Archive for June, 2009

To MAP or Not to MAP, That is the Question

Friday, June 26th, 2009

We received a letter recently from Logan announcing that the company would be dropping its Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) program at the end of 2009. In the letter, posted below, they did not site reasons, but this bold act makes us want to take stock of the so-called benefits of MAP programs. On the one hand, MAP offers some protection to both small retailers and big brands from destructive and unproductive price wars, and on the other, it can stifle honest competition, impede pricing that benefits consumers and some even say give an unfair advantage to the largest retail outlets, either internet based or brick and mortar. We would love to know what you think. There is a spot below for you to add your comments. There is nothing like a full blown dialogue to add light to a complicated subject.

Revised Letter:



Subway Art Gallery Opening

Friday, June 26th, 2009

50 Improv Everywhere agents created an art gallery opening on the 23rd Street subway platform in Manhattan. They put up 30 placards next to objects in the space (pipes, electrical boxes, signs, advertisements), transforming them into works of art. The gallery included a bar, a coat rack and a cellist.

The mission took place this past Fall, but this morning a couple of Improv Everywhere agents put up fresh copies of the placards in the station (uptown platform for the C/E at 23rd Street). If you live in New York, go check it out before the MTA removes them.

Industry News

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

kerry-kemp-carWe are relieved to report that Kerry Kemp of Art Outfitters in Little Rock, Arkansas is doing fine after a scary car accident last weekend. Here is her account: “Last Saturday, my daughter and son-in-law and I drove to Dallas for my  nephew’s wedding.  About 3 hours before the ceremony, we were T-boned  by a car (running a red light)  in an intersection. We were both  traveling at 45 to 50ish mph. We are alive and have no broken bones.” Whew! Good thing the seat belts were all securely fastened!

darababyDavid Goldstein of Jerry’s Artarama is happy to report the birth of his grandson. Daughter  Dara gave birth to a 7 lb., 2 oz. baby boy, Bryce, on Monday!

MacPherson’s is proud to announce the appointment of Sarah Pousho to the position of West Coast Sales Manager. Sarah starts on June 30th and comes from the publishing industry. Her last position was as VP Sales and Licensing at Artistic Studios, a San Francisco based publisher of children’s activity books and she is a graduate of UC Berkeley.

p1000422Speedball Art Products Company, LLC announces that it has completed the acquisition of the Pottery Wheel Business of Creative Industries. Creative was established in 1971, and makes the Artista™ and Clay Boss™ lines of pottery wheels. Speedball’s president Walt Glazer states that these “are wonderful additions and demonstrate Speedball’s commitment to offering compelling value and quality to professional potters, teachers, and students.”
riley-streetRileystreet Art Supply of San Rafael & Santa Rosa, CA was splashed on the jumbo-tron over the AT & T park in San Francisco last Saturday at the huge Bookstock event benefitting the Giants baseball team. The event was a multifaceted art, music, film and book release event, attended by more than 5,000 people including a massive live art installation along the outfield that featured 25 artists, many of whom were painting on large canvases donated by Rileystreet Art Supply. This was a terrific “out of the box” promotional idea!
n588923607_150476_9613We have confirmed that owner Eva Anderson-Terada of  Hilo Art & Glass in Hilo, Hawaii will be closing her doors for business at the end of the June.
Congratulations to our very own  Dick and Edna Wiest who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!

Inside MacPherson’s: Unsung Heroes of the DCs – Jackie Shelby

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

From time to time we  like to share the stories of the people who make up our amazing team. Today our featured person is Jackie Shelby, an Order Picker in our Reno DC.


