November 24, 2010
The biggest gift giving season of the year is already upon us with ads about stores opening at 3 or 4 a.m. on Black Friday. For me, that’s a day to avoid shopping. But there is a reasonable alternative for some of your gift giving. Instead of buying a mall gift probably made in China that will be duplicated under countless Christmas trees, for that special person consider buying a unique, one-of-a-kind gift from a local artist. In Topeka, visit the Topeka Art Guild Gallery in the Fairlawn Shopping Center. I’ll have three paintings in the December-January show.
I am better acquainted with the numerous opportunities to purchase art in Lawrence. You could start with the Lawrence Art Guild’s 1109 Gallery at 1109 Massachusetts St. The front section of the gallery features a wide variety of smaller items, such as jewelry, note cards, etc. The style of the paintings in the rest of the gallery vary widely, so you are sure to find something you like. I have three snow scenes in this show. The Lawrence Art Center also has a shop with numerous unique small gifts. Lawrence has a number of smaller galleries as well or just call up a local artist and ask for gift suggestions.
Two major arts and crafts shows during that holiday season in Lawrence that you won’t want to miss are both held at the Lawrence Art Center. Bizarre Bazaar is the largest and most eclectic. It will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 27. The following Saturday, Dec. 4 is the Holiday Art Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
I’ll be both selling and giving art during this season. I recently received a commission for a pastel portrait of the buyer’s loved one. I don’t do portraits very often, but I love doing them, especially in pastel. It’s kind of scary though, not at all the same as being commissioned to paint a vase of flowers. This is someone’s loved one and it had better be not only a good likeness but reflect the special qualityof the person that the buyer knows so well. I also plan to give a painting this year to someone who has been very helpful to me over the past several years. I’ll bet both the recipient of the portrait and the painting will be very surprised.