Archive for April, 2011

NAMTA Phoenix Show: What’s Exciting!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

You may not have been able to visit the show this year or maybe you just like to get others’ take on what they saw that was noteworthy. Our sales and merchandising teams turned in their picks for the best of the show and here they are!

Art Alternatives Black Canvas was total hit at the show. Available in both Studio and Gallery profiles as well as canvas panels. We’ll have stock in our DCs around September.


Art Alternatives Multi-Media Sketch Books These 48-page visual journals with soft covers and heavy-weight, lightly sized drawing paper were designed especially for art class, but are also a great sketch journaling accessory. Low, low retail price points.

Art Alternatives Nesting Art Tool Boxes Nesting these simple black boxes saves shipping costs, and that translates to low nets and low retail price points. Plus, nesting lets you stack more for BTS sales!

Art Alternatives Studio Acrylics fit a niche for stores who are focused on building bridges to teachers in elementary, middle and high school art programs. The bulk acrylic colors are also well suited for social painting studios, the rage now sweeping through the southern USA.

Alumicolor New labeling specifies whether the product is for architecture or engineering, making it easier for customers to identify what they need. Also, there’s a new ruler with ledge for safe cutting so fingertips are nowhere near the blade.

Ampersand’s new kits created lots of excitement. In fact, there were a bunch of new items for Ampersand. We will feature the new gessobord counter display boxes in Fall BTS, as well as the new Artist Panel Pallet Stacks. We will also be sending out an e-blast with all the new items for BTS since some did not make it into our Buyer’s Guide. The new scratchbord designs are very cool.

can4Bernini Aerosol Spray Graphite pencil transfer spray. This is a great new product that might need a bit of explaining on your store shelf. Pre-book special (50/5/5 discount) on this is available still through 5/18 and the product will ship from the MacPherson’s warehouses at the end of May. Regular everyday 50% off discount resumes after pre-book.  No size limitations with this product! Ideal for large murals and Urban Art, it is formulated to dry quickly for instant use. Order item number MVTS00510.

Canson’s BTS pad stack-outs wowed many NAMTA goers. Why? Irresistible offers like, “buy an XL recycled sketch pad and receive a 5.5×8.5 drawing sketch pad free”, and new watercolor pad and paint end-caps/stack-outs. Canson had some other awesome new items. We think their marketing & product management team is doing a wonderful job of keeping the market stoked. The x10% on the XL and the x20% on Newsprint stack-outs are good through BTS. The Watercolor Essential POG is built around a specially themed product, which will change with each promo. Display measures 24″w x 54″h x 16″d. MSRP $1,368.00; discount is 50/25 to Power & Non-Power retailers. Available in June. Hot show items for Canson included:  18×24 Pad Merchandiser (May), Colorline 300g (May w/ X20% thru July), 8×10 Art Board (June) and Van Gogh 200ml assortments (now).

win-mediumColArt’s new packaging on Winsor & Newton Oil mediums is a winner. This will be a rolling transition beginning in May. The faster moving items will transition first with the slower ones towards the end. MacPherson’s will rotate inventory in our DCs to make sure we sell through the old style first. More details will be shared as the transition progresses.

ColArt Oil Bar Revision Great idea to have the Oil Bar colors match the paints! The new  53” tall displays may be too big for some retailers, but they do look great. The new product begins shipping in mid-May. MacPherson’s will discontinue the current items in our system now to run down the inventory. The assortment drop ship promo will run through the rest of the year at 50/20/20% free freight & rack.

Daler-Rowney’s new Simply Simmons brush sets and new watercolor brush display are impressive. The new Simply Simmons Studio brushes will be available 6/1. Also noteworthy was the relaunched System 3 screen printing kit, which is available now.

xacto-sharpestElmer’s new and impressive X-Acto blade has a coated edge making it 6x sharper than the competition. It has a unique two-tone metal look and will be available later this summer.

