We work with artists and vendors around the world to come up with unique products and sets that aren’t available anyplace else…we have fun finding cool stuff and we often come up with some amazing deals! Here are the exclusives from our current holiday catalog:
Holbein Acryla Gouache Custom Set Eighteen 22ml colors hand chosen by your friends at Wet Paint, packed into a limited edition collector’s tin featuring the drawings of artist Yuko Higuchi. $110.95 (MSRP $185.00)
Natural Pigments Ceracolor Custom Set Eight 50ml tubes of this unique, wax based, water-soluble paint. Includes three 5×7” Ampersand Claybords. $89.95 (MSRP $123.81)
Bee Paper Big Bee Custom Box One each of four 9×9” spiral bound books, each with different paper types. Packaged in a Bee emblazoned box, ready for gifting. $31.95 (MSRP $63.80)
The Ultimate Brush Lettering Kit Everything you need to learn the art of hand lettering, chosen by our friend, Portland’s Peggy Dean. $44.95 (MSRP $64.75)
Natural Pigments Rublev Oil Custom Set Six 50ml tubes of professional grade oil paint formulated from historic pigments and without additives. Also includes a 50ml tube of Velazquez Medium and an 8×10” oil primed linen Artefex Panel. $145.95 (MSRP $179.84)
Marty Owings Custom Set Blogger & buddy, Marty Owings, developed this sketching set exclusively for Wet Paint…Hahnemühle and Stillman & Birn pads, Faber Castell and Derwent colored pencils, plus a sharpener and an eraser in an excellent zippered case! $39.95 (MSRP $56.22) PLEASE NOTE: Due to unexpected demand, we are out of stock on this item. Please reserve yours now for when we have more available. ETA TBD.
Sally Jo Power Marbled Paper Grab Bags Hand marbled in Minnesota & only available at Wet Paint. Each bag contains over 15 uniquely sized sheets. $15.00
Leuchtturm Medium Dot Custom Journal Beautiful blue cover features a distinctive, limited edition embossing that makes a subtle nod to your favorite artists’ supply store! $19.95
Schmincke Horadam 2017 “New 12” ½ Pan Tin A twelve color “split primary plus” palette chosen from the 35 new colors introduced for Schmincke’s 125th Anniversary in 2017. The tin has room for eighteen ½ pans, so room for six more of your favorites. Indispensable for the painter, sketcher, architect or designer. $69.95 ($225.00 MSRP) PLEASE NOTE: We have our second batch of these sets arriving in late November. Please reserve yours now for when we have more available.
Angelus Shoe & Leather Custom Set Customize your kicks and jazz up your jacket…this exclusive set has everything you need to get started! $28.95 ($31.14 MSRP)
Richeson Oils Split Primary Custom Set Only at Wet Paint! Featuring warm & cool primaries, plus a free white, this set is ideal for the beginner that wants to learn with professional-grade oil paint. $59.95 (MSRP $121.30)
Tara Fredrix 150th Anniversary Canvas Celebrate this 2018 milestone early with this 16×20” pre-stretched gallery canvas at an amazing price! $7.99 ($39.00 MSRP)
Princeton Watercolor 5 Brush Custom Set A curated selection of the best Princeton has to offer, including a 1 ½” mottler, ¾” oval & 3/8” dagger striper from the Neptune range (the “thirsty” faux squirrel filament is amazing), a #10 “long round” Velvetouch (unique shape, great feel), and a #6 round Kolinsky Sable Siberia, one of the finest watercolor brushes available. $89.95 ($168.70 MSRP)
Alvin Professional Table Combo Stand or sit at this collapsible drafting table that’s so durable it has a lifetime guarantee. This is the table that Scott bought in college and he still uses it today! Comes with an extremely rugged, adjustable utility stool and a clamp-on LED lamp. $449.99 ($720.99 MSRP)
As Wet Paint enters its 41st year on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul owner Beth Bergman is excited to announce her retirement at the end of 2016. Long-time employees Darin Rinne and Scott Fares will become the new proprietors. After 33 years provisioning artists in the Twin Cities and across the country Beth intends to move to the other side of the counter and focus on making art herself.
Wet Paint is renowned for its excellent selection of over 35,000 high quality art supplies and papers and the knowledgeable staff that supports artists of all levels of intention. Located at the corner of Grand and Cambridge, Wet Paint has grown from a small storefront serving local students into a nationally and internationally recognized center for quality and expertise. In 2015 the store expanded to increase the framing department and add space dedicated to classes for kids and adults on everything from origami and printmaking to watercolor techniques and mat cutting. Bergman and Wet Paint are both well known for their support of the arts, artists, and independent business, a distinction that will continue under Darin and Scott’s direction.
