After Pearl Paint on Canal Street was shuttered this past spring, some New Yorkers were devastated. Where to go for cheap canvas? Great paint? Quirky gifts for that art-professor aunt we don’t talk to enough? Fortunately, we didn’t have to turn to a corporate giant — as cheap and well-stocked as it may be — in order to get our creative fix. New York Central Art Supply has held down its spot in the East Village for more than a century. Its wide selection of papers and paints makes this the perfect stop for the serious fine artist looking for unique finds. Caveats? The place isn’t a chain, so you pay more, and amateurs might find the staff a tad brusque. We’re not deterred by such trifles, but timid types in search of the basics and those in need of a student discount might want to comparison-shop at our runner-up, DaVinci Artist Supply on West 21st Street.