Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gifts for the artist on your list

With Christmas approaching and shopping time diminishing (I wish I was feeling more organized right now!), I thought it might be helpful to suggest a few gifts for the artist among your friends or family members.

I own a lot of paintbrushes that I've accumulated over the years.  But I have to say that the brush in the above photo is my current favourite.  I bought it in Paris this summer.  Well actually my daughter Chloé bought it for me for my birthday while we were in Paris. Those are reasons enough to love it, but it handles watercolour beautifully and has the loveliest point. (Isabey 6225 series No. 8 brush)

I use paper from a number of manufacturers (Arches and Waterford among others) but this handmade paper from a small mill in Montreal is a favourite of mine.  It comes in sweet, small sizes with four deckle edges.  It has a lovely soft texture. It is sold in stores across North America. (Saint-Armand watercolour paper)

I bought these beautiful bird scissors in a sewing store.  I use them in my studio when I want to cut a precise shape out of paper but I also use them for mending or sewing.  Truth be told, mostly I like looking at them. (Stork Scissors by Premax, made in Italy--sold in sewing supply stores and also in the supply section on Etsy)

Micron pens would be a welcome gift to many artists--whether young or experienced.  They come in all different sizes (the number 02 is my favourite) and have micro pigment ink that is waterproof and fade resistant. They are perfect for sketching or doing a pen and watercolour painting. (Pigma Micron pens by Sakura)

There are lots of lovely art books that you could give an artist--a reference book, a biography of a favourite artist or a book illustrated by an artist.  The book above is one I love. It is written and illustrated by English artist Mary Woodin and it answers my love of both watercolours and gardens.  It is a visual diary of a year in her garden filled with luscious watercolours, descriptions of her plants and beautiful quotes.

The Painted Garden:  A Year in Words and Watercolors is available here.  I have just found out that she has published a garden cookbook too.  Guess what just got added to my Christmas list? :)

If you are looking for a gift for a child with artistic interests, there is a wonderful series of books by Laurence Anholt.  We have five of them in our household but there are more available.  They were enjoyed thoroughly by me and my youngest daughter Chloé. And even though they are written for young children, they travel between her room and my studio because we both still love them.

Each book tells the story of a famous artist. You get to see some of the artist's well-known work but also a snippet of their life--in each case told through the perspective of a child who has a special friendship with the artist.  Wonderful educational books with an emotional core. (Author Laurence Anholt)

From Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt
Most artists are inspired by other artists. A painting or print from an admired artist would be a very thoughtful gift.  Here is a print that is on my list this year:

Lemon botanical plate on vintage French envelope by French artist Lucile Prache of Lucile's Kitchen

I love everything done by this wonderful artist! You can find her here and here.  I am very lucky to count her as one of my friends. :)

And finally, here is an idea that does not cost anything but would be valued by so many.  Artists need time to be creative.  Give the artist in your family a certificate that is good for babysitting, washing the dishes, walking the dog, making dinner, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house--you get the idea--so they can have a little more time at their work table or in their studio.


  1. Kathleen,
    This is an amazing list! Bravo!
    Thanks for the tips on the watercolour brush and paper. It's always nice to hear about what works for others.
    I love the idea of the beautiful scissors that are decorative and useful. As the great William Morris said "Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful".

  2. Jody--Thanks! It was fun to put the list together. I love that quote too. :)

  3. I think Christmas was already last summer for me because I received as a gift the wonderful Saint Armand papers from my canadian friend, yeay !!! thank you Kathleen ;)

  4. i totally agree with that arts and crafts period quote.
    Some of my favorites here too and also a lovely friend in Mexico has fallen in love with that paper

  5. i loved your list.....!!!!!especially the paper....my god they r gorgeous! hope to add in my work space soon.....i love it! happy holidays kathleen! i remember reading a couple of those children books....pssstt...i enjoyed them more :-)

    hugs to u ....have a wonderful christmas!


  6. Lucile--♥!

    Margie--I have some work by that lovely artist from Mexico in my home too!

    Veda--Very best wishes for happy holidays! And a big hug too!


Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

(Please note that comments with links to ads or commercial websites will be deleted.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...