January’s Art Insider

Artistic Insider June 2017 edition! - The Art Store




Welcome to 2017! Make this your year of creation!

Prescott’s had its first white christmas in over 20 years!

Snow, rain, sleet is the season…the absolute best time to be in your warm studio. Stay out of the weather and enjoy some “ME” time. Was that not your resolution for 2017 anyways? Create more………Paint more……….Find more time!

Most artists know a few tricks to use to produce more time for yourself. Here is a few reminders:

When setting up a studio do so with the cleanup in mind. You want to create and not have to clean for hours. An organized and cleaned studio creates positive, creative energy for the present projects as well as your future endeavors.

Work in stages – Don’t just wait for the paint to dry, start more projects. For a faster drying background paint, use an acrylic (even oil paintings painted on acrylic based gesso and backgrounds are still defined as oil paintings).

Always protect your art from dust. Dust will settle on any oily surface and be difficult to clean at a later time.

Plan for set-up, work time and clean-up time. Add your studio to the chores list. A clean, organized studio invites you to create!

Keep a sketchbook with you at all times to refer back to a creative idea(s). Organize within this sketchbook your techniques and materials with notes as well.  Don’t forget to date these ideas. You never know where or when inspiration strikes. Use a mixed-media sketchbook if you use more than a graphite pencil to sketch with.

Work on top of removable surfaces or mats that you can take to the sink to clean easily. Even a mat under your easel can speed cleanup time. Tar paper that is used for roofing can act as a durable floor covering but can stain other flooring. Even use a desk chair floor protector to create on. Very easy to clean up.

Work near a large sink for your water-based paints.

Have a small trash bin nearby to dispose of the cleanup rags. NEVER DISPOSE OF HEAVY SOLVENT/OIL RAGS IN AN OPEN TRASH CAN**. THIS IS A FIRE HAZARD.

Plan ahead by using your sketchbook as an in-studio supply list check as well as an Art Store shopping list.

Easy cleanup techniques for your studio:

Water can cleanup and thin acrylic but denatured alcohol will breakdown all binding action of acrylic paints. Also easily outgasses without toxic fumes if used sparingly. NEVER USE AS THINNER OR MEDIUM FOR PAINTING WITH. Make sure all painting surfaces are safe from accidental splash damage. While cleaning with alcohol, you could accidentally clean your canvas of acrylic paint.

Water is your solvent of choice for any watercolor paints. However some do stain surfaces. Use the Master’s Brush Soap to clean the stubborn spots of any paint. Spot clean to make sure the detergent will not alter the surface being cleaned.

Turpenoid Natural is an excellent way to clean all oil paint before it sets up. It is also great for brush cleaning. NEVER PAINT WITH TURP NATURAL AS A THINNER. If an O.M.S is needed to clean with, use Gamsol or an appropriate low VOC product to not overwelm the closed studio environment. Any OMS needs fresh air and air exchange to not make the environment toxic for the user, loved ones and/or pets. Otherwise you need to use a chemical cartridge respirator.

**All oil cleaning rags need to be properly disposed of before they have a chance to spontaneously combust.  Dirty oil rags need to be placed in an air tight bag or container if stored inside or outside of your studio. Oxidation causes an oil rag to combust. A SPARK OR FLAME IS NOT NEEDED TO START A LINSEED OIL FIRE. A proper oil waste drum from the industrial safety company of your choice can protect your studio/home greatly. The excuse of the linseed being thinned by OMS or other such thinners will not protect your property from harm. Don’t take the chance! Oxidation is the physical condition we are working with and should be concerned of. If you thin an oil with a solvent, it is only getting more oxygen to the oil film. Always line your red drum with a plastic bag and when disposing into your trash, push all present air out of the bag then tie off before disposing of.

Be creative, find that extra time, live a quality life and be safe! – Keith K.

The Art Store Class and Workshop Schedule for January, February & March

The Art Store has released their class and workshop schedule for your perusal. We will make some changes in March as they are confirmed*.