Jackie Shelby has been a team member at our Reno Distribution Center for nearly three years. Before coming to work for MacPherson’s, Jackie’s first job was as a gas station attendant, where she learned the ins and outs of cars including fixing flat tires, changing oil and replacing spark plugs. Not only is Jackie well versed in many aspects of warehouse operation and  auto repair, she has many hobbies outside of work. In her spare time she enjoys crafts, gardening, riding her motorcycle, cooking, baking, and decorating cakes; in short, she is  a ” Jackie of all trades.” Jackie has four children, three daughters and a son, along with two grandchildren. She shares her home, and her wonderful cooking, with Rick her husband of twenty six years, a Cockatiel and two miniature Schnauzers. Once she retires she hopes to travel the country with her husband on their motorcycles, or a motor home. When asked what advice she would give to her fellow MacPhersonites, she said to, “Love with every ounce of energy you have, family and friends alike, treat others with kindness, don’t sweat the small stuff, and laugh a lot.” Well said and well lived!

New Items Program – Select Lines to be Centrally Stocked

Monday, June 22nd, 2009
MacPherson’s has just implemented a new program to help improve in-stocks on new items. Going forward, select new items that are UPS-able will be centrally warehoused in our Elgin, IL Distribution Center. What does this mean to you if your normal DC is Atlanta or Reno? If any of these new products are included on your order, they will automatically be split from the PO and sent separately from Elgin. Whether the order is entered via PDA, EDI, Online Express, phoned in or faxed, our system will split your order into two shipments. Because of Elgin’s terrific geographic location orders should be reunited at your store with very little delay. The two order numbers will be the same, differentiated only by the usual beginning letter designation that indicates the shipping DC. For example, N1234567 will be the portion shipped from Reno and E1234567 the portion shipped from Elgin. More good news! The Elgin order will be sent prepaid and you will not be responsible for freight! The remaining portion of your order will be shipped from your normal DC, subject to our current Freight Policy based on the order value of the combined orders.
This new service will allow us to make a smaller inventory investment while we gauge the true nation-wide demand for new products and lines. We will continuously monitor the demand so that the new items can be added to your usual DC as soon as it is warranted. Our simple goal is to provide higher fill rates through better forecasting and lower inventory carrying costs.
Look for for this new message on your your order confirmation and invoices:
Your order included items not stocked in your default warehouse. We have split your order so that these items will arrive from our central warehouse at no shipping cost to you. Your order will arrive on our order numbers NXXXXXXX-XX and EXXXXXXX-XX.
New lines that are or will soon be centrally stocked in our Elgin, IL DC are:
New BORDEN & RILEY paper items
New CRAYOLA items
Daler-Rowney’s new Langton Prestige paper
New WALTER FOSTER books & kits
GAMBLIN Etching Inks
New KOLO items
New LETRASET items
Pantone Replacement Sheets

STABILO Pot of Love!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Ever wonder what’s at the end of a rainbow in Germany?  It’s not a pot of gold, it’s a pot of STABILO!
And now that pot is available here in the US from MacPherson’s! This cute, red STABILO pot contains 150 Point 88 pens in assorted colors.  Put it on your counter and watch customers delight in choosing their treasured colors.
Available now, the item number is SW88-150-2 and the total retail cost is $142.50. Your net is practically pocket change and there is no better way new introduce this addictive product than to place this cute bouquet on your counter(s) at the cash wrap!

Want to Know What’s New Before Anyone Else? Get Automatic Notification When New Art Dog Articles Are Posted!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Did you know we are constantly adding articles and news to the Art Dog Blog? If you are on our email list, we send a notice via email once or twice a month, but for some people that just isn’t soon enough. There is a simple way that you can be alerted immediately and it’s called RSS or News Feeds.

What is a News Feed and how do I start using this feature?
News feeds allow you to see when websites like the Art Dog Blog have added new articles. You can get the latest content in one place, as soon as its published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from.
Feeds are also known as RSS. In essence, the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people. In general, the first thing you need is something called a news reader. This is a piece of software that checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have been added. The most common are built into your web browser, but some are downloadable applications. Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you may be downloading your e-mail using Outlook or Gmail.
Once you have chosen a news reader, all you have to do is  visit the Art Dog Blog and you will notice an orange button down the page on the right hand side. Click this symbol:
Then select the way you would like to receive your News Feed. It’s just that easy!

