Christmas Gifts for Artists – Not Art Materials

Today’s “weird and wacky” batch of ideas are aimed at you if you want to give something arty but don’t want to go down the “art materials” route. They are either available from art shops or a quick internet search will show suppliers.

Gold leaf Bring out the inner Klimt in your artist with the gift of gold. OK, technically this is an art material but I’m including it here because it’s one of the more unusual ones. Can be used for enhancing areas of a painting or customising a picture frame. Gold leaf is sold in books of 25 sheets, 12KT, 23KT or 24KT, prices start at £13. (Some retailers sell 5 sheet books, prices from £8).  Expand this gift by including a burnisher, traditional gesso, gilding technique book. Sheets of silver and copper are also available.
A good present for: mixed media artists, calligraphers
Less Suitable for: traditional painters

Pantone mugs/ espresso cups. Designers and fans of colour will love these bone china mugs and espresso cups. Each mug/cup is a solid block of colour on a white background with the Pantone name and reference number underneath. Prices start from £5 for the cups or £8 for the mugs, and sets are available. Why not match the colour to the individual’s personality? A friend of mine is definitely Custard Yellow – 1225, both for her sunny nature and love of custard! If you don’t like the pantone mugs, there are plenty of art themed goods out there. How about a wonderful Art Deco or Art Nouveau item?
A good present for: anyone in the design industry
Less Suitable for: anyone unfamiliar with the Pantone system

Keep Calm and… Products carrying the phrase Keep calm & carry on can be seen up and down the High Street, but did you know you can get customised versions? How about Keep calm I’m an artist/Keep calm & be creative/ Keep calm & draw something/ Keep calm & sell a painting on a T-shirt/ apron/ mug…. Some of the products can be personalised with the artist’s name too. Prices from £5.
A good present for: retro fans, anyone with a sense of humour

Jewellery. Can be anything from funky, fashion items to elegantly expensive custom made pieces. Whilst at Art in Action some years ago I saw necklaces and bracelets made from real pencil stubs. They were colourful, quirky and fun. At the other end of the spectrum, I was once given a gift of a specially commissioned pair of gold “artist palette” earrings. If you’re looking for something really special for someone really special, why not consider commissioning something? It may not be as expensive as you think, and you’ll be supporting an artist/crafts maker as well as giving a truly unique gift. If jewellery isn’t suitable what about carvings, calligraphy, enamels, glass sculptures… Do some detective work to discover the recipient’s favourite makers.  NB if you want to commission something, do it now, not the week before Christmas. Prices £10-£1000s
A good present for: anyone who likes unique gifts, those who like to support the creative industries.

Tickets for next blockbuster art exhibition. Da Vinci, Hockney, Turner Monet Twombly, Hirst are just some of the exhibitions coming our way for 2012, so there’s something to suit every taste. Check out the forthcoming exhibitions from the RA, Tate, National Gallery etc and treat your artist to the most suitable. Ticket prices are about £15 for an adult, less for concessions. Expand this gift by adding in transport to and from the exhibition, a meal afterwards or even go the whole way and make an arty weekend break of it.
A good present for: all artists

Tomorrow’s post covers pocket money priced items, ideal for Secret Santa or stocking filler gifts. Don’t forget to check back.

About Jackie Garner

Wildlife artist.
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