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All Things Ampersand

The Artist Panel

Original Artist Panel

As 2013 opens, many of you, myself included, are setting artistic goals.  It is a great time to review what worked well in the last year and what you want to accomplish this year.  It is sometimes eye opening to see how well things went or what could be done better.  What a great time to reflect on how to improve one’s work or what to change in approach, style, materials, etc. 

On that note, I wanted to share more about the new products Ampersand introduced last summer, two new Artist Panels in different finishes. Some of you might already be familiar with the Artist Panel in the canvas finish.  It is an MDF panel with an acrylic gesso finish, textured like canvas.  I’m a fan of these myself, having tried several over the years.  In light of their popularity, we’ve come out with two new finishes. . .. the Artist Panel primed smooth on all sides (yes, all sides!) and the Artist Panel unprimed basswood.

The primed smooth panel gives artists the opportunity to finish the sides in any desired effect such as wrapping a painting around the edges with oils or acrylics.  It has a super smooth, semi-absorbent finish.  An acid free ground, it also works great for mounting giclées, prints or drawings.  The panels are 1/8″ MDF, fully primed with an acrylic gesso on the surface and sides, and cradled with solid pine strips, ready for hanging in either a ⅞” or 1.5″ cradled profile. 

The unprimed basswood panel can be used for encaustic, collage, mixed media or wood engraving. It also accepts all types of painting grounds for those who like to prepare their own.  The surface is sanded perfectly smooth, with no seams, knots or raised fibers.  The cradles are prepared with solid pine strips for a stable panel, easily finished with paint or stain.  All unprimed panels should be properly sealed and primed before applying paint:  www.ampersandart.com/tips/priming.html

One of the main benefits of the Artist Panel series is that they are made to Ampersand’s high quality standards, but designed for everyone’s budget.  Something to consider if you’re looking to alter your spending or if you just want to try something new.  Let us know what you think of the different Artist Panel finishes.  We’d love to hear from you!
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 Products from Ampersand previewed at NAMTA

This year’s booth at NAMTA


At NAMTA last week, Ampersand introduced three new products that will be available at retailers in July.  I thought you might like a sneak peek at these goodies to wet your appetite for their arrival.

For those of you unfamiliar with NAMTA, the International Art Materials Trade Association, has an annual convention in the States every year attended by manufacturers, retailers, distributors and associates from around the world.  It is a gathering place of art material gurus, seminars, dinners, awards and a handful of new products that enter the industry.  Usually the convention is several hundred people and a large hall of product booths with artists demonstrating new materials.


This year, Ampersand introduced two new styles of the Artist Panel– a premium select Unprimed Basswood and a Primed Smooth panel that is completely primed on all sides.

The Unprimed Basswood accepts all types of painting grounds and is great for encaustic, mixed media, collage and wood engraving. Compared with other wood panels on the market, the Unprimed Basswood is sanded perfectly smooth and lacks plywood seams, knots or raised fibers providing the cleaner, more professional look artists’ want.
The Primed Smooth panel has a fully primed white paintable top and sides that is ideal for all painting styles. The Primed Smooth wood panels are ready to use for painting with oils, acrylics and mixed media and also for mounting papers or canvas. Now artists can wrap their images over the edge without any extra prep work.

In addition to the current line of Artist Panels with canvas texture, both new Artist Panels are available in two standard cradled profiles, 7/8” and 1.5”, that are simple to hang or frame. Ultra-stable, these wood panels will not give, bend or flex and like all Ampersand’s panels, they are made with quality materials that have been tested not only for durability, but also for performance with artists’ paints. 

Keep in mind that all wood should be sealed and primed. For instructions on the proper way to prepare a panel for painting, visit www.sealandprime.com


Also at NAMTA, Ampersand revealed the new 1.5″ profile in both Claybord and Gessobord surfaces, which will be available at a number of retailers at the end of this month and more retailers at the end of July.

In the upcoming months, I’ll be able to share with you where the panels will be available and how you can purchase your own as well as some exciting new tools for panel users coming out in the summer.