Today at the LA Art Show: Bert Green Fine Art

by Grey James

While you’re at the LA Art Show, we recommend stopping by Bert Green Fine Art (BGFA). Grey James will be featured in their Solo Projects booth (#827).

“Grey James’ paintings and mixed media works are concerned with the examination of specific motifs. Many of his core subjects are repeatedly and rigorously selected: the male nude, lemons, the sky, the sea, the horizon. At the center of the work is the idea of “Nothing.” As the artists observes: “there’s a lot going on in Nothing.” As banal and monotonous as that appears, there are deeper meanings that touch on age old experiences of solitude, simplicity, and the truth found in silence and the observation and contemplation of the world. Simple works presented without pretension are tremendously powerful.”

What other booths are you planning to check out during the LA Art Show? Any past favorites?

Happy National Handwriting Day!

Handwriting can be as personal as a fingerprint and as expressive as a dance. Celebrate National Handwriting Day with us; consider January—and the new year—as a chance to get back to the rhythm and flow of writing. Here are a few awesome products that we heartily recommend:

Tradio Calligraphy Pen by Pentel

The Tradio Calligraphy Pen features a firm, but resilient iridium nib that allows you to draw thick to thin lines depending on the angle of the pen. Ideal for calligraphy and lettering. Available in three nib sizes, refillable with international standard ink cartridges. Comes with a black water-based ink cartridge.

Blackwing Slate Journals

Created specifically for people seeking creative balance away from the daily grind, the Blackwing Slate Journal was designed to be the ultimate Blackwing pencil companion. Every 5½” × 8½” Blackwing Slate features 160 pages of high-quality, 100gsm paper, a durable dual-sewn binding, wear-resistant polymer hardcover, canvas spine and unique pencil holster that comes loaded with a Blackwing 602 pencil. Available in ruled, plain, or dot-grid paper.

EnerGel Alloy Pens by Pentel are exquisitely designed with an alluminum alloy barrel for those who want to make a statement. These pens feature EnerGel high-performance ink technology that combines the best qualities of liquid and gel ink for a super-smooth writing experience. Experience greater writing control with the distinctive, textured grip. All pens come with black ink with a medium (0.7mm) tip, regardless of barrel color, but are refillable with any size and color of EnerGel refill. Also, these pens come in different colors, but our favorites are red, violet, and gold! Very sexy.

Midori MD Notebooks

What makes Midori MD Notebooks so special? There’s the paper, for starters. The MD paper was developed for Midori’s original diary in the 1960s, and has been constantly improved upon to this day to create even higher-quality writing paper. Resistant to bleeding and strikethrough, it is designed for comfortable writing, and it also has the perfect balance between smoothness and a little resistance, ensuring comfort and making writing a pleasure. Midori MD Notebooks utilize threaded binding, with 16-page quires bound at the back with thread. Threaded binding makes the pages both robust and easy to open. Usually used for items such as notebooks and journals that will be used for a long time, this binding’s ability to open to a full 180 degrees provides the ultimate comfort when writing, making writing a stress-free experience from start to finish. Each notebook has 176 pages, a Parafin paper cover, a bookmark string, thread-stiched book binding, and label stickers.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Dual Brush Pens are a double-headed brush-pen with a flexible nylon fiber brush tip on one end and a fine tip on the other. With non-toxic, fast drying, water-based odorless ink that blends to create any color desired. Just in case you wanted to write something a little colorful and extra.

MOCA at the Pacific Design Center To Close

From a joint press release from The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Pacific Design Center:

After more than twenty years of exhibitions by The Museum of Contemporary Art hosted at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, the programming agreement between the two organizations has reached the end of its term. The alliance between MOCA and PDC, which encompassed operational, managerial, and exhibition services that have made the MOCA Gallery a cultural destination for MOCA’s patrons and the architectural and design community, will end after the current exhibition, One Day at a Time: Kahlil Joseph’s Fly Paper, closes on February 24. Over the last two decades, MOCA has exhibited at the PDC countless important and internationally acclaimed shows, including shows by artists such as Takashi Murakami, William Kentridge, Sterling Ruby, Catherine Opie, Rodarte, Jean Prouve, and Rick Owens, among many others.

“We have enjoyed a successful relationship with MOCA, and on behalf of our many showroom tenants in the design community, are appreciative of MOCA’s many wonderfully curated exhibitions,” said Charles S. Cohen, the owner of the PDC.

“We are proud of MOCA’s record of achievement at the PDC,” said Maria Seferian, Chair of the museum’s Board of Trustees. “We are grateful for our partnership with the PDC and Charles Cohen and now look forward to consolidating and growing our exhibition activities, including presentations on architecture and design, at MOCA’s two Downtown Los Angeles locations.”

