It has been a rough start to the fall in the art materials industry. The Los Angeles area lost an institution with the closing of Swain’s HQ Art Supplies, which has been supporting artists and selling art supplies in Glendale for seventy years, and we are very sad to see them go.
The imminent closure of C2F, one of the few distributors of art materials was also announced. They were the primary source for a few of our favorite brands (such as M. Graham, Bee Paper, Pentalic, and Cheep!), but it looks like most of those will find new homes so we plan to continue stocking them as long as we’re able!
We live in interesting times for retailers and the art materials industry. Sometimes we feel like we’re mice scampering beneath the feet of giants with names like Amazon, Blick Art Materials, and Artist & Craftsman Supply, and it’s tough to lose friends and allies like C2F and Swain’s.
We, and our employees, thank all of you who have stuck with us, are just discovering, us, and hope to feed your artistic endeavors for years to come.
Oil painters are increasingly invested in the craftsmanship of their artwork. An accomplished and experienced oil painter recently asked us about Gamblin Ground, and why they would use it instead of or in addition to regular gesso. Creating a strong foundation for imagery is an important consideration, and Gamblin Oil Painting Ground creates the perfect foundation for contemporary oil painters. Below are notes on the key characteristics of Gamblin Ground, application tips, and notes about shelf life.
Gamblin Ground Gamblin Oil Painting Ground makes a strong, bright, non-absorbent foundation for oil paintings. Gamblin Ground is formulated from alkyd resin, titanium dioxide, and calcium carbonate – titanium dioxide gives opacity, while calcium carbonate gives tooth for strong adhesion.
Gamblin Ground makes a brighter and less-absorbent ground layer compared to acrylic “gesso” – meaning that oil paint layers on top retain better color saturation. Gamblin Ground can be applied to a “pre-primed” acrylic gesso canvas or panel to make a good painting support a great one.
Not every day is Christmas… We all have a collection of less-than-successful paintings that shouldn’t see the light of day. Since Gamblin Ground is oil-based, it can be used to cover old paintings so the support can be re-used. We recommend roughing up the old painting with sandpaper or steel wool, followed by wiping the surface with a rag wet with Gamsol before the Ground is applied. This will ensure proper adhesion.
Application Because the percentage of pigments is so much higher than in acrylic “gesso”, painters need only apply TWO thin coats of Gamblin Ground instead of the recommended four coats of acrylic. Fabric supports should be sized with PVA Size before applying Gamblin Ground.
Gamblin Ground is thicker than acrylic gesso, and requires different application techniques, which are demonstrated on Gamblin’s Video Demos page.
Shelf Life, Formulation Improvements. We have heard from painters who’ve experienced Gamblin Ground skinning over in the can, and Gamblin has taken steps to mitigate this by managing formula solvent levels and drying rate. They have also improved the Ground by lowering its odor. Ongoing tests show that formula adjustments over the past two years have resulted in reduced skinning and improved shelf life.
Still, Oil Painting Ground is formulated to dry faster than oil colors, and it doesn’t discriminate between drying on a canvas and in the can. Gamblin date stamps the bottom of each can. Painters, please remove the wax paper seal after the first use, drizzle a little Gamsol on the surface of the Ground and cover with a plastic seal (i.e. Ziplock baggie cut to fit). This will help prevent skinning in the can by limiting the Ground’s contact with oxygen.
You asked, we did it. We scheduled a calendar full of classes and workshops in our new space. Our opening month classes and workshops have been leading up to the introduction of Master Class at Raw Materials, where prominent artists teach intensive workshops that go beyond art school. Master Class will provide intensive interaction with professional artists working in a variety of media and will draw from a broad spectrum of cultural viewpoints. Students interact closely with working artists and can gain insight into how artists approach the making of art and respond to the work of others. Teaching groups are deliberately small, intense, and personalized.
