Monday, July 19, 2010

It's happened again!

Look at these! Can you believe they are colored pencil? I went to Oklahoma City Saturday to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to see the 2010 Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition. I knew in advance Mikel Donahue's pieces were colored pencil but I was not prepared for how excellent they really were. Some of you who have taken my workshops know I like to boast and say, " can't fool me. I'll know what you did!" Well evidently I can be fooled because I don't know what Mikel Donahue did. I could not tell what surface he works on or whether he uses solvents or perhaps blends some other way but his work is beautiful. I read on his web page he sometimes uses watercolor and/or pastel with his pencils but at these pieces were listed as being colored pencil, not mixed media.

If you have the time, or if you like western art be sure to take a look at the on line catalog for the Prix de West Show. I think you'll really enjoy it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My friends in Belton, TX...

I just returned from Belton where I introduced this wonderful group of ladies, and I mean it, this is a great group of ladies, to Uart sanded paper. I was excited because they'd be working on the new color. Well, it might not be new to you but I have not ordered any in a while so I had not seen the beautiful, neutral, buff color. I love it.

I must admit, and I told them on the second day, that when preparing this workshop I thought the project might be a bit difficult but they proved me wrong. I'm sure you can figure out why I didn't tell them on the first day. Anyway, look how gorgeous their pieces turned out....quite a few of them did not understand why I wanted to showcase them all together on the wall, but once they were there, it was plain to see.

Since you might not know what you are looking at the reference photo they used is posted below. Nice job ladies! I am proud of you. So it looks like I'll be seeing you again after the first of the year. We are going to have fun "Painting With a Dry Medium".

Photo by Elizabeth Joy Kimes

I'd like to introduce you to...

I'd like you to meet Dr Ollie Theisen, (on the right) the woman to whom I owe a great deal of thanks. She's known to me as Ollie rather than the esteemed Dr Theisen because that's how she is, open and approachable.

Ollie was head of the art department at Northeast Community College from 1985 to 1996. During her tenure it was rumored NTCC had the best art department within a 100 mile radius. Regardless of what was said we all knew it was true. What we were getting we knew we could not get anywhere else, or at least anywhere within a reasonable driving distance.

Eight out of the eleven years she was there, she had me for a student. I could tell you stories but it would probably be better if I didn't. Looking back I know she put up with a lot from least that's how I remember it. I haven't seen her but once since 1993 so I was delighted to hear she was going to be at the college. Dr Ollie Theisen was coming to receive a Distinguished Professor Emeritus Recognition
Award. So Wednesday afternoon I headed that way. It was great not only to see her but to watch as she received her award. I hung around a little while after most people had gone just to catch up. I can't tell you what it meant when she said how proud she was of me. And she said it not once, but several times.

If anyone had told me all those years ago that I'd be teaching workshops and classes or that one day I'd be teaching drawing at the very same college, in the very same room, sitting around the very same tables and sometimes using her very same words, I would have been stunned and of course not believe a single word. I'm not sure how I feel about that, it stirs something deep in side, but mostly it just makes me smile.

And she looks good too!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The end of the Panasonic Sharpeners...

I managed to get my hands on two Panasonic battery operated sharpeners, actually someone very near and dear bought one for me. Wasn't that sweet? Hopefully they will last me for a while. I also bought the Stanley/Bostich battery sharpener, model - 02697. It's pretty good but not a precision sharpener like the Panasonic but much better than the Staples brand. You may not have a Staples in your area but if you do, don't bother with them, they are designed to break.

I also sent an email to the Sanford Rep, Shelley Minnis, and suggested Sanford buy the technology from Panasonic. Believe it or not, she had the same idea and forwarded my email on to marketing. Why not? We need quality sharpeners and they have the money. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

By the way, have you seen Sanford's new web page? It's pretty awesome. They have a page called "meet the artists". They profiled quite a few artists who use Prismacolor products, not just colored pencils. If you are interested here's the link:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shock waves....

I do realize this bit of information is going to send shock waves through the colored pencil community. Please note, I said one of my students reported this information to me. Perhaps I should have called Panasonic myself before posting. I do know first hand that they are out of stock just about everywhere. Have any of you called?

