Thursday, October 13, 2016

I Have a New Blog!

Hi all! Big news... I'm officially retiring this blog site because, drumroll, I have a fresh new website along with a beautiful new blog. Check it out here! First post is about the Masterworks show at the Hirshhorn.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Supplies

I'm often asked what type of paint supplies I use to achieve that nice thick impasto texture so I thought I would share with you my go-to's. Since I work in both oils and acrylics depending on the size and project, I'll share both of my lists. There is nothing like the beautiful buttery consistency of oil paint, however, acrylic paints have come a long way in the past decade and the heavy body paints and mediums that I mention below almost mimic the textural qualities of oils. Below are some of my favorite supplies that will give you an introduction to textural painting at an affordable price point. Enjoy! (**This is not sponsored by any of the following companies, it is simply my best of best list)

Oil Painting Supplies

1. Gamblin Titanium White Oil. This will help you achieve a nice buttery consistency and is about $50 for a 16oz can from Dick Blick. I tend to use at least three times the white as I do other colors combined, and even though I normally paint oils in small scale, it's more cost efficient for me to buy in cans.

2. Mediums. Liquin Impasto Medium is a semi-gloss, quick-drying, non-yellowing medium perfect for palette knives and will retain crisp textures. Another medium I enjoy that creates a softer texture is Gamblin cold wax. It is made of beeswax and will dry no harder than a candle, so it's important to only mix in about 1/4 wax to 1 part oil paint for a nice smooth, matte finish.

Below:Detail of piece using cold wax medium

3. Colored Oil Paints. In terms of selecting which brand of colored oil paints to purchase, I use a range from Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, and Gamblin. I suggest buying small tubes of the colors and experimenting until you find which colors you like. You'll be surprised at the differences in prices, heaviness of texture, and brilliance of colors across brands. I always buy exclusively through Dick Blick since they almost always offer discounts and free shipping for large orders.

Acrylic Painting Supplies

1. Dick Blick Titanium White. For acrylic painting I generally stock up on large jars of Dick Blick Titanium White. Similar to my oil painting process, I generally go through at least one jar of white per painting while using small amounts of color from other tubes.

Above:Impasto texture using acrylic paints.

2. Colored Tubes. For bright beautiful colors that maintain their peaks I like to use a range of tubes including Liquitex Heavy Body and Golden Heavy Body. It is important to only buy the "Heavy Body" variety because the "Soft Body" will flatten out while drying. Some of my favorites include manganese blue, cadmium red, pthalo blue, prussian blue, and sap green (all by Liquitex). Golden also has a range of beautiful heavy body acrylics, with some of my favorites being their hansa yellow medium and florescent pink. These tend to be a little pricier than other brands so you may just want to sample one or two to see if you can tell the difference.

3. Heavy Gloss Gel Medium. I also always use the super heavy gloss gel medium by Liquitex, which can create sculptural effects that maintain their high peaks. I prefer the gloss for a nice shine, but they also have matte if you prefer.

Knives and Canvas

1. Palette Knives. I suggest purchasing at least five different knives in a range of sizes and shapes and playing around until you find your go-to favorites. There are many brands on the market but you should always get stainless steel if possible to prevent rusting and in my opinion they tend to bend less easily than other types. You can find knives by Liquitex for around $8.

2. Canvas or Wood. For an affordable, good quality canvas I like to go with Dick Blick Premier Cotton Canvas. If you are planning on framing, the 7/8" profile canvas will give you a much broader and affordable range of framing options, but if you would like the gallery wrapped look with painted edges I would go with the 1.5" profile. Another option is cradled wood panels. I like the Blick panels with 1 5/8" sides, but you do have to gesso the surface beforehand so it does have an extra step. Alternatively you can purchase pre-gessoed panels for a small extra cost.

I hope this has provided you with some useful information for starting out as a textural painter or simply trying something new. Any questions?? Let me know, I'm always happy to offer suggestions or answer questions. Have fun!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Making Waves

In the studio working on a 6" x 6" seascape. Shot with my Nikon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Start an Art Collection

Many of my clients are first time buyers looking to start a collection. Often times they discover my work online then come in for a studio visit, which can be an overwhelming process without a concrete plan. Should they buy the piece that made their heart skip a beat or go with the piece that fits a specific space or color palette in their home? I thought this would be a good topic to explore from an artist's perspective.

Above: A collection of work in my studio. Collections can be built upon specific artists, styles, movements, subjects, colors, or techniques.

1. Do your research. Start by checking out local galleries, art fairs, and open studios. Write down your favorite artists and research their backgrounds. Where are they represented? What is their price point? If you're able, visit the galleries that represent them. Chances are you will find other artists you like there as well. Ask the artists if they are willing to do studio visits. I personally enjoy having clients over to check out my works-in-progress and current inventory. Don't forget online research especially on platforms such as Instagram. It is the perfect platform to quickly research artists and often you can be first in line to buy works directly off the easel. Be sure to search hashtags related to the type of work you are looking for. For example you could search by: #modernart #contemporaryart #dsart #studioscenes #artstudio #coastalart #floralart. A few of my favorite accounts that will give you a broad introduction to the huge community of artists on instagram are @artforbreakfast, @ratedmodernart, @freshpaintmag, and @painterspaintingpaintings.

Above:Edoardo Monti's collection of modern art in Brooklyn, New York, featuring work by myself (top right), Ryan Hewett, Jeff Rune, and The Unit London. This is a perfect example of how textures and colors can play throughout a collection.

