I have a couple of small travel boxes made from old tins, but none of them
have adequate mixing areas. I have been looking for a good travel box, and unfortunately, been unhappy with this or that — and this is with many that are $75-100.
I had the good fortune to be in my favorite local art store, Merriartist,
talking with Sally about travel palettes. I am going to digress here,
and talk about really good art stores and then, the chains.
It will be a rant about why you want to pay a few cents more
(literally a few cents more) to give business to the lovely stores
near you rather than shop chains — that is, Blicks, Michaels, et all.
It is not that chains are evil, but that in the long run they don’t serve us as well.
Small art stores have staff that are trained and know things.
Their employees actually paint, and usually employee turnover is not as high as the chains.
This means the college students know things too!
Most chains pay minimum wage and are not easy places to work.
Turnover among employees is HIGH. In our town, a chain bought not one
but two good art stores and let go of most of the old employees.
Every time I ask 99% of the staff anything, they begin to read the information
about the product — THE EXACT THING I ALREADY READ —
they don’t know a dang thing. And let’s talk product. The chains want you to buy what they want you to buy — not what is best nor what you might want.
Small stores listen to their customers. They can get you things you want!
I also mail order from Merriartist whenever I can as they have free shipping with $90 — and of course, you can easily add up to that if you save things in your order account!
Their online site is small, but I sometimes ask if they have what I want and often they do.
Not only did Sally have actual knowledge about many products I needed to discuss
(saving questions as Merriartist is 45 minutes away in McMinnville) but pulled out the two brushes I was trying to decide about to allow me to try them out with water on a stone.
She was able to tell me the difference between the two and in the end,
I went with the daVinci this time, and put the Escoda on my want list —
the two brushes are really quite different. She went the distance.
This kind of service and knowledge is simply not available at our local Blick’s.
So, back to the big issue, the with which I struggled.
I’d waited to buy until I arrived at Merriartist because I wanted to see the palettes.
We looked at many, and I bitched about this and that — as I deliberated.
Sally listened to what I wanted, and what I didn’t want.
Finally she pulled out this kids palette —
and BTW the Prang’s set is not on their site but they have them — they often have things not on the site, and this is a really inexpensive kids palette.
We looked at how all the pieces pop out. In fact, the round metal paint tins also pop out and can be refilled and used, and I may do this — but for now, I need a few more watercolors for a workshop coming up and so, what I am trying out is shown below.
Unfortunately, it is not quite deep enough for my new Greenleaf & Blueberry paints. They fill them too high!
But these can slip into my pocket until they are used enough to drop below the line!
I am now playing with the extra colors — the pop of crazy — I may want to take along. Primatek Turquoise?
Primatek Serpentine? QoR’s Bohemian? Primatek Hematite? Not sure yet!
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