Monday, February 20, 2012

Cutting Remarks

Many times over the past few years I have been asked how to cut from a roll of watercolor paper. It never dawned on me this could be a problem until I was made aware of the very awkward and inefficient ways some people go about it.  Let's make it quick and easy, shall we?

My favorite paper is Fabriano Artistico,  140 lb. hot press or cold press. It measures 55" (140 cm) wide, and 30' (914 cm) long.  

1.  Place the end of the roll under a carpet, rug, or anything heavy -- books or a piece of wood can be used.

2.  Unroll it to the desired length and stop it with something heavy. Again, books or a piece of wood (shown) can be used. Be careful not to dent or mark the paper.  Now the important part:  spray a light mist of water on the surface. Wait a few minutes. This will relax the paper and prevent it from rolling up again.

3.  After deciding the best way to orient the desired shape within the roll (I try not to waste paper), measure the dimensions. I usually make the piece a bit larger than the actual painting will be so I have a border to work with, and to give me more options in framing. 

4.  I usually make two marks with the pencil - one on each side -  but if you don't have a straight edge long enough, you might need to make three.

5. Use a long straight edge to draw a pencil line across. 

6.  Cut with scissors or utility knife. You can also fold and tear if you prefer a deckle edge.  I save the scraps and let my daughter paint on them. The roll then goes back in the box, propped up in the corner of my studio, until I need the next piece.   

Note:  It has come to my attention that some people invest in a roll and proceed to cut it into a variety of sizes, or even cut it to standard 22 x 30 pieces. This completely misses the point of buying a roll of paper. The purpose of the roll is to do large paintings that can't be done on standard available sizes. My advice is to only cut pieces as you need them. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 Exhibitions - Judging - Workshops

This year started off with a bang exhibiting here at Strathmore Mansion, and I'll be showing new work in Shanghai, Narbonne (Fr), Estaimbourg (Bel), and more biennials with NAWA (first in Colombia). I return to China to judge the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial again, the biggest and best watercolor exhibition in the world. I'll be in Nanjing, China in October for the opening of the 3rd  Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary International Watermedia Masters. I'm also judging the San Diego Watercolor Society annual, a major international show; the Florida Watercolor Society annual, another major; and the Utah Watercolor Society and Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society annuals. Each of those includes a workshop, demos/lectures, and in the FWS convention, I'll be playing a concert. In addition, I'm the senior judge again for the PTA Reflections program art competition, with 166,000 entries, the largest art contest in the country.  Several more workshops and Photoshop seminars are pending and will be added to the schedule in coming weeks, as well as events for DaVinci Paint, Escoda Artist Brushes, and another sponsor to be announced soon. . Check the workshop page of the Nicholas Simmons website for updates

Exhibition - North American Watercolor Artists - Strathmore Mansion - Bethesda, Maryland. January 8 - February 4.

2-day workshop - Plaza Art - Rockville, Maryland. February 4-5.
Contact: 301-770-0500

2-day workshop - Newton Watercolor Society / New Art Center - Newtonville, Massachusetts. March 24-25.
Contact: Kristi Woodworth 617-964-3424

4-day workshop - Waterloo Watercolor Group of Austin - Austin, Texas. April 2- 5. Demonstration April 1.
Contact: Nancy Charbeneau 512-795-0203

Lecture/demonstration - Waterloo Watercolor Group of Austin - Austin, Texas. April 1.

Judge - Waterloo Watercolor Group of Austin  34th Annual Spring Member Show

Photography For Artists Seminar - Baltimore Watercolor Society - Ellicott City, Maryland. April 21.
Contact: Diane Gibson 410-357-0464

Judge - PTA Reflections "Diversity Means..." Visual Arts Program - April.

5-day workshop - Utah Watercolor Society - Salt Lake City, Utah. April 30-May 4. Demonstration May 1.
Contact: Joyce Baron 801-375-4933

Judge - Utah Watercolor Society 2012 Annual Open Juried Exhibition. April 2012.

Judge -  Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society Spring Show. March 2012

4-day workshop - Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society - Buffalo, New York. May 14-17. Demonstration May 17.
Contact: Carol Case Siracuse 716- 867-9044

Lecture/demonstration - Burchfield Penney Art Center - Buffalo, New York. May 17.

Judge - 2nd Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial. June 2012.

5-day workshop - Manoir de Maison Blanche - Dordogne, France. June 18-22.
Contact: Manoir de Maison Blanche +33 553 56 90 55

3-day workshop - Idyllwild Arts - Idyllwild, California. July16 -18. Lecture July 18.
Contact: Idyllwild Summer Program 951- 659-2171 x 2365

Lecture - Parks Gallery, Idyllwild Arts - July 16.

Exhibition - Parks Gallery, Idyllwild Arts - July 16-20.

4-day workshop - Acadia Workshop Center - Mount Desert Island, Maine. July 30-August 2.
Contact: Gail Ribas 207-460-4119

Exhibition - International Watercolour Biennial - Belgium 2012. Estaimbourg, Belgium. August 11 - September 2.

4-day workshop - San Diego Watercolor Society- San Diego, California. August 13-16.
Contact: Alice Kayuha (619) 876-4550

Lecture/demonstration - San Diego Watercolor Society - San Diego, California. August 14.

Judge - Florida Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition. August 2012.

4-day workshop - Florida Watercolor Society - Orlando, Florida. September 10 -14.
Contact: Jane Collin - 954-532-0017

Lecture-demonstration - Florida Watercolor Society - Orlando, Florida. September 13.

Concert - Florida Watercolor Society Gala - Orlando, Florida. September 15.

Judge - San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition. October 2012.

Exhibition - Biennale d'Aquarelle de Narbonne - Narbonne, France. October 3 - 28.

Exhibition - 2nd Shanghai Zhujijiao International Watercolour Biennial - Shanghai, China. September 29 - November 10.

Exhibition - 3rd Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary International Watermedia Masters - Nanjing, China. October 20-26.

3-day workshop - Amelia Island Artists Workshop - Fernandina Beach, Florida. October 26-28.
Contact: Mikolean Longacre 904-415-3900

4-day workshop - Greentree Studio - Lawrenceburg, Indiana. November 2 - November 5.
Contact: Sandy Maudlin 812-539-4505

3-day workshop - Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Workshops - San Jose, California. November 12 -14. Demonstration November 11.
Contact: Jeanne de Campos-Rousseau