NOAPS Signature and Master Exhibit at the Eisele Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio


The NOAPS Master and Signature Exhibit for 2016 is sure to be a stunning show, hosted by one of the oldest and finest art galleries in Cincinnati.  The Eisele Gallery is known for it’s offerings of 18th, 19th and 20th century American art as well as contemporary local, regional and national artists.  The gallery most recently hosted the Oil Painter’s of America Eastern Regional Exhibit, and will host the OPA’s National show in 2017.  The gallery’s owner, Doug Eisele, is excited about the NOAPS show, and is looking forward to the arrival of the paintings beginning November 1st.

If you are thinking about visiting the NOAPS Exhibit, be sure to check out the city’s art museums.  The Taft Museum, a small art museum which boasts a fine collection of European and American art, is a “real gem” according to Doug Eisele.  The museum is open Saturday and Sunday 11-5, and Tuesday – Friday 11-4;  Another museum for visitors is the Cincinnati Art Museum which houses African, Asian, Native American, European, and American art, textiles, photographs, and more.  The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 11-5;

Other attractions in Cincinnati include the recently improved and developed Riverfront area, with many fine restaurants and shops.  And don’t forget about the Bengals, who will host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, November 20!!  (OK, I’m from Western New York…!)

There is one thing for sure…although you can view the selections of the NOAPS Master and Signature show online at, I can highly recommend seeing the show in person.  I am always overwhelmed and delighted when I have seen a show online, and then in person.  The colors will be richer, the images more powerful and moving.  The impact that a painting has in person is no comparison to the digital image…and you will be sure to be inspired by this amazing selection of paintings by our foremost artists.


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More Than a Study


          Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Pat Tribastone, and I am your new blogger for NOAPS.  Although I started out in pastel painting, most of my work is now done in oil, thanks to the reintroduction of the use of walnut oil, and safer options for solvents.  As a representational artist, I paint mostly still life and portraits, with an emphasis on color, light and shadow.

Although I could write more about the techniques of my own work, perhaps more interesting is the essence behind what and why I paint.  As artists, we all know that we paint because we love the process, the result, the expression, and so on.  We’ve all read about that.  But what goes much more to the core of my painting is the desire to bring out something beautiful.  Something that someone might look at and see the quiet, the overlooked, the simple existence of everyday objects.  Still life might be looked at as just a study, but when more closely observed, these objects take on a life, and like all paintings, invite the viewer into the world of the painting.   My desire is to paint these objects with sensitivity, such that the viewer yearns to touch them, to be a part of the world they are looking into.

So on and on we chase after that elusive element of painting…the element that makes one fall silent upon viewing our painting; the element that tells us we have a masterpiece.

mandarins-and-sketch-book  old-fashioned-sauce

Pat is a Signature member of NOAPS, a juried member of the International Guild of Realism, a juried member of the Salmagundi Club of NYC, a Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America, and a Master Circle Artist with the International Association of Pastel Societies.  She maintains a gallery/studio in Canandaigua, NY.

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Marc Chatov – Drawing on the Soul of the Subject

Marc Chatov was the Best of Show winner for NOAPS Spring 2016 Online International. His painting Goldfinch was sold as a result of the exhibit. We congratulate Marc once again and we are pleased to share with you this article about Marc and his art.

Article written by: Celeste McCollough

When Marc Chatov was just 6 years old he could be found sitting on the floor of his father’s studio drawing pictures. Roman, Marc’s father, would encourage Marc to price his works, which Roman would then buy. Marc’s prices ranged from 25 to 81 cents. Roman Chatov, was Russian- born and classically trained as a muralist, figurative painter, and portrait artist. Marc’s uncle, Constantin Chatov, was also a portrait painter and concert pianist. When Marc wasn’t drawing pictures for his own enjoyment, he was typically found sitting for his father, whose passion for painting was all consuming. Marc jokes “I became an artist so I wouldn’t have to sit for paintings anymore.”

marc4Marc attended his home town college at Georgia State University. Like many traditional artists at that time, he found that what the University taught was in conflict with his passion for traditional realism. He remembers his art teacher telling him, “Realism in painting is dead.” Not satisfied with that predicate, Marc began a serious apprenticeship with his father, thus initiating his career as a representational artist. In addition to attending Art Students League, Marc studied and copied the masters and consumed every art history book he could find.

