Category Archives: Christmas gifts

Advent Calendar for Arty Stuff

Advent calendar fox

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

*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

The Old Holland Oil Paint Colour Chart

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!”

Indian ink drawing

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.

who wouldn’t want to find a set of these under the Christmas tree?

Friday 6th December

Why did the physics teacher break up with the biology teacher? There was no chemistry.

the BEST crisps ever

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.

advent calendar picture

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.

advent calendar spain hol

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.

If you want to find out more try Andalucia in the Spring, or Artists take over Casa Rosa, an untutored week.

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.


I think you should include a special brush too.

Monday 16th December

What would you call a very funny mountain? 

Hill Arious”

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.

Drawing Taster Day

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.

christmas lino print
Going home

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 - 50% of entry to major exhibitions

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

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.

CHRISTMAS DAY (a bit late for present buying really!!)

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2020

Christmas List, not really an advent calendar, and it does have chocolate.

This is an Advent Calendar with all the doors open…but no chocolate

What do you buy for the artist in your life?  Have a look through these ideas.  They mostly have links directly to suppliers.  Obviously courses with ARTDRAWPAINT will be at the top of all lists!!!

This is OBVIOUSLY too long a blog. Sorry about that.  Persevere – there are loads of good things in here.

Some suppliers have special Black Friday deals.

1st Day of Christmas

Sketchbooks are where it all starts. A5 fits into a large pocket, or handbag. Or simply stroke it, and sniff it.


Sketchbook - A5 300gsm HPA smooth (Hot Pressed) medium weight paper (300gsm) in A5 size with 34 pages, bound with black boards and a green linen spine.


A5 x34pp  300gsm Smooth   £20.00

Quill – Cut & Hardened.

I’d love to try these.  quillQuill - Cut & Hardened


These goose and peafowl feathers have been cooked in sand and hardened. They are ready for use as a traditional writing and drawing pen.




2nd Day of Christmas

Dickies Decorators Bib And Brace Workwear

Premier Jeans Stitch Denim Bib Apron
Premier PR126 Aprons & Tabard Black Denim
 …they will embroider your logo on if you want, or “Happy Christmas”, or “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” – Picasso
Product Code: PR126


3rd Day of Christmas

Tickets to see Klimt and Schiele at the Royal Academy, London

Egon_Schiele self portrait

Klimt / Schiele

Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna

4 November 2018 — 3 February 2019

Daily 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts

£18 (without donation £16). Concessions available. Under-16s go free with a fee-paying adult. Free for Friends of the RA. To ensure the best possible experience, Friends are required to book a free timed ticket for both themselves and their guest.

Book now

See rare and fragile drawings by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, offering intimate insights into their artistic relationship and differing creative processes. This extraordinary collaboration with the Albertina Museum in Vienna marks the centenary of both artists’ deaths.

jacket, Klimt Schiele Drawings

Klimt Schiele Drawings From the Albertina Museum, Vienna

Marian Bisanz-Prakken (author), Elizabeth Clegg (author), Jane Kallir (author)

Hardback (24 Oct 2018) | English

Save £3.50

  • £30.00
  • £26.50

order from Blackwells

FREE UK Delivery

10+ copies available online – Usually dispatched within 24 hours

4th Day of Christmas

Build Your Own Life-Size Skeleton

skeleton va image003 44638

Build Your Own Life-Size Skeleton

A model of the human skeleton made entirely of foldable cardboard

From the medical student and biology enthusiast to the graphic designer and artist: this life-size model gives everyone access to an age-old classic of scientific illustration. Simply fold the precut pieces (no need for scissors or glue!) to build this human skeleton, complete with anatomical labels in English and Latin, bendable joints, accessories, and detailed step-by-step instructions.
Ready-cut cardboard kit, with instructions and accessories, 50.5 x 65 cm.

5th Day of Christmas

Essdee : Lino Cutting Printmaking Set : 22 pieceI enjoy making prints with lino.  This seems like a good introductory se


I tend to use speedball rubber rather than lino….but they don’t have a photo of their sets on Jackson’s website.

If relief printing is something you enjoy then the best tools are these are to drool over. pfeil tools from Jacksons    These tools are a joy to use, balanced in the hand and last for ever.

