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All Things Ampersand

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Ampersand Panels are VERY Forgiving!

There are lots of reasons to love Ampersand panels. For example, they are archival, eco-friendly and formaldehyde-free. They can hold heavy applications of paint without the “bounce” of canvas. Colors are truer and brighter. You have enhanced control.

But one of the biggest benefits to using an Ampersand Museum Series panel is that it is very forgiving! Continue Reading >>

Getting Started with Aquabord

When using watercolor, you have a couple of choices with Ampersand’s panels.  If you are a traditional watercolorist or gouache painter who uses very wet washes, try Aquabord. It behaves more like cold press watercolor paper and is more absorbent than Claybord. However, if you’re familiar working with watercolors or gouache on hot press paper to achieve high level detail, you may find working with Claybord very exciting. Our “product selection guide” is also a good resource for choosing the right panel.
Continue Reading >>

Featured Artist: Lynnette Shelley

Pennsylvania artist, 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.  Lynnette explains, I’ve been fascinated by artwork from native cultures from all around the world, and also by the folklore and mythology from those cultures. This was natural as when I was a child, Greek mythology and fairytales were some of my favorite reading material. So, my current style is an amalgam of things I have picked up over the years as well as my love for patterns and stylized shapes. These sort of all meld into the pictures I am creating now.”  Continue Reading >>

Aquabord Basics

Aquabord™ is an acid-free textured clay surface that absorbs watercolors like a fine paper.  If you are not yet familiar with our Aquabord, then here are some basic tips on how it works:

  • Colors retain their purity and vibrancy in a way that even the finest of watercolor papers can never match. 
  • This multimedia panel simulates the absorbency and texture of cold pressed watercolor paper, but allows color to be lifted back to white easily. 
  • It is perfect for watercolors and gouache, but is also ideal for casein and acrylics. 
  • Will not tear, shrink or buckle even under heavy water application. 
  • For best results, it’s a good idea to first “flush out” the surface of the panel with water using a large flat watercolor brush to release trapped air. Once the surface is slightly damp, it is ready to use. Rewetting may be needed as you work. Note that heavy water applications may release more air. Use a blow dryer to dry and also to dissipate air if needed.
  • Seal finished watercolors or gouache with several light coats of spray varnish (or fixative). We recommend the Krylon UV Archival Varnishes.
  • For additional protection against scratches during transport and also ultraviolet light, follow the application of Krylon® spray varnish with Golden® MSA UVLS or Golden® Polymer UVLS varnish. About 4 coats brushed-on, provides a very durable archival finish and is also removable for conservation purposes.
  • Aquabord is available in a 1/8in flat panel for standard framing behind glass and in a 7/8in, 1.5in or 2in cradle for either frameless presentation or for use with floater frames. 
  • As with all of our Museum Series, Aquabord is archival, eco-friendly and made in the USA.
Karen Vernon
watercolor on Aquabord by Karen Vernon

There are some amazing artists using Aquabord for their work; Karen Vernon shares more about how to start on Aquabord in this article:  Unleashing Dynamic Watercolors.

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.

Current Exhibitons with Ampersand Artists

work by Ali Cavanaugh

Ali Cavanaugh has a new solo exhibit, Immerse, opening at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery in St. Louis, MO. The exhibit runs from January 15 – February 12, 2016 with the opening reception January 22, 2016 from 6 – 8 pm.  

Ali spent seven years in Santa Fe where she developed her modern fresco process on kaolin clay, our Aquabord. Her paintings have been the subject of numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. Cavanaugh’s paintings have been featured on book covers, countless internet features such as the Huffington Post, Fine Art Connoisseur, Hi-Fructose and in numerous print publications including The New York Times Magazine, American Art Collector, American Artist Watercolor. 

work by Elizabeth Schowachert

A new Organic Fusion workshop at the Encaustic Center, March 25-26, 2016 with Elizabeth Schowachert, including Elizabeth’s ink techniques and all supplies included.  The price of the workshop is $275 including two cradled 12×12 boards and one 20×20 along with MANY other supplies. These spaces fill up very quickly, so you’ll want to register soon.  

The Encaustic Center has ongoing workshops with many amazing wax artists, and you can find more about the center, their resources and their workshop schedule online at their website:  theencausticcenter.com.


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.