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March 2013

Welcome Back!

BOB and Cubano Coffee
Bob and Cubano Coffee, painting by Julian Martinez

Anticipating the excitement of my visit to the country of Cuba, I recently purchased several cookbooks on Cuban cuisine. I wanted to know what I will be eating before I experience any new country. I embrace their culture through food. I read cookbooks and prepare meals and drinks to discover a new world of flavors. I am gluten and dairy intolerant as my interest in what I’m eating is curiosity as well as my well being. Cuban cooking combines the tastes of Spain with the tropical flavors of the Caribbean. Throw in new world spices and a strong African influence and you have the essence of Cuban cooking. The food is spiced but NOT spicy hot. Cuban cooking does not use hot peppers as Latin American cuisines do. But the real reason I’m writing this is to introduce you to Cuban coffee… Café Cubano.

Kate and I were teaching in Key Largo, Florida and took advantage of the local Cuban market. We purchased a three-cup stovetop espresso maker (Imusa, $7) and several bags of espresso coffee (Café Bustelo and Pilon gourmet). It took me awhile to get used to the sugary flavor at first, but now I’m hooked. It’s delicious! For our first true Café Cubano, we headed to the Cuban restaurant. The first thing we noticed was a walk-up window just for coffee. My travel book said that Cubans like to hang out and chat around the outdoor tables with their families and drink coffee. It’s a social event, a daily ritual and an act of friendship all rolled into one. I was surprised that my fellow cafecito drinkers struck up a conversation with us. A cafecito and friendly conversation go hand in hand.

Bob and Caroline Jasper Enjoying a Cup!
Bob and Caroline Jasper Enjoying a Cup!

If Starbucks could serve a traditional Café Cubano, it would look like this: First, go to a walk-up restaurant window in Miami… or make this at home.

In my 3-cup Imusa espresso maker:
5 Tablespoons Cuban dark roasted coffee, espresso ground
1 cup water
2-4 teaspoons sugar

Serve in a demitasse.

When I ordered a double (colada), the Cuban man behind me smiled and told me I just ordered “rocket fuel.” Can’t wait to visit Cuba before Starbucks moves in! Red Square

Join us on our Cuba Workshop Trip!


November 24 - December 4, 2013 and December 5-17, 2013
Paint Cuba with Bob Burridge
Visit the mystical island that has been off limits to most Americans as we delve into the religious and secular life of everyday Cubans. The experience is sponsored by the Center For Caribbean Religion & Culture and Vantage Travel. The trip includes 43 religious features, 3 UNESCO world heritage sites, sightseeing tours, and at least 30 hours of painting instruction with Bob. This is a country of historical contradictions quickly changing... you will not want to miss this stage of it’s development.

Sponsored by Dillman's Creative Arts Foundation Contact (715) 588-3143 or vacations@dillmans.com www.dillmans.com For more details click here.

Click here for more of my International Workshops - for dates and destinations, materials list and packing tips!. Red Square

Workshops in the Spotlight

May 26-31, 2013
Artist Retreat - Contemporary Abstract Figure Painting & Collage

5-day Workshop (Monday-Friday)
Dillman’s Bay Resort
Dillman's Creative Arts Foundation, Lac du Flambeau, WI
Contact (715) 588-3143 or vacations@dillmans.com

Click here to check out my new Contemporary Figure Painting DVD!

June 7-9, 2013
Wow Your Next Painting with Goof Proof Color Combos

3-day Workshop (Friday-Sunday)
Art Box Studio
1302 Monte Vista, Unit 9, Upland, CA 91786
Contact Sylvia Megerdichian (909) 981-4508 or artboxsylvia@netzero.net www.artboxworkshops.com

July 22-26, 2013
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting

5-Day Workshop (Monday-Friday)
Cloudcroft Art Workshops in New Mexico
Contact Linda Shiplett, (575) 687-2453
or Lshiplett48@yahoo.com
PO Box 1202, Cloudcroft, NM 88317

Lazy Day
Lazy Day

October 7-11, 2013
Plein Air Painting with Bob in Hawaii!
5-day Workshop (Monday-Friday)
Art in the Mountains, Hawaii
Contact Tracy Culbertson (503) 930-4572

PO Box 311, Mehama, OR 97384

Click here for a flyer!

