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    Belmar and the Railroad

    Last updated 19 hours ago

    April 26th, 4pm

    The Belmar and the Railroad Show has been envisioned as a tribute to rail travel in and around Belmar and nearby Shore towns. This exhibit is a part of larger celebration by BelmarArts and the Belmar Historical Society as we unveil the new Belmar Train Station Mural on Saturday, April 26 at 4pm. 


    This railroad themed show will feature art of all media and artifacts on display here at the Boatworks and at Borough Hall. The opening reception on Saturday, 4/26 will coincide with the dedication of theBelmar Train Station Mural!

    Call for Artists – Ann Street Gallery

    Last updated 1 day 19 hours ago

    Deadline April 25: Entry Fee: FREE
    Exhibit Dates: May-June 2014
    Submission Deadline to Enter: April 25, 2014 5pm.
    Eligibility: Open to all artists living in the U.S. and territories ages 18+. All media will be considered.

    This exhibition will focus on bringing together multiple perspectives on representations of war in visual culture, while examining whose viewpoint is represented and how politicized or personal is an image of war. Topics can include responses to contemporary conflicts, trauma, perspectives of soldier-artists, women and war, memory, sense and space of war, propaganda, commemoration, built environments, battlefield imagery, home front, colonial encounters, print culture of WWI and WWII, and artist as witness.
    Artist should email the following to– five jpeg images of work , a cv/resume, artist statement and website link.
    Questions? Or for more information contact: (845) 784-1146

    Psynaky- Ukranian Egg Dying

    Last updated 2 days 19 hours ago

    Pysanky is a traditional craft in Ukraine and Poland. The method is similar to batik - patterns are drawn on the egg with wax, which then protects the covered areas from the dye that is applied. By repeating this process with different colors of dye, a multi-colored pattern is built up. Finally, the wax is removed to reveal the colors that were covered up at each stage. A layer of polyurethane can be added over the finished egg to protect the dyed design and to give a gloss finish.

    Traditionally, the eggs were left whole. They would eventually dry out and become light. Some of my eggs are left whole, in keeping with tradition. Some of my eggs are blown to allow them to be hung as ornaments.


    Pure Beeswax Block
    Heat Tool (optional)
    Paper Towels

    Before you begin,  WASH YOUR HANDS! Oils on your hands can get on the egg shells and cause uneven dyeing. It helps to make sure your hands are clean before you start handling the eggs.

    always start with room temperature eggs. cold eggs will sweat marring your pencil lines or your dye. 

    Draw your design guidelines on your egg in pencil. When the wax is removed later, it will remove these pencil lines with it. If you make a mistake,  Do Not Erase! Erasing can scratch the egg shell surface causing uneven dying. 


    Heat the funnel of the kistka in the flame of the candle& being careful to keep the tip of the funnel out of the flame. Soot from the flame can clog the tip if it is held directly in the flame. Soot from the flame will collect on the surface of the kistka (blackening it). With the heated kistka, dip into the block of beeswax. The heat of the tool will melt the wax into a little puddle. Scoop molten wax from this puddle into the funnel of the tool. Soot on the kistka will mix with the wax and darken it as you continue to use the wax block. This is helpful, as the blackened wax is much easier to see than the natural wax while working on the egg shell.

    Do Not Leave the Hot Kistka in the Wax Block!

    If it is left in the hot molten wax and then the wax hardens, it is difficult to remove the tool without damaging it.

    Once your tool is full, you may need to reheat it. In order for the wax to flow well, the tool must be hot enough. Use the tool just as you would a pencil to draw on the surface of the egg everywhere that you would like the egg to remain white. It can be helpful to keep your pinky anchored on the egg surface to steady your hand


    Carefully lower the egg into the dye with a spoon.  Do Not Drop the Egg into the Dye! Dropping the egg can cause it to crack. Sometimes these cracks are not visible until the final wax removal stage after hours of work have been put into an egg.

    The amount of time to leave an egg in the dye varies depending on the color of dye... if it is being dyed over another color... the quality of the shell surface... the age of the dye... and even more factors. So the only rule that can be used is to check often . Some dyes will make a decent color in just 15-20 seconds. Others take 5-10 minutes. For a strong color, you may have to leave an egg in the dye for quite some time!

    When your egg reaches the color you are looking for, remove the egg from the dye by lifting it up with the spoon... and then picking the egg up off the spoon with a paper towel.  Do not roll the egg off the spoon onto the paper towel, as this pour excess dye left in the bottom of the spoon into your hand as well. Always use a clean paper towel for each egg. The same paper towel can be used for successive dye baths on the same egg... but if you used a paper towel on an egg that is contaminated with colors you have not already used on that egg, you can transfer dye from the towel onto your egg, marring it. Pat the excess dye off the egg.

