Archive for April, 2012

Industry News

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Michaels Stores has filed with regulators to raise up to $500 million in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that could be one of the year’s largest IPOs in the retail sector, writes Reuters. The offering comes six years after private equity owners Blackstone and Bain purchased the Texas-based arts and crafts company for more than $6 billion. Michaels operates 1,066 retail stores in 49 U.S. states and in Canada. It posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $661 million in 2011 and had total debt of $3.5 billion as of Jan. 28, 2012.

With sadness we report the passing of Ainslie Smith Quick, mother of Jack Quick the head of Rhino Art in Encinitas, CA. She was 81 years old and throughout her life she was forever close to her community’s art scene and had dedicated her life to all things creative.

The NAMTA Board election winners have been announced. All the new board members will take office at the meeting held at the NAMTA Convention in Orlando, FL in May of this year.
Domestic Retailers
:  Phillip Forstall, Forstall Art Supplies; Howard Krinsky, Binders Art and Frame
International Retailer
:  Fred Gold, Above Ground Art Supplies
Independent Rep
 Rick Comerford, Grimstad Comerford Group

The seven Ben Franklin stores in the Richmond, VA  area will take on the name of their new parent, A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts. The conversions are part of an expansion of A.C. Moore by its new owners lead by Pepi Piperno of Sbar’s in New Jersey.

Well, the day has finally come! Tess Caldwell our fearless, smart and passionate leader has officially retired. Tess joined Artcraft in Georgia when it was founded in 1974 and was an integral part of the company’s success from day one. When MacPherson’s and Artcraft merged in 2000, Tess was key to the successful integration of the two companies. She headed the Atlanta branch of MacPherson’s and later became the leader of our Key Account management effort. We will miss her warm heart, great sense of humor, dedication and huge contribution to MacPherson’s as well as the entire art materials industry.

Eileen Miller

At Michaels, Brigid English has been promoted to Vice President – Private Brands and Global Sourcing, reporting to Wilson Zhu. Her responsibilities include strategic oversight and partnership for  Frames & International, General Crafts and Fine Art and Craft Paint. Susan Allison has been promoted to Director Private Brands and Global Sourcing reporting to Brigid English. Susan will support the Frames and International Division. Eileen Miller Director Private Brands and Global Sourcing will now be responsible for Seasonal reporting to Kris Ventura.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the selection of Edo van der Burgt as Vice President, Product Strategy for MacPherson’s. Edo joined the Company in November 2006 and has served MacPherson’s and our customers in several important roles from his vast experience in retail merchandising, product design and quality control.

Bill Kaplan

Bill Kaplan has joined MacPherson’s as our Merchandise Manager. Bill spent the first 14 years of his career at Standard Brands Paint Company in various management positions including District Sales Manager, Director of Distribution and General Merchandise Manager and comes to us with broad experience as a senior level manager in the home improvement store channel.

Former Michaels Exec VP of Merchandising Harvey Kanter was named CEO of Blue Nile, an e-commerce jewelry retailer located in the Seattle, WA area.

At JoAnn Stores, Joshua Belt has been promoted from Sr. Assistant Buyer to Buyer of Foodcrafting, Bridal, Dec Paint, Clay, Fine Art, replacing Eric Bell who has been promoted to Divisional Merchandise Manager for Crafts.

Here’s something very cool. The TED award for “Ads Worth Spreading” recognizes great ideas in advertising, and Sharpie was named one of 10 recipients of the 2012 award for the Sharpie’s webisode featuring pen cup artist “Cheeming Boey”. Ideas are what make the world go round. They’re the foundation of the future. They’re what inspire us to dream big dreams and climb big mountains and solve big problems. Every once in a while an idea comes along and somebody notices. It showcases Boey as he takes us on his artistic journey and the role Sharpie played along the way. Check out the webisode below:

TED is a nonprofit group devoted to ideas. Since it started in 1984, it has become a driving force in advancing open dialogue, creativity and innovation in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design.

Gamblin “Knowledge” Advisory | Alternative solvents, Unpredictable results

Friday, April 13th, 2012

With extra care and effort, artists can make almost any type of soap or cleaner work for studio clean-up. Some products consume a lot of water, some are much harder on brushes than others and some leave sticky residues behind. But most all do a decent job with extra effort.

And though we at Gamblin feel it’s never a good idea to wash pigments down the drain, each artist gets to choose the clean-up method that works best for them.

For modifying oil colors and mediums, however, alternatives to true artist’s thinners, even in very small amounts, can create major and unpredictable problems in artists’ paintings.

Effects on Paint Layers
Gamblin has tested a range of alternatives to true artist’s solvents, with some important and concerning results.


One family of products are corn-based solvents, sometimes sold as “bio-solvents” or “green” cleaners. These products had a biting smell, cut through multiple paint layers and dissolved the natural bristles of brushes.

In other tests, only a third to two-thirds of some alternative solvents evaporated, leaving behind a sticky residue in paintings.

Others thinned colors okay, but evaporated so slowly that they became trapped in paint layers. This caused clouding and matting as well as pocked, weak paint layers that could be easily scratched away.

Create without compromise

Gamsol has the ideal solvent strength ñ strong enough to effectively thin oil colors and clean brushes, but not so strong that it will dissolve dry paint layers or the bristles of your brushes.

Gamsol also has the ideal evaporation rate to support the flow of one’s painting and to allow artists to work in a safe studio without compromising artistic possibilities or permanence.

We want to caution artists of the significant and unpredictable risks that alternative solvents pose when they get into their paintings, even in very small amounts.

For modifying oil colors, we have always recommended Gamsol for its balance of performance and safety. Other true artist’s solvents can also do the job of thinning one’s oil colors, albeit with some to a great deal of compromise in Studio Safety.

Gamblin’s family of Galkyd painting mediums, Cold Wax, Gamvar Picture Varnish and Ground are all formulated with Gamsol. For this reason, as well as the range of other solvents available to artists (and their shifting formulations), we recommend only Gamsol for thinning these materials.

A Message from ColArt on Recent Inventory Challenges

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Doug Johnston

To our valued customers,

I’d like to provide an update regarding our supply issues.   As most of you know, we consolidated our UK factory into our France operation, along with a considerable expansion of our France factory,  in 2011.  Art material factories consist of many different production lines, many of them with different technologies and skillsets.  While we were able to successfully transition in over 80% of our items that we offer for sales, there were transition issues on some of our lines and items, most notably in Mediums, Sets, and some of the series colors in some of the ranges.

Our factory and staff have been working around the clock to catch up and have reduced our order backlog to them by over half in the last few months.  For example, Medium production in the month of February and March was over double what our normal demand is and a considerable amount of product is on its way to us.  We expect to see continued improvement in April and be back to normal fill levels late April.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.  It is our partners that make us great.

Kind Regards

Doug Johnston

President, ColArt Americas

Urban Art Opportunity: Check out this NAMTA Seminar!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Click here for more details

Golden News: April 2012

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

NAMTA Art Materials World 2012 is Right Around the Corner!

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at the upcoming trade show! Please take a moment while at the event to stop by our Booth (#110) to say hello and see some new and exciting items from GOLDEN. In addition to what you’ll see in the booth, we will also be holding two specific events for show attendees (detailed below), so be sure to check them out too!!

• GOLDEN Booth Panel Giveaway – The GOLDEN booth is again a creative collection of handmade panels sharing the story of GOLDEN colors and textures. To extend the message of these panels beyond the show, GOLDEN would like to share them with retailers who would be interested in displaying the panels within their store. Anyone who would like a piece of GOLDEN for their store, please plan to attend the Booth Panel Giveaway at 10:00 on Wednesday, May 9.

• Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors Assortment Raffle – As a benefit for attending NAMTA, all retailers are invited to participate in a raffle for the Williamsburg section of the GOLDEN booth. One lucky winner will be drawn from entries submitted during the show to win one 24” Williamsburg Assortment of their choosing. If you don’t have Williamsburg yet, this could be your lucky day, or if you already have Williamsburg, you can expand your offering with an additional 24” Set-Up. The winner will be drawn at 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 10.

Golden Artist Colors Launches MSA Solvent

The Ideal Solvent for Thinning GOLDEN MSA Varnishes

As other solvent manufacturers change their formulas to comply with legislative restrictions it’s becoming harder for artists to locate a compatible solvent for our MSA Varnishes. With GOLDEN MSA Solvent, artists now have access to a competitively priced solvent designed especially for use with our MSA Varnishes. Traveling from store to store to find what they need is no longer necessary. MSA Solvent can be purchased right in your store on the same shelves as the rest of our materials. It’s a ‘must-have’ companion item to the MSA Varnish.

MSA Solvent is available in 8 oz., 16 oz. and 32 oz. (237 ml, 473 ml and 946 ml) sizes and is packaged in the same containers as the MSA Varnish and will carry the same type of “Red X” health and safety warnings. MSA Solvent will be available late May from MacPherson and the items numbers are GD7751-5, GD7751-6 and GD7751-7.

Please contact your MacPherson’s Sales Representative regarding shelf tags for MSA Solvent.

M012468- 4 oz. / 8 oz. Varnish & Archival Varnish Shelf Tags

M012469- 16 oz. / 32 oz. Varnish Shelf Tags

GOLDEN Introduces New Vertical Banners for Retailer Support Program

One of the exciting changes being introduced in 2012 will be new hand-painted vertical banner point of purchase tools. We have redesigned the Modular Vertical Banners for improved appearance and updated information. The new design incorporates many changes, including:
• Banner length that aligns with the length of a GOLDEN rack.
• Addition of OPEN Acrylics to the ‘Color Banner’.
• Elimination of banner holder by instituting a magnetic application system.
• Addition of QR codes that link to related product videos.
• Addition of product line symbols to indicated the application (Heavy Body, Fluid, etc.). The symbols are the same as those used on the Store Locator and other GOLDEN materials.
• Addition of product names used in the dried sample applications

There continues to be three banners available; however, there are new item numbers for what we are calling the new Vertical Banners:
• M012590 – Vertical Banner: Color
• M012591 – Vertical Banner: Texture
• M012592 – Vertical Banner: Varnish

As part of the redesign, we were able to reduce the Support Dollar price from $100 to $80 per banner. All of these new Vertical Banners are available for ordering immediately. Please note that because these are Retailer Support Program items, they must be ordered through your MacPherson’s Sales Rep.

Hot New Items from Sanford: April 2012

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Sharpie Oil & Water based Paint Markers – NEW LOOK! A new design is now available for both Sharpie Oil and Sharpie Water Based Paint marker displays. The Water Based Paint Marker display has an updated assortment to include some of the recently launched new glitter and metallic colors. Water based paint markers are great for scrapbooking, art projects, posters and signs. The water and fade resistant ink will not bleed through heavyweight paper. The markers are acid free, archival quality, and available in vibrant colors for light and dark surfaces. Oil based paint markers mark opaque and glossy on light and dark surfaces. Use on virtually any surface: metal, pottery, wood, rubber, glass, plastic, stone, and more. They are quick drying, resistant to water, fading, and abrasion.


NEW Sharpie Metallic Markers


An extension of the current Sharpie Metallic Permanent marker business will now include the colors Gold and Bronze. The Sharpie Metallic Permanent Marker is designed to provide brilliant sheen on both light and dark surfaces with the same bold, smooth, no-shake performance of the current Sharpie Metallic writing system.  Available in open stock and carded sets, the NEW Sharpie Metallics will be available in May.

Prismacolor Double Ended Brush Tip Sets  The NEW Double Ended Brush Tip marker sets start shipping in April, followed by open stock and the new display in May. The new Brush Tip markers will feature a brush on one end and the traditional Prismacolor fine point nib on the other end. Take a look at the exciting new packaging calling out the features of the new Brush tip markers. Contact your MacPherson’s sales representative for more details.


MacPherson’s NAMTA News

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Click here for the full details : MacPhersonsAtNamta2012