Click here for more of my International Workshops - for dates and destinations, materials list and packing tips!. red square

Recommended Products

Cheap Joe’s Prime Really Good Cradled Painting Panels

Bob’s Painting Panel of Choice
Bobís Painting Panel of Choice

Made from 100% artist grade tung wood, these are the “affordable” alternative to the beautifully made Ampersand panels. Because I “beat up” my painting panels with a cacophony of paint, collage and thick stuff, I don’t really require a superfine surface. I use many of these panels for either a painting (eliminating a canvas) or I use the panels to adhere my watercolor paper pieces on. So – I save on framing, mats and no glass.

The following article was featured in a previous newsletter and is worth repeating here again, since we get many, many emails asking how to glue watercolor paper on canvas. This time it is about gluing my paper paintings on Joe’s Prime Cradled Panels. Important: The panels come in all the standard sizes and depths. red square

How to Glue Watercolor Paper
Paintings on Wood Panels

Special Note: I often demo this in my workshops and later get many emails wanting the step-by-step description of my technique of gluing watercolor paper onto a canvas or wooden panel. I thought this was worth repeating in the ArtsyFartsy News!

No Framing Needed!
No Framing Needed!

In my workshops I mostly paint with acrylic paint on watercolor paper, to save packing a lot of canvases each time. Consequently, after a few months of teaching, I have many, many acrylic paintings on paper to frame for the galleries, festivals, etc. To save money, I figured a way to have a unique gallery presentation and get the job done fast. My thought was to glue 19" x 19" paper paintings onto panels. The panel sides and the top edges were painted grey. The paper was then glued on to the canvas with a 1/2" wood border (color) showing all around. The paper had a deckle edge all around and the end result was a totally cool “hand of the artist” presentation. Just think, wood panels with watercolor paper glued on them. No frame, no mat and no glass. The gallery was delighted with the ease in hanging the panel, no scratched frames or glass breakage AND no bothersome reflections. Now for the step by step.

1. I use 20" x 20" Joe’s Prime Cradled Panel.

Painting the Sides
Painting the Sides

2. I choose a neutral gray color and paint the canvas sides plus an inch or two all around the front. Let dry.

3. The finished art is an acrylic painting on 19" x 19" watercolor paper, 300 lb. Cold Press. Note: This is not a traditional watercolor painting. It’s sealed in an acrylic varnish first.

Squeegee on the Gel Medium
Squeegee on the Gel Medium

4. Using acrylic “regular” gel medium as my adhesive, I squeegee it all over the entire panel surface and ALSO on the back of the watercolor paper. (Remember, the paper surface has already been sealed in an acrylic varnish.)

Position the Paper
Position the Paper

5. While both surfaces are still wet, I position and center the paper on the panel, making sure the 1/2" borders appear even all around.

Starting from the Center
Starting from the Center

6. Using a large moist sponge, towels, work from the center and squeeze out any air bubbles and excess gel medium, making sure the deckle edges are smoothed down as tight as possible. The exposed deckle edge gives the presentation a “crafted” look. I would never try to line up a 20" x 20" paper exactly to the edges - So I show the edge. It is what it is! I don’t try to conceal or hide the technique.

Weight the Top
Weight the Top

7. Position a 24" x 24" plastic sheet (4 ml polyethylene) on top of the mounted painting. Next, I place a 24" x 24", 1/2" thick board on top of the plastic sheet. Finally a weight, such as a full water bucket, goes on top of the board – to squeeze it all down. (Like pressing flowers.)

8. After 24 hours, I remove the weight, the board, the plastic slip sheet. The entire process results in a very strong adhesion of paper to the panel.

Varnish - the Final Step

9. The final step – I brush on a final acrylic varnish over the entire top surface, including the sides. The hanging wire is screwed into the back of the panel frame.

