Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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A note about COVID-19 and Wet Paint

smwetpaintcornerFrom the owners, Darin Rinne and Scott Fares:

Interesting times, eh?  With so much uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we should check in with the Wet Paint Community with a “State of the Store” address.  The short version: as long as we’re able to keep things normal, we will.  This means regular store hours will be observed, and the great mix of creative supplies and knowledgeable service you’ve come to expect will be unchanged.

We’re observing current best practices as directed by the CDC, WHO and Minnesota Department of Health.  As these guidelines change, we’ll change our protocols along with them.  For now, we’re washing our hands often.  We’re wiping down frequently touched surfaces…frequently.  If our people get sick, they’re staying home (yes, we have paid time off!).  So far, so good.

It’s terribly unsettling to live amongst so many changes & unknowns; thru your continued support, we’re hoping to maintain a little piece of familiarity amongst the uncertainty of the coming weeks.

A note from our Programming Manager, Virginia McBride about classes and events at Wet Paint:

“In line with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health that were announced today, Wet Paint will be postponing/rescheduling all classes and events that were originally to take place in the next few weeks.

I will be coordinating with each instructor as our options start opening up again and notify all participants of the new dates.  I will be working through the class list in order of occurrence. You will automatically be transferred to those new class dates when they are set with the option to receive store credit to be used on another class within one year.

Thanks for your love of classes at Wet Paint and your patience as we work out all the details.”

(Re)Visit the Wet Paint Weekly Workouts

wpweeklyworkoutsLooking for something creative to do while at home? Why not check out the Wet Paint Weekly Workouts! We created these a few years ago, but the Workouts are still a fun way to get those creative juices flowing! All of these are archived on our blog and select Workouts will be posted on our social media over the next few weeks, so feel free to join us (virtually) by sharing your work or cheering on those who are. Happy arting!


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Instructor Spotlight: Julie Anderson, Living Traditions & The Magnetic Pull of Folk Art

National Craft Month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate an artist who honors folk art traditions, both through her connection to the craft and her dedication to teaching others. Julie Anderson has worked with various forms of decorative painting since the late 1980s; in addition to Rosemaling (a tradition based in Norway), she also works the style of dalamalning/kurbits (originating from Sweden) and bauernmalerei (German). She has studied with master American, Norwegian and Swedish artists including mentors Ann Nilsson, Judy Kjenstad and Shirley Evenstad. Julie teaches classes regularly at Wet Paint, an art supply store in St. Paul, MN, as well as Community Education.  She has also taught at the Vesterheim Museum’s Folk Art School.

A Craft Rooted in Culture

julieheadshotBefore we learn more about Julie’s work and relationship with Wet Paint: what exactly is Rosemaling? Rosemaling is a traditional form of decorative folk art with an artisanal background that originated in the rural valleys of Norway, featuring stylized designs inspired by metalwork, carving and embroidery. Key elements include flowing patterns of curves, lines and swirls that often incorporate natural elements like flowers or landscapes. As early as 1750, rural folk decorated everyday objects with the classic S lines, C lines, flowers and stems, transforming dark, interior spaces into colorful works of art. Surfaces they painted on included hope chests, clocks, corner cabinets, walls and ceilings and chairs.

Julie first discovered the craft (or as she puts it, the craft “adopted” her) in the late 1980s when her friend Ann was going to start teaching a Rosemaling community education class. Ann needed one more student to enroll in the class, and she asked Julie to join. Julie hadn’t done any art since high school, but had always loved art; she took the class, and her relationship with the craft began.

What got you hooked?

“Part of what I love is the history of the craft. It requires study of historical artwork, to understand the structure of the design. It’s also very challenging: you can’t just sit down and do it, it takes practice and diligence. I really enjoy that kind of challenge.

What is something unique to Rosemaling artists?

“We really pay attention to the objects we paint. There is the connection between the wood, brush and the materials. The wood piece will often influence the design work.  For example, the way the piece is structured or the way a bowl is turned will impact the design. Sometimes woodenware (a wooden object) will sit in my studio, un-painted as I’m still bonding with it and deciding what would work best. How will different design elements work best on the object? What components do I want in the different spaces? If you have a trunk, a corner cupboard. Each aspect of the piece needs to be considered in designing and executing the painting.”

What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve done?

“There are a couple of pieces that I am really connected to. A  tankard (or pitcher) that was constructed by Dick Enstad and designed by Shirley Evenstad. I painted it in her class. Another one is a piece I painted with Torun Rod Frasund when she came in from Norway to teach at Vesterheim, Norwegian American Museum, she is the fifth generation Rosmaler from the Bergen area. I have a plate that I painted with her in my kitchen…I would do a better job of it now, but it’s one of those things that is so bright, so cheery, it makes me happy.”

Talking to Julie about her love of Rosemaling, the role of community is apparent. Not only does she quote her mentors and reference the influence of history, when she describes a current project she is working on it is clear that the practice inspires connection. Her daughter loves to cook; so she designed a cookbook holder, had it built by woodworker Mike Lusk, and she’s painting it right now. An intricate process, from the designer, the woodworker, the painter and the person it is created for, infuses individual objects with a collective meaning.

Tankard made by woodworker Dick Enstad, painted by Julie

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

“People tend to underestimate how they use creativity in their lives. Teaching and being able to share what I know gives me an opportunity to show others their creativity. I get to talk about color theory, art, design, history, heritage. Someone always has a fun story about their connection to the craft. There is something really wonderful about seeing that connection.”

What are typical challenges your students discover?

There are a lot of people who will come in, take a class or two and think, ‘I’m going to paint a chest for every grandchild’ or ‘I am going to decorate my kitchen.’ And then they realize, ‘Oh, this is going to be more challenging than I thought.

Rosemaling looks simple, but it is quite complicated. Eye-hand coordination is very important. When your painting is done, the linework is what really brings it all together. You end up with three major layers: the surface that has been prepared in a color, the initial design and the linework.”

How do you help students navigate that initial hurdle?

“One of my mentors, Judy Kjenstad always says, when someone looks at a piece, first we see color, then design, then technique. People want to jump to the technique. But if you got a great design and colors you love, you are doing okay! A few imprecise strokes actually make it more handmade. The imperfection is appealing.”

Julie tells me more about the connection people have to heritage when it comes to this craft:

“It’s not uncommon for me at all to have students who have Rosemaling in their home and have family members who painted it. Students will have had a piece that came in with their family from immigration, or they had a family member who actually painted. But that’s not always the case, I mean, I don’t have Norwegain or Swedish heritage, I like to say I’ve just been adopted…but because folk art is so prevalent in every country, we all have a feel for it.

What is the wider Rosemaling community like?

“In classes there are opportunities for a little conversation here and there, getting to know each other personally, what is working right or could be changed in the painting, practicing and demonstrating. In the broader community, we’ve got people all over the nation.

People are very open to sharing their expertise…there isn’t a lot of ‘territory,’ because individuals develop their own signature and style and you can usually can tell who painted a piece.”

What’s your signature, then?

“Fairly precise. I want it to be representative of original work. There are times where I do like to totally break tradition. One example was when I decorated Virginia’s Sorel boots at Wet Paint!”

What is your studio practice like, outside of teaching?

“I work full-time so I’ll snatch an hour here and there. I have a dedicated studio space in my basement. If I have it set up I’m more likely to go and paint. I almost always give an ornament to family members each year. They make for a very elegant gift. The ornament classes at Wet Paint are actually very appealing to all kinds of students as I believe they find them approachable and a great way to give Rosemaling a try.”

Okay, now I’m itching to try it! What do people need to get started?

  • Wooden surface, though other options can be used
  • 2 round brushes: a good strokework brush 4 or 6 and liner brush
  • Palette and palette knife
  • 7 essential colors of paint: Titanium White, Yellow Ochre (or Oxide, either is fine), Raw Umber, Mars Black, Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna and Red Oxide (Venetian Red or English Red any toned red will work). For green mixes, add Cadmium Yellow Light, Hansa Yellow Light or another Cadmium Yellow substitute.
  • Paper towels
  • Chalk
  • Background paint and background painting brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic medium if working with acrylic, boiled linseed oil if working with oil paint
  • Cleaner for brushes, water for acrylic and solvent for oil
  • Varnish

Julie points out that Wet Paint classes are really conducive—not just for painting (the supplies are right there!), but for networking and building community. Rosemaling classes are offered throughout the year at Wet Paint. Julie’s Rosemaling Brush Techniques class, offered quarterly, is a great starting point if you are new or returning to Rosemaling.

Julie’s upcoming spring classes at Wet Paint:

Rosemaling: Telemark Scroll And Border Workshop

Rosemaling Swedish Dalmalning And Introduction To Coptic Book Binding Project Taught By Julie Anderson And Sue Bjerke

This post was written by Catherine Monahon, Copywriter for MacPherson’s industry newsletter


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Top 19 Art Supplies of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to look back on some of our favorite art supplies of the past year. Not all of these were new products, but nearly all of them were new to Wet Paint. Read on to see what made our list (in no particular order)!

Micador

We’ve been asked forever for supplies that are appropriate for the very young artist.  Australian manufacturer Micador has delivered! Designed for a full handed grip, developing motor skills, safe use & washability, Micador’s “early stART” range is perfect for artists as young as one, while the supplies & kits that make up the “Micador jR.” range were created with the needs & abilities of kids 3-8 in mind.

Hahnemühle Cezanne and Turner Watercolor Blocks

Wet Paint has been a fan of the German paper manufacturer for years, but these two 100% cotton, cold press watercolor blocks have become a new favorite at the store. Choose Cezanne is internally & externally sized for greater versatility, while Turner is internally sized only for wet into wet watercolor techniques.

Kaweco 70’s Soul Pen

German brand, Kaweco, is known at the store for their portable “Sport” series of fountain pens, but the 70’s Soul is less “sporty” and more like the classic fountain pen you’d expect with a name like that. Fun orange and cream colors with brass-colored accents makes it totally groovy.

Good Luck Minis

Not new to the world, but new to Wet Paint. Tiny rubber critters…lots of tiny critters! What do you do with them? Anything you want. Why are they “good luck?” Because they are.

Endless Recorder Notebooks

New at Wet Paint, Endless Recorders are medium-sized, hard-covered notebooks featuring ink-loving Tomoe River paper pages in four styles: blank, ruled, square grid or dot grid.

Japanese Journals 

We brought in all sorts of new Japanese journals made for writing, planning, and general notes. The Kleid Noble Note features subtle white grid on cream paper that is excellent for fountain pens. If you are looking for something to help organize your life, but don’t want a traditional planner, check out the Stalogy 1/2 Year Notebook.  For folks on the go, the Kokuyo Trystrams Field Note Grid Books are slim, pocket-sized notebooks with a sturdy cover and light grey grid lined paper. Stop by the store to see our full selection of Japanese journals!

Finetec Metallic Watercolor in open stock

If you’ve been in the store in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen these beauties at the front counter – the magpie in all of us can’t help but be drawn to the shimmer and shine of these metallic watercolors! While we’ve had the Finetec sets for years, we added the full line of individual open stock colors just this year, so now you can create your own set, or just try out a new color! Shiny!

Daniel Smith 2019 Grey Watercolors

Eight new neutral watercolors from our best-selling watercolor manufacturer, Daniel Smith. These colors were created with help from well-known watercolorists Jane Blundell, Joseph Zbukvic, and Alvaro Castagnet, so you no longer need to mix that neutral on your palette each time.

Leuchtturm Soft Cover

Another item on the list that is not new to the world, but is new to Wet Paint: Leuchtturm in soft cover. This series has your favorite dot grid, blank, or ruled in new sizes that are perfect for travelling with you. 

Holbein Designers Gouache

Although Holbein’s Designer Gouache has been around for years, we FINALLY have it at the store!  This paint has become a fast favorite with staff and customers and it is easy to see why: high pigment load for clean mixes, unique colors, and velvety finish. Lovely.

Embroidery Thread

Okay, so this product is not new to anyone, but we just brought in a modest selection this year and it is quickly becoming a popular spot in the store. We also have a few accessories such as needles and floss bobbins, so you can maybe skip a stop at one of those other places that sell them… 

Jewelry Findings

Also new to us: jewelry findings. We’re now stocking a basic selection of jump rings, ear wires and tools to get you started.

Fine Writing International

These high quality fountain pens come in a unique range of styles, and can be filled with your favorite ink in several different ways. Check out the Planet Series for a range of colors inspired by the planets, and the Brass pen for a rugged, yet elegant option.

ColorVerse Ink

For an out-of-this-world new ink, look no further than the cosmic-themed ink selection from ColorVerse. Sold in a pack of two, you’ll find a large 65ml bottle of the main color,  paired with a cute 15ml bottle of another color. And with pairings such as Photon & Gluon or Matter & Anti-matter, you’re unlikely to find anything like it in the universe.

St. Louis Art Supply Pen Cleaner

Need to get dry ink off your dip pen or fountain pen nibs? Our friends at St. Louis Art Supply are making a homemade pen cleaner that we stock in 16oz and 4oz bottles. Works great, and supports another independent art supply store.

Etchr Mini Palette & Sketchbook

Ever wished you could bring ALL THE COLORS when you’re out urban sketching? Well, Australian company, Etchr, has made it possible! The Etchr Mini Palette holds up to 37 watercolors in its tiny porcelain wells. Also new from Etchr are their watercolor Sketchbooks which feature 100% cotton 230gsm. watercolor paper in an elegantly bound landscape format. Available in cold or hot press.

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen in Sepia and Grey

Your favorite Pentel Pocket Brush Pen now with sepia or gray pigmented ink! Features the classic synthetic brush filament to create thin or thick strokes, and 2 refill ink cartridges. A staff and customer favorite!

Stonehenge Aqua Black

We are big fans of all things Stonehenge, and this year they came out with the first ever black watercolor paper! Rich dark color on a classic 140lb cold press that looks amazing with Finetec metallic watercolors and gouache!

IMG_8261

Hahnemuhle ZigZag Accordion Books

Hahnemühle ZigZag Accordion Books

These came out this past spring and we’ve been excited about them ever since! Ideal for the urban sketcher or artist who likes to paint in panorama, these books have a heavy watercolor paper folded as an accordion so you can paint on one half of the page at a time, or unfold it for an extra-wide landscape!

It’s been a great year of art supplies and art making at Wet Paint! Thanks for being part of it and here’s to another creative year in 2020!

What were your favorites from 2019?


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Wet Paint Recognized With Customer Experience Award

This press release was written by Savannah Sepic of Minnesota Retailers Association; photo of Darin Rinne being filmed for 2019 award winner video.

St. Paul (September 30, 2019) – After reviewing dozens of applications from across the state, the Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Wet Paint with its Customer Experience award in the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“In an industry where there is intense instore and online competition, Wet Paint on Grand Avenue in St. Paul wins with is unique, welcoming environment and knowledgeable, committed staff,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “Wet Paint truly has something for everyone. Regardless of age or skill level, customers find the advice and products they need to be creative. Wet Paint has a great studio inside the retail store, where customers can learn new techniques and try products. While that is important, the key to the customer experience there is the employees. They are not only experienced in what they teach and sell, but it’s clear they care deeply about customer experience and the success of the business. It’s an honor to recognize Wet Paint and its team for their commitment to happy customers.”

“Wet Paint has been helping a wide range of customers since 1976. From students and their classes at school to hobbyists and people exploring art, to professionals, we love them all and want to make sure this is their go-to store,” says Darin Rinne, Wet Paint co-owner along with Scott Fares. “Our customers know they are going to get the advice and help they need beginning the moment they set foot in the store. Our staff thrives on connecting with each and every customer, a relationship that lasts beyond the sale. We truly want to make the customer’s experience at Wet Paint one in which they immediately want to come back.”

Darin Rinne and Scott Fares will accept the award in person during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at the Brookview in Golden Valley beginning at 2:00 p.m. The event features seven 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting edge retail innovations strategies and ideas. Speakers include local favorite and award-winning news anchor-reporter Robyne Robinson with fiveXfive Public Art.

Wet Paint is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Customer Experience award. Seven other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Social Responsibility, Outstanding Achievement, Vendor Partner of the Year, Best Place to Work, Retail Employee of the Year, Retail Innovation and Retailer of the Year.

Retail Rally event information can be found at http://www.retailrally.com.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. http://www.mnretail.org.


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Wet Paint Interview with Mural Artist Jeffrey Nelson

As many of our local customers and neighbors know, we recently added a vibrant mural to the back of our building, and we asked our mural artist, Jeffrey Nelson of Jephemera Illustration to tell us a little bit about his experience painting with Montana Spray Paint, artistic process, and the happy accidents along the way.

Q. What is your process when starting a mural project like this? Did you do anything different for this mural vs. previous projects? What is your process for getting the drawing from the sketch to the wall?

