Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be write

The holidays are the perfect time to give the gift of fine writing…at the very least you can expect a hand written thank you from your friend, colleague or loved one!  We’ve been emphasizing both classic and contemporary pens & pencils at Wet Paint all this year…Scott and I have searched the world over to provide a fun, comprehensive selection for you.  We brought that emphasis to our Holiday Catalog, where we’re featuring a bunch of our favorite utensils…let’s turn the spotlight on a few of them:

resinpensIt hardly gets more classic than Manuscript’s “1856” resin barreled fountain pens.  The translucent resin almost seems to glow from inside, with pattern and light ebbing & flowing as the pen moves.  The medium-sized, steel handwriting nib glides smoothly over the page, applying ink from either a universal cartridge or a converter (both included).  We brought in our three favorite colors: “Northern Lights” – a deep pearlescent blue with yellow marbled stripes…it reminded us of the Wet Paint colors; “Red Storm” – a fiery red with swirling white patterns; and “Oyster Mist” – a handsome ivory colored pen with striations that look like a museum-quality geological discovery.  The person that gets one of these is gonna smile every time they use their pen!  Each 1856 comes packaged in a gift box.  And – did I mention they’re on sale?

If the “1856” is a little too formal, may I suggest Caran d’Ache’s “849 Series” metal barreled fountain pens?  The bold, rounded-edge hexagonal barrels are made of aluminum…they look heavier than they actually are.  Both the barrel and the stainless steel nib are super durable; the pens boast a lifetime warranty for a reason!  The calling card of the “849,” though, is the barrel colors: a range of “can’t miss ‘em” fluorescents; sleek, glossy, contemporary white; and matte, industrial-looking black or blue.  The decision to get one is easy, deciding which one to get is the hard part.  To make it easier, they’re on sale – so you can get more than one.

Blackwing Pencils continue to be hugely popular at Wet Paint.  The smooth, dark graphite lines…the distinctive square ferrule that holds the distinctive (and refillable!) square eraser…the unique, “blink & you’ll miss them” limited edition themed pencils…dreamy!  With this in mind, we brought in two great gift ideas for the Blackwing enthusiast: the Pencil Roll and the Desk Set.  The former is a durable, waxed canvas roll that comes with five pencils and has space for a pad and a sharpener (not included).  (Speaking of pads…we just received some brand new blank and dot grid books from Blackwing…just sayin’.)  The Desk Set comes with eight of each “standard style” Blackwing pencil – 24 pencils in all – plus a coveted long-point sharpener.  This bounty is packaged in the most handsome pear wood box that you’ve ever seen.  Wow, would that box look nice on somebody’s desk.

 

Lamy Gift Sets aren’t in the catalog…but they’re a super good deal, so I will tell you about them.  These sets pair a dashing Filofax notebook with a Lamy fountain pen: choose a red notebook with White Safari (extra fine nib); a magenta notebook with a Black Purple Safari (fine nib); or a lime green notebook with a super rare Charged Green Al Star (extra fine nib).  They’re already in a box appropriate for gifting…your work is done!

Also not in our catalog, but really new and really cool, is the William Mitchell Mapping & Drawing pen with reversible nib.  The short, plastic quill-style nib holder conceals a hidden super-fine metal nib…flip it around when you’re ready to write or draw; flip it back when you’re done.  No more broken nibs or poked fingers!  Now you just need a bottle of ink to dip the pen in…

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Oh, look at that: it’s Herbin’s new “1798” Amethyste De L’Oural ink…right on cue!  This deep, rich purple ink has an appealing silvery lustre…perfect for shimmery, hand-lettered highlights or penning your Minnesota Vikings dream season remembrances.  “Amethyste” is the first in a series of new ink colors that will make up the Jacques Herbin 1798 Collection…get in at the beginning!  The jars themselves are as beautiful as the ink.


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Ara’s Top Picks for Kid’s Art Supplies

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Guest blogger, Ara, with her 3 children

Hello!
I am writing to share my top picks for art inspired gift giving for kids. I am a local artist, author and illustrator- but more importantly, I am a mother of 3 children- ages 9, 7, and 5. I have a background in early childhood education, and many, many years of teaching, creating and making joyful messes with children. I am frequently asked what I would suggest purchasing for kids to encourage creation and inspire creativity. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to get children REAL art supplies. Yes, they are a bit more money, but I have seen firsthand the difference in quality of art and love of making when children are given higher quality art supplies. Skip the big box sets of “100 ITEMS!” – most of which are lost, broken, dried out and faded within hours of opening. Instead, opt in for a few simple, but vibrant supplies, that are sure to make satisfying and stunning pieces of art. I am fiercely devoted to shopping at Wet Paint for materials, because the selection, vibe, and staff are beyond excellent.

1. A Utility sketch book
These guys are nice, heavy paper for any kind of drawing, bound like a book, and a full 288 pages! We keep a couple in the car for drawing when “bored”, my kids travel with them, and have one next to their bed for late night drawing. I love that they’re bound, because it allows a collection of art (288 pages!) to be saved easily.

2. Playcolor
These bright solid paint sticks are my most recommended to parents who are looking to get something new and interesting. They are capped like a marker, but smooth like a paint. They are deeply satisfying to draw with, almost like a lipstick. They dry fast, are not very messy, and come in varieties like metallic and textile. I think kids as young 3 and as old as me would enjoy these!

3Yarka Watercolor Palette
Yarka’s palettes are semi-moist, vibrant watercolors. These are SOOOO much better than those dried out, barely there color, other brand watercolor paint palettes we all used in school. Creamier and brighter, kids love painting with these. I especially love watercolors with kids if the paper is wet from a spray bottle or big brush. Watching the colors swirl and mix is so much fun process, and if you use a decent watercolor paper, the images can be saved for gift wrapping, card making, and other fun crafts.

4Niji Watercolor
A step up, for my kids, is a tube or liquid watercolor. The Niji brand is affordable, and kids love to squeeze a bit of paint onto a palette and mix it up with water. It’s also great for learning how to color mix and creating unique shades. Wet Paint also carries two other already mixed liquid watercolors, which are also fantastic.

5. Watercolor Paper
I like the Strathmore vision watercolor pad. It isn’t top shelf paper, but it is a million times better than flimsy kid craft paper. You get 30 sheets for $10, and end up with frame-able kid art and great watercolor abstracts for various paper projects.

6Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons
One of my personal favorite art supplies, I use these crayons for almost all of my base sketches, and my children use them whenever they color. I think they are brighter and smoother than a typical crayon, and they are amazing with watercolors or inks as a resist. Plus, beeswax is a natural and renewable resource, unlike petroleum-based paraffin of other crayons.

7Ampersand Art Panels
I have used art panels in many of the classes I’ve taught to young artists. I always ask them, “how do you like painting on the panels?” And everytime they all say IT IS SO MUCH FUN. The Ampersand art panels come in many finishes, and I love them all. My favorites are basswood and claybord, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. They are smooth, sturdy, and hold endless amount of material (so they’ll never get soggy like paper, no matter how much paint your kids pile on). Kids feel VERY proud of art made on these panels, because they are instantly ready to gallery hang, which makes any artist feel legit.

8. Claytoon
Pretty clay in fun packs of four colors, and it never dries out. Unlike other clays, it isn’t crumbly, and so less messy and easier to clean up. Soft and smooth clay is easier to create detail work, and to sculpt into the perfect figure. I suggest getting a lidded plastic pan/tray, that the clay can be kept in. Then it is easier to tidy up, and keeps it all in one spot. Bonus- add a couple IWAKO Japanese mini animal erasers to your clay tray. My kids love to sculpt tiny furniture and gardens and lands in the tray for the eraser guys to live in. Tiny clay bunkbed with a tiny eraser bunny = CUTE.

9. Marabu Art Crayons
Somewhere between Playcolor and watercolors, is the new Marabu Art Crayons. Silky and satisfying like Playcolor, they are a joy to draw with. But add in a paint brush and cup of water, and they turn to pretty washes and blends. These come in sets, or a la carte, for the perfect set of favorite colors.

10. Yupo Paper
Yupo is fun paper to play with and experiment new techniques on. I can’t imagine any child wouldn’t love it! It is silky smooth and lush, and with ink or markers is complete joy. Our kids love to use the Sakura Gelly Roll pens on it, or the Touch brush markers. The markers just saturate the paper with color, and the gelly rolls are glossy and glittery.

11. Kuretake Bimoji Pen
My favorite pen, for drawing, sketching and writing. We can’t keep enough of these in our house. Everyone loves them. Solid black, smooth, felt tip, they are great for outlines and detailed drawing work.

12. Cigar Boxes
Now that you have all the supplies, make sure you grab a $3 cigar box. Cigar boxes are the best! When I was kid I kept all my crayons in my grandpa’s old cigar boxes, and so it is nostalgic for me. But besides that, they are appealing to look at, practical for storage, stackable, sturdy, and a great size for almost anything.

I also love: Amsterdam acrylic inksGelly Roll pens, Papermate felt tips, Sakura Micron Pens, Molotow paint markersStrathmore blank cards/envelopesArt Graf carbon disc + Aquash water brush, and Traveler pocket journal sketch

Here are some lovely combos:

Basswood art panel + Beeswax crayons + Niji watercolors + cigar box
Basswood art panel + Playcolor + cigar box
Basswood Art Panel + Marabu Art Crayons + cigar box
Claybord Art Panel + Amsterdam acrylic inks + beeswax crayons + cigar box
Utility sketchbook + Gelly pens + Yupo
Utility sketchbook + Kuretake Bimoji Pen
Yupo paper + Kuretake Bimoji Pen + Touch Brush Markers + cigar box
Yupo paper + Gelly Pens + IWAKO eraser for cuteness + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Niji or Yarka watercolors + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Marabu Art Crayons + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Art Graf carbon disc + Aquash water brush
Claytoon + IWAKO erasers + storage container


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Who’s a cute Acryla tin?

The dust has finally settled on fall back-to-school and preparations for our annual Holiday Catalog…now there’s time to show off the catalog and all of the cool stuff we packed into it!  I will try to highlight one or two of the products we’re thinking about each week thru the end of the sale, so watch this space, as well as our Instagram and Facebook posts.

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Holbein Acryla Gouache Custom Set Color Mixing Grid by Anna Miller

This week’s “star of the show” is the item we’re most excited about in the whole catalog: our exclusive Holbein Acryla Gouache Set.  Everyone loves Acryla…it’s the gouache that dries permanent like acrylic and the acrylic that is velvety matte like gouache.  It has no color shift from wet to dry, and it’s totally mixable with other gouache, other acrylic, or pretty much any other water-based media you can think of.  And the color palette is large and unique…there’s colors in Acryla that you won’t find in any other paint line.  In fact, this was the catalyst for our exclusive set: combining a range of bread & butter primaries with best-selling, esoteric colors like Ice Green and Horizon Blue.  We think the super sale price for the eighteen 20ml colors alone is enough to make this custom kit a homerun…but wait, there’s more!

 

To make our set extra special, Holbein North America imported these fantastic, cylindrical metal tins – embellished inside & out with the illustrations of Japanese artist Yuko Higuchi – to package the paint.  Durable and eye-catching, these tins have just enough room to add six more of your favorite 20ml Acryla colors…there’s even a color chart included to help you choose your favorites!

If you’re thinking ahead to gift-giving season, consider this paint set for the graphic designer/illustrator/watercolorist/architect/wood carver on your list…it’s only available at Wet Paint!

Plus, check out the little video we made about this awesome set!


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2017 New Schmincke Set, now available for preorder

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2017 Limited Edition Botanical Set, colors chosen by Marilyn Garber

Due to the amazing support of our watercolor loving friends, our first 2017 Limited Edition Schmincke travel tin (Botanical, colors chosen by Marilyn Garber) sold out in record time. We were encouraged by the phenomenal interest (and ongoing requests) to put together a second set for 2017, which seemed appropriate given 2017 is the 125th Anniversary of Horadam Watercolors.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Schmincke updated the color selection of their watercolors. We lost a couple colors entirely to the raw materials no longer being available – Walnut Brown and Pozzuoli Earth, RIP. A few colors just got new names and a few got replaced with similar pigment formulas, so have both new names and reference numbers. For full details on the changes to old colors, see this pdf from Schmincke: What’s different in the new assortment.

The most exciting thing about the new assortment, of course, is 35 New Colors.

swatches

The new Horadam colors run the gamut – they include historical pigments, transparent earths and modern colors. We decided to put together a split primary palette that not only introduces you to these new colors, but also allows you to create magical mixes for a range of subjects. As with the Botanical set earlier in the year, this selection of 12 colors will be in the squarish tin that holds a total of 18 half pans…which leaves 6 spots to customize the palette to your tastes or outfit with your favorite go-to colors. *winkwink* We have free shipping at $99.

74774097^2Here is the selection in the new tin:

AQ344 Perylene Red Dark

AQ359 Saturn Red

AQ483 Cobalt Azure

AQ477 Phthalo Sapphire

AQ222 Yellow Orange

AQ205 Rutile Yellow

AQ370 Potter’s Pink

AQ371 Perylene Violet

AQ784 Perylene Green

AQ789 Hematite Black

AQ513 Viridian

AQ672 Mahogany

Important Notes: We have confirmed shipment from Germany, but our lovely sets are on the slow boat. Barring any issues with customs, we hope to see them by mid-October and are now taking preorders. There are two duplicate colors with the Botanical set –  Cobalt Azure and Perylene Green.  We will not be making changes or substitutions to the colors in the new set. In addition to the new sets, we expect to see dot sheets back in with this import shipment. We anticipate a heavy influx of orders for this set – they will be processed in the sequence they are received. Order fulfillment may be longer than usual due to volume, once they arrive.

Click on through to preorder the new set, $69.95 each

Want to expand your set with more new colors?

Want to browse all of the Horadam half pans?

Want the awesome gel pen that I used as a resist in the color swatches?

kateheadshotThank you to all of our water-media, Schmincke-loving artist friends. We could not make these unique items happen without your patronage.

Happy Painting!

Kate Katzer


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Fall’s Rich Mix of Classes

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This blog post was written by Virginia McBride, Classes and Events Manager at Wet Paint

Things we can count on at this time of year: the farmers markets are brimming with produce, the days are a little shorter, the air has started to turn a little cooler, the crickets are chorusing, the Minnesota State Fair is underway and soon Fall classes will start up at Wet Paint.

We are excited to bring you a robust season of classes that will support your continuing creative pursuits or perhaps introduce you to new materials or techniques for the first time.

Our fall catalog and online listings are ready. Here’s a look at what’s in store:

You’ll find multi week courses in watercolor and acrylic painting, awakening creativity, italic lettering, drawing animals, urban sketching, and rosemaling; daylong or weekend immersive workshops in folded and ruling pen lettering, collage, gestural watercolor, drawing facial features, oil painting without solvents, direct watercolor, mixed media, and oil paint + cold wax medium , along with many single session classes ranging from book and paper arts to 3D, organizational journaling, brush pen lettering and airbrush.

There are some new instructors and classes to point out:

Meet Your Creative Self- “The Artist’s Way” taught by Tara Tieso, Brush Pen Lettering, and Shrink Film Charms classes taught by Kaytee Crawford, Drawing Animals from Photographs taught by Tracie Thompson, Making Watercolors Sing: Split Primary Color Theory taught by Tara Sweeney, and for those continuing in watercolor or acrylics, Watercolor II: Figures in Landscape and Acrylic Painting-Level 2+3 taught by veteran instructors Tara Sweeney and Carl Oltvedt (respectively).

We are fortunate to be able to partner with some of our manufacturers to bring you a selection of classes and events featuring expert instruction and excellent art materials including:

From the Pacific Northwest: renowned watercolorist, Ron Stocke and oil painter Angela Bandurka will give a demo and each will teach daylong classes featuring M.Graham Paints (Oregon), Introductory Airbrush featuring IWATA airbrush  (also headquartered in Oregon)  taught by Rurik Hover; Oil and Cold Wax Medium with R+F Handmade paints (out of New York) taught by the incredibly popular Julie Snidle (from St.Louis); Minneapolis-based instructor Diana Eicher’s Family Print Activity classes with Speedball/Akua printmaking supplies, the pride of Statesville, North Carolina!

From Minnesota-  Autograph Digital Projectors and Light Pads demo/tutorials with John Davis and Two classes using CAVE handmade paper (from across the river in Minneapolis) –Hand bound Sketchbooks taught by Bridget O’Malley, and Nature Journal: Book Arts and Writing classes taught by Amber Stoner.

In addition to classes you’ll find some incredible free demos and events this fall:

With 45+ classes and events, it’s going to be a bountiful and creative fall in the Wet Paint classroom. Hope to see you there!


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Verra’s Paper Picks of the Week: Japanese Kingin Tissue & Indian Embossed Pearly Crocodile

Kingin Tissue

I love tissues for collaging because they are so thin and lightweight, and have a very pretty finished look. Kingin Tissue has such loveliness, it’s ethereal – wispy with added inclusions of gold and silver leaf flecks. When I’m adhering it in a collage, I like to use Nori Paste. Nori Paste is great for delicate papers and dries to an invisible finish. The layering of these papers on top of watercolor paintings is also beautiful- and always a lovely surprise to see what happens when all elements are put together. I truly embrace surprises!

Kingin Tissue is available in 5 colors, is 21×31″ in size and is machine made in Japan.

kingintissue

 

Indian Embossed Pearly Crocodile

I just recently had this paper in my hands, and all I can say is “WOW!”  This paper has got the wow-factor.  Pearly white on one side and flat white on the other. If you like highly textured decorative paper, this might be one to own.  I have always loved to dry brush acrylic paint over textured papers, and this one blew me away with how good it looked. This unique sheet is 22×30″ in size and machine made in India.

BONUS!  If you like reptile looking paper, be sure to check out the Thai Crocodile sheets as well (pictured below, and available in 4 colors). These papers are 24×36″ and machine made in Thailand.

verrapaperblogMy name is Verra Blough, and I have been the Paper Department Manager at Wet Paint for 25 amazing years.  Wet Paint stocks over 20,000 individual sheets and 2,000 unique styles of paper, including papers from all over the world: China, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, and the USA.  We have some locally made ones, too!

Whether you’re looking for a surface for drawing, painting or printmaking, or a decorative sheet for bookbinding, invitations, or collage, I have the good fortune of seeing all of them and working with many of them…it would be my pleasure to help you find the perfect paper for your project.   With that in mind, I will be blogging about paper and highlighting some of my favorites, as well as some helpful hints.  Let’s get started in exploring paper!


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Verra’s Paper Pick of the Week: Nepalese Lokta Tie-Dye

New Lokta Tie-Dye sheets recently arrived at Wet Paint.  The patterns look very much like what you might see on a t-shirt…how neat is it to see these designs on paper?! Tie-dye is such a great pattern, and it speaks to me in many ways.  These sheets have that retro vibe that takes me back to 70’s era, yet also seems to remain very current.

There are 3 brightly colored options with a repeating pattern. I can picture these sheets being a great background paper on a bulletin board; add a few push pins, some photos, and you’ve got a custom mood board! If that doesn’t grab you, try covering a blank journal using a little glue, and you’ve created a one-of-a-kind place for all your writing and sketching.  Remember, paper can be so amazing to work with- you have so many possibilities!

These sheets are 20×30″ in size and are handmade in Nepal.

tiedye2

verrapaperblogMy name is Verra Blough, and I have been the Paper Department Manager at Wet Paint for 25 amazing years.  Wet Paint stocks over 20,000 individual sheets and 2,000 unique styles of paper, including papers from all over the world: China, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, and the USA.  We have some locally made ones, too!

Whether you’re looking for a surface for drawing, painting or printmaking, or a decorative sheet for bookbinding, invitations, or collage, I have the good fortune of seeing all of them and working with many of them…it would be my pleasure to help you find the perfect paper for your project.   With that in mind, I will be blogging about paper and highlighting some of my favorites, as well as some helpful hints.  Let’s get started in exploring paper!


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Queen for a day

We’ve just wrapped up our big Sidewalk Sale and the fabulous Painting Best Practices workshop (thanks again to George and Tatiana from Natural Pigments and Jim and Sarah at The Art Academy!), and now we have a minute to catch our collective breath before the craziness of back to school is upon us.  What better time to reflect on all the cool, new stuff that’s arrived at Wet Paint recently?

In 1949, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands – an artist as well as a monarch – made her favorite Dutch paint manufacturer, Talens, “Royal.” The Queen felt that Talens shared the same passion for producing color as artists have for producing artwork, so she made their nobility official!  Wet Paint has no such authority, but we are very excited about the new Royal Talens products that are arriving:

– The 46 brilliant colors of Amsterdam Acrylic Ink are highly pigmented ink, extremely lightfast, and waterproof when dry. It has been flying off the shelf since it showed up a few weeks ago. Check out this teaser video to see why.

Ecoline Liquid Watercolor just arrived. The brilliant, dye-based colors are super intense, super transparent, and – of course – super water-soluble.  Super sweet 30ml glass bottles enhance the presentation.

– To go along with the Liquid Watercolor, we’ve also brought in new Ecoline Brush Pens (the display is en route to Wet Paint at press time). These contain the same Ecoline Watercolor in a hearty, economical brush pen that’s great for making sweeping, gestural marks or teeny tiny details.  Can’t wait!

papertoyspaige

One of the big hits from our Holiday Sale was a series of Paper Toys books from Ginkgo Press.  We just received a huge order of these and there are new titles!  These interactive craft books allow children (or the young at heart) to pop out and build their own paper toys. Each volume in the series is designed by a different talented artist, lending a stylized look to their fanciful creations.  Animals, Monsters, Robots, and Fantasy Creatures, themes are now joined by Super Heroes and Speed Demons. Printed on durable cardstock and die-cut, each toy is easy to assemble with no glue or scissors needed.

So many new pens! Here’s a rundown:

– We’ve already sold out of our first order of Pilot Kakuno fountain pens, but – never fear – we got more. This simple, beginners fountain pen is a favorite of new and seasoned writers alike.

Pentel’s Libretto matching rollerball pen and pencil set makes the perfect gift for the sophisticated professional and the conscientious student alike. These nicely weighted utensils feature sleek metal barrels available in three colors and accented in elegant silver trim.

– Also from Pentel, the Tradio refillable fountain pen (not to be confused with the Tradio non-refillable fountain pen) is a stylish and sophisticated, yet affordable, writing & drawing tool. The medium size stainless steel nib allows the ink to flow with smooth control.  The Tradio accepts your favorite International style cartridge, so the world’s your oyster when it comes to ink colors!

Blackwing Pencil fans, come on down…we just received a very limited number of the new Blackwing 73. The 73 features a silver ferrule, a white eraser, and a vivid blue finish with a raised texture that mimics the topography of Lake Tahoe. The number 73 references Lake Tahoe’s last measured Secchi depth (a unit to measure clarity) of 73 feet. The 73 has the soft graphite found in other Blackwing pencils.

You know what would go nicely with your new, blue Blackwing 73? How about a new Hahnemuhle Skizze pad with an eye catching blue rooster on the cover? We’ve got ‘em in two paper weights, two sizes, and gummed or spiral bound. Nice paper, nice look…perfect for sketching at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  Also check out the new hardbound Hahnemuhle watercolor books and Grey Books, the plain or ruled Diary Flex, and the back-in-stock-at-Wet Paint Quattro square watercolor blocks.

Our friends at Tara Fredrix have launched their latest and greatest new idea: toned canvas in pads and panels. Now you have more time to paint…no need to tone your own canvas first!  Available in four “go to” colors in a variety of sizes.

Strathmore has added three new titles to their popular “Learning Series” instructional books: Textures in Colored Pencil, Draw Nature with Colored Pencil, and Hand Lettering Basics. The Strathmore Learning Series incorporates step-by-step art lessons, developed by the most popular art instructors, into a pad of quality Strathmore paper. Online video tutorials for each pad create an integrated learning experience that help beginning and experienced artists explore a new art style.

Lastly, the biggest, newest single item at Wet Paint is already almost sold out – the Botanical Illustration set of Schmincke Horadam ½ pan watercolors. Based on the overwhelming response, our friend Marilyn Garber picked some good colors!  If you haven’t already picked one of these up, run – don’t walk – to your phone, screen, or transportation device!

So…no official proclamations imbuing royalty, just lots of excitement around the new creative supplies at Wet Paint!


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Wet Paint’s 4th Annual Summer Postcard Project

Going somewhere fun this summer? Or, having a productive stay-cation? 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. At the end of the summer, we’ll host a public art opening here at Wet Paint for all of the contributing artists!

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 and we want to be able to contact you with details about the end of summer art opening on August 18th, 2017.

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 end of summer exhibition, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 11th, 2017.
-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

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Verra’s Paper Pick of the Week: MN Made Marble Papers by Sally Power & Sue Bjerke

Marbling paper sounds easy: float paint on the surface of a bath, drag something thru the paint to create a pattern, lay the paper on the patterned paint, lift the paper, and – voila!  It both is and isn’t that easy…the artist has choices about what kind of paint to use and how to make it stay on top of the water’s surface; what kinds of patterns are desired and what tools are best to achieve them; what color palette is pleasing and what paper substrate enhances it; and so on.  As with so many creative endeavors, the artistry is not just in the execution, but in the years of trial and error experience that make that execution successful.

Today I want to turn the spotlight on the hand marbled papers made by two close friends (of each other and of Wet Paint): Sally Power and Sue Bjerke.  Their papers are a testament to their dedication to the craft of marbling…each sheet is a stand-alone work of art!  Although Sally and Sue both teach at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and both use similar materials, their styles are very distinctive and unique.  Ask to see the gorgeous work of these two local artists the next time you visit the Paper Counter at Wet Paint.

Sally’s patterns can be quite lively and contemporary.  She often marbles onto different colored or toned papers, and shares the pattern name, type of paper, and grain direction on the back of each sheet.  This info is very helpful for the box maker or book artist.  I should also mention that, in addition to her full marbled sheets, she has created a pattern unique to her, that she calls “white space marbles,” where she intentionally leaves a section of the sheet almost blank.  Her reasoning is that you can add a verse, or maybe even someone’s name, on that blank space.

Sue’s papers on the other hand, are brightly colored on a bright white paper.  Her designs are marbled and over-marbled so they are super psychedelic, though her patterns tend to be more traditional than Sally’s.

These papers are hand marbled in Minnesota on machine-made paper and are roughly 17×23″ in size.

verrapaperblogMy name is Verra Blough, and I have been the Paper Department Manager at Wet Paint for 25 amazing years.  Wet Paint stocks over 20,000 individual sheets and 2,000 unique styles of paper, including papers from all over the world: China, Canada, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, and the USA.  We have some locally made ones, too!

Whether you’re looking for a surface for drawing, painting or printmaking, or a decorative sheet for bookbinding, invitations, or collage, I have the good fortune of seeing all of them and working with many of them…it would be my pleasure to help you find the perfect paper for your project.   With that in mind, I will be  blogging about paper each week, highlighting some of my favorites, as well as some helpful hints.  Let’s get started in exploring paper!