OK, now that the dust has settled…….The NAMTA art material convention is attended by hundreds of exhibitors and hundreds of retailers. The convention is held for 2 and a half days only. In these 3 short days you get to discuss successes, problems, possible solutions, discontinued products and new products with each manufacturer. You may have seen some of these new materials in the earlier posts. I will be recounting the new and exciting materials as we go along as well as which popular items have been discontinued and why.
This is the umbrella corporation that operates the following art material brands:
Lefranc & Bourgeois
European leader in colour for artists, crafters and children (Color & Co). Wide range of artists’ colours, surfaces, brushes and accessories, children’s colours and craft colours.
From the early days of Dry Transfer Lettering to new and exciting forms of craft and comic art, Letraset has always remained at the forefront of professional design.
Our motto is ‘Creative Opportunities’ and we aim to provide these creative opportunities to all types of artists through typography, colour application and new product innovation.
The BIG news!
The big news from ColArt is that Arches paper has been negotiated to be transitioned into ColArt’s art material lines away from Canson. They do not intend to change Arches’ offerings. They will be offering more of the international products.
JJC Industries/Daniel Smith –
This art material manufacturer has decided to scale back its offerings from Daniel Smith. They only offer their paints now in brick & mortar retail stores and online retail outlets. Great paints and they are now relying on brick and mortar stores to offer other products to support theirs. For this year the previous post (day 2 part one) discussed their new primatek sets. These affordable sets are available now from our sales floor.
Canson has a host of new cover designs for their pads in the student grade lines (XL). They are brighter and more visible for it. Good products for beginners, amateurs and zentanglers. The new pad colors will be seen in August as they are released.
Big News for Canson is that they are sharing with ColART the contract of American distribution for Arches products during 2015. In 2016, ColART will be the sole distributors.
They are also discontinuing the Eric Carle series of kid’s art materials. The Art Store still offers these at this time, but we are limited to the stock on hand.
Jacquard the leader in textile design materials had many new products for the artist in all of us. They had spent the last month improving their marbleizing kit to be the brightest textile colors available. I was stunned by what they have been able to do. Brilliant opaque colors that just scream for attention. A huge improvement!
The art of marbling paper has been historically associated with the craft of bookbinding. The technique of marbling involves creating a multi-colored pattern of paint that floats on the surface of a gel-like medium. Paper or fabric is then laid on the surface to pick up the floating paint and transfer the design. Use the Marbling Kit to make patterned fabric or gift wrapping paper – each piece is as unique as a fingerprint! Also fun as a group activity. For ages 12+.
Included in this kit:
To view more about their new product updates, feel free to follow this link.
The most notable item we saw to be offered in a few months from Jacquard is the refillable compressed sprayer that you can pump up with a bicycle pump. Easy to use and will accommodate different liquids but is limited by its draw tube and nozzle size. See below for a sneak peek:
It has the durability and shape of a metal sports bottle as well
Well known for their many great art materials such as Richeson signature oils, grey matter painting palettes, their awesome brushes, unison pastels and so many other products, have come up with a great idea for plain-aire and value conscious artists.
Nothing to distract, Nothing in the way!
Richeson looked at their (and other’s) present line of brushes and figured out that most artists use their brushes not only for painting with but also as a measuring tool (proportion and value). When you do this process, you are usually using a brush and/or brushes that distract from the process due to the materials used in building the brush itself. Shiny, light handled and varying colors and/or shades of all ranges on the bristles can be very distracting to the painter. Richeson thought, “What if we make a less distracting brush” by manufacturing a brush closer in value and hue. “This works for our mixing palette why not with what we are painting with”….Grey Matter brushes were born!
Their catchphrase is “Nothing to distract, Nothing in the way”
They are offered in different shapes and sizes for each popular painting material to be used as well as if you have a favorite bristle to paint with. If it be you need a synthetic watercolor (short handled), synthetic oil (long handled), synthetic acrylic (long handled) or a interlocking natural bristle brush, they have made it in this line of inspiring brushes.
After a quick trip from the NAMTA sales floor, to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, these brushes are now available at the Art Store!
