Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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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.

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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?

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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.


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Introducing a NEW custom color from Gamblin: Sunset Orange!

It may be snowing and cold here in Minnesota, but we’ve brought in a little sunshine with this brand new oil color…

sunsetorangewithpinWe are pleased to introduce the newest addition to the series of Custom Oil Colors: Sunset Orange! Sunset Orange was manufactured by Gamblin Artist Colors specifically for Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Indiana, in partnership with Wet Paint.

Designed by Indiana artist Mark Blaney, and formulated by Gamblin, Sunset Orange is a unique mixture of two modern pigments* and titanium white for a bright, semi-transparent orange. Sunset Orange is available in 37ml tubes for only $8.95!  This is a limited edition and available while supplies last.

As with the past Custom Colors (like last year’s Knew Black), all proceeds from Wet Paint’s sales of Sunset Orange tubes and merchandise benefit a local non-profit organization. This year’s recipient will be Feline Rescue in St. Paul.
Plus, any purchase of a tube comes with a FREE Sunset Orange pin! (while supplies last)

Just arrived! Sunset Orange t-shirts are also for sale. 

*Pigments: Monoacetolone (PO 62) used in Gamblin’s Permanent Orange, Arylide yellow (PY 74) used in Hansa Yellow, and Titanium dioxide (PW 6)

 

 


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Top 18 Art Supplies of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to look back on some of our favorites of the year. Not all of these were new products this year, but nearly all of them were new to Wet Paint. Read on to see what made our list!

1.Schmincke Horadam Gouache 10 Tube Set

2. Liquitex Acrylic Gouache

We’ve always been a fan of gouache paint, but there seemed to be a new excitement around it this past year. Gouache (pronounced like “ɡwäSH”) is the fancy name for opaque watercolor paint. Wet Paint stocks Schmincke gouache in open stock, but the 10 color tube set is a great introduction to the traditional paint. New in 2018, Liquitex Acrylic Gouache has the opaque, matte finish of classic gouache with the water permanence of acrylic. Both are worth checking out!

3. Schmincke Horadam 24 1/2 Pan Watercolor Set

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Schmincke Horadam 1/2 Pan Set of 24

2018 was another big year for ½ pan watercolors at Wet Paint.  The Schmincke custom set we partnered with Jennifer McLean on has sold out, but we still have limited quantities of the 24 ½ pan set, as well as options from QOR, Daniel Smith, Yarka, and more!

4. Super 5 Fountain Pens and Fountain Pen ink

5. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink

Handwriting is also making a comeback! And what better to get on-trend than with than a new refillable fountain pen?!? Wet Paint stocks all of your favorite brands of pens (and inks, too, to personalize your penmanship). A few of our favorites: everyone on staff owns a Super 5 fountain pen…durable construction and free flowing ink make it a dependable choice for everyday writing; we have been charmed by the beautiful Pilot Iroshizuku inks…lovely selection of colors in gorgeous glass bottles!

6. Cigar Boxes

7. Xiem Art Bag

Storage and transportation of art supplies can sometimes be a nuisance when many items are odd sizes or easily damaged. But then came the Xiem Art Bag with its many pockets, wooden handle, reinforced bottom and 25 lbs carrying capacity! Swoon! We also love the classic, and always useful, cigar boxes- not new this year, but still a fave.

8. Sienna Plein Air 

9. New Wave u.go 

10. Etchr Bags

2018 was also the year for new & different plein air painting supplies- specifically rethinking the classic french easel or pochade box. Whether it was upgrading to something sleeker and easier to carry (u.go), separating the support from the box (Sienna), or using the supply bag as the easel itself (Etchr), this was a great year for finding new ways to get out and paint!

11. Leuchtturm 1917 

12. Koala Tools Gridded Notebooks

So many dots it’s like we’re contagious!  Unlike the measles, though, dot grid notebooks are showing no signs of being wiped out…and we like it that way!

13. Golden Acrylic – New 2018 Colors

Golden Artist Acrylic Paint is not new, but Golden did come out with some beautiful new colors for 2018. Plus, they’ve just revamped their online color mixer, which is a great resource for finding that perfect color or matching a color from an image!

14. POSCA Acrylic Paint Markers

The paint markers that everybody had been asking for finally arrived at Wet Paint in 2018…and they’ve been a huge hit.  Lots of sizes, lots of colors and suitable for almost any surface…let’s go write on stuff!

15. DaVinci Casaneo Travel Brushes

Quite possibly the most beloved watercolor brush at Wet Paint since Silver’s Black Velvet…and the Casaneo is all synthetic.  If you didn’t try it in 2018, you’d better make a resolution for 2019!

16. Gamblin Custom Oil Paint Knew Black 

We partnered with our pals at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Bloomington, Indiana and Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors in Portland, Oregon to bring local artist, Ta-Coumba Aiken’s, custom oil color, Knew Black, to life. Read all about it here.

17. Stillman & Birn Nova Toned Sketchbooks

Featuring double-sized, 150gsm toned paper in either beige, black or gray Nova Series sketchbooks are the perfect “go to” for mixed media applications. Can’t decide which tone is right for you?  The new Nova Trio has all three of ‘em in one book!  (And, the answer is: they’re all right for you!).

18. Caran d’ Ache Technalo RGB Tinted Water-soluble Graphite

Super subtle hint of color in brand new pencils or sticks…barely red, barely green and barely blue never looked so good!

It’s been fun reminiscing about all of our favorite creative supplies from the past year…it’s making us excited to see what 2019 will bring!  What made the top of your list for 2018?

Happy New Year, everybody!


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Cultivating Our Creative Community

virginiacircle

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

Having planted the garden and tended to its growth along the way, now comes the harvests’ bounty. And we have a bountiful season of creative opportunities for you to sample.

New varieties abound! – from the satisfaction of making stunning Crepe Paper Sunflowers and jewel toned French Lace handbound Journals, from the deeper dives of Self Portraits 3 Ways and Experimental Drawing, to the rich exploration of creative life questions such as “Who Am I Now?” Organizational Journaling for Pre and Post retirement.   There’s a whole new crop of classes designed for the absolute beginner who wants to try painting and drawing with themes like painting pets, miniature landscapes, painting in the style of MonetMatisse and more!

 

Perennial favorites form the base of any excellent feast! 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…including a new Monthly lettering practice Meet-up on the first Monday of the month.

 

Bright notes and deep flavors round out the season! Look for show-stopping classes and demos by visiting artists in sketching, relief printmaking and silkscreen printing as well as other great demos and hands-on events that will surprise, engage, edify and cultivate your creative life.

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