New from GOLDEN: Retail Staff Competition, Plus Online Videos & Promotions

Monday, June 22nd, 2009
How do you win great prizes, encourage your staff to learn more about GOLDEN Mix More Media products and have fun all at the same time? Participate in the GOLDEN Mix More Media competition.
On June 1, 2009, GOLDEN launched a Point of Purchase display competition to highlight the unique, creative uses of its Mix More Media products. The contest is open to any staffer employed at stores carrying the GOLDEN Digital Mixed Media (DMM) products, so encourage your folks to get their creative juices going, to create increased dynamics within the store and to earn a chance to win big! The DMM POP Display will be judged in four different categories by a professional independent selection committee. Prizes include ink-jet printers ranging in value from $75 to more than $750.
Retailers benefit, too.  All retailers with participating store staff will receive a 10% rebate on Digital Mixed Media products purchased July through December 2009. Plus, retailers who display a winning entry submitted from their store staff will also receive an ink-jet printer and a set of print-ready acrylic skins. Submissions are now being accepted, but only until July 15, so join the fun, before it’s too late!! Visit for full contest rules.
New OPEN Acrylics Technical Videos are Online
As promised, there are two new online videos that artists can access, focusing on the new GOLDEN OPEN Acrylics. These videos can be found on the GOLDEN Company page of Artists can download the videos or link to them using a simple cut-and-paste method from the YouTube video page.
New videos currently available include:
• OPEN Acrylics: One Week on the Palette
• OPEN Acrylics: Palette Management
New videos will be added regularly, so be sure to become a subscriber to the GOLDEN YouTube Page to learn about the latest videos as soon as they come out.

How do you get free Titanium White?
It’s easy; just participate in the GOLDEN Back-to-School “White Hot” Promotion. Available for a limited time only. Ask your MacPherson’s contact for more details.
If you have any questions about any of the above information, please contact your MacPherson’s Sales Representative.

ATC Stencils Coming Soon From Stencil 1

Friday, June 19th, 2009
It’s all about mini-art!
Artist Trading Cards are hot right now and Stencil 1 is coming out with the perfect accessory – ATC-sized stencils which feature Stencil 1‘s very cool and trendy designs. There will be 7 new ATC stencils sets with 8 designs in each, with themes like music, urban, birds, and geometric patterns. For a preview of these ATC stencils in action, check out this clip showing how to use them with inks:

Look for the new Stencil 1 ATC stencils coming soon from MacPherson’s!

Top 1,000 Items List

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

How many of MacPherson’s Top 1,000 items are in your store? If you don’t know, you may be missing out on easy sales. To learn what items are selling best go to the Dealer Zone at – you’ll find a link to the Top 1,000 items right under Business Basics. This handy ranking report has 2 columns – one for Rank by Hits and one for Rank by Sales $$, and is based on the most recent 12 month period. We’ll be updating it on a quarterly schedule: Feb 15, May 15, Aug 15 & Nov 15.

Click here to go to the Dealer Zone.

Strathmore Offers Exciting Tips & Tools For Back-to-School!

Thursday, June 18th, 2009
Although the economy has had an impact on all of us this year, the Back-to-School season is a promising time of fresh ideas and exciting opportunities.  During times of uncertainty what we need is the industry’s collective and creative effort in order to deliver the outstanding results we all expect from this key season.
Strathmore is doing its part by offering its own stimulus package for retailers.  No, they didn’t consult Wall Street or Washington… just their own think tank to create all of the elements necessary for a successful season on Main Street.
The Stimulus Package includes some fun and easy ways to drive more sales:
• Ideas, instructions and tips for in-store events to help draw consumers into your store
• A really cool contest to get artists excited about drawing with Strathmore and another opportunity for the retailer to get involved with their customers
• In addition to the outstanding offers on their standard promotion, Strathmore is offering merchandising ideas and POP material to maximize BTS sales
• Customizable marketing tools to create your own promotional material!
Strathmore pads are a proven performer during the BTS season, so use these stimulus package tools to drive even greater sales of Strathmore and complementary items.
You can access this program on our web site:  StrathmoreArtist Retailer site.  The web site requires a sign on. Don’t be intimidated, it’s easy! You can create your own user name and password on the spot and get access immediately.
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NEW! Assortments Report in Online Express @

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Ever wondered… “What colors are included in that Winsor & Newton watercolor assortment?” Even more to the point, once you’ve ordered a new display did you wonder where to find the retail prices, UPCs, etc. for all the contents? Well, wonder no more. Every item, from every assortment (in stock and drop ship) is now available right from Login, go to Online Express and select the Assortments Report. Just enter your email address and you’ll receive the tab-delimited text file right in your mail box.

