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Now Restocking Watercolors…

Yep! You read that right! We are now beginning to restock a small selection of watercolors, watercolor pencils, and related items. Many of our loyal shoppers have asked us if we would consider selling art supplies again after closing our retail store at 110 Glenwood Avenue at the end of 2016. Initially, we were non-committal. The cleanup and boxing of the old store took months, and much of our remaining stock was picked over. Which begs the question… What Will We Be Selling in the Near Future? We are reordering new items that are small and easy to ship, starting with watercolor pencils and some of our best selling pens. We are also planning to stock a small selection of brushes and papers (easy to ship sizes only, no large or single sheet goods at this time). No solvents, due to shipping regulations.  What’s Left from Last Year’s Sale? Good question. It’s going to take us a while to work through those boxes. So, please be patient and check back from time to time to see what’s been added. Items from the last year’s sale that are dinged, squeezed, or written on will be clearly marked as clearance items. So, check back soon!  🙂 What About Shipping and Payment Options? Another excellent question! At present, our shopping cart is configured to accept PayPal, with an optional guest checkout option. So, you do not need a PayPal account to use the checkout. We have also tried to make our shipping as affordable as possible by offering First Class USPS package options on small items. We Also Offer FREE SHIPPING on Orders Over $50!

A Binks Paint Sprayer Canister Found Around the Old Store

As Told by Kirk As a result of the need for spray equipment, John Askew Paint Store had a dealership for the Binks Company in the 1940’s.  Devilbis and Binks were probably the most used spray equipment in this area [Raleigh, NC].  These companies also manufactured airbrushes.  The Binks Wren airbrush was popular with taxidermists.  After I had put in art supplies, I started to stock Paasche, Badger, Thayer & Chandler, Devilbis, and Iwata Airbrushes.  For some reason I never connected with Binks for their line of airbrushes.

Memories of Our Storefront at 110 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC

Over the years, visitors to our old retail shop seemed always to be amazed at how much bigger it was on the inside. The three large display windows facing Glenwood Avenue did not do it justice. Some sci-fi and fantasy fans compared it to Ollivander's wand shop in the Harry Potter series, particularly the old hallway, stairwell, and second floor areas. Originally a two-story house, 110 Glenwood was purchased in 1946 by our company's founder, John Askew, for the purpose of starting a retail house paint and wallpaper shop. Over the years, our product lines changed quite a bit until, little by little, artist paints and supplies replaced most of the house painting sundries. But the sense of wonder at the volume of products stacked into every nook and cranny never faded. We hope you enjoy this brief photo tour of the our former retail location. If you are curious and want to know more about us, please check back soon. We plan on posting more content pages about our products and the history of our family business. Photos of Askew Taylor Paints' Former Retail Location (2016)