    Make sure to wipe off your spoon after putting an egg in or taking an egg out of a dye pot. Check before using a spoon that it is not covered in dye from a previous use. This excess dye can contaminate a dye pot, changing it's color.


    Repeat the Waxing and Dying steps for each color of dye in your design. Remember that the areas you are waxing are going to stay the color they are at the time you apply the wax. There is no need to apply wax over the final color of the design.


    The traditional way to remove wax from the eggs is with the heat of a candle flame. Hold the egg close to the candle flame until the wax softens and then wipe the melted wax away with a paper towel or a tissue. Be careful NOT to hold the egg in or directly over the flame! Holding the egg in the flame can transfer soot onto the surface of the egg. This soot will be almost impossible to remove and can ruin a beautiful egg.

    Because of the danger of soot marring the egg, my favorite method of removing the wax is to heat the egg with a heat gun designed for rubber stamping. This method also allows me to remove the wax more quickly. There is a slight bit of cooking of the egg innards... but it doesn't interfere with blowing the egg.

    Voila! Your done! Well, at least you can be... you can stop here and have a 100% authentic traditionally dyed egg. Eggs left whole (unblown) will eventually dry out over time. As the egg dries out, it releases gasses slowly through the shell. If the egg is kept in a open area with good circulation, this helps it age safely. If the egg is kept in an enclosed space (or sometimes just out of spite on the part of the egg) the gasses can build up and cause the egg to "pop" cracking it's shell and ruining it. Exploding eggs do not smell good... are not fun to clean up... and can scare the heck out of you at 2 am. How do you avoid them?

    Option 1: start with blown egg shells to dye. While this avoids all the potential problems of working with whole eggs, there is a major downside. Blown eggs float. In order to dye a blown egg, you need to plug the hole(s) with wax to keep it from filling with dye. This means that the blown egg acts like a balloon and needs to be constantly held below the surface of the dye. Whole eggs have the advantage of sinking in the dye and not needing supervision. Another disadvantage of this method is that the untreated dyed egg shell surface can be damaged by moisture and is more likely to fade.

    Option 2: (our preferred) start with whole raw eggs to dye. After you are finished with the dyeing process and have removed the wax, coat the eggshell with a layer of oil-based polyurethane. It must be oil-based, because a water based polyurethane will run the dyes. The polyurethane will protect the dyed pattern from moisture and help prevent fading in strong light. It is still not advisable to store eggs in direct sunlight to prevent fading. The polyurethane also adds quite a bit of strength to the fragile egg shell. Once the egg is sealed, it can be blown without the egg innards marring the dyed design of the shell. As a final step, to make sure that any remaining egg inside the shell dries out, bake the finished egg in a low oven (somewhere around 150-175 degrees) for about an hour.


    • There are 3 different colors of Kistka handles. The white handles are the smallest size funnel opening. These are good for very fine detail work. The blue handles are the medium size and are used for most applications. The red handles have the largest opening and are very handy for filling in large areas of color.
    • A good way to get clear colors is to start with your lightest color first and work to darkest. It can be difficult to dye a light color over a dark color.

    • Working in one color family (yellows to reds or shades of blues) helps keep clear colors as well. That said, interesting effects can be obtained by breaking all the rules. Sometimes colors interact in surprising ways.

    • You can get an interesting "acid washed" look by rubbing the egg dry instead of patting when you remove it from the dye pot

    • A light bleach solution can be used to remove colors from all non waxed sections of the egg, letting you have a white background color or giving you clear colors in future dye baths. Be careful, dyes don't always give exactly the same color or saturation on a bleached shell.

    • Vinegar can be used to etch an egg's shell. Used instead of dye, the vinegar will remove thin layers of shell creating a raised effect where the waxing is done. On a brown or green shell, the etched areas will be lighter and lighter shades fading towards white. multiple color tones can be created by waxing and etching repeatedly.

    • Vinegar etching can also be used to remove a layer of dying and give you a white shell again.

    • Another traditional method of applying wax is the "drop-pull" method. This method uses a pin instead of a kistka to apply the wax. A stainless steel straight pin is inserted into the eraser of a pencil to give it a handle. Colored wax is melted and the pin is dipped into the molten wax. While the wax is still liquid (you must work quickly) the pin is touched to the egg shell and pulled to form a drop of wax pulled to a tear drop tail. There are an amazing variety of patterns that can be formed just by creating dots and teardrops.

    Check out the gallery of Jen's Pysanky

    Egg Dying Instructables

    Colored Pencils: Differences Between Brands

    Last updated 3 days ago

    I can’t tell you which is the BEST PENCIL.

    That depends on what types of subject you prefer, what colours you are looking for, what paper you are going to use, and what - at the end of the day, is your own personal preference.  I can pinpoint how they differ, though, and guide you on how to approach the problem.

