Stillman and Birn
     
Art Paper Gallery
Monday, July 24, 2017

Update on Nova Series Product Launch

Our upcoming Nova Series sketchbooks are made with toned paper that will support mixed media artwork. There are three shades: beige, grey and black; the sketchbooks will be offered in softcover and wirebound formats. Production is proceeding on schedule and we expect to make our first shipments the week of July 31. From there, it will take two to three weeks for the sketchbooks to flow through our distribution channels and reach store shelves in North America.

Nova Series toned paper sketchbooks are great for mixed media artwork because the paper is made with both internal and surface sizing. Benefits of double sizing:
1. Exceptional wet strength.
2. Keeps pigment from penetrating deep into the paper, forcing it to remain high on the surface. As a result, pigment glows on this paper.
3. Retards penetration of wet media (bleed through). Therefore, both sides of sketchbook sheet can be used.
4. Protects surface from abrasive effects of multiple erasures.
5. Strengthens surface to allow for wide range of inking techniques without feathering.
6. Allows for blending and layering with colored pencils and pastels.

Nova Series papers are suitable for: colored pencil, ink, gel pens, paint markers, watercolor, gouache, chalk pastels, oil pastels, water-soluble graphite, charcoal, Conté crayon, colored dry pigments, watercolor pencil, soapstone pencil, etc.

Participants at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago this week will be the first to see this new range. Full disclosure: Stillman & Birn is a sponsor.

For advance product information: http://bit.ly/2eGi17J

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Zeta Series Sketchbook Tour

Thank you to Mark Fraley for posting this great video sketchbook tour of his recently completed Zeta sketchbook. https://youtu.be/W9J4Ti3_aSk  Shown here, “Bighorn Sheep”

MEDIA: Ink, Watercolor, Collage
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Mark Fraley is a collage and portrait artist based in Broomfield, Colorado. He creates images that inspire hope and reveal a sense of calm. His inspiration comes from three places – his work as an early childhood special education teacher, his family life with his wife and three children, and his faith. Mark is the creator of a sketchbook story, “The Creation of Calm” published by Cladach Publishing and available on Amazon.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nova Series – Coming August, 2017

Toned paper sketchbooks for mixed media artwork.
Three shades: beige, grey, black
Bindings: Softcover & wirebound
Supports multiple erasures without pilling; holds ink line without feathering
Suitable for a wide range of dry and wet media, including: colored pencil, ink, gel pens, paint markers, watercolors, water-soluble graphite, gouache, charcoal, etc.
Exceptional wet strength and surface luminescence…pigment glows on these papers!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Poble Espanyol

Artist: Brenda Swenson, United States
Artist Statement: Great memories from my workshop in Spain. The Poble Espanyol (literally, Spanish town) is an open-air architectural museum in Barcelona. Built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, the museum consists of 117 full-scale buildings, which recreate an Iberian village. It also contains a theater, restaurants, artisan workshops and a museum of contemporary art.

MEDIA: Ink and Watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Color Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, “Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook” (Award of Excellence Finalist) and “Steps to Success in Watercolor”. Her paintings and sketches have been featured in Splash 11, 12 & 14, Artistic Touch 4, Creative Freedom, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Wheels of Time, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications. Brenda has achieved signature status in WW, NWWS, and SDWS. An active participant in the arts community she has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She is in demand to demonstrate and teach her painting techniques to groups nationwide and abroad.
Instagram: @brenda_swenson
Website: www.swensonart.net
Blog: brendaswenson.blogspot.com

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wat Po Temple, Bangkok

Artist: Patrick Ng, Singapore
Artist Statement: This piece was done during a Southeast Asia regional Sketchwalk held in Bangkok. The atmosphere was somber because it was still during the first 100-days mourning period of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who had then recently passed on. I was blown away by the grandness of the whole palace ground, and to the west of the grand palace, was this beautiful, majestic imperial temple, Wat Po. It really signifies how central the Buddhist faith is to the Thais, and how the Thai people revere their beloved king.

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Patrick Ng is an ink and watercolor artist who lives in Singapore. He is an active member, and part of the Admin Core Team of Urban Sketchers Singapore.
Instagram: @synchopat (Most of his works are on his Instagram and Facebook account.)

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nova Series – Coming Soon

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Alpha Series

ALPHA SERIES
Weight: 150 gsm
Shade: White
Surface: Medium Grain Finish
Media: Dry media, light wash, ink
Gallery: http://www.stillmanandbirn.com/gallery/

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Monday, May 22, 2017

In Turner’s Wake

Artist: Liliya Rodnikova, Russia
Artist Statement: I like trying different styles and themes in watercolor and use my sketchbook to test the waters. This time I remembered that best way to learn something in painting is copy great artist of the past. And I made my own version of one of the works of J.M.W. Turner. And it was an awesome experience to be in touch with all this amazing colors and shapes. It was the first try and I’ll continue with it in future.

MEDIA: Watercolor
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Liliya Rodnikova is 27 year old photographer and artist. She commits all her free time to learn something new in watercolor or pastel and is a passionate lover of good art supplies.
Always open for new projects and collaborations.
Email: rodnikova@yandex.ru
Instagram: @lileinaya

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Son at Twelve

Artist: Leach Lichingheng, Singapore
Artist Statement: I was sketching my son as he sat at my studio table as he was studying for his exams. I was focused on getting a looseness into my lines and adding splashes of colors. But once I was finished, the thing that struck me most was that I had drawn a young man. Immediately and all at once I felt surprised, sentimental, proud. What started out as a casual sketch, that I might well have chuckled at, is now something of deep meaning to me.

MEDIA: Ink and watercolours
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Leach is a freelance Artist, illustrator and Art educator from Singapore. She is known for her wide breadth of style, fluid and colorful watercolours, as well as dark and intricate pen & ink work.
Blog: lichingheng.wordpress.com
Instagram: @lichingheng

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Praha – Ovocný trh (Prague – Ovocný Square)

Artist: Anna Vecherskaia, Czech Republic
Ovocný Square is a small narrow plaza in central Prague. The square has been a home to a market since the early 13th century and was a center of the fruit and vegetable trade until the early 20th century. Anna’s watercolor depicts the square as the sun is setting and as the walking pedestrians cast long shadows on the cobblestone street.

MEDIA: Watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Anna Vecherskaia is a watercolor artist, illustrator and web designer based in Prague in the Czech Republic. She is a teacher of painting and collaborates with the British design firm, Oxford Designers and Illustrators Ltd (ODI). Anna’s artwork can be seen at her Behance photostream: https://www.behance.net/annavecher682a and on Instagram: @annavecherskaia

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Illuminated Manuscript

Artist: Leslie Fehling, United States
Artist Statement: I made a decision several months ago to give up the commission side of my art business. As my calendar had filled with teaching engagements and trips to far-flung places, it became more and more difficult to find time to squeeze in the labor-intensive custom artwork. But when my friend Mary approached me a few months ago about doing a very special piece for her, I couldn’t say no.
Mary’s cousin, Rita, had been her best friend since childhood. They were like sisters, always there for each other. Rita’s husband, Tim, had recently passed away, and Mary, wanting to help her friend in some way, had the idea for a very special sort of memorial. It would be a tribute in the form of a traditional illuminated manuscript, but with a modern twist. Not only would it include a formal reading from his funeral, one which had great meaning to the family, but it would also capture the essence of who he was as a man…
—–
This is the link to Leslie’s blog post in which she describes the step-by-step process she used to create this complex work of art: http://www.lesliefehling.com/2017/05/step-by-step-watercolor-modern.html

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Delta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – Ivory – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Leslie Fehling is an American artist specializing in watercolors. She does freelance work and teaches classes across the US and in Europe. Her workshops include instruction in drawing, watercolor techniques, hand lettering, page design, and travel sketching. She and her husband live in a Victorian farmhouse perched on a windy hilltop, surrounded by the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania.
Website: http://www.lesliefehling.com/

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Iglesia del Divino Salvador, Sevilla

ARTIST: Alfonso Garcia Garcia, Spain
The baroque Salvador Church is the second largest church of Seville after its Cathedral. It was built on the site of the city’s main mosque and some of its Moorish elements are still to be found in the church’s design.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Gamma Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Ivory – Medium Grain

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Alfonso Garcia Garcia is a Spanish architect and urban sketcher based in Seville.
Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79614328@N07/
Instagram: @alfonsosketches

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Two Red Peppers

Artist: Stacy Egan, United States
Artist statement: I believe that sketching everyday objects is wonderful to incorporate into a daily art practice. It allows me to document my life and sketch consistently to develop my own artistic style. I love the Alpha Series books for my everyday sketching because there are plenty of pages in each book and the paper is robust enough to handle my sometimes very wet watercolor washes. In this case I am celebrating the wonderful haul from our local produce source, On Wheels Without Waste, one of the benefits of living so close to the Mexican border.

I set up a couple of the red bell peppers onto white paper as a mini still life. After quickly blocking out the shapes in pencil I drew the outlines in ink with a brush pen and a fountain pen, then enjoyed loosely painting the watercolor washes to communicate the beautiful red tones of the peppers.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Stacy Egan is an ink and watercolor artist who lives in Tucson, Arizona. She is active in two local sketching groups, The Sketchbook Artistry Guild and Old Pueblo Urban Sketchers, and is an art instructor at Tucson’s Art Verve Academy. No subject is safe from her love of sketching.
http://stacycreates.blogspot.com
Instagram: @stacyegan

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Friday, April 21, 2017

National Garlic Day (April 19)

Artist: Suhita Shirodkar, United States
Artist Statement: It’s National Garlic Day today! I’m going to say I celebrated, because I was in Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World, today… I did this little piece for Gilroy a few years ago. Painted on Stillman & Birn Beta paper. Watercolor and ink

Ed note: Gilroy, California is 30 miles south of San Jose. Its hot, Mediterranean climate and rich soil make it particularly suitable for garlic cultivation.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

 

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Matisse Cut-Outs: The Audacity of Simplicity

MATISSE CUT-OUTS: THE AUDACITY OF SIMPLICITY
This is in an excellent video about Matisse and his development of the cut-out art form. The 30-minute video was produced by the BBC to coincide with the landmark 2014 exhibition of cut-outs at London’s Tate Modern and New York’s MoMA. Shown here: Icarus (1943 -1944)

“In 1941, after a near-fatal operation, Matisse decided to give up painting and sought a new way of drawing in color. Scissors replaced a paintbrush and with the unique skill of a tailor, he set about creating his now famous cut-outs, which have yet to be rivaled for their originality and daring.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4NHDpaQW9s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some examples of the influences of Matisse’s Icarus:

 

 

 

 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Paris Street Scene

Artist: Iain Stewart, United States
Artist Statement: This is a watercolor sketchbook page I painted last week at a workshop hosted by the Potomac Valley Watercolorists. The subject is a bustling street in the St. Martin Canal district in Paris created from a reference photo.

I start with a fairly strong pencil drawing. I rely on a dull point on my pencil to avoid overworking detail and explain to my students that we first look for large shapes and gesture before thinking of detail. I particularly enjoy how the Alpha Series paper reacts to wet media. The paper holds up wonderfully to multiple washes. The pigment stays on the surface which allows me to mix color on the paper and let it mingle.

My watercolor sketches are generally done in three major washes with a last pass to add detail and touches of opaque white where needed. All the washes are done wet on dry and then I drop in color or use clear water to fade in color and direct the eye to my center of focus. I will then keep working wet in wet until I have the depth I desire. I use an atomizer to keep the paper moist to avoid uneven drying and prolong the time I can continue to work. After each major wash I let the paper dry completely. I build layers looking mainly at tonal value and keeping the washes from looking too flat. I will work in water and lift pigment when I see things becoming homogeneous. At all costs I try and keep my washes from looking like a screen print. They should have character, lost and found edges, and most of all varied tone. I use a couple of pieces of artist’s tape to hold the page to the sketchbook and this keeps the paper from warping quite well.

MEDIA: Watercolor and gouache
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Iain Stewart is an award winning watercolor artist and a signature member of the American Watercolor Society (AWS) and the National Watercolor Society (NWS) as well as other state and international societies. He has received numerous awards in international competitions. His works were included in the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition and his watercolor “Apse End Notre Dame” will be on exhibition at the NWS/China small works exchange. His paintings have been published in numerous magazines, among others in the Watercolor Artist Magazine, Splash 15 and 16, and the French publication Pratique des Arts. Iain maintains a studio in Opelika, AL and is also an Architectural Illustrator with an international clientele, teaches watercolor and design drawing at Auburn University.
Website: http://stewartwatercolors.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @iainstew71
Instagram: @iainstew7

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tropical Days

Artist: Janine Weiss, United States
Artist Statement: As a fashion designer, owning my own business, I had gotten away from taking the time to just sit, draw, paint and doodle for my personal self. I got hooked on Instagram and the many different artists I found there, each so inspirational in their own way. I picked up a Stillman & Birn small sketchbook, 3.5 x 5.5, Zeta Series, along with pigment pens and a small travel watercolor set. I started carrying them everywhere. Now I’m out of control, sketching, doodling and creating everyday….and posting. Each day I start it with a sketch, then I check my email. I love the challenge of using a small travel sketchbook and turning out a quick piece of art in under ten minutes.

For “Tropical Days”, I started with a very light quick sketch to get proportion with a 4H pencil. I then put the black line using a basic ballpoint pen. I applied layers of watercolor for the final touch.

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavy Weight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Janine Weiss is an American Artist, Fashion Designer and Textile Designer. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design with a BFA degree. She was a professor at Parsons for 18 years teaching Fashion Design and Illustration. She owns her own company for 24 years, SNOSKINS. Her clothing is proudly manufactured in the USA.
Follow SNOSKINS on Facebook
Instagram: @witchypowr

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Play Day in Pasadena

ARTIST: Brenda Swenson, United States
MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Brenda Swenson is a renowned watercolorist, author and instructor. She teaches at her private studio, The STUDIO in South Pasadena and at art workshops around the world.
www.BrendaSwenson.blogspot.com
www.SwensonsArt.net

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Koru

Artist: Guillem Marí, Spain
Artist Statement: My vision in creating the artwork: I just love painting portraits and to experiment different approaches and media applied to portraiture. One of the things I enjoy most is to combine it with abstract and geometrical shapes, stains, drippings and splatter. I use my sketchbook to just experiment with those elements in a playful way, without giving it too much thought. And that’s what this sketchbook page is all about.

Techniques/Media: In this case I used mostly watercolors, with some details in gouache and color fineliners. I initially draw a loose sketch with a mechanical pencil, and then just play around with the paints. The drippings, spatter and geometrical elements are pretty much improvised along the way.

MEDIA: Watercolor, gouache, ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Guillem Marí is a Spanish freelance illustrator, painter and designer currently based in Ibiza. Guillem studied illustration and graphic design at the Joso Art School in Barcelona. After that, he worked in the animation industry for a while, but soon started his own path as a freelancer in comics and illustration, working for several international clients, including Marvel Comics (US), Image Comics (US), Schibsted Publishing Co. (Sweden/Norway/Denmark), Uitgeverij de Boemerang (Belgium) and Editorial Vicens-Vives (Spain), Tyche Books (Canada), amongst many others.

Although painting and drawing are his main passions he also enjoys playing guitar, writing, contemplating and hiking in nature, as well as travelling and being hugged.

Guillem is always open and happy to discuss all kinds of new projects and commissions, and can be contacted at contact@guillemmari.studio
Twitter: @guillembe
Instagram: @guillem_mari

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Things on the Breakfast Table

Artist: Koosje Koene, The Netherlands
Artist Statement: I like using sketchbooks as my personal illustrated journals. They give me the opportunity to try new techniques, experiment and explore, and collect memories in drawings. Doing daily drawings in my sketchbooks means that I carve out time (even if it’s just a five minute drawing) to draw anything that appeals to me then and there, and the pages build up to a document of my life. The drawings tell stories (big and small), keep memories alive, and capture so much more than a photo could ever do. I love how very mundane things can become interesting when you draw them – as soon as you start drawing them. Like: the random stuff that’s right in front of you at the breakfast table. This drawing reminds me of the lazy Sunday morning when I made this, right after finishing breakfast.

MEDIA: Pen and watercolor
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Koosje Koene is an artist and entrepreneur from Amsterdam. She founded an online art school called Sketchbook Skool, together with Danny Gregory.
Websites: SketchbookSkool.com, KoosjeKoene.nl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/koosjekoene/
Instagram: @koosjekoene
Twitter: @koosjekoene

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