Below:Two of my pieces (middle and middle bottom) in Monti's collection.

2. Do buy your favorite piece! Don't hold back when it comes to purchasing a piece you're in love with, especially if it's close to your price point. You don't ever want to look back and wish you would've bought that special piece instead of the one that matched your couch. Chances are if you love a piece now, you will always love it. Coordinating with interiors is important, but the artwork is paramount. Now think about why you love this piece so much? Was it the subject, technique, style, color, or concept? Use this piece as a starting point to build your collection around and if possible try to keep a similar underlying element throughout the collection. It doesn't even have to be an obvious similarity, it could simply be "women artists of the south" or "artists influenced by the abstract expressionists." A stronger collection will build upon a theme, not simply be a hodgepodge of random purchases.

Above and below: This collector chose two of my impressionistic foliage pieces for his stately home in Leesburg, VA. The framing plays nicely here with the formal interiors.

3. Set goals. What is the goal for your collection? Do you want to establish a noteworthy collection of artists from Virginia? Do you want to simply collect a variety of colorful miminalist pieces? Also try to plan around your budget. How often will you collect? What is your budget for each piece? Where will the pieces be positioned in your home? These are all important things to think about as you plan out your collection.

Above: A collection of my abstract paintings with the consistent theme of color and texture on exhibit at Covet. Inquire for availability.

4. Document Document! Always remember to document your collection. Keep a file of artist information, certificates of authenticity, signed paperwork, show catalogues, postcards, and any other information that could be valuable for the future generation or resale.

Of course, these are all suggestions, but hopefully I've provided you with something to think about while building and starting your collection. The collector has the ultimate power to decide the shape and direction of their collection. How exciting is that?!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Watercolor Studies Sale

Now available exclusively on my instagram @amcoolick are my ten favorite watercolor studies from my spring exploration series. Each pieces is 9"x12", $45 for one, $80 for two. Head over to my instagram page and comment #sold with your email and I will send you an invoice within 24 hours!! Or shoot me an email Worldwide shipping available.

Top to bottom, left to right (all 9" x 12"):
1. Coral No. 1, coldpress 140lb cream paper
2. Crystalline Circles, coldpress 140 lb cream paper
3. Petri No. 1, coldpress 140lb cream paper
4. Crystalline Squares, coldpress 140lb cream paper
5. Zigzags, coldpress 140lb cream paper
6. Fresh Cut No. 1, 90lb white watercolor paper
7. Coral No. 2, coldpress 140lb cream paper
8. Petri No. 2, coldpress 140lb cream paper
9. Fresh Cut No. 2, 90lb white watercolor paper
10. Drip Drop, 140lb cream paper

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New Seascape Series

I just finished and delivered my new seascape series to Covet in Arlington. There are 11 new pieces available in a range of sizes and prices, from 8" x 8" to 30" x 24", $140 to $675. The paintings can be previewed in the coastal section of my website.
Detail of Ocean Swells, oil on canvas, 20" x 10".

Somewhere on a Beach, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24".

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Unframed Show

Come check out my work at the Unframed: Affordable Works of Art on Paper show at West Annapolis Artworks in Annapolis, MD now through May 31st! The all day open house is tomorrow April 8th from 10am till 7pm. The two pieces below, Spring on the Waterway No. 1 and No. 2, oil pastels, 22" x 17" each, will be available for $300 each!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

$100 Gift Card Giveaway

Today ONLY! Enter to win a $100 Gift Card to on my instagram page @amcoolick here. All you have to do is follow me on instagram, turn on notifications so you're kept up to date with my latest work, and comment that you've done so! Thanks for your continued support!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Art Show!

Join me for the opening reception of Sugar-Coated, an exhibit of my frosting-like abstractions at Covet on March 19th from 6-10pm. The exhibit coincides with Covet's 6th birthday celebration, this year's winner of Best Boutique by Arlington Magazine. ‪Cupcakes and cocktails will be on tap! RSVP here.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dreams and Goals

As an art student 15 years ago my dream goal was to have my work in a real gallery. It seemed so far-fetched but the simple reality was that I never thought it was possible. Looking back, I have to pinch myself that I get to paint in this cozy little space, have work in five galleries across the east coast, and people actually buy my work! My message to young artists and those struggling with self-doubt is not to ever let a rejection letter or the opinions of others stop you from continuing towards your dream. Being an artist is the hardest job I’ve ever had (well, tied with being a mom) and while it is a continuing struggle it is something I couldn’t live without.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Rose Quartz and Serenity

I recently noticed a large number of pieces I painted over the summer and fall had big hints of Pantone's Color of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. What do you think?? These two are available for purchase at Covet in Arlington. Left: Out Like a Lamb, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 30". Right: Peachy Internodes, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 48".

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Delicious Texture

I've been working on a series of small heavily textured oil paintings inspired by the cherry blossoms in DC. The first in the series, Afterglow Cherry, 10" x 10", oil on canvas, now available at

Monday, January 4, 2016

Tropical Inspiration

I visited the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC last month and was completely inspired by the bounty of lush palm trees in the Tropical Room. If you haven't been yet, you must!! Here are the first few pieces in my Tropical Canopy series to be continued this winter. Both pieces are available at

Above: Tropical Canopy, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36".

Above: Detail of Tropical Canopy

Above: Bermuda Palm, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 20".

Detail of Bermuda Palm.

Below: photos from the Tropical Room.