At this time, the Chris Saper workshops are on hold until she has recovered from knee surgery.  Standing for long periods of time can be very painful in a studio so…….Stay tuned and we will announce her offered local workshops as they are confirmed.

Neil Orlowski is offering the introductory painting class that was on Mondays to Thursdays starting in February. For more details feel free to review the offered details of this class by clicking on the orange button below to view all of February and March.

For January, the following classes had this activity:

Watercolor class maxed and some students pre-registered for February’s introductory class already.  If you are interested in attending a watercolor class in February, we recommend to signup now.

Pastels Class maxed and it was split into two sessions. Since the studio was unoccupied during this 5th Tuesday in January, a free single pastel session was offered to the pre-registered students from the Art Store and instructor.  YES! A free 3-hour session of instruction if you had already paid for the 4 sessions in January. We will be offering these free sessions throughout the year when the studio and instructor schedule allows. We cannot guarantee you will receive such a bonus unless the instructor has agreed with this beforehand as well as no other workshop is occupying the space. February and March pastel classes have been released.

Sculpture Class is busy with mold and casting students. Waxes were made for the bronze process as well.

Click on button below to view all the offerings coming up.

Rubber Cement Thinner? How can you be out of thinner!

best test rubber cement

For almost a century, artists and manufacturers have relied on thinning rubber cement, cleaning waxes and other such creative techniques by using Bestine from the Union Rubber Company. This past year they ceased all production and closed their doors due to lost market share as well as the toxic nature of their product no longer being safely used. Proposition 65 has brought to light the many abuses of solvents in the art world which has probably affected their market share. There is not a suitable product on the market to thin your rubber cement at this time. However…….

Speedball has just purchased this company to evaluate its inventory, processes, labeling and distributorship. At this time, the product is still not available and any experimentation of multiple other solvents has not revealed any comparables for rubber cement thinning. Bestine is a widely tested heavy solvent that was a mixture of tolulene, naptha and other witch’s brew of solvents. Speedball will inform us of any changes in this company’s offerings. This newsletter will announce these changes as they are available to us.

In March, the NAMTA Art Material Convention for 2017. This is being held in Salt Lake, Utah. Most major changes in the Art Material World is announced then. We expect more details as this convention proceeds.

Shiny! Want…..want!

Exciting News from Daniel Smith Manufacturing!
DANIEL SMITH Acrylic GOLD Gesso is back for 2017!
Exact same formulation you love…just a new name, Iridescent Gold.

DANIEL SMITH Acrylic Gesso, Iridescent Gold has a lustrous metallic sheen from the Mica, and Iron Oxides it is made with.  Our Iridescent Gold Gesso gives oil and acrylic artists a gorgeous, luminous surface to paint on, quite different from regular white gesso.  You will love how its’ radiant, golden sheen peeks out between gaps in your brushstrokes or in reserved golden areas when you paint.  Oil and acrylic paints that are transparent will allow the golden glow to show through their transparent color.  DANIEL SMITH Acrylic Iridescent Gold Gesso gives artists a vibrant, lightfast and archival choice for their substrate color, giving their paintings an enhancing, luminous glow.

To read more about the DANIEL SMITH Acrylic Gesso: Iridescent Gold, please click on this LINK.

The Raven in all of us is appeased again! At this time, this product is only available by special order. If you want your paintings to glLOow, start with a an amazing ground. – Keith K.

Fat Over Lean — A Basic Rule in Painting

This rule confuses many artists or is ignored completely by others. Perhaps a better way to express the “fat on lean” rule is always paint a slower drying paint film over a faster drying film.

<Double Take>

Think in terms of the last applied paint film being more flexible than the paint film underneath. Another way to clarify this rule is to think of adding a little more oil in the last application of paint than was included in the paint layer just covered, or not to dilute with solvent the last applied layer anymore than the previous one was thinned.

<oh…..widen eyes>

Drying cracks and “alligatoring” is a direct result of breaking this rule. To help us understand why this occurs, A. P. Laurie in The Painters Methods and Materials (1926) describes the process of the drying of linseed oil as follows: “During this process the oil film is not only absorbing oxygen and therefore increasing in weight, but is also losing certain volatile products of the oxidation, thus losing weight. If a thin film of the oil is painted out on glass and weighed from time to time, it will be found to increase in weight in passing from liquid to sticky, and then from sticky to surface dry. It now begins to lose in weight, the rate of loss slowly diminishing.” An increase or decrease in weight of the paint film, represents an equivalent change in the dimension of the paint film. If the changes in dimension of the under layer are considerably greater than the top layer, it is inevitable that the top layer will become disfigured as a result.

<think of old paintings you may have done……swallow hard>

Thank you from Natural Pigments this easily to understand definition of this rule of painting. – Keith K.

The need was there and now……

Pébéo’s new multi-application “oil-based marker”!

The 4ARTIST MARKER is Pébéo’s new oil paint marker that will revolutionize your approach to both markers and traditional painting! The line features 18 highly pigmented colors with a glossy finish and offers excellent lightfastness across the entire color range. The four different tips (2mm and 4mm bullet tip, 8mm chisel tip, and 15mm broad tip) provide genuine versatility of use and an accuracy of line. Ideal for applying on smooth,

non-porous surfaces, the colors are quick to dry and can be diluted, even after several weeks, to obtain shades, glazes, gradients and fading effects. As part of the Mixed Media product line, this marker can be used over dry Vitrail, Fantasy Prisme, Fantasy Moon, Gedeo resins, acrylics, oils and inks: All are winning combinations! Beginner and professional artists alike will soon find the 4ARTIST MARKER to become their favorite painting tool for creative expression.

We have a few of these in our oil marker area. After experimenting with these first hand, our Sanford/Sharpie Display will be replaced with these exceptional markers from Pebeo. – Keith K.

Loved by many & wanted by even more

MONO Erasers
The #1 eraser in Japan is now available in North America!

Tombow’s full product range offers an eraser for every project! Premium quality erasers remove marks cleanly with little pressure and no paper damage. High elasticity makes erasers hard to break, keeping your eraser intact and ready to use. Soft plastic erasers remove marks more cleanly than standard rubber erasers and are phthalate and latex free. Perfect for art projects, journals and school. Block erasers features protective paper sleeves to keep erasers clean from dust and grime. Paper sleeve has rounded corner edges to keep from damaging erasers during use. Dust Catch tacky polymer eraser collects eraser bits while you erase, keeping a clean work surface.

MONO white block eraser available in three sizes; 11g, 19g and 56g. MONO black block eraser available in two sizes; 11g, 19g. Also available, Dust Catch (19g), MONO Light (13g), MONO Smart (9g) and MONO Zero and MONO Knock with pen-style applicators.


(800) 835-3232
Fax: 678-318-3347

The Mono Zero line of Tombow erasers are and have been available at the Art Store for years! – Keith K.

Artist Donations Requested


This April, the Arizona Children’s Association is promoting awareness of child abuse with the Raven Cafe in Prescott. You can contact Daniel Leavitt at DLeavitt@arizonachildren.org or 928-925-0805 to offer any donations to the event. He is requesting art for the silent art auction.

Pigma Micron® PN
Brand New Pigma Micron PN Pen!

Exciting news! The newest addition to the beloved Pigma Micron line is the new Pigma Micron PN (Plastic Nib). This pen features a new nib that is a little bit flexible providing the ideal pen for everyday writing, notes, planners and journaling with the same quality Pigma ink performance. Heavy-handed writers will appreciate the added durability of the plastic nib. Available in 8 archival Pigma ink colors.

Sakura of America
FAX: 510-475-0973

A new look for GOLDEN Grounds, Mediums, Additives and Varnish

The Opportunity

Golden Artist Colors offers the broadest range of professional quality acrylic colors, mediums and grounds, providing artists limitless possibilities for creative expression.

While the most dedicated GOLDEN customers understand the full breadth of our offering, many artists could benefit from a deeper knowledge of gels, pastes, grounds and other non-color products. They have yet to unlock the full potential available to them through our complete product line!

The Restage

We have a tremendous opportunity to engage with artists and educate them on the possibilities contained within this segment of the GOLDEN line. Our restage is an integrated campaign that includes new packaging design, in-store signage and new educational videos. An update to the labeling on our non-color products is a significant part of our efforts to make this product segment more approachable to all artists.
Updated packaging identity increases presence of non-color products
The new label design gives the non-color product segment more presence in-aisle. Color has been added to identify product sub-categories previously identified on shelf talker color strips. Updated color strips further reinforce this segmentation and break the non-color product segment into smaller sub-categories that are easier to visually digest in aisle.

Larger text increases readability
Much larger text for the product name and description, with ample white space around each makes it much easier to identify individual products and to ascertain what they can be used for.











Name changes to more accurately reflect intended use or maintain consistency
Below is a list of products that will undergo name changes as part of the labeling refresh. Airbrush Transparent Extender is most often merchandised with High Flow and is the suggested medium for thinning High Flow colors. This product will become High Flow Medium, with a label that matches the rest of the High Flow category. Acrylic Flow Release is an often misused product, and overuse can result in tacky paint films. Wetting Agent better reflects the intended use of this product. Polymer Medium (Gloss) changes to Gloss Medium, which works better in the context of Matte Medium, Super Matte Medium and Fluid Matte Medium. Other changes are more subtle and have been made to maintain consistency in labeling and to make product identification and selection easier.
Additionally, non-color products in 32 oz. and 128 oz. containers will be supplied with trilingual (English, French, Spanish) labels. Combining these English only and trilingual label items means we need to inventory one product in place of two, helping us to maintain service levels on these larger sizes.

In short, the same great products with better labeling and a simplifying of their product’s names. Living within this area, I find that having simpler product names and larger text will be a great change for us – Keith K.

Rachael Ray Doodles While she Travels

The TV chef always packs art supplies, notebooks, lip balm and zip-top bags.

Chef and television star Rachael Ray is always starting projects (TV shows, magazines, now a home furnishings collection), but she is a creature of habit when it comes to travel.

“I regularly go to just three places,” she said. “I don’t get a lot of vacations, so when I take time off, I head to Italy — it’s the go-to vacation spot for my husband and I. We were married in Tuscany, and every year in September we go back to the scene of the crime.

“This year we stayed at Monteverdi, outside of Monte­pulciano. My friends run a collection of villas there, and I cooked for 25 or so of my musician and chef friends.”

She also makes regular trips to Austin, Texas. “I run a food and music festival called Feedback there. We go to Austin often. It’s very community-oriented, and it’s the one place where I see no racism, sexism or discrimination against dogs.” She stays at the St. Cecilia, because each room has a record player.

“The third place I love to go to is Copenhagen. We stay at the Nimb, where our favorite room is in the middle of a garden, and the peacocks who live there come to our window for blueberries every morning. I don’t like staying in hotels that look like hotels, or hotels that look the same no matter what city you’re in. I like a place with a kitchen so I can cook.”

Here is what she packs on every trip:

Art supplies

“I always take a small gold basket to carry my art supplies. I make my own thank-you cards by doodling recipes and illustrating them: The cover of the card is the list of ingredients, then the back of that page has the instructions.”

Lip balm

“I bring a tin of Smith’s Rosebud Salve everywhere. I have a big mouth and I talk a lot, so I need it.”

Reading material

“I live next to the Strand Book Store [in New York City] and I love the feeling of a book in my hand. So I always have a ‘real’ book that I’m reading, and I also have my Kindle with my backup books. I can read an entire thriller in one plane ride, so when I get there, I need more. Right now I’m reading ‘The Last Days of Night,’ which is fabulous.”