    If you are a total beginner, I would suggest that you beg, borrow or acquire as many different coloured pencils as you can  from artist friends, and test them out, side by side, on a suitably heavy but smooth cartridge paper.  

    A very smooth paper ( such as Bristol Board ) gives detail, but you will get very little colour to adhere.  

    Too rough a paper ( cold pressed watercolour paper) and you will get plenty of colour down but find it hard to achieve any detail.

    You need a balance - and cartridge paper is an ideal starting surface

    There are three main types of coloured pencil ...............

    Wax type - non soluble pencils, which I will refer to here as ‘Dry Point’.  This is because it would be inaccurate to call all pencils of this type ‘Wax’ pencils. Many brands do not use wax, but use a combination of oils.  I will tell you below which are wax and which are oil based.  Most people will refer to these as ‘wax pencils’ or ‘crayons’ ( the French term)  Wax pencils tend to have a softer feel on the paper than oil based pencils.

    Watercolour Pencils . Otherwise known as Aquarelle Pencils (Their French name). The type that are soluble with water.

    Pastel Pencils.  The chalky type of coloured pencils that can be blended on the surface and are used in a totally different way - we will look at those separately both below and also in a separate section

    I am now going to ask some questions and guide your research.

    These questions will make more sense to someone who is familiar with the use of pencils, but they should give even a total beginner a clue what you should be looking for.  

    Read through the list below, and then take pencils to paper and examine how they behave

    All Coloured Pencils …..  but particularly the wax type which don’t dissolve in water 

    First of all, How easy are they to sharpen? Can you get a good point without the colour core breaking up? Compare the trial pencils side by side on a sheet of cartridge paper, and note the name of the brand against each example.

    Test them for handling - how soft are they? Are they gritty or does the colour go down smoothly? You are looking for a hardness that suits your painting style.  Botanical artists will look for hard cores on the pencils for fine detail. More impressionistic artists will be looking for softer cores to lay down lots of colour

    How fine a line can they achieve and keep?  A softer pencil will make a clearer mark but the point will be lost more quickly as the colour core is used up.

    If you shade a block of colour, does the shading go down evenly? You will be layering colour with Coloured Pencils, so will be looking for laying down thin layers of colour, one on top of another.

    How do they handle when you apply a layer of colour over a layer of another colour? Is it easy to add a further layer of colour ?  Does the second layer adjust the colour of the first one or simply cover it up ? Transparent or Semi Transparent colours allow earlier layers to show through and enable you to build strong accurate colours. Opaque pigments simply cover earlier layers and are not as useful for detailed work.

    Can you see if the pencils are marked with a lightfastness rating?  This could be in the shape of a set of little stars ( 1 star not so good, 3 stars excellent - or if it says LF1 or LF2, this is also very good). Some pigments fade in strong sunlight and you will want your masterpieces to last a long time in their frames.

    And now,  just looking at Watercolour Pencils -

    How easily does the colour dissolve  when you pass a damp brush over a line of colour? You are unlikely to get rid of all the colour from a line, but you should see a good wash of dissolved colour on the paper with the brush. An evenly shaded block of colour will probably dissolve completely from the dry area with a clean brush and should give you excellent  watercolour which will ‘pull out’ with the brush to a very thin wash.

    Does the colour lift off the paper easily with a clean brush and pad of absorbent paper ? This tells you how permanent the colour is ( how firmly it is attached to the paper )


    Pastel Pencils- we will look at in more detail in the Pastel Pencil section

     These pencils handle very differently to the two types above. The colour they lay down is a fragile surface which can be blended on the paper. For this reason a different type of paper is used which has a softer and rougher surface that will hold the pigment (or a gritty paper can also be used - like a sandpaper) . Here you will be looking for a pencil that can be sharpened to a fine point with a craft knife and which has a smooth and finely ground core of pigment and which is strong enough to keep a reliable point.

    To read the rest of this article, please click HERE

    Free Copic Marker Demonstration, Saturday April 19th, 11am

    Last updated 4 days ago

    Join Copic Marker artist Mina Sanwald who will be available to answer specific product questions and demonstrate numerous techniques at your request. Anything from how to refill your marker to how to place shadows for an image.

    Mina Sanwald is a New York illustrator and animator. Mina graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Animation and Illustration in May 2010 from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. In 2012 she released her first graphic novel, The Big Fat Book of Luscious Chicken. Mina has been credited in two animated shorts from Plymptoons Studios: TMZ and Flying House. Currently she’s an animation producer for the movie Ginger Girls and a Fine Arts instructor for Copic Markers. Mina is best known for her colorful hair and quirky manga-esque drawing style. For more information about Mina check out

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