What about Orleans on beautiful Cape Cod? Site of The Best of America Exhibit 2016!


Pristine shores on the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay, an enticing Town Cove, crystal ponds, acres of conservation land and the Cape Cod National Seashore to explore. This favorite Cape Cod Town offers a wonderful diversity of shopping opportunities, from chains to a plethora of fine art galleries and boutiques abounding with distinctive home goods, apparel and jewelry.

zorleans4Saturday night is Gallery Night with over a dozen galleries hosting free artist receptions that everyone is welcome to attend. Presenting master artists from Cape Cod, throughout the Americas and France, Gallery night offers delightful, casual opportunities to meet artists and make new friends. The must-see gallery is Addison Art Gallery which also hosts free artist talks and demonstrations and it will host the 26th Best of America Exhibit from September 3 to October 3, 2016

From fries on the beach to elegant white linen service, Orleans has what you want when you’re ready to eat. Seafood fresh off the boat. Thai, Italian, New England’s best. For local color, visit the Land Ho! on the corner of Route 6A and Cove Road. In the summer, you may have to wait but it will be worth it.

The Orleans Farmers Market has over 30 vendors selling a wonderful variety of fresh Cape Cod grown vegetables, plants, honey, lobsters, soap, worms, flowers, bread and other local products. Open every Saturday (weather permitting) from spring into autumn.

You don’t have to be a big baseball fan to enjoy an evening of Americana at it’s best when you go to a Cape Cod Baseball League Firebirds game. Held at the Middle School field on Route 28, many future Major League Baseball players have started here. The level of play is considered the equivalent of high-A Minor League Baseball.

Summer also brings free concerts at Nauset Beach and in Parish Park on Main Street. Theater lovers will want to check out the historic Academy Playhouse.

yaddisonpaintout3To give you a home base when you’re here, Orleans has beautiful bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels and beachside homes to rent. Check out A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay, the Parsonage Inn and the Nauset House Inn for truly unique lodging with excellent service. When attending the events and activities of the Best of America Opening Week, you may choose to stay with the NOAPS group at The Cove.

The Best of America Exhibit 2016 will open on Saturday September 3, 2016. Entries are now being accepted until June 15, 2016. Enter through Juried Art Services or you may see the prospectus in our website at http://www.NOAPS.org.

Check all the activities planned from Wednesday, August 31 until Sunday September 4. A 3-day painting workshop, demonstrations, a Plein Air Paint Out with cash awards, the opening reception … Check it out at the link below:


See the prospectus to enter the Best of America Exhibit 2016


Posted in Exhibitions, NOAPS Artist Members, NOAPS Signature Artists, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too Many Rules!

By NOAPS Artist Member Debra Keirce
Rules – They are a blessing AND a curse.
It’s nice to feel like we can follow rules to paint an incredible, award winning painting. It’s a curse to know that the most successful people broke the rules of their time in order to achieve their legacies. I mean, where would we be today if Benjamin Franklin had stayed indoors that day it rained and he got the notion to fly his kite? Love or loathe modern art, but what would have happened if the expressionists had colored inside the lines?

“It’s a Jungle Out There” by Debra Keirce, 12×16 Oil

The trouble with rules is knowing which ones to follow and which ones to break. I’ve come to really appreciate this lately. You see, I started a new venture this year. DebKArt Home Studios is hosting some of today’s master painters to teach workshops in Northern Virginia, in my home studios. I thought I had well stocked studios. I’ve been painting and teaching from them for so many years now, I was sure I’d thought of everything an artist needs and then some. But here’s the thing – Some instructors want natural light. Others want windows darkened so we can use artificial light. Some instructors and students MUST stand to paint. Others only sit. Some will paint only from life. Others will paint only from photos. Some squint. Others say keep your eyes open, or you won’t be able to see.
Don’t even get me started on how passionate artists can be about their brands of paints, mediums, substrates and brushes!

“Out of the Box” by Debra Keirce, 8×6 Oil

I am learning that whether you paint the light like Rembrandt did, or in glazes like Vermeer, or with direct deliberate strokes like Sargent, there is a rule book unique to each of these master artists. And the rules contradict each other. If you try to follow them all, you drive yourself crazy getting caught up in a web of absolutes, and you produce nothing.


