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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.

kathryn
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.

bethbonniedoodle
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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Enthusiast Professionals Students

Why Wet Paint Stocks Aerosols and Paint Markers

8E8C1934smSometimes when I look around Wet Paint I am surprised at what products have emerged over the past decade as serious artists’ materials.  I never expected to be selling aerosols.  I never imagined professionals choosing paint markers over a tube of paint.  And like earlier movements in contemporary art, artists’ influences today come from outside the traditional educational venues and with them come different materials.  And in our quick response culture, art materials manufacturers have been able to take commercial technology and marry with fine art material attributes.  So we have spray paint and paint markers that have artist palettes of colors.  They have made the colors more light fast and permanent.  They have altered viscosity to move the colors faster or slower.

8E8C2931smOne thing that makes paint markers and aerosols alike is that they have built in delivery systems.  You no longer need a brush.  While I personally find brushes to be the most beautiful of all art supplies, they are that additional step between the artist and the art.  I believe this immediacy and directness is why these “new” paint mediums are so popular with painters and sculptors and printmakers and calligraphers and artists of every persuasion.

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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.

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Enthusiast Professionals

Why Wet Paint loves Gil

gilNearly 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.

Justin with his Kunst & Papier sketchbooks
Justin with his Kunst & Papier sketchbooks

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.

Gil with a handful of Fibonacci brushes
Gil with a handful of Fibonacci brushes

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.

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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 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.