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Events at Wet Paint News This just in! New products we are excited about

Wet Paint 9th Annual Summer Post Card Project

Draw, paint, or mix up your media on a postcard-sized paper and mail it to Wet Paint! We’re putting together an exhibition of mail art from our friends and fans wherever they may be. As postcards arrive, we will photograph them to share on our social media pages and then display them in our storefront windows.

postcardimage15

There’s no limit to how many postcards you can send, but in order to participate, postcards have to arrive at Wet Paint via our friendly postal carrier – – no dropping them off at the store! Don’t forget to sign your postcard(s) and let us know how to reach you. We want to make sure we’re crediting you when we post the work online.

We’ll also have a closing celebration event August 25th from 3-5pm!

General Guidelines:
-We are a family-friendly shop, so please tailor your images & words to be suitable for viewers of all ages.
-We reserve the right to not display postcards that we feel are inappropriate for this activity.
-All artwork must be original.
-In order to have your postcard displayed in our windows, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 20th, 2022.
-All participating mail art must arrive at Wet Paint via US Mail.
-Keep in mind that postcards will “wear” a bit depending on how far they travel- which is part of the fun of mail art!
-Contact your local post office for shipping and postage information.
-Send one or send one every week! We’ve got big windows!

See all the postcards from previous years in our Facebook Albums here!

This year we’ve also put together a Custom Postcard Supply Kit with blank postcards from Etchr and the fabulous Durer Watercolor Pencils from Faber-Castell! Check out the list of supplies below, or click here for more information!

Plus! See the kit items in action in this video from LizLand!

Kit includes:

  • 3 Faber-Castell Durer Watercolor Pencils: Phthalo Blue, Geranium Lake, & Cadmium Yellow
  • 5 Etchr Cold Press 230gsm Watercolor Postcards
  • 1 Faber Graphite Aquarelle 4B Pencil
  • 1 Sakura Gelly Roll Pen White Medium
  • 1 Sakura Pigma Micron 10 Pen in Black
  • 1 Sakura Koi Waterbrush in Small
  • 5 USPS Forever Postcard postage stamps
  • BONUS pre-addressed stamped postcard to send to Wet Paint!

Wet Paint Address:

Wet Paint
Summer Postcard Project
1684 Grand Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105

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In depth with Darin This just in! New products we are excited about

Meet our Exclusive Schmincke Horadam Wintertide Set

It’s been almost three years since our last Schmincke Horadam Custom ½ pan watercolor set, so we wanted to make the 2021 model extra special.  With this in mind, we present the Horadam Wintertide Set! 

We’ve hand-picked 12 colors inspired by our beautiful Minnesota winters, including limited edition color Ice Blue that’s only available as a ½ pan in this set…some are cool like a January shadow, some are neutral like a leafless oak, and some have a hint of glistening sparkle like the sun dancing on powdery snow. 

The black enameled tin is emblazoned with the name of your favorite art supply store on one side, and the Schmincke owl on the other.  Inside the tin, there’s room for an additional 12 ½ pans…add your favorites to personalize your set!  Outside the tin, there’s a band featuring the abstract work of Wet Paint’s own Justin Terlecki…painted with colors from the set, of course.

Here are the colors included in the set:

  1. Ice Blue (exclusive ½ pan color for Wet Paint!)
  2. 355 Transparent Red Deep
  3. 491 Paris Blue
  4. 480 Mountain Blue
  5. 473 Cobalt Violet Hue
  6. 207 Vanadium Yellow
  7. 217 Quinacridone Gold
  8. 528 Prussian Green
  9. 665 Green Umber
  10. 787 Payne’s Grey Bluish
  11. Special Edition White Gold
  12. Special Edition Pearl Blue

This is a limited edition…unlike our winters (stupid April snow!), once they’re gone they’re really gone! Click here to shop

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News This just in! New products we are excited about

Meet the new/old Holga camera

For this year’s Holiday Catalog, we’ve included an unusual item that we thought might need a bit more information for anyone considering it on their holiday wish lists: a Holga 135BC 35mm film camera.