“Pandora’s Boxes” by Debra Keirce, 6″x8″ Oil

As artists, I am beginning to believe that the challenge for us is not in learning all the rules. Rather, the challenge we all need to rise to, is creating our OWN sets of rules. I can live with that.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Selfie: Self Portraiture


Selfie!… Who doesn’t know this word nowadays? … However, it is a  new word. It can be traced to Australia starting in 2002, and by the end of 2013 it was announced as “the word of the year” by the Oxford English Dictionary. Selfie is a self-portrait done with a photographic camera. And while Self-Portraits have been done by painters in the past, we also find that the word self-portrait and self portraiture as a painting subject are relatively new. Self Portraiture itself was not commonly practiced until the Renaissance.

There are only a few cases known of self portraits prior to the 14th hundreds. The first self portrait known to exist was done by an artist in Egypt in the form of a relief for the tomb of Ptah-hotep near Sakkara. There are a few more self portraits of this type in Egypt and Ancient Greece. Self portraits were considered a form of arrogance on the part of the artist. This view started to change at the beginning of the Renaissance when we start seeing self portraits both in sculpture and in painting.

Instead of an isolated self portrait, at the beginning, the self portraits are found as a depiction of the artist participating in an event. For example, Lorenzo Ghiberti sculps his image on the doors of the Baptistery at Florence, Italy. Michelangelo paints his self-portrait in the Sistine Chapel as the skin of St. Bartholomew. By the time of Rembrandt Van Rijn in the 17th century, this famous painter completed 90 self-portraits. Albrecht Durer, Caravaggio, and many, many other artists after them completed magnificent self-portraits.

OLI2015FALL-095partonNowadays, self-portraiture is one of the most common subjects in the arts. Whether photography with Cindy Sherman or painting with the innumerable, excellent self rendering of contemporary artists.

Our own NOAPS Exhibits, show great examples of self-portraiture. NOAPS Fall 2015 Online Exhibit gives us two self-portraits among the Top Finalists: “Self” by Steve Parton, CT, oil 14×11 and “Loss” ,shown at the top of this article, by Ricky Mujica, NY, oil 8×10. “Loss” is the Narrative Excellence Award Winner for the exhibit. It is a beautiful rendering charged with tremendous emotional energy.


This article was written by NOAPS Publicity Director, Hebe Brooks – 01/08/2016






Posted in Exhibitions, General, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


There is nothing more natural and enduring than oil painting.
For 600 years, oil colors have been made by grinding pigment into vegetable oil (most commonly linseed oil). Linseed oil is pressed from the seeds of the flax plant. The flax plant has been the heart and soul of oil painting, giving us both the oil our colors are bound in and – from the stalks of the plant – the linen we paint on.

Our mission is to lead oil painting into the future. For years, we’ve offered a range of contemporary painting mediums around fast-drying, soy-based alkyd resin, which are formulated with the mildest solvent available: Gamsol. As a thinner and brush-cleaner, Gamsol has set the standard for studio safety and allows painters to work in traditional and contemporary painting techniques.

Though many painters have adopted Gamsol, we have worked with other painters who want to eliminate all solvent from their painting processes. It is in this spirit that we introduced a range of Solvent-Free Painting Mediums, to give painters more possibilities in solvent-free techniques, with less compromise. This Studio Note discusses our range of Solvent-Free materials (Solvent-Free Gel, Solvent-Free Fluid and Safflower Oil) and helps painters navigate their use in the painting process.

Linseed and Safflower Oils
Linseed oil naturally dries faster than other oils and retains greater strength and flexibility as it ages. Paler safflower oil is used in some colors, most notably white. Not only are both of these vegetable oils completely non-toxic, but they are also both used in moisturizers, cooking oils, food and vitamins.

flax flower
Linseed and safflower oils do not give off “fumes.” In fact, these oils take in oxygen as part of their drying process. Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors do not contain solvent, nor do they require any solvent for their use. Simply put, our oil colors have always been Solvent-Free.