This is a special promotion price.Palm carving tools set of 12

Grab some Graphite

Graphite is a fabulous drawing material. The Caran d’ache box is definately at the top end of the market. I use a number of Artgraf materials. These two suggestions may be more stocking sized…


Caran D'ache Graphite Line Satin Gift Box Black Set

Caran D'ache Graphite Line Satin Gift Box Black Set
This Caran D’ache Graphite Line Satin Gift Box Black Set is a comprehensive collection of graphite products of many shades and grades including graphite cubes, double hole sharpener, eraser and blender , beautifully presented satin gift box.
Special Price £207.00  carat d’arche box
Price £18.30

The extra large handmade Viarco ArtGraf Watersoluble Graphite Stick is great for use with large scale artworks or projects. It is formulated to be water-soluble to create interesting washes and effects when drawing however it can also be used as dry as a regular graphite stick.

Each stick comes in its own material pouch with a cord fastening.

Weight: 250g

Width of graphite stick: 4.5cm

Length of graphite stick: 17cm

Depth of graphite stick: 2.5cm

graphite chunk


Watersoluble Blocks in Earth Tones

Inspired by traditional tailor’s chalk, ArtGraf Tailor Shape is a rich, water-soluble block of pigment. It is extremely soft and provides artists with a wide range of shades depending on the amount of water used, from light, transparent tones to deep, rich, opaque colours.


7th Day of Christmas

Noble Art Supplies in Salisbury are local stockists.  This is an excellent art shop with helpful owner.

8th Day of Christmas


Sketchbooks are great, portable, contained…all sorts of things, but I love a pile of cheap paper that I don’t get precious about.  I get big packs of A2 and A1 paper from Art Discount on a regular basis.  Anyone who has been to a class with me will have used their paper.  No photo….not really necessary.

9th Day of Christmas

I think this is totally brilliant.

I have one (obv) and use it all over the place.  You can go to many museums, galleries and places of interest with a discount on entry, or free. It comes with a useful map of all  places that accept the card.

If I didn’t already have this card I would want it.

National Art Pass

From Cardiff Castle and Kensington Palace to the V&A and Tate Modern – the National Art Pass gives free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

10th Day of Christmas

These are ALWAYS in every art list I make. The Koh-i-noor Anilinky Brilliant Watercolours Set of 12 is suitable for graphic techniques with it’s high colour density. Also very cheap.

Koh-i-noor Anilinky Brilliant Watercolours Set of 12

I use them with these Bic Plastidecor crayons for a wax resist effect.Bic crayons


I find the cheaper the crayon the higher the wax content.  More expensive oil pastels are not better on this occasion.


11th Day of Christmas

The clutch pencil is a delight to use and practical.  A small box will hold a mix of charcoal, graphite and chalks, all to fit in these holders.  I have more than one.

12th Day of Christmas

How do you  get your work home from a class? Do you get paint on your car/coat/best jumper/dog? Does your picture fall on the floor? Do your paint and brushes fall onto a wet picture as you take a corner … possibly, maybe, faster than you should?

A2SXX Open Painting3 L olmc

This case seems like a very clever idea.  It won’t be strong enough for an airplane but would make the journey home much less fraught.

13th Day of Christmas

How about a Drawing Week with art draw paint?


14th Day of Christmas

Biscuits…obv. Coffee and biscuits are a vital part of any creative process.

Waitrose Christmas All Butter Shortbread Tin500g

Waitrose Christmas All Butter Shortbread Tin
all butter shortbread

15th Day of Christmas

A weekend in Malagafullsizeoutput_d18

In October we had a painting week at Casa Rosa in Andalucia. On the Wednesday we had a guided tour around the Picasso Museum in Malaga.

The thing we didn’t have time to do was a really good mooch around the town.  There is clearly lots to see and do, AND it is only a brief flight from Southampton.

Or come to Casa Rosa in the Spring Spring in Spain

16th Day of Christmas

I am looking forward to a number of exhibitions next year…this is certainly one of the highlights.Another case of tickets and catalogue.



23 January – 6 May 2019

£18 / FREE for Members

Concession £17

Pierre Bonnard, ‘Nude in the Bath’ 1925

Rediscover this master of colour and composition at Tate Modern

This is the first major exhibition of Pierre Bonnard’s work in the UK since the much-loved show at Tate 20 years ago. It will allow new generations to discover Bonnard’s unconventional use of colour, while surprising those who think they already know him.

Born 1867, Bonnard was, with Henri Matisse, one of the greatest colourists of the early 20th century. He preferred to work from memory, imaginatively capturing the spirit of a moment and expressing it through his unique handling of colour and innovative sense of composition.

The exhibition concentrates on Bonnard’s work from 1912, when colour became a dominant concern, until his death in 1947. It presents landscapes and intimate domestic scenes which capture moments in time – where someone has just left the room, a meal has just finished, a moment lost in the view from the window, or a stolen look at a partner.

Book tickets

Organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen and Kunstforum Wien.

17th Day of Christmas

Tombow : Mono Zero Eraser Pen : Round Tip : Black Barrel


18th Day of Christmas

I went to see this exhibition, loved it, but failed to buy the catalogue. What was I thinking of?

Cy Twombly and Nicolas Poussin: Arcadian Painters Hardcover – 15 Jun 2011

In 1624 and 1957 two artists, aged thirty, moved to Rome. Nicolas Poussin and Cy Twombly subsequently spent the majority of their lives in the Eternal City, and went on to become the preeminent painters of their day. This book looks at these two figures side by side for the first time, examining how the two painters, separated by three centuries, nonetheless engaged with shared interests and concerns.

19th Day of Christmas

Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing Hardcover

 20 May 2013

An up-to-the-minute survey of contemporary drawing featuring 115 artists from around the world, Vitamin D2 allows the reader to look at the medium in detail and study drawing’s unique properties in relation to itself, to contemporary art and to the world at large.

I have a copy of this (5 years old so up-to-the-minute-ish).  It is part of a series of  either drawing or painting books showcasing contemporary practise. Always interesting.

I haven’t got a supplier but they are around.

20th Day of Christmas

In preparation for the National Gallery’s exhibition – Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light (18 March – 7 July 2019)

Sorolla the Masterworks

A new survey of the best works by the elusive and spectacular Spanish Impressionist Joaquín Sorolla. Often compared to his contemporary, the American artist John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla (1863 1923) was a master draftsman and painter of landscapes, formal portraits, and monumental, historically themed canvases.

Joaquin-Sorolla-spanish-impressionist-Strolling along the Seashore 1909Highly influenced by French Impressionism, the Valencian artist was a master plein-air painter known for his luminous seaside scenes of frolicking youths and for vivid depictions of Spanish rural life and its pleasures and customs. This beautifully designed and produced volume brings together one hundred of Sorolla s major paintings, selected by his great-granddaughter Blanca Pons-Sorolla, the foremost authority on the artist. Benefiting from close proximity to the artist and his personal archives, she presents an in-depth essay that explores Sorolla s life, work, and remarkable international legacy. With virtually all of the artist s previous publications now out of print, this much-anticipated volume is an important addition to the literature on this great Spanish master.

Sorolla Masterworks

21st Day of Christmas

Surely it is impossible to have too many brushes?  No photo.  Just give me BIG hog hair brushes.

Price £12.90

Made of hog bristle, this brush is traditionally used in oil painting. The white Chinese bristle from Chungking is of the highest quality. Its natural hardness responds perfectly to more or less dense oil painting technique and acrylic.

Ferrule Diameter: 62.6mm Brush Head Length: 7.8mm

22nd Day of Christmas

I love to use Charcoal. It is quick, responsive, subtle, surprising.. If you are giving it as a present I would suggest the largest pieces you can find.  BBQ charcoal can be interesting (make sure it isnt impregnated with starter fluid). Compressed charcoal is dark and interesting, and charcoal pencils have their place.

I hope to be able to provide EXCELLENT charcoal before too long…still at the development stage at the moment.



Charcoal is most often used for quickly sketching and is especially suitable for life drawing sessions. It is chosen by so many artists because of the immediate response to the artists hand where the marks can be very bold and heavy or can be blended into soft and subtle shading. Willow charcoal breaks easily, especially the thinner sizes. But that’s okay as you will usually want to break the sticks into smaller pieces when you start drawing, as they will be easier to use.

Charcoal Pencils

Charcoal pencils are the perfect tool for an artist who desires the traditional effect of a charcoal stick without the associated messy dust. Charcoal pencils are charcoal leads encased in a layer of wood which not only protects the charcoal from snapping, but also guards the fingers from charcoal marks.

And for something slightly different…   Artgraf do a variety of interesting drawing materials. Seek them out.



