Monday, April 28, 2008

Visit to M Graham and a Watercolor Palette

A visit to M Graham factory reconfirmed our commitment to their watercolor paints. Eight employees work in a converted chicken coop, cinder block building. They mix one or two batches of paint a day and fill about 600 tubes. They make acrylics, oils, gouaches and watercolors as close to 18th and 19th Century paints as possible with natural materials. The use of honey, which they purchase locally, in the watercolors keeps them from drying out and caking. The "Biggies" use corn syrup. Tests show that M Graham colors contain more pigment. They don't have a large marketing budget and have very little overhead. All employees receive health insurance, other benefits and have purchased their own homes. Their philosophy is to make the highest quality paints. They showed us research techniques and color comparisons to other manufactures' paints. It would be incredible to see more small businesses like this one in the US. They sure impressed us.

You can purchase a mini-travel palette from I've Been Framed that is Altoid-size, already has six pans for paints on each side for $9.95. Cynthia Mooney told me in her Art Journal Sketchbook classes about this palette and the M Graham watercolors which work very well in a travel art kit.

Last week, our sketch group met downtown at Powell's Books. I wanted to practice gesture drawing of people. I can see that more practice is in order here.

2 comments:

DL Johnson said...
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Tea N. Crumpet said...

I just came by for the first time. I love your blog! I will check out M Graham!