Panasonic Pencil Sharpeners...

I've recently been looking to buy a new pencil sharpener, both battery and electric however I've been seeing "out of stock" just about every where I've looked. That seemed odd. Jokingly I thought maybe the container carrying them from China fell off the boat. Joking aside, I've since found out it's worse than that. One of my students said an employee at the store she was in called Panasonic and found out they are not going to make pencil sharpeners any more. NOT GOING TO MAKE PENCIL SHARPENERS ANY MORE?????? WHAT MADE THEM DECIDE THAT?

Now what? I really don't care for Boston/Xacto. Most of them leave a blunt tip on the pencil. How about Bostich? If any of you know of any other sharpeners that make a long, sharp point I'd be happy to hear from you before I buy up what's left of the Panasonics. Just kidding.....

Oh and, you may not want the new, cute little black and red one made by Panasonic. It does not have the steel alloy cutter blades. FYI...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paper Terminology Glossary

When you are shopping for paper for your latest art project did you ever wonder what a Deckle Edge was? Or what 100% Rag actually means? Or whether you should choose Hot Pressed over Cold Pressed? Here is a handy list of artist paper terminology for your reference. Enjoy!

100% Rag: Made entirely of cotton and/or linen rag pulp

Bond Paper: A term for smooth-surfaced text weight paper, coined by a customer of Crane’s Stationers, a banker who asked that his personal stationery be printed on “bond paper”, the stock used for printing bank bonds.

Deckle Edge: The natural terminal edge of a sheet of paper, where the screen on which the sheet is formed is attached to the deckle, or frame. Artificial deckle-edges are produced by a jet of water slicing through still-wet pulp.

High Alpha: Wood-based paper pulp of the highest quality, with strong fibers and no acidity.

Hot-pressed, Cold-pressed, Plate and Rough: All manufactured artist’s papers are pressed in some fashion, between rollers that squeeze out water and impart a specific texture. Hot-pressed paper is smooth and relatively free from surface detail; cold-pressed paper has more pronounced tooth. Plate finish papers and boards are smooth like hot-pressed, deriving their name from the metal plates each sheet was originally sandwiched between before passing through a press. Rough paper has the most aggressive surface, like earlier papers whose bumpy textures resulted from shrinkage during air-drying.

Inclusion: Any material added to paper pulp for visual or textural effect that remains distinct from the paper fibers. Leaves, flowers, cloth scraps and coffee husks are only a few examples from among thousands of possibilities.

Internally and Externally Sized: Internally sized paper is completely impregnated with sizing during the manufacturing process; paper that is externally sized has had starch or glue applied after the sheet has been created.

Kozo: A Japanese term for mulberry-derived fiber

Laid: A surface revealing the texture of the screen on which the sheet was formed, or a simulation of the traditional texture produced by a die on the dandy roll

Lignin: A protein in wood, undesirable in finished paper

pH Neutral vs. Acid Free: The pH scale measures acidity and alkalinity in degrees from 0 to 14, with a value of 7 being “pH neutral”. A paper designated “acid free” will have a pH of 7 or greater; a paper sold as “pH neutral” should have a value between 6.5 and 7.5.

Pulp: Cellulose fibers prepared for papermaking by pounding and bleaching

Ream: 500 sheets, formerly 480 (based on 20 “quires” of 24 sheets)

Sulphite: Wood pulp produced by breaking down fibers in sulphuric acid; there are different grades of Sulphite pulp

Watermark: A design on a sheet of paper revealed by illumination from the back. Originally accomplished by molding or welding a design element or insignia onto the wire screen used to make paper, now more commonly produced by placing dies on the dandy roll

Weight (gsm): A useful measure of weight in paper, based upon grams per square meter. Accurate regardless of original sheet size.

Weight (pounds): A measure of the weight of a full ream of paper; the implied weight of a single sheet from a ream, dependent upon one’s knowledge of the full, unconverted sheet size.

Wove: A smooth, featureless surface with subtle tooth; from the “woven” type mold, as opposed to the “ribbed” type.

*Utrecht Learning Center