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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Dustin Dattilio

 

Rosie, 12″ x 16″, Gessobord


Newly graduated BFA artist, Dustin Dattilio came on our radar a few months back when he was sharing his ultra-realism paintings of fowl and other wildlife through Facebook.  Since Dustin captures the look of a high chroma photograph in his technique, I was intrigued about his method and came to find that he uses a combination of media to achieve his look. Dustin has spent endless hours perfecting his technique and turning what started as a 
college hobby into a full time career.

Dustin began college at Castleton University in Vermont with the aim to become an Athletic Trainer, but enjoyed his downtime pursuit of drawing.  In his senior year, Dustin moved fully into Graphic Design and earned a BFA.  

His natural inclination to study and work on wildlife comes from a full background of hunting and fishing, along with encouragement from his grandfather, who does animal wood carvings.  Dustin often chooses his subjects based on requests or seasonal work, as well as interesting commissions, like the recent piece, Morning Thunder, for the National Wild Turkey Federation banquet this past February.  

Morning Thunder, 16″ x 20″, Gessobord


Starting with airbrush to get a soft, almost blurry, background, Dustin carefully renders his subject matter in the foreground, using acrylics.  Upon discovering Gessobord™ for his work, Dustin shares that the panels give him the consistently smooth support and brilliant color he prefers.  “I use Gessobord for a couple of reasons. The first being that I’ve found that they seem to hold colors better than canvas. Another reason is that canvas is great, but it’s also very expensive. There are so many brands out there of canvas that hold the paint different than the next, so I just stick with an affordable, dependable surface.  When it comes to mailing out and handling my paintings, I don’t have to worry as much about the canvas getting a bubble or something poking through it.”

Dustin can be found online quite a bit, sharing his work, his process and upcoming works for sale.  You can find him on his website or his Facebook page. Dustin also does quite a bit of wood burning work and sells prints of his work as well as the originals.  

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: Chantel Barber

Barber
Brennan on the Beach, 7″ x 5″

Tennessee artist, Chantel Barber, has been a life-long portrait artist. Knowing at the ripe age of six that she was already an artist, Chantel told her parents that she would one day work for Walt Disney Studios. When she was ten, Chantel’s family moved to San Diego, and she was able to see an art museum for the first time and began taking art lessons. Even at that early age, she poured herself into capturing the human soul. People have always been her favorite subject, even now. She explains, “I am drawn to a lot of things, but people tend to inspire me the most. I love telling their stories through paint. I do work from life but when approaching the smaller pieces that I love, I use my own photographs as references.”  

Barber
She Paused, 5″ x 5″

Chantel’s early preference to drawing people was a quicker journey than that of finding the perfect medium.  It was in adulthood when she found acrylics.  Chantel came to acrylics because she needed a painting medium that would be transported easily, moving around quite a bit for her family needs.  Acrylics made more sense than the flammable oils she was using, and panels made sense for their durability over the paper she had originally used for pastel work. At first, Chantel made her own panels for painting, but discovered Pastelbord™ while looking for something more substantial.  Finding the panels to be a great fit, Chantel explored other ideas for her acrylic work and found Gessobord™.  “I remember how excited I was when they arrived in the mail.  It only took one painting to know I was hooked.  I also love that I can get them in smaller 4 x 4″ and 5″ x 5″s as I have found great satisfaction in creating small but powerful art.” Chantel’s thoughtful portraits recently caught the attention of Acrylic Artist Magazine, and her small, but powerful portraits are featured in the Winter 2015 issue.  

Barber
My Voice, 4″ x 4″

Along with her commitments to painting, Chantel teaches and writes about her work. She is an instructor teaching portraits in acrylic and offering private painting critiques, in and around her home town of Bartlett, TN, which you can find out more about through her website: www.chantelsoriginals.com. She also has several of her own books published, including a new one she published this past summer, Capturing Life in Acrylic:  Step by Step Techniques.  Chantel keeps up a regular blog with her work and teaching at:  chantelsoriginals.blogspot.com.  And later this year, Chantel has several of her small paintings coming out in a children’s book.

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 Isaac

Isaac
Harbor at Peggy’s Cove, 13″ x 28″, oil pastel on Hardbord

 

Patricia Isaac
Sunkist, 12″ x 12″, oil pastel on Encausticbord

Patricia Isaac is a life long artist and taught for many years in Massachusetts before settling into work as a full time artist in her favorite medium: oil pastel.  She is a founding member of the Oil Pastel Society and nationally recognized for her work.  Patricia shares how she came to find Ampersand and why it is a favorite material for her work.

“I had been using sanded papers for my oil pastels and wanted a way not to have to mat them, so I gessoed some masonite, but really found the surface too rough. I purchased some Ampersand panels already gessoed while in an art store one day. I really liked the smoothness with just enough tooth, so I was hooked. I also received a sample of the Encausticbord™ when it came out. I loved the surface, but find I can only do small paintings on it as the larger sizes are cradeled. These are my 2 favorite surfaces. I blend my oil pastels and the smoother surfaces work. I use Sennelier, Holbein and Caran’Ache oil pastels exclusively, and I am able to build many layers on these surfaces. For a long time I was an oil painter, but when I found oil pastels I never looked back. For me they are the best of both worlds, drawing and painting.”

Patricia can be found online at her website and blog and her work at the ET Wright Building in Rockland, MA.

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 Gallery Artist: Scott Daryn Tillett

 

Scott Daryn Tillett
Out of the Blue, 16″ x 20″, oil on Gessobord, 2014

Scott Daryn Tillett says he was born an artist, and it shows in his paintings that he has been practicing and honing his skills for decades.  Scott is a proficient representational artist, working in colored pencil, pastel and oils.  He is also active online so you can see more of his work at The Artistic Visions of Scott Daryn Tillett.

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 Gallery Artist: José M. Fontaiña

 

Out of the Blue, acrylic on Gessobord

Jose is an internationally reknowned artist, born in Spain and partially raised in the U.S.  He exhibits internationally and more of his beautiful work can be found on his website:  josefontaina.webs.com

“My paintings are a true reflection of myself and I enjoy the wonderful freedom that originality provides,” says Fontaiña. I describe my work as being a good Caldo Gallego, a delicious Galician soup made by mixing together many vegetables and meats. Instead of using cooking ingredients, I use the elements of art. Creating art is my full time job. I am obsessed with it, but it is a healthy and rewarding obsession. Each blank surface is a painting with a new beginning, an intriguing puzzle that must be solved, and a wonderful means for discovering myself in a way of life that I love to live.”    ~José Fontaiña   

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.