Hauser & Wirth Family Studio Workshop: Los Angeles Mural

Family Studio Workshop: Los Angeles Murals at Hauser & Wirth in Downtown Los Angeles. Participants combine watercolor paint and tape to make miniature murals that represent feelings associated with Los Angeles.
Photo: smg photography | Sarah M. Golonka

One of the great things about Raw Materials’ location in Downtown Los Angeles is its close proximity to world-class museums and galleries, and having access to their arts programming. One such neighbor is Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, in the heart of the Arts District. This month Hauser & Wirth’s Family Studio Workshop takes inspiration from Mary Heilmann’s monumental mural ‘Pacific Ocean,’ directly across the gallery’s onsite restaurant, Manuela. Participants will combine watercolor paint and tape to make their own miniature murals that represent a feeling associated with Los Angeles. Finished projects will echo themes represented in Heilmann’s site-specific work, like the movement of water and California surf culture. The workshop will be led by Matt MacFarland and is scheduled for Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 12 pm.

This drop-in activity at Hauser & Wirth is free, however, reservations are recommended. Click here to register.

Ai Weiwei: LIFE CYCLE at Marciano Art Foundation

If you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, we highly recommend you see Ai Weiwei: LIFE CYCLE at Marciano Art Foundation (through March 3, 2019).

Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, 2010 (detail).

This exhibition is Ai’s first major institutional exhibition in Los Angeles and The Marciano Art Foundation will feature the new and unseen work Life Cycle (2018) – a sculptural response to the global refugee crisis. The exhibition will also present iconic installations Sunflower Seeds (2010) and Spouts (2015) within the Foundation’s Theater Gallery.

On view for the first time in the Black Box, Life Cycle (2018) references the artist’s 2017 monumental sculpture Law of the Journey, Ai’s response to the global refugee crisis, which used inflatable, black PVC rubber to depict the makeshift boats used to reach Europe. In this new iteration, Life Cycle depicts an inflatable boat through the technique used in traditional Chinese kite-making, exchanging the PVC rubber for bamboo.

This multifaceted installation is a continuation of Ai’s ongoing engagement with politics and social justice. It follows the release of his feature-length documentary, Human Flow (2017), which depicts the refugee crisis on film. In the artist’s op-ed for the Guardian in February 2018, he writes, “I was a child refugee. I know how it feels to live in a camp, robbed of my humanity. Refugees must be seen as an essential part of our shared humanity.”

School Me Saturday: The History of Sign Painting

Sign-painting is an ancient trade that dates back as early as 300 B.C. Merchants, pub owners, innkeepers and other business people have always needed to communicate what they are selling and why the passersby should take pause and step inside. Fast forward to the early 1900s where every store needed a quality sign painter and everyday, working class people with a knack for color, design and mechanics shaped city streets. The style was often specific to the culture of the place and dependent on the personality of the sign painter. Signs were “traditionally manufactured by resident village or city painter who had rarely been exposed to formal printing or compositional training…uninhibited with regard to the “correctness” of period type styles”, often resulting in signs with character, quality, and culture.

Restored former “ghost sign” of a Dr. Pepper ad on the side of Dee’s Place soda fountain and diner in Corsicana, Texas; Highsmith, Carol M., 1946-, photographer

Sign-painting includes building-sized messages, billboards, store fronts, windows, doors and menus. Remnants of the early sign-painting industry are known as ghost signs, old advertisements that are either left up out of apathy or nostalgia.

PurpleHousePhotos /

Over time there have been debates as to whether sign painting is a trade or an art. People within the community historically prefer the term mechanic. The act of sign-painting is extremely technical: ensuring that a design works for the space, getting the right equipment, adjusting the plan and strategy depending on the condition of the wall, inclement weather or tight timelines. 

Now, sign-painting is experiencing a renaissance, and we’ve got the supplies you need. Mack Sign Painting Brushes and accessories are on sale for 10% off and One Shot Lettering Enamel Paints are on sale for 5% off!

One Shot Lettering Enamels are oil-based, high gloss enamels for interior and exterior use on metals, wood and glass. Favored among pinstripers and sign painters, these enamels offer great flow characteristics, single stroke coverage and vibrant durability. Available in a variety of blendable colors and shades, ranging from fully opaque to translucent and transparent “candy” colors. Great for use with brush, spray or airbrush. It dries to the touch in 2 – 5 hours, can be handled in 8 – 12 hours and can be recoated after 12 – 16 hours.

If you’re considering taking classes, we highly recommend the Sign Graphics program at LA Trade Tech. Say hi to Doc for us!