Relics from the Old John Askew Paint Store

Kirk Remembers: First Memories of John Askew Paint Store

Note: The original name of our family business was John Askew Paint Store, founded Kirk’s grandfather John Askew. This interview is a bit older and was recorded while our business was still located at 110 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, NC. Here, Kirk recalls his first memories of our that building.   My first memories of the store are from sometime in 1945 or 1946. My grandfather, John Askew, had an office a couple of blocks from the store’s present location. He and another contractor shared the space. The building is still there. The entry door is in the corner of the building. I went there with my mother and grandmother. I remember my father and grandfather were there at the time. I think that there was a pot bellied stove in the building, some of the shelving that is in the back of the store now was moved from there I think. I should check with my cousin; he might remember. All of this would have been just before my grandfather moved the business. My first memories of the present location would be from a few months later. The area was still a neighborhood, and the house, which is the core of the current building, had tenants renting rooms. These people did not want to move and my grandfather didn’t want to kick them out. This was just after the Depression, and he had gone through some tough times too. As a result, he operated the business out of the basement for a period of time while offering the residents the services of a driver and the business pickup truck. The building additions that you see today were not here then. The outside door to the building at that time is now inside the building. It is the access door to the upstairs now. The painted street number is still on the transom over the door. My grandfather had had a small wooden platform type porch built for that door. This was for an old man who lived here at the time. He liked to sit on the porch and whittle. We had come to the new location because a parade was being held that day. My father asked one of the neighbors about the parade route. He said that the parade was to come down Glenwood right by our place. The old man, for whom the porch was built, was sitting on a chair whittling wooden flowers. It was a cool but sunny day. People began to line the streets waiting for the event. Everyone had coats or jackets on. There were several people on the porch, including the old man’s daughter. As the parade began to reach our location, there were enough people in front of us so that a four-year-old couldn’t see very well. My parents asked if they could set me on the porch so that I could see. The old man said that would be OK. I think the parade was celebrating the end of WWII and consisted mainly of soldiers and of course bands marching by. When the parade was over the old man gave me one of the carnations that he had carved. The next clear memories that I have are from later when the front addition that became the show room was being built. That may have been around 1947 or 1948. We attended Hillyer Memorial Christian Church. I had gone with my grandfather to church that Sunday, and he decided to come to the store to see how the construction was going.

Kirk Remembers: Benjamin Moore’s Colors in Oil

I found some tubes of Benjamin Moore’s Colors in Oil. The colors available in this line were familiar to artists of the day. They included umbers, siennas, chrome yellow, chrome green, American vermilion, Prussian blue and others. Also included was rose lake. This color could make a deep wine colored mahogany stain like you see on furniture from the twenties and thirties. Benjamin Moore’s Colors in Oil were used to tint oil based house paint colors. Also some furniture refinishers used them to tint nitrocellulose lacquers. At some time along the way, Moore’s decided to drop the colors in oil, but there was still a demand for them by people doing special finishes for walls. The company dropped them from the price list, but if you knew about their existence you could still order them. Sometime in the 1990s the product was finally discontinued. I actually carried some to class and applied them to paintings I was working on. I carried the ½ pt cans into the studio in a 4 gallon paint box. One time when the professor, Ron Taylor, walked by to check on the students’ work he looked at the cans on my taboret. He commented on the fact that the cans of color were rather oily, but that didn’t seem to bother him a lot. The colors mixed well with tubes of artists’ colors. I still have a couple of paintings from that class. The colors and surface of the painting are holding up nicely after fifty years. Until the late 1950s there were no color machines in stores. In fact until the 1950s all the house paints were oil based with the exception of casein paint. There were only the colors referred to as standard color on a color chart. When you wanted a special color for your house you need a skilled person to mix it for you. There was a man that worked for my grandfather for a lot of years, Mr. Jim Doster. I asked Mr. Doster when he started working for my grandfather. He said he thought he came to work with my grandfather in 1921. Sometimes I would be with my grandfather or father when they would be checking the various jobs they had running. I always liked to visit the jobs where Mr. Doster was mixing colors. He would be surrounded by buckets of paints of various colors as well as smaller cans and tubes of tinting colors like Moore’s Colors in Oil. He would talk to me while he worked, making me feel welcome on the job.

Kirk Remembers: “Color as You Like It”

The “Color As You Like It” color matching system was Benjamin Moore’s name for its pre-formulated color mixes. Before the company had a machine to pump the color, which is an interesting story in itself, there was a system that used discrete units and bases. That is, there were various sizes of tubes and cans of colorants. Just like today, there were several bases depending on how deep you wanted your color to be. Of course these bases were available for each type of paint in the system. After the customer picked the color, you had to go to a chart and look up the formula for the type of paint. Then you needed to gather up the various tubes and cans of colorant. Next you had to squeeze tubes and empty cans into the called-for base. You had to take care to empty the containers as completely as possible. Finally, it just remained to put the can in the paint shaker. I only had to mix a couple of gallons this way. At best it was a messy process, and I was happy when we brough in machines that measured the colorants. In 1958 or ’59 one of the sales representatives tried to sell my grandfather a color dispensing machine. Granddad asked if the machine had umber colorants. The salesman said no. My grandfather replied that he didn’t believe he wanted one.

Kirk Remembers: The Cutaway Brush Sample that Always Sat in the Office

This is a cutaway sample brush made to show the construction of Hanlon Goodman Brushes. Although the Benjamin Moore Co. and the Hanlon Goodman Brush Co. were not related in any way, most Benjamin Moore dealers carried the Hanlon Goodman line of brushes into the 1960’s. We bought both products from Harwood Brothers in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Maston was head of the paint division at Harwood Brothers. My grandfather Askew had given him a job, I think in the 1920’s, so that Mr. Maston could earn enough money to go on a honeymoon when he got married. They had kept in touch over the years and when my grandfather wanted to put in the Benjamin Moore Paint line in 1946 he called Mr. Maston. Harry Frazier was the salesman that called on us for the paint and brushes. One day my father was talking to Harry; my father said that he was checking out places to buy cases of motor oil because he changed his own oil in the vehicles. Harry said, “Why don’t you buy cases from us?” An interesting fact is that Harwood Brothers was primarily a distributor of motor oils. Dad and I hadn’t known that. They distributed Bardahl and Valvoline.

Kirk Remembers: A Strathmore Bristol Conversation from the 1970’s

In the 1970’s there was a salesperson who called on us with the Strathmore company. Her name was Katie Bryant. She had a fantastic knowledge of the paper industry and she would share that knowledge with the dealers. Occasionally when I would ask a question that she didn’t have an answer for, usually within 24 hours she would get the information I needed. One day I was talking to her about bristol boards. I had carried the Strathmore 500 series bristol and drawing paper for some time at that point, as well as some of the 400 series bristol pads. Also, we stocked 3-ply 500 bristol that was cut to a special size for patent drawings. I asked Katie about how bristol got its name. She explained that true bristol board was composed of glued-up sheets of paper. In the case of 500 bristol it was sheets of the Strathmore 500 100% rag drawing paper glued into a single sheet. Of course the boards were classified by how many plies were glued together. She explained that when Strathmore started manufacturing the product, there were no facilities in the US for gluing the sheets together. So Stathmore made the paper and shipped it to Bristol, England, to be glued. Then it was shipped back to the US. The smooth bristol in the 500 series was listed as a plate finish. Most of the less expensive papers classified as bristol are bristol-type paper consisting of thick single sheets.

Kirk Remembers: The 1948 Addition to Our Building at 110 Glenwood Avenue

I think it was in 1948 that the first addition to the original house was added. That addition included only what is now the front room, and extended to what is now the back wall of the room that has most of the artist colors in it now. [For those not familiar with our building layout, this is the long narrow room that curves around to the right as you come in the front door.] One Sunday, between Sunday school and church service [at nearby Hilliar Memorial], my grandfather said that he wanted to check on the men working on the addition. We went (walked?) the three blocks from the church to the store location. I remember seeing some of his men standing between the floor joists measuring for the subflooring. At some point, while he was checking out the construction, he was looking at the outside of the addition. He said, “We are going to have to cover the building with something.” He was still recovering financially from the Depression and didn’t want to spend too much money. One of the men said, “Why don’t you use asphalt siding? I’ve seen asphalt shingles last 10 or 15 years and they are inexpensive.” As an afterthought he said, “For all I know they might last a lot longer.” The shingles stayed there for over fifty years before I had to replace them. At the same time, granddad looked at the step up required to get in the front door. He remarked that we would need a stepping stone to get in and out of the door. Again one of the men said, “Mr. Askew, you remember when we did that work for ______? He had a stepping stone laying in a field beside his house. At the time he wanted to get it moved from his property. I bet it’s still there and you could have it if you asked.” That’s how we ended up with the door step. Granite wears well.