Here are some last-minute stocking stuffer Christmas gift ideas for the visual artist in your life. Artists often are very particular about what art supplies, etc., they use but I think these art related items, will be both enjoyable and creatively practical.
- Winsor & Newton Watercolour Markers. Perfect for the watercolour enthusiast, the plein air painter, the sketcher, the student and the experimenter. This is a brand new product, at least to Canadian stores. They come in 6 and 12 pack sets, as well as a score of other colours. From comments I have read they blend best on the Winsor & Newton Watercolour Marker pads.
DeSerres, er, Santa hasn't delivered mine yet, so I can't speak personally to their use, but excitement over this product is all over the net. Even a small W&N watercolour marker pad & a black marker or favourite colour or two would make a nice little surprise gift in the Christmas stocking, don't you think?
- Sakura Koi Watercolour Field Sketch Set This watercolour set comes in a variety of sizes, but the smallest has 12 little pans of colour. The plastic brush that comes with the set holds water in it's shaft. Darn it Jim, I'm an oil painter, not a watercolorist (for you Trekkers) , but I have really enjoyed how easy it is to just get going painting with this portable little set. Perfect gift for all those mentioned above, and for the young artist in your life, too. Not so perfect for the advanced, professional artist in your life, who has a set product brand they prefer to use.
- Attractive Sketch & watercolour pads of all shapes, sizes & price points. There are so many gorgeous ones out there! You like purple? They have them! Leather, they're there! Useful for everyone.
- Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus for the iPad, tablet, smartphone & other touch screen devices. I don't do a lot of painting on my iPad, but I have owned one of these amazing brushes for about a year. It really feels like a brush, perfect for those used to painting, but new to the digital paint scene. An idea? Give this brush and iTunes gift card to buy a painting app. Note: Not for use with real paint!! This is a two in one tool. It also has a rubber stylus.
- iPad for Artists by Dani Jones, Pixiq This book is great for those who like the feel of a book in hand while they learn. About the size of an iPad, this helpful instruction book has larger print (hmm, who is that for), and is highly illustrated. Perfect for wannabe digital artists, both new and experienced.
- Acrylic Paint Markers These markers come in a variety of makes, colours, and pen nibs. Although I am an oil painter (Christine Montague Fine Art: Portraits and Polar Bears) I bought a fine black one to fool around, er, experiment with. I loved it for its versatility, the " blackness" and flow of it. Just plain handy for anyone.
- Brushes. Sneak into the studio and check out what brand and sizes the artist in your life uses. I miss the days when one of my sons worked full-time for a local art store and gift giving times always meant a really nice brush came my way. Warning though, protect that tip at all costs! No stuffing into that stocking unless protected with cardboard. Another tip? If you have bought paints for your beginner artist, buy one or two nice brushes, rather than the 20-brushes-in-a-case-for-$20-set. Brushes are an important tool, and a brush that goes mushy or splayed after a use or two is frustrating for your new artist. You already bought that set? Don't worry, and bless you for encouraging your new artist!
- Is your artist a mystery lover? Then the Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny will be addictive. Although these books are usually about Montreal Police Chief Inspector, Armand Gamache solving a murder in the fictional village of Three Pines, visual artists also figure predominately. I almost wept by book five, because of Penny's insights on the aspirations and fears of the visual artist. Still Life is book 1 in the series. It's good, and the rest of the series is better. Note: Amazingly our local libraries don't carry these books. Yet Penny is recipient of top mystery awards, and the most recent book began at #1 on the best seller list. Bonus: you'll know what to buy your artist for the next 10 gift giving occasions are as date there are 11 books in the series.
- Is your artist a sci-fi lover? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Harper Avenue Press), is a post-apocalyptic story in which civilization as we know it falls swiftly and mercilessly, and culture - art, music, and theatre - is an anchor for community, kindness and purpose. Prepare for some binge reading by the artist you give it to (they may say they are working in the studio....).
- 33 Artists in 3 Acts. A non- fiction book by Sarah Thorton (Norton Press). Thorton is the best-selling author of Seven Days in the Art World (See # 11). Her experience as chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist, a BA Art History and a PhD in Sociology contribute to her thorough research and insight into the elitist art world. Easily read, and witty, her books are fascinating to any one trying to navigate the visual art world.
- Art Business Books. There are a piles, piles! of them but I am going to send you to one of my earlier blog posts to read the list of visual art business books I own and find invaluable. Click 5 Helpful Art Business Books for Visual Artists
- Art Magazines I love magazines, but they are a luxury, so I tend to buy the ones that have information I need, or feature an artist I love. So for me, the gift of any art magazine is always welcome. I enjoy magazines thick with a variety of art- in Canada, Arabella is a good example. You can do some spy work and check out what magazines your artist prefers.
- An art supply store gift card attached to a box of chocolates will help satisfy any starving artist!
Happy Holidays, Everyone. And be sure to comment with any art ideas you have!
Please note: These are items I have purchased for myself over the past year, and greatly enjoy. I have absolutely no connection to any of the companies mentioned above.