Professional Artist Andy Russell - Artist Spotlight

Dreamscape painter Andy Russell loves Matisse acrylics!


Artist Andy Russell is widely recognized as a master in acrylic painting. He embarked on his artistic journey over 35 years ago, when he began having recurring dreams of vibrant and ethereal landscapes, which he then started translating into acrylic paintings of immense detail and glowing tones. He describes his painting style as "extended realism" — peaceful, utopian dreamscapes with impossible foliage and amazing architecture. Russell’s unique style is accomplished through multiple glazes and layers of acrylic paint, and he finds the Matisse line to be perfectly suited to his painting technique!


Watch the video below to hear about Andy's background, inspiration and technique in his own words, and get a glimpse into his perfect worlds!

Andy Russell on Matisse Acrylic Paints...

"Matisse Acrylic Paints have proven to be a pleasure to work with in so many ways. They are of the highest quality, richly pigmented and creamy smooth and perfect for the professional artist.

"I use Matisse Structure Acrylics for a thick textured, bold impasto look and Matisse Flow Acrylics for the smooth, highly detailed results. They are also excellent for covering large areas.

"I love colors and they come in a full range, which makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. I almost think of them as flavors. I really like their unique colors such a Cadmium Orange Deep, Australian Red Violet and Australian Blue Gum, Australian Salmon Gum and Australian Sienna. After years of painting in acrylics, it is exciting and refreshing to use these new colors. Discovering them was like getting a 'booster shot' of creativity for my work.

"Matisse has everything I need from mixing mediums to varnishes, from Background Colors to Mix-In Dry Mediums. I have found that using Matisse Background Colors are great for covering large areas. I use a lot of Phthalo Blue in my skies, which is very transparent and requires at least six coats for my purposes. I have discovered I can use one coat of Midnight Blue Background Color and only two coats of Phthalo over that and get the same results. This not only saves money but also leaves me more time for the more creative parts of the work.

"I plan on trying almost everything they offer as I go and can hardly wait to experiment in opening new avenues for creativity.

"I have realized that mixing their Magenta Light and Cadmium Yellow Medium with varying amounts of Titanium White gives me a glowing, brilliant color for sunset and sunrise skies.

"Spreader Medium is perfect for the glazing technique. It gives a smooth, even coat of transparent color for brilliant results.

"I am completely sold on Matisse Acrylic Paints. I highly encourage every artist, professional or pleasure painter, to experience these paints for themselves."

Andy Russell

Learn more about painter Andy Russell and Matisse Acrylics, and visit his official website at www.andyrussell.com.

What do you think of Andy's beautifully surreal paintings?  What have your experiences with Matisse Acrylic Paints been? Tell us about it in the comments below!


Jerry's Joins the Cow Parade for Charity

Jerry's sponsors and purchases a painted cow to benefit the NC Children's Hospital!

This past fall and winter, Raleigh, NC played host to the internationally famous Cow Parade, a community-driven art event designed to benefit local charities or organizations. As Raleigh is the hometown of Jerry's Artarama, of course we were excited to participate!

Cow Parade consists of, well, cows, and lots of them! Artists are provided with a fiberglass "blank" cow, which they can decorate however they choose — many artists choose to use aspects of the community or state as their theme. After a "parade" in which the cows are displayed at various locations for a couple months, they are taken down, spruced up, and put up for public auction.

Proceeds from Raleigh's 2012 Cow Parade go to benefit the North Carolina Children's Hospital, based in Chapel Hill, NC. The Children's Hospital works with pediatricians and hospitals across the state to provide healthcare for sick or injured children. In addition, the NC Children's Hospital focuses not only on the child, but on the entire family, providing care and support for all. With doctors expert in all pediatric and pediatric surgical subspecialties, the NC Children's Hospital diagnoses and treats more than 70,000 children from across the state of North Carolina each year. When it comes to worthy beneficiaries, it doesn't get any better than them!

Is it any wonder we were chomping at the bit to participate in this fun and charitable event? Jerry's Artarama of Raleigh sponsored a cow designed by professional artist Micah Mullen, who we've been thrilled to work with in producing some educational art DVDs and whose artwork we greatly admire! The cow's name is Giovanni, and his design reflects the beauty of North Carolina's landscape. One side shows the calm reflection of North Carolina's beaches and coastal region, and the other the majesty of the NC mountains. And of course, Giovanni is painted completely in Micah's unique impressionistic style, using acrylic paints from right here at Jerry's!

Isn't he awesome? When time for the auction rolled around at the beginning of February, we couldn't bear to part with our Giovanni — so we bought him! Giovanni is now ensconced in his new "pasture" at the Jerry's Artarama Raleigh retail store.

So if you're in the area, come on by and say hi! Or perhaps you've had a Cow Parade in your home town too? Let us know how it went and tell us about it in the comments below!


Send an Art eGift Card for Valentine's Day

Send your your Valentine something better than chocolate...Valentine Creative eGift Card

Often times we are left thinking about how to surprise a loved one on Valentine's Day and for those that are creative, it can be even more of a challenge (unless you already know what they want and got the signal from the quarterback :-) ). Valentine's Day is in the "main street" way, associated with buying chocolates, flowers, dinners and even the diamonds. What about art supplies and creating a piece to be cherished forever? Thinking a bit outside the box here if I may, have you ever considered the gift of art?

Creating art can be soothing, inspiring and an amazing experience you can do together, make it fun. Often times we are caught up in the daily grind of life and need to make time for each other. A great way to do that is grab some of your favorite art supplies and create art together one night! It can be anything but believe me, you will experience a different connection, have fun together and have something you can hold on to forever. (read more below)

eGift cards are the perfect gift for artists for any occassion. Send a Valentine's Day electronic art gift card today!

In a family with kids where the luxury of a babysitter to go out to dinner or be alone is just not going to happen, include them! Have a family Valentine's Day Art Night. Having a family art night can be a rewarding experience on a regular schedule but for Valentine's Day it can be even better. You have the dinner going, the roses out, the chocolates ready... now all you need is the art supplies and you are all set.

If you do not know what to buy and often times those signals are uknown, you can send an electronic Valentine's Day gift card with your personal message. Pick the design, plan your message and have it sent to yourself to include in a lovely card (Don't forget the card!) or send it directly to your loved one's email. The Valentine's Day eGift card will arrive in minutes. For all those who are "last minute" shoppers (like me!) this works great. They can buy whatever they want and have fun doing that so...


  • Send your Valentine's Day designed art egift card
  • Plan out your art night
  • Get your favorite supplies
  • Have an enjoyable experience and have fun!
  • Have something you can both or all will enjoy and look back on forever

As I have often done, I would also recommend that you frame and hang your completed artwork so you you can look at that piece as a reminder of that day. We carry alot of beautiful ready made picture frames to frame and hang your artwork. Taking it one step further if framing is not an option, you can keep it safe in our New Eternity Archival Storage boxes prefect for storing valuable art, photos and memorabilia.
baldwin elegant style picture framesEternity Archival storage boxes

I would love to hear comments on your experiences as you get ready for Valentine's Day or if you have taken the time to sit down together and create art together, all comments welcome so please post them below in the comments box

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