Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Wet Paint’s 7th Annual Summer Postcard Project

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

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

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

Wet Paint Address:

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


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Status of the Store – Monday 5/18

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

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

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

Be well and stay safe!

-Scott

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


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Status of the Store – Monday 4/13

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

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

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

Darin

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


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Status of the Store – Thursday

WPfallsunshine

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

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

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

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

-Darin


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Status of the Store – Wednesday

falldayWPOne week ago seems like six months ago with everything that’s happened in the past seven days.  Most of us have never known the kinds of upheaval that – by many accounts – is just getting started.  Many students and professionals are now setting up to work from home as best they can. If drawing, painting, or writing is part of your plan to weather the uncertainty of the times, we’re planning to be here to help.  For now, that means we’re in the building from 10:00am-5:00pm daily fulfilling your phone, web, and e mailed orders thru curbside pickup while the sales floor is closed for browsing.  We’re also shipping orders Monday thru Friday.  Contact us with your needs or questions.

Most of our suppliers have closed, but there’s still a trickle of new supplies coming in.  Many of you asked about paint-by-numbers kits and sidewalk chalk; we should have both in the next few days.  We’re still well stocked on Ukrainian Easter egg supplies, relief printing supplies, and coloring books…perennial fun projects.  And just because the store is closed for browsing, that doesn’t mean you can’t window shop…we’ve loaded the windows with all sorts of things to tempt you when you stroll by.  Need other ideas?  Watch our social media, or call for personal shopping services.

Just like you, we’re all nervous about the future and anxious to get back to a place of security and normalcy.  Hopefully these temporary disruptions get us back to that place, healthily and hastily.

-Darin

651-698-6431 or sales@wetpaintart.com


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Status of the Store (Thursday) and…a little bit of inspiration

Wet Paint is open…kind of!  We’re here to answer your calls and e mails, and fulfill your orders from 10am – 5pm daily, but the sales floor is temporarily closed for browsing.  You can still get the creative supplies you need to continue working thru the pandemic, you just gotta order them for curbside delivery (pickup starting at noon each day) or UPS/USPS shipping (Monday thru Friday).  We’ll even deliver…call to discuss details.

But browsing is half the fun!?!  We can help.  Browse (and order from) www.wetpaintart.com.  Choose the “curbside delivery” shipping option if you want to pick up your order, UPS/USPS if you want it shipped.  If you’re not already, follow us on social media(Facebook, Instagram).  We’ll be “virtually browsing” the shelves several times a day to entice you with possibilities.  Finally, put us to work as your personal shoppers…call or e mail what you want to do/make/achieve and we’ll pull together a selection of supplies that will get you there.

How does this curbside delivery thing work?  E mail us at sales@wetpaintart.com (preferred), order at www.wetpaintart.com or call us at 651-698-6431 to place your order.  All orders for curbside pickup will be followed up by phone or email to confirm stock, and/or notify of pickup ready status.  Then, drive (or stress-walk) to Wet Paint any time after noon and call when you arrive…we’ll run your order out with respectful social distancing.

We’re closing the sales floor to protect the health of our employees and our community.  The hardest part (of the many hard parts) of this decision is that I had to temporarily lay off most of our staff…friends, brothers & sisters all.  Even though we know they’re coming back, it ranks right up there with “putting best friend to sleep” as the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.  More positively, we’re all healthy and – hopefully – the steps we’ve taken will keep us that way.  And, we have the very best customers in the world…so much support from friends old & new, from near & far.  It’s humbling…and so needed, so appreciated.

I promised a little bit of inspiration.  We were gonna skip the “e blast” this weekend, because…whatever.  We’re just gonna hunker down and tend to the curb.  But we changed our minds.  This is a cool & inspiring story, and it’s something new.  Happy First Day of Spring, y’all.  -Darin

reclaimed earth set

Presenting: Gamblin Artists Colors Reclaimed Earth Colors Set! 

Three years ago, John Sabraw walked into Gamblin with a dream. His dream was to restore life to the most polluted rivers in America and, in so doing, create new pigments that painters and others could use to create art.  This set is the realization of John’s vision.  Every speck of pigment in these three tubes – Rust Red, Brown Ochre, & Iron Violet – has been painstakingly reclaimed from waters tainted by iron released from mines. Iron oxides make lightfast, natural, and safe oil paints. We want to put them where they belong. On your palette.

For more information on the colors and this on-going project: https://gamblincolors.com/reclaimed-earth-colors/

Each three tube set comes packaged in a sweet, cradled/primed wood panel.  We’ve only got 36 of them…first come, first served.

Click here to purchase one of these limited edition Reclaimed Earth Sets for $39!!

reclaimedearthmixes

Color mixing chart to see just how versatile this set can be!


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Updated Store Hours and Curbside Pickup

falldayWP

My hope was that we could keep things normal at Wet Paint, so we could all maintain that little piece of comfortable sameness; keeping things normal didn’t last very long, I’m sorry to say.  With the “shelter in place” decree in the Bay Area on Monday (and the same rumored for NYC later this week), and the closing of bars, restaurants and the Mall of America right here at home, it’s increasingly obvious that – for the health and safety of our people, our customers, and our community – we need to close Wet Paint to browsing.

Our last – shortened – day of regular shopping for a while will be tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18th.  Starting on Thursday, March 19th , our “new normal” will be a skeleton crew on hand daily to fulfill your curbside pickup and web orders…you can still get art supplies, you just can’t come into the store to get ‘em.  How long does this last?  I wish we knew.

Wednesday, March 18th

Open 10:00am – 5:00pm for browsing, curbside delivery, and web sales

Thursday, March 19th until ???

Taking orders via email: sales@wetpaintart.com (preferred) or phone: 651-698-6431 starting at 10:00am.

Orders fulfilled via curbside delivery from noon – 5:00pm  All orders for curbside pickup will be followed up by phone or email to confirm stock, and/or notify of pickup ready status.

Darin

 


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Updated State of the Store

WetPaintexteriorAs pandemic best practices are changing daily, I want to update our friends and community on what’s going on at Wet Paint.  First, I want to thank everyone that made Wet Paint a part of their weekend errands the last few days…we were really busy with folks stocking up for hunkering down.  Speaking for Scott and the entire staff, I truly can’t say enough about how much your support means to us.

If you didn’t make it in – and you need art supplies – we’re here for you: Monday-Friday 10-8, Saturday & Sunday 10-6.  As noted above, best practices are changing daily…our schedule might at some point, too.

We’re washing our hands, wiping down surfaces, and social distancing.  Besides these considerations, things seem almost normal at the shop…but they’re not, of course.  We worry about the unknown and the worst case scenarios.  We worry about people we know & love getting sick and what we can do to prevent that.  The Minnesota Department of Health is recommending that people who are 70 and older, or people of any age who are currently sick or have underlying health conditions that put them at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, should stay home and avoid gatherings or other situations of potential exposures.  Whether you fit this description, or just feel nervous about shopping, here’s a few ideas for keeping your creativity flowing while also staying safe:

  • Shop wetpaintart.com 24/7.  We’re still shipping daily.
  • Not sure what you want, but know you need a few “projects” on hand?  We’ve hand selected a few assortments for your consideration (below).  If you’re not seeing what you want, give us a call…a personal shopper is at your service! 651-698-6431
  • If you’re in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and want to pick up your order while minimizing exposure to others, choose “Curbside Pickup” as your shipping option; give us a call when you arrive and we’ll run your order out to your car.
  • We’re not equipped for full-scale delivery services, but if you need supplies and can’t get to us, we might be able to get to you.  Give us a call and we’ll try to figure it out!

Wishing you peace-of-mind and comfort in these uncertain times,

Darin


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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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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?