Friday, October 9, 2009

Christmas Gift Quandry - What To Give!

Every year it's the same question - what can I give to (you fill in the blank) for Christmas? Of course I'm going to tell you that a gift of original art is always appropriate and it needn't break the bank either. There are some wonderful ACEOs or OSWOAs available that are very reasonably priced for what you receive. They are so reasonable they can even fill the bill for those gift exchanges where the dollar amount is limited! Check e-Bay and Etsy and other online shops and stock up now for the best selection!

And, although it's getting almost too late, a custom portrait of the giftee's favorite pet is truly a gift that will be remembered and treasured for a lifetime. Even if your favorite artist is all booked up and it's too late to commission the portrait itself, a gift certificate is the next best thing.

But, I really think other artists read my blog more so than non-artists - what does an artist want for Christmas? My daughter says I'm impossible to buy for because she feels as if she's in a foreign country when she goes into an art store. She says it's overwhelming and she's afraid she'll get the wrong thing when she goes in. There is that danger, of course, but again, a gift certificate would be a great gift.

But, at least for me, there are easier solutions that don't even involve a trip to the art store! My favorite aisles in WalMart are the stationery aisle and the arts and craft aisle and there are really some great items there that would make super stocking stuffers for the artist.

One thing I always need are those 2-hole pencil sharpeners. Pastel pencils dull the best sharpeners very quickly and I always like to keep several on hand. The sharpeners with 2 holes usually fit any pencil I have. And while we're in the stationery isle, markers are another item I always look at with longing but just don't buy for myself. And pencils! A few plain ole pencils would delight most artists and some mechanical pencils with different sized leads could bring tears of joy!

Moving to the arts and crafts aisle there are craft knives and blades and those rotary cutters are very nice too. There's tracing paper, some specialty art supports (which would be suitable for practice if nothing else), and my WalMart carries some brand name art items like Prismacolor in limited supply. There are also these bags of brushes for just a couple of dollars and I like them for applying masking fluid or just having around for the youngest grandkids to use. There are lots of acid free, lignon free papers for scrapbooking that work great for collage too.

And if you look around the store, you'll find many other items - for instance, I use quantities of that lavender colored low-tack tape in the painting aisle and can always use a new roll . Foam brushes and those small foam rollers or refills are great ideas for applying gesso or primers.

These are just a few things that I would definitely like to get and they don't require a trip to the art store nor a second mortgage to buy either!

I'd love to hear more suggestions from those of you who stop by here too. Let's hear some suggestions for everyone and then some specific suggestions for the artists among us!

What would YOU like for Christmas?


Jeanette said...

Great ideas Jan and timely post. I push original art as a concept for so many people and it doesn't cost a fortune. What a way to start a collection.

You suggestions for gifts for artists is good. I find that when I ask for specific, inexpensive items, I rarely get them. People think for some reason that a gift needs to cost the earth!

Add sketchbooks to that list or a tube of that specialty colour that you wouldn't pay $20 or $25 for yourself but someone else would think is a steal for a gift.

A gift certificate from an online art store is heaven to me too.

Jan said...

Great suggestions, Jeanette. Frankly, I would rather have a gift certificate to an online store than one from a brick and mortar store - so much more selection and value usually!

I agree about the inexpensive gifts but was kind of thinking about the younger children who shop or stocking stuffers from the "big kids".

I hope more people will contribute ideas!

"JeanneG" said...

Subscription to an art magazine. Gift certificate for book store (for art magazines or art books). Gift certificate from office supply store. Pad of paper (wc or Bristol or ?) Batteries for camera. Battery operated eraser. Printer ink cartridges. Micron pens in different sizes and colors. Spray fixative or whatever fix you use. Waterbrush. Hand sanitizer or wipes. Zip or finger drives for saving photos.

Can you tell I spend a lot of time looking at supplies? And that doesn't even include drawing props from Goodwill or Dollartree.

Jan said...

Good going, Jeanne! I like all of your suggestions! You're someone who can buy art supplies for me any day!

Teresa said...

Gift certificate is my fav... that way I can get what I need or want.

At the top of my list would be a gift certificate to any of the following: (more books!) (online yarn store)
My local yarn store

That was fun... now back to work!