A few months ago, Jamie Markle informed me that NAMTA’s trade show (a.k.a. Art Materials World) was coming to my city—Phoenix—this year, and he asked if I’d be willing to do a demo at the North Light booth. I’ve always wanted to see this show so of course I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve attended CHA many times and while it can be a fun experience, I’m always a bit overwhelmed by the number of scrapbook paper manufacturers there and a bit disappointed that there aren’t more art supplies. At Art Materials World it’s exactly what the name says—it’s all art materials!
My demo wasn’t until 2:00 in the afternoon, so I had the morning to walk the floor and see all the booths. Some of the products I was familiar with, either from using them personally or from seeing them at previous CHA shows, but here are the things I saw that got me excited:
- 8 new colors of Tee Juice pens from Jacquard as well as a new giant marker size.
- Very cool Krink Paint Markers and Krink Ink Markers from Montana Colors.
- Inktense Blocks. I was familiar with the intense color of Derwent’s Inktense pencils, but these sticks are new and very nice. They are activated with water, just like the pencils.
- OMG—Grafix now has Shrink Film in colors! I mean, six colors! I was also excited to learn that they make an inkjet printable shrink plastic that is not frosted but clear. Wow.
- Ampersand has had its Scratchbord for a while, but I hadn’t really taken a close look at it until this show. It got me all excited (no doubt due to my current fascination with white on black) and I’m going to be trying it soon.
In fact, I’m going to be trying out several products I got at Art Materials World in the next several weeks and I’ll be sharing my experiences here with you.
After chatting with all the friendly folks in their booths, it came time for me to do a small demo at the booth. Have you seen Surface Treatment Workshop yet? Well it’s full of great mixed-media painting techniques and I knew it would be perfect for this fine-art crowd, so I demonstrated an alcohol resist technique from that book.
It was interesting to see how much the results can vary, depending on how watered down the paint is. The top images in the examples here show what I think are the best results (though it all depends on what you’re going for, of course) and they came from spritzing or dropping alcohol onto paint that was the consistency of cream—just like the authors mention in the book. When I got too carried away with the water and it was too thin—like you see in the bottom images—the results weren’t as great. I’m going to practice this more because I thought it was a lot of fun. The “wow factor” is very high.
I really had a fun day at the show and I can’t wait to try some of the new products I discovered there. Watch for more soon!
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS