Mary Ann Davis: Color en Plein Air

NOAPS Davis Along Levee Road 14x18

“Along Levee Road” 14×18, Oil, Collection of the Artist.  This painting has been juried into the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit at the Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne Indiana.

The weather is about to change.  Storm clouds are beginning to hover, and it might rain.  In Mary Ann Davis’ painting we are enveloped by the atmosphere…the viewer can feel the dampness, smell the wet leaves, and hear the water rippling.  The artist has taken the scene and brought it to our senses.  She has distilled her colors to olives, slates, complementary oranges and blues, and a bit of rose.  The brightest orange has been placed exactly where the artist wanted to lead the viewer’s eye, and she skillfully carries us around the painting with subdued oranges, golds and pinks.  The colors delight the eye as the brighter colors are placed next to the neutrals to make them come alive.

nOAPS Davisbaspens 9 x 12   “Aspens”, 9×12, Oil, Collection of the Artist

Mary Ann was encouraged at an early age to pursue her art.  She attended Herron School of Art And Design at Indiana University where she earned a BFA.  She has pursued the path of a plein air painter, and has won national awards for her colorful and atmospheric paintings.  Early in her career she joined the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, a group that offered her an opportunity to paint with others whose work she admired as well as providing valuable feedback on her own work.

NOAPS Davis stormy weather  “Stormy Weather” 14×18, Oil, Collection of the Artist

Many artists have inspired Davis, including Will Vawter, Frank Duveneck, Wayman Adams, William Merritt Chase, Edward Potthast and of course John Singer Sargent.  Contemporary artists continue to inspire her as well, such as James Richards, Marc Hanson, Lyn Asselta, Karen Margulis, and Eric Jacobsen.

NOAPS Davis Queen Anne in the Field  “Queen Anne in the Field”, 12×12, Collection of the Artist

Mary Ann is a pastel painter as well as an oil painter, and has also done outstanding work in that medium.  She paints not only landscapes, but still life and portraits as well.  She is most inspired by light and color, and infuses her work with a sense of atmosphere.  When painting in oil, she paints on cotton canvas mounted to masonite, and uses a simple palette of warm and cool: lemon and cadmium yellow, light red and quinacridone rose (also doubles as her warm violet), Kings and Ultramarine blue, and mineral violet.  Angled brushes are a new favorite, providing her with the ability to paint a variety of lines and edges.

NOAPS Davis morning light

“Morning Light”, 9×12, Oil, Mary Williams Gallery, Colorado

Her working process begins with a thumbnail, which allows her to work out the values and composition.  Most of her work is plein air, done in the alla prima style.

NOAPS Davis poppies  “Poppies” 16×12, Oil, Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne IN

Mary Ann feels that the life and the journey of an artist is a great accomplishment in and of itself; she not only gets to paint but meets many great people.  She also knows that the best advice for artists is very simple and very difficult: miles on the brush.  “Paint as much as you can, there is no substitute…”

Mary Ann Davis is represented by Hoosier Salon Gallery in Indianapolis and New Harmony, Mary Williams Fine Arts in Boulder, CO, and Sheldon Fine Arts in Naples, Florida.  To view more of her work, visit her website at

To view more of the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit, visit, or on Facebook or Instagram (Natoilandacrylicsociety).

The 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit can also be seen at the Castle Gallery Fine Art, 1202 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802, phone: 260-426-6568.


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Matthew J. Cutter: Practice as Teacher

NOAPS Cutter StandingTall_28x24_Acrylic&Oil_CollectionOfArtist

“Standing Tall” 28×24, Acrylic and Oil, Collection of the Artist, winner of an Award of Excellence in the 2017 NOAPS Spring Online International.

Let’s stop for a moment on our walk in the park and greet these old soldiers of the woods.  Still standing tall and enjoying a sunny day, they beckon us to do the same.  Matthew Cutter has given us a glimpse into a scene that makes us want to stand on the ground he has given us and feel the warmth of the day, smell the scent of the earth, and contemplate the beauty before us.  He has done this with a deft hand; the light draws us in, and the composition leads us from light to shadow, up to the complex branches and back down to earth.  Nature’s glory at her best.

NOAPS Cutter Transition 16x20  “Transition”, 16×20, Collection of the Artist.  This painting has been accepted into the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit.

Matthew Cutter has become a distinctive artist.  His love of painting began early, only to be put on the back burner until after college where he studied business and economics.   It wasn’t until a circuitous path led him and his family to open first an emporium of sorts in Florida, which later became an art gallery, that he began to seriously paint.  Although Matthew didn’t attend art school, as many artists would say, it is the practice that has made him successful: “There is no doubt having a platform of knowledge gives a great foundation to build on, but I truly believe it is the relentless pursuit of putting that knowledge into practice that provides growth for an artist.”

NOAPS Cutter LemonsApplesAndPitcher_16x20_Oil_PrivateCollection  “Lemons Apples and Pitcher” 16×20, Oil, Private Collection

Of the workshops Matthew has taken, his time with Scott Chistensen had the greatest impact.  Scott drove home the importance of practice; that every painting need not end up a masterpiece, that the study is where the growth happens.  Preparation for your work, and putting thought into the painting is key for Matthew.  He is also inspired by artists of the past: Soren Emil Carlsen, Isaak Levitan, and Willard L. Metcalf are some of his favorites.

NOAPS Cutter Cascading_15x22.5_Acrylic_PrivateCollection  “Cascading”, 15×22.5, Acrylic, Private Collection

Landscape paintings tend to garner most of Matt’s artistic expression, although he paints still life, cityscapes, seascapes and portraits equally well.  His inspiration can stem from patterns of light and shadow, the rhythm of the shapes, the atmosphere, or something from his imagination.  He paints mostly in oil, but finds the properties of acrylic to suit his style as well.  In pieces where he uses both mediums, he starts the painting by blocking in with acrylic, and finishing in oil.  Matt’s materials vary, but usually his palette consists of titanium white, cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, cadmium red light, permanent alizarin, permanent mauve, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, viridian, sap green, burnt sienna, and ivory black.  He may work on stretched linen, a linen board, a birch panel, or a gessoed surface such as ACM (aluminum composite material).  His brushes are both sables and hog bristle, mostly by Rosemary & C0.

NOAPS Cutter TheGlacier'sPath_InProgress_1  NOAPS Cutter thumbnail_TheGlacier'sPath_InProgress_2  NOAPS Cutter thumbnail_TheGlacier'sPath_InProgress_3  NOAPS Cutter TheGlacier'sPath_Completed

“Glacier’s Path” in progress

Although Matt’s days are spent doing the business of the gallery, he finds time to paint at night after spending family time or on weekends when he escapes to paint en plein air. To begin his painting sessions in the studio, he critiques his work in progress, and decides what is best for the painting.  He sometimes uses thumbnails, and at times jumps right to the painting.  The painting may start with a drawing in paint, or with a color block in.  He may use photo reference, or create something in the painting from his imagination.  He finds painting from life a critical part of his painting process, and often uses his plein air studies for reference as well.

NOAPS Cutter LightAndShadow_60x60_Oil_CollectionOfArtist  “Light and Shadow”, Oil, 60×60, Collection of the Artist

Matt sites balancing work, a family and painting as a huge accomplishment.  A turning point in his artistic career came when he was accepted into a non-member show at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, where his painting won the President’s Award.  As Matt states: “It was a huge confidence boost.”

Matt’s insight into the life of an artist can actually span all areas of endeavor: “If you want to be an artist, rid yourself of the notion that some are born with an inherent talent.  Be a grinder.  Be willing to fail.  Work harder than you thought possible.  Emile Zola said, ‘The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without hard work.'”

