Archive for the ‘Namta 2013’ Category

USA Kolinsky Brush Crisis

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

What’s Going On With Kolinsky Brushes? By Tom Dix, President Global Art Materials
By now, most retailers have heard or become aware that importers and manufacturers are having difficulty importing kolinsky brushes into the U.S. Shipments have been halted and in some cases seized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This began at least six months ago and is now causing a serious disruption in the supply of brushes that use pure kolinsky hair. NAMTA members that import these brushes have been working together to try and find a solution, but so far we have been unable to find a permanent fix.

Trade in kolinsky hair is managed by the provisions set out in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Kolinsky hair comes from the species called mustela siberica. It is important to know that this is NOT AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, but because of a seldom used provision in CITES, trade in kolinsky hair requires CITES documentation. This includes a country of origin certificate. Most of the kolinsky used by the brush producing countries in Europe originates in China.
The problem is that countries in the EU and the UK require a country of origin certificate for incoming shipments, but do not require that it be on a CITES form. U.S. importers have been using these same forms, provided to us by the European countries, for years and they have always been accepted by Fish and Wildlife. Suddenly and without notice Fish and Wildlife is insisting that the country of origin certificate accompanying U.S. incoming shipments be on a CITES form.
The European CITES authorities insist that the documents they provide conform to the CITES regulations, are complete and valid. Since U.S. authorities now want us to present a different form with the shipments than what is provided to us, they are asking importers to present a document that does not exist. This, of course, has become an impossible task. What was a question about a form has evolved into a policy dispute over the last 6 months between CITES management authorities in the U.S. and Europe, and our industry is caught squarely in the middle.
We have always supported the purpose of the CITES regulations, but do not understand how the position our Fish and Wildlife Service is taking today advances the cause or purpose of the CITES treaty. The rest of the world doesn’t understand the position either and continues to freely trade in kolinsky brushes. At this point, it would be fair to say that Fish and Wildlife is not sympathetic to the financial harm to our industry or inconvenience to the artist consumer.
As an organization, NAMTA is working on our behalf to help find a solution and has asked for an urgent appointment with the head of the Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve this issue. We are hopeful that we will get a favorable reply in the next week. If we are unable to get the response we need to begin to fix this problem, the next step would be to come back to the NAMTA membership and ask for your support by contacting your congressmen, senators and members of the congressional subcommittee that has responsibility for oversight of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
This has been an extraordinarily frustrating experience for all of us involved. We appreciate your patience and will keep you informed of any progress we are able to make.

Industry News – NAMTA Edition

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Help! We at MacPherson’s have begun the search for a replacement for Steve Iantosca in our New England sales territory. This is a great opportunity for the right person who possesses both sales and art materials industry experience. We offer full benefits including the ability to join the ESOP program and be an employee-owner of MacPherson’s. Interested candidates should contact Neil McIntyre ( or our Human Resources department in Emeryville (

Congratulations to the NAMTA Art Materials World 2013 award winners!

• Best Small Booth – BLUM formerly Milan USA (Blüm’s website) (Canson took over Milan’s distribution in the United States)

• Best Medium Booth – Masterpiece Artist Canvas

It's a Masterpiece!

It’s a Masterpiece!

• Best Large Booth – Chartpak

Team Chartpak!

Team Chartpak!

• Best New Exhibitor – Miira Artist Tools

• Judges Special Recognition – ColArt Americas’, Try it Table

Try it Table

Try it Table

• Best Point of Purchase – Canson’s Roll Rack (available via Drop Shipment, see your MacPherson’s contact for details)


• Best Packaging – HK Holbein, Half Pan Set


• Best New Product – Pebeo’s Liquid Art Panel (in stock at MacPherson’s, look in our OEX catalog for items beginning with PO777…)


• Best New Kids’ Product – Faber Castell USA’s Connector Paint Box (see MacPherson’s item number FC125029)


A note from Greg Daniels, Da Vinci Brush: “We had the great pleasure of spending a week in April with Professor Stephen Hawking, who was lecturing at Cal Tech in Pasadena on the “The Origin of the Universe”. My wife, French artist Olivia Barratier, is Stephen’s first cousin. They hail from a great old Scottish family descended from King James IV of Scotland. Also pictured is my nephew Reef Oldberg, who was just accepted into USC’s Film School. He made all of us and especially his grandfather, Peter Daniels of Graphaids, very proud. It was a wonderful week.”

aav-fanArt Alternatives Marker Sets are in the news!  Dylan Lauren, daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and owner of Dylan’s Candy Bar, recently shared a list of her favorite things with O, The Oprah Magazine. Included on her list was our “oh so cool” Rainbow Fan Marker set, which is featured in the current June issue! A direct quote says it all, ”The spectrum is pretty enough to hang on my wall, but I use the set to sketch new projects…”  Check out review in O, The Oprah Magazine pages 3 and 30, or better yet order some today. AA Fan Markers Sets at OEX.