Enkaustikos Hot Sticks will be a winner, and they’ll be available from our warehouses in early May. Hot Sticks come in 86 colors. You can hold them sideways to cover more surface, or straight up for more detailed work. You can paint on a hot palette and transfer the image to paper, or melt down the Hot Sticks and dip into them with a brush. Encaustics are so versatile – you can do rubbings, mixed media art and much more. There’s a new wax medium and an XD wax medium available in open stock. A full assortment is available through special order. And new boar bristle brushes and anodized aluminum plates are coming soon.

Exaclair We heard from some of you that would like us to increase our selection, so we’re looking at that. There were also a couple of noteworthy holiday-ish items: Rhodia Pencil/Holder and a Mouse/Note Pad POP that we’ll definitely be bringing in.

Global Art New Watercolor Paper Display We’re looking to offer you a drop ship special on this soon.

Golden Williamsburg Mediums Golden has wonderful new mediums displays. The new rack is great looking and some of the mediums will now be bottled in glass or heavy acrylic – we love the apothecary shop look! Way cool and available now. Full line: WBM622821 (28 facings), MSRP = $2,003.00.

Jacquard Pinata Inks are a great mixed media item. The alcohol base makes them indelible and moisture resistant when dry, allowing use on almost any surface. Highly versatile, these can be used in a variety of ways including rubber stamping, fine art, fiber art and scrap booking, etc. The 1/2 oz inks retail at $3.59.

Krylon’s Glitter Blast is cool. Glitter is great quality and the spray volume is thicker. A POP display is available: KRK01020358 $314.87msrp @ 50/30 off. Drop ship, with free freight.

Letraset Promarker Metallic Sets These are sure to be a hit with crafters. We’re sorry to tell you, though, that the launch has been delayed until Fall 2011.

MidWest Balsa and Basswood Model making is hot again. Racks are free with purchase of assortments. The large rack is now modular, so it can be customized. Small dowels will be packaged in packs of 5 (less breakage and more store$-friendly). We will be adding more skus to this line.

Montana Cans Shop-within-a-Shop Concept was the buzz of the show. Urban art is the first truly new artist medium since acrylics hit the world in the 1950’s. Young artists ages 19 to 35 want to express quickly, big and bright without having to spend years learning techniques as is required with oils, watercolor and pastels. Things that fit this bill are acrylics, high performance spray paints, markers, large canvases, stencils, sketch books, etc. The shop-within-a-shop concept recognizes the needs of a diverse group and puts all the supplies they want in a prominent, well lit location in your store. Urban Art customers include fine artists; skateboarders (low pressure sprays, Montana Gold acrylic spray); and outdoor artists (Montana Black, a high pressure nitro combi spray paint, and Montana White, a gloss spray, and Montana Black markers). MacPherson’s Scott Present and Lisa Slauson got together with our Creative Services department to produce an awesome “inspiration book” that showcases ideas and concepts used by our retailers to capitalize on the shop-within-a-shop concept. Want to get inspired? Check out this web-based flip book version by Clicking Here!

And on the Urban Art subject, both Walter Foster and Northlight have instructional Graffiti Art titles that are a welcome departure from the inspirational/coffee table titles that are currently available. The Walter Foster title is How to Draw Graffiti Style and Northlight has Graff 1 (NLZ1818, in our Spring Buyer’s Guide) and Graff 2. We will be setting the new titles up and putting them into June What’s New.

Motsenbocker’s Lift Off line includes every conceivable art & craft removal product; all of which perform amazingly well and are non-toxic and eco-friendly to boot. The company motto says it all: “Produce the most effective removers and cleaners in the world THAT REALLY WORK and are three ways safe: for the environment, for any surface and for the people who use them”. Great You Tube videos for each item’s application. Check it out – Click Here!

Pan Pastels Lots of second looks at a line that now has firmly established itself amongst pastel artists.

Pentel’s new Arts Inking Center display got great reviews. This highly anticipated display will begin shipping from Pentel in early August.

Red Hot: Princeton Snap and Priceton’s new Neptune synthetic squirrel watercolor brushes are incredible. They point well and hold unbelievable amounts of liquid. In the words of one of our discerning sales people, ” the line is gorgeous!” Neptune assortment and open stock orders will ship without delay starting at the end of the month.


RGM Textured Combs were mentioned at the What’s Exciting Seminar on Thursday afternoon. They are great for encaustic waxes, acrylic mediums, clays, paste grain papers, etc. One retailer suggested these for pottery use as well. We will have these in our DCs in approximately 6-7 weeks.

stained-8cdSanford Sharpie® Stained Fabric markers- with DIY tennis shoe concept a big hit- nice packaging and easy sell. The line features new fade-resistant ink and  a unique fabric brush tip that allows users to write thick or thin for ultimate precision on most fabric surfaces without the need to heat set. Sharpie offers eight bold colors (black, blue, red, green, pink, orange, yellow and purple), which are available in 4/cd and 8/cd sets.

Stillman & Birn‘s new floor display This great looking custom-made spinner unit is the perfect showcase for this wonderful line of premium sketch books!

Studio Designs has cool new Furniture Products that look great.

Yasutomo Chinese Watercolor and Sumi brushes were big hits. So were the Origami Bracelets and Rings kits. Yasutomo’s new Chinese watercolor paints and inks are the first in the art materials industry to conform to ASTM D-4236. The paints and inks currently available through Chinese bookshops and souvenir shops are not required to conform. These products are specifically designed for Chinese painting techniques, which differ from Japanese painting. The new Sumi brush, Haboku, will be available in a few weeks. The brush is designed to retain its shape after each stroke. The brushes also feature packaging that tout the benefits of the brush.

New Items/New Vendors

Crafter’s Workshop Stencils A nice alternative to Stencil 1, these will round out MacPherson’s stencil category. Great for visual journals and mixed media art and they’ll be great for add-on sales of brushes, scrapers, paint, sprays and spray paint, pan pastels, encaustics, etc.

Trimaco drop clothes, rags, respirators and gloves, all made in USA. We have been asked for all of these things and this line in in our sights…

Buddha Board We saw this, too, and liked it. We’re thinking about bringing it in. It is similar to Holbein’s Vanishing Image Water Brush Paper 9×13 (HBM49) which is available in 5-sheet packs for $7.50/pk.

MacPherson’s Does Class Kits!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

It’s never too soon to be planning to make the Fall Back to School Season your store’s best ever. MacPherson’s recognizes the importance of aligning with the art professors and offering pre-made kits is a great way to help students start their first day of an art course with everything needed on the supply syllabus. Why not let MacPherson’s build the kits so you can concentrate on strengthening your relationship with the art instructors through more one on one face-time?  Our online kit‐building process turns your tedious kit process into an efficient turn‐and‐earn proposition.

• Kit contents and kit names will be saved for your reordering convenience
• All kits come individually packaged in an appropriately sized, see-through polybag
• Custom packaging is available upon request
• Unique kit bar code labels are available upon request
• 45-Day lead time is required for kit order fulfillment

Ask your MacPherson’s sales contact for all the details or visit MacPhersonArt.Com and go to ONLINE EXPRESS > KIT CENTER for a next day quote. Or, work with your MacPherson’s sales rep.


A Letter From Kolo’s CEO Peter Dunn

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Dear MacPherson’s Customers,

The purpose of this letter is to give you an update on Kolo and our current stock levels. In 2009 and 2010, we experienced major supply problems with several of our factories, both American and Asian.  During the economic downturn, our distributors also had to watch inventory very carefully so there was little room for service problems.

I am happy to report that all our core products are now up and running again and the problem factories were successfully replaced. We are going very deep in inventory on all of these product groups.  Demand has picked up tremendously over the past six months. To help streamline the business, we discontinued several products like the Cortina, the Riva, the Newport 12 x 12, Small Essex and other items. We plan to also cut the Essex Medium and Vineyard this year.

Our stock levels are growing everyday and MacPherson’s is also going deeper in inventory. We are sorry for the strain that these issues put on your business. Working with MacPherson’s, we hope to get your stock levels back up quickly. I am pleased to also report that the demand for Kolo remains strong and we are had a very strong first quarter.

Obviously, we held off on new product launches during this difficult time. But many exciting new products are going to be launched later in the year. Be sure to ask your MacPherson’s sales representative for a new Kolo catalog if you have not received one already.