“I’m constantly writing for the following week’s ‘Rachael Ray Show’ or a six-months-from-now Rachael Ray Every Day magazine issue, and I bring two composition notebooks with me everywhere. One is for show or magazine notes, and the other is for what I’m cooking at home.”

Zip-top bag

“I don’t have a makeup case, because it all has to go into a clear bag anyway. You’d be very impressed with what I can fit into a baggie: I bring a face spray, toothpaste, Visine and containers for skin cream, toner and face wash. I have a three-day supply of any meds I’m taking in case my bag gets lost, plus my vitamins and Aleve gel caps. Then I have packets of Shout wipes because I’m very sloppy, Band-Aids because I’m accident-prone and Off wipes because bugs love me.”

Empty folders

“I always have empty folders. When I travel, I buy magazines, and then I rip them to shreds; I tear out gift ideas, food ideas from other parts of the world, cool design ideas, and I organize them in my folders. I buy food magazines in languages I don’t speak, and I try to figure out what the dish is; it’s a weird game.” Star Tribune


At Gamblin, we believe Studio Safety applies to artists and everyone passing through or spending time in a studio. With that in mind, we’d like to share a few thoughts on managing solvent.

Solvent storage and brush cleaning containers

Solvents should be stored out of reach of children. We recommend not pouring solvents into Mason jars, coffee cups, water bottles, plastic Solo cups, or any beverage container.

In our own studios, we have found that metal solvent containers with “clip-on” lids, as well as wide glass jars with screw-on lids work best. Both include basins to allow pigments to settle on the bottom for re-use of solvent and can’t be easily mistaken for water cups. Secure lids also help prevent spills and solvent evaporation.

We highly recommend labeling all containers that contain solvent. Click on image below to download printable Gamsol labels to use in your studio.

Solvent-Free Painting
Working in collaboration with painters that want to eliminate all solvent from their painting process, we’ve developed the best and broadest range of solvent-free oil painting materials available. For many of us, Solvent-Free Gel has become our go-to medium. Brush cleaning with Safflower Oil isn’t that much more work than using Gamsol. So if you want to make your studio as safe as possible, please do consider Solvent-Free painting techniques

From Newspaper Clippings to Portraits: a Project Revives Collage Art Scene

Students from the faculty of fine arts turned timeworn papers into the faces of celebrities and natural scenes

The American painter and printmaker Robert Motherwell once called the art of making collages “the twentieth century’s greatest innovation”.

Aimed at reviving the collage art scene in Egypt, the faculty of fine arts in Zamalek launched a project for first-year students of the photography department in which they were tasked to use old newspaper clippings and magazines to create new artistic pieces. Using old materials, students managed to come up with a variety of outstanding collages that captured the faces of celebrities and random people, as well as nature.

“The main advantage about collage art is that it allows artists to recycle and reuse the old materials in their environment to come up with a great piece of art,” said Mohammed Sayed, one of the students.

“There are different kinds of collages such as photo collage, mosaic, dimensional collage, magazine collage, paint collage, decoupage, fabric, and wood collage,” he added.

Although it may sound simple, artists may face many difficulties when they begin working on a new collage.

“Because we mainly depend on clippings from newspapers and magazines as well as coloured papers and old photographs, sometimes it is hard to find enough amounts of materials to match the gradation of the colours we want to create,” Mahmoud Talaat, another student, explained.

In such cases, an artist would use other materials to match their colour gradation; however, the students were challenged to rely solely on paper materials for this project.

“We managed to challenge ourselves and finish our collages in a short period of time, relying on a limited pool of materials and the results were surprising for most of us,” he added.

This project contributed to increasing the students’ interest in collages.

“We hope to continue improving our talents in the art of collage and be able to use mixed methods and materials in a more professional way,” he concluded. Daily News Egypt

Loco Events



Art may Reveal Early Signs of Dementia

Despite living with dementia, her brushstrokes are measured and steady, the legacy of her years of painting as a talented amateur.

Her work today is very different to the highly detailed pieces she used to produce – expert reproductions of Old Masters such as “Girl With the Peal Earring” by the 17th century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer.

Joyce’s daughter, Hazel, says her mum still enjoys painting, but before the disease took hold her work was really striking.

“They were really good copies of the Old Masters and very detailed.

“She’s not as detailed now.

“She can remember things from years ago, but generally if you asked her what she had for breakfast this morning she can’t remember.”

But can art – more specifically, the way artists work – tell us something about the development of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases?
A minute analysis of the brushstrokes used by artists who developed neurological diseases reveals intriguing clues about changes in the brain that occurred years before any symptoms became obvious.

The mathematical method is called “fractal analysis”, which is a way of looking at recurring patterns that occur both in maths and in nature.
Trees and clouds are said to be “fractal”, as are the recurring patterns of our brainwaves and heartbeats.

The same applies to the individual brushstrokes of artists, which can be compared to their individual handwriting.

Psychologist Alex Forsythe from Liverpool University carried out a fractal analysis of more than two thousand works by seven famous artists and found tiny changes in those patterns.

“In artists who went on to develop dementia or Parkinson’s disease, the fractal patterns started to change in an unusual way.

“So what we found was that up to 20 years before they actually had a diagnosis of a neurological disorder, the fractal content in the paintings had started to decrease.

“So anything that helps us understand more about the way in which the brain operates is a useful way to inform future directions for research.”
The artist Willem de Kooning was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease after his death in 1997.

The brushstroke patterns seen in his earlier work were different when compared to later paintings.

But in artists like Monet and Picasso, who died free of any known neurological disease, the patterns remained constant throughout their lives.

It’s striking that the even though Picasso in particular changed styles so often throughout his career, his fractal range was constant, regardless of the style in which he painted.

This research won’t help diagnose dementia or similar diseases.

But it does give a valuable insight into changes that are taking place in the brain years before the illness appears and so could help provide some answers to the hidden processes behind these devastating conditions. BBC

Class is a GO for YC. Space available so call if interested.







 Yea you got it! Its a new product called “Liquid Chrome”. An alcohol based marker that is shinier and more chrome like than any silver paint, spray paint or metallic marker available.

This marker has been released in 3 different sizes with a refill becoming available soon.

The long-awaited, real liquid chrome is the result of a long-term advancement of the ink and therefore unique in the market. Our surprise for you – as a 20 years edition!


Dr. Molotow‘s HOT TIP!

Get the best mirror effect on smooth and non-absorbent surfaces like glass or plastics.



Retired Doctor Unearths Lost Leonardo Da Vinci Drawing Worth $16 Million

The back of the drawing reveals notes that were written from right to left, as Leonardo was known to do.

A French auction house announced the discovery of what is believed to be a long-lost sketch by Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci.

The drawing of Saint Sebastian was presented to Paris’ Tajan auction house in March by a private family, but it was only recently authenticated by several experts, including a curator from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Times reported.

In a statement, the Met called the work an “exciting new discovery” after its review by their Italian and Spanish drawings curator, Dr. Carmen C. Bambach, who is also a world-renowned Leonardo expert.

“This is an exciting new discovery of an authentic double-sided sheet by the master (1452-1519), representing on the recto the full figure of the martyred Saint Sebastian tied to a tree in a landscape, and on the verso, notes and diagrams about light and shadow, which relate to Leonardo’s study of optics,” the statement read.

Thaddée Prate, director of Old Master pictures at Tajan, told the Times that the mysterious drawing, which the auction house valued at around $15.8 million, was presented to him by a retired doctor among 14 unframed drawings that had been collected by the man’s father.