From Wet Paint’s humble beginnings as the art supply section of the Hungry Mind Bookstore to the 5000 square foot wonderland of artists’ materials we’ve become, one thing has remained constant: the reason we’re here. Serving one of the greatest creative communities in the world has been our honor and passion for 40 years. As we celebrate this milestone anniversary in October, we simultaneously look forward to the next 40 years of providing the right tools for every artistic expression to the generations of creatives to come.
Like seeing some images from Wet Paint days of yore? We’ve made a little gallery of a few old Wet Paint pictures posted here!
Kicking off the anniversary festivities will be a month long exhibit of art by Wet Paint staffers at Sencha Tea Bar just next door to Wet Paint. There will be a closing party from 5-7pm on Sunday, October 23rd.
We’ve also come up with a number of ways for the community to help us celebrate this momentous milestone. The most eye-catching activity will surely be our “Exquisite Corpse” project. Following in the footsteps of the Surrealists who popularized this chance-based parlor game in the 1920’s, we’ve recruited a variety of artists to create a section of a figure. These sections were collectively assembled to create crazy, mismatched people called Exquisite Corpses. These near life-size artistic creations will grace the front windows of Wet Paint for the month of October. See photos of them on our Facebook page here.
Note: want to participate in our Pocket-sized Exquisite Corpse Project? Click here for information on how YOU can get involved!
The weekend of October 27-30 is when the celebration kicks into high gear! Look for a variety of family-friendly anniversary events, as well as door prizes, raffles, refreshments, and more! All events are free and open to the public. See the tentative schedule below or check out our Events page on our website for more info.
Thursday, Oct. 27th: Exquisite Corpse Art Exhibit Opening Reception from 5:30-7:30pm
-Collaborative Pocket-sized Exquisite Corpse Project (ongoing through October): draw inspiration from the characters in the windows, or invent your own pocket-sized person!
Friday, Oct. 28th: Gel Plate Printing Party from 5:30-7:30pm
-Want to try printing with a gel plate? It’s easy and fun! Join Wet Paint staffer, Kate, and create your own monoprint card or artwork. All materials are provided, just bring your sense of creativity and fun! Plus a sweet door prize!
Saturday, Oct. 29th: All Day 40th Anniversary Celebration– door prizes, Exquisite Snake Origami Project, and more!
-Join our Collaborative Exquisite Snake Origami Project: led by Origamist, Kathleen Sheridan. Bring in some old coloring sheets, sketches/drawings, or colorful works on paper. Once cut to a square and folded, you’ll add them to become part the giant patchwork kinetic origami snake that will wind through the store! Plus door prizes, Pocket-sized Exquisite Corpse Project, and more!
Sunday, Oct. 30th: Sunday Sketch-a-Thon– all day sketching in the classroom
-The classroom will be set up for sketching from intriguing artifacts courtesy of the Bell Museum of Natural History and more. Bring your own sketch pad and favorite tools for sketching/watercolor or use shared supplies from the classroom. Stay all day or stay for a few minutes! Drawing-friendly Door Prizes!
We hope to celebrate with you at one or all of these events!
Going somewhere fun this summer? Or, having a productive stay-cation? Draw, paint, or mix up your media on a postcard-sized paper and mail it to Wet Paint! We’re putting together an exhibition of mail art from our friends and fans wherever they may be. As postcards arrive, we will photograph them to share on our social media pages and then display them in our storefront windows. At the end of the summer, we’ll host a public art opening here at Wet Paint for all of the contributing artists!
There’s no limit to how many postcards you can send, but in order to participate, postcards have to arrive at Wet Paint via our friendly postal carrier – – no dropping them off at the store! Don’t forget to sign your postcard(s) and let us know how to reach you. We want to make sure we’re crediting you when we post the work online and we want to be able to contact you with details about the end of summer art opening on August 8th, 2016.
-We are a family-friendly shop, so please tailor your images & words to be suitable for viewers of all ages.
-We reserve the right to not display postcards that we feel are inappropriate for this activity.
-All artwork must be original.
-In order to have your postcard displayed in our end of summer exhibition, you’ll need to have it postmarked by August 2nd, 2016.
-All participating mail art must arrive at Wet Paint via US Mail.
-Keep in mind that postcards will “wear” a bit depending on how far they travel- which is part of the fun of mail art!
-Contact your local post office for shipping and postage information.
-Send one or send one every week! We’ve got big windows!
Wet Paint Address:
Summer Postcard Project
1684 Grand Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105
Recently 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.
Right 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.