Nearly 30 years ago I met Gil. Gil was selling art supplies at a store in Berkeley. Next time I saw Gil, he owned an art supply store in Palo Alto. Both of us being independent art supply retailers meant we had a lot in common. What we didn’t have in common, we have in a friendly way, argued about over the years. Gil likes to travel and spends lots of time in Europe. And during those trips, he has found some great art supply lines that no one was importing into the United States. So we share our retailer woes together plus Wet Paint buys Gil’s Kunst & Papier books and Fibonacci brushes.
Kunst & Papier is a German line of sketchbooks and journals. They were designed by an artist because he couldn’t find a sketchbook to meet his own needs. The Wet Paint staff heartily endorses this line through their own personal use of the product. All of the sketchbooks are made with beautiful, quality paper. They respond to a variety of media and of different artists’ touch very well. The binderboard sketchbooks are their signature line. With a highly flexible spine these books have a great lay flat quality. No more using the side of your palm to hold the rolling paper flat. With plain bookboard covers, they are plain and simple in appearance which then can become the substrate for the artist to personalize. Newbie at Wet Paint, Chris, likes the subdued appearance which you can “make your own without defacing the book.” Both Liz and Justin rely on Kunst & Papier because their books are so well made they “wear well” and hold up to hauling them around with you. Even K&P’s simplest soft-covered sketchbooks that have few sheets and staple binding meet the discerning eye of Virginia who applies a wide range of media to their pages. Everyone feels they are just the most esthetically pleasing line of books, to the eye and to the touch. They look good. They have a wide variety of sizes. They have great paper. They are well constructed.
A few years back Gil visited Wet Paint with the Fibonacci line of brushes he found during his travels. The jaded Wet Paint staff, who have seen and tried just about every brush currently made, all wanted their own Fibonacci brushes. Beautifully crafted with synthetic blended heads in a vast assortment of sizes and shapes for water media. So what’s with another line of brushes? Liz likes the comfortable, well balanced handles. Verra likes the great snap of the hair. Justin likes the fact they hold their point for a very long time. Steve likes the crispness of the lines they make. Another esthetically pleasing, well-crafted tool.
When you handle lots of art materials, you just know when you pick up the good ones. These are them.