavy bodied paints and thick layers without cracking. Paintings on prepared wood panels from the 3rd and 4th centuries are still in tact without cracking of the paint film
  2. Archiva-Seal™ barrier technology protects your art — All wood panels should be sealed before applying the painting ground and before painting on the surface. Have you ever used a pure white gesso ground directly on wood only to discover that it looks yellow or marbled? Not with Ampersand’s acid-free surfaces. Ampersand’s hardboard supports are first properly sealed with Archiva-Seal™. Ampersand uses this unique patented barrier technology to seal the hardboard preventing any support-induced discoloration and any separation of the painting ground from the panel. 
  3. Acid-free surfaces from top to bottom — Every single ground Ampersand uses is acid-free and long lasting, from the smooth absorbent clay ground of Claybord™ to the bright acrylic gesso ground of Gessobord™.
  4. High-density hardboard engineered for stability — All of Ampersand’s Museum Series panels are made with premium US made hardboard that has a high-density fiber core engineered for maximum dimensional stability. Ampersand’s hardboard outperforms MDF and raw wood panels when it comes to eliminating panel warping and bowing.
  5. Museum Series Sampler

     

  6. Easy to frame or not to frame — There is no need to frame the cradled panels as they are ready to hang as soon as the painting is complete. Only Ampersand cradle support frames are handcrafted with 13-ply stable Birch plywood that can be painted, stained, waxed or left unfinished. Ampersand offers up a few hanging tips and cradle treatments here: Hanging Tips
  7. Choose from a variety of finishes without having to seal and prime — Claybord™, Encausticbord™, Pastelbord™, Gessobord™, Scratchbord™ and Aquabord™ are all ready to use right away without the need to seal, prime and gesso the panel. And, if you want to prepare your own special ground, you can use Hardbord™.
  8. Many popular standard sizes and profiles — Ampersand has a wealth of sizes and cradle profiles, choose from over 500 configurations. Download a pdf of the complete list here:  Sizes and Profiles
  9. Panels can support any paint medium — Any medium can be applied to one of Ampersand’s panels:  pastel, charcoal, acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache, alkyd, casein, ink, oil pastel, oil bar, encaustic, egg tempera and more. For tips on which panel might be right for you, here’s a panel comparison chart:  Panel Comparison Chart
  10. Made from FSC certified sustainable US forest products — Using wood panels can be daunting, knowing that trees are processed to make them, however, Ampersand takes the environment seriously and although more expensive, they choose FSC certified wood products from US forests that are renewable and sustainable. FSC certification is the most effective environmental standard for the protection of wildlife, soil and water quality. Ampersand hardboard is also manufactured using a completely green process: no harmful chemicals used, no hazardous waste and no gas emissions for the end consumer—and completely formaldehyde-free.
  11. Made in the USA — Ampersand official headquarters is located in Austin, Texas providing manufacturing jobs in their community and the highest quality products for artists nationwide.
    ~Karyn