Anna Maria Island is the kind of place that attracts artists. Many choose to live here all year. Some take long vacations here or consider the island as their second home. Other visitors may never have held a paint brush, but have the artist’s temperament. They become enchanted by the surroundings and find themselves staring at the details. That is the first step toward making art. Being on this beautiful island may be what it takes for the latent artist to emerge.
There is no end to the number of subjects that can be painted here. The clouds, the wildlife, the sea and the light are changing constantly. Blossoms of different colors come and go throughout the year.
If the urge strikes, the emerging artist and other visiting artists must never let lack of art supplies block their creative process. Fortunately, there is an excellent art store in Bradenton, called Keeton’s Office and Art Supply. Originally more focused on office supplies and furniture, this cheerful establishment has, over the years, catered more and more to artists and the supplies they need. They offer a very good selection of oil paints, acrylics and watercolors, as well as brushes for all these mediums.
Painters who want to use acrylics will be pleased that they sell Golden paints and mediums, as well as Liquitex and other brands. In addition to more commonly available lines of watercolor paint, Keeton’s sells Daniel Smith watercolors. Their stretched canvas prices are very reasonable, with large discounts the norm. Watercolor paper sheets and pads, easels, palettes are all available. The newcomer, or artist with very little time and space, might want to simply purchase a few art markers or pencils, to make basic sketches of the island.
It is quite obvious that Keeton’s keeps an eye on what art supply catalogs offer in order to make their prices competitive. Nevertheless, local artists might occasionally order harder to find supplies from catalogs such as Daniel Smith, Dick Blick, Jerry’s Artarama, and Cheap Joe’s. Shipping from any of these usually is surprisingly quick. So even for artists visiting Anna Maria Island, who are accustomed to using these companies, and know exactly what they want without having to see it, it’s very possible to continue to order fine art supplies from a known supplier while on vacation.
Whether experienced or novice, artists visiting Anna Maria Island should make a point of visiting Keeton’s in downtown Bradenton, especially for one of the store’s special Saturday super sales. Held once a month, these Saturday morning sales draw crowds of artists who take advantage of greatly reduced prices. There usually is a free demo by a local or visiting art instructor. The feeling of shared enthusiasm for art makes these gatherings always a pleasure. More information about art events at Keeton’s can be found at “The Artist’s Corner.”