Artists Switch From Labeling Their Paintings Acrylic To *Synthetic Polymer*

English: THAHLES, 2006. Corday. Synthetic Poly...

English: THAHLES, 2006. Corday. Synthetic Polymer and Pigment on raw linen. 72 x 216in. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote and published this article in June of 2012, yet artists are still commenting on it.

Featured it again in 2015, and for a 3rd time October 2016.  Here’s the original article–

I don’t know all the reasons for acrylic shame, but I do know that many galleries and artists have long labeled acrylic paintings as *mixed media* to help increase sales. I’ve also heard stories of art collectors losing interest and walking away from a painting once they learned it was painted with acrylic paints.

Lately, I have noticed a new trend–contemporary artists are labeling their paintings *synthetic polymer* paintings rather than use the dreaded word *acrylic* to describe their work.

I’m thinking of doing the same. Synthetic polymer does sound more advanced, up-to-the-minute, complex. Perhaps *synthetic polymer* as a medium is actually more accurate a description, since *acrylic* does come in many forms other than paint. There are acrylic nails, acrylic fish tanks, acrylic comes in sheets, there are acrylic fibers, and acrylic acids. Just using the word *acrylic* alone in a line description assumes that the reader/viewer of your work will know that refers to artist acrylic paints. As contemporary artists continue to expand the materials they work with it may just be necessary to use *synthetic polymer* to describe the paint used, for accuracy and clarity. What do you think? Are you willing to drop the use of the term *acrylic painting* and start describing your paintings at *synthetic polymer paintings*? If so, why? For more accurate descriptions? Hope to increase sales? Please leave a comment below.

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Fine Art Acrylic Paints Direct From the Manufacture for Discount Prices

I emailed the people at Nova Color in Los Angeles, and they sent me a hand painted color chart along with their catalog–

BlogNovaColorchart (1 of 1)

In the color chart in the image above, each spot of color is real paint. (I made the image a little dark to show those fluorescents.) Nova Color has made their acrylic paint since 1965. Buy from this manufacturer directly via their website for low prices. They also have gesso, varnishes, gels and mediums. Most of the Nova Color paints and mediums are available in pints, quarts, gallon and 5-gallon sizes at prices lower than what you will find at fine art retailer. I searched online today, and the lowest prize for a gallon of Liquitex matte medium that I found was $38.00. Nova Color matte medium gallon is $24.00. For significant savings, buy a 5-gallon bucket of Nova Color matte medium. I also noticed that the paintbrushes in the Nova Color catalog are priced lower than anywhere else. If you are in the Los Angeles area you can shop the Nova Color Factory Store for further discounts.

The acrylic fine art paint manufacturer, Liquitex,  sent me a small spray can sample of their new acrylic spray paint. Their color chart is commercially printed and not real paint. Unfortunately, Liquitex only sells their paint products via retail vendors.  But sign up on the Liquitex website to receive their newsletter and paint samples in the mail.  I also received a new Liquitex paint marker, which I really like, but wish they made in larger sizes to hold a lot more paint.

BlogLiquitexsprycan (1 of 1)

Kathy Blankley Roman’s Expressive Abstractions on Canvas, Paper and Board

Kathy Blankley Roman has a background in illustration and calligraphy, then began painting expressively since 2010. In late 2011 she began exhibiting her paintings, was a winner  in 7th Annual Emerging Artist Winter Exhibit at Morhpo Gallery in Chicago. “I was one of the winners, and will be featured there in a group exhibit in October 2012. Behind me: scent of pine through the woodsong, fog, Shakin’ it Up BeLow, and Edges.”  Kathy Blankley Roman

Kathy recently had her art featured in an ebook titled, Walk into Abstraction-Vol. 4, and will be curating and participating in an all encaustic exhibit in August 2012.

Kathy Blankley Roman’s paintings explore the process of emergence and dissipation and the interactions (polarity) of opposing elements: eg. angular vs. curvilinear, geometric vs. organic, using an earthy palette. Building up her paintings in layers, using acrylics and various dry media on different surfaces – various papers, canvas, board – first making marks or scribbles, then painting over, repeating this process many times – acting and reacting to the marks, she works with what emerges from her impulses of the moment,  going through many transformations. The artist has experimented with adding collage to her paintings, process painting without brushes, digital painting, and encaustic,often combining any number of these processes into one painting. Lately, she has experimented with adding more color into her artwork while maintaining the warm earthy tones. “I found that the layering and immediacy of the process translates easily to encaustic, a relatively new medium for me,” she says.

Confluence, Kathy Blankley Roman, 12 x12 inches, acrylics, charcoal on canvas.

Epiphany, Kathy Blankley Roman, 16 x 20 inches, acrylics, charcoal, graphite on canvas.

Hummer, Kathy Blankley Roman, 12 x 12 inches, acrylics, graphite, charcoal on canvas.

Under/Over the series, Kathy Blankley Roman, Encaustic and mixed media on cradled birch 8 x 8 inches each 

Kathy Blankley Roman

K.B.RomanArt@gmail.com

https://facebook.com/KBRomanArt

http://www.flickr.com/photos/KBRomanArt

Sunbelt American Made Artist Canvas vs Asian-made Discount Canvases + the Winner of Our Canvas Give-away!

Sunbelt Canvases with packaging

Yesterday UPS delivered a box from Sunbelt containing two sample 12 x 16 inch canvases.  What I noticed right away was the weightiness of each canvas — the substantial good quality canvas stretched over wide wood stretcher bars, with consistent super tight flat corner folds. Consistent corners are always something I look for.  I noted the labels (pictured above) listing the materials—cotton canvas, acrylic titanium white primer, precision squared.

I  removed the clear plastic wrap on the canvases and examined the white primer coats. I noted right away that the tooth of the canvas was visible and present and the finish matte. This is important!

Do you use Asian-made discount canvases? Check the corners, the wood frames, and the labels on Asian discount canvases before you buy. Is the primer matte or glossy and slick. Usually  labels do not mention materials used. Why is this important?

Did you know that lots of artists have had issues with the primer coating on those super discount canvases made in Asia (Vietnam, China, etc)?  In fact, many artists who use an Asian discount canvas will first take the canvas outdoors, spray it down with a garden hose to give it a good soak and then give the canvas surface a good scrub with a hard bristle brush to remove the primer!  The extra labor off scrubbing off the primer and the mess and extra expense of applying a coat of gesso makes that bargain canvas much less of a bargain. Why scrub off the primer? Because acrylic paint doesn’t stick to the primer on some discount Asian canvases! There have even been reports of entire paintings peeling right off of Asian-made discount canvases!

If you are an artist in the US it makes sense to buy American made canvases such as stretched canvas sold my Sunbelt—the canvas is consistent high quality,  the corners tightly wrapped, the coat of white primer is a titanium white acrylic with a matte finish, as it should be, and the wood stretcher bars wide to prevent warping.

Many artists have noticed the low retail price list on the Sunbelt site and made them their source of supply for canvases, wood panels and silkscreens.

Thanks to all who tweeted and sent our promotional canvas give-away blog post to Facebook!

 Winner of our Canvas Give-Away

Seven artists left comments on our blog post making them eligible to win. We assigned each artist a number 1-7 then put the numbers 1-7 into a hat, and then (without looking) drew out a number. The winner # 1  Brenda O.  We’ve given Brenda O’s mailing address to the people at Sunbelt canvas so they can ship the 16 x 20 inch gallery wrap canvas to her.

Part 4: Ways For Artists To Cut Down On Studio Expenses

Artists paints

Image via Wikipedia

My past three posts on ways for artists to cut costs, included– how to make your own paints,  buying fine art paper in bulk and  how to make your own pastels. What I like about the tips I have shared is that quality is never sacrificed. In fact, if you make your own paints with pure quality pigments and binders you may improve the quality of your studio paints since the paints you make yourself will not contain the additives or fillers that some manufacturers use.

In part 4, on ways to cut costs, I am  bypassing retail and going directly to fine artist paint manufacturers.

C.A.S. paints is a manufacturer of high quality artist alkyd oil paints located near Chicago. They are a smaller manufacturer that has grown in recent years and you can now buy C.A.S. alkyd paints from large retail suppliers such Blick. I first purchased C.A.S. paints a few years ago during one of their dented tube sales.  From time to time C.A.S. offers dented tubes of paint at greatly discounted prices. I order several dented tubes and when they arrived I looked them over– all had only the smallest and most  minor dents. When I used their paint I was impressed by the quality.  When C.A.S. decided to stop  producing their oil paint line to manufacturer alkyd oil paints exclusively they wanted to clear their shelves of their oil paint stock. I purchased several pints of their richly pigmented oil paints at about 1/3 the price. Sign up for their newsletter to receive notification of dented paint tube sales. Also, C.A.S. has sought artists to demonstrate their paints. Perhaps this is an opportunity that will work for you.  There is an upcoming  C.A.S. paint demonstration scheduled at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Check the C.A.S. website for details.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, Nova Color Paint, a manufacturer of artist acrylics, has a factory store where you can buy discount acrylic paint supplies. Perhaps a paint manufacturer near you offers discounts you don’t even know about.

Some fine art oil paint manufacturers: Archival Oils,Blockx, Daniel Smith, David Davis Oils,Gamblin,Grumbacher, Holbein Artists’ Oil Colors, Lapis Arts Oils, LeFranc & Bourgeois Oils, Liquitex Oil Colors,Maimeri Oils, Old Holland, Rembrandt Oil Colours,Rowney Oils, Schmincke Mussini Resin Oil Colours, Sennelier, Shiva Oils, Utrecht Oil Colors, Williamsburg Oil Paints,Winsor & Newton Oils & Alkyds,Yarka Oils

Some acrylic fine art paint manufacturers: Atelier Interactive, Brera(Maimeri),Daler-Rowney, Daniel Smith,Golden, Grumbacher, Lascaux, Liquitex, Matisse, M. Graham & Co., Sennelier, Schmincke,Utrecht, Windsor & Newton

Artists, Want to Save Money By Making Your Own Paints?

a pigment store in marrakech

Image by austinevan via Flickr

English: Pigments for sale on market stall, Go...

Image via Wikipedia

Acrylic paint red pyrrole dab
Image via Wikipedia

Painters who make their own paints have control over what’s in them. Making paint is easy. Here is the link to several paint-making recipes.

You will find dozens of recipes for making your own paints and mediums in the book Formulas For Painters by Robert Massey. I’ve owned a copy for years and have tried many of the recipes in this book.

If you don’t want  to work with powder pigments, it is even easier and more economical to purchase pigment dispersions in squeeze bottles and add color to a medium, such as acrylic matte medium, to make your own acrylic paints. A gallon of acrylic medium and several pigments in dispersion will produce much more paint at a lower cost than purchasing the same quantity of paint in tubes or jars from any art supply store. I have used pigment dispersions for several years and have found Guerra provides consistent quality and fast delivery.

Pigment dispersions and a gallon of gum arabic produces a lot of watercolor or gouache. You can buy gum arabic dry or liquid.

English: Gum arabic powder in tub

Image via Wikipedia

Oil painters have many more options open to them for mediums that will work with pigments, either dry or in dispersion.

If you work with oil paint perhaps you have used cold wax medium– a small jar of cold wax medium costs several dollars in the US at your local art supply shop. That is why I want to share this simple recipe for making much more for much less. This is a recipe I have used myself so I know that it is simple and easy and produces a quality product. You can find inexpensive blocks of white wax at stores that sell candle making supplies, and you can pick up a can of turpentine at your local home improvement store.

COLD WAX MEDIUM RECIPE

1 part white beeswax

3-6 parts turpentine

Melt the wax in a double boiler, then turn off the heat source. Gently mix the turpentine into the wax. Allow to cool. It will thicken into a soft paste and will look identical to the cold wax medium you purchase from art suppliers.

Store the cold wax medium in a container with a lid. Use it with or without added color. Cold wax medium will go on smooth and easy and then harden on your canvas or panel.

30% Off All Benjamin L.M. Paintings in Amazon Store

For a limited time, the Transmedia Artist AMAZON Pro store  offers one of a kind art for sale by Benjamin L.M. at 30% off retail price.

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Success for Fine Artists

Sign-up for Aletta de Wal’ s Artist Career Training newsletter

http://www.artistcareertraining.com/artmatters-newsletter

for access to the free podcast:

“ElevenTips for Success
for Fine Artists”

In this recording, Aletta, (amid a long list of actions artists can take) recommends that artists: “Write a story about each piece of art you create.”

Even my abstract painting titled “Resistance” has a “story”. Read what I wrote below:

Resistance, mixed media on canvas, by Marie Kazalia

Resistence

Artist: Marie Kazalia

48” x 48”

Date: July 2010

The title, Resistance, refers to the painting techniques used–which are the Process Painting techniques of layers, stain and poured paint. The silver acrylic paint layer (over yellow and texture on canvas) acts as a resist to the watery splashed on dark paint stain, so that it does not soak into the canvas as in traditional Stain Painting.  The stain layer of watery paint bleeds out to break from the confines of the hardedge forms based on military camouflage patterns. The artist mixes much of her own paint using painting mediums and dry pigments. In this case, the artist mixed silver aluminum powder into an artist grade acrylic medium as the pigment binder, to create the silver paint used in this painting.