Archive for August, 2014

Important MacPherson’s Announcement – All Good Things Must Come to an End (Even if it is 5 to 8 years in the future!)

Monday, August 25th, 2014

I would like to share a letter that I sent recently to all of our MacPherson’s Employee Owners:

Dear MacPherson’s Employee Owner,

Since the inception of the ESOP in 2010 Stu and I envisioned a time when you, the heart and soul of our company, could carry on successfully without us. Over the past several years the board of directors and I have had extensive discussions aimed at creating a succession plan and we have decided that now’s the time to take a careful step forward.  

The search for my replacement will be the first priority. A team consisting of our VP Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre and our two outside Directors, Eric Bachman and John Whiting, has been formed to lead this important company initiative. That team has decided to engage an outside executive search firm to identify suitable candidates for the position of President and CEO of MacPherson’s . The pool of candidates may include members of our current management team as well as outside candidates from the art materials industry or other related fields.  In September this team and the board including Stu and myself will begin to evaluate the skills and cultural fit of these outside recruiters. Once we have selected a recruiter the next step will be the search for a new company President.

There is no set time table for selecting a candidate or transitioning that person into my role.   I intend to remain in my current capacity as long as it takes to identify a candidate and provide them with the training and guidance necessary to assume my responsibilities. Beyond the transition I foresee playing an active and continuing supportive role. That could easily be 5 to 8 years from now.

My primary focus, as always, is on the health and future success of MacPherson’s. The Executive Team, The Board of Directors and myself are all committed to making sure that this transition in senior management is successful.

We wanted to share this information with you as part of our commitment to transparent reporting and open book management especially given the fact that some strangers in the form of the recruiter firms might be showing up soon. Questions are bound to arise and we welcome your inquiries and feedback. This is an important milestone in the history of MacPherson’s and the ESOP and we want everyone to feel secure in the knowledge that the future success of the company is our number one priority. 

Your questions and feedback will be most welcome.

Best regards,

FS signature


Frank Stapleton
MacPherson’s-an Employee Owned Company
1375 Ocean Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608

Tel: 510-768-6600
Fax: 413-254-0133


Industry News

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Last weekend’s 6.0 magnitude earthquake damaged vineyards, homes and restaurants to the tune of over $1 Billion in Napa, CA and surrounding areas. Our industry was touched as well, when Napa Valley Art Supply’s store interior was devastated by the Sunday night tremor. Owner Jeff Holmes is hoping to appeal to the Northern California rep, retailer and supplier community for help in getting the store mess sorted out and back on it’s feet. Luckily the building did not suffer any structural damage. MacPherson’s heard the call and will be sending a team of people headed by Account Manager George Bethurem and Credit Manager Kendall Nolan. If you can help, call (707) 224-2775. The stores address is 3250 California Blvd, Napa, CA 94558

napa valleynapa valley 2

Artist Guild in was recently featured the Peninsula Pulse a local publication bringing news of Door County, Wisconsin Artist Guild Story

artist guild

waltWith sadness Du-All Art & Drafting Supply in Maddison Heights, Michigan reports that their sales manager of 33 years, Eduard Walter Mueller, known as Walt, passed away on July 26th after a short battle with leukemia. He was 64 years old.

Bill StefanowiczLong time ColArt America’s team member Bill Stefanowicz has left the company.

The Huffington Post recently wrote about an emerging trend with artists making their own paint. Both Williamsburg (Golden) and Gamblin received prominent mentions in the article entitled  Artists Rediscover Making Paint

Check out this cool and inspiring video created by Opus in Vancouver, BC inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s famous quote recounted here:

 “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Here’s a link to the full article from the New York Post describing Blick’s commitment to revitalizing and upgrading their Brooklyn, NY Utrecht Paint factory entitled “Blick invests in made in America”


General Pencil – A Story Made in America!

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

General Pencil was recently featured on “This Built America” – a web series from AOL. The title of the piece is One Daughter Who Wouldn’t Give Up on the Family Business. The story is a touching inside look at the dynamics of a family business determined to carry on a multi-generational tradition. This Built America is a project devoted to the people and companies re-imagining and rebuilding American manufacturing. Every week, they feature the stories, the struggles and the successes of US companies as they forge a new path in this country’s future. Looking for fun and inspirational content for your social media outreach? Please feel free to share and remind customers that yes, General Pencil is still a factory actually operating in New Jersey!

If you would like more information from the complete news story click here:  General Pencil; This Built in America

*New Product* You Spoke & Gamblin Listened

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Gamblin: “What did you tell us?”:

  • “Artists want to see the product. And it’s gotta be a value.”
  • “Make it here in America and cut-out all the packaging bloat”
  • “Get the price points down and give us something we can ship by air”

Gamblin’s  goal is to offer a more focused range of painting sets. With this focused range Gamblin wants to give artists a value, inspire painters and support their work, and provide retailers with elegant sets that make sense to stock year-round and that can ship by air.

These two new sets deliver outstanding value to painters. Both feature palettes of top-selling colors, including Cadmiums, and both are crafted by Gamblin in Portland,OR of entirely North American materials. Each set comes with a free, primed painting panel made from sustainably-harvested birch. This panel serves as the packaging for the set, eliminating waste while giving the artist more. A starburst sticker on the front of the set will make the value of the set and the free panel that’s included clear to the artist.

The new sets will begin shipping October 15 just in time for the Holidays and year-round gift giving.

Artist’s Oil Colors Introductory Set


  • $112.95 List, Item #GB101100
  • At list price, the artist is saving over 25% versus the value of the contents of the sets. At 40% off list, this set can be sold at $67.77…an outstanding value.
  • This set gives painters a traditional palette of top-selling oil colors that supports any style of painting.
  • The set includes a panel and nine 37ml tubes of top-selling colors:  Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Viridian and Titanium White

FastMatte Alkyd Oil Colors Set


  • $89.98 List, Item #GB101105
  • At list price, the artist is saving over 25% versus the value of the contents of the set. At 40% off list, this set can be sold at $53.99…a terrific deal.
  • This set gives painters a thoughtfully designed palette of fast-drying oil colors. With FastMatte, artists can to take their paintings further, faster than ever before. FastMatte is ideal for underpainting and plein air.
  • The set includes a panel, a 37ml tube of Solvent-Free Gel Medium and eight, 37ml tubes of top-selling colors:  Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Permanent, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Green, Yellow Ochre, Chromatic Black and Titanium White.

New Sakura Pigma Micron Web Site & Contest

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Sakura wants you know about a brand new consumer website they launched last week. celebrates stories behind the users of Micron pens, has video tutorials and shares the history and science of the rich Pigma ink. It’s also the host for portfolios of well known artists including illustrator Lisa Congdon (author of the new book Art Inc: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist), science illustrator Sean Edgerton of the Cal Academy of Sciences, and lettering artist Arley-Rose Torsone who has been featured in the Huffington Post and Martha Stewart Magazine.

Please take a look at the very fun social media feed pages that track what artists and customers out in the world are doing with Pigma ink products.

Fan Homepage

sakura fan page

Hand Lettering Homepage


Zentangle Home Page

Along with the site, there will be a giveaway to 100 participants if they create and upload a Youtube video describing their love of Pigma Micron pens. Retailers, Sakura would love your help spreading the word through your Facebook page and blog:


Sakura was recently voted by Art Materials Retailer as the #1 most “Fabulous Product” and we hope after visiting the site you can see why Pigma Micron is a favorite among artists of all disciplines.

Golden News August 2014

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

QoR® Modern Watercolor Featured in Watercolor Artist Magazine October 2014 Issue

 Since the launch of QoR, artists have been eager to share their experiences, inspiring others to give them a try! Professional artist Jane Freeman is no different. In the October issue of Watercolor Artist Magazine, she puts QoR to the test and walks readers through a step-by-step demo using the paints. Watercolor Artist Magazine October 2014 Issue You can see more of Jane’s work with QoR in her blog:  Jane’s Blog

GOLDEN QoR Mdms&Grnd_head850x244

Three New Videos from GOLDENQoR® Grounds!

QoR Light Dimensional Ground – This video features QoR Light Dimensional Ground, which can be used to fill and smooth textured surfaces, as easily as it can build extreme texture, with a light, slightly soft, absorbent surface that is ideal for watercolor painting.

QoR Cold Press Ground – This video features QoR Cold Press Ground, which offers a spreadable paper-like ground for use with watercolors. Cold Press Ground allows artists to control the relative smoothness or texture while creating an absorbent surface for watercolors on a variety of panels, shapes and surfaces.


QoR Watercolor Ground – This video features QoR Watercolor Ground, which is very similar to gesso. Watercolor Ground is a highly absorbent, opaque white, foundation for watercolors. Watercolor Ground can be used as a preparation on canvas, wood panels and many other surfaces for painting with watercolors.

Just Paint # 31 Hitting Mailboxes & Websites Soon!

In the latest issue of Just Paint, Golden shares their new QoR® Modern Watercolor with you! The unique formulation of QoR Watercolors accentuates the luminosity and brilliance of pigments even after drying. QoR provides the subtlety, transparency and flow of a great watercolor, with colors that have as much vibrancy and fire as the best acrylic or oil paint. Ulysses Jackson shares innovations that allowed their Technical Team to develop this paint, while Cathy Jennings, a new Technical Support Services team member details the use of QoR Watercolor on various types of paper. Also in Technical Support Services, Stacy Brock, walks readers through the various differences and attributes of QoR Mediums and Grounds and Mark Golden takes a closer look at Aquazol®, the unique binder in QoR.

In Just Paint # 28, Golden committed to dedicating the next several issues to explore various substrates used by artists in their work. In this issue they asked Vaikunt Raghavan, Ph.D., their Product Development Engineer to discuss the use of acrylics on plastics. He provides great detail and expertise on the topic. Technical Support Services Director, Sarah Sands, shares with readers information about Williamsburg’s Wax Medium and a recent change they’re implementing with the product line’s cans in order to help prevent a can of paint from forming a skin.

Lastly, they introduce readers to ‘Friedel Dzubas Monumental Works,’ an exhibition of works by Friedel Dzubas, which will be featured at Sam & Adele Golden Gallery (The SAGG) at Golden Artist Colors in New Berlin, NY on September 13, 2014. ‘Monumental Works’ is an exhibition of several large-scale paintings from the mid 70’s to the early 80’s that are nearly 10 feet tall and over 20 feet wide. On the eve of what would be his 100th birthday in 2015, The SAGG is delighted to begin the celebration and revisit the important work of this artist.

“These works represent some of the artist’s finest examples of his ability in working with the very unique Magna Acrylics developed by Sam Golden and Leonard Bocour in the late 1940’s,” said CEO Mark Golden. “Although artists such as Morris Louis or Roy Lichtenstein are more recognized for their use of the Magna paints, Dzubas clearly demonstrates his own undeniable skill in moving these colors in a way that 40 years later they feel as fresh as the day they were painted.”

Look for these articles in September at Just Paint or you can visit, a developing web site dedicated to housing all past issues of the Just Paint newsletter and much more! If you would like additional printed copies of Just Paint for in-store presentations or staff distribution, contact your MacPherson’s Representative for ordering instructions.

Friedel Dzubas Monumental Works Opening Reception

  • Save the Date – September 13, 2014 at The SAGG
  • 4:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Golden Artist Colors, Inc., 188 Bell Road, New Berlin, NY 13411

Monumental Works is an exhibition of selected works by artist Friedel Dzubas, which will be on exhibit through March 28, 2015.

Friedel Dzubas - The SAGG at GOLDEN

Friedel Dzubas – The SAGG at GOLDEN

According to Gallery Director, James Walsh, “Our exhibition Friedel Dzubas Monumental Works, looks back to a time when the process of art making was wildly optimistic and open-ended. Dzubas took his painting across a gamut of scale relations and expressive potentials. It’s wall-to-wall painting, you can’t help but be immersed within!”

Go to for more information.

Nitram Charcoal Names MacPherson’s as Their Exclusive Distribution Partner

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014


This unique line of high-end charcoal is perfect for the artist and professional. In case you are new to this amazing line, MacPherson’s is offering a small countertop assortment, as well as open stock. If you are looking for it on MacPherson’s Online Express(OEX), the Vendor Code is NC.

Nitram display

Launch kits are already in the hands of our Account Managers, and inventory is available in both MacPherson’s distribution centers. Look for e-blasts of both the assortment and open stock coming soon.

We will be offering 46% off everyday with no case minimums and free freight with a qualifying MacPherson’s order. That’s right, you can now buy one box of charcoal at a time – no more 3 case minimums of each item plus freight and duty from Canada.

Strathmore® Partners with University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Printmaking

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Strathmore Artist Papers™ is committed to developing innovative new products that meet the needs of all artists. In May, 2014 they introduced Strathmore® Printmaking Paper, a complete range of papers that will satisfy the needs of the recreational, student and professional artists.

 Printmaking Intro

Strathmore Printmaking Papers were born out of a unique collaboration between Strathmore Artist Papers and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Art and science converged as talented minds within science, engineering and the arts teamed up to create this high-quality, innovative line of Printmaking papers. The 500 Series RiverPoint® Printmaking paper is made of 100% cotton, and is manufactured on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus.

To learn more about Strathmore’s partnership with UWSP, please see the following article from the Stevens Point Journal. Strathmore is proud to partner with another local Wisconsin company, and is happy to offer these exciting papers to printmaking artists of all abilities.

Printmaking paper is featured on an introductory promotion, which runs through MacPherson’s Back-to-School promotion ending September 20, 2014. Learn how this new program can increase the productivity of your retail space by contacting your MacPherson’s Account Manager today.

Watch for more information arriving on the Printmaking line at Strathmore’s website: under the Retailer Tools section. Strathmore will feature information on products, a recommended endcap, merchandising materials available and a new product video.

NEW!! Handcrafted Wooden New Wave Artist Palettes

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

New Wave™ is EXCITED to announce that MacPherson’s is now stocking New Wave’s hand held wooden artist palettes, and POSH™ table top palettes! Find the whole line plus pricing details here on Online Express (OEX)

New Wave artist palettes have been endorsed by dozens of the leading professional artists painting today such as Everett Raymond KinstlerLori McNee, Daniel Green, Juliette Aristides, Alexey Steele, George Gallo and the list continues on and on. Unique patent pending designs and unmatched craftsmanship have made these palettes a ‘go to’ for fine artists world-wide.

New Wave™ hand held wooden artist palettes:


Highland Hand Held


Grand View Confidant Hand Held


Expressionist Confidant Hand Held

  • Patent Pending 3 Point Design for maximum balance and comfort
  • Universal fit
  • Handcrafted alongside the Amish in Lancaster County, PA
  • Made with hard white maple
  • Durable satin finish resistant to water & standard artist solvents and mediums
  • Light-weight, easily cleaned, crack- & chip-resistant, freezer safe

New Wave™ POSH™ table top palettes:


  • Hand-finished by the Amish with a resilient satin finish, resistant to standard artist mediums & solvents, & easily cleaned.
  • Finish is non-absorbent and ready for use
  • Includes two custom silicone footings for traction and angled surface
  • Available styles:  Natural stained/finished or Neutral grey toned/finished
  • Available sizes:  15.6in x 19.6in or 11.75in x 15.75in

Gamblin 1980 Oils – Now is the Time to Upgrade Your Sketching Oils Display

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Gamblin 1980

Gamblin 1980 Oil Colors enable retailers to offer a better student grade paint, made here in America, from a brand you can believe in. This 48-color range replaces Gamblin’s line of Art Sketching Oils. If you currently carry Gamblin’s Art Sketching Oils, now is the time to upgrade. And the good news is that Gamblin and MacPherson’s are making it easy for you.

Gamblin is offering a $150 credit to existing Art Sketching Oils retail partners, in addition to a normal placement discount. The credit is intended to help you blow-out your Art Sketching Oils and enable you to start fresh with an updated rack, new product and color charts before Fall Back-to-School.

To upgrade, simply order assortment GB1980 convert. This assortment gets you the full range of Gamblin 1980 Oils in 37ml (3 of each color) and a 24-color range in 150ml (2 of each color). This assortment has a list price of $2,144 and, during F all BTS, a net price from MacPherson’s of $573.88 net – after all discounts that’s 73% off the list price! Act now, this special upgrade program is only available until the end of the year. If you have any questions, please contact your MacPherson’s Account Manager or Kaitlin, Shannon or Pete at Gamblin at 503-235-1945.

Gamblin 1980 37ml display

For your painters and professors, the upgrade to Gamblin 1980 is even easier. Color names, formulations and item numbers from the Art Sketching Oil range are carried forward into Gamblin 1980 without any change. A single color, Napthol Scarlet, is being dropped and 19 great new colors have been added.

More information on Gamblin 1980 Oil Colors

An introduction from Robert Gamblin:

Since our founding, I have wanted artists to be able to paint freely. To use color and texture without hesitation or reservation.

To do this, painters need colors that are true. True to the pigment. True to historic working properties. True to the emotion of each color. Colors that feel right, that respond under the brush and that age right on the canvas.

As a young painter, I remember standing in an art supply store with a basket full of paints wondering what I would have to forgo, and what I would have to create, in order to keep painting.

When I founded Gamblin in my garage in 1980, I had just enough money for a small mill and some white pigments. For over a year, I made only white. During this time, I resolved to build a colorhouse completely dedicated to oil painters.

We would make materials not just as they had been, but as they ought to be. We would help painters to find their flow in painting and to paint freely.

Our Gamblin 1980 Oil Colors are handcrafted with our beginnings and that same dedication in mind.

Paint freely.


Gamblin Art Sketching Oils are very competitively priced in both 37ml and 150ml sizes. For nickels and dimes more than the cheapest paints, artists can get true colors, made here in America, from a brand they believe in.

  • Series 1:  $5.95 in 37ml,  $14.95 in 150ml
  • Series 2:  $7.95 in 37ml, $17.95 in 150ml
  • Series 3:  $9.95 in 37ml, $29.95 in 150ml