The Artist Gift List, For Budding Creatives And Experienced Alike

Delightful Gifts for Artists

Pastels, brushes, and other art supplies
Pastels, brushes, markers… so much to choose from!

Maybe you are like me, or maybe this sounds like someone on your gift list :

One of the hardest things for me to come through on has been the promise I made to myself a number of years ago:

I determined I would once again create art.

Instead, it seems that all my time is spent writing, or cleaning house, or doing a hundred other things. I love writing about gardening, writing about art, writing about computer related things… but there is something about sitting down with some fresh art supplies and creating something with that media that is calming, restoring, and satisfying.

For a few years I have been collecting art supplies.

Here are is a collection of those I most want, if I don’t already have them.

Watch my additions, soon I will write about what I want to do with the paints, pencils, papers, etc.

This might be the ultimate procrastinator’s tale…. however, let this lens function as my wish list for art supplies, as well as my record of whether I actually follow through on the dream.

artistic sheep

Perhaps you have helpful hints that will motivate and inspire me to stop only writing about it and actually create a brick and mortar oeuvre. Just note them in the comments, and all of us artist wannabees will be grateful.

(Oh yes, included in this post are examples of inspiring art that is fun to look at, AND a number of informative videos.)

For presents, either birthday or Christmas, art supplies might be the perfect choice. Artistic people seem to constantly need resupplying.

Top Choices?

  • paper
  • sketching supplies
  • water soluble supplies
  • pans and palettes
Know your artist: that is the best bet for choosing presents well.

Little Rembrandts

Children benefit from all the things that encourage them to be creative. Basics are welcome. School supply lists can give you ideas, too.

Artist Paper – that stands up to water

childlike art

For watercolor or pen and inks, a paper that is strong enough to handle the water and hold its surface texture.

Pen Techniques and Supply Suggestions

Know Your Papers

Sketch pads are usually made for dry utensils like pencil or charcoal, but the intended use is listed on the description that is found on the front. when giving a gift for an artist, and you aren’t sure which is their favorite medium, use one that is suitable for a broad range.
Delta Wirebound Sketchbook 7x7
Stillman & Birn Delta Wirebound Sketchbook, Heavyweight 180lb, Ivory White, 25 Sheets, 7×7

Gorgeous heavyweight paper. archival quality multi-media paper. This is top of my own personal wishlist.

Your Talent

If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke. – Brendan Francis

pen and ink
Pen nib photo by Charlotte L

Pen And Ink

Pen and ink was my forte in drawing. Working with it, alone and with watercolors, was the way I best expressed the art that resided in my mind. Later in life, encouraging my children to learn calligraphy meant giving up ownership to my pens. And while I do not regret that, since some of my girls developed real skills in calligraphic writing, I now find a desire for the high quality pens and inks that give the best results.

So guess what supplies are now high on my list? Yes, quill pens and inks.

I Love To Draw With Pen and Ink

I let my children have all my pens…. now, what about me?

Supplies For Pen And Ink Artists

  • Winsor and Newton India ink
  • Speedball Standard Point Dip Pen and Nibs
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist’s Pens
  • Strathmore Bristol Vellum Paper Pad

Pens and Watercolor Wash

watercolor art

What’s On The Artist Gift List?

This is the short list for gifts that I would be personally happy to receive, make your own for you or someone you know.

An adult Artist who loves watercolors and pen and ink. Also draws sketches with pencils.

  • Paper for pencil, also for watercolor work.
  • Derwent pencil set
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Winsor & Newton or Rembrandt watercolors

Art Gifts For Children

If I were buying a selection of child art supplies I would start out with a large sketchpad of drawing paper, a beginners set of pencils, including a gum eraser. Then I would add a small set of watercolors with some extra brushes (you always need more than one brush!), and a set of good markers.

Did you know that Mary Engelbreit started out with just markers to make her wonderful drawings? And look where she ended up- an Empire and a Career.

An Artist Easel

Dream of an easel
I like desk easels the best, but any easel helps to hold the paper and paints while working.

