Today I am lucky to have connected with the fabulous resident artist of Blick Art Materials and Utrecht – Joseph Gyurcsak. Alive is the only word to describe both his work and Joe G… delightfully contagious. Joe actually has developed many titles there including Resident Artist / Utrecht Brand / Educational Manager / Technical Manager.
Tell us your painting background
I started painting at very young age and have been painting for over 40 years now. I went to Parsons School of Design, then the School of Visual Arts in NYC graduating as an illustrator. After 4 years I decided to pursue a Fine Art career and then in 1998 joined Utrecht as the resident artist, brand and technical manager, educational director and continue to do so for Blick Art Materials.
In the last 14 years I have been conducting workshops through the USA. It is a dream job, and I love to teach and pass on my passion and experiences to other artists! I have created educational programs which are actual painting demos in all mediums, also technical lectures that deal with how products are manufactured and their performance. I am very involved in the Utrecht Artists’ Colors R&D regarding all the products we make -oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouaches, canvases, brush lines -giving guidance and feedback to the chemists and factories.
FYI: I team up with the knowledgeable Matt Kinsey. Ask the Expert online at Utrecht.com iswhere we answer all art materialsinquiries- check it out a great resource.
How did you get introduced to TerraSkin?
I received samples. Companies send me products from all over the world to look at, evaluate and critique. I don’t get too excited over many products and seldom do I see innovation the amazes me. Yet seeing the TerraSkin and then working on it, I immediately was drawn to the way you could manipulate watercolors on it. I knew it was something very special right from the first try!
Tell us about your technical discoveries using the paper both positive and negative.
I really don’t have any negatives. I like that you can cut it to any size, don’t have to tape or pin it down, can load tons of water on it and it will never ripple. Place it on a board and start to work- that is a huge benefit for the watercolor artist!
This paper has unique functionality there is nothing like it in the market. For years I worked on rough or cold press watercolor papers, but the sizing on those papers (even in recent years on the best brands) does not seem to hold the watercolor pigment on the surface long enough to manipulate it. This stone surface is very special,wet watercolor passages can be manipulated for long periods of time because the absorption is much slower than traditional watercolor papers.
There is more water evaporation than there is of color absorption, because of this wiping out, lightening up, or pushing around the heavy paint in concentrated puddles creates very spontaneous effects. This feel and effect can get lost very easily on traditional watercolor papers unless you are a very experienced watercolor painter.
These wonderful experiences happen because the timing of the paper is such that it affords you time to move puddles around, tilt and shift wet passages to create interesting blends, subtle transitions and opaque layers without hurrying your work.
The best benefits are knowing at any point you can adjust or manipulate areas to your taste. The watercolor and the gouache stand on the paper very well and dry extremely vibrant.The luminosity, chroma of colors are very intense and has the same brilliance as when they are wet!
Is the stone paper changing the way you paint?
The paper is helping me to continue to expand my ideas about abstract realism. I have been pursuing that for many years in all disciplines of my work. I am having a lot of fun on this paper and I find a freedom in knowing it is so forgiving.
I like to use a cat’s tongue brush for the watercolors which allows for rapid laying down of broad washes and or controlled lines where needed in one sweep. I always try to convey the immediate impression of light, strong shapes, color and overall atmosphere.
I created these paintings in less than 30 minutes. I load an abundance of watercolor or gouache colors onto the brush with some water, the colors begin to drip in a very modern way and people instantly see how alive this process is and want to do it! The paper gives me a window of time to mop up, dash in, the paper begins to explode with brilliant colors… it is a liberating experience as an artist!
I have experimented with oil and acrylics but for me it is the watercolors on TerraSkin that captures my attention.
How does one connect to take or organize a workshop with you?
I am interested in expanding the Blick educational programs and personal workshops internationally.
Where ever I am using this paper and do these demos people are just flabbergasted! People just ask where can I get it, they love it.
In the workshops I help artists to see and understand the balance & power of composition and color energy.
I conduct my own workshops with groups of 8 to 15 people, from 1 to 5 days. I conduct demonstrations usually for Blick from 1 to 3 hours and usually need at least 25 or more people to receive a sponsored event from the company. Either way you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, also look at my website for examples of my work. www.josephgyurcsak.com
A quick note from Lea
As promised I will post the final installment post about forest creatures of stone paper and Terra Karnaval from the wonderful creative mind of artist Danielle Roy. The video is in production now. I have seen a small sneak preview – it is worth the wait!
- 8pt - 16 pt TerraSkin
- Less than 30 minutes
- Watercolors & Gauche
- Painting wet
- Water resistant paper
- No rippling
- Slow absorption techniques
- Lifting out
- Moping out