Peter Dunn, Kolo

Peter Dunn, Kolo

Thank you for your continued support of Kolo.


Peter G. Dunn

Kolo, LLC

Check Out the Art Alternatives Web Site Redesign

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Have you visited the new Art Alternatives website?


Relaunched in February this year, the new is better than ever with full size color photos and information on all of our items, project sheets and ideas, an event calendar, easel assembly instructions, videos, product safety information, a store locator, FAQs, and much more!


Industry News

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

marilyn-hajjarBig changes to report at industry group iAMart, as facilitator Dave Thompson phases out over the next few months to gain back some time for his family and his rep group duties. Moving gradually into the role of facilitator on a full time basis will be Marilyn Hajjar, the groups’ president and the manager at Arch in San Francisco, CA.

ColArt is back from another awesome NAMTA show & boy did they raise money for a cause – artsie style! They would like to thank everyone who participated in the raffle and donated at the show; together they raised $3200! 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross for Japanese Earthquake & Tsunami Relief. Congratulations to Scott Cronshaw at Opus Framing & Art Supplies in Vancouver, BC who had the winning raffle ticket – the mural is going to look great in your store! Together all who participated, Jimmy Leslie, the ColArt Team and the donors made a difference!


Phillip Borreson (left, in the picture below) of CITY PAGES stopped by Wet Paint in St. Paul, MN last week to drop off the award for being selected Best Art Supplies Store by the publication. He presented the award to Wet Paint owner Beth Bergman (right) and Wet Paint marketing manager Tim Jennen (center).


Dilip Dandekar, Camlin's Managing Director

Dilip Dandekar, Camlin's Managing Director

OPI (Office Products International) reports that the majority shareholders at India-based art and stationery products maker Camlin Ltd are close to selling their equity stake in the company. Camlin is a publicly traded company on the Bombay Stock Exchange and has a marketing alliance with ColArt for art supply distribution of its branded products in India. In addition, ColArt is partners with Camlin in producing and exporting canvas products in India. Sources have reported the company was in discussions with leading manufacturers of writing instruments such as Pilot Pen Corporation of the USA and the Zebra Pen of Japan. Camlin was founded in 1931 by the Dandekar family.

debra-mumDebra Ann Mumm, formerly with the Art Colony will be opening her very own art store in Palm Desert, CA called Venus Studio Art Supply on May 2nd, 2011 just a few doors down from Mark Wiener’s old store location.

Effective July 25th, 2011 Delta Creative of Los Angeles, CA will outsource its warehousing and distribution logistics to Plaid of Atlanta, GA. Delta Creative is the maker of Sobo Glue and Ceramcoat paints. Plaid previously took over the manufacturing of all Delta products.

Welcome to Charlotte Hampton who recently joined MacPherson’s as a Northern California Sales Representative. Most recently, Charlotte had a sales territory and marketing duties at Savoir Faire’s Marin County headquarters.

david-pyleDavid Pyle has resigned his position as VP/Publisher for the Art+Jewelry Division with Interweave, publishers of American Artist, Watercolor, and Drawing Magazines. David seeks among other things new challenges in brand/product management or marketing in the creative products industry.

Here’s a recent news story highlighting the good works of NYCArtCypher, a group dedicated to helping Staten Island youths learn and use their graffiti talent responsibly to beautify a neighborhood construction site. Their paint of choice? Montana Black! Check out the video and the unsolicited endorsement of the vibrancy of the Montana Black colors.  Click Here to watch the video.


TheKidBelo Explains the Graffiti “Process”

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Check it out! TheKidBelo (aka David Brunning) from Calgary, Canada takes us through the “process” in this riveting video.

The Art of Graffiti from David Brunning on Vimeo.

The Art of Graffiti from David Brunning on Vimeo.

Gamblin Gamvar Picture Varnish in a 2 oz. Jar

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

The ideal varnish for contemporary painters.  Now simpler, smaller and at a lower price point.

gamvar-2ozGamvar was developed through a collaboration between Robert Gamblin and conservators at Britain’s National Gallery, The Tate, The Getty and America’s National Gallery of Art. Many of the most priceless works of art in these museums’ collections are preserved and protected with Gamvar.

