Golden Artists Colors follow the Golden Rule (Greenly)

January 28th, 2011

Barbara Golden with Liza Myers at the Golden Acrylic Paint company manufacturing plant in upstate New York

How much do you know about the materials you work with?

I use several art mediums: acrylic, watercolor and clay. For the last several years I’ve come to rely on Golden Acrylics for most of my color work… the gooey thick bodied artists colors, the liquid acrylics, the iridescents, the interference colors, the gessos, the mediums, the grounds… The list of available materials continues to expand and I continue to explore them.

When I showed up on her office doorstep, Barbara Golden of Golden Artists Colors took the time out of her busy schedule to give me an in-depth tour of their manufacturing plant in central New York. Located in the midst of cow pastures, cornfields and forests in the rolling hills of New Berlin, the factory is a very friendly place. The welcoming tone is set by Barbara’s sunny energy. She exudes pride in her company, their product and the integrity with which they interact with their clientele: ARTISTS.

Why Golden Rule (greenly?)
Golden Artists Colors are creating a new artist’s residency space in a nearby barn. An example of their forward  and GREEN thinking is that they have made the extra investment in geothermal energy for this new facility. Pricey, but about as green as you can get considering the challenge of heating a building during the frigid winters of Central New York. From their earliest manufacturing days Golden has kept environmental impact high on their list of considerations. The company currently recycles 75% of their waste water. The original settling pool which keeps paint byproducts out of the water table was built back in the ’60’s when they established their new base in rural NY. That was thinking ahead. They chose to utilize environmental considerations from the start in their business decisions. Impressive. Check out their website to find all sorts of info on how to be a green artist. And look here for an interesting blog by Mark Golden on realistic assessment of green manufacturing in the arts.

A lightfastness testing system at Golden Artists Colors

Also impressive is their commitment to high quality, light-fast, durable products. Not only are they juicy, delicious, dynamic colors, but they are reliable. Their extensive labs are in constant testing mode, developing new products, new colors and verifying that the quality is consistent and durable. They maintain a great tech support hot line.

Golden is also committed to creativity in every way: business practices, artistic creativity, and in their product development. I am constantly surprised by the variety of mediums. Beyond the normal variables of mat, satin and gloss, Golden produces pastes, gels, fluid mediums, medium thinners, crackle mediums… the list goes on and continues to grow.

Innovative in business practices too,  the company became employee owned in 2002. Now, that’s the golden rule in action.

And Golden also gives back to artists. The Golden Gallery within the factory building is a state of the art exhibition space. And the new artists residency which will be open for business as soon as the barn is fully renovated (Spring 2011 is the guesstimate) will offer selected acrylic artists a space in which to experiment and grow with the medium.
Here I am last summer putting the final coat of Golden UV varnish on my Starry Night sunflower mural. It was painted entirely with Golden products. Barbara and her crew of consultants helped me determine the appropriate finish that would keep the mural in mint condition outside in the Vermont sun and snow. It’s looking just fine.

Putting the final coat of UV varnish on the Starry Night Sunflower Moonscape.

If this sounds like an ad for Golden Artists Colors… so be it. They aren’t paying me to say any of this! I’m quite impressed with their integrity in every way. If you haven’t tried their products, run right out and get a few tubes or tubs RIGHT AWAY.

Meanwhile, I’m headed back to the easel.

5 Responses to “Golden Artists Colors follow the Golden Rule (Greenly)”

  1. Lynn Bridge says:

    I enjoyed the tour of the factory with you. I, too, use Golden- I try to keep every one of Golden’s mediums on hand for experimentation and general use. And, in the photo, you are holding one of my favorite books.

    I live in Austin, Texas, but I’ve driven through New Berlin, not realizing the Golden factory was located there.

  2. Jim Germond says:

    Nicely written. If the painting thing doesn’t work out, I think you have career options as a writer…. but knowing you, you’ll continue to excel at both.

  3. WildCherry says:

    Very hard to find here in Spain, unfortunately 🙁 Maybe you could talk to them about that 😉

  4. […] calibrated mediums creates the opportunity to control the spontaneity of the poured colors. Click here to learn more about Golden. I also use metallic oxide powders in several colors. If you’d like to see more images Co/So […]

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