Your Creativity – Our Supplies!

Archive for May, 2017

YOU’RE INVITED! Art After Dark Reception

“Feathered Acrobatics”

Wild Wings in Flight

Art After Dark this Friday, June 2nd between 6-8pm! Come enjoy the flight inspired work of our local artists! 


visit for more information on all the art receptions this Friday evening!

Reminder- Call for Artists for June Exhibit!

hi, all – just a reminder that our take-in for our upcoming exhibit “Feathered Acrobatics” is next Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 from 10am-4pm.

For all information please download and print this PDF: 2017-1 Feathered Acrobatics

Let your creativity soar with ideas and images of flight, whether it be birds, winged creatures, themes of movement, or freedom! We welcome artists of all ages to participate!

The opening Artist Reception will take place during Art After Dark on Friday, June 2nd, from 6-8pm!

Thomas G. Frey

PLEASE NOTE … our Memorial Day Weekend hours are…

We hope you have some great plans for this holiday weekend!

If you need to visit us, please plan to do so BEFORE 3PM on Saturday!

We will be doing a major computer upgrade this weekend.  We’ll close early on Saturday, & be closed on Sunday and Monday. 

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Saturday:  10am – 3pm


Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Workshops on the horizon!

Art Central has 
amazing workshops just
around the corner!

These work shops are a great way to
learn AND have fun too.  Don’t miss out!


The next installment of Larry’s phenomenal Drawing Foundation Workshop Series is next week!

Larry Le Brane: Drawing Foundation Series: “Form, Composition & Critique”
Thurs. May 25th 5pm-8pm
Fee: $45
Draw groups of forms to explore composition alternatives.  Includes individual & popular group critique. These 4 Drawing Foundation mini-classes focus on specific fundamental skills. Take only 1 or all lessons. For ALL skill levels, very beginning to practicing painters & artists. To enroll, contact Larry by email: or phone: 805-528-8791


Hilda’s watercolor workshop is
a great way to learn the medium step by step.

And, it’s only two weeks away!

Hilda Vandergriff: Watercolor Workshop
Sat. June 3rd, 1-3pm
Fee: $30
Materials list on hand at Art Central Join Artist, Hilda Vandergriff, for a fun watercolor art lesson. You will learn about values, layering, glazing and background. You will receive a lesson handout and follow along the demo step by step. This lesson is for all levels, teens, moms, dads open to anyone who wants to learn watercolor techniques.  You will go home with a beautiful seahorse painting.
To sign up contact: Hilda Vandergriff at 559-322-6557 or email at


Ardella’s book making workshop is
a great way to learn this exciting craft!

Ardella Swanberg: Book Making
Sat. June 10th, 12:30pm-4:30pm
Fee: $30
People say that the book is going out. But for artists and writers it will always be important for practicing and keeping their ideas. Learn how to make a small sketchbook or journal starting with the pages. In this 4-hour workshop, you will learn to sew the pages together, and make a cover and finish the book. To enroll, contact Ardella by email: or phone: 805-771-0281

Art Central is always expanding it’s workshop offerings.
Stay tuned to our blog and website so you don’t miss out!

TAKE 10…. this week only!

This week – thru Saturday, May 20th…

ALL CLEARANCE – extra 10% off !

 This week ONLY!


Serious collaboration!

    watching the evolution of each painting… ptg1a

every hand that touches it adds a new twist… ptg1b

a new color… ptg1f

different perspectives…     ptg1g     ptg1h

great comraderie…  ptg1j

intense focus…  ptg1k    group2

sharing ideas…   group1

with great music… awesome music    and dancing…  dancing1

and conversation… group4

the painting begins… ptg2a  it flows…  ptg2b  and changes…   ptg2c  and expands…

in the moment…   ptg2f     ptg2h    ptg2d

and inspires…    ptg2e

ptg3   ptg3c    ptg3b    ptg3a


Amazing group of people … Amazing afternoon.

   group shot




Missed it?  We will be doing it again THIS Friday, May 19th – please join us

Canvas Preparation 101

Quick recap on canvas: Canvas began its use as a painting substrate notably in Venice, as early as the 1400’s. Before the popularity of canvas, artists had painted their finished works for the most part on wood panels. However, the damp climate in Venice caused problems like mold and warping for wooden panels. Canvas was an attractive alternative, and was readily available in the port town. In addition, canvas was lighter in weight and could be rolled up, making it easier to transport, and larger sizes were less expensive to obtain, as opposed to wood panels. A beautiful example of early canvas painting can be found in Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.


The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, 1486. Tempera on canvas, 67.9″ × 109.6″.

The attraction of fabricating one’s own stretched canvas: In this day and age, pre-prepared and ready-to-paint canvas is readily available and quite convenient, but fabricating one’s own support still holds certain advantages. When you stretch and prime your own canvas, you have complete control over the tautness, grain, and sealed surface of the final product. Pre-stretched canvases can be altered somewhat, such as changing the surface by adding and sanding layers of gesso, but other factors are not as controllable, such as tautness or the initial grain of the fabric.

