Friday, July 31, 2009


Monday is the day! Finally we can begin to ship our new oils. I have received a number of requests from artists for sample orders. We can still do a few more......If you are interested in taking our paint for a test run please e-mail me at

We have a number of dealers already promoting the paint so the cool thing is it will be easy to order more colors if you like what you try. Just type in RICHESON OILS under the search box. Up will pop some great places to order the paint. Plus, if the dealer you normally shop is not stocking the paint...ask them to special order for you! They will be thrilled to handle the order.

With that, it is Friday evening and I am off to mow my lawn! Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


RICHESON OILS - Shiva Series
Just a few more days and we begin shipping our Richeson Oils! For us it is hard to believe it is actually happening. It has been so long in the works. Finally the dream of offering the Market a high quality Professional Oil at an affordable price under the Richeson Brand!

Did you know we are one of the few companies today who still allow our oils to "rest" after milling for 60 or more days to allow for maximium oil absorbtion? Once the oil has "rested" we test to determine if there is a need for additional milling.

If you are interested in testing these oils, e-mail me at

Supply of free samples are limited!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We are often asked how our company got it's start. It is actually a pretty cool story! After 34 years of work in the Art Materials Industry, my dad (Jack) unexpectedly found himself out of work. At the time the family was living in Massachusetts. Most of us 6 kids had flown the nest. Only my brother Darren and my sister Kelly were still living at home. Darren was just graduating from college with a degree in accounting.
My dad made Darren an offer he could not refuse as a new college graduate. Come to work for him and my mother to start a business importing art materials. The real hook was my dad would pay Darren Free room and board, $50 a month and he would have a car to drive! What an offer! If you ask Darren today, I am sure he would tell you there are days he wonders "What was I thinking!!!"
With that they decided to move the family back to a place they lived years ago...beautiful Appleton Wisconsin where cost of living was reasonable and people are hard working. My mom and dad bought the house you see above and started Jack Richeson & Co., Inc Artist Materials. Product was shipped from vendors to the "Warehouse" above - orders taken on the house phone and picked and packed from the attic. This is where they stayed until the business grew enough my mom insisted it was time for the first fledgling "REAL" office and warehouse.
The company start was modest and everyone worked hard. No one could imagine how it would grow to eventually employ 12 family members as well as our other wonderful employees! This was only the beginning!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Building

For those of you who have never had a chance to visit us in beautiful Kimberly, WI., I thought you might enjoy seeing our building! When I moved from California to Wisconsin in 1992 our bulding was a modest 40,000 square feet. It housed a small office area, warehouse storage and a small area to manufacture plastic palettes as well as a small wood working area to manufacture loom kits for the schools.

Since 1992 we have added 3 additions and major renovations to our building. We now have over 120,000 square feet. We manufacture some of the Finest Professional Artist Oil Paint (Richeson Oils - Shiva Series) available, Casein, Plastic palettes, manufacture the finest Oak Easels by Best available anywhere in the world as well as are an importer of our brand of Richeson Brushes, Quiller Watercolors, Unison Pastels and Richeson Lyptus Easels. We are the U.S. distributor for Tri-Art Acrylics - an amazing range of professional to educational acrylics. Plus we import a complete range of "sundries" for the artist market...everything for pottery supplies to name it...we have it!

All this started in an old 3 story Victorian House on State St. in Appleton WI.! More about that tomorrow!

Friday, July 24, 2009


It is an exciting weekend here at Richeson. We have a crew in the Gallery hanging the entries for the Richeson 75 Figure and Portrait Exhibition. The work that has been submitted for this exhibition is just AMAZING. I am awestruck! I can NOT wait to see everything hung.

Just when things can't get any better, we have Maggie Price starting a workshop this next week in Pastel! What a great way to launch the new Exhibition. Maggie for those of you who don't know is President of IAPS....International Assoociation of Pastel Societies. If you are not familiar with this great organization, take a moment and click on the link to the right. Guaranteed to take you into a bright colorful and exciting world!

For those of you interested in taking a class....we are pleased to announce reduced class fees. We hope this will make top quality classes more affordable to everyone interested. Click on the link below to see a list of future workshops.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NEW!!!! RICHESON OILS- Shiva Series

We are excited beyound belief! When my dad was a teenager in Chicago, he delivered supplies to the well known painter Ramon Shiva. Ramon as well as other great painters of the day talked to Jack for hours about the importance of top quality materials to a professional painter. It is something my dad has never forgotten!
In the 50's & 60's Shiva Oils were the top selling brand of oil in the U.S. Unfortunately over time, the different manufacturers who owned Shiva changed formulas much to the disappointment of Shiva's loyal Customers. With the Aquisition of Shiva Oils our company began to pour our heart and soul into bringing the quality up to the level of the Finest Professional Oil on the market but yet striving for a price all....whether a student or a professional could afford and find great value.
  • If you are interested in testing these great new oils.....e-mail me at The first 50 people who e-mail will be sent a sample tube of this amazing oil. Once you try it, see the value, we are confident you will never want for anything else!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BECKY RICHESON -Our Summer Graphic Artist!

