1. I Love Yupo ... When I work on Yupo, I get lots of questions about the process. After all, Yupo has a slick synthetic surface completely different from the usual look and feel of watercolor papers such as Arches.
"Tangled on Xanadu", the painting on the right that is currently in Crossroads Art Center in Richmond, Virginia, features Yupo attached with matte acrylic medium to a gallery-wrapped canvas. It is an experimental painting in many ways because of my methods of applying intense Robert Doak watercolors to the Yupo and because it is on canvas and not under glass.
I discovered Yupo in the mid-1990s while taking a workshop with Mary Alice Braukman in Williamsburg. At the time, we experimented briefly with alcohol inks dripped on the surface and moved around with alcohol sprays. The color shifted and moved as it dried, making it fun to watch. I was hooked on the paper that wasn't. I did some research and found that Yupo, used for printing, was manufactured in Chesapeake, Virginia. Since it was not far away, I went to the plant and was given a variety of samples of some very large sheets of Yupo in all the different weights they made at the time. I was thrilled. The experimentation continued.
It was not until I discovered Mary Ann Beckwith in 2004 that I uncovered the most exciting aspects of working with Yupo. She introduced me to the amazing and intense Robert Doak paints that he created in his Brooklyn, New York studio. Playing and spraying paint on heavyweight sheets of Yupo produced art pieces like nothing I had ever seen before. I loved it. Mary Ann used her background in chemistry, inspired by her chemist father, to lead her students to the discovery of exciting creative results using a variety of materials.
Thanks to the wonderful teachers I have encountered along the way and the growth of the Yupo market, my journey in experimental work has grown and expanded. The more I learn about working on Yupo, the more my joy increases.
"I Love Yupo" is the title of the demonstration I plan to give at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond during the Open House on May 18. Please come visit me in my gallery space there, 6 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 23, 2 to 4 p.m. I'll have work on Yupo to explain the process and to show visitors during the "Paris Picnic" event at Prince George Art and Frame on Jamestown Road in Williamsburg. Other gallery artists will be working and demonstrating as well.
"I Love Yupo"
Mary Montague Sikes
Crossroads Art Center
May 18, 2018
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Lecture on Using Yupo
Prince George Art
and Frame Shop
June 23, 2018
2:00 - 4:00 pm
2. We are Proud of Amy ... We are so proud of our daughter Amy Sikes who received a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning, and Leadership in Higher Education Administration from the College of William and Mary during on-campus graduation ceremonies, Saturday, May 12. She completed her degree in six and a half years while working full-time at the College of William and Mary. During that period, she received four scholarships and fellowships: the David W. Leslie Research Award for outstanding dissertation research (twice), the Barbara M. Welch Graduate Fellowship, and the Avon Scholarship to Support Outstanding Women in Education
3. An Artful Animal Alphabet ... An Artful Animal Alphabet features my paintings of favorite animals. This is a hardcover book both children and adults will enjoy because it is a colorful read and also a fun coffee table book for those with a special love of animals. Old Pompey, the last alligator that lived in the lobby of the Jefferson Hotel, is featured in the beginning of my book.
Friday, June 22, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Book Signing for An Artful Animal Alphabet
William and Mary Barnes and Noble Bookstore
My book is also available at Arts on Main in Gloucester, Crossroads Art Center in Richmond, New Town Barnes and Noble in Williamsburg, Amazon and Barnes and Noble on line and more.