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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: David Somers

Seattle artist, David Somers recently started using Claybord™ for his laser engraving work and has shared his process and some of his work with us.  Below are two of his recent pieces in the process.  A big thanks to David for sharing so much of his learning and process with us.  This is such an interesting and original way to take on Claybord.  Continue reading >>

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: Soña Holman

Holman
Dreaming the World

Austin artist, Soña Holman‘s work is as progressive in appearance and technique as her life has been, traveling around the world and gathering culture to bring into her multi-media work.  It is no surprise that her work reflects movement and high energy, and her inspiration is found in the transient environment around her.  “I like to impart a sense of movement in my work, an aliveness, giving a feeling of shifting entry and change that connects to the spiritual. I use expressive, organic form in transient, shifting environments and the energy/life force inherent in all things,” she explains.

Holman
Beneath the Blue Sky

Soña’s rich, colorful paintings are a combination of acrylic and venetian plaster with wood-burned drawing on our basswood panels. She has been working with our basswood panels because the smooth finish and soft grain allow her to combine her drawing and painting in a completely original way.  Soña began wood burning upon entering a drawing exhibition in Austin, and it evolved with some input from a Sandra Duran Wilson workshop into Soña’s current series “Pyrographic Paintings.”  She compares the wood burning drawing to “drawing in butter” on the surface of the basswood, and credits Ampersand for making panels with high archival standards.  

 
Holman
Free Spirit

Soña exhibits her work frequently and has several pieces now hanging through April 5th at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in the West Airside Gallery.  You can also see most of her current work on her website and blog:  www.sonaholman.com/paintings

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 Gallery Artist: Leslie Watts

Stefan, 23, 20″ x 16″, egg tempera on Claybord


Ontario artist, Leslie Watts is a portrait, landscape and still life artist, working in egg tempera on Claybord™.  She teaches privately in all age groups and there is a waiting list to get into her classes, to grasp not only the medium, but to get to know this Internationally recognized painter.  Leslie’s work has been at the National Portrait Gallery in the UK and this past fall she was awarded the Honorable Mention of the Kingston Prize for her work, Stefan, 23.  The touring exhibit of the Kingston Prize will be on view at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and will run until February 14, 2016. On March 16, 2016, it will travel to Galerie d’Art Desjardins in Drummondville, Québec. Leslie shares quite a bit about both her technique and her new work on her blogs at:  lesliewattsportraits.blogspot.ca  and at lesliewatts.blogspot.ca.  You can also find out about her graphite and conservator’s wax on Claybord:  new-work-in-graphite-and-conservators.html.

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.