Range of Solvent-Free Materials zgamplin oils
Solvent-Free Gel and Solvent-Free Fluid are painting mediums made from safflower oil and alkyd resin with no solvent. Why safflower? We chose safflower for these mediums because of its paler color. The alkyd resin, which is essentially a highly polymerized oil, accounts for the faster drying rate of these materials, compared to either linseed or safflower oils used alone. In regards to their drying, these mediums have a “moderately fast” drying rate – meaning that thin layers will dry to the touch in approximately 36 – 48 hours. Because they rely solely on oxidation to dry, they have a longer working time compared to our Galkyd mediums, which begin to tack up as their Gamsol content evaporates from paint layers.

As part of our Solvent-Free system, we’ve also made straight Safflower Oil available for brush cleaning and creating slower-drying mediums.
The biggest difference between the Solvent-Free Fluid and the Gel is their consistency. The Fluid medium more significantly increases the flow of oil colors off of the brush. In terms of its working properties, it is similar to either straight linseed or safflower, though faster-drying. Brush-marks will be slightly leveled, or “rounded” when using the Fluid.

Of all the mediums we make, Solvent-Free Gel is the densest, closely resembling the paint from the tube. Though it will increase the flow off the brush to some degree, its gel consistency will retain sharp, defined brush-marks. For painters who prefer to use just a little medium to give their colors a more buttery feel, Solvent-Free Gel is perfect.
Both Solvent-Free Fluid and Gel increase the flow of oil colors, increase transparency, gloss and color saturation.

Putting Solvent-Free Mediums to Use
In offering this range of Solvent-Free materials, we feel it’s important to discuss their role in painting techniques, as well as their limitations. Like any painting medium, their primary function is to modify the consistency (working properties) of the oil colors from the tube.
Similar to drying oils used straight, Solvent-Free Gel and Solvent-Free Fluid are 100% fat. Like any oil-rich medium, they should be used in moderation – we recommend up to 25% by volume in mixture with oil colors and applying these mixtures thinly. Due to these limitations, Solvent-Free materials are best suited for direct, or “alla prima,” painting styles – which is what most of us are doing, most of the time.

Solvent-Free Gel, in particular, has become popular amongst plein air painters because of its ability to retain painterly brush-marks and increase the saturation of colors. In addition, it has the practical benefit of being packed in checked luggage for painters traveling with their painting materials.

Limitations of Solvent-Free Paintingzgamblin paint
For painting techniques that call for thin washes of color, especially in the preliminary stages of a painting, Solvent-Free mediums are not appropriate. Again, these oil-rich mediums should be used in moderation with colors from the tube. In maintaining Fat Over Lean, regard these mediums as “fat.” For underpainting techniques, consider using oil colors straight from the tube or thinned with a small amount of Gamsol or a thin, fluid medium such as Galkyd Slow Dry. A little goes a long way; oil colors relax immediately when a little Gamsol or Galkyd Slow Dry is added.
For glazing techniques where more painting medium is required for creating deep, transparent glaze layers, we recommend our Galkyd painting mediums because of their balance of oil (alkyd resin) and solvent (Gamsol). Galkyd, Galkyd Lite and Neo Megilp are all excellent glazing mediums.

Brush Cleaning
Because the use of Gamsol and other solvents is so closely linked to brush cleaning, it is important for us to discuss the ins and outs of brush cleaning without the use of solvents. To this end, many painters have incorporated either mineral oil and/or “green/natural” solvent-alternatives for removing color from brushes during painting sessions. It is our stance that a material used for this purpose should do one of two things – either evaporate entirely out of paint layers (like Gamsol does), or contribute to the drying of the resulting paint layers. Mineral oil or cooking oil are non-drying and should not be incorporated into painting sessions, as even small amounts can interfere with drying. Many solvent-alternatives on the market do not evaporate completely and leave behind sticky/discolored residues in paint layers. These are best left out of the painting process entirely.

Gamblin Safflower Oil is ideal for cleaning brushes during solvent-free painting sessions. By using a simple “two rag” system outlined below, painters can reduce the amount of pigment that gets into their cleaning oil, and thus prolong its usefulness.
For brush clean-up during your painting session, first wipe excess paint from brushes with a rag. Then dip your brush in a container of Gamblin Safflower Oil. Next, wipe the safflower oil and any remaining pigment from your brush with a second rag and continue painting.
After your painting session, brushes can be further cleaned using Gamsol and/or soap and water.
Please note that oil-soaked rags should be – at a minimum – properly stored in an Oily Rag Safety Can (such as those offered by JustRite™) until they can be thrown-out. Even better, soak rags in water, and place them in an old jar or similar container and dispose of them outside in your household trashcan or apartment building dumpster.
Using either Gamsol or Safflower Oil for brush cleaning prevents pigments from being poured down the drain and contaminating the watershed. Additional information can be found in our Brush Cleaning Tip Sheet for Oil Painting.
We hope this information helps you navigate the world of Solvent-Free Oil Painting, and ultimately, create the safest painting studio possible.