The report lists each item and its corresponding assortment, vendor and included quantity, along with all of the same data that’s in the Macitem report like net prices. Cool!

If you find anything missing from this report, please contact Jim Semitekol <> or ext. 1078.


Post-it Notes Make Art!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Creativity is an amazing thing. Check out this animated video created by students at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). And yes, MacPherson’s offers Post-it Notes.


SKU Item No. Description List Un Inc Loc UPC/EAN Group Ascd Qty
218375 MT15577-2 POST-IT 654 3INX3IN YEL(12) $ 1.83 EA 12
U-021200155772 0150

Industry News

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

wpx-beth-hands-mg_0653Big congrats to Beth Bergman who is celebrating 25 years as the owner of St. Paul, MN Wet Paint. In her own words, “When Hugh Huelster turned Wet Paint’s keys over to me 25 years ago, I didn’t know what I was getting in to.” The rest is artistic history!

img_0990Congratulations to CC Lowell’s owner,  Bill Cavanagh, celebrating his 20th anniversary as the owner of this venerable Worcester, MA art supply institution.

With sadness we report that John Ruiz, sales manager at the Canson’s predecessor Morilla, passed away recently in Southern California.

p1000514Howard Flax has left Flax Art & Design in San Francisco to head up a Petaluma, CA company called AFM Inc that provides unique thermal management solutions utilizing  infra-red reflection and insulation technology in products designed for both consumer and industrial users. A product that AFM makes called Heat Sheets is used by marathon runners.

p1000548Andrew Daler of Daler-Rowney USA has announced the appointment of Leo Geiger as the Daler’s new Company Territory Sales Manager for the Southeastern  territory. This marks a new initiative by the company to have the majority of its sales team be made up of company employees.

Our e-Brands maven, Lisa Slauson, thought you might enjoy the pics from a recent Montana demo at Richard’s in Livermore, CA.  Also, be on the lookout for 2 new female graffiti artists that you may recognize!  Montana Gold Demo, Richards in Livermore, CA

ftkpbyHyatt’s in Buffalo is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. Here’s what the company has to say on its web site, Hyatt’ “Started as a small family business, Hyatt’s is proud to have remained family owned and operated over the past 50 years and to now employ over 40 people. Hyatt’s could not have achieved so much success without the hard work of its many loyal and knowledgeable staff members. With many having been with the company for over 10 years, the Hyatt Family would like to thank all of its employees, old and new, that have helped to make Hyatt’s 50 years strong!” Check out the whole fascinating history of Hyatt’s at Hyatt’s 50 year history.

Pat Jennings of Central Art Supply Company in St. Petersburg, FL  forwards this amazing photo of his new Montana Gold spray paint rack and header painting, entitled ‘See the Possibilities’ by Chris James. Talk about creative and inspirational merchandising!


Sharpie Out to Prove It’s More Than a School Supply… We Knew That!

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Marketing Daily reports that Sharpie is looking to keep its iconic markers top of mind with a new marketing campaign that positions the marker as the enabler of self-expression. “We do traditionally see a spike during a back-to-school time period,” Sally Grimes, global vice president of marketing for Sharpie, tells Marketing Daily. “But we’re starting now because we think Sharpie is about much more than a school supply. It’s a tool for self-expression not necessarily tied to any particular season.”

