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      Marion Street Art Materials (or simply "Marion Street" as we say) is the ongoing fusion of a color wizard's expertise and a young apprentice's dreamish intrigues. Their shared passion for materials manifest in an expanding line of oil paints, oil mediums and drawing inks. Marion Street formed as a sister business to Mount Vision Pastel Company, a pastel manufacturing operation helmed and masterminded by Karl Kelly. By the above analogy, Karl is the color wizard. Seth Ellis, the apprentice, came to work for Karl as an assistant in early 2013.  By late 2013, the two were playing with refining their own linseed oil and in 2014, Karl purchased a 3-roll mill to begin producing a line of oil paint.

    Realizing a demand for oil-bound  fluorescent colors, Marion Street ultimately aims to produce colors beyond the expected palette range.

Perhaps the story is best told by their individual accounts.

( Karl Kelly )
    When I moved to New York from Chicago after grad school, I was hired as a paint maker at Williamsburg Art Materials, a position I held seven years. Since making the first batch twenty-two years ago, I have been fascinated and intrigued with the process, watching different pigments react to mixing with oil, some colors becoming intensely mud-like and others like jelly. The technical jargon in Ralph Mayer’s The Artists Handbook became comprehensible, even useful, as I developed color formulas with a cache of pigments from around the world.

    Combining paint making with my printmaking and painting studies at the Museum School in Boston and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I began researching pastel recipes to translate the vivid color and density of pigments in pastel. Mount Vision Pastel Company began in fall 2000, on the top floor of an old general store in Mount Vision, New York and now sells its beloved and affordable pastels throughout the US, Canada, Australia and England.

    Responding to the call to make paint again, now I focus on unusual and unexpected colors such as fluorescents, phosphorescent hues and subtle earth and white mixtures. With Seth Ellis, I am launching Marion Street Art Materials, a small line of oil paints, inks and mediums that provide unusual, compelling artist-grade materials at reasonable prices. If you want to paint beyond the expected palette range and you like dealing directly with the people who make your paint, visit us at Marion Street.

( Seth Ellis )
    I met Karl in 2011 while working at the USF based printmaking atelier, Graphicstudio. My name is Seth Ellis. I make up half of operations here at Marion Street. My formative training is in dark room photography (RIP) but my sense of art broadened while attending college in Brooklyn, NY. While in Brooklyn my aspirations were realigned toward painting and printmaking but also was solidified for me the inexorable link between art and its materials. I've involved myself with materials ever since.

    Involvement in paint-making was an aspiration of mine as soon as I realized the superiority of "hand-made" or small-batch paint. Not to be overly dreamy but crossing paths with Karl seemed destined. After coming to work for Karl and hearing his tales of paint-making in New York, the path to develop our own color line seemed all but paved.


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© 2015 Marion Street Art Materials & Mount Vision Pastel Co.
phone: 1 813 732 9006     email: