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All Things Ampersand

Encaustic Painting Resources

Artist Trading Cards by Trish Seggebruch

Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C. practiced encaustic painting. The word “encaustic” comes from Greek and means to “burn in”, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Perhaps the best known of all encaustic works are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. In the 20th century, the availability of portable electric heating implements and the variety of tools has made encaustic a far less formidable technique. This factor has created a resurgence of encaustic painting, and it is once again taking its place as a major artists’ medium. Alfonso Ossorio, Jasper Johns, Lynda Benglis, Robert Morris, and Nancy Graves are prominent among the many artists who turned encaustic into a modernist and cross-disciplinary medium.

Encaustic Tools 
Palettes, brushes, cold tools, heated tools from Ampersand
Heating tools from Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch 
Supplies from Wax Works West
 
Encaustic Instruction
Books by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch 
R&F Handmade Paints articles on starting and working in Encaustic  R&F Handmade Paints Blog on Encaustics
Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility by Daniella Woolf
The Encaustic Studio by Daniella Woolf
Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax by Linda Womack
Wax Works West in Corralitos, CA for learning encaustic
Encaustic Art Institute
The Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX

Encaustic Resources
R&F Handmade Paints Resource Center
           ■ Instruction
           History
           FAQs
           Technical Sheets

Lisa Pressman


Some Encaustic Artists using Encausticbord
Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
Cynthia Mosser
Elise Wagner
Cheryl Finfrock
Franciso Benitez 
Lisa Pressman 
Gwendolyn Plunkett
Brad Ellis
Daniella Woolf
Laura Moriarty
Linda Womack

Encaustic Workshops
Wax Works West in Corralitos, CA for learning encaustic
Video Workshops with Linda Womack
Encaustic Art Institute
The Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX
Encausticamp with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
Workshops in Australia
Elise Wagner Workshops
Francisco Benitez Workshops
Lisa Pressman Workshops

Encaustic Videos
YouTube Encaustic Playlist
Video Workshops with Linda Womack

Only Encausticbord has a ready to use surface formulated for the unique demands of encaustic painting and mixed media. Encaustic gesso is applied to Ampersand’s sealed Hardbord™ panel to form a bright, smooth and velvety surface that is ready to use with the ancient technique of encaustic painting. The ground is not only heat resistant and highly absorbent, but also holds tight to layers of wax and collage without the fear of cracking or separation.  

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch gives a downloadable demonstration on creating encaustic trading cards:  www.ampersandart.com/featuredartist/featured-artist-baldwin.html

Lisa Pressman shares the Top Five reasons to paint on Encausticbord here on our blog:  ampersandartsupply.blogspot.com/2011/01/top-five-reasons-to-use-new.html 

And now, Encausticbord is on sale for up to 40% at participating retailers!

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: 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.

Ampersand’s YouTube Channel

It is time to introduce you to our video channel, Ampersand Art Supply, on YouTube.  This channel is a collection of playlists of artists demonstrating different media and techniques using Ampersand panels and there are also a few demos from our President/CEO, Elaine Salazar.  We have just started uploading videos and more are in the works. In the meantime, these playlists should get you started on how to use Ampersand panels, or how to try them with a new or different medium. 


I have put together a list of channels from our retailers who share the latest in art materials and techniques. Some of those dealers also have great videos about using Ampersand panels. At the bottom of our channel is a list of some of our art material manufacturer friends, products that go hand in hand with Ampersand.

Browse, enjoy and send us your feedback. I would love to connect with you on YouTube as well, so if you have a channel where you’re sharing your work and how-tos on Ampersand, let me know!

This video below was made by Daniel Smith Watercolors; it is an intro to Aquabord™.” 

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.

The World of Scratchbord

Scratchbord™ is its own art all together, not that every medium is different, but what makes scratch art so unique is that it begins as a subtractive art.  Ampersand Scratchbord™ has a smooth, absorbent kaolin clay ground evenly coated with black India ink. Scratch the black ink away with ease and control to crisp white fluid lines.  It is similar to drawing, but in reverse.  Just like other Ampersand boards, Scratchbord™ can be colored, too.  Below I’ve listed some resources and tips for working with Scratchbord™.
This slideshow is from the “A Scratch in Time” exhibition in 2010 in Alamosa, CA.  All work was done on Ampersand Scratchbord.
Working with Scratchbord™:
  • Getting started in Scratchbord with tips from AmpersandStart by drawing your subject matter directly on the Scratchbord™ surface with pastels, plain white chalk or graphite pencil. You can also transfer a completed drawing by chalking the back and tracing over the main lines with a pen or pencil or by using graphite transfer paper. To begin, scratch out all the lines from your drawing on the Scratchbord. Next, scratch in directional lines to show volume. Following the directional lines and repeating them to fill in, start sculpting out the shapes. Go over areas several times that need to be the most highlighted. When the drawing is completed, clean off any scratched clay-ink debris and chalk dust with a very soft cloth. 
  • Repair a mistake: Although the repaired surface won’t be completely the same as the surface you began with, there are a couple of ways to repair areas that need to be changed. For best results, use Ampersand Black Repair ink or Sumi India ink diluted 1/2 with water and gently apply with a cotton swab or small brush over the area to be repaired. Repeat thin applications until the area is completely covered. An airbrush can also be used for larger areas.
  • “The Chess Player”, 14″ x 18″ by Diana Lee

     

  • Sealing Scratchbord:  Seal Scratchbord™ with an acrylic spray fixative like Krylon® UV Resistant Clear Coating #1309 (Matte) or #1305 (Gloss). It will dissolve fingerprints and even out smudges while also protecting the surface from dirt and water. First, remove all loose dust and debris from the surface with a soft brush or cloth being careful not to scuff the surface. Spray with 2 -3 coats of fixative (as directed on the can) in low humidity, warmer temperatures and in a well-ventilated area. Then, you can frame your finished Scratchbord™ art without glass. 
Tools for Scratchbord:
Coloring Scratchbord:
  • Inks:  To add color, use Scratchbord-Claybord™ Inks that are both waterproof and transparent. For best results, build up the color in diluted washes following the directional lines in the drawing. Other brands of ink can leave heavy residue on the black surface and can be difficult to scratch if not quickly wiped off. For final touch up, apply Ampersand Black Repair ink around the edges of the subject matter to cover any left over residue and over-painting. Once all the color is in, go back and scratch out the highlights. This will give the forms in your drawing volume and dimension. Add more color where needed and repeat this process until you are totally satisfied with the results. 
  • Scratchbord colored flower exercise from Sally Maxwell:  Texas artist, Sally Maxwell, is known for her exquisite scratchboard drawings. Her enthusiasm for the medium led her to develop techniques for using color with scratchboard over twenty years ago. For more information about the artist, please visit www.sallymaxwellsart.com.
  • “Lemons”, by Diana Lee

     

  • Using acrylic:  Scratchbord, similar to Claybord except finished with a topcoat of India Ink, can also accept both watercolor and acrylic.  For a demonstration in coloring scratchbord with acrylic, check out Rock Newcomb’s article: Acrylics on Claybord.
Educational Resources: