Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Status of the Store – 7/27

For the first time in four months, Wet Paint is open for shopping.  With the mask mandate in place, and the relatively measured spread of Covid 19 in Minnesota (don’t screw it up, Minnesota!), we felt like it was time to welcome customers back into the store.  That said, it’s still not business as usual:

– you have to wear a mask that covers your nose & mouth…no exceptions

– to facilitate social distancing, no more than five customers in the shop at one time

– limit your visit to 15 minutes or less

We have staff on hand to help expedite your visit.  Need a lot of help?  Consider calling ahead with your questions so we’re best prepared to find the right solutions for your needs. 

Along with opening our doors, we’re also expanding our hours…not quite to where they were in the before-times, but more than what they’ve been recently.  We’re now here to serve you all seven days from 10:00am – 6:00pm.

Is curbside pickup still available? Yes!-We’re continuing our curbside and delivery services.  Call, email, or order online Monday through Friday…your curbside pickup order will be ready the same day, usually within one hour. For weekend pickup please call the store to place your order. Orders over $50 can be delivered to Minneapolis or St. Paul addresses Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday.  And, remember: wetpaintart.com is open 24 hours/day and we ship all over the world. 

Our framing counter is not yet ready to reopen. Please check before bringing your artwork to the shop.

We appreciate your patience as we do our best to offer our best possible service. We look forward to seeing you again! 

Darin Rinne, Co-owner


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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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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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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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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?


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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!