As painter Henri Matisse said “Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.”
When a creative person sets out to turn a passion into a business, these characteristics are all the more important—and anyone familiar with the history of R&F Handmade Paints can easily see that founder Richard Frumess has got the stuff! The business originally started out as an artist’s means to ensure the availability of his favorite medium –but 27 years later, the business is so much more: what R&F itself describes as “a multi-faceted paint company that is material-focused and artist-driven.” You don’t get to be multi-faceted without all the traits Matisse describes!
R&F hand-makes their specialty products in their midtown Kingston factory: which means that each batch is mixed with great attention to the medium and pigment, resulting in vivid paints that retain their brightness and translucent colors that maintain their tones. Their products—84 colors of encaustic paints (wax-based paints with ancient origins; encaustics are kept molten on a heated palette, then applied to an absorbent surface and fused by reheating), 94 colors of their original Pigment Sticks® oil sticks (which allow for painting directly on a surface without the use of brushes, palettes, tubes, or solvents), and their Encausticbord™ surfaces—are praised and trusted by award-winning artists. But that’s just one of the business’s many aforementioned facets.
R&F also offers a rich array of demonstrations and workshops, taught by acclaimed artists and instructors. Whether you’re looking for an introduction to encaustics or are an old pro, take a look at their diverse course offering here: http://www.rfpaints.com/workshops/upcoming-workshops. They also have a gallery and host exhibitions with fine artists (http://www.rfpaints.com/exhibitions/r-f-gallery) and have an impressive permanent collection well worth visiting as well. Studio space is available to artists on an hourly basis, and R&F’s website, www.rfpaints.com, is a wealth of information for artists.
When we met with representatives of the Midtown Arts District committee after last year’s Hullabaloo, Richard was interested in and enthusiastic about our event, and having his support means so much to us! We thank R&F for sponsoring Hullabaloo 2015, and for all you do for our community!