Becky Richeson(seated)
Rachelle Hanson-Art Director(standing)
One of the joys of working in a family business is getting to work with my nieces and nephews as they became old enough to work. Few people I know really have a chance to get to know their sibling's children as adults. Watching these kids grow up has been fun. Even more fun is watching them grow up into GREAT adults!
There are 17+ (I lost count!) nieces and nephews and a number of great nieces & nephews. Becky Richeson is my brother Shawn's 18 year old baby girl. Becky just graduated from High School and this fall will be attending the University of Wisconsin/Eau Claire.
We are thilled to have Becky helping out in our Art Department this summer. In this crazy Techno/Instant everything world, demands are high for electronic information on our products. Becky has been filling in gaps and learning the ropes at the same time!
More to come about some of the other "cousins" as we go on.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NEW FROM RICHESON!!!! Italy's Finest Rolled Acrylic Primed Canvas

We are SO SO excited! Richeson is now the distributor for Italy's Caravaggio Rolled Canvas! Serious painter's who stretch their own canvas should call today for a swatch book. Reference - Colleen's Blog....ask for Stock # 30500000 for your personal swatch book. If you love this canvas as much as we think you will, call us back and we will get you connected with a stocking dealer.
Why do we think this canvas is so great?
-Milled in Verese Italy for over 30 years
-State of the Art Priming Method delivers consistency
-Cotton, Jute, Linen, Polycotton, Cotton Linen, 100% Polyester
-Extra Fine, Fine, Universal Grain, Rough, Extra Rough
-Sizes 63"x190", 63"x 390", 83"x 190", 83" x 390"
-Europe's Top Acrylic Primed Canvas

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beautiful Wisconsin! A Painter's Paradise

Back home again! Even for someone who doesn't camp it was an exceptional weekend! The North Woods are amazing. Lake after beauftiful Lake...pristine...quiet....a painter's paradise.
Anyone considering taking a workshop at the Richeson School of Art and Gallery could really enhance the trip by adding a few days at the begining or the end and exploring BEAUTIFUL WISCONSIN. If camping is not your thing, there are amazing B&B's as well as small hotels.
If this is something you are considering, ask us....we are happy to offer some suggestions for side trips before or after your workshop.
MONDAY - News about our New Italian Rolled Canvas Line - Caravaggio!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weekend Away From the Office


What happened to the "Dog Days of Summer"? It will be in the low 60's here in Wisconsin. Go figure! This is the weekend I declare my love for my husband by heading up into the North Woods and spending the weekend camping with him.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that roughing it is the Hilton on a day when the maids all called in sick! Just kidding! Sort of!! I am not a big camper...although I love being outdoors, hiking and boating. Just wish it could have been HOT!
COMING MONDAY - Just released information on our new line of Caravaggio Rolled Canvas! really cool stuff! A favorite in Italy for Years!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family Relations

Jack taking a Soapstone class in our School of Art

Funny thing happened the other dad (Jack) walked in my office and asked me if he should be concerned. My immediate response was "About what?" He said my brother Darren...Company President had invited him to play golf that evening. Jack wanted to know if he was about to be fired!!!
How funny! I guess that's what happens when you work with 5 of your kids. (there are more siblings and step siblings elsewhere in the country and world!) When the movie the Bucket List came out, "the Boys" (Shawn, Mike, Darren) invited dad to see the movie with them. we had to laugh...he was sure there was an underlying message!

For those of you who have never met my dad Jack...he is an amazing and brilliant man. We could not manage without him. May he outlive us all!

Maggie Price Workshop in Wisconsin

Maggie reminded me yesterday we still have openings for her workshop here in Kimberly Wisconsin. Click on the link to the right for details about dates and costs. Also, take a moment and look at Maggie's site. Especially if you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, or indiana this is an amazing opportunity to learn from a master! Plus, summers in Wisconsin are an unbelievable treat....pristine farms, beautiful farmlands and great midwestern folks. After the workshop, treat yourself and head up to Door County for a couple of days of fun and rest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Maggie Price Painting Using Richeson Premium Sanded Pastel Surface

Got an e-mail from Maggie Price this morning. Maggie has been working with our Premium Sanded Pastel Surfaces on Gator Foam for a while now. This is a product the family developed a couple of years ago with desire to make the Plein Aire Painter's life easier. Light weight, does not need to be mounted before framing AND glory of can rinse the surface off under the faucet if needed!!

On line images generally don't show the vividness of a painting. Yet on our Richeson Pastel Surface this painting POPS! Maggie will be using this surface in a variety of colors with students when we are painting in the Highlands of Scotland next month. Just the thought of Scotland could get me going on a whole different tangent. Focus Colleen! Focus!

I hope you will take time and click into Maggie's web site. Cool stuff, workshops and info on IAPS. If you want info on how to purchase our pastel surface in Paper, Gator or on hardboard...give us a call at 800/233-2404. We can direct you to a stocking dealer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great Memories! Zoltan Szabo!

I am just learning how much fun Blogging can be! Yesterday a dear friend -Willa Mc Neil found our new Blog by accident when she was on line. Willa Mc Neil was the friend and business partner of world renowned Watercolor Painter Zoltan Szabo. I was blessed to spend wonderful time with both Willa and Zoltan at Richeson Sponsored overseas Scotland Painting Workshops, as well as a number of Dealer sponsored consumer shows over the years.

For those of you who were privileged to know Zoltan before he passed away in 2003, he had the gift of teaching. He had the ability to grow dormant seeds of desire to paint within those who had never picked up a brush before. Once they were a student of Zoltan's he drew talent and abilities from every student they never imagined they had!

Zoltan created techniques for watercolor painting never before seen. He developed and used Slant Bristle and Slant Synthetic Brushes with almost magical results. He taught others how to accomplish the same. Willa is carrying on Zoltan's dream. His workshops are available for purchase as are the special slant brushes and other tools Zoltan LOVED.

I hope you will take a short side trip today and visit Zoltan's will see it featured on the right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Monday!

It's Monday at Jack Richeson & Co. July 13th. Mike and Darren got back to town very late after working the Learning and Art Expo in Lisle IL. Mike says it was a great show! They are both exhausted. Amazing what aging a few years does to ones energy in setting up and packing up after one of these shows! Somehow it seemed a lot easier when we were in our 30's!

Luana Winner Luconi wrapped up a VERY succesful workshop this weekend at the Richeson School of Art and Gallery. Luana is such a delight to work with, and her wonderful husband Doug is SO supportive! I am looking forward to seeing Luana's Studio when I am in Raleigh in November for Art of the Carolina's. Take a moment and click the link to Luana's website. She has some great things happening.
The model is Judy is a sweet lady who has worked for Jack Richeson & Co for a number of years now. She handles our warehouse shipping desk. What would the family do without all our great staff.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Crazy Days!

New Semi Hard Pastels from Richeson Available in sets and open stock.

Thank goodness for weekends! We may get a few moments of down time. That said, unlike years ago when I worked in a bank, you just don't walk out the door and forget work until Monday in a family business.

This weekend is no different. We are going in a hundred directions! My brothers Mike and Darren left our factory at 5:00am yesterday morning with a van loaded with supplies. Our company is a vendor at the Art & Learning Show this weekend in Lisle ILL. Should be an exciting time working with Artist Instructors as well as talking with Artists about their work and our products. We are especially excited about our new Semi Hard Square Sticks of Pastels. If all goes well, they will get back to their families around midnight Sunday night and be back at their desks by 7am Monday!
We will be at the October show in Pasadena. Click on the link to the site to register. I will be in our booth at that show. Come by and say hello. Anyone mentioning this blog will get a free sample of our new pastel surface.

In our Art School today(Click link for upcoming classes) we are in day three of our Luana Luconi Winner Workshop. Luana is such an inspiring instructor. It is a real joy to have her at our facility. I love slipping down to the school and observing her teach. What an inspiration! This evening after class, the group will be heading to Jack & Linda's home for dinner and night of fun. Should be a crazy night. Click on Luana's website to see her work.

The highlight of my weekend...when work is finally done...I get to have three of my grandkids spend the night with us! Family...that's what it all comes down to at the end...Yours, mine...that's why we all do what we do!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Art and the Family

My Name is Colleen. I am one of 12 active members of our family manufacturing and importing business. During the summer months that number increases by leaps as my high school and college age nieces and nephews join us for summer work. We employ others in a variety of departments. Without those folks we would not survive. What makes what we do interesting is the dynamic between family members. Others in family businesses share with me how challenging it can be even when the business involves just two family members.

Ours includes my 76 yearold father Jack(who has been in our industry 60 years!) CEO, my Step Mother Linda (my mom Ruth passed away in 2000 but started the business with my dad and a brother), Brother Darren who is President, Brother Shawn Exec VP of Manufacturing & Warehousing, Sister Kelly VP of Finance, Brother Mike VP/National Accounts and I am VP of Sales and Marketing. Imagine working with 3 of your brothers, your sister, AND your dad!!!!! I'll talk about the other important familiy members in future blogs!!!

This is all about why it works (most of the time!!!), the joys, the challenges and the craziness! More soon!