Internationally-acclaimed Los Angeles-based painter Salomón Huerta was born in Tijuana, raised in East L.A. and attended the Art Center College of Design on a full scholarship, where he graduated with highest honors. Huerta also holds a Master of Fine Art from UCLA and is best known for his series of paintings depicting anonymous subjects with their backs to the viewer, facades of color-saturated, suburban homes, and larger than life-sized, masked Lucha Libre wrestlers. Huerta’s paintings have been collected and exhibited internationally, including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Gagosian Gallery London, Worcester Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Institute, and at the Whitney Biennal. Huerta is represented by Louise Alexander Gallery.
About a year ago, Salomón Huerta was nice enough to shoot this short video about his favorite art supply store and the products he uses. Check it out:
On August 24th, Raw Materials Art Supplies was lucky to have Certified Ross Instructor David Arquette teach a Bob Ross Painting Class—our very first class in our new location! To no one’s surprise, the class sold out quickly.
In just under two hours, students eager to start a painting hobby learned how to paint an outdoor landscape. Based upon the PBS “Joy of Painting” series with Bob Ross, these artists of various abilities and experience painted and learned Bob Ross’ painting techniques, thanks to David Arquette’s guidance and friendly style.
If you missed out and couldn’t get a seat to the class, don’t fret. David said he had so much fun he’d like to do it again.
Five years ago these guys went shopping at Raw Materials with help from our then-mascot and head of security, Wonton. Good times. And today, we open for business at our new location at 645 S. Los Angeles Street. Will you be there?
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County seeks a part-time puppeteer to work with their Education and Programs department. The Performing Artist/Puppeteer works collaboratively within the Performing Arts Program to operate a full-suit Triceratops and Saber-toothed cat puppet for their on-going Encounters Program. Performing Artists/Puppeteers work with the Performing Arts Program Manager and other Education staff to present performances for Museum programs, special events, and school groups. Puppeteers interact with Museum guests and are expected to maintain a friendly and approachable demeanor at all times.
This position has the following requirements:
3 or more years as a dancer, actor, acrobat, puppeteer, and/or performing artist.
3 or more years of physical and movement-based training.
1 or more years of theatre training.
Available to work weekends.
Height and lifting requirements based on puppet as described below.
Quadrupedal Puppet Requirements: Height, 5’1” to 5’7”, Women’s shoe size 6-11 or Men’s size 4-9. Small to Medium athletic build. Must be able to lift and carry up to 85 pounds on back in bending and crouching positions for limited periods of time. All weight on wrists, shoulders, and back. Extremely hot, claustrophobic full suit puppet with limited sight range. Job requires wearing a Triceratops and Saber-toothed cat full-suit puppet with internal mechanisms for movement and sound amplification.
Requires wearing a Triceratops and Saber-toothed Cat full-suit puppet with internal mechanisms for movement and sound amplification.
Extended periods of standing and bending within costume; holding physically challenging positions for lengthy periods of time, in a confined space.
Stilt walking and light gymnastic activity required for some of the museum characters.
Work schedule may also include weekdays and some evenings.
Performing Artists/Puppeteers must pass a physical examination from a medical doctor provided by the Museum.
Willingness and ability to learn about natural history content, including paleontology, to create authentic character studies for the Dinosaur Encounters program.
Willingness to assimilate and creatively interpret content from NHM’s exhibits, collections and halls, and collaborate with museum interpretive staff and education department policies to create performing arts-based programming.
Ability to work well in an ensemble and proactively assist your colleagues as needed.
Acting and hosting abilities required.
Willingness to learn and perform minor tech board and remote control operation.
Comfort interacting with all ages of the public while in or out of costume.
Experience in education strongly preferred.
Completion of a physical is required prior to beginning employment.
A cover letter, current resume, and list of 3-4 references are required for all applicants. Review of applications begins immediately and continues until position is filled. Interested candidates please visit www.nhm.org/jobs and click the link of the position for which you are interested.
The Broad is seeking a creative, driven and experienced Marketing and Social Media Manager (MSMM) to develop and execute innovative marketing and social media strategies designed to achieve core objectives including: meeting and exceeding general admission attendance, exhibition and public programming attendance and revenue goals; increasing awareness of The Broad; and effectively engaging and communicating with The Broad’s large and diverse audience. The MSMM will report to the Director of Marketing and Communications (DMC) to support The Broad’s marketing and communications efforts, including social media (paid and organic), traditional advertising, digital marketing (including management and support of The Broad’s website and ticketing platform), email marketing, sponsorships and other marketing initiatives. This is a high-profile role at The Broad that requires the ability to successfully manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment, exceptional attention to detail, and an “outside the box” approach to establishing an exciting and enduring brand identity for the museum as a welcoming, inclusive and premier cultural destination on local, national and global levels.
Social Media and Content Creation
Lead the development and implementation of innovative social media strategies that build on awareness of The Broad and ultimately, drive ticket sales and free general advance reservations
Monitor daily execution of social media content (i.e. scheduling posts, liking photos, tweeting, sharing, increasing social outreach, etc.)
Write all social media copy, consistently delivering on-brand voice posts that are 100% error-free across all social platforms
Create impactful and compelling social media content and video content that engages and educates The Broad’s audience, working closely with key internal and external stakeholders
Manage social media KPIs and produce monthly recaps, optimizing performance of specific tactics against plan goals
Monitor for brand mentions across all social media channels. Identify and engage with posts that provide an opportunity to positively impact brand reputation and work with Visitor Services to respond to questions in a timely manner
Manage photography and videography for the museum, including hiring and supervising photographers, videographers, producers and editors
Stay up-to-date on new social media tools and best practices, identifying ways for The Broad to be at the forefront of social media trends
Continue to grow and manage the museum’s relationships with social media influencers
Marketing and Advertising
Assist with the development of and implementation of integrated marketing and communications plans designed to refine and strengthen the museum’s brand identity, drive attendance and revenue, and maximize awareness of and audience for the museum, its exhibitions and its public programs
Assist with the planning of and implementation of digital marketing campaigns including paid social media, display advertising and SEO/SEM
Work with external digital agency to manage, execute and monitor digital campaigns, providing strategic guidance to drive results and ensure goals are met or exceeded
Develop creative concepts and write copy for marketing and advertising collateral such as The Broad’s general information brochure and other museum print collateral, OOH advertising, print advertising, radio ads, paid social media ads, display advertising, email newsletters, etc.
Ensure that The Broad’s brand identity and voice are consistent across all channels
Set and oversee project timelines for the design and production of advertising and marketing materials, ensuring projects remain on track to meet deadlines
Manage day-to-day communications and operations with internal stakeholders, external agencies and vendors regarding project timelines, files, specs, production issues, etc.
Manage and update all onsite signage and marketing/collateral
Provide exceptional attention to detail as the final marketing eye on all marketing and advertising creatives and assets: ensure copy is 100% correct, images are clear, etc.
Stay up-to-date on art world and museum industry news, trends and influencers
Maintain image, video and digital asset archives, utilizing The Broad’s DAM to tag, organize and manage assets
Develop and manage The Broad’s email marketing calendar
Write, design, test and schedule emails, collaborating with Curatorial, Audience Engagement, Visitor Services, Retail, IT and design agency to develop and produce email newsletters
Manage visitor email communications such as pre-visit emails
Develop and manage transactional/triggered email campaigns (such as a welcome series, re-engagement campaign, etc.)
Optimize email performance via A/B and split tests
Analyze email performance data to better understand The Broad’s audience, improve email marketing KPIs and make actionable recommendations that will optimize email performance
Manage email marketing KPIs and produce monthly recaps
Check out this video where Richard and Darin of R&F Handmade Paints talk about things that affect the drying rates of R&F Pigment Sticks. Probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get about Pigment Sticks is, how long they take to dry compared to oil paint out of a tube. Don’t forget that R&F Pigment Sticks are ON SALE at 15% OFF during our MOVING SALE.