Wet Paint

Artists' Materials & Framing in St. Paul, MN


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Queen for a day

We’ve just wrapped up our big Sidewalk Sale and the fabulous Painting Best Practices workshop (thanks again to George and Tatiana from Natural Pigments and Jim and Sarah at The Art Academy!), and now we have a minute to catch our collective breath before the craziness of back to school is upon us.  What better time to reflect on all the cool, new stuff that’s arrived at Wet Paint recently?

In 1949, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands – an artist as well as a monarch – made her favorite Dutch paint manufacturer, Talens, “Royal.” The Queen felt that Talens shared the same passion for producing color as artists have for producing artwork, so she made their nobility official!  Wet Paint has no such authority, but we are very excited about the new Royal Talens products that are arriving:

– The 46 brilliant colors of Amsterdam Acrylic Ink are highly pigmented ink, extremely lightfast, and waterproof when dry. It has been flying off the shelf since it showed up a few weeks ago. Check out this teaser video to see why.

Ecoline Liquid Watercolor just arrived. The brilliant, dye-based colors are super intense, super transparent, and – of course – super water-soluble.  Super sweet 30ml glass bottles enhance the presentation.

– To go along with the Liquid Watercolor, we’ve also brought in new Ecoline Brush Pens (the display is en route to Wet Paint at press time). These contain the same Ecoline Watercolor in a hearty, economical brush pen that’s great for making sweeping, gestural marks or teeny tiny details.  Can’t wait!

papertoyspaige

One of the big hits from our Holiday Sale was a series of Paper Toys books from Ginkgo Press.  We just received a huge order of these and there are new titles!  These interactive craft books allow children (or the young at heart) to pop out and build their own paper toys. Each volume in the series is designed by a different talented artist, lending a stylized look to their fanciful creations.  Animals, Monsters, Robots, and Fantasy Creatures, themes are now joined by Super Heroes and Speed Demons. Printed on durable cardstock and die-cut, each toy is easy to assemble with no glue or scissors needed.

So many new pens! Here’s a rundown:

– We’ve already sold out of our first order of Pilot Kakuno fountain pens, but – never fear – we got more. This simple, beginners fountain pen is a favorite of new and seasoned writers alike.

Pentel’s Libretto matching rollerball pen and pencil set makes the perfect gift for the sophisticated professional and the conscientious student alike. These nicely weighted utensils feature sleek metal barrels available in three colors and accented in elegant silver trim.

– Also from Pentel, the Tradio refillable fountain pen (not to be confused with the Tradio non-refillable fountain pen) is a stylish and sophisticated, yet affordable, writing & drawing tool. The medium size stainless steel nib allows the ink to flow with smooth control.  The Tradio accepts your favorite International style cartridge, so the world’s your oyster when it comes to ink colors!

Blackwing Pencil fans, come on down…we just received a very limited number of the new Blackwing 73. The 73 features a silver ferrule, a white eraser, and a vivid blue finish with a raised texture that mimics the topography of Lake Tahoe. The number 73 references Lake Tahoe’s last measured Secchi depth (a unit to measure clarity) of 73 feet. The 73 has the soft graphite found in other Blackwing pencils.

You know what would go nicely with your new, blue Blackwing 73? How about a new Hahnemuhle Skizze pad with an eye catching blue rooster on the cover? We’ve got ‘em in two paper weights, two sizes, and gummed or spiral bound. Nice paper, nice look…perfect for sketching at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  Also check out the new hardbound Hahnemuhle watercolor books and Grey Books, the plain or ruled Diary Flex, and the back-in-stock-at-Wet Paint Quattro square watercolor blocks.

Our friends at Tara Fredrix have launched their latest and greatest new idea: toned canvas in pads and panels. Now you have more time to paint…no need to tone your own canvas first!  Available in four “go to” colors in a variety of sizes.