“I had a sense that it was an interesting 16th-century drawing that required more work,” Prate told the paper of the sketch that measures 7.5 inches by 5 inches. He went on to get a second opinion from Patrick de Bayser, who is an independent dealer and adviser in old master drawings.

It was through de Bayser’s added expertise that they reportedly noticed the drawing had been done by a left-handed artist ― like Leonardo. On the back, they also found two smaller scientific sketches, as well as notes written from right to left, as Leonardo was known to do.

Leonardo’s Codex Atlantic, which contains over 1,000 pages of his work, mentions him creating eight Saint Sebastian drawings, Tajan reports. Back in 2003, Dr. Bambach presented an exhibition that reconstructed these drawings to show how they’d be part of a lost or unexecuted votive painting by the legendary artist. Upon seeing this recently discovered sketch, she told the Times: “My eyes jumped out of their sockets.”

She described the drawing as complementing one of the other Saint Sebastian sketches. In addition to depicting the saint tied to a tree, there are sketches on the other side and matching handwriting. “The attribution is quite incontestable,” she said.

Exactly how the sketch ended up in the hands of the retired doctor remains unknown. Its last owner, who has not been identified by name, said that it had remained in his family since the first part of the 20th century.

The last time a Leonardo sketch was discovered was in 2000. That drawing depicts Hercules holding a club. It is owned by the Met.

A Tajan spokesman told FoxNews.com that the Saint Sebastian drawing will be auctioned off in June. The Huffington Post

Yes, we speak Artist!

The word palette to an artist has a double meaning. It is the selection or range of hues employed in the painting as well as the surface on which the artist mixes the colors.

Palettes:  Old and New

Hand-held palettes have been used since the 15th century, though since then they have evolved in both shape and composition. Originally, they were rather small, square or paddle-shaped objects with a thumbhole. By the 19th century, large oval or kidney-shaped palettes were fashionable. Made of wood, they were soaked in linseed oil and allowed to dry hard before use, to prevent oil from the paint being absorbed into the wood. Nowadays, wood palettes are sealed with polyurethane varnishes or lacquer.When large wooden palettes were most popular, people often painted on canvases prepared with a red or brown ground. A mahogany or mahogany-stained palette showed how colors would look against this color ground. Most artists prefer a white palette when painting against a white ground.Palettes are available in different shapes and sizes and are made from a wide range of materials including: wood, plexiglas, acrylic, plastic, glass, aluminum and disposable paper. There are also paint mixing trays and cups for watercolors. Choosing a palette that’s best for you is a matter of personal preference. Considerations include the paints you use and how large a mixing area you need. Consider also whether or not you want to hold your palette while you work, as in the case of the classic kidney shaped palette with a thumbhole. Some artists prefer to keep their hands free and work with a flat lying palette stationed at the proper height on a table. One advantage of a hand-held palette is it allows you to move about the studio and view your artwork from different angles while continuing to mix paint. An enameled butcher’s tray also makes a good palette as it has a hard smooth surface that is easily cleaned.

Paints on Palettes

Oil and acrylic paint can be used successfully on any palette surface. If covered with plastic wrap, oil paints can keep for a few days. When out of their tubes, acrylic paints have a relatively short life span. They can be covered in wrap as well, and sprayed with a water bottle for a not-so-long, but longer life. Sta-Wet palettes are an alternative type palette that help acrylic (or other paints) last longer. This palette includes the use of a sponge-like material. When wet and covered by a palette film, where the paints are placed, can substantially increase the longevity of your paints. Traditionally, watercolors work best on palettes that have slanted wells, shallow dishes and/or mixing areas. Some watercolor artists prefer a palette with one large mixing area surrounded by little compartments. Others prefer to have several small wells for each pure color, and adjacent to each well, a larger one for mixing a fluid version of that color.

