Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Wet Paint’s 4th Annual Summer Postcard Project

Going somewhere fun this summer? Or, having a productive stay-cation? 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. At the end of the summer, we’ll host a public art opening here at Wet Paint for all of the contributing artists!

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 and we want to be able to contact you with details about the end of summer art opening on August 18th, 2017.

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 end of summer exhibition, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 11th, 2017.
-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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Cornucopia of Classes

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

If you’re like me, crickets, cool mornings and long shadowed afternoons still signal that it’s time for returning to the focus of learning.  Fall classes at Wet Paint are just the thing to support your continuing creative pursuits or perhaps introduce you to new materials or techniques for the first time.

Here’s a look at what’s in store:

You’ll find multi week courses in watercolor and acrylic painting, lettering, urban sketching, rosemaling and printmaking; daylong workshops  in encaustic painting, silverpoint drawing, and watercolor; and many single session classes ranging from book and paper arts to mixed media collage, mat cutting and alcohol Inks.

There are some new instructors and classes to point out:

Japanese woodblock printing taught by Wisconsin artist John Koch; Airbrush Basics and Airbrush Techniques taught by Rurik Hover; Introductory Rosemaling taught by Julie Anderson; Bullet Journaling taught by Deb Shanilec; Hand Lettering Styles  and Modern Brush Calligraphy taught by Jessica Chung; Beyond Coloring: Intro to Color Basics & Pattern Making with Jill Michell;  and a  series of 3 awesome Origami Projects with Kathleen Sheridan.

We are fortunate to be able to partner with some of our manufacturers to bring you a selection of classes featuring expert instruction and excellent art materials including :

Chicago artist Don Colley’s Master class featuring Pitt Brush Pens and more from Faber Castell; Mixed Media Collage on Ampersand Artists Panels taught by Texas artist Dana Brown; Mat Cutting with Brian Buell of Chicago-based Logan Graphic Products, Intro to Encaustic Painting and Oil and Cold Wax with R+F Handmade paints both taught by the incredibly popular Julie Snidle from St. Louis; Diana Eicher’s Linoleum Block Printing class and Family Print Day with Speedball/Akua printmaking supplies; Airbrush Basics and Airbrush Techniques featuring IWATA airbrush taught by Rurik Hover; and Hand bound Sketchbooks using CAVE handmade paper (from across the river in Minneapolis) taught by Bridget O’Malley.

In addition to classes you’ll find some incredible free demos and events this fall- an art history talk on 17th Century painter Jan Vermeer by Jim Robinson; a review of Faber Castell Pitt brush pens, Polychromos colored pencils and water soluble graphite with Don Colley; an introduction to egg tempera with 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant recipient, Julie Jao; Ampersand Panels: Extraordinary Surfaces for Your Art with Dana Brown; Logan Mat Cutters with Brian Buell; and Water Media with Golden Artists Colors – a hands on demo with Bonnie Cutts.

With 45+ classes and events, It’s going to be a colorful and creative Autumn in the Wet Paint classroom. Hope to see you there!

Click here to see all the upcoming classes and events at Wet Paint!


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Wet Paint’s 3rd Annual Summer Postcard Project

Going somewhere fun this summer? Or, having a productive stay-cation? 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. At the end of the summer, we’ll host a public art opening here at Wet Paint for all of the contributing artists!

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 and we want to be able to contact you with details about the end of summer art opening on August 8th, 2016.
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 end of summer exhibition, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 2nd, 2016.
-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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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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Enkaustikos, a New Wax Cycle

As art movements wax and wane between figurative and landscape, realism and abstraction, the popularity of mediums change with the era too. Encaustic, the art of painting with wax, is one of the oldest techniques, dating back to antiquity. Anyone sitting through a required history and techniques class in college touched on the subject. In the second half of the 20th century, there were diverse individual artists who picked up the process such as Jasper Johns and Brice Marden. Until recently, dipping into encaustics meant reading recipes, acquiring the raw materials and manufacturing your own color and mediums.

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Kathryn Bevier monoprint using Enkaustikos paints

As we approached the end of the 20th century, a few art materials manufacturers came up with formulas to create “readymade” encaustic colors and mediums so artists could spend their time making art rather than making paint. One of these companies, Enkaustikos, has taken the block of colored wax a few steps further. They looked at the block of wax that artists put into a metal pot on their heated surface to melt and decided to sell their color in shoe polish sized tins to eliminate this step in the process. Since then they have pressed their wax paint into “Sticks” and “Snaps,” giving the artist smaller increments for using colored wax and also giving them wax shapes to use like drawing materials. They have taken some of the oldest art materials and reshaped them to meet contemporary artists’ needs.

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pulling a monoprint

Some of these developments have turned into great materials to use encaustic techniques in monoprinting. Printmaking has also experienced resurgence recently. The marrying of these two techniques reflects the current movement of mixed media art making.

We want you to experience encaustic and encaustic monoprinting for yourself. Join Kathryn Bevier from Enkaustikos this Saturday, January 18th, at Wet Paint. Kathryn not only works as an encaustic artist but is involved in the manufacturing of the Enkaustikos product line. This is a great opportunity to try out something new and ask a bunch of questions of a true expert in the field.

Click here for details and sign up for this demo.


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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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Painting the Place Between

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Kristen Lowe going on location with Holly Swift last winter

We are having one of those truly Minnesota weeks where we transition through a wide range of seasons in short order. Just days ago I moved through three different weight coats in one afternoon. By the end of today’s lunch, I had shoveled my sidewalk twice. What was falling from the sky on my way to Wet Paint wasn’t really snow or sleet or rain or hail. If we lived in Iceland or Greenland or Sami country, we would have an exact word for it. And the meteorologists are bracing us for sub-zero temperatures by the weekend. So we figure out how to navigate through our new landscape and still get back and forth to work and get all that holiday shopping done.
Looking at snow I like to focus on the shadows. Years ago, Art Graham added Ultramarine Violet to his watercolor paint line. It seemed odd to me he would add this one color. He told me it was for painting shadows on the snow. Holly Swift’s paintings, currently at Macalester’s gallery, have these haunting violet iridescent passages which remind me of the same unexpected coloration that you don’t see in the landscape until you really look, and then you do.

"Painting the Place Between" poster image

“Painting the Place Between” poster image

By Friday we will be in our seasoned Minnesotan zone, ready to weather it all to the Fitzgerald Theatre in downtown Saint Paul to attend the premiere of “Painting the Place Between.” A documentary film by artist Kristen Lowe, it features four of the Twin Cities’ finest landscape painters, Betsy Byers, Jil Evans, Holly Swift and Andrew Wykes. From the video clip I can tell these are the stories of real people weathering their life, their art and their craft in the Minnesota landscape. They split their time between the plein air and the studio with finished works that approach the abstract but are true to “the place between.”
You can still get tickets for Friday’s premiere. Before the showing, there will be a reception with the artists. It should be a great landscape of a weekend.

 

 


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Wet Paint loves Holly Swift’s New Show at Mac

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Detail of “Cedar Grove, September,” oil on canvas

When you’ve had too much of the seasonal events get yourself over to see Holly Newton Swift’s exhibit at Macalester College. It’s a 2 block walk from Wet Paint and worth every step no matter what the weather.

The show includes sketches and fully executed works both in drawing and painting. Swift studies the landscape and its trees, branches, boulders, water and snow and thoroughly investigates her materials, charcoals and oils, with the same depth. Her understanding of subject and materials masterfully comes together in compositions that reinforce both. She makes the most amazing colors zing out of a palette of greys.

This is another show that confirms Macalester has built a quality space in their newly renovated Law Warschaw Gallery, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center. Swift’s paintings just sing in this gallery. It feels museum-like yet intimate with soaring ceilings that never seem to dwarf the art on display. Its greatest downfall as a college gallery is their limited hours. Check before you go. (They will be closed this Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday but open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4. )

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“Spring Cascade” featured in Painting the Places Between

You can have another view of Holly Swift’s work through Kristen Lowe’s film “Painting the Place Between.” Swift along with Betsey Byers, Jil Evans and Andrew Wykes are the four featured landscape painters in the film that will debut at the Fitzgerald Theatre in Saint Paul on December 6th. We have tickets for sale at Wet Paint for this screening.

Woodlands and Waterfalls by Holly Newton Swift is on display until December 15th

Law Warschaw Gallery

website: macalester.edu/gallery

email: gallery@macalester.edu

phone: 651-696-6416


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Ofrenda “Cigar Box” Workshop

If you have visited Wet Paint during the past 2 weeks, you may have noticed some changes.  What used to be the office, is now housing frames and easels.  We have moved the administrative and management staff off of our main floor, giving us much needed space for products and events.

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Last year’s event at Wet Paint

So on Saturday November 2nd, we will push the easels out of the way and set up for the first in-house Wet Paint workshop.  Customers often ask us for classes at Wet Paint.  Our series of in-store “Try-Its” and “Demos” have been very successful, but those in attendance know how our space has been limited.  Last year when Armando Gutiérrez G showed off his decorated alters, ofrendas, and offered customers advice, many begged for a class to actually build their own ofrenda.

This year we are offering a 3.5 hour hands-on class so you can make your own ofrenda. Enrollment is limited to 10 and registration is required.

DSC_0135Armando is a longtime friend of Wet Paint.  He works in many mediums and incorporates his strong cultural and spiritual beliefs into his work.  Adding to this his many years of teaching, Armando was perfect at our “Try-It” event last year celebrating the Day of the Dead.  This year’s workshop is a great opportunity to learn from a master with more elbow room than we have ever offered at Wet Paint.   The class fee also covers a cigar box and the art materials to decorate your own ofrenda.  You are encouraged to bring your own photos, copies or small items to personalize your box.  Armando will provide an ongoing dialog about the cultural significances of the Day of the Dead and ofrenda as well as tips and techniques to make compelling art in this traditional form.

Check out his website to see his portfolio.

Register for the class online or stop in the store! Workshop is $35 (includes supplies and cigar box) and from 10:30am to 2pm on November 2nd at Wet Paint.


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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