Matthew Cutter is represented by Cutter and Cutter Fine Art, one location in St. Augustine, Florida, and one in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

His work can also be seen at “ArtPrize” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 20-October 8, 2017 and at the NOAPS Best of America Exhibit at the Castle Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana from October 16-November 11, 2017.

To see more of Matt’s work online, visit his website at

To view more of the NOAPS Spring Online International and the Best of America Exhibit, visit, or see us on Facebook or Instagram (Natoilandacrylicsociety)


Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director




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Karen Budan: Painting Reflections in Bold Color

NOAPS Budan Gumball Fiesta

“Gumball Fiesta”, 16×20, Oil on Panel, Juried into the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit

It is a jubilant celebration!  The moment the viewer sees “Gumball Fiesta” we immediately feel the joy in the painting.  The color strikes us first, then the ribbons and lines take us all around the painting to enjoy every inch.  The composition is carefully crafted; the lines on the table bring us in, and at the same time the ribbons floating above dance down to invite us into the glasses.  Even the shadows bring us in.  The high intensity of the colors is joyful, but the subtle intensity shift of the gumballs keeps the color from becoming overwhelming.  The reflections are cause for further investigation, and the more we look, the more we can see.  The artist has composed a painting that balances the bold and the understated, becoming quite a remarkable work of art.

Karen Budan felt an interest in art throughout her life, but during a successful 38 year career in education only considered her art a hobby.  After retiring from a demanding job as national director for professional development for an educational software company and a move to Scottsdale, Arizona, Karen began devoting a great deal of time to her art.  She took classes and workshops at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, and there found a great teacher and mentor, Allan Garns.  Garns helped Karen not only with her art, but also guided her new career path and entrance into galleries.

NOAPS Budan Stripes and Solids

“Stripes and Solids” 11×14, Oil on Panel, Private Collection

Karen’s first foray onto the national art scene began with pastels.  She studied with Richard McKinley, a gifted artist and teacher who provided her with a solid foundation that became a framework for future advancement.  She achieved distinction with her pastels, becoming a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a Master Circle Artist with the International Association of Pastel Societies.  As she gained entrance to galleries, Karen made the switch to oils, which is her primary medium.

NOAPS Budan Pool Shots

“Pool Shots”, 12×24, Oil on Panel, Park Gallery, Carmel, California

Karen’s genre at present is contemporary still life.  She enjoys the ability to take time to paint slowly, using the indirect method to achieve the jewel-like colors in her glazes.  In particular, Karen enjoys painting reflections.  In “Gumball Fiesta” she “carried that concept a little further with the use of shiny surface gumballs which also have reflections.  I was just having fun with bold colors and the reflections.”  She also loves to paint the effects that light has on her subject matter, “capturing distortions through glass and the textures of objects.  In addition I am drawn to bright bold warm colors.  My compositions tend to bring in one or more of these elements.”

NOAPS Budan Gumball-tini   “Gumball-tini”, 20×16, Oil on Panel, Private Collection

Inspiration also comes from painters of the past; Monet, Rembrandt, and Titian all hit a mark for Karen.  But in light of her sharp focus paintings, a particular favorite is William Harnett, known for his trompe l’oeil and still life paintings.

Karen uses a variety of oil paints for her work, and enjoys working with the transparent colors for her glazes.  She uses very smooth panels to achieve her stunning results, either Ampersand Gessoboard for smaller pieces, or Dibond panels for larger pieces.  Favorite brushes include Rosemary, Winsor & Newton Golden Sceptre and Trekell.  Karen’s set-ups can take hours or days, and when she has settled on a theme, she adjusts her set-up and lighting until she is satisfied.  She then takes photos, and is able to then look at the photos in Photoshop to evaluate her composition and lighting.  The photo becomes her reference for the painting, but the set-up remains in place throughout the painting process.  The first layer of paint is a local color, and she gauges her values based on the glazes that she later intends to use.  The paintings usually consist of three or more layers of paint.