In conversation, Marc reveals the depth of his passion and knowledge. He talks art history like most people discuss current events. His students prize his knowledge and uncanny ability to spot their affinity with particular painters in the annals of art history, which enables him to suggest artists they should research and study in developing their own personal expression.

mc-the-old-grinder-aka-the-ol-coffee-mill-e1439569263718Although Marc is widely known as a painter of people, he also loves to paint still lifes. “I find the still life to be the most biographical form of art. A still life yields information, not only of the time period, but also of the taste and personality of the artist. I’m drawn to objects that have a history or a story – materials made by hand, hand thrown pots, cups, woodworks – to me they have the creator’s touch, feel and personality. Sometimes I’ll deliberately juxtapose objects that I love, like the antique coffee grinder, against a plastic coffee bag that is totally manmade and objectively cold. We had the Stone Age, the Iron Age and the Bronze Age; now we’re in the Plastic Age. ”

When viewing his portrait works, one can clearly see that Marc employs no set formula. Rather, each piece stands alone. Marc says an individualized approach to each painting is important, because “each person is different; I try to go beyond likeness to capture the essence of the person.” His subjects have said he has an ability to capture an image that seems to depict their very souls.

chatov-1While Marc acknowledges the importance of the spiritual aspects of his life, when it comes to successful works of art, he goes directly to the nuts and bolts of his craft. In particular, Marc points to skillful drawing as the lynchpin of all that he does. For this reason, he incorporates drawing into his daily process and practice in numerous ways.

Marc says he usually starts his day with thumbnail sketching, and
it is not unusual for this sketching process to point him in the
direction of his day’s work or of future works. For the thumbnail sketch, Marc is apt to use whatever medium is at hand – pencil, charcoal, or ballpoint pen. “The important thing is to allow the mind to wander and play without too much editing.”

mc-goldfinch-e1458576591520Likewise, if he has a model that day, he often begins his work with an hour or more of 30-second to 5-minute gestures. Marc maintains that gesture-drawing is important because one must find and express the essence of the pose immediately. He often tells his students, “What if you’re on a bus or train and you see that pose that you have to get down? You may have 5 minutes to get it down in your sketchbook, or you may have 30 seconds. You never know. The more you practice quick gestures, the better you will be prepared to capture the necessary information immediately.”

Moreover, when working with a model in the studio, the initial gesture drawings often help Marc to identify and design a pose that will bring out the best from the model. From there, the process can be very unplanned and organic.

marc-2Marc’s recent work, Goldfinch, started with such a process of gesture drawing. When he saw the model with arms uplifted, he knew he had a pose that would form the basis of the painting. “Although most of my paintings start with an idea and drawing sketches, often times, for me, the creative process is not completely preconceived.” This painting, started from a moment’s gesture. Then, it sat in the racks for two years before he had his “Aha!” moment to finish it. While the piece started as a nude figurative pose based on a gestural work-out, on a later date, his favorite model, Eden, showed up at his studio wearing this costume. Upon seeing her, the pieces fell into place and the painting took off.

“Goldfinch” recently won BEST IN SHOW at the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society International competition as well as PORTRAITURE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE at the Oil Painters of America 25th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Oils 2016.
Marc also believes in the importance of drawing for drawing’s sake. He currently is working on a drawing of a cast of Ariadne. The cast stands in the corner of his studio, and he has spent

countless hours losing himself in working and refining the drawing in charcoal. Why spend so much time on the drawing of a cast? Marc, who has painted the portrait and figure for more than forty years, finds this a necessary part of maintaining and improving his skill in capturing the precise likeness of the subject. In a sense, he says, you can “fake” a likeness in paint. It is in drawing that one discovers the true nuance of the subject.

For Marc Chatov, the ability to capture the essence of a subject starts and ends with drawing. In his view, one can never draw enough.


See NOAPS Spring 2016 Online International in our website at:

NOAPS Fall 2016 is now taking entries. See the prospectus at:



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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

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

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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.
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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






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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

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