Advent calendars covered with glitter, or rattling with chocolates, are almost the best bit of Christmas. The tantalising countdown to the day itself raises expectations to a ridiculous degree.
My calendar is a shortish list of all sorts of mostly arty things that would be very nice to have in a stocking, under a tree, wrapped with a bow, sealed with a kiss.
I went to this wonderful exhibition a couple of weeks ago – well worth a visit. I normally buy a catalogue but I was a bit pushed for time…
Cézanne Portraits at National Portrait Gallery
This major international exhibition brings together for the first time over fifty of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK.
Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits. The exhibition considers the extent to which particular sitters shaped the development of his practise.
These are a product I use all the time – I get through endless sets. What I REALLY want for Christmas is for Koh I Noor to make these with big pans of colour so I can use a bigger brush.
The Art Fund
As a child I thought book tokens were a bit of a cop out – a lazy present turning good money into less good money; membership to the Art Fund is the very opposite. This allows the member to have access free, or at reduced rates to galleries all over the country AND the Art fund supports artists and museums.
For over 110 years they have supported museums and galleries, and helped them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy.
The Art Fund helps museums and galleries in a number of ways:
- Providing museums and curators with funding for: acquisitions; training and development; and the display of art through tours and exhibitions.
- Running public appeals when a particular work of art is under threat; for example, in 2014 we ran a successful campaign to save one of the most important industrial archives in the world, the Wedgwood Collection, which documents the evolution of ceramics design over 250 years. Recently we also led a successful appeal with the National Portrait Gallery to save Van Dyck’s final self-portrait for the nation. In recent years we have run several major appeals, raising £45m to save works of art or collections.
- Promoting hundreds of UK museums and galleries through the National Art Pass, the Art Guide app and more.
I love to try new things – who doesn’t? I use wax crayons and wax resist techniques all the time so this encaustic beginners set seems to be the logical next step.
Just can’t have too many…
A good apron is hard to find. Some people turn up to classes in full body overalls – not a bad idea. I rather like this, less drastic option.
No list is complete without chocolate.
I don’t know anyone else who likes these so it looks like I get the whole box to myself.
This is TOTALLY ridiculous as half the pleasure of painting is choosing the materials…BUT… it is a very tasty set of delicious paints.
These two Van Gogh paintings of blossom, together with Bonnard’s painting of an Almond Tree, make me yearn for a show of spring flowers.
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Lino printing is occasionally forgotten…dismissed as a school pleasure and rather junior. Now is the time to revisit relief printing. Speedy Carve have a rubbery material that is very easy to use. Lawrence Printmakers have everything you need for any sort of printing; their beginners kit will use high quality materials. Pfeil tools are the BEST.
I forgot to mention cashmere bed socks. Get the best you can afford and have a warm and Happy Christmas.