The daffodils are popping up here and there and the robins have made their way back home; the first of many signs that Spring has arrived. Another sure sign of the changing of seasons is the Spring Sales Event at Cheap Joe’s! Many items are on sale, both brand new, as well as, all of those everyday items that you just can’t do without. The flyer is full of stuff at great prices, lots of cool promotional gifts with purchase (just like the cosmetic counters at the big department stores) and special free shipping for orders over 150.00.*(some restrictions apply) Now is a great time to check out some of the great products that have found their way into the sale flyer.
I just love new art stuff! And I found several things in the flyer that caught my eye right away. Including three limited edition paint sets from M. Graham, Ampersand’s new and improved Aquabord with a more absorbent surface, and a complete line of the new Wood Frame kits from Nielsen, that allow you to customize the size frame you need! I just couldn’t wait to try these out!
I was immediately attracted to the M. Graham Limited Edition Pigment Sets when they were first unveiled in late 2012. These boxed sets were so beautifully packaged, that I just had to find out what was inside. Each set includes four specially selected open stock pigments, as well as, one unique color with a Celtic theme. All of the paints are M. Graham quality with pure pigments mixed with gum arabic and blackberry honey, to create a smooth consistency that stays moist for those really juicy washes. The limited edition colors were created especially for this promotion and are only available for a short time with very limited quantities. I guess that is what is so intriguing about these sets. I wanted to try all of the new colors before they disappeared! Because when they are gone, they are gone!
The Jewel Tone Limited Edition Set-
Celtic Green- Limited Color
The Cobalt Limited Edition Set-
Tartan Blue- Limited Color
The Shades of Summer Limited Edition Set-
Permanent Green Pale
Highland Green Limited Color
After sampling all of the bright and exciting colors of all three sets, I chose the Shades of Summer Set to create my painting. I decided on a Macaw Parrot as my subject, as the bright colors just seemed to fit. I also chose the Ampersand Aquabord for my surface. Ampersand has improved the substrate by making it more absorbent and water friendly as well as still being super easy to lift and correct pigments, while painting.
Ampersand recommends “flushing out” the board with water to release trapped air in the surface. I sprayed the board with water and brushed the surface to distribute the moisture. As the water was absorbed, the surface developed air bubbles, which proved it was taking in the water. I kept adding water until the air bubbles had lessened somewhat which meant the surface was ready.
With the surface fully wet, I tapped on several different colors from the set and allowed them to run down the board. I only used the five colors available in the set, and white gouache from Winsor and Newton to strengthen the bright whites of the bird’s face. After allowing it to dry completely, I transferred my pattern onto the Aquabord and was ready to paint.
Note: Later, I completely changed the background to the finished state. I really wish I had left it as it was. Once I started reworking it, I was committed to it. Oh, Well! Maybe I will try it again!
I really enjoyed working on the Aquabord, the colors remain bright and vibrant on the surface, although you have to be very careful about re-wetting the layers. You can layer as long as you work rather dry. The board was easy to handle and framed up beautifully when I was finished.
I love the M. Graham “Shades of Summer” Limited Edition Set. The colors were perfect for my subject and I was able to mix any color necessary to complete the project. I used complimentary combinations to create the neutrals and darks that brought dimension to the macaw. I love, love, love the “Highland Green” and may very well miss it when it is not available anymore. (Maybe the demand will be high enough to add it to their collection!)
I sprayed a matte varnish on the painting to protect it without having to use glass in my frame. Speaking of framing, I tried the new wooden frame kits from Nielsen, and was very pleased with the results.
Information supplied by Nielsen Bainbridge
Easily add a custom wood frame to your artwork with these frame kits from Nielsen Bainbridge. Crafted from imported Italian woods, these frames sport a flat top profile and are the perfect depth for framing canvas or other artwork.
Each Kit includes one pair of wood sections and two plastic wedges. Two Nielsen Frame Kits combine to make one easy to assemble frame. No tools required.
Dimensions for the Nielsen Bainbridge Wood Frame Kits are as follows: 3/4″ across the face, 1-1/8″ depth and a 1-1/4″ profile depth.
Rabbet Depth - The rabbet is the recess on the back inside edge of the frame, into which the artwork fits. These frames are perfectly suited for standard depth canvas, as well as, flat artwork like watercolors and pastels.
Note - Frames are sized by the opening, not by the outside of the molding. To determine the size of frame to order, measure the outside of your artwork, including mat, and order that size frame. The frame will overlap your artwork about a quarter inch all the way around, so your artwork will fit securely behind the frame’s molding.
All of the above information is very useful information for ordering, and I have to agree that these are a great quality product. Below is the assembly demo for step by step instruction on how to put the wooden frame kits together.
From the Nielsen packaging:
1. Apply a small amount of wood glue to one surface of the adjoining corners.
2. On a smooth surface, while glue is still wet, insert thumbnail. Press or softly hammer until flush.
3. Repeat for all 4 corners.
Pretty simple, huh? Well, first of all, I have to disagree with the idea that you could “Press” in the plastic wedge until it is completely flush with the frame back. I, sincerely, recommend using the hammer (a tool), as I think I bruised by thumb by trying the “no tools method”!
The glue is a good idea to get a tight fit, but make sure you use only a little, and keep a wet paper towel handy to wipe off the excess.
Be sure to order the correct size, as you cannot take these apart once you have assembled them.
You should know ahead of time that these are custom parts that have to be put together and may lose small flakes of paint from the edges that will need to be touched up afterwards. This is normal, and not a defect. This can happen in the packaging during shipping. The edges are very sharp and thin to make a tight corner. Don’t Panic! I experienced this as I expect you will.
The corners, however perfect, will not always fit perfectly together leaving no seam or raw edges showing. This is normal and not a defect. This is to be expected with this “custom type” of product. The manufacturer has taken every means possible in consideration to lessen both of these situations. But it is not realistic to expect this product to be perfect and blemish free, every time. So, my advice to you is to have a Black Chartpak Frame Touch Up Marker ready or buy one when purchasing the black finish kits. Chances are you will need it. I did. The Natural finish will not have as much concern for this, as it will not happen as often. The lacquer finish will actually make the edges even stronger and there is really no “color” to lose or replace.
The really great thing about these wooden frame sets, besides being able to frame odd sizes, is that the rabbet is deep enough to hold a standard 3/4″ depth canvas. The Metal Frame kits by Nielsen can only be used with thin stacks of art, mats, and glass. They cannot be used with stretched canvases. So this is great news for canvas artists!
After placing the artwork in the frame, without glass (in my case) you will need to secure it inside the frame with framing points using a Logan Point driver and attach a hanger or wire to the back to hang it.
Another great new find that I discovered during my demo is The Rinse Well brush washer. I really get a kick out of “flushing” the Rinse Well and having it fill up with fresh clean water! This was a great benefit while painting. I really give this one a “thumbs up”!
With all of the great items on sale, if you haven’t already checked out the Spring Sales Event Flyer, What are you waiting for? Feel free to go online at cheapjoes.com or call 800 227 2788 to request a sale flyer. Hurry! and don’t wait, the Sale ends April 30th, 2013, and so goes the Free Shipping on orders over 150.00* (Some restrictions apply).
I hope you enjoyed this project and the reviews of all of these great new products as much as I did! I really had a ball trying them out! Feel free to leave comments with any other information about the great products included in the Spring Sales Event Flyer. I would love to hear from you all!
Wishing you a Happy Spring Season and Renewed Artistic Inspiration!
Have a Happy Easter from Everyone at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff!