Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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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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Learn to Paint from a Modern Master

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This blog post is from Virginia, our Event Coordinator at Wet Paint:

At Wet Paint we are fortunate to know so many incredible artists, many of whom are also great teachers. Carl Oltvedt is one of them.

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Reflections II

 

Carl taught at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where he was a Professor in the School of Visual Arts for 32 years.  Back in the day, he worked for an art materials retailer in Minneapolis so his knowledge of art materials and uses is extensive.  You can see some of his paintings at Groveland Gallery where he is currently represented. His work is in national and international private and corporate collections. He currently has his painting Reflections II on view through January 2017 in the US Embassy in Olso, Norway.

Carl has a lot of credentials but he’s not intimidating…he is one of the most caring, attentive and skillful teachers you’d ever want to meet.

And here’s an opportunity to do just that when you sign up for Carl’s multi session  Introduction to Acrylic Painting class at Wet Paint, Tuesdays from 4:00-7:00pm, October 4th-November 1st.

In this class you will learn basic painting fundamentals – how to build a painting from start to finish, simple color theory and composition, and how colors mix and relate to one another.  The class starts out simply and more advanced technique is added in as the course progresses. You’ll be working from a still life. Paint and some shared supplies will be provided, though a few additional materials are required.

Starting a new medium can be daunting. Acrylic colors and mediums offer a huge array of choice which can be overwhelming. So it’s great to have expert guidance, a stretch of time to absorb it all, and materials chosen with your experience in mind.

I believe that real, long term enjoyment of a new medium comes from gaining knowledge of how to use the materials, combined with basic principles of art.  These foundations give the aspiring artist the best chance to realize their vision.  Whether you  are new to painting or painted years ago and want to get back into it, there is no time like the present to begin or begin again. I hope to see you there. Click here to find out more and register online.

Virginia McBride
Programming Manager

Space is limited…please register no later than Sunday, October 2nd


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Graham on Graham – A Winning Combination

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Greg Graham

 

If you’ve been a customer of Wet Paint over the past twenty years, you know Greg Graham.  Greg came to Wet Paint from New York State via graduate school in printmaking and sales training in the shoe business as well as Arlene’s Artist materials in Albany.  After all these years of Minnesota nice, Greg maintains his New York edge. Many of you get his personalized attention and advice during your regular visits to Wet Paint.  Tonight we put Greg in the spotlight when he will actually demonstrate his painting techniques using one of Wet Paint’s quality lines of acrylic paint.

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Art Graham

 

Art Graham got out of art school and learned the art of paint making from the masters in New York City at Grumbacher during that brand’s heyday.  After too many years of big city living and corporate art materials company buyouts, Art moved to Oregon and built his own paint company, M. Graham.  In facilities not much bigger than a three car garage, Art, his partner Diana and a tiny staff, produce watercolor, gouache, oil and acrylic.  He keeps his product lines short and sweet, just doing it his way.  I am always surprised that the big companies in art materials never recognize the quality of Graham’s paints.  In blind testing, his colors repeatedly equal if not surpass the category leaders.

Ignore tonight’s weather and come over to Wet Paint and see Greg Graham’s painting demonstration with Art Graham’s paint.  It is a winning combination.


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Winter Thaw at Wet Paint

bcutts11Mother Nature has given us a nasty New Year’s gift of sub-zero weather. It is over and we do hope you get out of the house and studio and come and see us at Wet Paint. We will be heating it up more than usual this Saturday (Jan 11th from 11am-2pm) with our friend Bonnie Cutts. Bonnie is our regional working artist for Golden Artist Colors and she can raise the temp on your artistic flow through her creativity, enthusiasm and product knowledge. Bonnie will demonstrate Golden Artist’s Colors newest product line, High Flow Acrylics.

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Beth’s doodle with High Flow in a paint marker (yes, that is Bonnie’s picture)

Golden looks at how artists use paint today and formulate their lines to better meet their demands. They took a limited market product in their airbrush color and transformed it into High Flow so it can be used with airbrush, empty paint markers, technical pens, as well as your more traditional painting tools.

If you’re a seasoned Golden Artist Color enthusiast, you probably wonder what the difference is between High Flow and Fluid. Bonnie will not just answer that question but let you test the product side by side along with its application to different acrylic grounds.

Darin, Wet Paint’s General Manager, considers Golden’ s High Flow to be one of the hot products of 2013. I just loaded an empty paint marker with some High Flow and it’s quite a bit of drawing fun.

Get those artist juices flowing again.


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Why Wet Paint loves Greg Graham

Greg at the paper counter at Wet Paint

Greg at the paper counter at Wet Paint

Twenty years ago I hired this guy not just with an artist’s attitude but a New York artist’s attitude to boot. I never imagined Greg would turn into a long term employee and be so devoted and committed to Wet Paint, our employees and customers. Greg has grown into a key manager at Wet Paint, keeping the front of the house well stocked and staffed. He is passionate about art materials and loves to share his extensive product knowledge with staff and customers. I am constantly amazed to hear Greg speak of a customer and the products they use; how they use it, and where they are showing their work.

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“In Progress” enamel on panel by Gregory Graham

And now Greg’s clientele has the opportunity to view his new work at the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center’s Atrium Gallery. The show includes 60 paintings (yes, 60) ranging in size from 4”x4” to 8”x10” (yes, inches). As a true art supply junkie, they are enamel over acrylic on Ampersand panels. He is currently using the Princeton Select 3750 series of brushes.

So join Greg at the reception for his show this Friday evening, October 4, from 6-8 p.m. I know he will love to see you and talk shop.

Check out his website www.gregorygrahamart.com


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Why Wet Paint Stocks Holbein Acrylics

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper

This quote from painter Edward Hopper encapsulates the ongoing dilemma of describing your paintings with words. No matter what you say about your subject matter, your colors, the texture of your paint, you come up short. Talking about the paint itself is a little easier but tends to draw upon descriptors that may sound foreign to the untrained painter. There are artists who view paint as mere pigment to extend with water and get some color on their image. Then there are painters who can sense the difference in paint lines, from the way it comes out of the tube, to how it grabs onto a brush and then how it releases onto the canvas. And how colors mix varies from one manufacturer to another, how much elbow grease it takes to blend yellow and red into orange.

HAU_romance7When companies come to Wet Paint and offer a new acrylic line, we shuffle and make excuses like we don’t have the space. What it really comes down to there often isn’t that much difference from one brand to another. So along comes Holbein, a favorite manufacturer partner of Wet Paint’s with a newly formulated line of acrylics. We were very pleased to find out that they have developed a line of color that is not a “me too” replicant of the category leader. The Holbein Heavy Body Artist Acrylic has some unique properties to claim a position of their own.

Virginia trying out the new Holbein Acrylics

Virginia trying out the new Holbein Acrylics

Greg Graham, painter and Wet Paint Floor Manager, got the opportunity to play with these new acrylics. He felt the paint’s consistency is softer, even silky, under the brush, but not slippery, compared to other acrylic lines. “It reminds me of Lascaux which, unfortunately, is out of many acrylic painters’ price range.” It feels a little more like oil paint and does seem to have a longer working time. It didn’t tack up as quickly as many of the other acrylics. If you like to paint directly from the tube rather than using additives, gels and mediums, the Holbein acrylic has a great feel under the brush. Virginia McBride, another Wet Paint staffer who is more of a drawer than a painter, found the silkiness when mixing colors very enticing.

The new Holbein Acrylic

The new Holbein Acrylic

Holbein is offering a range of 113 colors in acrylics. Their color selection contains many pigments you find in their oils and watercolors. Manufactured in Japan, the Holbein palette not only contains traditional Western palettes from the Renaissance through the Impressionists to the Moderns but includes colors friendlier to an Asian esthetic. Some favorites from other mediums that are unique to Holbein are their classic mixed colors like the Compose Blue series and the Luminous colors of Violet, Rose and Opera. Like their oil paint, Holbein’s acrylics have a consistent body and sheen from one color to another.

The new Holbein Heavy Body Artist Acrylic is a painter’s paint. We are happy to add this color line to our selection at Wet Paint. This fall is a great time to try them out. They are on sale and there is a free tube of Titanium White with a purchase of 5 tubes of color.

Every day is a good day when you paint.