If you are an acrylic painter, and you've never heard of the Sta-Wet palette it's is definitely the game changer.
Welcome to the Bold Artist podcast, Summer Sessions, where we're talking about hot topics for the season, that'll make a difference to your art. I'm your host, Marijanel joined by my co-host, Charla Maarschalk. Let's get to it. Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast, Summer Sessions. I'm here with Charla Maarshcalk, and I'm surprising her with some Q and A questions. One of the biggest questions that I get, um, to hear, I don't necessarily answer this question, but I get to hear this amongst the Bold School community and students asking Charla in Bold School, um, one of the big things that everybody wants to know as they're learning acrylic paint is how to keep their paint from drying out. And Charla has one really important tool, uh, that in her arsenal of acrylic painting that is, is a game changer. It's really a game changer for acrylic painters. And so if you're not already using this tool, that I'm pretty sure Charla is gonna answer... What tool do you use to keep your to keep your paint from drying out, Charla?
I use the Masterson Sta-Wet palette and every like every single student at bold school now uses the master in stay wet palette. If you are an acrylic painter, and you've never heard of the stay wet pallet it's is definitely the game changer. I don't even know why everyone doesn't know about it. I, I think it was when I went to the art supply store a decade ago that very first time I was like, I'm gonna be a full-time artist. Well, I'm gonna buy all my supplies. And I saw the Sta-Wet pallet for the first time, I just bought it. I don't know why everybody who doesn't see it doesn't buy it. But it's also one of the biggest questions we get from people outside of the school because they, they, they love the style and they love painting. And they're like, well, how do you paint like that ithout your paints drying out?
I can't use acrylics or I'm just, I'm frustrated with them. And the it's one of the biggest questions. So, it's, it is a hot topic for acrylic painters. How to keep your paint from drying out. And the reason the Sta-Wet works is it's a sealed pallet. And inside you have the, it has a special sponge and special paper. So you have to keep, uh, buying the paper after, you know, you use it up and it's no good anymore. You have to keep buying the paper to go in the pallet. But you soak the sponge, and you soak the paper, and then you can put the cover back on. And their, um, their advertising says it will last a couple of weeks. I've had it a couple of months. Now, something that has happened in the school, 'cuz we have students from all over the world who live in lots of different climates, they, they have different, uh, their paints have different reactions. Some peoples don't last as long. And whereas I live in a, I live in a dry climate and especially in the winter when it's cool and dry, the palette can last a really long time in the summer. If it's more humid and really hot, then the paints can go moldy if you leave them for two months.
Yeah. I notice that there can be an odor. There can be an odor depending how long.
There can definitely. Yeah, it will smell.
So, we've talked about, about lots of ways to stop that. Like it's a big discussion in our community. We talk about, about it all the time, but no one ever does it.
So just, just to say here that we're not being sponsored by the Sta-Wet pallet.
No. But I have a story about that.
Okay. Well you can share your story, but.
We're not being sponsored to say... We tried? Okay, well I didn't even know that, but um, we're not being sponsored, but we highly recommend it. And, and if it's not the brand that Charla mentioned, get your hands on any kind of Sta-Wet palette. There's even ways to make them. I've seen people making them.
Yeah. Yes. There's YouTube videos about it.
I want you to share a little bit more on the story of, of what you were gonna tell us, but I wanna show you something, and this is only gonna really be applicable to those on YouTube who can see the video. So, if you're listening on audio, I apologize. I'll try to describe what I'm holding up, but you know, Charla since you're the expert. Can you tell me why this is happening?
Oh no. I've never had that happen in a decade.
My... Okay, so what we're seeing here on the screen, this is the sponge from my Sta-Wet palette, and it's like, my paint are eating it. And so I took my paper off ,and I got, I have holes in my sponge. And so I don't know if like, so it's all Golden, the Golden paint and Golden liquid paint, and it's eating my sponge, Charla. What do I do now?
How long was that sitting there? Like three years?
Well, a week. No, not years. Like a week. Maybe two, maybe two.
Okay, so this is the thing in the community. These weird things happen to people. So, you and I live in the same climate. You are using the same paints as me and that has never, I've had, I've been using this for 10 years and never has a sponge done that. The only time I've seen it disintegrate is like, if I've left it for a couple of months, like sometimes over Christmas, like, so I'll paint before Christmas, and I'm re re refer, uh, replenishing a pallet. So, my sponge doesn't ever get rinsed, and then I'll let it sit over Christmas, you know? So, maybe a couple of weeks or a month where I'm not painting. And then I go back and I paint again. And then I realize I haven't actually even rinse my sponge in three months, and then I rinse it, and it's it disintegrates a little bit just 'cause it's been wet for a long time. Um, I've had that happen, but I've never had a hole. It's disintegrates on the edges.
So, I wonder if I'm not rinsing good enough or something. I don't know. It's a mystery.
Yeah. But something that somebody brought up once in the community was that it's possible that there's something in your water, in the water you're using, because I think, uh, I'd have to go check this out. But I do think they recommend using like distilled water, you know, like really clean water when you're soaking it. I use water out of our tap, but you do live in not in the same city as me. You're on a different water source as me. There's a possibility, there's something in your water.
Uh, we don't know that, but that's been a theory in the community for why people are getting strange things happening. Because there is a chemical in that sponge, and there is a chemical in the paper that keeps it from, uh, usually going moldy and that kind of a thing. So it, it could be the water reacting to that chemical, something in your water.
So an artist that I met, uh, quite a few years back, probably five years ago or so she had been primarily an oil painter, but discovering the Sta-Wet pallet allowed her to move from oil, into acrylic, using very similar techniques that she had been doing in oil. And she said that this was an entire game changer for her career to be able to move now, like, uh, she loves oil and, and oil isn't, you know, up for debate right now, but it allowed her to move into acrylic, which, which helped her career go in a whole other broader direction, at least for her. And so, I know that in that conversation, she was so adamant if you don't use it, if you don't know about it, get one, start learning what you can do with it. Because, um, for instance, one of Charla's techniques and one of the techniques that we teach within Bold School is learning to pre-mix and, and prepare your values. And values are, um, such an important key to your art, uh, some would even say even more important than the color itself. And if you are able to premix your values and then not have them dry up on you while you're waiting to do the next layer, then you have just opened up an entire world of possibility for your art.
Even just mixing colors in general, a lot of artists that come into my, especially when I was teaching live workshops, they would come in and they would not want to mix colors because if mixing color took time and it would dry out the paint. So, in order for your work to become diverse, and unique, and to explore the possibilities in, in color, you, the Sta-Wet pallet allows you to be able to be mixing the colors, and to be able to leave them there, and experiment with it. And it takes away the stinginess that we all feel with our expensive paints, right? You buy a $30 tube of paint. You do not wanna be wasting it, it drying up on you between a even just between using it that day on your art, let alone waiting for the next day. Um, so being able to keep your paint from drying out allows you to not be stingy in using your colors and your expensive paints. I think it was a big step for a lot of people in our community. They said it allowed them to be able to spend the money and not worry so much about it.
Absolutely. I, I had a little smile there when you were saying about, um, mixing it up and, and having it for a long time, 'cuz a lot of our instructors within bold school, they will teach a class with a certain palette on their Sta-Wet palette. And then what I love to see is the paintings they paint after the class still using the same palette, but an entire different, an entirely different painting will emerge.
From that same palette that they have leftover paint that doesn't dry out in it. So it's, it's such a great way to preserve your palette and to keep working from those same colors that just don't dry out. Unless you're like me and for some weird reason, your sponge begins to disintegrate.
I bet it's you water. Try using bottled water.
Yeah, and actually... In fairness, this sponge has been around a number of years and has probably been in a mul, like, multiple water situations because it's been in quite a few different studios with me. So, um, so we will never know, but I think I'm gonna splurge on a new sponge. I think I should get a new sponge.
They're not, they're not too expensive.
They're... When we started... Bold School launched right before COVID hit. So, after COVID hit, and people were taking the class, like they were staying at home now, and they were gonna take the class while they were at home, they tried buying supplies, and there was a major shortage in paint supplies. 'Cuz I think it became a very popular thing.
Everyone wanted to paint while they were isolated.
Yeah. So, one of the biggest things people were like, I can't get my supplies. And the thing that couldn't didn't come is the Masteron Sta-Wet pallet was unavailable. And from my experience, when we contacted them about a sponsorship, they actually, or were two years ago, a small company and they told me, they're like, well, there's such a demand right now, we're so busy, I can't even think about figuring out a way to sponsor your school. I'm like, you're busy because of me. We're selling th, you're selling thousands of these because of our students. 'Cause every single student buys the pallet.
Every student is buing one.
But anyways, I understood. So, they're a small company, and they couldn't keep up with the demand at the beginning of COVID. So, at that time, people needed to have an, an option. So, we figured out we found some YouTube videos. I don't have the links at the moment, but they're not hard to find. And people just made their own palettes. So, buying the extra sponge or whatever, like people were finding lots of different ways to create the sponges,, and using wax paper and just having some sort of a Tupperware that you could seal to keep the water in. And it worked fairly well. I know that there is a chemical within the, the Sta-Wet sponges that I think really helps it to not mold, but then a couple of other things that some people were doing were putting, um, some, one guy said to put a penny underneath the sponge, and it took that smell away like the copper or something and the penny took the smell away.
And then somebody else said that they were taking, um, a wipe, like a Lysol wipe and putting underneath the sponge because it's a disinfectant, and that was somehow killing the bacteria or whatever. So, there were different ways to kind of deal with some of that stuff. Um, but yeah, you can make your own. So, you don't always have to be going out and uh, buying the exact stay wet stuff. But honestly, I don't think once you make the initial purchase buying the sponge and paper is too big of an expense. Uh,
Like, it's not like paint and brushes.
So, there you have it. To answer the big question, how does Charla and many other artists keep their acrylics wet so that they can keep working from the same pallet, premix their paints, and not have their acrylics dry out. It is a Sta-Wet pallet. So, if you don't already know about it, check it out. It's a big game changer. And if you already know about it, get it out and start painting.
And we should probably put a link to it in our description.
And yeah, we'll make sure to link right here in the description box. And so for any of you wondering how you can get involved in Bold School, stay in touch with us, get our newsletter, go to boldschool.com and make sure to be getting that newsletter. It's really important. We've got lots of exciting updates. New things are happening all the time, whether it's classes, or exciting events, workshops, and events within inside of our community. And we love to have you involved. So go to boldschool.com and then on Instagram boldschool, Inc. And here on YouTube, the Bold School channel. Until next time, keep creating.