Types of canvas: Canvas today is most commonly made from cotton, linen, synthetics, or blends of fibers. Cotton often has a more uniform, consistent texture, and is less expensive. Linen is stronger and has a more “natural” weave, sporting small irregularities that many painters enjoy. Synthetic fibers usually emulate their organic counterparts, and offer a high level of durability. Canvases in all fibers are available in varying degrees of coarse and fine grains.

Ways of mounting/stretching: Most artists prefer working on taut canvas, as loose canvas will tend to curl and warp as wet media dries on it. Canvas can be stretched across a frame or over a board. Stretching over a frame may give the canvas a noticeable “bounce,” depending on how tightly it is stretched. Frames can be made by hand, or constructed from ready-made stretcher bars that fit easily together. Canvas can also be mounted to a rigid board with strong, acid-free glue. This will create a canvas surface that does not have any “bounce,” but some artists enjoy a static surface. When canvas is stretched across a board, it is advisable to either put a coat of gesso on the backside of the board, or to make a cradled frame for the board, to discourage the panel from warping as primers and paints dry on the canvas surface.


Canvas being stretched over a frame made of stretcher bars.

The two main ways to size and prime: After a canvas has been stretched or mounted, it is advisable to size it and apply a ground. Sizing refers to a substance used to give a material more structural integrity and a protective barrier around the fibers of the canvas,  and a ground or primer makes a surface more receptive to media. Sizing and priming a canvas also serves to protect the fabric from any substances that can contribute to its deterioration (such as if you are painting with oils).

Acrylic grounds: the most versatile and commonly seen grounds for canvas these days. Comes in many forms with different characteristics. Traditional acrylic gesso is available in white, black, grey or clear. There is acrylic ground formulated for silverpoint drawing, and also a variant intended for use with pastel; it has pumice in it for gritty texture. Additionally, some manufacturers have created “watercolor grounds,” which are acrylic-based grounds that create a surface that is absorbent enough to be suitable for use with watercolors.  Acrylic grounds will both size and prime the canvas.

Oil-based grounds: should only be used in conjunction with oil-based paints*.  Before the application of an oil ground, the canvas needs to be sized, either with a rabbit-skin or an acid-free PVA glue. Rabbit-skin glue makes for a stiffer canvas, but PVA glue is more chemically stable and less likely to crack over long periods of time. After sizing, the oil ground may be applied. However, a properly sized canvas has adequate protection that it may be directly painted on with oil paints. Oil-based grounds yield a much stiffer substrate than acrylic-based gesso.

*Paints that are water-based (like acrylics and watercolors) will not adhere well to oil-based grounds; peeling and cracking are inevitable.

The final product: Depending on how it is prepared, one stretched and primed canvas can vastly differ in its finished properties from the canvas of another artist. One canvas may have a relatively* looser bounce and a heavily pronounced texture, whereas another canvas may be taut and smoothed to the point where it is almost like a flexible panel, more in line with the canvases of the Old Masters. One is not better than the other, some are just more appropriate for certain applications than others. The choice on substrate properties is developed through specific project needs, experience with materials, and the artist’s personal preferences.

* Please note… If a canvas is too loose, it may not prove to be supportive enough and the paint could crack.

“The Natural World” Opening Reception




We had a wonderful evening at the opening of our fantastic new show! Showcasing some fabulous work by the students of SLO High School, “The Natural World” focuses on the exploration and representation of nature’s endless characteristics. Thank you to all who came out to support our emerging local artists and thank you to the talented students for sharing their beautiful work! Here are some pictures from the night.

This exhibit runs through May 29th. Come by Art Central Gallery to enjoy this collection of nature inspired pieces!

Reminder – are you doing Open Studio Tours this year

if you’ve been meaning to, but haven’t done it yet…

Deadline is this Monday, MAY 15th! has all the info – click now!

Collaborative Art Project Next Friday!




Join us for our second collaborative painting project next FRIDAY, MAY 12TH! We had such a blast working with Israel and Jill at our last event. If you weren’t able to make it in March, don’t miss out on this upcoming project! The event includes live music and is completely FREE!! All ages are welcome. 

Our names are Jillian Rice and Israel Dedina. A few months ago we started working on a social art project. We wanted to see if we could try to paint social interactions. We started to invite people to paint with us when we painted in our studio along with when we took our paintings to various music festivals. Throughout the process we have begun to develop two different styles of our “collaborative painting”. In one process we invite people to add and contribute whatever they want, wherever they want. At the beginning the painting looks like a jumbled mess but as time goes on stories emerge.


After doing this a number of times we started to notice trends in the way people added. This is when the second style of our collaborative work emerged. For this one we still invite people to add to pieces but we first ask them to watch what we are doing and if they still want to add we invite them to do so in a way that will add to what we are trying to do. We find that people that have never painted before can contribute as much to a piece as someone who has painted their whole life.


For this event we will be exploring both styles simultaneously. For this to be possible we need your help. Please join us on May 12th from 2-5pm to explore the world of social painting, help make something cool, and enjoy yourself. No experience is necessary.

Sign-ups are not necessary – just show up when you want, and stay as long as you’d like