The new effort, from Draftfcb in Chicago, includes print and television advertising, as well as an interactive and community Web site. Print, which broke this week, depicts Sharpie markers changing everyday items into something more distinctive and personal. In one ad, for instance, an ordinary pair of sneakers is transformed into colorful, psychedelic design via a Sharpie Twin Tip Marker. Here is a Youtube Video that showcases the concept:

The tagline: “Uncap what’s inside.” The print ads will run in magazines such as Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Every Day with Rachael Ray and US Weekly. Television ads will begin airing this week on several national cable networks. “The inspiration for the campaign really came from the consumer,” Grimes says. “It came from the many ways that passionate Sharpie consumers are using the product today. If you Google Sharpie, you can see all the amazing things people are doing with Sharpie markers.”

To that end, the company has also developed a community Web site, Sharpie Uncapped, where people can share ideas about how to use Sharpie markers to help personalize their lives. Users will be able to share images and videos of everyday items that they have transformed using Sharpie markers. Each month, Sharpie will showcase the most inspiring in a special Sharpie Uncapped Gallery on the site. Other online elements include a blog and links to Facebook fan pages. The community also includes input and ideas from the so-called “Sharpie Squad,” a group of artists and bloggers who are inspired by Sharpie markers, according to Grimes. These fans will help provide tips and videos to give other users ideas for their own expressions, she says.

“The goal is really to inspire people to get creative and express themselves with Sharpie,” Grimes says. “It’s really a change in the way we as marketers interact with our consumers. It’s about what they think about us and celebrating the many loyal and passionate fans of Sharpie out there.”

It occurs to this old Art Dog that Sharpie’s new strategy could be a boon for savvy art material retails who feature and promote Sharpies to this target audience.

Inside MacPherson’s: Unsung Heroes of the DCs, Elgin Packing Dept.

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

p5090012MacPherson’s Elgin packing department is a strong  four-person team consisting  of Oscar Garcia, Mike  Anderson, Salvador Corona and Toy Sayasane. Their work is divided among  three packers and one box  maker. These guys are at the eye of the hurricane. Being physically located in the middle of the distribution center, and between the steps of picking and shipping, this team is sort of ‘the meat between the bread.’ Their job is to carefully pack orders, ensuring that customers receive their orders in perfect condition. The reputation of the  company relies on the quality of each order, so the importance  of protecting the items going out cannot be overstated. If stuff is damaged in transport it triggers a cascade of time consuming, non-productive activities for both our customers and us.

The  packing department serves external customers such as our diverse and many independent retailers as well as our chain store customers. These amazing guys also serve their internal customers in the picking and  shipping departments. The great teamwork that takes place in this department is what makes them most special. Within the group, Salvador is  the most senior member of the department with five years of  experience at MacPherson’s and Mike is the newest addition, having joined us last summer. Outside of work, watching sports and movies are popular activities among these  four.

Department Buzzwords

Case sealer – Automatic box taper
2 inch small/large – Popular sizes of boxes for paper stock
Pillows – Inflatable bags for package cushioning
Corners – Cardboard inserts to protect corners of paper
‘Push it’ – Place the matchup boxes on the conveyor

Great Gamblin Etching Inks News!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Now available through MacPherson’s at highly competitive prices!

Gamblin Artists Colors Co is pleased to announce a pricing restructuring on the entire line of Etching Inks!  Effective immediately, Gamblin has reduced the List Prices of Etching Inks by approximately 50%.  This change is intended to help retail partners grow revenue and profitability in the Etching Ink category.  With the new pricing, retail partners can offer a compelling value to printmakers and compete effectively with brands that emphasize direct sales to schools and printmakers.
Gamblin Etching Inks are made with the same respect for traditional materials and focus on permanence that have made Gamblin’s Artist’s Oil Colors the choice of many of America’s finest painters.  Gamblin Etching Inks have a following among discerning printmakers due to their high pigment load, working properties, and incredible sensitivity to the printmaker’s marks.  All of their Etching Inks are handcrafted in small batches at Gamblin’s Portland, OR factory.

New List Prices for 1 lb. Cans (300ml)
GBI1001  Portland Black $17.95
GBI1002  Portland Cool Black $17.95
GBI1003  Stiff Portland Black $17.95
GBI1005  Bone Black $17.95
GBI1006  Carbon Black Ink $17.95
GBI1007  Graphite $21.95
GBI1260  Dioxazine Purple $26.95
GBI1300  Hansa Yellow Light $26.95
GBI1470  Napthol Red $21.95
GBI1540  Phthalo Green $21.95
GBI1560  Prussian Blue $21.95
GBI1590  Quinacridone Red $26.95
GBI1665  Sepia $21.95
GBI1700  Ultramarine Blue $21.95
GBI1780  Yellow Ochre $17.95
GBI1810  Etching White $17.95
GBI1840  Transparent Base $17.95

burnt-plate-oil-for-webIn addition to restructuring its pricing, Gamblin is also releasing Burnt Plate Oil #000 in 8 oz. bottles to better support printmakers.  Burnt Plate Oil will be available for purchase starting in July. Item #GBR0008, List Price $8.95.

“Although burnt plate oil is similar to stand oil, the process of burning produces a material designed for printing that behaves quite differently from Stand Oil in Oil Painting. In Printmaking it is most often  used to create a variety of impasto effects.”

Gamblin offers an opening assortment for your retail store.  For more information, samples, or Color Charts, contact your MacPherson’s Sales Rep or email Cathy directly at

NEW New Age from RGM!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

022Last year RGM took painting knives to a whole new level with the introduction of the New Age line.  With their unique, never seen before shapes, the New Age knives allow artists to open up their imaginations to create new shapes and textures in their paintings.

This year, RGM has expanded the New Age line to include 12 more new and innovative styles.  With shapes that have earned nicknames like the “frog foot”, these new styles are definitely something you don’t want to miss!

Wondering how to apply techniques using the New Age knives?  At NAMTA, RGM debuted a 40-minute DVD featuring artist Danielle Jouault demonstrating techniques with both the New Age knives and Plus knives.  You can see a short clip here;

RGM New Age Knives Video Demo

This DVD will be made FREE to retailers; you can play it in your store or post it on your website.  Consumers will also be able to request free copies on the RGM website.  Copies of the DVD should be available in the US for retailers in July.

For more information on the NEW New Age knives or the free DVD, please contact your MacPherson’s sales rep!

Montana Gold Hits Up the New KIA Soul!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

KIA and the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim have teamed up with Hense, a famous graffiti artist from Atlanta, GA, on a big promotion for the new KIA Soul.

Hense custom painted a KIA Soul with colorful letters and cartoon characters from Adult Swim, which KIA is going to give away to one lucky winner as part of its promotional sweepstakes. Hense painted the car exclusively with Montana Gold! This commercial is airing on TV now, and it’s also being promoted on the Adult Swim website.

The link below has the same video that’s on YouTube, but there are also some picture links at the bottom that lead to some great footage of Hense throwing down some funky designs on the body of the car. Check ’em out!

Chartpak News for June 2009

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Grumbacher unveiled its new, plastic Painting Knives at the recent NAMTA Trade Show in Louisville. These unique painting knives are larger and significantly stiffer than anything currently offered. The consensus was that these new knives were a “must-have”, and almost all said they would carry them in their stores.


The new Grumbacher Painting Knives feature:
+  Hard-wearing ABS plastic; won’t corrode or rust
+  Non-glaring, neutral off-white tone for enhanced color mixing capability
+  Lightweight, with excellent balance
+  Large, easy to hold handle, with a convenient indentation for more control when needed
+  Solvent safe, easy to clean, and usable with all mediums
+  Perfect for mixing impasto techniques, and multi media needs
+  10” long knives are available in six essential shapes for any palette or painting need

The knives are available in the following six shapes:
+  Trowel
+  Large Painting Knife
+  Small Painting Knife
+  Painting Spatula
+  Large Palette Knife
+  Small Palette Knife
The new Grumbacher Painting Knives come in a Counter Top Merchandiser with 12 each of the 6 shapes. The retail for these new knives is $1.95, a very attractive price-point. They are also available in a blister-carded set of 6, for $10.95. The knives will be available in Mid-July. Please contact your MacPherson’s sales rep or Steve Rossney  at for details.