Items 21 to 25 of 52 total

"Sactuary" by Bridgette Guerzon Mills

What is Encaustic?

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.

In “Sanctuary,” the encaustic painting above, Bridgette Guerzon Mills, a Towson, Maryland artist, has fused several layers of encaustic on the left, creating a beautiful texture. On the right, she has embedded an image of birds within the layers of the wax paint. Another piece of hers, "Landscape Triptych," is pictured below. You may find more of her work at

What is the History of Encaustic Painting?

Encaustic painting first appeared in ancient Greece and the oldest s...

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Comments | Posted in: Product Guide By K. McDermott

A student practices symmetry, drawing a butterfly during the Big Draw.

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.

“The Big Draw helps our kids hone their powers of observation and it demonstrates how they can apply artistic skills across several different disciplines,” says Moore. The event also teaches kids how to work in different modes of creativity and to appreciate the works of others by recognizing the effort and skill required to produce different types of art.

Art education is vital, b...

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Comments | Posted in: Inspiration By K. McDermott


(1.) Everyone Can Be an Artist

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.

(2.) You’ll Meet New People

Taking art classes is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. You may have the opportunity to interact with people of different ages and backgrounds who you might not meet otherwise. It’s fun to be surrounded by people who also share your love for art and your enthusiasm to learn.

Even if you are a professional artist, taking a workshop can give you a kick start when you’re in a creative rut. You can experiment with a...

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Comments | Posted in: Inspiration By K. McDermott

6 Art Podcasts You Need to Hear

Feb 17, 2016 11:32:00 AM

art podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts? For those who are unfamiliar—podcasts are like radio programs, but you can tune in at any time to listen because they are stored online.

There are many interesting online podcasts about contemporary art and art history. Whether you’re looking for something to break up the monotony of the office workday, something to put on in the background when you’re at work in the studio, or interesting listening for a long road trip—these podcasts are perfect. Let us know if you have any other art podcasts you like to listen to!

(1.) Modern Art Notes -

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is a weekly program produced by art historian and critic Tyler Green. In each hour-long episode, Green interviews artists, art historians, curators, conservators and authors. This is a beyond-stellar podcast in terms of research, diversity and depth. Green asks great interview questions and the artists reveal the thought processes behind their artworks.

(2.) NPR Fine Art Podcasts -

NPR’s Fine Art podcasts page features a collection of programs that were broadcasted on the air or on the website and are now available for streaming and down...

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0 Comments | Posted in: Inspiration By K. McDermott

Collages and Washes: Evan Parker

Feb 11, 2016 5:35:00 PM


I met artist Evan J. Parker III this past Friday during the opening reception of “Decadent,” the February exhibit at Artists & Makers Studios in Rockville, Maryland.

Artists and Makers is the vision of artist Judith Heartsong—it is a new Rockville art space that has experienced great success in only a year. The space has nearly doubled to an astounding 13,000 square feet of studio spaces, and there are now 70 resident artists. The Compass Atelier studio and individual resident artists offer art classes for the public. There are also exhibit openings and other events, including open studios once a month on first Fridays.

Evan’s mixed media work was featured in this recent opening. He incorporates collage, drawing and airbrush to create scenes featuring mysterious figures in fantastical landscapes. The exhibit mostly features his colorful collage work, but he is a master of pen and ink, pencil and airbrush drawings as well.

One thing that is so impressive about Evan’s work is how he maintains the same moody atmosphere throughout all of his pieces and how both his marker drawings and collages achieve the same cohesive consistency. His collages are so painstakingly cut and pasted together...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By K. McDermott
Items 21 to 25 of 52 total