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.
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.
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.
“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper
This quote from painter Edward Hopper encapsulates the ongoing dilemma of describing your paintings with words. No matter what you say about your subject matter, your colors, the texture of your paint, you come up short. Talking about the paint itself is a little easier but tends to draw upon descriptors that may sound foreign to the untrained painter. There are artists who view paint as mere pigment to extend with water and get some color on their image. Then there are painters who can sense the difference in paint lines, from the way it comes out of the tube, to how it grabs onto a brush and then how it releases onto the canvas. And how colors mix varies from one manufacturer to another, how much elbow grease it takes to blend yellow and red into orange.
When companies come to Wet Paint and offer a new acrylic line, we shuffle and make excuses like we don’t have the space. What it really comes down to there often isn’t that much difference from one brand to another. So along comes Holbein, a favorite manufacturer partner of Wet Paint’s with a newly formulated line of acrylics. We were very pleased to find out that they have developed a line of color that is not a “me too” replicant of the category leader. The Holbein Heavy Body Artist Acrylic has some unique properties to claim a position of their own.
Greg Graham, painter and Wet Paint Floor Manager, got the opportunity to play with these new acrylics. He felt the paint’s consistency is softer, even silky, under the brush, but not slippery, compared to other acrylic lines. “It reminds me of Lascaux which, unfortunately, is out of many acrylic painters’ price range.” It feels a little more like oil paint and does seem to have a longer working time. It didn’t tack up as quickly as many of the other acrylics. If you like to paint directly from the tube rather than using additives, gels and mediums, the Holbein acrylic has a great feel under the brush. Virginia McBride, another Wet Paint staffer who is more of a drawer than a painter, found the silkiness when mixing colors very enticing.
Holbein is offering a range of 113 colors in acrylics. Their color selection contains many pigments you find in their oils and watercolors. Manufactured in Japan, the Holbein palette not only contains traditional Western palettes from the Renaissance through the Impressionists to the Moderns but includes colors friendlier to an Asian esthetic. Some favorites from other mediums that are unique to Holbein are their classic mixed colors like the Compose Blue series and the Luminous colors of Violet, Rose and Opera. Like their oil paint, Holbein’s acrylics have a consistent body and sheen from one color to another.
The new Holbein Heavy Body Artist Acrylic is a painter’s paint. We are happy to add this color line to our selection at Wet Paint. This fall is a great time to try them out. They are on sale and there is a free tube of Titanium White with a purchase of 5 tubes of color.