A Holiday Wish List for Artists

Here we are again, immersed in the holiday season. The days are shorter, the weather colder, and shopping stress higher. Every year we confront the age-old gift dilemma of practicality versus frivolity. It seems that no matter how much thought goes into the choice; it eventually ends up in the charity basket come spring-cleaning.

Even though I haven’t allowed my beard to grow long this year, and yes it would be white, I want to play Santa and pass on some last-minute artistic gift ideas that are likely to avoid the recycle bin come spring. They are available from F+W Media, the parent company of The Pastel Journal that gives us the gift of hosting this blog throughout the year.

  • Consider a gift subscription to The Pastel Journal magazine for your artist friends, even those that are not currently working in the medium. By having their own copy of the magazine, your pastelist friends may stop borrowing yours and provide you with more time to review its wonderful content. If they are already a current subscriber, an extension of their subscription is always a welcome gift. Those that have never read the Journal because they don’t work in the medium will find the content pertinent to all forms of painting and may decide to give pastel a try. Another convert is a good thing! To order a subscription, click here.
  • The new digital archives of The Pastel Journal that are available on computer disk would be a welcome gift to any devoted pastelist, even if they have all the print copies of the magazine. Besides clearing shelf space in our studios, these disk archives are easy to search by topic. How many times have you wished you could easily find that pertinent article, only to spend hours leafing back through individual copies of the magazine? These disks make it a breeze with the click of a mouse. The latest offering is a disk with 59 issue—the first 10 years of the magazine—on one disk (DVD format). You’ll also find a disk with five years on one CD, or the annuals for the years 2006 through 2010. Check out the full line of CDs in the online shop. Or browse the collection of individual digital issues (PDF downloads) right here.
  • One of the most treasured possessions of any artist is an art reference library. These books provide instruction, motivation, and individual perspectives. Giving such a gift to a fellow artist is one of the most thoughtful gestures one can make. North Light Books has been a major provider of art instruction books for over 30 years. Recently, they have expanded their offerings to include other imprints, expanding their collection to include titles about individual artists, art history and art reference by 50,000 titles. Check it our at NorthLightShop.com. And, if you’re not sure what to choose, North Light Shop offers online gift
    certificates!! Click here to find out more.
  • Since painters are visual, another good gift idea is the array of DVD and digital streaming instructional workshops available from North Light Shop and artistnetwork.tv. For the artist that is unable to frequently attend live demonstrations or workshops these presentations provide the means of watching a painting develop from the convenience of home and can be watched over and over again, providing continuing inspiration. You’ll find a collection of pastel workshops on DVD here or check out the subscription offers at ArtistsNetwork.tv which allow access to an entire library of workshops.

No matter if the artist in your life has been naughty or nice, an art-themed gift will be appreciated. I wish all of you the happiest of holiday seasons and nothing but joyous painting adventures for the New Year!

A note from Anne: That concludes Richard’s blog posts for 2010. Thank you, Richard, for a year full of sage artistic advice! We look forward to having you back in January for more weekly wisdom. And, if I may, I’d like to point out a few specific ideas for that holiday shopping list: If you have yet to see Richard’s own North Light book, Pastel Pointers, just published in November, be sure to visit our online shop here. It’s a wonderful collection of Richard’s instruction and inspiration, and pastel paintings. He also has two Artistnetwork.tv-produced video workshops available in the shop, which are terrific opportunities to watch Richard in the act of painting (and teaching). Find them here. Happy New Year! Here’s hoping it’s filled with plenty of time to enjoy the gift of art!

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