Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Retailer Cheap Joe's is now offering Dynasty Brushes!!

Welcome to our Dynasty Brush Family Cheap Joe's!

One of our long time friends and one of the most respected art material dealers and art resources in the country is now carrying the Dynasty Brush lines in their stores in Boone and Charlotte, North Carolina.  Cheap Joe's has been a leader in the art material industry with a huge selection of supplies as well as instructional resources for artists, now including a blog, workshops and a well stocked YouTube channel.  

Cheap Joe's will be carrying Black Steel, Faux Squirrel, Interlocked Bronze, Black Silver and Micron lines in their stores.  Take a trip to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and stop at Cheap Joe's to find your favorite brushes, or call and sign up to receive their catalogue.  Cheap Joe's ships internationally, too!

Keep Painting, 

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shar Sosh in the Republic of Montmartre

One of our close artist friends, internationally known painter, Shar Sosh has recently been chosen as an Ambassador to the Republic of Montmartre in France, which works to bring artists together and aid disadvantaged children.  Since 1985, Shar has resided and painted in Montmartre, joining the local art associations and regularly showing her work.  In a recent exhibition, Shar sold a piece to French celebrity, Michou.

"A life-size, hand-painted mannequin sculpture, by internationally known American artist Shar Sosh, was recently acquired by a beloved Montmartre celebrity, known as Michou. Michou, the 83-year-old owner of the famous Cabaret Michou on the Rue des Martyrs in Paris' historic 18 district, has long been a beloved icon of Parisian nightlife.  A trailblazer for gay rights, Michou, whose real name Michel Georges Alfred Catty, has been dubbed “minister of the night” by the Republic of Montmartre. Perennially clad in an electric-blue suit, he sports oversize, bright-blue glasses and a hallmark blond bouffant hairstyle. At his cabaret and supper club for female impersonators -- which inspired the famous 1978 comedy La Cage aux Folles -- performers in elaborate makeup and costumes lip-sync to the songs of Celine Dion, Madonna, Maria Callas, Cher, Edith Piaf, Dalida or Tina Turner.  His cabaret was the first of its kind in France.
Shar Sosh
The work, Who is Michou?, had been on display in an important exhibition of Sosh's recent paintings and sculptures in June 2014, the Sixth Biennale d'Art Contemporain, in the Saint Pierre de Montmartre church in Montmartre.

Shar has been living part-time in Paris for thirty years and considers the City of Light her second home. “It's very exciting,” she said. “I met my best friends in Montmartre, and I've also been fortunate to get to know many of the locals, such as Michou. For years, I've seen Michou at the local cafĂ©, at exhibitions and openings or at other events, and watched him out of the corner of my eye. He inspired many of my paintings, such as The Lookers series, but he never even knew it.“ The vibrant painted mannequin was inspired by Michou, but without his knowing, and he discovered the work at the biennial exhibit opening.

Who is Michou?
Decorated with swirling and geometric patterns, Who is Michou? is Shar Sosh’s symbolic tribute to the star. Adorned with a gigantic pair of glittering blue eyeglasses on top of its head, like the one’s Michou himself wears, the sculpture is painted in glowing hues of pink, gold, black and white, with prominent patches of electric blue, Michou's signature color. Seated on a stool, with one leg crossed over at the knee, the mannequin also contains clear references to his career as a singer and impresario, decorated with painted black-and-white piano keyboards and collaged pieces of sheet music. The sculpture will join Michou’s personal art collection." ~from the official press release

Keep Painting, 

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Artist Resources: Painting Supports

The modern artist has many supports or substrates to choose from, most painters choose from canvas, wood panels or paper depending on their medium.  In all substrates, there is a huge range of quality.  Pre-made canvases and panels  can be convenient, but may also be created with poor quality ingredients.  Research the companies and materials that go into your artist materials.  There are many reputable and well made substrates on the market, and paying for a quality support will make the difference in the longevity of the piece.

Canvas, meaning tightly woven cloth, is a flexible, light-weight support.  Cotton, linen or synthetic fabric is sold in rolls or already pre-stretched on stretcher bars.  Canvas usually needs to be sized and primed before it is ready for paint.  Canvas can be stretched to large sizes without the weight that accompanies panels or it can be rolled for easy transport.  Keep in mind that canvas does move and flex with humidity and temperature and can cause cracking in a painting depending on the flexibility of the paint.  

Panel is the heaviest but most durable support.  It can withstand layers of acrylic or oil paint that would weigh down canvas, yet panels are rigid supports made of wood, fiberboard or a combination.  Not all panels are created equal.  Wood also expands and changes with temperature and humidity, so it is vital to know what kind of manufacturing process is the most resilient against warping and the best to hold paint.  Panels need to be sealed and primed before paint is applied.  There are plenty of good panels on the market that are pre-primed and ready for paint.  

Paper rarely needs to be primed for painting, however it can be unsuitable for oils due to the acidity of the paint and it can be fragile for heavy bodied acrylics.  Paper is incredibly versatile and most easily available usually for working quickly, travel, sketching and mounting on other supports.  For more information on choosing the right paper for your medium, check out Strathmore's Paper Media Guide.

In the modern art world, artists can work with glass, aluminum, copper or a myriad of other substrates for their work.  Some artists feel that fragility and impermanence suit their concept.  However, if art is to last for decades, then certain aspects need to be kept in mind.  Three points to keep in mind when choosing a support from Gottsegen's, The Painter's Handbook:

  • It should age without becoming so brittle or fragile that it will suffer from exhibition, handling, or proper storage.
  • It should be able to withstand the effects of atmospheric changes.  Under reasonably variable conditions of relative humidity (RH) and temperature, the support should expand, contract or warp as little as possible.
  • It should have enough absorbency and tooth to provide a good key for the kinds of paints and grounds applied to it.
I have barely begun to scratch the surface of modern supports.  Take time to research and experiment.  Some artists find what works for them breaks all the "rules" and others find that tradition is the best path.

Keep Painting, 

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

Gottsegen, Mark, "The Painter's Handbook: A Complete Reference, Revised and Expanded." Watson-Guptill Publications, New York. p.32

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dynasty Brush Comparison Chart

Interboro Brushes
Interboro Line
FM Brush, Inc. makes over 17, 000 kinds of brushes.  With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming for an artist to choose what kinds of brushes will work best for their media and styles of artwork.

Below is a chart of the Dynasty professional artist brushes and their corresponding media.  Traditionally artists used natural hair brushes for oil and watercolor with synthetic brushes mainly for acrylic paints.  However, with the technology advancing quickly in synthetic fibers, synthetic hairs have the spring and support of natural hair brushes.  Each artist should experiment with a range of brushes to know what works best for their style, comfort, and medium.  


Oil & Alkyd
Egg Tempera

Interlock Bronze

Faux Sable

Faux Kolinsky

Faux Squirrel

Orange Ice

Large Mop



Eye of the Tiger