This may sound labor intense but the results are beautiful. It’s lightweight, no frames, no mats and no glass, and is very contemporary. You might ask, why not just paint on the panel? As I said in the beginning, I have many, many paper pieces ready for exhibition and did not want the expense of framing every one. Hey, it’s only an idea I’ve tried and it worked! Try it out and see how you like it! red square

Studio Tips to Keep You Loose!

Castile Soap - A Great Brush Cleaner!
Castile Soap - A Great Brush Cleaner!

If you have been in my workshops, you experimented with the liquid cleaner Citra Solv I use in my art. It dissolves the printing ink into patterns on the pages of National Geographic magazines. Also - I’ve discovered the pure Castile Soap from the same company for super-cleaning my dead brushes. It’s a natural, all-purpose liquid soap with organic essential oils. It’s more concentrated than Murphys Oil Soap... a little goes a long way. It works! Now you know why my bruised brushes last so long.


Click here for printable CitraSolv’s coupon.

Go to CitraSolv’s website (here) to see all their products! Don’t forget to check out their artists’ page with creative projects, online shows and an artists’ gallery.

Bob’s CitraSolv reminder: Use National Geographic magazines – dated after 1978 for the best results. Sprinkle - don’t pour or spray!

Bob's Favorite Brown Tape

Bob’s Favorite Brown Tape
Bobís Favorite Brown Tape

In every workshop I teach, I’m asked about my adhesive tape and where do I get it? I use it for taping everything - from shipping boxes to temporarily hanging my paper samples on the walls. My favorite tape is a Kraft (brown) paper tape from Uline.

It is very sticky, holds heavy things to the wall and peels off without removing the wall paint. This stuff works great as a general, all-purpose, studio tape. www.uline.com - the product is “Pressure Sensitive Kraft Tape.” Minimum order is 24 rolls, I believe.

You can also buy the exact same tape from UHaul.com! You can buy one roll at a time – it’s more expensive that way, but easier to store.

Attention Shoppers… do not buy that lame “blue tape.” It is actually blue “painters tape” for house painters, not painter-painters! This blue tape is designed to be easily removed so consequently it does not hold things to the wall very long or very well. Besides, that blue color tape sticking around the painting is annoying to me. One more thing - do not use “framer’s tape” or cloth tape in a workshop. These tapes are used specifically for other uses and not generally for art studio purposes.

I have more tips for loosening up! Check out my Loosen Up Studio Workbook for more techniques to help you stay loose, relaxed and creative!

Loosen Up Workbook

Click here for product information. red square

We Want to Hear From You!

Keep those Studio Tips and your questions coming! If we use yours in an ArtsyFartsy Newsletter, we will send you a Burridge Permission Mug.

Permission Mug and Wrist Band
Permission Mug and Wrist Band

Oliv from North Carolina asks:
What proportion of water to paint does Bob use to mix paints? My mixtures just don’t flow like I wish they would, but I find that too much water dilutes the color. Should I use a flow medium?

Thanks Oliv! There's no exact percentage. I mix my colors on my table (palette) until I have a soupy mixture that is easy for my brush to pick up and lay down on the painting surface. It's not too dry (like spackling) and not so wet that there's hardly any pigment. It's more important for me that the paint flows off the brush in a wet, fluid manner. I use no flow medium. Flow medium advertises itself that it makes paint wetter. I find this to be absurd. Water is my medium.

Diane from California asks:
Bob, please tell me exactly which synthetic brush I should buy to varnish my paintings with. I know you said synthetic sable, but there are so many I am completely at a loss. I love it because you make everything so simple!

Varnish Brushes
Varnish Brushes

Thanks for your question Diane! My favorite varnish brush is also known as a "synthetic-wash watercolor brush" - I use Cheap Joe's American Journey, green handle, 2" wide brush. More importantly, any brand is fine as long as it does not leave brush marks, such as a cheap hardware store type of brush. red square

Ask Kate about Art Marketing

ASK KATE! With every newsletter, Kate will post your questions and her responses on the subject of marketing, sales, and promotion. If your question is selected for the newsletter, you will receive a Burridge Permission Mug. If you have a burning question that you would like to have answered -- for your benefit and everyone else's -- email Kate at kate@robertburridge.com

We have Art Marketing Workshops Coming Up!