Your first thought might be “hey, is Wet Paint selling photography supplies?” and the short answer is no. The longer answer is that we found these Holga toy cameras to be really fun and know that most artists like to play with various mediums, including photography, either to document work or to add into their work through collage, image transfer, or digitally.

Plus, there’s truly nothing like the look of analog film (that’s what all those social media photo filters are trying to emulate, anyway)! So, we thought we’d give it a try since it makes a great gift for artists and those who don’t think they have an artistic bone in their body. I purchased a Holga this fall and have been playing with it a bit, so wanted to share some info and my experience with it.

Here’s the basic info:

-It maybe goes without saying, but this camera requires 35mm film, so you will not be able to delete or see these photos until the film is developed – more on that below.

-It’s made of plastic, does not have a flash, and does not use batteries. What all that means is that it is best used outside during the day, and requires you, the user, to advance the film manually – more on that below, too.

-This particular model 135BC features “bent corners” (hence BC) which creates vignetting around the corners of the picture, softness at the edges, and random light leaks – all to give you that unique, dreamy finished product. No filtering/editing is required. See some of my recent photo examples below.

Film Developing

Locally there are a few options to get film developed and also purchase more film or other photography supplies. This blog post by Lens Lurker does a really nice job of outlining the local Twin Cities Metro businesses and what each one offers. On a personal note, I got my film developed at West Photo, and in addition to developing the photos, they also did digital scans at the same time so I didn’t have to do that myself. Just be sure to include a USB drive when you drop off your rolls of film so you’re not charged extra for that service. It took a week to get them all back.

There are also a few mail-in services online to consider. I’ve used The Darkroom out of California for film developing and they also send prints with digital scans and negatives (no need to send a USB). It’s relatively easy and cost effective, but does take longer to get your photos back.

Within the Twin Cities Metro, here are three places to get film developed:

Other notes for taking photos with the Holga

As mentioned above, this camera does not have a battery, so it does not self-advance the film. Meaning that if you forget (or choose not) to wind the film to the next frame, you can create multiple exposure images.  These are images where one photo has literally been taken on top of another photo before advancing the film. I played around with that quite a bit and really love the results (see below).

I recommend using a tripod (the camera has a mount for one on the bottom) if you plan on attempting something like my “ghost chairs” shot (above) as you’ll want to keep the camera as steady as possible.

Because the camera does not have a flash (but technically can take one using the hot shoe mount), it’s really best for use in outdoor daylight. I did attempt some daytime indoor shots, but they really didn’t turn out well (basically all black). There are some settings/film types/additional lighting options that can help you to use this camera indoors, so I’d recommend first reading the instruction manual (included with your Holga) and then plan to do some research and experimentation.

Related to that, for all the photos above I used the same film that’s included with our Holga: Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 ISO color film. I’ve also used Ilford Super XP2 400 ISO C41 Black & White film – this film is black and white, but can be processed like normal color 35mm rolls of film, so you don’t need to go anywhere special for film developing. I’m currently trying a roll of CineStill 800T color film designed for low light, and am looking forward to seeing the results.

Based on my limited experience, I’d say most of the basic color 400 ISO 35mm film would work well for the Holga. There are obviously a ton of film types out there, but keep in mind there are also a lot of other factors that can effect a finished photograph apart from the film, so plan on doing a little experimentation.

Lastly, I’ll just say that a quick read of the very short instruction manual that comes with the Holga is worth your time – especially if you don’t have experience with 35mm film cameras. It’s a super simple camera to use (it is considered a toy camera, after all), but sometimes there are other factors that will ruin a roll of film (I ripped my first roll of film by not starting and winding it correctly) that may have been avoided had I read the manual first. Knowing a little more before you jump in will hopefully get you better results, but keep in mind that part of the fun of these cameras is not knowing how the pictures will turn out. As like much of the art making process, some of the best results are in the happy accidents.

Want to try it out for yourself? We have a very limited number of these Holga Cameras to purchase at the store. Click here to shop.

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In depth with Darin News

It’s our sapphire anniversary

In 1976, Hugh Huelster took the “art supply corner” out of The Hungry Mind bookstore and into its own, standalone space one block down the street…and Wet Paint was born!  There have been two ownership changes (Hugh’s Macalester College classmate, Beth Bergman, bought Wet Paint in 1984, and long time employees Darin Rinne & Scott Fares bought it from Beth in 2017) and three moves (all in the same block, with the last move to our current location in 1993) since then, but one thing that hasn’t changed in 45 years of existence is our commitment to serving our wonderful creative community.  We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you!  And – speaking of not being here – most of our staff wasn’t even alive when Wet Paint started; as one who was, that’s a sobering thought!  It made me wonder what the seven of us who were around in 1976 were doing when Wet Paint first opened its doors.  For me, my first (and only) publishing credit comes from that year, as the original copy of the book I wrote, illustrated, and bound with staples – The Evil Book of Vampires – was received into my elementary school library…I wonder if it has been deaccessioned?

Paper Department Manager, Verra Blough:

“I was in high school in California playing tennis & waitressing at the local Sizzler.”

Floor Manager, Greg Graham:

“I drove to Provincetown, Massachusetts from Albany, New York with my friend, Sue, to enter our prints in an exhibition juried by Robert Motherwell; neither of us were accepted.”

Framer/Custom Services Manager, Kate Katzer was born in 1976, so she – like we – is celebrating her 45th this year!

Co-owner, Scott Fares:

“July 4, 1976 I was in the Webster Groves Community Days parade riding in the back of a big, red International Scout truck that was towing an eight foot tall firecracker which had been built and upholstered in red velvet by my dad and grandfather. There was another kid in there with me that was singing two lines from the Carpenter’s song  “Top of the World” over and over. It made for a long parade.”

Programming Manager, Virginia McBride:

“I was traipsing around Europe turning 21 and seeing all the art and architecture I had only seen in black and white in Janson’s Art History textbook.”

Justin Terlecki:

“In 1976, I was two years old and just learning to draw and paint. I have faint memories of sitting at the kitchen table with my Crayola crayons while the radio played the sweet sounds of the Carpenters “Close to You.”

Man…The Carpenters were huge in the ‘70’s.

A 22-year old Darin Rinne checking in brushes at Wet Paint

Wet Paint has been a part of my life since Beth first hired me in 1988…when a number of our staff still weren’t born!  Over this time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of smart, talented & interesting people, young & old.  Like with my six “1976 & before” compatriots above, Wet Paint has become my career – a place to work for & with like minded folks.  It’s an honor & a privilege for Scott & I to provide the same meaningful employment to our team that Beth & Hugh provided to us and those before.  On the occasion of this anniversary, I’m excited to think about the next generation that finds a lifelong home at Wet Paint…and takes it into the next 45 years!

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Events at Wet Paint News

Wet Paint’s 8th Annual Summer Postcard Project

Draw, paint, or mix up your media on a postcard-sized paper and mail it to Wet Paint! We’re putting together an exhibition of mail art from our friends and fans wherever they may be. As postcards arrive, we will photograph them to share on our social media pages and then display them in our storefront windows.

postcardimage15

There’s no limit to how many postcards you can send, but in order to participate, postcards have to arrive at Wet Paint via our friendly postal carrier – – no dropping them off at the store! Don’t forget to sign your postcard(s) and let us know how to reach you. We want to make sure we’re crediting you when we post the work online.

We’ll also have a closing celebration event August 27th from 3-5pm!

General Guidelines:
-We are a family-friendly shop, so please tailor your images & words to be suitable for viewers of all ages.
-We reserve the right to not display postcards that we feel are inappropriate for this activity.
-All artwork must be original.
-In order to have your postcard displayed in our windows, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 20th, 2021.
-All participating mail art must arrive at Wet Paint via US Mail.
-Keep in mind that postcards will “wear” a bit depending on how far they travel- which is part of the fun of mail art!
-Contact your local post office for shipping and postage information.
-Send one or send one every week! We’ve got big windows!

This year we’ve also put together a Custom Postcard Supply Kit with blank postcards from Hahnemühle and the popular Museum Watercolor Pencils from Caran d’Ache! Check out the list of supplies below, or click here for more information!

See all the postcards in our Facebook Albums here, and this year’s album here!

Kit includes:

  • 5 Caran d’Ache Museum Pencils – Genuine Cobalt Blue (662), Light Cadmium Red (560), Dark Olive (249), Yellow (010), and Sepia 50% (906)
  • 5 Hahnemühle Cold Press 230gsm Watercolor Postcards
  • 1 Sakura Pigma Micron 05 Pen in Black
  • 1 Sakura Koi Waterbrush in Small
  • 5 USPS Forever Postcard postage stamps
  • BONUS pre-addressed stamped postcard to send to Wet Paint! 

Wet Paint Address:

Wet Paint
Summer Postcard Project
1684 Grand Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105

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In depth with Darin News

Status of the Store – 7/27

For the first time in four months, Wet Paint is open for shopping.  With the mask mandate in place, and the relatively measured spread of Covid 19 in Minnesota (don’t screw it up, Minnesota!), we felt like it was time to welcome customers back into the store.  That said, it’s still not business as usual:

– you have to wear a mask that covers your nose & mouth…no exceptions

– to facilitate social distancing, no more than five customers in the shop at one time

– limit your visit to 15 minutes or less

We have staff on hand to help expedite your visit.  Need a lot of help?  Consider calling ahead with your questions so we’re best prepared to find the right solutions for your needs. 

Along with opening our doors, we’re also expanding our hours…not quite to where they were in the before-times, but more than what they’ve been recently.  We’re now here to serve you all seven days from 10:00am – 6:00pm.

Is curbside pickup still available? Yes!-We’re continuing our curbside and delivery services.  Call, email, or order online Monday through Friday…your curbside pickup order will be ready the same day, usually within one hour. For weekend pickup please call the store to place your order. Orders over $50 can be delivered to Minneapolis or St. Paul addresses Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday.  And, remember: wetpaintart.com is open 24 hours/day and we ship all over the world. 

Our framing counter is not yet ready to reopen. Please check before bringing your artwork to the shop.

We appreciate your patience as we do our best to offer our best possible service. We look forward to seeing you again! 

Darin Rinne, Co-owner

Categories
Events at Wet Paint News

Wet Paint’s 7th Annual Summer Postcard Project

Draw, paint, or mix up your media on a postcard-sized paper and mail it to Wet Paint! We’re putting together an exhibition of mail art from our friends and fans wherever they may be. As postcards arrive, we will photograph them to share on our social media pages and then display them in our storefront windows.

postcardimage15There’s no limit to how many postcards you can send, but in order to participate, postcards have to arrive at Wet Paint via our friendly postal carrier – – no dropping them off at the store! Don’t forget to sign your postcard(s) and let us know how to reach you. We want to make sure we’re crediting you when we post the work online.

General Guidelines:
-We are a family-friendly shop, so please tailor your images & words to be suitable for viewers of all ages.
-We reserve the right to not display postcards that we feel are inappropriate for this activity.
-All artwork must be original.
-In order to have your postcard displayed in our windows, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 14th, 2020.
-All participating mail art must arrive at Wet Paint via US Mail.
-Keep in mind that postcards will “wear” a bit depending on how far they travel- which is part of the fun of mail art!
-Contact your local post office for shipping and postage information.
-Send one or send one every week! We’ve got big windows!

Wet Paint Address:

Wet Paint
Summer Postcard Project
1684 Grand Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105

Categories
News

Status of the Store – Monday 5/18

WPfallsunshineWe decided early on in this pandemic that our first priority is to protect our staff and customers as best we can.  Even though we received a “Critical Sector” exemption from the Office of the Governor, we opted to close completely for two weeks.  And when we have been open, we’ve only done “contactless” business…curbside pickup, shipping and delivery.  Well, now the Governor of Minnesota has allowed the “lockdown” order to expire after many weeks and a couple of extensions, and retail stores now have the option to bring in their employees and customers while following safety guidelines. What will this mean for Wet Paint?