FYI… New video from DMOTE in Australia using Montana BlackLine. Came out pretty cool.


iAMart has recently welcomed three new members:  Artist’s Guild of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin;  Endeavours of New Brunswick, Canada; and Herweck’s of San Antonio, Texas. iAMart serves proudly as the voice of 30 Independent Dealers to the Art Materials Industry.

Ex-Marine and Manager in MacPherson’s Elgin DC Marco Auriene wants to point out that Montana Paint was used at the Camp Pendleton branch of West Coast Customs in Oceanside, CA. They sport 3 garage bays to help our service men and women customize their cars! Click here to see the website.

In NYC, Long Island City artists are demanding a local planning review board block a plan to tear down a world-renowned graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz to make way for a luxury housing project. Read the entire Queens edition of the Daily News article here:  Artists howl as developer moves to tear down Long Island City graffiti palace 5Pointz.


Introducing Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel Medium

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

More possibilities. Less compromise.

Gamblin Solvent Free Gel

After years of work and testing, Gamblin has brought out the best solvent free oil painting medium ever invented. Solvent-Free Gel is the only solvent-free oil painting medium that supports a broad range of painting techniques with minimal compromise. Made from safflower oil and alkyd resin, Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel is non-toxic and contains no Gamsol or petroleum distillates.  In comparison to other solvent-free mediums, Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel supports the broadest range of painting techniques with the least compromise across color, dry time, texture and mark-making. With Gamblin’s oil colors and Solvent-Free Gel Medium, artists can work with complete confidence in the safety of their studio and the permanence of their work.

Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel Medium solves real problems for artists and open-stock tubes are available to order now. Item #GB01600, 150ml size, $19.95 list. Receive an additional 10% off during  MacPherson’s Fall BTS promo.

For more information, get in touch with your MacPherson’s sales contact, Pete ( or Kaitlin (, or call 503-235-1945.

Introducing Strathmore® Skills Series

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Strathmore Artist Papers™ is pleased to introduce a complete new product line – Skills Series, paper for practice. The Skills brand is part of the 200 Series offering, and the papers and pads are developed specifically for artists to practice, develop and improve their skills.


Practice is essential for artists to learn and progress, which is why Strathmore developed an affordable, recycled paper line that delivers key performance characteristics for specific media techniques. Inviting formats and features add convenience, ease of use and durability for frequent usage and lots of PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

Skills EndcapSome benefits and features of the Skills Series:

• Includes sketch, drawing, mixed media and watercolor.

• Paper contains 30% post-consumer fiber content.

• Acid free.

• Appropriate paper weights keep product affordable yet practical for practice.

• High sheet counts, flip-over covers, heavier chipboard, and larger 7/8” wire.

• Drawing pads feature a soft ivory color.

• Made in the U.S.A.

Pads are available in a variety of sizes:

• Sketch:
5.5”x8.5”  |  9”x12”  |  11”x14”  |  18”x24”

• Drawing:
9”x12”  |  11”x14”  |  18”x24”

• Mixed Media:
5.5”x8.5”  |  9”x12”  |  11”x14”

• Watercolor:
6”x9”  |  9”x12”  |  11”x15”  |  18”x24”

An end-cap is an excellent way to merchandise this new product line. A colorful header sign and coordinating shelf labels are available to support the suggested end-cap. Visit the retailer tools section of Strathmore’s website at Skills Series for more planogram information.


Golden News May 2013

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

GOLDEN participation at NAMTA was a great success! For those of you who were able to attend the show in Minneapolis, GOLDEN appreciates you stopping by their booth. The folks at GOLDEN enjoyed catching up with each of you and walking you through the various new product launches and marketing initiatives they’ll be focusing on for the remainder of the year.


If you weren’t able to attend the show, these photos give you a glimpse of GOLDEN’s unique booth design this year. It focused on applications using the new High Flow Acrylics, which you can learn more about by going to Golden Highflow Acrylics Website.

If you have questions, please contact your GOLDEN or MacPherson’s sales representative.

GOLDEN will also be at the MacPherson’s Dealer Workshop in June!

For those of you who couldn’t attend NAMTA this year but are attending the Dealer Workshop, GOLDEN will be sharing information about new product launches and promotions. Maybe you’ve already heard through the grapevine about the exciting new High Flow Acrylics, a product that has an ink-like consistency that is perfect for refillable markers, but also works great with an airbrush, dip pens, and brushes. What’s more, GOLDEN has a BTS promotion running in conjunction with Catalyst tools, as well as some new materials available in continued support of OPEN Acrylics. See you there!