NOAPS Budan Marbles VII

“Marbles VII” 30×40, Oil on Panel, Park Gallery, Carmel, California

Karen states that she “never dreamed that one day I would be a professional artist with my art being juried into national and international shows and represented by high-end galleries.  To achieve that and love every minute…what more could you want?”  She encourages the development of technical skills, for then creativity can come to life.

To view more of Karen’s work, visit her website at  She is represented by Park Gallery, Carmel, California and Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne Indiana.

To view the paintings accepted into the 2017 National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society Best of America Exhibit, visit  Also visit us on Facebook and Instagram (Nationaloilandacrylicsociety).

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director



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“Painting Chickens at Night” by Tim Breaux

NOAPS Tim Breaux   Tim Breaux painting “Debutantes” 12×12 Plein air nocturne, Oil.  Collection of the Artist.

Several years ago I was getting advice from an old timer about breaking a horse to drive.  I had a young team that I had raised from colts and decided that I would learn the process and train them myself.  The old timer, Terry, had years of experience and owned a carriage business for hire.  In response to my questions about the potential for a breakaway (horses bolting while pulling a wagon) he explained that hitting the brakes on a wagon during a breakaway does not stop the wagon.  It merely turns it into a sled.  With raised eyebrows I said that sounded dangerous.  He replied with the idiom, “yeah, it’s not for the faint of heart”.  At that moment my respect and admiration of Terry increased and that saying always stayed with me.  I later proved the sled concept with poor results.  Not long after that I took up painting.

Plein air painting is also “not for the faint of heart.”  I have done few thing in life that are more difficult.  When faced with all of the information in nature it is challenging to choose what to paint and how to approach the subject.  While we are not usually risking life and limb it does have more subtle challenges such as packing gear, hiking, ticks and fending off the occasional rooster.

For me, every plein air event comes with excitement and uncertainty.  Excitement stems from getting to paint with friends and seeing the work they produce.  Also, learning tips, techniques, and seeing seasoned artists approach a common subject in a unique way is fascinating.  My personal uncertainties usually involve my work and my ability to create a good painting.  I have both success and failure, however my outlook usually is based on the last painting I completed.  A universal uncertainty common to all plein air artists  involves the weather.  Will it be cold and damp?  Will a perfect morning turn into a cloudy sky or will it turn to rain?  In the end I just paint and do the best I can on any given day and I try to have a backup plan to get out of the rain if it comes.

I recently attended the Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival in Arkansas.  I was particularly excited to experience the broad range of subject matter that included vistas, architecture, street scenes and nocturnes.  I had no idea I would be painting chickens at night.

Near the end of the five day event I found myself at Hidden Valley Ranch a few miles from Eureka Springs.  I had painted the location the day before and had permission to return if it rained.  The plan was to paint a nocturne from the cover of the barn overlooking the open field and structures near the far fence line.  I arrived with Gil Adams from Tulsa, OK about an hour before dark to set up and decide on a subject.  As we stood in the barn looking out over the field chickens milled about our feet and perched above our heads looking for a place to roost for the night.  I looked to my left through a chicken wire covered window into one of the coops.  Some hens in the coop had already found a place to roost up high in the shadows.  Others milled about under a heat lamp scratching at the ground and drinking from a shallow pan of water.  I thought, “Why not?”

The window into the coop was higher than I preferred so I stood on a step stool while I painted.  Chickens are not cooperative subjects.  The ones in the shadows up on the roost stayed put for the most part but the ones in the light under the lamp never stopped moving.  With a single head lamp and a limited palette I chose what I considered to be an interesting composition of three chickens and froze that image in my mind.  It was complete immersion for the next two hours interrupted occasionally by a rooster challenging my presence and trying to perch on my easel.  About an hour into the painting the rooster flew across the hall and attacked Gil while he painted by landing on his head.  With the utmost concern for Gil’s safety I laughed and focused on completing my painting.  It was a banty rooster after all.

We came away with two paintings of chickens.  They were not our best work and they won no awards but it was the highlight of my trip.  In the future, when faced with an impossible task, I will say “it’s like painting chickens at night!”

In the midst of the excitement and uncertainty of plein air painting it is important to be open to the unexpected possibilities and enjoy painting with friends and chickens.

NOAPS Tim Breaux Gil Adams   Gil Adams “Late Night Snack” 12×14, Plein Air Nocturne, Oil.  Collection of the Artist.

Tim Breaux is a studio and plein air painter residing in Ozark, Missouri.  He is represented by Gallery Augusta, Augusta, MO; Cherries Art Gallery, Carthage, MO; Hawthorn Galleries, Springfield, MO; and MacCreed’s Gallery.  To see more of Tim’s work and read other blogs visit his website at

Edited by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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Four Ways to Keep the Spark Alive in Artistry by Drew Sarka


“Golden Hour Along the Stream” 18×24, Collection of the Artist

As artists, we spend a lot of time and energy thinking about new painting subjects, techniques, and running the business of art.  All this thinking can be draining at times, which is why I find it imperative to have strategies for keeping the spark alive in my art, strategies that you may find helpful as well.

Step away from your passion (yes, you read that correctly)

There is no question that we are passionate about our art.  We do our art regardless of external circumstances….but if you find yourself stuck, lacking inspiration and motivation, don’t lose hope.  Motivation ebbs and flows, and requires replenishment at times.  Stepping away, taking time to rest can help to reinvigorate and refuel that passion.  The ebb is not unproductive; your subconscious is likely processing your latest inspiration, which will suddenly burst upon you in all its glory.

NOAPS Drew Sarka Continental Divide 30x40(1)

“Continental Divide” 30×40, Collection of the Artist

Talk to people

When I find myself burned out or uninspired, I start taking to others.  I listen to their stories, hear their perspective, learn a new approach, or relate to the universal challenges we artists face.  Seek out other forms of art such as music, performance art, literature, or travel and get a taste of other cultures or of the wilderness.  The smallest thing could provide that spark, and set you back on your artistic path.


“White Horse” 24×36, Collection of the Artist

Write stuff down

As an artist, I believe observation is an important stimulus to creative ideas. The artist envisions the subject in their mind, then translates it into a brushstroke.  Most people assume it is the adroitness of the hand or the special twirl of the wrist that creates a beautiful work; it is actually the power of the artist’s brain to interpret what they see or visualize that creates the art.

One of the best ways I’ve found to keep your observational skills sharpened is to to keep a journal.  By keeping my journal handy, I am able to jot down ideas or observations as they happen, helping to keep the inspiration flowing and healthy.


“Cowboy Backlit” 18×24, Collection of the Artist

Let your mind wander

Daydreaming is an art in itself…this loose, un-directed thinking can assist the process of creation by associations that are unique to you.  Sometimes your daydreams may start by flipping through an art book, listening to music, or just letting your mind wander aimlessly, forgetting about your day to day worries.  Start by taking a walk outside (or even around your studio), intentionally observing your surroundings and letting your imagination take over.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can mentally recharge and find your inspiration to keep the spark alive!

About the Author

Drew Sarka, a family doctor at Aurora Family Practice Group, creates representational oil paintings that capture his life experiences and showcase the beauty of what Colorado has to offer.  From majestic mountainscapes to delicate florals to playful children twirling on a tire swing, Sarka is known for translating genuine, honest experiences onto the canvas.  His choice of color and placement of light, shadow and form bring out his signature textural composition.  Drew’s work has appeared in more than 35 art galleries and shows across the U.S.  He is currently represented by Cherry Creek Art Gallery.  For more information, connect with him on Facebook, Instagram and at

For more information on the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society, visit, find us on Facebook and Instagram (Natoilandacrylicsociety).

This blog was edited by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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Shirley Fachilla: Figures with a Story

NOAPS Fachilla Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be   “Reflections of the Way Life Used to Be”, 18×14, Oil, Winner of an Award of Excellence from the 2017 NOAPS Spring Online International.  Private collection.

This freshly painted portrait captures a fleeting moment of reflection as the title would suggest.  It is atmospheric, with neutral tones surrounding the warmth of the face.  The reds, blues and greys contrast the dark intense color of the face, with glints of light bouncing all around the composition.  The artist has employed the technique of selective focus; much of the painting has been created with soft, undefined edges, leaving the detail for the face, the focal area.  And though the viewer can’t see the figure’s eyes, the facial expression tells us the sitter is deep in thought.

NOAPS Fachilla Stroll Beside the Louvre   “Stroll Beside the Louvre”, 16×20, Oil, Private collection.

Shirley Fachilla is an artist of her own making.  She grew up in an area that offered no art classes in public schools, and was only able to take a few private lessons as a teen.  Nor did her adult jobs involve art; it was after an illness that Shirley returned to her love for art.  It served to help divert her focus at the time, and since then her art has blossomed.  She has taken workshops to advance her skills from artists such as Dawn Whitelaw, Kenn Backhaus, Anne Blair Brown, Gayle Levee, Max Ginsburg, Carolyn Anderson, and others.  Last year she participated in the Cecilia Beaux Mentoring Program offered by the Portrait Society of America.  Her mentor, Susan Smith, has helped Shirley to think about her process in new ways.

NOAPS Fachilla The Resiliency of Age   “The Resiliency of Age”, 24×12, Oil, Collection of the Artist

Many Old Master artists have inspired Shirley; Degas for his compositions, Sorolla for his sense of light and mastery of edges, and contemporary artist Carolyn Anderson for her brushwork.

NOAPS Fachilla Queen Anne's Lace   “Queen Anne’s Lace”, 24×12, Oil, Private Collection

Shirley’s main topic for her paintings is the figure, and finds that the light inspires her best paintings.  Her figure work is often from life done in the alla prima style.  Whether she is working plein air, or from reference photos, she finds that doing a preliminary thumbnail sketch helps to establish her composition and keep her on track throughout the painting.  When working from photos, she focuses on the value structure of the composition and disregards the color.   She then does her drawing first, creating an underpainting.  Initially Shirley painted with a limited palette, which helped her to see the colors in the neutrals, and taught her to effectively mix color.   Currently her palette consists of permanent yellow light, permanent yellow medium, alizarin red, permanent red light, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue hue, yellow ochre and radiant white (Gamblin), and occasionally transparent red oxide, transparent yellow oxide and black.  Her favorite brushes are the Princeton Catalyst synthetics as they keep a good edge.

NOAPS Fachilla Band of Brothers

“Band of Brothers”, 12×24, Oil, Donnegan Gallery of Art.

Sometimes an artist has a favorite painting based on what we have learned from the painting.  In “Band of Brothers”, Shirley states of this Civil War Battle in Franklin, Tennessee, “The battlefield is just a few miles from my house.  I had steeped myself in the dismal history of it, the incredible loss of life on both sides and the total futility of that particular fight.  I wanted to make a painting not about the blood and futility but about the remarkable bravery of the soldiers…..It is perhaps my best painting ever”.  The painting was accepted into the 2012 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit and won an Award of Merit.

Shirley’s closing words for us are to “be serious about what you do, but paint with joy”.  Good advice for any vocation.

To see more work by Shirley Fachilla, visit her website at

To see more of the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Spring Online International, visit or see us on Facebook or Instagram (natoilandacrylicsociety).

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Hahnemuehle Acrylic Paper: A Review by Annie Strack

NOAPS Hahnemuhl 7. Beach, acrylic on paper by Annie Strack

“Seascape”, Acrylic Painting on Hahnemuhle Paper by Annie Strack.