Darin and I have discussed this with other stores locally and with our friends at art stores around the country. That’s been very enlightening, as each state moves through this at a different rate and every store is different. Uniformly, though, we are agreed that the nature of this pandemic hasn’t changed. While our hospitals are better prepared for more cases than they were in early April there is still a real and significant risk from this disease to our community and our staff. If infection rates change we might be back into a restricted status at some point, potentially in cycles, for quite a while. We expect that a large number of our customers will still prefer to shop with us without the additional risk of coming into the store so we will need to continue to offer curbside pickup and delivery. We are operating with a reduced staff and have altered many of our processes to make our current system as efficient as possible. Opening our front door to meter in a few people at a time to browse would require additional resources that we frankly don’t have to keep everyone protected…and the shopping experience would be pretty crappy, since we’ve reconfigured everything to make curbside pickup and delivery work well.

So, we will continue to do our very best to provide great service and products via our contactless methods, and will absolutely innovate everywhere that we can to make that better.  But until something significant changes in the way this virus behaves, or can be treated or prevented, we will continue doing business as we have been doing. Thanks for your support and thanks for keeping art in your life.

Be well and stay safe!

-Scott

Wanna shop with us? Check out our protocols for contactless shopping with us during the pandemic.

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In depth with Darin News

Status of the Store – Monday 4/13

WPfallsunshineWe’re back!  Although we received a “Critical Sector” exemption from the Office of the Governor prior to the original “Stay at Home” decree, we thought it was in the best interests of our community to go dark for two weeks…it wasn’t an easy decision, but we all have to do our part, right?  Scott and I still came into the shop every day to work on projects and respond to customer questions via e mail, and many of those questions were the same: “Why aren’t you open?”  A lot of people are depending on us for their school, professional, and “stay at home” supplies!  So…we’re gonna try to strike a balance: abundance of caution meets pandemic-style retailing:

  • We’ll be on site 10:00am – 5:00pm Monday thru Saturday.  Place your orders on our website, via e mail, or by phone during these hours. We have minimal staffing, so thanks for your patience!
  • Orders received by 1:00pm will be available for curbside pickup after 2:00pm.*
  • Need your order delivered?  Delivery to addresses in Minneapolis or St. Paul is free for orders over $50.00.**

We look forward to safely serving your creative supply needs…thanks for your continued support!

Darin

*More about curbside pickup: Pickup hours are from 2:00-5:00 only.  After we confirm your pickup will be ready, head on over during that time. Call the store when you arrive and we’ll place your order on the pickup table outside our front door.
**More about delivery: If we have it in stock, we’ll deliver your $50+ order to your Minneapolis or St. Paul address within 24 hours.  Live outside of the core cities?  We can still deliver for a nominal fee…let’s talk!

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In depth with Darin News

Status of the Store – Thursday

WPfallsunshine

In compliance with Governor Walz’ “Stay at Home” order for the State of Minnesota, we’re planning to close Wet Paint from Saturday, March 28th thru Sunday, April 12th, unless we’re asked by the state to continue providing services to the community.  We’ll send an update outlining the scope of these services if we receive this request.

For today, we’re open for curbside pickup or shipping of orders placed over the phone, on our website (www.wetpaintart.com), or e mailed (sales@wetpaintart.com) from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  Same thing tomorrow.  If you need creative supplies to get you thru the next two weeks, we’re still here for you.

Please note that our custom picture framing services have been suspended for both consultation and production during this time. Custom work will resume as soon as we are able.

If nothing else changes, we will reopen on Monday, April 13th, when the “Stay at Home” order has concluded with this same level of service – curbside pickup & shipping, no browsing, with the eventual goal of bringing all of our staff back & reopening the store for browsing – back to “normal” – when the bars and restaurants reopen in Minnesota (tentatively scheduled by the Governor for May 1st at 5:00pm).

-Darin