A Young Artist

I don’t know who she is but I know she is a teenager who shares my love of art. At Christmastime a church group I belong to gets the name of a family who needs gifts at Christmas. Then each member of our group takes one of the names and buys something from their wish list. We’ve done this for a number of years. Sometimes the requests have been for sizes of clothing I can’t easily find or a child will ask for some toy I’ve never heard of and don’t know where to buy it. But this year was different.

A teenaged girl asked for art supplies and canvases and I knew right away that was the person I wanted to shop for. For a low income person wanting to paint, the expense can be daunting. The two high schools in our town have very good art programs so I assumed the girl I was buying for had already been introduced to some basic concepts and wanted to do more. (If she is already enrolled in art classes she was ahead of where I was at that age. My high school offered no art at all.)

I never go shopping on Black Friday but this year I made an exception. Both Hobby Lobby and Michaels had bargains too good to pass up. When my package is delivered she will have a nice surprise. I wish I could know what she will do with it. I discovered art in college and although it has not been a way to earn a living it has enhanced my life considerably over many years. I hope it will do the same for her.

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A Happy Birthday

April 6, 2014

If you are reading this, you have noticed the new look the first page of my blog has now.  I’ve wanted to change the rather blah  first page for some time but didn’t know how to do it.  Now my “On the Road” painting is featured at the top along with the titles of the various pages where you can view my paintings, find out where I’m showing and learn a little bit about me.  All this happened because I am about to have a birthday.

When husband asked what I wanted for my birthday, I knew I didn’t need more stuff.  What I needed was help with technology I don’t seem able to cope with.  Fortunately, since he doesn’t like shopping and understands more about computers than I do, he was willing to give revising the first page of my blog a try.  And it didn’t take him long to be successful.

If there is an artist among the loved ones in your life, here are some ideas for gifts to celebrate their special occasions.  Producing art is expensive, so the most obvious gift is a gift certificate to their favorite art supply store.  If your artist is not already subscribing to an art magazine there are a number to choose from.  I subscribe to “The Artist,” a general how to magazine for painters.  “American Artist also falls into this category.  There are also specialized publications, such as “Watercolor Artist” or “Plein Air Magazine.”  For just looking at the representational art being done by really good artists, “Southwest Art” is great.  And this is a gift that can be shared by passing on copies to others with similar interests.  If you look in the back of the how to magazines, you’ll find ads for DVDs demonstrating the techniques of professional artists in a variety of fields. These could also be gift possibilities.

If your artist is technology challenged like me, help him or her set up a web site or blog.  This is a gift that can be used indefinitely.  Another way to be helpful to a plein air artist is to share your land or flower garden as a painting site.  If you liked the result and bought it, that could benefit both of you.  So happy gift giving and receiving.