Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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What’s your growing creative edge?

virginiacircle

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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!


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Ara’s Top Picks for Kid’s Art Supplies

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Guest blogger, Ara, with her 3 children

Hello!
I am writing to share my top picks for art inspired gift giving for kids. I am a local artist, author and illustrator- but more importantly, I am a mother of 3 children- ages 9, 7, and 5. I have a background in early childhood education, and many, many years of teaching, creating and making joyful messes with children. I am frequently asked what I would suggest purchasing for kids to encourage creation and inspire creativity. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to get children REAL art supplies. Yes, they are a bit more money, but I have seen firsthand the difference in quality of art and love of making when children are given higher quality art supplies. Skip the big box sets of “100 ITEMS!” – most of which are lost, broken, dried out and faded within hours of opening. Instead, opt in for a few simple, but vibrant supplies, that are sure to make satisfying and stunning pieces of art. I am fiercely devoted to shopping at Wet Paint for materials, because the selection, vibe, and staff are beyond excellent.

1. A Utility sketch book
These guys are nice, heavy paper for any kind of drawing, bound like a book, and a full 288 pages! We keep a couple in the car for drawing when “bored”, my kids travel with them, and have one next to their bed for late night drawing. I love that they’re bound, because it allows a collection of art (288 pages!) to be saved easily.

2. Playcolor
These bright solid paint sticks are my most recommended to parents who are looking to get something new and interesting. They are capped like a marker, but smooth like a paint. They are deeply satisfying to draw with, almost like a lipstick. They dry fast, are not very messy, and come in varieties like metallic and textile. I think kids as young 3 and as old as me would enjoy these!

3Yarka Watercolor Palette
Yarka’s palettes are semi-moist, vibrant watercolors. These are SOOOO much better than those dried out, barely there color, other brand watercolor paint palettes we all used in school. Creamier and brighter, kids love painting with these. I especially love watercolors with kids if the paper is wet from a spray bottle or big brush. Watching the colors swirl and mix is so much fun process, and if you use a decent watercolor paper, the images can be saved for gift wrapping, card making, and other fun crafts.

4Niji Watercolor
A step up, for my kids, is a tube or liquid watercolor. The Niji brand is affordable, and kids love to squeeze a bit of paint onto a palette and mix it up with water. It’s also great for learning how to color mix and creating unique shades. Wet Paint also carries two other already mixed liquid watercolors, which are also fantastic.

5. Watercolor Paper
I like the Strathmore vision watercolor pad. It isn’t top shelf paper, but it is a million times better than flimsy kid craft paper. You get 30 sheets for $10, and end up with frame-able kid art and great watercolor abstracts for various paper projects.

6Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons
One of my personal favorite art supplies, I use these crayons for almost all of my base sketches, and my children use them whenever they color. I think they are brighter and smoother than a typical crayon, and they are amazing with watercolors or inks as a resist. Plus, beeswax is a natural and renewable resource, unlike petroleum-based paraffin of other crayons.

7Ampersand Art Panels
I have used art panels in many of the classes I’ve taught to young artists. I always ask them, “how do you like painting on the panels?” And everytime they all say IT IS SO MUCH FUN. The Ampersand art panels come in many finishes, and I love them all. My favorites are basswood and claybord, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. They are smooth, sturdy, and hold endless amount of material (so they’ll never get soggy like paper, no matter how much paint your kids pile on). Kids feel VERY proud of art made on these panels, because they are instantly ready to gallery hang, which makes any artist feel legit.

8. Claytoon
Pretty clay in fun packs of four colors, and it never dries out. Unlike other clays, it isn’t crumbly, and so less messy and easier to clean up. Soft and smooth clay is easier to create detail work, and to sculpt into the perfect figure. I suggest getting a lidded plastic pan/tray, that the clay can be kept in. Then it is easier to tidy up, and keeps it all in one spot. Bonus- add a couple IWAKO Japanese mini animal erasers to your clay tray. My kids love to sculpt tiny furniture and gardens and lands in the tray for the eraser guys to live in. Tiny clay bunkbed with a tiny eraser bunny = CUTE.

9. Marabu Art Crayons
Somewhere between Playcolor and watercolors, is the new Marabu Art Crayons. Silky and satisfying like Playcolor, they are a joy to draw with. But add in a paint brush and cup of water, and they turn to pretty washes and blends. These come in sets, or a la carte, for the perfect set of favorite colors.

10. Yupo Paper
Yupo is fun paper to play with and experiment new techniques on. I can’t imagine any child wouldn’t love it! It is silky smooth and lush, and with ink or markers is complete joy. Our kids love to use the Sakura Gelly Roll pens on it, or the Touch brush markers. The markers just saturate the paper with color, and the gelly rolls are glossy and glittery.

11. Kuretake Bimoji Pen
My favorite pen, for drawing, sketching and writing. We can’t keep enough of these in our house. Everyone loves them. Solid black, smooth, felt tip, they are great for outlines and detailed drawing work.

12. Cigar Boxes
Now that you have all the supplies, make sure you grab a $3 cigar box. Cigar boxes are the best! When I was kid I kept all my crayons in my grandpa’s old cigar boxes, and so it is nostalgic for me. But besides that, they are appealing to look at, practical for storage, stackable, sturdy, and a great size for almost anything.

I also love: Amsterdam acrylic inksGelly Roll pens, Papermate felt tips, Sakura Micron Pens, Molotow paint markersStrathmore blank cards/envelopesArt Graf carbon disc + Aquash water brush, and Traveler pocket journal sketch

Here are some lovely combos:

Basswood art panel + Beeswax crayons + Niji watercolors + cigar box
Basswood art panel + Playcolor + cigar box
Basswood Art Panel + Marabu Art Crayons + cigar box
Claybord Art Panel + Amsterdam acrylic inks + beeswax crayons + cigar box
Utility sketchbook + Gelly pens + Yupo
Utility sketchbook + Kuretake Bimoji Pen
Yupo paper + Kuretake Bimoji Pen + Touch Brush Markers + cigar box
Yupo paper + Gelly Pens + IWAKO eraser for cuteness + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Niji or Yarka watercolors + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Marabu Art Crayons + cigar box
Strathmore vision watercolor pad + Art Graf carbon disc + Aquash water brush
Claytoon + IWAKO erasers + storage container


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Week 12: A Bountiful Buffet of Media with Lynda Barry

81yi0KFScBLIt’s our last workout! Congratulations for finishing this round (or participating however you were able- your hosts are playing catch up, too)!  For our last workout, let’s blend all of the techniques together and illustrate a creative goal for this summer taking inspiration from Lynda Barry’s whimsical journal entries.  Use your watercolors, Neocolor II crayons, inks, collage, and stamp- feel free to add text and found objects, too.  This workout is all about you and what inspires your creativity, so whatever material or media you like is fair game!

what_120This week at Wet Paint, bring in your Weekly Workout Workbook (or if you are online, we’ll happily send you a discount code- just email kristina@wetpaintart.com) and get 20% off your entire purchase!  Excludes items already on promotion and classes.

And, the workouts will continue next winter (starting in January).  Feel free to participate in the past workouts- look in the Files section for the first 12 workouts and our Summer Session Series. Plus, we would love to have you participate in the upcoming edition of the Summer Postcard Project- details to be announced soon!  Thanks for making this round fabulous!  Love, Kristina & Liz

These Weekly Workouts will be posted as Events in our Facebook Group, click here to join!
We will also post our exercises here on our blog
Click here to see our list of suggested art supplies


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Spark your Creativity

one of Carla's whimsical bunnies

one of Carla’s whimsical bunnies

We are pleased to have two hours next Monday, August 19th, with Carla Sonheim. Artist, author and teacher, Carla will rev up your creativity through an organic presentation and hands on event like so much of what we do at Wet Paint. Sonheim is finishing up a series of classes at the Midwest Art & Lettering Retreat and we are thrilled to have her visit Wet Paint during her trip to the Upper Midwest. She is widely known for her books “Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists,” “Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals” and “The Art of Silliness” as well as her retreat workshops and online classes. We will have her books on hand for Carla to autograph. And she will nudge you through some “blob hunting” exercises to inspire and encourage your creativity.

Sonheim's new book

Carla Sonheim’s new book

What really excites me about Carla’s work is how much fun she has. I have watched many of the demos Wet Paint has hosted this summer and many techniques I’ve seen are really created just to get beyond staring at the blank canvas and asking, what am I going to make? She breaks through that barrier and helps you unleash your creativity to turn a contour drawing of a piece of bacon into an imaginary creature looking something like a dog. Not unlike techniques the Surrealists used to draw images out of their unconscious, Sonheim’s exercises will likely find the Dr. Seuss in you rather than the Dr. Freud. The pure joy of being creative. Just what the doctor ordered.

Find out more about Carla at her website www.carlasonheim.com or follow her blog.