Jeff Nelson: First of all, thank you for inviting me to Wet Paint World Headquarters. The fireplace is a nice, unexpected touch. The first thing I do when I begin a mural is panic. It’s a healthy panic, but panic nonetheless. A mural is often a person’s introduction to a business, organization, or neighborhood and, contrary to the cliche, one can tell a lot about a book by its cover. That’s why my favorite part of the whole mural process (and this is where the panic melts away) is where I get to sit down with the client or clients and work from whatever seed of an idea they may have. It may be as limited as a color combination they like or a feeling they want to convey all the way to a mock-up that was born in the marketing department and has already made it through countless rounds of revisions. Including those two extremes and everything in between is where I have my most fun: helping people turn their ideas into extremely large paintings. As far as how I transfer an approved final sketch to a wall depends on the level of exactitude desired by the client. Sometimes I’ll use transparencies and an overhead projector. With odd shapes and logos, I’ll use an old-school sign-painting pounce pattern. Less accurate is a grid system. And then, in the case of the Wet Paint mural, I use the time-tested and approved method of ”winging it.”

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Jeff making plans for the wall

Q. What was your inspiration for the design and colors?

JN: The back of the store used to have naked limestone-colored brick with windows and doors trimmed in Wet Paint Blue.  Due to the wall’s location at the back of the store, but still in an area that receives a huge amount of both foot and car traffic (thanks to its proximity to a busy retail corridor of Grand Avenue) I thought it would be the perfect candidate for a riot of color. I had a difficult time coming up with a design because I wasn’t sure whether I should accentuate the many windows, doors, chimneys, and other random enforcers of right angles, or go in the complete opposite direction and ignore all of those things and go with a more organic design. We opted for the latter. That became an increasingly wise choice as the mural progressed. 

That’s all nuts and bolts, though. The idea of filling the space with a wide range of Minnesota perennials (not annuals!) and over-sized bumblebees was meant to be symbolic of the symbiotic relationship between local artists (hearty perennials — dare I say “weed-like”?) and the staff of Wet Paint (bees, pollinating and cross-pollinating with ideas, materials, and connections to other artists). Not shown, but implied, is the art (honey) that results from this relationship.

Last, but certainly not least, is that our city, though vibrant and wonderful, looks the same in color photographs as it does in black-and-white photographs for six months of the year and I thought it would be nice to park back here in February, listen to Margaritaville for a few minutes, and then go about my shopping.

IMG_9106

Mural brings in lots of color to the Wet Paint parking lot… painted with Montana Spray Paint.

Q. Most artists do their work inside. Any challenges to working outdoors? Do you like working this large?

JN: Rain. Bees. Wind. Heat. Cold. Sun. Sweat.  I Love It.

Q. Have you ever worked on a project like this with community involvement? Any challenges or happy accidents that came from that?

JN: I’ve gone from loathing the idea of working with others to actively seeking out opportunities to working with others. It’s like going from checkers to 3-D chess. It’s fun to get people who are enthusiastic about making something to the point where they’re confidently wielding a brush or a can of spray paint regardless of what their age, skill level, or degree of confidence may be. Bob Ross was partly right: there are happy little accidents, but there are happy big accidents as well.

 

Q. How was it working with the Montana Spray Paint? Have you worked with it previously? Was this a challenge?

JN: Going from garden variety spray paint that you can get at a hardware store to Montana Spray Paint is like learning to drive your family’s station wagon and then getting to drive a Tesla. I’ve used it many times before as a tool on large pieces, but I had never done an entire mural with spray paint. It took some getting used to, but the miracle of spray paint is that if you screw up, you go over it again until you’re happy. It’s a joy to work with. My only tip would be that if you’re using a lot of red and it’s windy out, and you have a propensity towards hypochondria, to remember when you’re getting into the shower and look at your arm and irrationally think, “Have I contracted a rare, tropical, flesh-eating rash?” that the answer is no. It’s just paint.

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Many cans of Montana Black Spray Paint

Q. How many hours to finish a piece like this? How many cans of spray paint did you go through?   

JN: This wall took about 50 hours, not including design time. I used a lot of spray paint, but I stopped counting how many cans I used. Which reminds me: There is no such thing as too much ventilation or lung protection.

Q. And the classic question: If you had it to do again, any changes or additions you would make?

JN: And the classic answer: no changes. No additions. Everything went perfectly and according to plan.

Ha!

Right.

We had to be nimble with the palette on the first day of the mural, which was the demonstration day. That was simply due to the huge number of people who showed up. That made things a little difficult on the tail end when I had to match colors. Other than that, the only thing I would have done differently was to wear better shoes. 

I would add one thing: there is a chimney in back that is begging for a huge, puffy dandelion on it, so if anybody knows somebody who knows somebody with a scissor lift, let me know. And one last free-floating thing: painting a mural on an art store full of art supplies and accomplished artists is an opportunity everybody should have, just for the sake of knowing what it’s like to have everything you would ever need for a project.

 

Check out our fantastic mural the next time you visit the store (or are in the neighborhood)! 

You can find more info about Jeff and his other amazing work at http://jephemera.com/#

Thanks to Montana Spray Paint, Tucker Russell, Cassie Brehmer, and everyone who helped paint this mural with Jeff!

Interested in working with Montana Spray Paint? Wet Paint stocks the full lines of Montana Black and Montana Gold, and offers quantity discounts when buying 24+ cans! 


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Boosting Your Vitamin A(rt)

virginiacircleThis blog post is written by Virginia, the Programming Manager at Wet Paint. 

Crisp air, fantastic light and colorful harvests in fall invite us to awaken all of our senses, to slow down and enjoy the view. Doing so naturally promotes better health. Engaging with creative practices  does as well.  This fall we offer you a bounty of ways to begin or continue your creative practice and reap its many benefits.

Not sure where to start? The Artists Way classes are designed to help you meet your creative self wherever you are on your journey. Who Am I Now? provides strategies to navigate the transition from work life to creative next chapters.

Practice connecting more deeply to the world around you by drawing and painting in Keeping a Travel Journal: Water Media Sketching on Location or Abstract Florals Acrylic Painting. Drawing helps us to slow down and be more attentive. For this you might try Drawing with Ink and a Brush, Painterly Drawing or Drawing Pet Portraits in Pastel Pencil.

Re-connect to traditions you’ve been missing – sign up for our Rosemaling classes. Start with basic Brush Techniques and continue to develop skills and enjoyment in Roses & Design as well as single session ornament classes.

De-stress with creative activities like Mandalas, Sumi-e, Visual Journaling, Hand Block Printing or Alcohol Inks…no experience necessary!

Satisfy your curiosity in the Science of Watercolor Series.  Restore Gestural movement to your watercolor painting or take a deeper dive in Watercolor, Gouache and Experimental Drawing multi session classes.

Throughout you’ll find stimulating classes by top-notch teaching artists in Watercolor, Book Arts, Drawing, Mixed Media, Acrylic, Lettering, Encaustic and much more.

For a complete listing, head on over to our events page to browse the whole lineup!


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Professionally Tested and Reviewed by Giovanni Balzarani: The Wet Paint Watercolor Sampler

Have you ever wanted to try one of each of the numerous watercolor papers Wet Paint stocks? Then let us introduce you to the custom Wet Paint Watercolor Paper Sampler.

We’ve been creating original collections of watercolor paper for almost 20 years, packaged and ready to go home with curious artists just like you. The range of papers changes a bit with each incarnation, as exciting, new sheets become available. Amongst the dozen roughly 10×11” sheets, you’ll find old favorites like Fabriano and Arches, less conventional choices like St. Armand and Yupo, plus a variety of other fun finds. It’s a great way to try different textures, weights, and tones without investing in twelve full sheets of watercolor paper!

World-renowned Italian watercolor artist, Giovanni Balzarani, recently tried our Watercolor Paper Sampler, and he came back with some great feedback, amazing paintings…and a clear favorite from his Sampler. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“I have painted real and genuine watercolors on different papers instead of [just doing] simple color tests; I wanted to test the reaction of my technique and style on different papers.[My] black [background] technique is inspired, as in all my artworks, to the impressionist pointillism by George Seurat.

Arches A300R paper test 2018

Adding in the “pointillism-style” black background on Arches 300lb Rough

I don’t like flat black, it seems a graphic advertising matter [like a print]: from the black there are not flat colors, that are in movement.”

Referring to the Arches 300lb Rough (Giovanni’s “winner” from this version of the Sampler):

“The best paper for my method and hyper-realistic still-life details is the Arches 300 lbs, because it keeps more the tone, it dries in different times from the others (sometime faster, sometimes slower but always with the right time to work /paint/ on.) As you will find in the step-by-step, colors have tones that do not change so much, thanks to the great quality of natural elements given from Daniel Smith; in this case the paper has a secondary role.”

“It has been interesting understanding all these reactions very similar to each other, but that have only one small difference: the woof (weft), that gives to still-life watercolor painting a different effect: sometimes photographic, sometimes raw, sometimes realistic.”

Giovanni also had some successful results on the Fabriano 140lb Cold Press.  

