Thursday, August 29, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Karen Vernon

The Collection, watercolor,  22" x 30"
Back Porch Treasures, 20" x 16", watercolor
Texas artist, Karen Vernon, is well known internationally for her watercolors, oils, acrylics and pastels.  Her work hangs in museum, private and corporate collections around the world.  Though Karen works in several mediums, she teaches mostly in watercolors with a deep understanding of how the medium works, how the pigments react with one another and how different brands interact.  To study watercolor under Karen Vernon is to get to know watercolor intimately, but also to get to know one's drive as an artist intimately.  Karen believes it is essential for those who create to do so and those who don't create to have art in their lives.  This philosophy is reflected in her work and in the gallery she owns with artist husband, Ken Muenzenmayer.  Part of the gallery's mission is to give viewers a chance to get away and enjoy the work.  "Relax and take in the colors and textures of masterfully executed artwork.  The Gallery at Round Top offers you the opportunity to experience the journey that art brings to the soul."

Karen began teaching watercolor because she was intrigued with the pigment's luminosity and exploring her own process in finding the hues' intensity.  She has also found in her own work and in teaching that moving from watercolor to another medium is a natural process; whereas, starting in something else and moving to watercolor is much more difficult.  Watercolor gives Karen the transparent effects to reproduce light, the essence of her work.  She manipulates the pigments the way light works and honors what the pigments do on the surface of her paintings.  

Along the Trail, 20" x 16", oil
In choosing her pigments, as in choosing all of her materials, Karen believes that skimping can cause problems and frustration.  "Good materials enable you to learn more quickly and struggle less, " she explains.  Karen paints on Aquabord™, a wood panel with a textured clay surface, intended for watermedia.  She chooses her brushes with just as much thought as she picks her pigments, looking for ones that won't compete with her surface. Working primarily with synthetic and natural blends, Karen uses a range of shapes, from rounds, to small flats to cat's tongue.  She uses Kolinsky sable quite a bit for her own work due to it's softness, but teaches students with less expensive brushes so they can learn the medium before investing in natural hair brushes.  Her brushes need to have balance in the handle, bounce in the hair and something with a good ferrule, something like a Faux Squirrel.  They need to work with her, so she can pull out color, scumble and move the pigment and get into the painting "zone."  

Hidden Gifts, 40"x60", watercolor
Karen started studying art in the 2nd grade, and with an artistic family on her father's side, she was supported in studying art in college, earning a BFA.  But it was in her thirties when she decided to stop painting as a hobby and make it a career.  She filled out her learning with business and marketing classes, and has found herself not only a successfully selling artist and often sold out art instructor, but the owner of a busy gallery as well.

Karen teaches workshops regularly across the country and will be at the Art of the Carolinas in November.  You can find a detailed schedule on her website or follow her gallery at The Gallery at Round Top.  

Keep Painting, 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Survey on your Paint Brushes

Do you have a few moments to tell us about your current paint brushes?  We are always striving to make better products.  This very short survey will give you an anonymous chance to share your opinions with us.  

Please feel free to share with other artists as well.  We would love to have a range of feedback and understanding about brushes in the art community and what is needed to improve them or to create new ones.

Thank you for your time.

Brush Survey

Keep Painting, 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Nilda Rodriguez

"The Rose"
Nilda Rosa Rodriguez has always been interested in painting and drawing, making her family sit for portraits when she was young.  Her favorite gift as a child was a new box of crayons.  When her family was stationed in Columbus, Georgia, a friend invited Nilda to a Tole painting class and she never looked back.

Since then, Nilda has tried her hand at oils and colored pencil, as well as continuing to work in acrylics.  She also teaches her own workshops in her home studio and online in addition to traveling with and teaching for the Society of Decorative Painters.  Nilda makes painting attainable for anyone, as you can see in this sample video of her work below.  In her classes, Nilda instructs students on the challenges of painting glass, fabric, metal and florals.  She uses a range of detail brushes, including the Dynasty Black Gold line, in particular the chisel blender seen below.  

To see more of Nilda's own work and check out her workshop schedule, log on to her website:

Keep Painting,

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Paint Brush Highlights: Black Gold Hat Trick

There are several brush shapes that Dynasty holds the patent for, including the versatile wave brush.  Most of these shapes lie within the Black Gold line, our premier brushes created with a synthetic tuft.  The Hat Trick shape grew out of the wave, having three points in each brush.  Within the Hat Trick shape, there are three versions:  three equally level points, one with the middle point lower than the outer two, and one with the middle point higher than the outer two.  The brush was named to pay homage to the hockey enthusiasts' of Canada: when a player scores three goals in a one game, it's referred to as a Hat Trick.  

These brushes make it easy to load multiple colors, or to create texture and movement in a painting.   They would also be ideal for pointillism artists, working in either fluid acrylics, gouache or ink.  With the Black Gold line, any of the shapes work great removing color in watercolor work as they are full of spring and hold their shape incredibly well.  Can you imagine the water reflections that could be created with this brush?  

Take a look at the work of Irena Mehldau from her Facebook Page.  She was sampling the Hat Trick line to create these florals.  Irena is a wonderful instructor of One Stroke and often features Dynasty Brushes in her videos and on her Facebook Page, not to mention selling them in Germany.  Thank you Irena for all of your Dynasty support!

Keep Painting, 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.