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Community News & Media Professionals

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.

"In Progress" enamel on panel by Gregory Graham
“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

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Community Enthusiast Students

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
Mary Esch

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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Community Professionals

Artists and Healthcare or Why Wet Paint likes Springboard for the Arts

Springboard for the Arts' Guide to Healthcare for MN artists
Springboard for the Arts’ Guide to Healthcare for MN artists

Early on I decided that Wet Paint should offer health insurance benefits to our employees.  I concluded that our artist employees did not necessarily put insurance high on their priority lists.  Recently I have been reading biographies of Abstract Expressionist  artists such as Pollock, de Kooning, Joan Mitchell and Rothko who all seemed to have total disregard for living healthy lives and anything as mundane as insurance.

As of January 1, 2014, everyone, artists included, will need to have healthcare insurance.  The Affordable Care Act has added a number of players into the world of paying for healthcare that is complicated enough to try to figure out without the Federal and State governments being directly involved.  Everyone from the evening news to insurance brokers, business associations, payroll services, and accountants want to tell you what you need to do.  Most of what they have to say is a lot of administrative goop in a language foreign to most average citizens let alone artists.

There is a bright light to help artists out.

springboardlogoSpringboard for the Arts, a non-profit organization, provides professional services and resources for artists.  They have two programs for artists to navigate health care, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

Firstly, they have written the most comprehensive, readable booklet on insurance and healthcare options I have ever read.  They are available online with practical information on actual services available in Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.  Here is a link to these documents http://springboardforthearts.org/health/guides-to-healthcare/.

 

Secondly, they are hosting a free Artists’ Health Fair on Saturday, October 10, at Open Book in Minneapolis.   This is a great opportunity for artists of all forms and their families to gain an understanding and make considered decisions about their insurance and healthcare.  You can RSVP for this event at http://springboardforthearts.org/health/health-fair/.

Take care of this business so you can get back to making art.

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Community Enthusiast Students

Wet Paint’s Friends at the Art Academy

New location at 651 South Snelling Ave.
New location at 651 South Snelling Ave.

Once the Minnesota State Fair is over, Wet Paint, Grand Avenue and Saint Paul is buzzing with the excitement of the Back to School season. And after you settle into the fall semester routine, make sure you have set aside time for art classes. A favorite school for many of our customers is the Art Academy here in St. Paul. For 20 years, the Art Academy has leased space from educational institutions. Early in 2013, they moved into their own space at 651 South Snelling.

Sarah Jane Stowell Oil
Sarah Jane Stowell
Oil

We are raffling off free tuition for one class for the fall term 2013 which runs eight weeks from September 30th through December 8th. It is for any class (except the figure drawing class or co-op). This is a $180.00 value. The drawing will take place Friday, September 20th at 10 a.m… You will be notified by phone or email. Of course, this raffle is only open to anyone who can attend a class in Saint Paul.

The Art Academy opened in 1993 and celebrating its 20th year. Director Jim Robinson came to the Twin Cities from Chicago with a degree from Columbia College to study at Atelier Lack. As he read art history he questioned trends in kids’ art instruction. “When I was growing up, children’s art education had dwindled to craft-based “creative” exercises. Skills weren’t being taught. I wanted to create a program with a focus. I believe kids have an innate capacity to draw and paint exceptionally well, and I constructed a school so those natural abilities can blossom.” To support that idea, Robinson researched Renaissance teaching methods and has patented a method based on those ideals.

State Fair Blue Ribbon! Andrea Fields, Age 15
State Fair Blue Ribbon! Andrea Fields, Age 15

The Art Academy has taught thousands of children (and adults) drawing and painting skills. Although the school is structured with classes, it offers a Montessori model. Students work on individual projects at their own pace. Instructors teach 2 to 7 students at a time. The atmosphere is supportive and positive, fun and non-competitive. Similar to the Suzuki violin method, Robinson does not believe that the sole purpose of instruction is to train professionals. “In any art school, only a small fraction of students pursue fulltime careers. Equally important is to build confidence and an appreciation of art that fosters individuality and nurtures kids to become well-rounded adults.”

State Fair Winner! Malcolm Kelner, Age 7
State Fair Winner! Malcolm Kelner, Age 7

What also develops over time is a community of students and teachers spanning generations. Kids return year after year, forming long-term relationships with Robinson and his staff. Many have become apprentices and teachers at The Art Academy. “By structuring the school around a Renaissance studio we were able to help students acquire successful life skills to carry into any path.”

This is a great opportunity to learn or improve your drawing skills. You can see the proven results of their methods to teach representational drawing and painting skills at their website www.theartacademy.net. Get into the swing of the back to school season and add an art class.

 

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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint News & Media

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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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint News & Media

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.

