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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Week 9: Getting Neighborly with Alice Neel

slide_223773_926880_freeAlice Neel is a famous portrait artist and, although her deserved recognition didn’t come until late in her life, throughout her career she painted everyone.  Find a neighbor, friend, partner, niece, child- anyone besides yourself- and draw from life.  Take note of Neel’s beautiful blue outlines and their illustrative quality.  Start by drawing the framework of the face and features, then continue by filling in with bold painted color.  The perfect medium for this assignment is the Neocolor II by Caran d’Ache, because it is a crayon that you can paint with!  Don’t focus too much on detail, keep the portraits loose and if you want the challenge, set a 20 minute time limit (your subject may thank you for that, too).

hartley-ginny-1970This week at Wet Paint all Neocolor II crayons will be 15% off our everyday price.  This is a great tool to add to your mixed media work and is perfect for travel.  They are available in sets and open stock of over 120 colors!

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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Week 6: Canines, Kitties, and Cake with Maira Kalman

maira-bassetIt’s all of your favorite things in one workout! Including gouache paint!  Check out the bold and beautiful illustrations by Maira Kalman (you may have seen her work in a magazine or children’s book) and take inspiration from her eclectic subject matter.  She has done everything from pets, food, shoes, and beyond.  For this workout, we would like you to focus on a pet and if you don’t have a pet, paint some cake (and then you can enjoy eating it)!  Or maybe surprise a family member with a portrait of their pet… or just cake. Kalman uses gouache and ink in her illustrations, so we suggest using our favorite Acryla gouache from Holbein, and your Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Look at her brushwork with the noticeable blending and her bright color palette mixed with pastel tones that make her illustrations pop.

Spread2LRG._V198773820_This week at Wet Paint, all Holbein Acryla Gouache is 25% off MSRP, and the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen is 15% off our everyday price!  Stock up, and don’t forget your refills!

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.


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Why Wet Paint Stocks Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks

justinswededelta

Justin Terlecki pen on Delta

Back in the 1970s, if you were a serious art student, it was standard to carry a black bound sketchbook just like your professor. Besides being the repository of your sketches and notes, the binding gave you the sense of this being a permanent record, a uniform format that would be the historic record of the studies for your artwork. As this tradition continued through the decades, the black sketchbook began to evolve. Some artists didn’t like the roll of the page caused by the binding, so paper manufacturers started providing the field sketchbook: the same hard black leatherette cover but with spiral binding. Others introduced micro-perforated sheets that could be torn out discreetly. In doing so, the original intent of the bound book changed over time. The book could now be easily edited; pages torn out and discarded instead of kept archived in place and in sequence.

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Epsilon

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Epsilon

By the beginning of the 21st century, the popularity of the black sketchbook made it quite a commodity item for the pad makers. Unfortunately, in order to compete with each other, this meant that many black sketchbooks began to come out of Asia with lower and lower prices and with paper of the quality of a cocktail napkin. This devolution of the quality of the black bound sketchbook only took into consideration that all art students and most artists wanted this product. They had lost track of the purpose of the book … They ignored the fact that paper quality could affect the drawings made on their pages. They totally missed the trend of artists working in mixed media which requires heavier and better paper. They didn’t notice the growing movement of sketching as an art form where the final work is kept within the sketchbook itself. And they lost sight of the vital role that the black sketchbook could play as a place to record ideas, document the creative process, and archive one’s development as an artist.

Wet Paint staff, Steve and Langhan, and the display of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks.

Wet Paint staff, Steve and Langhan, and the display of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks.

As an industry, art materials has been ripe for the return of a quality black bound sketchbook and in 2011, Stillman & Birn did just that. Michael Kalman and Oscar Hernandez are the founders of Stillman & Birn. Michael is the nephew of the original manufacturer of the first black bound sketchbook in 1958. Michael and Oscar believe that artists need sketchbooks that are the same caliber as any of their other art materials. Stillman & Birn understands that all artists don’t work alike and need papers with different surface qualities, different weights, different levels of whiteness, and of course, different sizes and different bindings. They have listened to artists and worked to provide them with a line of bound sketchbooks that is as diverse as their needs. Stillman & Birn has sourced the finest quality papers from Europe and then bound them under the strictest quality control in the United States. They’ve mastered the challenge of featuring heavier papers in bound books in addition to spirals, and, most remarkable of all, their bindings will actually allow the pages to lie flat and satisfy the sketcher who wants to work across 2 pages.

Stillman & Birn is a supplier that truly wants to provide artists with the best possible product they can afford and Wet Paint has worked closely with them in the improving of their product and the development of new items. Their commitment to the artist shows not just in the sketchbooks themselves, but in the amount of information that is provided on each book.

Justin Terlecki; pen on Alpha

Justin Terlecki; pen on Alpha

Wet Paint has stocked the Stillman & Birn books since their first manufacture run. The Wet Paint staff personally endorses this line. Justin Terlecki only uses Stillman & Birn sketchbooks now and says, “The Alpha and Beta have wonderful paper in them that is suitable for fountain pen sketching. The paper takes the ink beautifully and produces nice clean lines that don’t feather. The paper is also heavy enough that your drawings do not bleed on the other side. When you hold one of these books in your hand, you can tell that they are no ordinary sketchbook.” They are Liz Carlson’s go-to sketchbooks too. She uses the Alpha series because “the bright white tone of the paper is perfect to show off color media.”

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Alpha

Liz Carlson; watermedia on Alpha

Last month Stillman & Birn began shipping their new “Zeta Series” sketchbook to meet the demands of artists wanting a 180# heavy weight, natural white, smooth surface in both hardbound and wirebound books. And in June 2013, Wet Paint will have 22×30” individual sheets for each of the 6 papers featured in Stillman & Birn’s sketchbooks. This enables the artist to move from their sketchbook to a larger format without having to adapt to different surface qualities. Later in the year, we will have sampler sketchbooks which will include pages of all 6 papers so people can experiment will all the surfaces in the series.

Visit Wet Paint in person or online to see the entire line of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks. And visit the Stillman & Birn blog to see more examples of what artists are doing in their books.