Williamsburg Paintmaking Philosophy
Getting the proper pigment is just the beginning. So much of the quality of oil paint is in the grinding. Each color is ground to enhance the beauty and luminosity specific to that particular pigment. Some colors will feel slightly gritty; others extremely smooth. Our Cerulean Blue will have a beautiful velvet...
Williamsburg Paintmaking Philosophy
Getting the proper pigment is just the beginning. So much of the quality of oil paint is in the grinding. Each color is ground to enhance the beauty and luminosity specific to that particular pigment. Some colors will feel slightly gritty; others extremely smooth. Our Cerulean Blue will have a beautiful velvet, light-absorbing surface with an extremely strong covering power; our Siennas will often be chunky or gritty to allow light to travel through the vehicle, exposing rich golden or mahogany undertones instead of just heavy, dull browns.
Pigments are ground in pure, premium, alkali-refined linseed oil and made in batches no larger than five gallons at a time. This gives us total control over the product, much like the late nineteenth-century French color makers. All the materials are hand measured, and every ounce of paint is scrutinized. The paint is packed in 37 ml and 150 ml non-reactive aluminum tubes. Larger quantities of paint are packed in aluminum cans using only the purest materials.
Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors are used by the world's finest artists whose work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Beaubourg in Paris.
We give technical advice to artists, museums, and conservators throughout the world and welcome your questions and comments. We look forward to having you experience the pleasure of using our paint. We are very proud of it.
History of Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors
In the mid 1980s Carl Plansky began making paint for himself and his friends in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He had no intention of turning his passion into a business, but the interest of his fellow artists escalated to a point where the business of 'Williamsburg Art Supply' was established out of necessity.
Beginning with a small milling machine provided by painter Milton Resnick, Carl's paintmaking operation grew to employ several people and was moved to Oneonta, New York. Never planning or aspiring to a take-over of the oil paint market, Williamsburg's oil paints accumulated a following and international presence while preserving the handmade integrity of the paint.
Carl had always been interested in pigments, oils, mediums, and old world recipes, and enjoyed experimenting with traditional materials. Wherever he traveled he would research the history of painting and the relationship between painters and paint makers.
In France he bought colors from the houses that had made paints for Monet, Matisse, and Cézanne, then analyzed their paint to see how fine or coarse the grind was, and to determine where they found their pigments and oils. With this same passion, he continued to search for the most beautiful raw materials in the world, importing pigments from dozens of countries so he could offer them to his fellow artists as paint and dry pigment.
The legacy and integrity of Carl's paint business survived his death in October of 2009. The team he built at Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors has preserved the passion and creativity that Carl imparted under the leadership of Beverly Plansky, Carl's sister and business partner.
In the Spring of 2010 Golden Artist Colors assumed responsibility for realizing Carl's dream for truly unique paints and mediums that reflect not only the traditions of painting in Europe and North America, but the artist's passion that drives them forward. Carl himself claimed that only Golden Artist Colors could make oil paints with the integrity and style of Williamsburg.
GOLDEN and Williamsburg have shared more than geography (Oneonta and New Berlin are just 20 miles from each other), but very similar paths developing paint out of dialog with artists and growing as businesses by responding to artists' needs. Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors is proud to be a member of the GOLDEN family.
Carl's paintings and drawings are represented by the Elder Gallery.