Strathmore has added three new titles to their popular “Learning Series” instructional books: Textures in Colored Pencil, Draw Nature with Colored Pencil, and Hand Lettering Basics. The Strathmore Learning Series incorporates step-by-step art lessons, developed by the most popular art instructors, into a pad of quality Strathmore paper. Online video tutorials for each pad create an integrated learning experience that help beginning and experienced artists explore a new art style.

Lastly, the biggest, newest single item at Wet Paint is already almost sold out – the Botanical Illustration set of Schmincke Horadam ½ pan watercolors. Based on the overwhelming response, our friend Marilyn Garber picked some good colors!  If you haven’t already picked one of these up, run – don’t walk – to your phone, screen, or transportation device!

So…no official proclamations imbuing royalty, just lots of excitement around the new creative supplies at Wet Paint!


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So Many Things!

We’re getting new creative supplies almost daily after our trip to the art materials trade show in Salt Lake City…here are a few of the exciting things that have already arrived:

rublevRublev Colours Artist Oils from Natural Pigments are unlike any other brand of oil paints today. Why? One reason is that they use genuine natural and historical pigments like those used by the old masters. Most of these pigments are not found in other brands. Another reason is that Rublev Colours Artist Oils are made as all oil colors were before modern tube colors—without additives.  Rublev Oils contain only pigment and oil. They are formulated to maintain the specific characteristics of each pigment, so the character found in each 50ml tube is unique due to the pigment inside. We’re thrilled to have Rublev in stock in time for the three day Oil Painting Best Practices workshop in June, taught by George O’Hanlon and Tatiana Zaytseva of Natural Pigments.  It’s the only time the workshop will be offered in the Saint Paul/Minneapolis area, so don’t miss this opportunity!

fabrianoStudio Watercolor Pads from Fabriano While supplies last, you can get an 11×14” 50 sheet pad of either hot press or cold press Fabriano Studio 140# watercolor paper for only $19.99 (list price $54.95). Not a dream, not a misprint…this amazing deal will not last long.  Studio paper is acid free, with a high cotton content and both internal & external sizing.  You will love it and your art supply budget will, too!

Viarco Vintage Collection Pencils These beauties were one of our absolute favorites from the show, and they are just arriving as of this writing. Both pencils and packaging are faithful reproductions of Viarco products from the 1940s to the 1970s.  Designed in Portugal using long-established production methods, and the quality you’ve come to expect from Viarco.  They are almost too fantastic to use.  Choose from six unique 12 pencil boxes, but don’t wait…there’s a very limited number available.

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guerrillaGuerrilla Painter Campaign Box The Campaign Box™ is an alternative to the traditional pochade box or French easel. Think of it as a portable taboret that mounts on almost any standard camera tripod. It provides more work space, a large center area for a palette, two storage compartments under the slide out palettes, and brush rests. The Campaign Box™ easily attaches to the legs of any standard tripod with adjustable clamps. Shown pictured with Guerrilla’s tripod mounted #17 Flex Easel™…it goes great with a Guerrilla Watercolorbord, too. We have this set up at the front of the store…stop by for a test drive!

Richeson Transparent Marble White Oil Paint This safflower oil and marble dust combination produces a slow drying, transparent white that can be used to extend your oil colors while subtly tinting them. We’ve just received a stack of 5oz tubes of this versatile & useful white…we’re sure it will become a staple on your palette.richesonoilpromo

padsjournalsTons of New Pads & Journals Fun ‘n’ fancy new cover styles in Michael Roger Press Decomposition Books; brand new Nepalese soft cover books with dots & chevrons, mermaids and cats; cool new Moleskine “Two Go” books with alternating lined & blank pages, plus blank and lined books featuring handsome chevron pattern fabric covers; attractive lined and blank books from France with classic “Parisian-style” art covers; plus new colorful cover ranges from Rhodia and Legion (including new Stonehenge Aqua blocks).

djecoActivity Kits from Djeco Back by popular demand, these themed creative kits from France are designed by artists from around the world. Choose from a bunch of new, uniquely intriguing projects, including collage, paper crafts, drawing, silk painting and more.

JAC9515-Jagua-BoxJacquard Jagua Temporary Tattoo Kits Bluish-black temporary tattoo ink made from fruit juice, jagua has been used by indigenous peoples of the Amazon for thousands of years to create body art. Safe, non-toxic and 100% natural, Jacquard’s Jagua tattoos last 1-2 weeks and LOOK LIKE A REAL TATTOO! Apply to any part of the body to express yourself, fool your friends or test drive tattoo ideas!

cutethingsSuper Cute Stuff: New styles of Nepalese garlands (decorate your home!); tons of new Japanese stickers (Whales & cats! Ninjas! Sumo wrestlers & cats! Sushi…& cats!); Fancy Fox Light from Creativity For Kids (decoupage a real lamp!)

That’s a lot of stuff, and there’s still a bunch more on the way. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and this blog for all of our updates.  Teaser: there are two really big events in May that you won’t want to miss hearing about!


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Step up your oil paint palette and your charitable giving…in one fell swoop!

We’re very excited to announce that Wet Paint is partnering with Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Bloomington, Indiana and Gamblin Artist Colors in Portland, Oregon to bring you a wonderful opportunity.  For the past seven years, John Wilson, the owner of Pygmalions, has worked with local artists and the paintmakers at Gamblin to create limited edition oil colors that are only available thru Pygmalion’s…until now.

While supplies last, you can get caught up on the last few years of these limited edition colors. We have 37ml tubes of “Cat’s Tail” (2015), “Saffron” (2016), and “Red Rhino Red” (2017) at Wet Paint for only $8.95/tube (read more about each color below)!

pygmalioncolors

And – as if custom Gamblin colors isn’t enough – Wet Paint will follow Pygmalion’s lead and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these colors will be donated to a local non-profit.  The Art Department of LEAP High School in Saint Paul  is dedicated to serving students who are new to the United States and are learning English while earning a high school diploma. As an alternative high school, LEAP High School enrolls students up to age 20 and provides an educational opportunity beyond the offerings provided in traditional high schools.

leaphsAt LEAP a special emphasis is given to acquiring language skills through the study of art. Students in visual art classes at LEAP learn the language of art through drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture. They study works of art, nature, architecture and the environment.  They also use creative and thematic ideas related to their individual experience and interpretation in creating their own work. Students are encouraged to reflect on their native country’s traditions, landscape and architecture and communicate them visually and verbally. Many of the images posted on their website reflect their students’ personal experiences as well as their knowledge and experience in demonstrating their traditional art forms.

TAILCat’s Tail is a transparent red created by Autumn Bussen, an MFA Painting candidate at Indiana University.  For this custom color, John Wilson asked his customers to vote from a list of color names and Cat’s Tail won by a landslide.  After choosing the name, a contest was held to create the color that went with it.  Bussen’s winner combines a dark maroon mass tone with a warm, earthy undertone…great on its own or as a versatile mixer.

SAFFRONSaffron is a unique, opaque Naples Yellow-like color created by Mitch Raney, an MFA Painting candidate at Indiana University in Bloomington.  Saffron is a spice made from the stamens of crocus flowers.  In its natural form, it is a reddish brown color, but when cooked it becomes a beautiful golden yellow that can color other ingredients in a recipe, as well as adding flavor.  Each tube is decorated with a picture of a crocus flower drawn by IU Printmaking student Bethany Lumsdaine.

RHINORed Rhino Red is a semi-transparent mixture of three different red pigments.  It is a chromatic red color that biases pink, like a crimson lake.  Phil Cardenas created the color, and Raphael Cornford drew the rhino used for the logo.  Both Cardenas and Cornford are accomplished Bloomington artists, as well as Pygmalion’s employees.


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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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Fantabulous floaterframes!

We sell tons of Ampersand panels at Wet Paint…Gessobord, Claybord, Aquabord, and – of course – Unprimed Basswood (how could you miss the boxes full of ‘em on the pretty orange palettes?).  Many folks like painting on panels because they can be presented without framing…simply paint or stain the cradled edge and it’s ready to hang on the wall.  Unfortunately, this presentation method doesn’t offer any protection to the artwork.  It also doesn’t adequately distinguish the picture from the wall.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a simple, all-in-one solution that would both safeguard and support a painting made on an Ampersand panel while also making it stand out from the wall?  Well, now there is: introducing Ampersand “floaterframes!”  Designed to fit 7/8″ and 1.5″ cradles, 3/4″ canvas (and even flat panels!), floaterframes come in two profiles, three colors and five popular sizes.  These premium hardwood beauties are super easy to use…everything you need to give your artwork the finishing touch it deserves is included: all of the mounting and hanging hardware comes with each floaterframe.

Floaterframes elegantly complete those panels you’ve worked so hard on, and we’re making it easier for you to complete them: all Ampersand floaterframes are priced with an introductory  discount of 25% off!  Stop by to see all of the options…Greg even framed one of his fantastic panel paintings so you can see the magic in action!


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Oh Boy! New Daniel Smith Watercolors!

Our number one line of watercolors already has more colors – and more unique colors – than anybody.  Now they have eight more and Wet Paint’s got ‘em:

  1. Rose Madder Permanent: a permanent version of the super popular, super fugitive staple of many painter’s palettes. If the organic pigments like Quinacridone are too intense, Rose Madder Permanent may be just right!
  2. Quinacridone Lilac: Speaking of intense Quinacridones…”Quin” Lilac is vivid, clean, and bright.  Less pink than Quinacridone Rose, less blue than Quinacridone Magenta, it belongs on the palette of every floral painter.
  3. Payne’s Blue-Gray: Bluer than traditional Payne’s Gray, but not as blue as Indigo, this semi-transparent is a nice substitute over black for darkening other colors.
  4. Aussie Red-Gold: This lovely, warm amber color is transparent and non-granulating.  If you like Quinacridone Gold (and who doesn’t?), you’re gonna love Aussie Red-Gold.
  5. Raw Sienna Light: More golden yellow than regular Raw Sienna, this color is reminiscent of the oil paint color Naples Yellow.
  6. Burnt Sienna Light: This beautiful earthy color is more red than Daniel Smith’s Burnt Sienna.  Previously available only in the Alvaro Castagnet set, now available to portrait painters ala carte!
  7. Lavender: This mix of three pigments is a granulating “periwinkle” blue…ideal for florals.
  8. Wisteria: A reddish lavender that’s non-granulating and non-staining.  Another useful color on the flower painter’s palette.

new-wcgs_9861-1Additionally, we’re now stocking Iridescent Gold and Pearlescent White Watercolor Grounds, too.  Folks have been asking us for the Iridescent Gold ground for years; it’s unique properties make it unlike any surface you’ve painted on before!  Transparent watercolors painted over Iridescent Gold ground take on the warm, luminous tone underneath, producing handsome glazes.  Similarly, Pearlescent White ground will impart luminosity and shimmer to the paints applied over it, but without the warm tonality.  Both grounds are semi-transparent, allowing the texture of the paper – or whatever you paint them on – to show thru.

We look forward to seeing you in the store soon!


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Only at Wet Paint: ArtGraf Watersoluble Monochromatic Set

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else. 

We’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas and our dreams have been answered: the ArtGraf Tailor Shape watersoluble chalk is now available in long awaited white! Get it as a part of the brand new Monochromatic Set (also includes new Graphite Grey & old favorite Carbon Black), but don’t wait long…this much anticipated set is sure to sell out this season, and Wet Paint is the only place in Minnesota that’s got it!

monochromatic

If you’re new to ArtGraf, you’re in for a real treat.  Viarco has been manufacturing drawing materials in Portugal since 1907.  Their ArtGraf premium drawing products are some of the highest quality, most innovative supplies available to the fine artist worldwide.  We particularly love the Tailor Shape discs.  As the name implies, they are a block of pressed pigment – like what the tailor uses when marking clothes for alteration, but with fancy artists’ pigment. Draw with them like a crayon, draw color from them with a wet brush and apply like watercolor, or activate the marks in your drawing with water after you’ve put them down…Tailor Shape discs are incredibly useful and versatile. And, besides the Monochromatic Set, they’re also available in a Primary Set and an Earth Tone Set, which all mix beautifully together.

The entire range of watersoluble chalks, graphites and pencils from Viarco are on sale at Wet Paint thru the end of 2016.

 


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Only at Wet Paint: Write Notepads

This holiday season we are featuring some of the unique, creative supplies that are regionally, or nationally, exclusive to Wet Paint. These items are great gift ideas that you will not find anywhere else. 

Write Notepads are hand letterpressed, pocket-sized journals made by Chris Rothe, a 3rd generation bookbinder in Baltimore, MD.  Write Notepads & Co. was borne out of his family’s business, Allied Binding Co., a 52,000sf bindery & finishing facility, in 2011.  Using Allied Binding’s equipment, Write Notepads produces a variety of notebooks and writing pads with beautiful, custom covers printed on classic letterpress machines. Since its creation, Write has sold more than 10,000 of its hand-crafted notepads in the United States and around the world.  The notebooks are cool all by themselves, but there’s more: Write Notepads donates a notebook to a Baltimore school for each one it sells. A code on the inside of the cover shows which school received the paired pad.

Wet Paint is offering two unique three packs for the Holidays: the classic (1 each lined, gridded, blank), or the new limited edition “Royal Blue” celebrating the B&O Railroad (all 3 books lined).  Both packs contain glue bound notebooks with 100-pound cover stock and a 70-pound paper stock which has been meticulously selected to perform best for most writing instruments.  Either (or both!) would be a perfect stocking stuffer, or as part of a fine writing gift when you combine a Write Notepad with a Lamy fine writing instrument.  We’re the only place in Minnesota with Write Notepads…stop in to see them!

 


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Art Book Review: “Why is Art Full of Naked People?” by Susie Hodge

This book review was written by floor manager, Meg Nelson.

9780500650806Why is Art Full of Naked People? A provocative question as well as the title of the highly-anticipated book you can pick up at Wet Paint this holiday season. This charmingly illustrated art history guide uses a question and answer format to introduce basic art concepts and vocabulary in a playful and accessible manner. “Why is everything flat?” “What’s with all the fruit?” “Who are all these people?” Covering cave painting to Op art, Portraiture, Pointillism, and, of course, the human form, Why is Art Full of Naked People? is a buffet of easily digestible mini-lessons. It also offers a primer in art appreciation, posing questions like “Do artists copy each other?”  “Why do I have to be quiet in a gallery?”  and “Do you have to be clever to look at art?” (Read the book to find out!) Full of beautiful reproductions and essential information (though not naked people!), this book is perfect for young artists just beginning to explore art history and equally great for adults in need of a brush up.

Wet Paint is featuring this book in our new holiday catalog along with a number of  other new books and new art materials.  See these featured products on our website and in the store.  


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Art Book Review: “How to See” by David Salle

This post was written by Greg Graham, Floor Manager at Wet Paint

9780393248135Are you tired of reading articles and reviews on art that are steeped in jargon and theory? David Salle, known for helping to reestablish painting as a central force in the 1980s, is also an accomplished essayist. He writes smart, witty takes on art with the concerns and in the language that artists use when discussing their work. I found this book to be informative and entertaining and I was constantly impressed with his range of reference and analogy (film, dance, literature).

It doesn’t have to be read in order. I started with essays on artists whom I was familiar with (Roy Lichtenstein, Alex Katz), and discovered the writings on artists I didn’t know to be equally engaging.  Great for traveling or the morning light rail commute. For a week this October it was my go-to read over my morning coffee. Like all good books, I didn’t want it to come to an end.

Wet Paint is featuring this book in our new holiday catalog along with a number of  other new books and new art materials.  See these featured products on our website and in the store.  Look for our catalog in your mailbox or inserted in the Highland Villager and Longfellow/Nokomis Messenger this month.