Royal & Langnickel 150-Piece All Media Easel Artist Set

All media easel set

Delightful start to getting ready to draw or paint, and easel keeps you art ready to work on, and provides the perfect space to keep your utensils handy.

Use It Or Lose It Is The Rule For Your Talents

If you (or giftee) are just starting out, be sure to check out the tutorial videos and the lists here. Slowly build your stock of supplies, but try to give free rein to your creativity.

There are times we waste by not using our paints. Let yourself liberally use the paint and papers, the pencils, the inks… don’t let them sit and languish.

For Those Who Paint

Each medium has its own set of techniques , brushes, and painting supplies. Which artist are you buying a gift for this year?

In Watercolor

  • Brushes, sable watercolor brushes or synthetic
  • Pan or tube paints
  • Palette or mixing pan
  • Watercolor paper pad

Traditional Oils

  • Titanium white, ivory black, cadmium red, permanent alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow light and cadmium yellow paints
  • Palette and palette knife
  • Turpentine or mineral spirits
  • linseed oil
  • canvas

Easy Acrylics

  • paper or canvas
  • paints in same colors as oils
  • acrylic brushes
  • palette and palette knife

Adult Coloring Books are Still Popular

A whole new world of Adult coloring books has opened up and colored pencils as well as crayons are used to give hours of peaceful meditative coloring.

Caran D'ache - Supracolor Watercolor Pencils - Set of 120

Caran D’Ache Color Pencil Set – Supracolor II Watercolor Pencil Set of 120 Assorted Colors

Yes, I want the WHOLE set of these fine watercolor pencils. I want to be able to take my watercolors wherever I go, and this will be perfect.

These work wonderfully for the new adult coloring books that are now available everywhere. Consider gifting someone with one of these pencil sets and a beautiful, intricately drawn coloring book.

Try Your Hand At Coloring

Here’s the how- to if you ever wondered why someone would love to sit and color.

Gift Ideas for Artists – Get your gift-giving creative juices flowing

There are many gifts that will make your artist happy! That is one of the things that makes this so much fun. It is easy to shop for artists when you don’t know what styles they prefer because you are supplying them with something they always need, will actually use, and they can create their own style.

When someone has been practiced in their craft, it does make sense to give quality supplies. You wouldn’t believe what a difference a well made paper or pigment produces in a finished piece.

Art Papers are always welcome

There are many types of papers for artists, but a basic sketchbook is always welcome. A good quality paper that will take a number of media is probably the best choice.

There are differing weights, whether they are suitable for wet medium (like watercolors), and differing component materials ( cotton, wood pulp, etc).

Luckily, most list on the cover or label which medium they are useful for, eliminating guesswork.

The art of painting
The art of painting

Strathmore Spiral Toned Sketch Book 5.5"X8.5"-Gray 50 Sheets
Strathmore (412-105 400 Series Toned Gray Sketch Pad, 5.5″x8.5″, 50 Sheets

Please, please, I wish for this gray toned paper sketchbook by Strathmore. It will be the perfect paper for pro look sketches that pop from the page. Super inspirational for an artist.

Save and Display Your Child’s Art

Display case is such a cool gift idea
Display case is such a cool gift idea

My daughter-in-law uses this for displaying my grandchild’s masterpieces. It is a beautiful frame- such a great idea!

Children’s Gifts, And Those for Moms

Giving children art supplies of some sort is almost always welcome. Level of interest makes the sorting out of whether we get coloring books, markers and crayons, or oil paints, brushes, and canvas.

For moms- ways to organize and display the resulting art sparks many ideas for appropriate presents.

  • a wall-hung case
  • a metal wire with clips (I saw this idea at Ikea)
  • decorative magnets strong enough to hold artwork onto frig or magnetic board

Brushes and Pens

If you know that the artist on your gift list paints in a certain medium or loves to create pen and ink drawings (Zentangle, anyone?), then gifting a great set of brushes or new pen nibs or inks is a very thoughtful thing to give.

Good quality is always appreciated, and to be considered much more than quantity. In other words, one bottle of excellent quality ink is better chosen than five bottles of less expensive, and thus less dependable inks.

This is why it pays ot now a little about the person. Young artists who are beginning to experiment might be the exception to this rule.

Why?

Beginners should feel free to use the supplies and not worry about mistakes. That is why pads of paper are always welcome, too. Plenty of room to practice and perfect their art. This is th ecase in which a gift of less expensive quality, but greater quantities are welcome.

Paint Brush Set Acrylic Xpassion 10pcs Professional Paint Brushes Artist for Watercolor Oil Acrylic PaintingPaint Brush Set Acrylic Xpassion 10pcs Professional Paint Brushes Artist for Watercolor Oil Acrylic Painting

Which Brush for Acrylics?

This video will explain it all for you. Very helpful if you are faced with an array of choices and aren’t sure which to choose.

Are You an Artist? – What do you use?

What is your medium of choice?

  • pen and ink
  • watercolors
  • acrylic paints
  • oil paints
  • clay sculpture
  • graphic computer art
  • pencil sketching
  • oil pastels
  • charcoal
  • markers
  • collage findings

Another gift idea besides the art supplies would be lessons, either with a teacher or online. So many courses are available that are fun and easy. My son loved taking a class with others that resulted in an easy to accomplish oil painting to take home. Look for these which are often offered locally.

My Daughter Uses Mine, The Wacom Drawing Tablet


 

This is the way I create most of my art- with graphics software and a graphic tablet. The Wacom pen tablet is on your graphics artist wishlist, believe me!

Computer Graphics

Not all artists use hardcopy paper. Increasingly there are very fine pictures produced with software graphics.

When it is time to invest in something like a pen tablet, it may be out of budget for a young artists, particularly if they are trying to improve the quality of their chosen software. Buying Adobe Photoshop or other Creative programs leaves little room for the peripherals.

That is why this may be one of the best choices, if you know they have it on their wishlist. Wacom makes several types according to the output desired. Art, Photo, Comic?

Artist Drawing Board – When it is fun to go back to the drawing board!

Studio Designs 10050 Futura Craft Station, Silver/Blue Glass

Wow, someone is so lucky and going to be so happy this year when they go back to the drawing board. Especially a sleek high style one like this.

I have a cheap drawing board, but this is the one I really want. It is a beautiful piece of furniture that really WORKS for an artist.

How Many of You Are Like Me?

drawing

Do you have talents you let go dormant?

 

  • I have talents, but I don’t have time
  • I have talents, but don’t have supplies and tools (or instruments)
  • I am unsure if I have talents
  • I secretly believe I have a talent, but I am afraid I will fail
  • I have been pursuing and developing my talents
  • I’ll think about this another day

 

Wherever you are on the spectrum, think about going into the coming year armed with all the supplies you need to accomplish your artistic dreams. Or help make that happen for the artist on your list.

If I were buying a gift for an artist that primarily created in pen and ink, watercolor, or colored pencils, I would choose a large kit.

A younger artist still experimenting with what they like, or someone who primarily works in sculpture, collage, or oil painting, would probably appreciate a smaller kit. Just see whether they liked the medium before investing lots of money in it.

An Ingenious Paint Accessory, the Masterson Sta-Wet Palette

I want one now. I have canvases, I have acrylics. I used to paint with tempera and watercolors, and occasionally oil paints, but have never actually used acrylic paints very much. I think it would suit me best to work with them… and I love the description of the palette.
My own method for keeping paints usable is to cover them with Saran wrap, but this is far superior for the purpose!


Sta-Wet Palette Keeps Paints Fresh For Days With Airtight Lid.

Pressed Flowers Can Make Pictures

I’ve always admired Penny Black’s pressed flower art, so I could start making my own supplies for that, couldn’t I?
Unusual maybe, but if an artist likes to use mixed media, and often incorporates natural elements into their work, a flower press, along with an inspirational book of ideas could be an inspiring and welcome gift.

pressed flower art
Pressed flower art

Penny Black’s the Book of Cards and Collages

Art supplies are not only pens and pencils, or paints, brushes, and papers, they might also be such things as pressed flowers or found objects. Creating collage is one pursuit that many have found relaxing and expressive.

When I read Penny Black’s book on pressed flower pictures, it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of using such materials in creating art. Simpler uses make wonderful crafts for cards, too. Bits and bobs of buttons and lace are well known to scrapbookers for the way a collage can be created with the most ordinary of throwaway objects. We just have to use our imagination!

The first virtue of a painting is that it be a feast for the eyes. -Eugene Delacroix

A Monet Moment

Monet Springtime

A restful intermission from the busyness of life, a time to eliminate stress by viewing the beautiful, blended colors of one of the most beloved painters to come from the Impressionist movement. 

Respite in the Garden of Giverny

There is something restful, but at the same time alive with the color and feeling of a summer’s day in many of these paintings. Perhaps because so many of them were of gardens, flowers, and the beauty of such sunny blue skies, and so this lens is dedicated to taking a few moments to stop and peer into the paintings of Claude Monet while listening to background sounds and thinking a bit about his painting and life.

Enjoy yourself here, pour yourself a glass of lemonade or a cup of tea and think light and cheerful thoughts as inspired by the colors and brushstrokes of Impressionism at its most blithe.

Monet's garden at Vétheuil
Monet’s garden at Vétheuil

The Allure Of His Art

The Inspiration for the Monet Moment

I wanted to take a tour of this Master’s paintings because I think they produce a serenity in the viewer. A moment’s respite while looking at his paintings produces a visual calming, similar to the way some sounds and music de-stress us.

For me, I think it is partially in his palette, the way this painter layered his colors, partly in the technique of the brushstrokes that create the dreamy effect, and partly because of the subject matter that the overall feeling is one of quiet and repose. Of course, I have my favorites, but almost any of his works have a peaceful appeal.

If I would pick my own personal favorites they would center within the water garden. I like the water lily paintings especially, perhaps for the same reason I like macro floral photographs. The larger than life look into the forms of the petals creates an almost abstract arrangement. The blues and greens predominate, and it is well known that those cool hues are restful and calming in effect.

It isn’t that I don’t like sharp edges or bright colors, I do! In a jarring modern age when the mind is so overwhelmed with so much stimulation, I find it necessary to tone things down and relax with these soothing paintings. I put the lens together in the hope that it has that effect for you, my visitor, too.

A Garden Is Art

Nowhere is that more evident than in this place in Giverny, So much of the masterstrokes were rooted inside this particular place, although there are certainly many other venues that Claude Monet made famous with his works. In celebration of his garden I have taken a look at the flowers that made up the subject matter of the garden at Giverny.

Of Special Interest To Gardeners

monet garden

Planting Plans and Color Harmonies

Book cover
Book cover
The Magic of Monet’s Garden: His Planting Plans and Color Harmonies

For anyone who loves cottage gardens, this famous artist/gardener’s plans will be a priceless inspiration.

“Gardening was something I learned in my youth. I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers” – Claude Monet

 

  • Flowers of Giverny, Flowers that Monet Grew
    Monet’s Giverny is one of the most famous cottage gardens filled with scenes created by the Master. Here are his flowers, so you can make your own masterpiece garden.

Passion – Coffee Table Book for those with a passion

Monet's Passion
Monet’s Passion
Monet’s Passion: Ideas, Inspiration, and Insights from the Painter’s Gardens

A gorgeous art book for those who love gardens and love Monet. Lasting inspirations from photos alive with the beautiful colors and design genius of a master- both on canvas and in the garden.

Why He Planted His Famous Garden

“Monet started to create his flower-filled garden when he moved to Giverny in 1883, refining it over 43 years. He originally planted flowers so that he could pick bunches to have something to paint indoors on rainy days.”-The Guardian

The Much Painted Water Garden

The water garden, and the famous blue-green Japanese style bridge are among the most famous scenes in the artist’s garden. He painted them numerous times and they are among the most loved of his scenes. The colors are always restful and dreamy.

There are many other colors that appear in his paintings of his gardens, of course, and Monet planted his garden specifically for certain harmonies and to provide inspiration for his art.

The Japanese Bridge Over His Famous Waterlily Pond

monet japanese bridge

En Plein Air

means “in the open air”. Outdoor painting was favored by French Impressionist painters.

Book cover
Book cover
Monet’s Garden: Through the Seasons at Giverny

Seasonal borders in one of the world’s famous gardens. This is a book to pore over in winter and create spring and summer plans for your own flower color combinations.

Dreams of Color Made Visible On Canvas

The dreamy quality of a painting

One of the reasons we find for Monet’s venerable popularity rests in the dreamy and restful feeling he gives his paintings, but with such inner movement so that the viewer is never bored. Much like the beautiful quality of dreams, both those of a daydream on a summer day or the dreamlike state of a drowsy evening.

The blurred effect coupled with the subject matter, and the harmonious colors create calm. Contrast that with some of his fellow Impressionists, like Cézanne or Renoir.

Through His Eyes

Failing Vision

“The Artist’s Garden at Argenteuil”

The Effects Of His Eyesight

Many famous artists suffered from eyesight problems, Monet’s were well-known. By analyzing the depictions of the scenes and the tints of the colors, modern scientists can diagnose some of the issues of his poor eyesight and how that affected the way he painted.

Livescience.com discusses the effect of his sight loss on his painting:

During his lifetime it was known he suffered from cataracts.

As cataracts develop details fade out and shapes blur, white yellows, greens become yellow-green and reds are perceived as oranges. Blues and purples become replaced by reds and yellows.

Monet, for whose work fine variations in color were a hallmark, often expressed his frustration to friends and family as his vision failed between 1912 and 1922.

“He wrote letters to friends, how colors were getting dull, and it was hard to tell them apart, and how he had to label tubes of paint,” Marmor said. “He was very vocal about how his failing eyesight was affecting him.”

Argenteuil

Argenteuil
Claude Monet (Dusk in Venice) Art Poster Print – 24×36 Art Poster Print by Claude Monet, 36×24

An example of how the artists failing eye sight changed the tonal effects of his paintings.

Giverny

Garden at Giverny

 

When the artist was at his height creatively and where his happiness fairly saturates his canvases.

Dusk in Venice
Monet felt Venice was a city “too beautiful to be painted”

Dreamlike Color

monetHis fuzzy view of the world gives his paintings the dreamlike quality and results in a calming melange of color for the viewer.

As for the the opinion of the researcher into the results of this sight loss:

“I think it does not say that the paintings are good or bad or answer to the question as to how much they were trying to change their style,” Marmor said. “But I think it points out very dramatically some physical limitations that they had, which both limited their ability to paint, to put paint on canvas directly, but also to interpret what they were putting on a canvas-they couldn’t really judge what they were seeing.”

 

Inspiring Other Artists

He can inspire you just as these artists were inspired

Monet was not the only one to paint his garden- his living artistry in creating a garden inspired other painters, as well.

book coverMonet’s Garden

If you are in love with Monet’s Garden, yet another source for inspiration and reflection on his plantings and paintings

monet spring
‘Giverny Garden’ c.1890 Philip Leslie Hale – American Impressionist Painter – 1865 – 1931

Summer, Giverny
Summer, Giverny’ 1910 Clark was an American Painter – 1876 – 1949

He was an artist who inspired his generation and those following it to look at nature a whole new way, paint in “plein air”, and, unwittingly perhaps, turn a handicap like poor eyesight into an artistic asset.

Morning on the Seine, Near Giverny, 1896

morning on the seine

These Colors In Your Home

home colors
Monet’s Colors In Your Home

Taking interior decor colors from one of your favorite paintings is like the reverse of finding paintings to match the room. With many of the color picker apps available, this is a cinch to accomplish.

One of my favorite sites for creating a color board from favorite pictures is Colourlovers.com.

From creating some color boards, whether online or off, the design for a room’s color coordination is a step away. A very important component of your interiors is completed.

Waterlily Paintings

waterlilies
Water Lilies of the Orangerie as Giverny

Morning on the Seine near Giverny

m-seine

I believe one of my favorites is “Morning On The Seine”, perhaps because of the way the picture is divided between the blues and greens in a way that almost looks like fractals or the way a kaleidoscope breaks colors.

The Boat at Giverny (Or) the Norwegians, the Three Daughters of Mme. Hoschede

The Boat at Giverny

Home Decor Color Schemes

 

m-home2

The Palette

At the beginning of his career Monet used dark colors, but from 1860 on, Monet shunned dark colors and worked from a palette of pure and pale hues.

If you look carefully, what appears black is almost never really black. It might be purple or a mix of colors, but not ivory black.

He said of this:

“As for the colors I use, what’s so interesting about that ? I don’t think one could paint better or more brightly with another palette. The most important thing is to know how to use the colors. Their choice is a matter of habit. In short, I use white lead, cadmium yellow, vermilion, madder, cobalt blue, chrome green. That’s all.”

The Real Monet – Painting his famous waterlilies

Meadow in Giverny

Do you have a favorite Monet painting?

 

Gift Ideas For Art Therapy

People everywhere have discovered the relaxation and therapeutic value of coloring. Adult coloring books are even on sale at the checkout of my grocery stores! I think it is a great idea, but I also think we should take this love of coloring one step further:

Allow our own creative vision loose!

Not instead of using the coloring books, but along with them.

One type of coloring book
One type of coloring book
Beautiful Creatures: A Grayscale Adult Coloring Book of Animals

What does the use of a coloring book encourage?

I think it helps us feel inspired by another’s vision. The beauty of a talented artist frees us from worry that we won’t make something “artistic enough”. We aren’t held back by that fear. A coloring book is for our own creativity what training wheels are for a young bicyclist. It allows us to build confidence in our own abilities and strengthens the muscle coordination.

Using another artists picture does that for us, too. That is why children love their coloring books and paint by number sets.

But I am venturing the opinion that we ought to allow ourselves some freedom to be creative in our own right as well.

Copying For Practice, Not For Sale

We can start with copying ideas, there is nothing wrong with that when working on our own art therapy, but at some point we ought to take a chance on our own vision and style. To copy is an age old way to learn technique, but is never meant to pass off as one’s own.

Now get your supplies, spend some time in your coloring books, make a similar design of your own, and finally set your self free with your markers, pencils and blank sheets of paper.

Are you ready?

A Gift List For Coloring

    •  High quality colored pencils

 

  • Reliable pencil sharpener

 

Some Pretty Books To Get Started

Don’t forget to have a sketch book on hand for when you feel like freehand drawing.

Notes

Using a coloring book and pencils makes art easy and attainable. It sidesteps the worry that we will not be a “good artist”.

“Mindful art”  has been shown to reduce stress and provide a sense of comfort. (1)

Why does it work?

  • It helps switch off an overactive brain and center the mind’s focus.
  • It was observed that the repetition  of coloring creates changes in heart rate and in brainwaves.
  • Activates the creative side of the brain.
  • Ritual that helps you unwind from the daily grind.

What Medium Should You Use?

It really depends on what you like, but I would start with pencils because they are so easy to use and blend. Pastels, markers, and pens,are other possibilities. Paints are also something you could try, along with good old crayons. If you have any doubts about how to color- since it may have been a few years since you attempted to try your hand at art, go ahead and view some how to videos on Youtube. I was surprised at the number of them that either showed tips and tricks ( like how to color leaves) or just recored someone coloring..

Don’t forget to do the drawing yourself, though!

Enjoying Grandma Moses

I was updating an article I made about Grandma Moses and came across an old video made of the actual Grandma Moses! She is portrayed the way America wanted to see her at the time with the life she represented (i.e. much idealized), but what a treat to see actual footage of her, with her animals, painting, and even going through her old family photographs with the audience.

We have more cynical eyes than when this film was made, but it shows us an American icon, and probably helps explain a bit why Americans were so hungry for one in those years following the great world war. It is a fun look at her paintings, and at the person who created them.

She was very agreeable to be filmed, and likely looked at it as a good marketing strategy, as she was quite a canny woman. I love her for the same reason she became so popular at the time. Her old fashioned clothes and hairdo, her ability to catch earlier times on her canvas… all with a certain affection and optimism that is even rarer now than at the time of her greatest popularity.

Take about a half an hour and enjoy the show. If you still have time take a few minutes to read my analyses of why she happened to become so successful (with a few takeaways for us today).

 


Grandma Moses’ Secret Recipe For Success

 

 

Cards
Framed Painting

She is one of my heroes. I greatly admire her (very real) Yankee Ingenuity.
As an aside… when I was about 12 years old I entered a contest with a Grandma Moses-like painting and won. My prizes? I was able to have my painting exhibited at the local Art Museum in columbus Ohio, received a book about Moses’ paintings and life, and a real set of artists paints in a metal box.

It was quite a windfall for me at the time.

 

my story

Pragmatic Art

Hungarian folk design

Musings On Art

Artful living is what I could call it. I tend to like the marriage of good design and utility. Much can be said for the idea that real utility is the result of good design- the better something works the more it has been shaped and refined. That is one form of design, isn’t it?

In a way, too, I could define “Art” in its entirety as mindfulness. We apply our desire to arrange our spaces and decorate them and it is the beginning of the design process. It isn’t until it reaches some recognized point that we call it Art.

Until that point is achieved, it is embarrassing, or maybe just no thought is given one way or another to call something “ART” ( at least my training compels me in that direction). So I have this phrase, “pragmatic art”, to describe everyday things that bring something aesthetic into my life. Not fine art paintings, but pillows, or a special mug, that I like the design of… the closer it comes to “fine art” sometimes the better I like it, so the lines are blurred.

In the spirit of the pragmatic, focusing on things that are mundane in use, there might be some curations or perhaps an entire post feature to display something that appeals to me, and I hope will appeal to others.

Training Exercise ?

In a way it reminds me of the daily exercise that I noticed an online friend engaged in…

She took a photo each day of something that caught her eye. She must have a very good eye, or maybe the practice is training it, because almost invariably the photos are quite artistic. They are not jumbled in the way most of my photos are. That focus creates a story.

Curation

Up until this post, where I try to explain my thoughts, I didn’t know how to categorize the collections I tend to make. I’ve always had collections. Sometimes they get away from me, and that is where this tale ends and the one on de-cluttering begins, but art is a process of prioritizing which is like the declutterng process.

Leonardo da Vinci : “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Learning what to keep, what to discard.

Online curation of art and design I like is the safest way to collect, I reckon.

I started giving time to another art site, Society6.com. That is added to my continuing efforts with Zazzle. Both have an element of curation and joining the applications of art to items of utility: mugs, household goods, clothing, etc.

Being too broad in topic is always a downfall of my mode, in just about anything, but especially in art.

Coco Chanel : “Elegance is refusal.”

Should I aim for elegance?

A Few Things I Like Today
artistic mug
Map Mug on Society6

 

I have been into the watercolor look and like the map of the world done in this effect.

 

spring color pillow
Inspiring Spring color pillow

I like the spring colors- they are similar to the watercolor map design. So there might be a light,bright Spring color theme here.

I love the saying. It reminds me to be optimistic.

 



From Zazzle is a new product- craft fabric. Sometimes I love elephants, sometimes I am non commital, but I very much like the way a soft tribal look is combined with the patterned elephant image.

These are three examples of pragmatic inclusions of art into a daily environment, through two items (pillows and mugs). Those are favorite things to bring some color and beauty into my day. I hope it brought some into yours and inspires you to look at daily life with appreciation and joy.

Art Gardener

These paintings struck me as distinctly garden oriented. Something like fifties sitcom meets millennial gardening. Do you garden in heels and pearls?

 

Pink
the work of Kelly Reemtsen

I enjoy looking at art, and while I am attracted to more of nature’s subjects, this one holds a fascination with its throwback to the fifties (when I grew up). We would never run around doing house chores in dress and pearls today! But at one time it was considered quite normal.

The picture was seen on Scoutie Girl, a blog with plenty of ideas and inspiration.

In another of her posts, she highlights the artist, Siiso. It shows that taking cues from nature can be lightheartedly abstract and fill a room with feeling. When I look at these works I just feel, and it frees you from having to work at thinking so much. Then it invites you into the canvas to think about it if you wish- with detail and texture.

art by Siiso

Thanks to Scoutie Girl for giving her insights and collecting a number of posts that present artists, both lesser known and well known.