Color Arrangement – the other palette

Many artists find it beneficial to arrange their colors consistently

in a certain order. This is advised for anyone, especially beginners, because consistent color layout is the first step in familiarizing yourself with the use and blending of colors. Arrangements from light to dark can help form an understanding of where colors fall in context to each other, possibly tackling future color issues during the painting. Also, if you have more than one hue of the same color it is best to arrange them next to each other by a warm/cool breakdown and continue that layout with other colors.

Cleaning Your Palette

Another large factor in determining which type of palette you buy depends on its ease of cleaning. The joy of disposable palettes is obvious. The soiled paper can be thrown away while a fresh palette awaits underneath. Although many artists prefer it, it is not always necessary to have a spanking clean surface each time you paint. In fact, some oil painters keep their pigments on the palette and clean only the middle mixing area, adding pigment from the tube onto the palette only when necessary and not each time one paints. Oil paint can be cleaned off the palette with turpentine or scraped off with a blade. The same holds true for acrylics and watercolors, although water should be used instead of turpentine. It is much easier to clean palettes when the paint is wet.

While supplies last, you can use the flyer coupons in the Art Store until March 18. Just look for them in the provided baskets and the end cap displays. You can even print your own by visiting our promotion page by clicking the image above. Please remember that we only offer one coupon per day to our customers.

Ottawa Artist Dealing With a Life-threatening Condition Caused by His Own Art

OTTAWA, ON: “I always thought art was a matter of life and death. This kind of proves it.”

That is Ottawa artist Blair Sharpe, making a joke to make the best of a bad situation.

The 62-year-old says he’s facing certain death if he doesn’t soon get a lung transplant.

Sharpe has something called interstitial lung disease. His own immune system is scarring his lungs.

In a tragic twist of irony, doctors think the condition has been caused by a rare hypersensitivity to something in the very paint he uses to make art.
“I basically became allergic to it, an auto-immune kind of allergic so that my body is attacking itself,” he explains.

His situation is so rare that doctors can’t definitively say what in the paint might be causing the reaction, or if new lungs might re-set his immune system so he can paint again.

Sharpe uses regular acrylic paint, the same kind countless other artists use every day with no ill effects. It’s not the paint that’s causing the damage, but his own unique reaction to it.

“It’s absolutely safe,” says John Wallack, owner of Wallack’s Art Supplies. He also runs Wallack Galleries where he has just opened a show of Sharpe’s latest works.

Sharpe’s work is also currently on display at the Ottawa School of Art, where he has long been a teacher.

Sharpe and his wife had to miss the openings of his shows. They have re-located to Toronto where the artist is on a transplant list.

Until then, he’s treating his condition as perhaps only an artist can. He’s observing it, learning about it, and even turning it into a bit of an art project.

“I’m letting them make a project out of me. I’m encouraging it,” he says. “I’m just looking at it as another kind of part of my art process in a strange way.” CTV News

Up for another international competition in framing!




Our very own Francine’s entry in Tru Vue’s Capture Those Tru Frameable Moments™ has made the top three finalists. The winner of this competition will be announced on the 22nd of January. The trade show is being held in Las Vegas! She will compete for the grand prize in design for her beautiful memorial to our very own 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. Thank you to everyone who voted for her design, and for your love and support of her vision.

The exterior frame was hand carved and shaped from native juniper. The final approach to this frame was to marry a present fillet/frame in Tru Vue glass. The top photo of our Hot Shot 19 was in front of the giant juniper tree they saved in from the Doce fire. The bottom photo is of the memorial wall that was created immediately after the loss of the 19. The wall is located very near to the Art Store.

Send a few encouraging words through facebook to the Frame & I staff this weekend by clicking on this link.

Call to Plein Air Artists


Plein Air Festival Coming UP! Click on image for more details

Blow HARD, Blow LOUD……Make them hear you!

For this January, the Art Store donated to:

Delta Kappa Gamma’s fraternity of women’s educators. This donation was for gift certificates for the lucky recipients to go to college with some art supplies.




Bagdad’s PTO also received an Art Store bag full of drawing supplies for their literacy program.

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