Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Most Often Asked Question at Wet Paint

If you were to ask Darin, General Manager at Wet Paint, what customers ask for the most that we don’t provide, it would be “classes.” Besides not having classroom space, we at Wet Paint also believe the Twin Cities offer many options for further artistic learning. We have come up with some unique partnerships to connect those who manufacture art supplies with a number of organizations to bring new learning experiences to our customers and our community. There are a number of classes and workshops we have helped develop this October featured at existing educational venues with our friends in the art materials industry, our customers and the Twin Cities community.

Mary Esch colored pencil drawing in the Walker Collection

Mary Esch’s colored pencil drawing in the Walker Permanent Collection

St Paul Community Education still has space open in “Almost Intermediate Drawing & Color Pencil” with Mary Esch. An internationally recognized artist who has art in the Walker Art Center’s permanent collection, Mary Esch worked at Wet Paint a long, long time ago. This is a hidden gem of an opportunity to work with this talented artist at Community Ed prices. The class is held Monday evenings at Creative Arts High School.

Another Community Ed opportunity is “Open Studio Painting” with Dan Mackerman starting October 9th at Edgcumbe Rec Center. Professional artist Mackerman will help beginning artists decide which is the best wet media for them. This is a way to experiment with watercolor, acrylic and oil without having to purchase 3 ranges of color.

Brian Buell, president of Logan Graphic Products will teach a ½ day class on DIY mat cutting. The class, held at Macalester College on October 26th, will take you through border calculation, mounting and cutting both single and double mats. Brian comes armed with mat cutters and materials for everyone in class to have hands on training. This workshop is also part of St Paul’s Community Ed. Click here to see the entire Community Education Catalog!

Susan Rostow demonstrating Akua

Susan Rostow demonstrating Akua

Wet Paint is pleased to bring Susan Rostow, founder of Akua Inks to the Twin Cities. Susan became concerned about health safety issues surrounding printmaking and created soy based printing inks which are highly regarded in college printmaking departments. Besides offering a free talk at Wet Paint the evening of October 11th, Rostow is teaching a workshop at Highpoint Center for Printmaking on Saturday October 12th. At this writing, there are still some spots open in this workshop. Read more here!

Yuming Zhu

Yuming Zhu

Yuming Zhu, master of Sumi painting, has come to the Twin Cities for a number of years doing demos at Wet Paint and teaching workshops at some of the art centers in the area. October 29 and 30, Yuming will teach a two-day workshop called Golden Leaves at White Bear Center for the Arts. Yuming is a mesmerizing teacher and quite witty, too. This is a way to experience White Bear Center for the Arts’ new building which I saw last week and it is fantastic. Read more here!

All these classes have fees and registration through the organizations presenting the classes and workshops. Wet Paint is happy that we can pool our resources and bring these opportunities to our community.


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Revisiting Pastel

"Make Your Mark" Lake Country Pastel Exhibition at BTAC

“Make Your Mark” Lake Country Pastel Exhibition at BTAC

Who would have thought that July would become a hot soft pastel month? Out at BTAC (Bloomington Theater and Art Center) our friends with the Lake Country Pastel Society have presented a wonderful member show called “Make Your Mark.” Over 40 artists represent an amazing breadth of imagery and technique using soft pastels. There are landscapes that are distinctly Minnesotan, as well as several that remind me of a recent road trip to the Pacific Northwest. There are portraits, one of which incorporates new media by starting with a digital photo. There is an abstract image that pushes the boundaries of both the stick and the surface: pastel – a media with little adhesive property- adhered to the slick surface of Yupo with water. There is subject matter for any taste. And it is amazing to see one medium that can create such different results from the density of oil to the airiness of watercolor. It was a real treat to be at the opening reception with so many of the exhibiting artists in attendance. They were truly thrilled with the exhibit as well as being down right verbose about their artistic pursuits, their influences and their techniques. The show is up through August 23. A presentation of awards by the juror, Albert Handell, will take place Tuesday, August 6th, at 6:30 p.m. If you haven’t seen the great gallery space at BTAC, this is a perfect opportunity to remedy that situation.

McCann sidewalk pastel painting at MIA

McCann sidewalk pastel painting at the MIA

Also in pastel, but in a vastly different format, Shawn McCann takes the centuries old Trompe l’oeil technique and his box of soft pastels to the street. Shawn will be at Wet Paint this Saturday, July 27th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. creating an illusory image on our sidewalk with Jack Richeson’s new big, fat soft pastels called Street Stix. I have to admit that soft pastels haven’t been considered the cutting edge medium in recent years. But 3D street painting brings pastel paintings out of the flat files and museums and into the contemporary art gallery space shared with aerosol painting and stenciling. Just as the Lake Country Pastel Society has a pastel painting to appeal to any esthetic, McCann’s street art will appeal to everyone’s in its populist presentation.