Back to basics

by admin on April 23, 2022

It’s ironic to say “new” when it’s really OLD.

Old as the hills, actually. Pigments made from rocks. Nothing is more basic than natural earth!

We’re taking a new approach to supplying art materials this year, moving towards long-term integrity. We hope you will join us on the journey!

Our first step is to offer exciting alternatives to cheaply-produced, globe-trotting, plastic-heavy supplies. (For a list of the reasons why, see the postscript.)

These alternative supplies will be durable, basic, locally-made, and degradable!

Practically speaking, this means we are pleased to be offering the following over the next year:

Natural Earth Pigments / Paints (more local, durable and degradable)

PrimaTek watercolours (more local, degradable)

Unison Pastels (high-quality and basic)

Beam Paints, watercolour and printing ink (local, degradable packaging, basic)

St Armand papers (local, recycled fibres, degradable)

— switch to Ontario-made TriArt acrylic paints and mediums (locally-made)

— Apollon canvas, made near Montreal (more local)

Briggs&Little wool yarn (more local, natural and degradable)

— Beeswax crayons and modelling clay (natural and degradable)

Second step: we will no longer invest in any new disposable marker lines (not local, not basic, and plastic), or cheap canvas (not local, wasteful). We will also notify our suppliers of our plans to choose less packaged, fair-trade goods.

Some will argue that we are making art more expensive, and for an elite audience. They might be right at first glance; but the fuller story to this is that our culture has become over-productive due to dependance on fossil fuels, and there is a need for more conscious restraint, resilience, and creative use of limited resources.

Future articles will feature repurposed surfaces, wholistic art activities for children, and mental health for artists. 

Sincerely, Tim Dyck

PS: reasons for a sustainability plan.

  1. Our planet is drowning in plastics and other pollution
  2. Our planet is responding dramatically to our carbon emissions
  3. Our health as a species is suffering
  4. Business can lead the way in environmental work
  5. Art is healing, but it must be done in concert with nature

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Art resources online (various)

by admin on January 5, 2022

If you need some inspiration, Unison Colour (pastels) is offering a free live pastel demo online for beginners Wednesday Jan 12 at 2pm EDT. To register, go to https://www.unisoncolour.com/free-beginners-live-demo-with-sue-kerrigan-harris/

Also, the Art Gallery of Ontario has a large selection of videos with art talks and activities to inspire some aesthetic thoughts: ago.ca You’ll find it all under the Learn tab, for youth, adults and seniors.

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Two shows for artists

September 30, 2021

In order to curb any tendency to watch too much tv, I don’t subscribe to a paid streaming service. But I do watch shows from our public broadcaster, CBC, and recently discovered two shows of interest to artists: Landscape Artist of the Year Canada, and Maudie. The first one, Landscape Artist, is a multi-episode show […]

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A mini-holiday

August 22, 2021

It’s been a busy summer with all our fabulous customers coming back! So we are going to take a short break, visiting our daughter: we’ll be closed Friday and Saturday, September 3 and 4. (This also means there will be no Art on first Friday this month! Second Saturday is still on the 11th.) Be […]

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Open for shoppers

June 12, 2021

Hi art-friends! As part of Stage 2 re-opening, we are now able to welcome up to 7 customers at a time, so come on over to see what has been happening since the shutdown. New supplies have continued to arrive, from specialty rulers to main-stay paints. Highlights include Unison pastel sets and easels, colouring books […]

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Thanks, Rhonda

May 19, 2021

Durham is saying goodbye to a great artist and teacher, Rhonda Abrams, who is moving away. She taught dozens of students in Durham for the last thirteen-or-so years, first at The Colour Jar, and then in her own space, Durham Art School. In her approach to teaching, Rhonda was rare. She wouldn’t do her students’ […]

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Curbside & colouring books

April 17, 2021

New items are still coming into the store, even though we are back to curbside service. Framing orders are still welcome, although it may be advisable to drop off your projects and schedule a virtual meeting, or photos can be sent. Highlights of new supplies include (full list under Art supplies tab): Quirky and fun […]

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Open for in-store shopping

February 13, 2021

Starting Tuesday, February 16, we will be open for in-store shopping. Please wear a mask if you are able. We will limit store capacity to 4 customers. And curbside delivery is still available, if you prefer! New items to see while you are here: TriArt High-viscosity Acrylics and mediums, Daniel Smith Watercolours, Rhodia paper pads, […]

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We’re still here!

January 13, 2021

As a family-run business, we are still able to go to work every day, as long as we stay healthy! So with the new provincial restrictions in mind, we are offering distanced curbside service, or shipping until things improve. Shipped orders over $100 will be sent free of charge (within Ontario). We want everyone to […]

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New art sets arriving

November 26, 2020

More and more people are discovering the excitement and joy of making art. To help you find quality gifts for friends, or for yourself, we are stocking up on all the basics, plus a few specialties! Check out the always-evolving list of colourful goodies under the Art Supplies tab…

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