Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My favorite art store - The Art Store!

New location!
Do you have a favorite art store?  I do!  The Art Store in Prescott, Arizona! 

I was going into 'Art Store withdrawal' last month while my favorite art store moved to a new location.  The day they opened, I raced downtown and had a good long browse.  ***ahhhhh***  And, yes, I bought some goodies, too - of course!

One thing I really like about The Art Store is their very knowledgeable staff.  Have a question?  They will know the answer or they will find it for you.  Need a certain product?  They will locate it for you!

Ben and Keith
And they are really nice... and they put up with me, too.  Not only did I ask to take pictures while they were very busy on their opening day, but then I yelled at my not-functioning-right camera and startled both Ben and Keith.  They still smiled and let me keep on taking pictures.  Great guys!  They know a deranged artist when they see one...

Okay!  Let the browsing begin!  
Art Books
Naturally I paused and looked at the art books.  So many ideas!  Art books are always inspiring me to try something new or use a familiar media in a different way.  This time (shhhh!) I was peeking at the children's art books...  *tiptoes down the aisle*

Ida and lots of brushes
Hey, there's Ida!  Ooooohhhh!  And a TON (metaphorically speaking) of brushes!  One thing I like about shopping locally at The Art Store rather than buying online is that I get to test the brushes.  I am a brush snob.  I admit it.  Since I paint in watercolor, it is really important to me to know how the brush will handle the water.  When I walk out of The Art Store with a brush, I *know* how it will *point* and *flow* and *dance* over the paper...

Oh... okay *shakes head* Back to the tour of the new store - I will visit 'brush-land' later...

Another reason I like to 'shop local' is that I get to test lots of other art supplies at The Art Store.  Pastels, all kinds of pencils, charcoal, Graphitint, watersoluable graphite - almost everything has a sample you can try.  Test the charcoal pencils for density, the colored pencils for blendability (spell check says that isn't a word...spell check lies), the watercolor pencils for intensity of color... and more!  I can't do that on a computer keyboard.

Nyx and luscious Unison Pastels
Hello!  Here's Nyx - busily stocking the Unison Pastels.  She's another one of the great employees at The Art Store - always ready to stop and chat with you about your artwork and to help you find just what you need for your next masterpiece! 

Easels and paper and paint, oh my!
Wandering is encouraged here and there is lots to see - and touch, sample, and ask questions about it to a real person.  I like to feel the tooth on the paper, see how rough or smooth the canvas is, and wrap my real eyes around the actual visual size of the paper.  Anyone else have a hard time wondering if 9 x 12 is going to be big enough or too big for that certain project?  I need to hold it in my hand.  Yes.  I admit it.  I am a very visual person so I like to be in The Art Store surrounded by the art supplies!

Jodi - and everything!
Jodi summed it up very well.  I asked her what she liked best - and she said "I like it all!"  Yep - that's about where I am, too.  I wandered and wandered and wandered and had a wonderful time enjoying it all!

There are other reasons why I like to shop at locally owned businesses.  They pay local taxes which help our schools, pay for street improvements, support our fire department and police, and they create jobs for local residents.  In the case of Keith and Ida and both The Art Store and The Frame & I, they also support our local art groups, student art events, donate supplies to the local schools, and lots more.  Yesterday both Ida and Keith came to the Prescott Valley Art Guild to give a demonstration.

Ida and Keith at the Prescott Valley Art Guild meeting

Ida gave a demonstration of various watersoluable pencils, pastels, and crayons.  They also brought many samples for the guild members to test and lots of paper to try out as well.  It was lots of fun and very informative as they spent a lot of time answering questions from the guild members.  Both Ida and Keith are artists who freely share their time and their talents.

I am really blessed to have a great art store like this - I hope you have one in your hometown where you can 'shop local', too!

Happy creating!


  1. I also like to shop local when ever I can. But I hate to say it, there is no art store around. Only the big box type arts and craft stores. We have all 3 of them now and they could not answer a question if their lives depended on it!!

  2. It looks like a wonderful store! How exciting to have it open again. Thanks for the tour.

  3. Ooo, looks like you have a fabulous art store right at your fingertips!! :) So much to see, so much to do!! Looks like a great place to spend some time. Thanks for sharing the little tour! :)

  4. Bummer, Kim! At least you have a place you can go and see the art stuff in person. That is one of the problems at a lot of the larger 'box stores'.

    Thanks, Rose - and you're welcome! It is a wonderful art store!

    K 'n K - I can spend a lot of time just browsing around - it's a great place to get ideas and see what's new!

  5. It is, Pam - so much to see and such knowledgeable people!

  6. I have a fabric store like that! Not big box, but locally owned. I talk with Paula who not only knows fabrics, but she is a spinner too. I love to hear her experiences!

  7. Linda - It's wonderful to spend time talking with the business owners because they have a wealth of information to share. Lots of times the people who work for smaller businesses have a huge amount of knowledge, too. It is fun to hear their experiences!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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