Gamvar goes on water-clear, stays water-clear, richly saturates colors, and may be safely removed for cleaning with Gamblin’s Gamsol. It is THE choice for painters tired of the plastic look and excessive gloss of syrupy varnishes, or the harsh solvents and working properties of damar-based varnishes.

Gamvar Picture Varnish in the 2 oz. size is available now at an additional 5% off net. Item# GB10052, MSRP $7.95
The 2 oz. jar will cover 30+ square feet of painting. Your mileage may vary… paintings with a lot of texture will of course take more varnish.

For more information, ask your MacPherson’s sales contact or contact the folks at Gamblin: Pete ( and Kaitlin ( can be reached by email or by phone (503-235-1945).

You Are Invited to the 1st Annual Jay Shapiro Arts Legacy Gala

Friday, April 8th, 2011

jay1The Jay Shapiro Legacy Arts Foundation has been set up as a non-profit entity to help students in need of financial assistance that wish to pursue a career in the visual arts in the local metro Atlanta area. jay2

There’s a a kick-off event on May 12th at the Mason-Murer Gallery (an Atlanta Fine Art Gallery) that hopefully will not only raise awareness of the foundation, but also raise money for this great cause. Please feel free to pass this information along. There you will find information about the foundation and information about the event as well.

Call For Entries; Grafix/Duralar Pad Design Contest

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Encourage your customers and staff  to submit their artwork!


Be featured on Grafix redesigned packaging.

Grafix is excited to announce that its pad covers are getting a makeover. With your help, the new packaging can offer as much creative inspiration as the film inside.

Dura-Lar Film

Whether you work with inks, graphite, colored pencils or paints, Dura-Lar offers an alternative surface to create your best work ever – so let’s see it!

Please email your artwork created on Dura-Lar to marketing@grafixart for consideration.

For more details, Click Here!

Industry News

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

jim-schmitzJim Schmitz, president of Strathmore’s parent Pacon, announced the acquisition of Baywood Paper Limited, a paper converter located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Baywood converts private label paper for the Canadian and US Retail and Educational Markets.  The business was started by the McCormack family over 30 years ago and has realized excellent growth and success during that time.  Deirdre Cullingford and Brian McCormack, who led Baywood through the years, have agreed to a long term consulting arrangement to continue to manage the Baywood business and its 75 employees.

blaulAfter 12 years as the head of Germany’s LYRA company Andreas Blaul has left to form a product development consulting company called Blaul Consult GmbH. In 2008 Blaul had sold his company to the Italian F.I.L.A. group, parent of US-based Dixon Ticonderoga.

Check out this AMAZING display of art supplies at a shop in London called London Graphic Arts Centre featuring a rainbow of products from Letraset, STABILO, Winsor & Newton,and Daler-Rowney. For lots more photos visit London Graphic Centre


ColArt Namta Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Crisis Fundraiser

Monday, April 4th, 2011

jimmy-in-studio-seated-iiColArt, the makers of Winsor & Newton and Liquitex, will be holding a raffle to auction off a large mural to raise money for the Japan Crisis. The mural will be painted in the ColArt booth during the show and 100% of the proceeds will be matched by ColArt and then donated to the Red Cross to the Japan relief fund.
This 6’ x 15’ mural will be painted by ColArt’s Resident Artist, Jimmy Leslie using Winsor & Newton Oil Colour and Oil Bar and is titled Desert Motel which is very fitting for the NAMTA 2011 location!


Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the ColArt booth # 925. The winner will be drawn and announced on Thursday the 14th at 5:30 in the NAMTA hall. The mural will be completed by the end of the show and shipped to the winner in a specially made crate for proper drying during shipment.
Please help up raise money for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami crisis, help us make a difference!

Enkaustikos Hot Sticks Sneak Preview!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

You are the first! Enkaustikos will be unveiling Hot Sticks to retailers this April at the NAMTA 2011 show in Phoenix, AZ.  In all of the excitement of preparing their product for its NAMTA debut, they decided to start a little viral marketing campaign.  Get a sneak peek now of this exciting launch of HotSticks from this exclusive YouTube video.