Christmas is a magical time of year. It is a slow moving, often supine, spend-time, make-time, time of year. Frost, snow, dark evenings, warm fires and a gathering together of friends and loved ones – occasionally overlapping. A good time, a time for reflection, a time to party, ….and it is just around the corner.
However, it can seem to be something of a burden – too many presents, too much food and so little time. Have a look at our advent calendar for arty stuff; ideas – what to ask for, and what to give. Many of the items barely need wrapping.
A special offer from Cass Art
We’re delighted to offer you a 10% discount on your next online or in-store order with us, plus free standard delivery. To redeem this offer, simply enter the bespoke discount code HAMPSHIRE10 at the online checkout at cassart.co.uk.
*The T&Cs: The offer code can only be redeemed once per person. It can’t be used on special promotional days, in conjunction with any other offer, Cobalt Blue Student Card, Viridian Card or for the purchase of gift vouchers, Wacom products and event tickets. Free Standard Delivery does not apply to Next Working Day Delivery or Saturday Delivery. Offer valid before 23:59:59 on 24th December 2020.
We hope you enjoy your discount!
I am not making you open a door a day…our doors are always open (I am cringing slightly at that line)
Sunday 1st December
- Q: What do you call a snowman with a six pack?
- A: An abdominal snowman
Find out the favourite colour paint of the person who is to receive the gift and give them the best quality version you can afford.
My current favourite is Old Holland Indian Yellow Orange Lake Extra. Even the name sounds exotic. Apparently the original pigment was made from dried cattle urine.
Or a set of Michael Harding Paints.
Monday 2nd December
- Q. What’s Father Christmas’ favorite measurement in the metric system?
- A. The Santameter!
I love choosing books for people, and receiving them. A charity shop discovery is always interesting. Often these are books that are out of print or pre-loved (a bit worn at the edges, or written in etc). If you don’t have time to search but are not sure what to buy a couple of suggestions:
- The Secret Lives of Colour: Hardcover – Illustrated, 20 Oct 2016, by Kassia St Clair (Author)
- Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place Hardcover – Illustrated, 8 Oct 2018, by Patrick Elliott (Author), Anne Galastro (Author)
- The National Gallery Hardcover – 22 Oct 2019, by Gabriele Finaldi (Author)
- Modernists & Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters, by Martin Gayford
- Great Women Artists by Phaidon Editors
There have been a number of good exhibitions this year – The galleries concerned will have produced a glossy book to go with them. They are always a good gift.
Tuesday 3rd December
- Q. How much money does a pirate pay for corn?
- A. A buccaneer.
I have a wonderful easel that I was given as a Christmas present many years ago. A vital piece of kit.
This easel from CASS art is on the cheaper end of the studio easels but sturdy.
Wednesday 4th December
Thelma, a farmers wife, prayed to the Lord and asked him, “How old will I be when I die?”
His reply was 96 years old.
Thelma said, “Hot diggity dog, I will have myself fixed up.”
The farmer’s wife had everything lifted and tucked and was in the doctor’s office, making the last payment on her reconstruction. She walked out of the doctor’s office, started across the street, and was hit and killed.
She gets to heaven and asks the Lord, “What happened? You told me that I would live to be 96.”
His reply: “We’ll I just didn’t recognize you!”
Van Gogh used indian ink and dipping pens, or hand made wooden pens.
Daler-Rowney Kandahar Drawing Ink Black is an Indian ink, ideal for illustration and design and for work in conjunction with watercolours.
Flowing easily, and producing a brilliant, rich black, it is lightfast, so will not fade, but unlike other drawing inks is not waterproof when dry.
Get in touch with your inner Van Gogh
Thursday 5th December
- Q. Why do the French like to eat snails so much?
- A. They can’t stand fast food
Oil sticks have been around for a while but few look quite as tasty as the Sennelier selections.
They are packaged as gifts in two sizes: one in a luxurious, sweetshop/rainbow combo box of very many colours, the other a more modest introduction set.
Friday 6th December
Why did the physics teacher break up with the biology teacher? There was no chemistry.
In the mix of Christmas food, drink, and general presents I would like a bumper tin of delicious Spanish ready salted crisps. They stay fresh and crispy for longer than your average crisp – I have to take that on trust…they are so delicious that they disappear as soon as the pack is opened.
Saturday 7th December
A man walked into a bar – bang
Acrylics are endlessly adaptable. There are acrylic inks, thick paints, thin paints, fabric paints, pens…you name it, its covered. There are mediums to add to make the paint behave differently and to make the colours behave differently.
We have a talented new tutor, Eve Dawson, who can walk you through all these exciting variations so you can get the best from your materials. She is doing a one day workshop, A Step Towards Abstract Expressionism to start you on your way with both abstract painting and acrylics. It should be very exciting. No experience of either is necessary.
Sunday 8th December
Whenever I’m sad I just read my blood donor ID. It always says “B
As a child I was given a set of Caran d’ache pencils in a tin.
Monday 9th December
- I’ve been really depressed lately. A friend told me I should go to the petting zoo perhaps, to cheer up.
- I went today, but not one person would stroke me.
I love to draw and get great pleasure from seeking out unusual materials. Artgraf is a brand that always satisfies. They have mastered anything to do with graphite, and coloured graphite.
Here are a few examples: Black Carbon (SO black), grey and white trio, tailors chalk shaped coloured graphite.
Tuesday 10th December
Two clairvoyants meet. One says to the other: “You are fine, and how am I?
You can’t have too many sketchbooks.
I think Seawhite are the best for me and I like square sketchpads: SEAWHITE SQUARE & CHUNKY SKETCHBOOK 140GSM 190 PAGES
Wednesday 11th December
- What did the toilet roll complain about?
- “People just keep ripping me off!”
Book tickets for the Lucien Freud Self Portrait exhibition at the Royal Academy followed by a leisurely stroll around the National Gallery and supper somewhere memorable.
Thursday 12th December
- What should you do when you see a spaceman?
- You just park in it, man.
Antony Williams is a particularly fine artist working in egg tempera, best known for his portraits. He has been on the short list or a placed prize winner in the BP Portrait awards many times.
Antony is coming to HAMPSHIRE ART studio to teach a masterclass in egg tempera, using a still life as reference. This is one I don’t want to miss.
For more information about the weekend see Antony Williams
Friday 13th December
My friend was planning to get a Labrador. Is he mad?! Hasn’t he seen how many of their owners go blind?!”
Derwent Inktense Blocks are sticks of vibrantly coloured water-soluble ink.
- Draw with them dry to create dazzling colour effects, or add water for translucent ink-like results.
- You can use them on both paper and fabric, especially silk, and the colours are permanent once dry.
CASS sell Derwent Inktense Blocks in tins containing either 36 or 72 blocks in assorted colours.
Saturday 14th December
Where do we get virgin wool from? Ugly sheep.
This photo was taken at Casa Rosa in Spain in spring 2019, during our tutored painting week. I can’t think of anything more cheering after a cold day in mid winter than the prospect of a week painting in Spain, in the sun, in the spring. I often look at the weather in Andalucia just to see what it is like there when it is grey here.
Sunday 15th December
One twin to the other: “You are ugly.”
Watercolour sets are always so attractive. Buy the professional sets for better pigment quality.
This half pan set is very good value.
WINSOR & NEWTON PROFESSIONAL WATERCOLOUR SET OF 24
I think you should include a special brush too.
Monday 16th December
What would you call a very funny mountain?
If you are an artist beginner, or rusty and lacking in confidence, how about a course designed just for you?
The course is based around a combination of drawing and oil painting. It is on a termly basis, with a pair of days each month (always a Thursday and Friday combined). There will be suggested home study in between the classes. Have a look at this link for much more information Beginners class
Tuesday 17th December
- What would Bears become without Bees?
- Just ears.
The MUST HAVE item on everyones Christmas list is a HAMPSHIRE ART studio art apron, with a zipped pocket for valuables (no paint on them!) extra pockets, long ties, altogether excellent.
Wednesday 18th December
- What do you call an alligator that’s wearing a vest?
- An investigator.
The Beginners Oil Kit from CASS art is a very good starting point for people wanting to learn about oil painting..
You can top up this kit with any number of goodies…including the beginners guide to drawing and oil painting
All painters need a palette. There are loads to choose from. This is a traditional wooden one.
Thursday 19th December
Two drummers jump off a skyscraper – Boom Boom.
One of the products always on sale at CASS ART, and always a welcome addition to any oil painters stocking is their double pack of Winsor and Newton, Titanium White, 200ml. A sure winner.
Friday 20th December
- How did Moses cut the sea in half?
- With a seasaw.
Drawing is the way into thinking visually, the first step to everything, from painting to architecture. Part of the secret to drawing is learning to look. The next step is to take it in the direction YOU want to go.
Come along to a Learning to Look, drawing taster day. It may well whet your appetite for more.
Saturday 21st December
- Doctor: You’re obese.
- Patient: For that I definitely want a second opinion.
- Doctor: You’re quite ugly, too.
There are lots of bits and pieces that fall under the heading ‘drawing equipment’. The following are things I always have in my pencil case (! mostly anyway)
- Koh i noor retractable pencil, 5.8mm with a selection of leads. There are any number of different refills for these (other people make them too). I like to have a box with compressed charcoal, chalk, coloured chalks, sanguine. Find a pencil body shape that pleases you.
- TomBow erasers and refills. I LOVE these. They are retractable, thin, thin rubbers in two shapes. Get both. I draw back into charcoal and pencil with them and they give my pleasure.
- a scrappy little piece of chamois leather
- a couple of very cheap disposable plastic retractable pencils. They come in a bag of 10 from TESCOs. I always have a sharp pencil. Not very ‘green’. I have had proper thin retractable pencils that you can refill but I prefer the cheap version.
- a Tortillion, a roll of tightly wrapped paper for smudging
- a big plastic rubber
- three drawing pencils, 3B, 5B and 7B
Sunday 22nd December
- Policeman: I’m very sorry, sir, but it looks like your wife got hit by a bus.
- Man: I’m aware of that, but Karen has a wonderful personality.
Lino cut is a great first step into printing. There is a one day introduction class, Learn about Lino with HAMPSHIRE ART studio on 30th January.
Combine it with a Beginners Lino set
Monday 23rd December
- Did anybody ever consider that cannibalism would resolve both overpopulation – and world hunger?
- Jonathan Swift
This is one of my very favourite presents – an annual subscription to the Art Fund. You can still buy one today and hand over something as a gift.
National Art Pass
Experience over 240 museums, galleries and historic places for free and enjoy 50% off entry to major exhibitions, including those at Tate, V&A and National Museum of Scotland.
Annual membership includes:
Membership card – Show your card to gain free or reduced price entry to participating venues
Art in your inbox – Email subscription – your guide to great art across the UK, news and special offers
Art Quarterly – Subscription to Art Fund’s magazine with insightful and exclusive features
Art Map – Comprehensive annual guidebook on using your pass at over 700 venues
Purchase direct https://www.artfund.org/national-art-pass
Tuesday 24th December
Finally an arty joke:
- What is blue and smells like red paint?
- Blue paint.
At this stage in the game you have to buy vouchers. What were you thinking of leaving it so late? Don’t worry; these vouchers cover all our classes and will delight all who receive them. They come in different values to match your budget, from £20 – £100.