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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint Professionals

Wet Paint loves Don Colley

DON-COLLEY-Darin-NAMTAThree years ago I returned from a workshop all excited about a product demonstrator working with Faber-Castell.  Don Colley not only knows his product line but knows how to use these materials with great nuance, sketches with daily obsession and shares his sketchbooks for mutual inspiration.  After checking his website we found Don had captured our own manager, Darin Rinne, in a sketch at a recent trade show.  It seemed everything was pointing toward a great relationship between Don Colley and Wet Paint.  Don has visited us many times and offered many programs with great success.  This year’s visit has 3 diverse components.  Hopefully one will fit into your drawing schedule.

On_the_Go_with_PITT_Artist_PensThe Mini Master Class with Don Colley takes place at Wet Paint this Friday May 16th.  In this small group session Don will share his drawing techniques and urban sketching strategies.  You will learn how to capture the figure in everyday settings, shading with markers and the use of the sketchbook page.  Time is also set aside to share your sketchbook for individualized consultation.  This workshop requires advanced registration and a fee.  Space is available but limited.

springcon14Saturday and Sunday Don will join Wet Paint’s mini-store at SpringCon, the Midwest Comic Book Association’s spring celebration at the State Fair Grounds.  Besides being available all day for drawing and chat, Don has a “Big Drawing Session”  4-5 on Saturday.  There will be live costumed characters to draw and everyone is encouraged to join in this drawing session.  Just show a sign at the ticket booth that says “I’m here to draw with Don Colley” and you will get $1 off the admission price.  You may also donate your drawing to the charity auction where 100% of the proceeds benefit the Minnesota Lupus Foundation.

bellmuseumsmallDon has created his own night at the museum with the Bell at the U of MN on Monday May 19th.  This is the last day of the Minnesota legislative session which will determine funding for a new home for the Bell, so this event may have some editorial content.  Join Don for an all-night sketch-a-thon.  Bring your sketching materials as well as camping gear.  Contact Wet Paint or the Bell Museum for entry time and further details.

As you can tell from this lineup, Don is an artist with extreme talent, a true sense of artistic adventure, limitless energy and a big heart.  It’s just the right time for you to collaborate with Don at Wet Paint, SpringCon and/or the Bell Museum.

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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint Professionals

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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Community Enthusiast Students

Fluorescent Colors

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Justin outside brightening up a grey March day

It seems like not too long ago fluorescent colors were a big no-no in the art world and art materials industry.  There was no way you could make those colors be eye-popping and archival at the same time.  But now, the concern over light-fastness seems to have been beat out by the popularity of hot fluorescents.  Nearly every country participating in this year’s Winter Olympics donned fluorescent accented gear. In these grey days of the never ending winter, joggers along Summit Avenue light up my day not just with their athletic determination to weather the weather, but their fuchsia and chartreuse shoes, mittens and ear warmers.  It seems that there is life out there and it isn’t all bleak.

neon 003With the need for some sun scorching color, let’s throw archival concerns into its own corner for the moment.  Let’s embrace Golden’s High Flow Acrylics in fluorescents (duly noted “Lightfastness Poor” on the label), and Sakura’s new Gelly Roll Moonlight fine point pens, and Faber Castell’s soon to be released fluorescent Pitt Pens and Speedball’s new fluorescent & Night Glo screen and block printing inks.  And let’s not forget the fluorescent paint markers from Montana and Molotow, the neon Sharpies and the Bistro Chalk Ink markers as well as the UV-reactive, professional grade, Irojiten colored pencils from Tombow.  With all these neon marks, we could generate enough heat to melt this ice jam and have art spring us into the next season.

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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint Professionals

Spring Classes at Wet Paint

Wet Paint has two definite camps of customers, one of learners and one of teachers.  There is a regular quest for classes and demos from those who hunger for more knowledge.  I believe it is the nature of many artists to be on a continuous path of learning.  At the same time there are artists who are so enthusiastic and passionate about their art that they cannot contain themselves from sharing their knowledge and experience.   I believe for many, being a teacher is synonymous with being an artist.  Wet Paint is a perfect place to introduce these two camps to each other and we are actively experimenting with different formats where these creative individuals intersect.

ioanastoianWe are fortunate to bring Ioana Stoian to Wet Paint for two origami workshops.  Ioana’s passion is paper and folding.  A professional and an active member of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper artists, Stoian has written a book, Origami for All, Elegant Designs from Simple Folds, which contains her own original origami designs.  Each workshop has unique seasonal designs which you will learn from a master yet requires no previous experience.  We are trying out some new time slots on these classes, one on Tuesday evening, March 25th and one on Wednesday morning on April 16th.

wetpaintclassesJoyce Francis needs no introduction.  A master calligrapher in search of new artistic outlets, Joyce found the art of contemplative patterning, Zentangle, to be her new passion.  We have had other Zentangle workshops with Joyce and the participants always ask for more.  We have two sessions of the same class coming up on Saturday, March 22.  No experience required.

These classes at Wet Paint are all hands-on 2 hour workshops.  Materials are included and you will have a finished project at the end of the class.  There are workshop fees and registration is required.  You can sign up online, by phone or in person.  If classes don’t meet a minimum enrollment 3 days before the session begins, the class will be cancelled and your class fee will be refunded.

Special offer through March 16

If you sign up for one of these 4 classes over this weekend, you will receive a coupon to be used on a future purchase at Wet Paint. Click here to go to our Events page.

Wet Paint At Large

yumingzhuOver the past few years we have helped bring Sumi-e artist and teacher Yuming Zhu to the Twin Cities.  His following is so great we need to partner with other members of our creative community who have more space.  This April, Yuming is not only teaching a 2 day Sumi-e Painting workshop at Bloomington Theatre and Art Center (BTAC), he will also lecture to accompany an exhibit of his artwork at the Eagan Community Center.

Plus Yuming is offering a unique class on Mounting Techniques for Sumi-e Art on Monday, April 14th, at BTAC.  Many artists who have studied with Yuming have asked for training on this specific sumi-e technique of traditional wet mounting.  This is an intermediate to experienced class, focused on those with a sumi-e and/or framing background.  This is a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience at a master’s side.

The programs at BTAC and Eagan require registration through those respective venues.

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Community News & Media Professionals

Art & Change

bricemardenRecently I came across a video (see below) by one of my favorite painters, Brice Marden.   A “Theory of Painting” start out saying, one of the things about painting is “it stays that way.  You’re different, but it remains the same.”

Two years ago Darin, Wet Paint’s General Manager, saw maybe “the best painting ever” at the Figge Art Museum in Dubuque.  It was Jackson Pollock’s, “Mural,” (featured image for this post) on loan from the Museum of Art at the University of Iowa.  Jay, Wet Paint’s delivery service and handyman, stopped by the museum a few days later and was totally awed.  The next summer we went to see the Pollock which by that time was at the Des Moines Art Center.  Jay didn’t believe it was the same painting.  The lighting was so different from one museum to the other, it completely changed the painting.

poserRight now I am reading “Poser – My life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses” by Claire Dederer.  This personal memoir moves between growing up in the 1970s and the present, with chapters organized by the poses of her yoga practice.  She writes about her attachment to books in her youth as a way to cope with separated parents.  As a child she would read “Little Women” over and over again because it didn’t change; the story was the same every time she read it and that gave some permanence to a life in flux.

“My life in 30 Years of Art Supplies” would feature at least one chapter on how hard it is for people, artists, employees, customers, to accept change.  I’ve always thrived on change myself.  That is until I met the internet.  It seems that Facebook changes how you find your friends about every other day.

This circuitous route brings me to announce a change at Wet Paint.  This is the soft opening of our new website. http://www.wetpaintart.com.   Our computer system which runs everything from cash registers to mailing lists offered a new platform for our website.  It promises changes that will enhance your online experience with Wet Paint.  We have tried to present our instore culture with online content as well as offering online sales too. It has been a long process because we are constantly changing our products, offering new events, writing new content.  So bear with us while we work out the kinks.  There are some links that the vast web of the internet hasn’t found yet.

http://www.figgeartmuseum.org/

http://www.desmoinesartcenter.org/.

http://www.clairedederer.com/

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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint Professionals

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.

Hot-Sticks-MonoprintingSome 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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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint Professionals

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 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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Community Enthusiast News & Media Professionals

Painting the Place Between

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.
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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Community Enthusiast News & Media Professionals

Wet Paint loves Holly Swift’s New Show at Mac

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. )

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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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint

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.

680470_4440636687970_353664104_oSo 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 workshop 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 cost is $35 and is 10:30am to 2pm on November 2nd at Wet Paint.