Scott Gellatly
Product Manager
Gamblin Artists Colors Co.
P.O.Box 15009
Portland, Oregon 97293

Gamblin Artists Colors Co. is a NOAPS Sponsor.
We appreciate all our sponsors. Please see the list and their products at http://noaps.org/html/sponsors.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


We couldn’t have said it better, so we decided to share with you the article written by Andrew Webster about the opening of the Best of America Exhibit 2015


The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society just opened their 25th “Best of America” exhibition after an outstanding VIP Awards Banquet. Who took home top honors?

“Magnificent Seven” by Linda Massey, oil, Best of Show Best of America 2015

For 25 years and counting, The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) has hosted a prestigious competition that has continually been met with grand acclaim. “The 25th NOAPS Best of America Exhibit 2015” opened last Saturday, October 10, with a sold-out VIP Awards Banquet attended by collectors, connoisseurs, artists, and local officials from all across the United States and Canada. This year’s events and exhibition is being host by The Dunnegan Gallery of Art in Bolivar, Missouri, and The Vine Wine Bar and Art Gallery in the Lake of the Ozarks area of Missouri.

Over 700 entries are submitted each year to the competition, with only 110 accepted for the 2015 exhibition. Awards exceeded $17,000 in cash and sponsor certificates. Artist Linda Massey of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, took home top honors with the Best of Show award for her “Magnificent Seven,” a beautiful study of individuality, companionship, and loyalty. Set in a dark crimson background, seven hounds are found in a variety of positions. From standing to sitting, each subject displays an individuality of pose and expression, creating a captivating rhythm and movement across the surface. While most of the dogs gaze into the distance outside the frame, the central subject faces and engages the viewer directly with a welcoming expression.

Second Place Award - 'Morning Patrol' by Brenda Pollreisz - Acrylic on masonite, 18 x 22.5

Second Place Award – ‘Morning Patrol’ by Brenda Pollreisz – Acrylic on masonite, 18 x 22.5

Missouri painter Brenda Pollreisz earned second place for her “Morning Patrol,” which displays a prowling mountain lion in search of its next meal. The palette is particularly outstanding in Pollreisz’s work with a patterned arrangement of complimentary blues and oranges composing the shadowed rocks. Set against the cool tones is the earthy hues from the sun-bathed coat of the big cat.

Third Place Award -

Third Place Award – “Fallen in the Woods” by Ann Kraft Walker, oil on linen 18×16

Third place was given to Texas painter Ann Kraft Walker for her outstanding “Fallen in the Woods.” This still life displays Walker’s talent for capturing the phenomenon of light, but more importantly, the differences in texture between natural and man-made objects. The viewer finds on a tabletop an animal skull, deer antler, ceramic jar, and a curled, brown leaf. Each object has been treated with the utmost attention. Noteworthy are the minute details of each, the subtle grooves of the antler, the hint of cracks in the skull, and the weathered edges of the black jar.

Awards Banquet at the Dunnegan Gallery of Art - Best of America Exhibit 2015

Awards Banquet at the Dunnegan Gallery of Art – Best of America Exhibit 2015

A complete list of the 27 additional awards can be found here.

To learn more about this year’s event and how you could become part of “Best of America Exhibit 2016,” visit http://www.NOAPS.org. Entries for the Best of America 2016 will be available starting February 2016.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Shadows

Golden Artist Colors, Inc. is a sponsor of NOAPS Best of America Exhibit 2015
Their mission is:

“To grow a sustainable company dedicated to creating and sharing the most imaginative and innovative tools of color, line and texture for inspiring those who turn their vision into reality.”
From the earliest times, the darkest shades of natural brown earths, known as Umbers, have been a part of the artists’ palette. Ranging in tones from the greener Raw Umbers, which produce a range of neutrals when mixed with white, to the warmer, dark chocolate notes of Burnt Umbers, which create tans and tawny beiges in tints. While rarely mentioned in documents on western painting before the end of the 16th century1, the Umbers decidedly took center stage during the Baroque, where they played a major role in paintings by Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Van Dyck. Relied on for developing deep darks and rich browns, they cluster near the neutral center of most color wheels, the more muted cousins of the prismatic reds and oranges that range above. And while they have a long and storied history, they continue to be seen as essential in every medium, including watercolors, oils, acrylics, and pastels.The name Umber comes from the Italian, Terra d’Ombra. Although it is often suggested that the color derives its name from a mountainous region in Italy, Umbria, it is more likely derived from the Italian word for shadow, ombra, in reference to their natural darkness and depth.

In terms of composition, Umbers contain oxides and hydroxides of iron and manganese; the manganese, in particular, separating them from other iron oxides like the Ochres and Siennas. Umbers tend to be quite variable in the exact proportions of iron to manganese, which gives rise to all the subtle differences in color and behavior that artists prize and seek. While on a microscopic level the two types of Umbers might be similar, the process of roasting, or calcining, the Raw Umber at very high temperatures in the presence of oxygen changes the iron hydroxides into iron oxides (iron III oxide). The result is a much warmer, reddish brown. Umbers are very permanent with excellent stability to light, moisture, and alkali and dilute acids, making them a good choice for exterior usage. In oil paints, the manganese content of Raw Umber has a siccative effect, making the Raw Umber an effective drier.

Like other natural earths, Umbers can inspire a passionate following of artists who are true connoisseurs of all the subtleties that different regions and locations will provide. Within our lines of paints, we work with eight Umbers sourced from Italy, France, Cyprus, and the U.S. Some of the most valued umbers come from the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, where the deposits were formed by the weathering of volcanic pillow lavas that contain iron and manganese. The highest levels of manganese (up to 12%) are found in the Cypriot Umber, while lesser amounts (5%-11%) are in the other regions.

1 The first mention of umber was in 16th century Italian treatises. It was unique at the time because the other browns available were transparent and organic (from asphaltum and mummia). In the early 17th century there is mention of calcining the umber before use, hence Burnt Umber. Although the name did not exist, there are iron oxide and manganese pigments found in the tomb of Nefertiti, Pompeii, 6th century Korean Tombs, Japanese tombs, and medieval English wall paintings.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Painting is used to open the heart and embody a dream. Painters have the ability to show people the real world through a realistic painting and to give them a splendid dream through an art creation.

"Northern Autumn" by Charles Redwood, oil 60x80

“Northern Autumn” by Charles Redwood, oil 60×80 cm

The beautiful scenery drawn by a painter is the inflection of the beautiful soul. Since my childhood, I have liked landscape painting. Soaring peaks, bold deserts, towering poplars, and nameless flowers in painting are the symbols of pure nature and songs of praise to life. Mountains in my paintings exhibit strength, trees show flourishing life, and rivers reveal an unremitting pursuit of nature.
Whether it is the West plateau of China or the European Alps, there is always a fascination with the landscape. Even during a tight journey, I enjoy the scenery as much as possible and I am always looking for that touching picture.

"Mountain Streams" by Charles Redwood

“Mountain Streams” by Charles Redwood

Charles Redwood was born in a village in northern China close to the sea, the plains, rivers, and mountains. As a teenager, he studied basic painting in a small town. Later, he went to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing for art education. At the same time, he also learned painting from several American painters. At the present time, he lives in Shandong province and he mainly engages in the creation of landscape painting. Charles’s paintings have been included in numerous exhibitions. In March 2015, the oil painting “Mountain and River in the Western Regions” won second prize among the Chinese New Year painting and calligraphy masters invitational exhibition in Jinan, China. Charles is a member of The National Oil & Acrylic Painters ‘Society (NOAPS) and The National Watercolor Society U.S.A among other organizations. His works have been published in “The Youth Times” and in “The Corporate Culture” magazine,
These are comments about his art:
“Color and texture of the painting are amazing.” – American painter Yolanda Raker evaluating “Flowers in Hulun Buir”
“The bright space, beautiful and harmonious scenery, gorgeous texture effects of images always embody vibrant life and artistic tension.” – A Chinese Art Critic.

Posted in General, NOAPS Artist Members, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment