Robert Liberace and Lina Chesak-Liberace are married artists living, working and teaching in the Washington, D.C area. Robert is a classically trained portraitist and Lina is a professional illustrator. Read our interviews with both artists below. Robert had some tips for creating stellar oil paintings and Lina offers insight into the process of illustrating and publishing children’s books!
Crossroads Art Center is a fine art and crafts gallery located in Richmond. The gallery exhibits the works of emerging and established artists in the mid-Atlantic region. Crossroads was founded by Jenni Kirby in 2002 and the center currently represents over 225 local and regional artists in all type of media. Kirby also recently founded BuyRVAart.com, an online guide to the visual and performing arts in the Richmond area.
What is Paper Marbling?
Paper marbling is an ancient art tradition in many cultures. Marbling is named so because it mimics the natural patterns found in marble and other stones. Marbled paper is created by floating colorful inks on the surface of water, or a viscous water-based solution known as size. Ink is typically applied to the surface using a pipette or other dripping method. The inks are then swirled to create complex patterns that can be transferred to paper or fabric.
What is a Giclée Print?
A giclée print is simply a high quality print made with an inkjet printer. The term was coined in 1991 to describe fine arts prints made on Iris inkjet printers. These large-format printers were invented in the late 1980s and allowed high-resolution photographic images to be printed by an inkjet. Iris prints were popular because they could reproduce the exact colors of artwork more accurately than previous printing processes.
Madeleine Finley is a painter from the Washington, DC area. She creates colorful abstract oil paintings, each containing a beautiful chaos of letters, lines and fragmented figures. Sometimes emerging artists will incorporate words into their work and the integration seems trite, but Madeleine’s use of lettering is abstract and intriguing. Along with her acute awareness of color and unusual compositions, her paintings are fun to explore.
Being an artist means being open to discovery; being an abstract artist also means being constantly open to uncertainty. How do you paint a feeling rather than an object? How do you guide your mediums when you can’t see what you’re painting in front of you?
Kate Plourde is an abstract artist living in Washington, DC. She creates ethereal large-scale abstract paintings on paper; exploring memory, experiences and emotions in her delicate, smoky forms and landscape-like contours. “I’m always looking for ways to play with what the medium wants to do and what I want the medium to do,” says Kate.
The coloring book world saw an explosion last year, but not for children. Adults have become interested in coloring not only because it’s a fun and nostalgic activity, but also because it's a way to sooth and calm the mind. Coloring is scientifically proven to reduce stress. The process of coloring allows the brain to enter into a sort of meditative state that is different from the brainwaves produced when creating original artwork.
Encaustic is the art of painting with molten wax. This style of painting has been around for centuries and was first used to create portraits. In the 20th Century, encaustic painting regained popularity because of its vibrant colors, transparent qualities and durability. Today, encaustic artists use the medium to achieve an incredible range of mixed media effects. Encaustic is generally applied with a brush. It can be scored, molded with tools as it cools, dripped on, or fused with a blowtorch. Artists can also hide objects within the medium by using different melting and layering techniques. It is especially common to embed photos, drawings and writing between layers of encaustic.
On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, students at North Chevy Chase Elementary school gathered for an unusual day of classes. Math, reading, science and other subjects were put on hold. Instead of practicing the three R’s or preparing for standardized testing, the students of NCCES made art.
Artists, museum educators and designers led students in drawing and painting lessons throughout the day in an event called the "Big Draw." All students in grades 3-6 had the opportunity to participate. Fourth grade teacher Jacqueline Moore first developed the Big Draw for her class in 2008, and it quickly became a school-wide event. Plaza Artist Materials has been a proud supporter of the Big Draw over the years. This year we donated approximately 400 sketchbooks that the students used during the day’s many drawing activities.
All it takes to become an artist is to make art. Did you have a terrible teacher criticize your drawings in middle school? Do you feel like you "aren't as creative as other people” sometimes? Do you feel like you don't fit the mould when you think of what an artist is "supposed" to look like? Artists come from all backgrounds and work in all mediums, and nobody is born a great artist. Art takes practice.
Artistic ability is a muscle that needs to be exercised. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never made art before—if you begin to create art and continue to create art, you can call yourself an artist. It doesn’t matter what stage in life you start to make art. You’ll get better with practice and exploration.