Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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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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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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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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Cultivating Our Creative Community

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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!


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Fresh classes to fit your summer

virginiacircleThis blog post is from Virginia, our Classes and Events Manager at Wet Paint:

Summer is here.

Down pace your life to something more relaxed and curious. Summer classes at Wet Paint offer you ways to refresh your creative spirit, support for your continuing creative pursuits or perhaps explore new materials or techniques for the first time.

Here’s a look at what’s in store:

You’ll find many more single session classes along with a handful of shorter multi session classes ranging from lettering and book + paper arts, to printmaking, painting and drawing and some unique specialty classes.

There are some new instructors and classes to point out:

When the Work Doesn’t Flow taught by Ellie Kingsbury addresses those dry spells artists inevitably experience and how to work with them; Intro to Micrography taught by Kyna Levi  (also offered for young artists); Intro to Screen Printing taught by Tim Cronin and Jeff Hnilicka. They are also teaching a Summer Printmaking Sampler for ages 10-15Floral Abstractions: Onsite Sketching to Finished Painting taught by Paige Tighe; Intro to Calligraphy classes for young artists and families taught by Mary McKee; plus 2 classes in the works: Wet Paint Watercolor Paper Sampler Exploration class and How to Paint Dew Drops in Watercolor taught by Illinois Watercolorist Jane Mason of Watching Paint Dry.

Many returning instructors are offering new classes such as Custom Playing Cards and Tarot Cards taught by Jeff Nelson who has three offerings in August; A whole series of new Artists Way classes taught by Tara Tieso including Abstract Urban Sketchbook, a Mixed Media Triptych and Artists Way Mini Retreat; Painterly Drawing: Water soluble Colored Pencils taught by Monica Fogg; Os Style Rosemaling taught by Julie Anderson (pictured); Watercolor + Pastel Workshop and Watercolor/Gouache/mixed Media Plein Air Workshop taught by Carl Oltvedt; Drawing Pet Portraits in Pastel Pencil taught by Susan Beck, A whole slew of classes taught by Liz Carlson including Mail Art-A-Go-Go and Cut + Paste Illustration; plus two new offerings from Bridget O’Malley Handbound Book: Japanese Side Stab Binding, and Holding it All Together : Longstitch Binding with Cave Paper.

In addition to classes you’ll find free events and demos:

Monthly Sunday Sketch-In’s, Andy Evansen Watercolor Demo in July, Bullet Journal Meet-Up in August, and our Annual Summer Postcard Project all summer long!  Keep an eye out for more events and classes in the works on our Facebook page, website or in-store posters.

…and finally, there are numerous ways to join us for fun art activities in the community this summer:

Grand Old Day Master Artwork Selfie Station, Pinners Conference and Expo in Minneapolis, Monthly Artist Talks at Lyngblomsten, Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival, American Swedish Institute’s Great Makers Exchange, Pet Portraits during Paws on Grand.

With 50+ classes and events, it’s going to be a lot of fun in the classroom and we hope to see you there!


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Wet Paint’s 5th 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 17th, 2018.

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 13th, 2018.
-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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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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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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Jumpstart Your Art with Mixed Media Collage

virginiaheadThis blog post is from Virginia, our Programming Manager at Wet Paint:

Join us in the Wet Paint classroom on Saturday, October 22nd for a 3 hour mixed media workshop with visiting artist Dana Brown.  You will make (and take) two unique mixed media pieces while exploring the potentials of Ampersand’s fantastic panels.  The workshop is offered twice – from 10am-1pm and again from 2pm-5pm – choose the one that’s best for you!

Mixed media collage allows you to experiment with dynamic compositions while you explore new techniques and materials. The change of approach from more conventional processes is great for generating original ideas that impact both the collage itself as well as your regular drawing and painting practice.

Dana is well known for the fun he brings to teaching, as well as his extensive knowledge of artists’ materials. This workshop is suitable for any level of art maker. It would be a great way to expand your experience of using a variety of media on the same surface, or just to try something different.

The $48 class fee includes all of the supplies we’ll use in the workshop: an 8×10 Claybord and an 8×10 Encausticbord for each participant, as well as Golden acrylic paints, Claybord/Scratchbord inks and the full line of Scratchboard tools, magazines for collage, drawing supplies, random materials for mixed media techniques, and essential studio supplies like brushes, glue and scissors. Register yourself – or your group – here.

More about Dana and Ampersand:

mixed102216Dana Brown is an artist from Austin, TX.  He has worked with Ampersand Art Supply for the past nine years educating artists and conservators from all over the world about Ampersand’s innovative contemporary artists’ panels. Dana’s personal art work is in a variety of media, ranging from oil painting to paper collage.

Originally from rural Iowa, Dana moved to Portland, Oregon, after completing his degree in studio painting. While there, he spent almost six years with oil paint company Gamblin Artists Colors, before moving to Texas to join Ampersand Art Supply. He loves working in the constantly evolving world of artists’ materials. He finds that this work reinforces his belief that access to information about the materials that we use helps support our personal, artistic intentions.

Ampersand Art Supply began hand-making museum quality panels in 1993, with the goal of offering artists  rigid, versatile, and permanent supports. Initially beginning with smooth, absorbent Claybord, Ampersand now offers ten different surface options; rejecting the, “one size fits all,” approach to painting surfaces. Ampersand hand-makes museum quality panels in Buda, Texas.