Price £4.90


23rd Day of Christmas

Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip Flexibound – 5 Oct 2018

I haven’t seen this book yet, but I like the idea.  I may be found on Boxing Day, in a quiet corner, dreaming of holidays to come…

A global guide to the 500 works of permanently installed modern and contemporary art worth traveling to experience

Enjoy a world tour from the comfort of your reading chair or plan a detailed and engaging art itinerary for your next trip with Destination Art, the essential guide to 500 must-see examples of permanently installed art from the last 100 years. With the book’s geographical organization and logistical details – including GPS coordinates, addresses, websites, and symbols indicating the degree of possible access, travel planning is made easy.

Discover hidden gems in big cities, explore art in nature, and trek to remote locales for one-of-a-kind experiences of art in unique locations. The artists featured in this global selection are among the world’s best and most beloved from the past century, including Marina Abramović, Alexander Calder, Jenny Holzer, Yayoi Kusama, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Richard Serra, and many more.

Highlighting the best and most significant of public art in city centers, sculpture parks, site-specific installations in museums, memorials designed by contemporary artists, works of land art, and much more, Destination Art is an informative and enjoyable overview of the most significant and travel-worthy art around the globe.

From the publisher of Destination Architecture.

24th Day of Christmas

The Fortnum’s Christmas Box

Catalogue code: 2201911
This Fortnum’s Christmas Box encapsulates the spirit of a childhood Christmas. Amongst the array of sweet treats you’ll find magical biscuits and seriously delicious chocolate in all shapes and sizes. Open up this box of merry enjoyment!


All I want for Christmas…


The last minute panic

Bits and bobs for artists (or even major purchases) are easy – there are so many useful, fun, interesting, innovative things that could slip into a stocking, or hide under the Christmas tree. This list could be endless.  You might find you rather fancy taking up painting too. Below are a few ideas, with links to make it easy.

If you want to touch and feel the goodies you are buying and are in Stockbridge have a look at ELEF, the new art supplies shop, opposite the Greyhound.  They stock top of the range supplies in all media.

Memberships to any of the following:

Royal Academy

National Gallery


The Art Fund


For all those who want to ‘take up art…’

Obviously, lessons at ArtDrawPaint, plus –

There are lots of sets available for beginners/returners.  They all look so inviting – like sweeties in a shop window.

Oil painting involves paints, brushes, palettes, paper, blah blah blah. For a  cheap and cheerful set with all you would need to get started have a look at Daler Rowney Starter bundle. There seems to be a bit of a gap with linseed oil and thinners and palettes but enough to get started, or to take to classes.

At the other end of the price scale is a top of the range Old Holland set – very luxurious.

In the watercolour market there are lots of delightful sets of varying sizes

I’m a bit hopeless with watercolours so hardly ever use them – however these wonderful bright paints from Koh-i-noor look like watercolours but are bright and wonderful. I would LOVE these in my stocking

Two different acrylic options – I love the liquitex collection…it always excites me to see so many wonderful colours

If you fancy a go at lino cutting this is an easy to use basic kit. It is addictive


For the artist who seems to have quite a lot of stuff already…

There are three options in this category: something they use regularly, something unusual they might not know about, and  something you can’t have enough of…

Something they use regularly is a tricky one.  My husband is a keen fisherman and it seems to me that trawling through the kit is one of the pleasures of fishing. Likewise with painting. I use Old Holland paints and love them. It is delightful that anyone should have noticed and thought they could buy me a few, but actually I want to choose my own. You are a brave person to think you know what to buy in this category. I’d leave it.

Something unusual can be fun. Pip Seymour’s ancient drawing materials are certainly unusual, and fun to work with – some are easier than others, but that is part of the fun.

This is a tricky one to describe – graphite that feels like a putty rubber is the best I can do. Good stuff.

Things you can’t have enough of… The two things I would put in this category are brushes and books. Buy the best brushes you can afford to give, and have a look in every Oxfam, Scope, Hospice shop for art books – second hand they are not too expensive.

A hardback sketchbook is pretty irresistible too.


An Easel to last a lifetime

Each Mabef easel is made in Italy from good quality beech wood. Amongst professional and ametuer artists Mabef easels have been the popular choice for over 50 years.

Grand Gestures…

How about a few days in Paris to see the ‘Icons of Modern Art, the Shchukin Collection’ at the Foundation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry?