Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Darin and Scott went to beautiful Utah, barely went outside and it was well worth it.

Darin and I went to the big art supply show this week in Salt Lake City. It’s been nineteen years since the last time I went to a NAMTA show and I’m still reeling. It’s a gas seeing all the people behind these products and meeting up with other store owners to catch up, talk shop, and see if anyone has found the next adult coloring book trend or the new Bob Ross.

If you have been following us on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen a few sneak previews of stuff we found for the store like the Black Black drawing pads, the Viarco vintage pencils (cooler than cool), and some new Daniel Smith oil colors. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know when these and more (including some TOP SECRET ITEMS) hit St Paul and our online store.

During the opening presentation I was pleased to see that the NAMTA organization and the University of Delaware are continuing the work of the late Mark Gottsegen with the Materials Information and Technical Resources for Artists  (MITRA) website. I had to take a break from reading the forums there to get this blog post done. Let us know if you also find something interesting there.

logoI was also impressed that the group is advancing their Art Matters! campaign for arts advocacy. You should expect to see some of the Art Facts in our store and posts. I ordered up some Art Matters! shirts for the staff as well.

I was excited to spend a few minutes that evening with Robert Gamblin, who mentioned gamblinWet Paint during his acceptance of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award (Congratulations, Robert!). The next day we caught him in the Gamblin Artist Colors booth and Darin had brought along a detailed customer question about mixing satin and matte finishes and applying varnish. Robert’s general advice for application of Gamvar is to always work in thin layers by applying a liberal amount and then using a varnish brush to pull off the excess until only a film remains for each coat.

Out on the floor we had our running shoes on and covered a lot of ground in four days.

We picked up some French-made journals with Coptic bindings and modern art covers from our friend Greg Daniels when we were in his booth talking about DaVinci watercolor brushes. (Tip of the cap to Phillip Forstall for helping with the term “Coptic binding!” ) These books look great and feel like they are delivered by time machine from 1959. I can hear jazz playing when I open them.

Karin Harding from Michael Harding Artists Oil Colors turned the tables when we got to her booth and interviewed us for a bit. She wanted to get more info about the artists that are so dedicated to using their incredibly rich handmade oils.

In the Yasutomo booth we checked out some new brushes and origami papers. One lovely item mystified us. We ended up eating it.butter2

Maureen Labro and I chatted after the President’s reception while we were stranded at the Utah Museum of Natural History one evening waiting for the shuttle bus to get towed through the snow (4 inches can stop a bus? Maybe in Utah. Not in Minnesota!). In her booth the next day we looked at printmaking and drawing papers from Fabriano and Awagami. Check out the fun they were having in that booth!  We couldn’t leave without placing an order for a display of adorable yet incredibly well-featured travel brushes and a matching bamboo wrap. Great attention to detail on these. The wash brush has a functional scraper end.  All of our whiskey/pocket watercolor painters will have these on their get list.lil brush

 

Two audiences that are getting more attention from manufacturers this year are Plein Air painters and Bullet Journalists.

Portability and ease for the outdoor painter is number one yet the Plein Air artists also remind us they are part of a tradition of style and materials. Both efficient modern design and beautiful heritage tools and paints are well represented in some new/old products we’ll be featuring soon. More than one oil manufacturer is working on smaller tubes for you and I’m so thrilled I’m already working to rearrange the aisles to make a little more room for them.

OK, BuJo’s (aka “Bullet Journal aficionados”) we hear you. More journals with dot grids and numbered pages are arriving daily! We also got a sneak peek at a beautiful highlighter line suggested by a local journaler that has watercolor-like tones and even comes in grey! We have to wait for them to get to the US then we will get them in ASAP!

  • HOT TIP Plein Air and Bullet Journaling artists! If you are interested let us know in the comments and we’d be happy to give you a head-ups email as the new stuff hits our receiving room.

 Darin wrote up about five pages of notes from the show. Watch this space and follow us on social media for more of the finds and discoveries we brought back from our trip to SLC.


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Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors, Mediums and Grounds

darinheadThis blog post is written by Darin Rinne, longtime General Manager, and now co-owner of Wet Paint.

Wet Paint carries over a dozen different paint options for the oil painter.  Why so many?  We feel that it’s critical to have the tools needed for communicating every painter’s vision, and painters’ tastes in oil paint are as varied as their paintings!

Williamsburg oils are a Wet Paint staff and customer favorite. Williamsburg currently manufactures over one hundred seventy artist quality colors, many of which are unique to them…there’s something here for every oil painter, and likely more than a few surprises and “must haves!” Each pigment is milled in small batches to its own unique standard – ranging from very fine to coarse.  Some colors feel slightly gritty, while others are super smooth.  This approach preserves the range of textures that oil paints have historically had, and insures that the beauty and luminosity of each individual pigment is emphasized.

And they’re not just color…Williamsburg also offers an extensive line of mediums and grounds, too, encompassing everything from the traditional to the contemporary.

viridiancolorswatch viridianfreetubeThru February 10th, you can purchase Williamsburg at Wet Paint for the lowest price anywhere: 40% off!  If you’re already painting with Williamsburg, it’s a great time to stock up.  If you’re new to the line, it’s a great time to try it and see what the buzz is about!  Additionally (and this is huge): while supplies last, get a 37ml tube of Viridian at NO CHARGE when you purchase three tubes of Williamsburg at 40% off!  A fixture on most traditional palettes, Viridian is a semi-transparent, slightly milky green that tints to a soft, minty grey-green.  Mix it with Alizarin Crimson to achieve a muted chromatic black.  Williamsburg gives their Viridian a fine grind that imparts a velvety lusciousness.  With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $37.29,  this is no incidental give away…don’t miss this opportunity!


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Big News from Wet Paint

As Wet Paint enters its 41st year on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul owner Beth Bergman is excited to announce her retirement at the end of 2016. Long-time employees Darin Rinne and Scott Fares will become the new proprietors. After 33 years provisioning artists in the Twin Cities and across the country Beth intends to move to the other side of the counter and focus on making art herself.

Wet Paint is renowned for its excellent selection of over 35,000 high quality art supplies and papers and the knowledgeable staff that supports artists of all levels of intention. Located at the corner of Grand and Cambridge, Wet Paint has grown from a small storefront serving local students into a nationally and internationally recognized center for quality and expertise. In 2015 the store expanded to increase the framing department and add space dedicated to classes for kids and adults on everything from origami and printmaking to watercolor techniques and mat cutting.  Bergman and Wet Paint are both well known for their support of the arts, artists, and independent business, a distinction that will continue under Darin and Scott’s direction.

For questions please contact Scott Fares or Darin Rinne at 651 698 6431. Email: darin@wetpaintart.com, scott@wetpaintart.com.