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Wet Paint: Where the Art Supplies Live

July 1, 2009

Every time I go to Wet Paint I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a fantastic, independent art supply store so close to me (I think I'm about 5 miles away). I selfishly worry about such resources during times of economic downturn. If such a store didn't exist I wouldn't be able to walk in and get the specific materials I needed at that moment. I wouldn't be able to chat with someone who has actually used a given product.

I've talked a lot, on the blog about this store and the wonderful staff members. People are always writing to me and telling me they wish they had a store like this in their area. I hope those of us in the Twin Cities take stock frequently and appreciate what we have, and support Wet Paint.

Things are changing at Wet Paint. Now on their website you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter! Beth has just celebrated her 25th anniversary of ownership. I thought those of you who aren't in the Twin  Cities would enjoy this video taken in the summer of 2007 (by a broadcasting class at the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, a special camp held each year at Macalester College in Saint Paul). The video gives you a bit of a tour and introduces you to some of the staff. (If the embedded video doesn't work use the direct link.)

If you have a local art supply store be sure to support it, for selfish reasons, so the products you know and love are available. People work long hours and juggle a lot of facts and figures and deal with a lot of suppliers just so we can continue to have quality art materials. The least we can do is support them.

If you live in the Twin Cites and go into Wet Paint now, just be warned, the entire entry way is overflowing with boxes of stretched canvas! It's a huge sale.

Disclaimer: I am not an employee and do not receive payment or materials from Wet Paint to promote it. I just think that people everywhere ought to know about this store. However, through intense memorization of all store supplies and their location I have attained the honorary title of "docent" so if you do see me in the store and you seem to be waivering between products, just be prepared to hear my opinion on the supplies you're considering. I'm probably one of those "unique" customers Beth alluded to in the video. 

  1. Reply

    The Wet Paint online store is also a great resource for artists anywhere. I was hunting high and low for the Caran D’Ache Fixpencil 3 mm leadholders until I discovered that they carry the entire Caran D’Ache product line in the USA. The place to go for 3.8 mm Museum watercolor leads and Technalo watersoluble grahpite!

    • Velma
    • July 1, 2009
    Reply

    roz—you know how lucky you are, but i have to say that i totally envy you. art stuff envy… another freudian malady…

    anyway, in the video there were these wonderful walls of color-pastels or whatever-they looked simply tantalizing.
    velma

  2. Reply

    I live in California and I’m sooo jealous because you have Wet Paint 5 minutes from your house. I’ve bought supplies online from them and have dealt with Kate. She was very nice and quite responsive. It looks like they have way more in the store than what’s on their website. The store in my neighborhood just is so poorly stocked and expensive I really don’t shop there. It’s more like a gift store than an art supply store. I have to travel 90 minutes into San Francisco just to find a good store but when I go there are several to choose from.

    • Roz
    • July 1, 2009
    Reply

    Alberto, they have a bunch of products that other folks don’t carry. I’ve very spoilt!

    I’m glad you found what you were looking for.

    • Roz
    • July 1, 2009
    Reply

    Velma, there are walls and walls of stuff that are overwhelmingly tantalizing!

    Sometimes I walk into the paper department where Verra (that’s correct spelling) arranges displays on racks behind the counter and I almost FAINT.

    • Roz
    • July 1, 2009
    Reply

    Kate is wonderful (they are all wonderful too!) I will let her know you said so.

    I have been bugging them to change their website because I find it difficult to get around on. They do have way more inthe store than on the site!

    • Donna
    • July 2, 2009
    Reply

    I don’t shop there because i can never get their search engine to find anything and these are items that I know they carry because you have written about them. I find their website almost useless.

    • Roz
    • July 2, 2009
    Reply

    Donna, I passed this information along to the store manager. I know they will be disappointed to hear this. I hope that they will be able to fix the problem and that at some point soon you can come back and enjoy their services!

    • Roz
    • July 3, 2009
    Reply

    Donna, I talked with the folks at WP about your comment. They are very concerned and would love to have an address to contact you to talk to you about what the problems were so they can fix them. Would you drop Darin Rinne a line so he can ask you a couple questions about your experience? It would help them improve their site. Thanks. (You can reach him at darin@wetpaintart.com)

    The same goes for anyone reading this who has had trouble with Wet Paint’s site. They are constantly trying to improve it and make it responsive so if you were to write to Darin and tell him of any problems you were having they can get on it and work to fix it—and you can get back to getting the art materials you need to create your work. How great is that! This isn’t a big corporation that doesn’t listen to folks, this is a small operation that really does listen.

    • Velma
    • July 5, 2009
    Reply

    Roz, it’s just NOT fair. Walls of beautiful paper. Walls of color. Art supplies in the quantity “galore”. I have a 70 mile drive to art supply stores in Ottawa, and they’re OK, but nothing like the auspicious Wet Paint. I have really fond memories of our local art shop–Eddie’s. I used to go in and purchase one thing, say a 2B pencil. Eddie treated me like an aspiring artist.

    • Roz
    • July 6, 2009
    Reply

    Velma, I know it’s not fair. I’m grateful every day that I have a great art supply store nearby. Customer treatment—a pet peeve I have. Certain “chain art supply stores” just don’t get it. Another reason to support your local art supply store (when you have one!)—great service.

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