April 21, 2013
Art Marketing for the Busy Artis
1-day Workshop (Sunday)
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA
Contact office@sloma.org (805) 543-8562 ext. 14

August 5-8, 2013
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage + 1-day Art Marketing
4-day Workshop (Monday-Thursday)
Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Contact Linda Nye, Director, (330) 928-8092 cvartcenter@sbcglobal.net

Hot Art Marketing Workbook

Click HERE for details for Hot Art Marketing Workbook.
Click HERE for details for Hot Art Marketing DVD.

Kate Your Art Marketing Girl
Kate Your Art Marketing Girl

Click HERE for top of page.

Products in the Spotlight

We have Two New DVDs!

Contemporary Figure DVD and Improv in the Studio DVD

Contemporary Figure Painting for the Modern Artist
It is about my freestyle of expressive techniques, painting the undraped model and featuring step-by-step action painting with several live model poses.
$24.95 + shipping/handling + sales tax (CA residents).
Click here for more information and to order.

Loosen Up Techniques… Improvisation in the Studio
This DVD features how I begin and paint my abstracts, improvising with only a few art materials. Loosen Up Techniques… Improvisation in the Studio promises to expand your creativity and loosen you up!
$24.95 + shipping/handling + sales tax (CA residents).
Click here for more information and to order.

We have a new Product Ordering Page on our website! It is easier to read and find the products you are looking. Don’t forget to look for the online-only specials! red square

New Series - The Magic Circus

Secret Magician
Secret Magician

In my studio I’ve started a brand new painting series focusing on elements that influenced my childhood play time… circus performances, magic shows, ventriloquism and play the drums! Another “full of wonder journey” for me.

Stack of Rabbits
Stack of Rabbits

A natural progression from my earlier series “Roadside Attractions – Circus Series,” The Magic Circus focuses on performance as well as backstage, on magicians and their rabbits, levitation and disappearing tricks!

Bob in front of Circus Museum Mural
Bob in front of Circus Museum Mural

In February I taught a workshop at Art Center Sarasota – of course I visited the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum (for the third time!) – just the inspirational shot in the arm I needed!

Magic Playhouse and Fancy Pants Magician
Magic Playhouse and Fancy Pants Magician

Click here to view my latest Magic Circus paintings at the Vault Gallery in Cambria, California and on my websit. red square


Loosen Up your “Problem Child” Painting

Studio in Progress
Studio in Progress

When I run into a snag while developing a painting, I finally learned to let it alone, walk away and begin another painting. Over the years, I figured the painting – as well as myself – have to mature, marinate and incubate a bit longer before moving to the next step with confidence. I have hardly ever finished a painting the same day I started it. It removes the “time table” factor from the equation and frees me up to play and experiment more.

One day a week I pull one “failed” painting out of the rising stack of turkeys and I put it in front of me. It’s humbling! I review my goals for that painting – my intentions, my color combo and my composition. And then, since I’m not in love with it, turn left with splashes of acrylic fluid paints and dyes and begin scrumbling.

Series of Pears
Series of Pears

While wet, I sprinkle (not spray) small drops of isopropyl alcohol rubbing alcohol (71 or 90 – no matter) over the still wet painting. This creates surprises and small ringlet designs and patterns. When dried, I do it again with a different palette and more alcohol. And finally, when all is dried and I’m liking the new found patterns, I paint towards my goals, my intentions or my dream painting. Ya gotta have a dream! If you don’t dream... you can’t be reached. red square


If you are one of “those kinds” who look towards the future and positive possibilities, chances are you already know about TED. Get the app – google it – listen to Ted Radio! Ongoing series of brief talks from original thinkers presenting their usually cool ideas with a techno bent. Very entertaining, very enlightening and hopeful for me to know that beautiful minds are still not wasted.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design: www.Ted.com red square

Bob and Holbein Paint

Thank You Subscribers!
Free Gift with Purchase

We have a new “Gift with Purchase” – a Permission Wrist Band to remind you to paint the way you have always wanted to paint!