Balzarani is also a Daniel Smith Watercolor Paint Ambassador, so nearly all his paintings are done with Daniel Smith paint. Make sure you visit his websites to see more of his amazing work!

https://giovannibalzarani.wixsite.com/jopaint

https://www.instagram.com/jopaint/

To purchase the Wet Paint Watercolor Paper Sampler and find your new favorite, please visit our website!

This blog was written by the Wet Paint Marketing Team of Christopher Nolt and Kristina Fjellman. Follow us on Instagram @wetpaintart or on Facebook @wet.paint.inc


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What’s your growing creative edge?

virginiacircle

This blog post is written by Virginia, the Programming Manager at Wet Paint.

This time of year, rebirth in Nature everywhere offers us inspiration and guidance in its incredible diversity and beauty. Likewise, we are inspired by you, our customers, to provide an expansive selection of classes and events designed to spark and guide your growing creative edge this summer!

From Continuing the Artist’s Way, Lettering & IllustrationColor Theory, to Modular Origami, Planner Peace, and Drawing Faces,   classes at Wet Paint can be just the fertile community in which to start the seeds of your creativity or deepen their roots.

 

New in the garden…you’ll find a number of textile art related classes: Drawing Fashion FlatsDrawing for Textile Artists, The Art of Joomchi … and textile projects Shibori Tea Towels, Cochineal Bandanas, and Eco printing on Silk.

Break open that budding interest in watercolor in Getting Your Feet Wet: Watercolor for the Non Artist, and a watercolor series: Set Yourself up to Paint in Watercolor demo, Watercolor Color Chart, Summer Garden, and Science of Watercolor.

Celebrate Minnesota flora and fauna with these classes for youth, families and adults: Sumi-e PaintingMinnesota Critters Family class, Acrylic Painting for ages 11-15, and Observational Drawing Wet Media and Botanicals.

Need some quality art play time? Independence Day Fireworks painting, Getting Started in Visual Journaling, Art it Up! kids, and Alcohol Inks to the rescue!

You’ll find community to share your passions and processes with at one of our free meet-ups including Art Book ClubBullet JournalingSketch-In’s, and The Artist’s Way.

Perennial favorites hold the season together. You’ll find fresh and fortifying classes by top-notch teaching artists in watercolor, acrylic painting, encaustic painting, drawing, book binding, rosemaling and hand lettering.

To see the full garden, head on over to our events page to browse the whole lineup!


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Wet Paint’s 6th 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 16th, 2019.

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 12th, 2019.
-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!

Supported by Hahnemuhle Artist Paper

Wet Paint Address:

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


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Fashion Week MN at Wet Paint

Welcome to Fashion Week MN at Wet Paint! We thought it would be fun to contribute our own couture featuring wearable and fashionable applications of art supplies! 

On a budget, but looking to liven up your spring wardrobe? Spring is the perfect time to re-vamp older or thrifted clothes, shoes, and accessories using dyes or paints.  Plus, it always feels good to give new life to something that otherwise will languish in your closet. Read on to see how the Wet Paint staff unleashes their inner fashionistas.

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Channeling her modern witchy side, Anna is wearing a hand crocheted shawl dyed with Jacquard Procion MX. She’s also got on a pair of Gelli Arts gel plate monoprinted earrings made with Amsterdam acrylic paint, and a laser-cut wood pendant painted with Montana Gold spray paint.

[shawl: Kate Katzer, earrings: Liz Carlson, pendant: Christopher Nolt]

Paige is presenting as a literal spring day in her sweater and head scarf both dyed with Jacquard Procion MX. She’s also donning a hand-made necklace made of Arches 300lb Watercolor paper and embellished with POSCA Paint Markers and Golden Artist Colors Heavy Body Acrylic Paint.

[sweater dye: Kristina Fjellman, head scarf: Kate Katzer, necklace: Verra Blough]

With a call back to 1970’s fashion assassin, Chris is styling a jumpsuit dyed using Jacquard iDye and a scarf accessory colored with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint. He’s also sporting cotton earrings decorated with Golden Artist Colors Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, and a laser-cut wood pin painted with Montana Gold spray paint.

[jumpsuit dye: Kristina Fjellman, scarf: Jorden Priebe Cole, earrings: Kate Katzer, pin: Christopher Nolt]

Into the pink: Jorden and Baby E are family fresh in a parent/child matching set of hand dyed scarves and tops painted with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint.

[top and scarf: Jorden Priebe Cole]

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Who says paper is just for 2 dimensions? Kristina is in full feather in a dress made from Japanese Kinwashi paper, hand-painted leather shoes adorned with Angelus Brand Leather Paint, Gelli Arts gel plate monoprinted earrings, and a scarf painted with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint. She’s also holding crepe paper sunflowers made by paper florist, Anna Gaseitsiwe

[paper dress: Kristina Fjellman, shoes: Kristina Fjellman, earrings: Liz Carlson, scarf: Jorden Priebe Cole]

Stripe suit meets scarf in this colorful combo! Justin’s array features a suit that’s been dressed up with Montana Gold spray paint, a scarf painted with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint, and a t-shirt created with Jacquard’s Procion MX Dye and Color Magnet Dye Attractant.  Attractive!

[suit: Kristina Fjellman, scarf: Jorden Priebe Cole, t-shirt: Justin Terlecki]

Just because it’s spring, doesn’t mean you need to dress like an Easter egg. Anna and Chris are showing off laser-cut wood pendants painted with Montana Gold spray paint. Chris also has a t-shirt dyed using Jacquard Color Remover, and a laser-cut wooden earring painted with Montana Gold spray paint. Anna is wearing Sculpey Polymer Clay earrings and a dress (as a duster) dyed with Jacquard iDye.

[t-shirt: Kate Katzer, polymer clay earrings: Kate Katzer, pendants: Christopher Nolt, dress: Kristina Fjellman]

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Amanda is rocking some custom painted boots and leather jacket made using Angelus Brand Leather Paint. She also used Jacquard Pinata Alcohol Ink to touch up areas of her well-loved black leather jacket.

[jacket and boots: Amanda Zon Maas]

Darin (if you can recognize him) is stepping out in his classic grey-on-grey-on-grey custom painted leather sneakers gussied up with Angelus Brand Leather Paints.

The other shoes pictured are also painted with Angelus Brand Leather Paint.

[left shoe painting: Darin Rinne, other shoes: Kristina Fjellman]

If Paige was a literal spring day in her last outfit, this is her summer look. Fun and floral, she’s wearing a poncho top painted with Jacquard Neopaque Fabric Paint, a scarf made with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint, and a necklace made with Grafix Shrink-Art Film, Golden Artist Colors Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (a water-based clear epoxy alternative).

[pocho: Paige Tighe, scarf: Jorden Priebe Cole, necklace: Kristina Fjellman]

For a more casual take on our outfit combinations, Kristina is wearing a top dyed with Jacquard iDye, a laser-cut wood pendant painted with Montana Gold spray paint, a block printed scarf made with Speedball Relief Ink for Fabric, boots painted with Angelus Brand Leather Paint, and Grafix Shrink-Art Film earrings painted with Testors Enamel.

[top: Kristina Fjellman, pendant: Christopher Nolt, scarf: Anna Miller, boots: Kristina Fjellman, earrings: Kristina Fjellman]

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Looking fab in a fresh avocado and chestnut combination, Virginia is wearing a tie dyed top made with Jacquard Procion MX Dye, jeans dyed with Jacquard iDye, laser-cut wood earrings and pendant painted with Montana Gold spray paint, and belt (as bracelet) painted with Angelus Brand Leather Paint.

[top and jeans: Kristina Fjellman, earrings and pendant: Christopher Nolt, belt: Kristina Fjellman]

Indigo and Yellow: Pairing classic indigo dye with sunny yellow makes these combinations really pop! Kristina and Anna are wearing a dress and a top (respectively) each dyed using Jacquard’s Indigo Dye Kit. Anna’s also styling a scarf block printed with Speedball Relief Ink for Fabric, and laser-cut wood earrings and pendant painted with Montana Gold spray paint. Kristina’s festooned scarf is painted with Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint, while her laser-cut wood earrings are painted with Montana Gold spray paint, and her shoes are fancified with Angelus Brand Leather Paint.

[top and dress: Kristina Fjellman, earrings and pendant: Christopher Nolt, block printed scarf: Anna Miller, silk scarf: Jorden Priebe Cole, shoes: Kristina Fjellman]

All photography by Jorden Priebe Cole of In the Moment Studios 

The Spring 2019 edition of Fashion Week MN is April 28–May 5, 2019, with a kickoff event on April 25. Visit fashionweekmn.com/calendar for the full lineup.