Hahnemuehle offers a variety of papers for every use, including several that are specifically made for acrylic painters.  I love trying new papers. and I was thrilled to try out some of the papers that are made for acrylic panting.  I teach and paint with watercolors, acrylics, oils and pastels and tried the acrylic papers with all of these mediums to see how they perform and compare.  I often switch back and forth between mediums, and I appreciate papers that can hold up to the various paints, solvents, and techniques that I employ.  The papers that I tested are:

* Acrylic Linen Texture 155 lb.  This paper has a slick surface, and performs the most like a traditional gessoed support.  The texture provides a slight amount of tooth that really feels and looks like linen.  It is the brightest white, and is also the least absorbent of all the papers, having an almost plastic feel.  Pastels and charcoal do not adhere to its surface, and watercolors puddle just as they would on other brands of synthetic paper.  For oils and acrylics, this paper can’t be beat.  The surface makes it easy to move the paint around and mix colors right on the paper.  The block form resembles the feel of painting on a linen panel.

NOAPS Hahnemuhle 1. Linen Texture

*Acrylic Cold Pressed Texture Bright White 210 lb.  This paper has a perfect texture, color, weight, and sizing, making it the ideal paper for every medium.  The heavier weight gives the finished painting more heft, and it holds up under heavy impasto techniques, vigorous brushwork or scraping.

NOAPS Hahnemuhle 2. Cold Pressed 210 lb

*Acrylic Cold Pressed Texture 170 lb. Natural White.  This paper looks and feels the same as the 210 lb. Bright White, with the only noticeable difference being the lighter weight, and subsequently, lower cost.  Despite its weight, it still has plenty of strength to perform perfectly well with all the mediums.

NOAPS Hahnemuhle 3. Cold Pressed 170 lb

*College Cold Pressed 160 lb.  This paper has a more natural white appearance, and is the only paper that is not labeled “Age Resistant” (archival).  As a student grade paper, it performs beautifully with all the mediums.  The paper is especially attractive for painting demonstrations and studies that are not intended to become permanent works of art, and is the most cost effective option.

NOAPS Hahnemuhl 4. College 160 lb

The whitest of the papers is the Linen texture, with the others being quite a pleasing white.  I did not notice a discernible difference in color between the papers labeled Bright White and Natural White, although the College paper was the closest to Natural White of all.  The papers are all acid free, and except for the College paper, are labeled “Age Resistant”, meaning archival.

The papers all come in “blocks,” meaning the pad of paper is gummed on all four sides to hold the sheets in place during the painting process.  When a painting is finished, the artist cuts it from the block by slipping a knife under the top sheet and sliding it around the edges to release it.

Blocks are particularly handy for plein air painters.  The rigid pad provides the support during the painting process, eliminating the need for a board, and also prevents buckling or warping.  All the papers proved to provide a firm surface for painting with the tested mediums.  No stretching is needed for the blocks, nor is there a need to gesso the paper.

The papers are pre-sized and ready to use, and can be used with oils as well as acrylics.  The blocks are especially useful for professional artists, art teachers and students for an economical choice for studies and field sketches.

Although paintings on paper are usually framed under glass, it is not absolutely necessary.  Paintings on paper can be mounted on board or other backing and can be displayed without glass.  Varnish can be applied over the surface of the painting to provide protection.

NOAPS Hahnemuhl 5. Abstract painting by Annie Strack, acrylic on paper   Abstract Acrylic Painting on Hahnemuhle Paper by Annie Strack

For more information about Hahnemuehle, visit them on the web at and follow them on USA and on USA.

Annie Strack is a Signature Member of several artist societies and an Official Authorized Artist for the US Coast Guard.  She has received hundreds of awards and her work hangs in over 1,000 collections worldwide including USCG, Navy, Pentagon, Senate, VA, and many more.  She teaches painting at Artist’ Network University and for other organizations in workshops and classes around the works, and she is a contributing editor for Professional Artist Magazine.  To see more of Annie’s work visit or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LInked In, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogger, and g+.

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