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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint News & Media

A Night of DIY Printmaking

ruthanngigposter
Ruthann Godollei’s new book

This Thursday, July 11th, Wet Paint will host an evening event that’s part Try-It, part meet-and-greet and part book signing with our friend Ruthann Godollei. Hot off the press is Godollei’s new book, “How to Create Your Own Gig Posters, Band T-Shirts, Album Covers, & Stickers: Screenprinting, Photocopy Art, Mixed-Media Collage, and Other Guerilla Poster Styles”, published by Voyageur Press. If you’ve ever wanted to print party announcements, your soccer team’s t-shirts, or posters for a band, this book is for you. Although Godollei is the printmaking professor at our neighboring institution, Macalester College, this book isn’t just for artists and students. It covers all DIY topics and media and will help anyone create their own prints. In fact, Ruthann will be demonstrating cutting your own stencils out of paper during this Thursday night event. Don’t stay away because you don’t have your own printing press. Don’t stay away because you can’t draw. She will assist you in overcoming any barriers to creating your own multiples in no time. And neighborhood folks, don’t be shy. You will most likely know Ruthann from her green stenciled Volvo art car. If nothing else, make sure to stop in so you can hear her many stories from a recent European tour with the group of artists called “Travels in Typography.” They printed their way through Europe, even at the Gutenberg Museum.

Godollei's unique Volvo
Godollei’s unique Volvo

It is exciting to see the growing interest in printmaking happening far beyond the walls of art departments in colleges and museums.  Our smart phones and many image sharing programs online have given everybody images to work with and printmakers seem to be embracing the general population’s interest in their mediums.  Maybe that’s because printmakers have had to share all along.  They have shared equipment, and they have naturally had to help each other in a group effort to produce a print compared to the more isolated processing of making a painting.

So join Ruthann and Wet Paint this Thursday evening.  Hear some stories.  Get a book.  Cut a stencil.  Take part in some community and some fun.

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Community Enthusiast Events at Wet Paint News & Media

Hall of Fame Week at Wet Paint

Wet Paint is offering you more than a week of headliners, Sunday, April 28th through Monday, May 6th. The International Art Materials Trade Show and Convention takes place in Minneapolis this year bringing all these artists into our community. An opportunity like this rarely occurs so you need to make room on your calendar to visit Wet Paint a number of times.

scottSunday, April 28th from 2-4pm

Scott Gellatly, an accomplished landscape painter and an active plein air painter, is also Product Manager for Gamblin Artists Colors. Scott will present a 90 minute talk, “Understanding Contemporary Oil Painting Materials.” He will cover topics such as oil and alkyd paints, painting mediums and varnishes, pigments, painting techniques and studio safety. Wet Paint has stocked Gamblin products since the beginning of their production. We like to support American made art supplies. Like us, Gamblin Artists Colors is committed to artists from product development to staffing. Over the years Robert Gamblin and I have had many conversations. One was comparing Gamblin’s oil to some other paint brands. Robert always says his paint is ready for painters to use right out of the tube unlike stiffer paints that need considerable manipulation before they can be applied to a canvas. Robert Gamblin still remains active in the company but paints as much as possible. Scott has learned the art of oil paint from Robert and has taken over his “on the road” responsibilities. We feel quite honored to have Scott visit Wet Paint. See his work at www.scottgellatly.com

pattibook1 copyMonday, April 29th from 5:30-7:30pm

We have certain customers who are so excited about Patti Brady coming to Wet Paint, they can hardly wait. Artist and author of “Rethinking Acrylic,” Patti is also the Director of the Working Artist Program for Golden Artist Colors. Her knowledge of pushing acrylics over the limits, in any direction imaginable, is astounding. You want acrylics to do what? Patti has an answer and probably a sample in her bag of paint swatches. Patti will give a short presentation followed by all the interaction our audience wants. Come see the new products Golden is introducing in 2013. Golden is a company Wet Paint really believes in. Besides innovative products that meet the needs of artists, they are committed to making sure artists know how to use the products effectively and safely.  Her work can be seen on her website www.pattibrady.com

RTEmagicC_antistatik_jpgTuesday, April 30th from 3:30-5pm

Antistatik, AKA, Stephane Helbert, represents Molotow, and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to Wet Paint from France. Stephane has been part of the Graffuturism art movement and has murals and exhibits throughout Europe. We saw the Molotow marker line last year at the art materials trade show and were so impressed with their covering power. At Wet Paint, acrylic paint markers are one of our fastest growing product categories. Like spray paint, we didn’t realize how many different types of artists would be interested in this product. The applications are numerous. The results are immediate and possibly more spontaneous. They work in a sketchbook as well as on canvas. Acrylic paint markers work in combination with spray paint, traditional acrylic tube paint and anything else you can imagine. And Stephane incorporates many media in his own paintings. Come try Molotow paint markers and see some other products coming soon from Germany.  See Antistatik’s work here.

marieWednesday, May 1st from 5:30-7:30pm

Marie Browning is a new friend of Wet Paint. She is a design consultant to the U.S. Company that imports Tombow products from Japan. Marie has embraced the art of Zentangle along with her Tombow markers and pencils. Her recent book is “Time to Tangle with Colors.” For those unfamiliar with this movement, Zentangle offers an opportunity for opening your creativity through a multi-patterned drawing design. I can attest to the Zen part of the process. I personally find it relaxing and rewarding at the same time. Tombow brush markers are a standard in the world of water based brush markers. They seem to find a place within various creativity practices such as calligraphy, rubber stamping, journaling and more. What you really want to experience is Tombow’s Irojiten colored pencils. Not just another colored pencil line, they are a beautiful range of colors that Tombow presents in striking color family sets. At first they may seem hard and dry but the pencils actually release their colors in a very controlled manner. They are superb for color layering. I haven’t found any color combinations that don’t blend effectively.  Check out Marie’s blog.

kathi

Thursday, May 2nd from 5:30-7:30pm

If all this color is too much to handle, Kathi Hanson from General Pencil has the perfect antidote – graphite and charcoal drawing techniques. She has some new mixed media applications that may surprise you. Kathi will show you all the possibilities with their new Sketch & Draw Kits that would be great for summer travels. General Pencil still produces wood encased graphite pencils in the U.S., and they love to share their pencil making process with their fans. And General Pencil is a family operated company too. I have always appreciated how they incorporate artists’ drawings into their packaging. All in all, General Pencil is the kind of company we at Wet Paint believe in and believe our customers believe in too. Visit her website www.kathihanson.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Friday, May 3rd from 5:30-7:30pm

We couldn’t be happier to have Denise Lapointe and David Carruthers from Papeterie Saint-Armand visit Wet Paint to talk about papermaking. Their operation is right at the apex between handmade processes and machine driven mills. I have visited their studio twice and I am amazed at their operation. The first visit the cab driver didn’t want to take me there – it is outside of lovely Montreal in a relatively abandoned warehouse district. Last fall, the area looked like it is ready for revitalization. Denise and David are passionate about papermaking in general and specifically about their own mill. They are proud of their equipment and their black rags for making black paper. Denise is fiery and David is circumspect. And they have stories about the history of papermaking in Canada, about making paper for the restoration of the home of Edith Wharton, about spec’ing paper jobs for rock and roll bands. They are as beautiful as their papers.  See their website www.st-armand.com

Robert%20Paschal%20Working%20in%20his%20Studio

Saturday, May 4th from 10-12:30pm

Robert Paschal and Iwata are both synonymous with airbrush. Robert’s books on airbrush techniques are best sellers. He is a respected airbrush artist known worldwide. Iwata is the most well-known and respected name in airbrush equipment. Take advantage of Bob being here and bombard him with your questions and Bob will help you overcome your fears of airbrushing. We see a new interest in this tool as many artists look for new venues after starting their art making with aerosol paint. An airbrush gives you control where even the widest range of spray nozzles can’t. Joined by Brooke Cedros from Iwata Airbrush, we are giving you the opportunity to test drive the best with the best. For more info on Robert, click here.

katherine_sm

Sunday, May 5th from 2-4pm

In 2008 Daniel Smith Watercolors became available to retailers like Wet Paint. We jumped at the opportunity to stock the watercolor most often requested by our customers. We have been completely happy with this decision and are delighted to introduce our customers to Katherine Taylor from Daniel Smith. Katherine has worked with us from day one to ensure they could work with Wet Paint and our sometimes unique demands upon our suppliers. We have been quite surprised with their constant introduction of new colors. And the colors they come up with do the most amazing things. Serpentine, Shadow Violet, Moonglow. Colors that almost do the painting for you. Join Katherine to experience the hundreds of additional colors available through mixing in the Daniel Smith Watercolor line. See all their colors at www.danielsmith.com

On_the_Go_with_PITT_Artist_Pens

Also Sunday, May 5th from 12-4pm

Two years ago I met Don Colley at a workshop. When he showed me his journals, old ledgers from secondhand stores, filled with his drawings created with Faber Castell pens and pencils, I knew these were special. Besides having a tactile quality of well used books, Don truly captures his subjects. I came back to Wet Paint and said we had to have Don Colley come to Wet Paint with his sketchbooks.DON-COLLEY-Darin-NAMTA We looked at his website and there was a drawing he had done of Darin Rinne, our General Manager, just months before at the art materials convention in Phoenix. Don had drawn him from the back, across the patio, and without knowing his subject, he had captured Darin to a T. If you need a personal coach to motivate you to get moving with your sketchbook, Don is your answer. Don will share his strategies of sketching a subject in public when you don’t know if you have your model for 60 seconds or 60 minutes. Take this opportunity to get out and urban sketch the Grand Avenue neighborhood with a true master.  See more of Don’s sketches here

Carl

Monday, May 6th from 5:30-7:30pm

Carl Judson is my own private cowboy. He saw the traditional European pochade box and made a bullet proof one to address the real needs of the plein air painter. Carl, an engineer turned painter turned product designer, has created and sourced an entire palette of products, the Guerrilla Painter line, to make outdoor painting a painless process with no loose ends trailing behind you from your vehicle to your painting site. Come see Carl at Wet Paint and he will help solve your personal dilemmas of onsite painting. Be amazed as Carl explains why he moved the latch on a box or how to fight glare off the brush ferrule. See Carl’s lovely paintings of the American landscape. And watch him drive off into the sunset in his pick-em-up truck.  Check out Carl’s paintings at www.carljudson.com