Permission Wrist Band
Permission Wrist Band

Another gift with purchase is a new "Creative Painter... This is You" chart (see chart below). 8-1/2 x 11 inches on glossy card stock paper! We will also have the new charts and wristbands at our workshop!

Creative Painter... This is You
Creative Painter... This is You

Pre-Gesso Tip

Pre-Gesso Tip
Pre-Gesso Tip

Many times I have gessoed the paper only to find out later on that I could not tell which side was my gessoed side! This tip falls under the category of “Duh…” – I now put a sweeping pencil mark on the back side before I gesso! Since watercolor paper has two front sides, you decide which is your front and back. Pencil the back, gesso the front! red square

More Recommends!

Check out these great new books…

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (December 31, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1591846072
ISBN-13: 978-1591846079
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
(buy at Amazon)

The Muse is In by Jill Badonsky

The Muse is In: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity by Jill Badonsky
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Running Press (January 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0762444673
ISBN-13: 978-0762444670
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
(buy at Amazon)

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (February 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0761169253
ISBN-13: 978-0761169253
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 6 inches
(buy at Amazon) red square

Bob's Favorite Magazine

Modern Painters magazine

I’m often asked what magazines I subscribe to. In the next several newsletters, I will talk about my favorites!

It’s true. Too many books, too little time. Especially with artists’ magazines. Solution: I have been reading for months now, my favorite monthly publication – Modern Painters. The name says it all. It’s contemporary, up to date, sophisticated, yet edgy.

The art and articles tend to be radically cross-disciplinary, post medium and global. A monthly, large format magazine I actually read! It keeps me on my toes with current painters’ news, thoughtful interviews, reviews and features. They have a blog too! Visit . Website is www.artinfo.com.

Modern Painters
Format: Magazine
Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
Publisher: Louise Blouin Media
(buy at Amazon)
red square

DVD Revisted
Herb Vogel... In Memorium

Herb & Dorothy, You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art

If you remember my DVD review of Herb & Dorothy Vogel you may recall the 60s New York art scene. On a postal clerks salary, they collected important contemporary art with very modest means. The Vogels were truly curatorial visionaries. Herb passed away in October 2012 in New York.

Artists like Warhol, Close and Schnabel owe much of their success to such a humble couple and to Mr. Vogel’s salary. You don’t have to be rich to collect the art you love.

Herb & Dorothy, You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art.
A film by Megumi SasakiActors: Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close
Directors: Megumi Sasaki
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
Run Time: 89 minutes
(buy at Amazon) red square

New Music for Bob

Sofa Chiller Vol. 1

Sofa Chiller Vol. 1 (Chill Lounge for Sofa Surfers)
Label: Lounge & Dance Company
Copyright: (c) Lounge & Dance Company
Total Length: 1:28:27
Genres: Dance & DJ
(buy at Amazon)

Pina Colada and Other Early Tunes by Digby Jones

Pina Colada and Other Early Tunes
by Digby Jones
Label: Sublime Music
Released Feb 13, 2006
Genres: Electronic red square

Following up!...

Using Mats during a Fund Raiser
Using Mats during a Fund Raiser

Last October my favorite and most recommended mat supplier Documounts closed their doors. Yikkes!

We have just ordered and received our first batch of 12x16 mats from Matboard&More.com. We are very pleased with their product and their professionalism. Their website is easy to use – if you want different drop-out dimensions or weighted bottoms, they will customize at no additional charge!

We will be exploring some other companies too and will pass on our further recommendations. I will always recommend using local businesses for mat cutting, framing and art supplies.

Matboard&More.com did a great job! They have super customer service. We could always talk to a person! We are up and running. Click here to check them out on Pinterest. red square

Thanks for the Shirt, Tom!
Thanks for the Shirt, Tom!

“Jump and the Net will Appear!”

Robert Burridge
Burridge Workshop for Artists

Copyright ©2014 Robert Burridge. All rights reserved.
If you wish to copy this material to other publications or mail lists, please ask for permission by contacting:
Robert Burridge Studio
Arroyo Grande, California

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