We saw them at Namta and Richeson had just received them days before the convention. Of course we were interested being experienced artists that live on the cusp of the beautiful landscapes of Arizona and Utah. At the Art Store we do not invest into products lightly. This is a good idea for a non-intrusive brush but what about the manufacturer’s quality?
The Richeson family and their most experienced reps attended Namta this year so we could interview them directly about their new brushes:
Q: What is your philosophy of these new brushes?
A: We believe that brushes are needed to allow the artist to stay focused and assist them in their studio and plein-aire methods. Toning a canvas is very popular to do even before the painting process is started. If we could figure out how to offer a brush that is almost not there visually, we thought all artists would appreciate it. To do this the brush material itself needed to be less intrusive. We felt a brush was needed that made the artist feel as if there was nothing between the artist and the canvas. Our belief is that if you can make a neutral grey brush, it will be easier to relate to what is being painted since you have a far less color and value distortion on your Grey Matters palette as well as your Grey Matters brush. This would cause the brush to fade away from notice. We think this has been successfully done!
Q: “What country makes these?”
A: Their reply was “India”. Now in the art Store’s experience of checking brushes for the last twenty years that when the brush manufacturers moved their assembly costs out of the US there was a dramatic change in quality. You may never see this on our sales floor but we do in the receiving area. In our opinion, the best assembling countries are in parts of Europe, Japan & India. The quality still varies but not like China’s. “India” is a good to better not the best or OMG quality brush manufacturing region. I would buy a brush made in India any time I see them. Their quality is worth their cost. Japan in my opinion has been the best made brushes I have seen – Keith K.
Q: What glue is being used at the ferrule?
A: “the same glue as their 9000 series brushes from India”.
Why is the glue important to us painters? Well, our climate is abusive to anything we use to paint with, including our brushes. Southwest painters can have a 40 degree shift in temperature as well as a 70 to 90% change in humidity. This causes major structural stresses on all materials. Most paintbrush handles are usually made with wood, sealed with paint and lacquers, glued to a crimped metal ferrule holding on to natural or synthetic bristles with glue. Finally shaved to the proper shape for the Artist. If the glue used to assemble the brushes is too rigid, the brush ferrule will get loose with little use or even while it is sitting on the sales floor. Bristle fallout and loose ferrules is caused mainly by this lack of quality control on the glue being used. If any manufacturer does not seal the brush handle properly, the solvent (including water) will swell the handle and then in our region the handle shrinks and breaks the rigid bond of the glue used. The best glues used for our region is slightly flexible ones. Richeson instructs their Indian assemblers to always seal the brush handle completely and use a slightly flexible glue. That is why we support their efforts. – Keith K.
Q: What quality of bristle was used on these brushes?
A: “Professional grade but not as high as our 7500 series for the synthetic, the hog bristle is also a mid-grade professional as well”
This should allow the brush to be approachable in price for most painters. The snap or spring of the bristle is important to most painters. The bristle used is what determines this snap as well as the longevity of use. These new brushes come in synthetic and natural bristles as well as an interlocking hog bristle in short handle and long handle designs. Watercolor, Acrylic, Casein, Gouache and Oil can be used with these brushes. Each display will state the best brush for the material to be used. Richeson is very experienced with art materials so they will know the differences.
The new Grey Matter brush displays are being checked in as you read this so they will be on the sales floor shortly. They are so new that no Richeson announcements have been made about them, including all online posts (except this one, yep it is an Art Insider like you that gets this info first) and the Jack Richeson website. When they do fully announce them, it will be done in the next few months. For now………The Art Store in Prescott is the only retailer that offers them until they ship more from back east. We are also the premier art store on your way to our beautiful local landscapes so why not offer the least distracting brush made in appreciating this beauty.
We at the Art Store appreciate Richeson’s quality control of their art materials. So much so that we purchased most of the convention floor booth to have on the Art Store’s sales floor. Were there any more new exciting products? Oh yes……..more posts will focus on these awesome ideas for us artists.
NEW! Pastel Premier Paper
Pastel Premier is a truly unique 100% Cotton/Archival Quality pastel paper. It is double primed and coated with an aluminum oxide created for Pastel Premier to produce an ideal surface for pastel painting. A final seal coat makes this paper extremely durable and able to withstand almost any measure of scrubbing or reworking. The paper works with a wide range of media as an underpainting and accepts as many as 25 layers of pastel.
• Heavy 145lb. / 310 gsm paper
• 3 surface types
• Archival Quality
• Available in sheets / rolls / pochettes
• Made in USA
Art Store Insider – This company has made a great product. Takes layers like a comparable professional sandpaper no longer being made. It also comes in white and italian clay. It however does not take an alcohol wash well. That is still a Wallis Paper secret, even though I think this is close to the feel of Wallis. Global mentioned that they had some assistance from somebody who knew Wallis’ ways well. We are experimenting with this paper now……stay tuned!
Fluid watercolor paper – New to the Art Store!
NEW! Hot Press Surface
High Quality at an Affordable Price. Fluid Watercolor Paper is crafted in their European mill which produced its first paper stock in 1618. Their mill masters craft small batches at slow speeds allowing for finer control of quality. This slow approach produces a sheet of great strength that shares much of the working integrity of more expensive mould-made papers.
Selection That’s a First for Watercolorists. Squares, landscapes, panoramas – never before has there been so much to choose from for watercolor painters. 16 unique blocks offer convenience and inspire new directions in creativity.
EASY-BLOCK – 15 Sheets Glued on Two Edges. Paint directly on the top sheet in the block. The glue along the two long edges will hold the sheet flat as you paint. When your painting is dry, slide a dull knife or letter opener in the open side under the top sheet. Release the glue along one edge and pull your painting free.
NEW! Fluid 100 watercolor paper
Handbook Paper Co. is proud to introduce the newest member to their family of fine artist papers – Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper. Fluid 100 is a premium, archival cotton watercolor paper unlike any other. It is made by their European mill masters who combine traditional papermaking techniques with modern technology. The result is a beautiful natural white sheet that is strong with a subtle yet pleasing surface texture. The gelatin sizing allows the artist greater control and produces brilliant and intense color. This is a paper both affordable and long lasting. Perfect for use with either wet or dry techniques.
140 lb./300 gsm Cold Press,
300 lb./640 gsm Cold Press
140lb./300 gsm Hot Press
4 Artist Formats
Sheets (2 Deckled Edges)
Duplicate or clone your own parts. Composimold is the reusable, heat & pour mold making material
The inventor and production manager was available for us to discuss the many uses of this product as well as its the reuses. Very interesting molding material that can be used for casting any material that is 200 degrees or cooler. Click the hyperlinks above to see some videos and written instructions on how to use this great new product.
More possibilities. Less compromise.™
NEW in the Art Store
Based on the popularity of their Solvent-Free Gel, Gamblin is pleased to broaden their offering of solvent-free materials. Solvent-Free Fluid painting medium readily increases the flow of oil colors and has a moderate drying rate. Safflower Oil effectively removes color from brushes during solvent-free painting sessions and can also be used to increase the flow and slow drying of oil colors. With Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel, Solvent-Free Fluid, and Safflower Oil, painters have the broadest range of solvent-free options in oil painting.
So new, it is not even on Gamblin’s website. The Art Store has some smaller bottles to try at this time. Others can be ordered by special order from week to week.
Schmincke Medium W – NEW!
Medium W is a solvent free, low odor alternative to oil painting by making ANY oil paint water mixable. Using two parts oil color and one part Medium W, oil paint rinses cleanly off of brushes and painting tools with the use of water, eliminating the need for solvents. For artists that prefer to use traditional oils without making them water mixable, Medium W can be used as a brush cleaner. Simply wipe away excess oil paint from the brush before dipping it directly into Medium W, and then swish it in clean water. Final clean up can be done with soap and water. Medium W is compatible with all oil colors and most oil mediums such as stand and linseed oils, oil transparentizers and megilp. Available in three sizes: 60ml, 200ml and 1 liter.
An easy way to make all your present oils water-soluble.
Not only have they released a refillable resist marker (in stock again at the Art Store) that is awesome for use with many art materials, they have made a refill extension for their refillable markers. Oh yes……we will have them shortly in the Art Store.
NAMTA Day 2 – Continuing on the next post – stay tuned!