Search Blog Articles

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Art Materials (Manfrotto)

Hello All,

I want to take a moment and talk about support, tripods and monopods to be more specific, and it is Manfrotto's turn in my list art materials.  It is important to have a sturdy support for many reasons; from photographing wildlife to shooting slides. I have continued to use their products for the past ten years; a tripod setup for shooting slides of my artwork and a monopod for when I go on a hike.  Yes there are other brands of camera supports (Gitzo for one) that will do the job, but for price and quality, Manfrotto is hard not to pick.

How much should you plan to spend on a setup? Well a tripod will cost you about $175 - $225, and the head to go with it could cost anywhere from $30 - $200. Prices can go higher or lower depending on where and what you buy, but you get what you pay for. To give you an idea- the grip action ball head I use for my monopod cost around $80 on sale (runs about $100).

Thanks for reading, and remember if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Jonathan Parks

Monday, April 19, 2010

Art Materials (Recycle) "Encaustic Compatible and Noted"

Encaustic Compatible and Noted

Hi Everyone,

Recyling isn't always about throwing things in the bin. Recycling often takes on the definition for reuse; glass bottles are a good example. The double-well bottle (my favorite) is the perfect container for watercolor; clean water in one, and dirty in the other.

Before you decide its time to throw something in that bin, think about what you might be able to do with it.  Recycling isn't a perfect science anyways. Some things reycle easily while others take more effort. Thinking about it another way might just be better for everyone and the environment.

Here are a few ideas for recycling:  Of course, buy bulk whenever possible. Look at how something is packaged; can you reuse the packaging. Don't dump paint and chemicals down the drain; there are ways to properly dispose of waste; check with your local recycling facilities. And if you reduce and reuse- you may not need to recycle much, or anything at all.

Those of you working in encaustic: scrape up the paint that drips all around your painting; waste not, want not (Even if the colors are all mixed up, melting it down will usually give you a funny grayish purple; and you can at least use it for a base coat when building layers). If you reuse items for palette cups (or the palette) make sure that they are stainless steel or at least lead and iron free.

Thanks for reading
Jonathan Parks

Monday, April 12, 2010

Art Materials (Reuse) "Encaustic Compatible and Noted"

Encaustic Compatible and Noted

I recently made a post titled, "STUFF," and spoke about the things that I will be reusing. Stuff is important to many artist; and if you make mixed media art, you know what I am talking about.  Reuse speaks for itself and there isn't much to add (Read, STUFF).If you work with encaustic- embedding is one thing that comes to mind (Read, Encaustic Resource Pages: Collage and Embedding under Tools and Technique).

Artists also reuse material by making Found Object, Construction, Assemblage, Recycled, Upcycle, types of work.  Whatever you call it, it helps to keep STUFF out of our ecosystem and the strain off overworked recycling facilities.

My personal art tends to have reused material in it quite often. I choose to hide the fact that it may be one mans trash; reusing these treasures in a way that serves my concept without looking like the obvious.

Here are a couple of reuse tips: Use old picture frames. A pencil is more than a writing instrument- dowel rod anyone. Scraps of paper can turn translucent in wax- encasutic is great to embed anything from wooden sticks to paper bits.

Thank you for reading,
Jonathan Parks

Art Materials (Reduce) "Encaustic Noted"

Encaustic Noted

This post goes for anything (paint, wood, metal, clay, encaustic, et cetera.), try to use only what you need. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it will keep waste out of our ecosystem.

Here are a couple of tips to reduce: Don't squeeze your watercolor paint out into a palette. Take care of your brushes (Encaustic folks should have a brush for each color). Buy bulk when you can; it means less packaging. And make sure you can recycle the packaging. Pay attention to sustainable practices; Strathmore for example has wind powered products. And make your art archival; otherwise your work may end up in the dump.

Read more next time: "Reuse"
Jonathan Parks

P.S. I suggest a brush for each color of encaustic because this will eliminate the need for solvents and paraffins to clean those brushes. Scrape of the excess encaustic paint on the edge of the palette cup and wipe the rest away. Graduate the brushes for light colors (colors will rub off on hot brushes and white is the most susceptible) to a darker color when those other colors begin to effect the quality. On Encaustic Resource read: Tools and TechniqueBrushes, Palette Cups.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22th- How does your art impact the environment?

I am an artist and naturalist, I struggle to find the path to environmentally safe art.  Practically every medium has its environmental downfalls; choosing one medium over the other seems pointless to some degree when considering these concerns.  There are ways to lessen the impact; however, these often require financial means that are out of reach for many artists. So, what to do? The next few posts I will be focusing on this conundrum while talking a little about my own work.

Tune in and Thank you for reading
Jonathan Parks

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Art Materials (Evans Encaustics, "Encaustic Compatible")

Encaustic Compatible

Hello encaustic friends and interested parties,

How many encaustic makers/companies are out there? Small ones, big ones, artists trying to earn a few extra bucks making paint? If you live more east coast you might be more inclined to order from R&F, but if you're living westward there is a closer option. I came across Evans Encaustics a few-or-so years back and liked this small company (I like small companies). Anyway, give them a whirl; I particularly like the bisque gray color. They also have a nice looking website.

Thank you for reading
Jonathan Parks
Related Posts with Thumbnails