Holiday Gift List | Gift Ideas for Artists

‘Tis the Season again. The leftovers from the Thanksgiving feast have been devoured and now it’s time to focus on the holiday gift list. Selecting a perfect gift for a loved one or cherished friend is never easy, but the artists in our lives can prove to be especially difficult. If you find yourself in a quandary as to what to get for that special pastel artist in your life, I have a few suggestions that may make it easier.

Gifts for pastel artists

Assorted pastel gifts ready to make an artist’s day!

1. Art Magazines: Subscriptions to art-related publications such as Pastel Journal, The Artist Magazine or Southwest Art are great ideas. If your friend is already a subscriber, consider an extension of their subscription.

2. Magazines on CD: Another option is a CD archive with digital back issues of these favorite publications. These are available at North Light Shop. The newest 2012 Annual Archive of Pastel Journal is available here. These CDs take up little storage space, offer expanded search capabilities, and provide years’ worth of artistic information with the click of a mouse.

3. Art Instruction Books: Artists treasure their art library for both reference and inspiration. North Light Books offers a huge selection of art-related books from how-to-paint to art-history in hard/soft covers and digital downloads. Artists also appreciate a good painting demonstration.

4. Art Instruction Videos: Video workshops are available in DVD format from North Light Shop. You’ll find DVDs by a number of pastel artists, such as Stephanie Birdsall, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Colleen K. Howe, Maggie Price and yours truly. Digital downloads and previews are available on Artists Network TV.

5. Art tutorials: The pastelist that enjoys continued learning always appreciates tuition for art classes or a special workshop. Check with a local art store or college for local offerings as well as the national workshop listings section of every Pastel Journal magazine. Digital connectivity has also opened new opportunities for personalized instructor/student interaction. Artists Network University  is a newly launched website providing a flexible schedule of in-depth art instruction in the comfort of an artist’s home/studio.

6. Art Critique: No matter how naughty or nice an artist has been this last year, they can always benefit from an objective second opinion. Pro Art Critique is a website where a constructive critique can be obtained from a list of nationally recognized professional artists. Gift certificates are available.

7. Art Supplies: Art-related merchandise from a local art supply store or framing shop is always useful. If you don’t know specifically what the recipient would use, consider a gift certificate. As every child (and adult for that matter) knows, cash is always more exciting than socks and underwear.

Even though it is the thought that ultimately counts, we all wish to show our love and affection to the artists in our lives without the risk of exchanges and returns. Hopefully, these suggestions can provide a little help for yourself or a loved one in need of a good recommendation. Hint: forward the link to this blog post ( or print the post and casually leave it lying around!

My final bit of advice is to remember the favorite mantra of every artist: Need and Want are not the same thing.



Enjoy 40% Off Black Friday discounts on your favorite pastel painting books, magazines, videos and downloads through the end of the day, Monday, November 26! Plus, enjoy Cyber Monday bargains with an extra 10% off digital items, such as digital downloads of your favorite issues of Pastel Journal! Use the code BONUS10 at checkout to redeem your savings.




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