New Montana GOLD Colors: Warm Greys

Montana Gold Warm Greys

We are excited to announce an additional seven colors to the Montana GOLD color palette: Dolomite, Ceramic, Buzzard, Yosemite, Asphalt, Meteorite and Basalt!!! As the popularity of grey tones continues to rise, Montana rose to the occasion, selecting just the right tones to warm up an already comprehensive grey palette. These new additions offer a complimentary grayscale to the current collection, completing the range and offering the same exceptional opacity and coverage you’ve come to expect from all things Montana. The Warm Greys are available and on sale at $7.99/can (list price $10.75)! Come get your grey on!

Painting with STABILO Pen 68 Markers: A little color goes a long way

Let’s talk about STABILO! Join Emilee Rudd for a fun hands-on project using the Pen 68 Markers and a water brush. With just a light touch and a dab of water, watch the saturated dye of these pens extend and blend just like watercolor. Discover how STABILO’s pens and markers, known for coloring, design and illustration, can be used in new ways and incoporated into mixed media work!

Pen 68 Marker Sets by Stabilo

With their sturdy bullet tips and brilliant, intense colors, these fiber tip pens are perfect for layout detail and sketching. The odorless water-based ink will not bleed. It also will not dissolve toner or ink of permanent markers. Pens can be left without their cap for 24 hours without drying out. Stabilo Pen 68 Markers are available in sets, which come in convenient plastic wallets, tin sets, parade sets (case folds out into a fun stand-up easel making it easier to choose pens and keep them organized), and mini sets (a compact version for when you’re on the go).

The 2019 LA Art Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center January 23- 27

 The Parthenon of Books, Marta Minujin

Celebrate the 2019 LA Art Show, the art experience people are calling “The Most Comprehensive International Contemporary Art Show in America”. Who said that? People.

Experience prominent galleries from around the globe, lectures with noted leaders in the arts, engaging installations, and so much more. More than 200,000 square feet of exhibition space is committed to domestic and international galleries, many of whom curate special exhibits that are at the forefront of the burgeoning contemporary art movement.

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street, West Hall 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6pm-11pm

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7pm – 11pm 
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 11am – 7pm 
Friday, January 25, 2019, 11am – 7pm
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 11am – 7pm 
Sunday, January 27, 2019, 11am – 5pm 

“Colors get the attention, but values do the work”

Portland Grey Value Studies by Ellie Wilson

It’s been raining a lot in Los Angeles, and our grey skies have inspired us, much like the grey skies of Portland inspired Robert Gamblin to formulate three Portland Greys – Light, Medium, and Deep. These three neutral greys were developed to help painters quickly adjust the value and chroma of colors. And until February 8th, Gamblin Artists Oil Colors are on sale for 40% off! That’s right – all the greys, and all the other colors, as well as mediums!  

Munsell Values

Portland Grey Deep, Medium, and Light are formulated at Munsell values 4, 6, and 8, respectively.

How are Portland neutral greys useful?

Out of the tube, these three values of grey can effectively be used to create preliminary value studies. Simplifying subject matter down to three values is an excellent way to organize complex compositions down to larger shapes, as illustrated in the work below by California artist Ellie Wilson.

Ibantik Lake, Ellie Wilson

Wilson explains, “The Portland Greys were used to create two close-up thumbnails in preparation for my painting Ibantik Lake. The Portland Greys are a key step for my process of creating a studio painting.” 

Color mixing with Portland neutral greys

In color mixing, these neutral greys give painters the ability to simultaneously adjust value and reduce the intensity of brighter colors for more natural color mixtures.

The inner circles of the color wheels below show the mixing effects of Portland Grey Light, Medium, and Deep on a palette of Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Orange, Alizarin Permanent, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, and Sap Green.

Another tip for creating harmony in color mixing: consider using Portland Grey Light in place of white for low-light painting situations.

Colored Greys: Portland Warm Grey and Portland Cool Grey

Gamblin expanded their range of Portland Greys to include Portland Warm Grey and Portland Cool Grey, which tilt toward red and blue, respectively. With Titanium Buff added as a yellow-grey, they created a triad of muted primary colors. From these three muted primaries, you can mix a range of muted secondaries.

Formulated to work together, these colors give painters a range of colored greys for nuanced color mixing. Having a complete range of primary and secondary colored greys can be incredibly valuable for figurative and landscape painting. The compressed value range of these colors is helpful in creating atmospheric effects in paintings.

Remember, paintings with the wildest of color schemes can be held together with a strong value structure. And as the adage goes, “colors gets the attention, but values do the work.”