Gift of giving art…Support artists, buy handmade

I figured it was time I actually use this blog and write a post.  My first blog is about supporting the people in this world who create visual beauty and those people who create visual history.  When the economy goes downhill, artists and crafters are some of the hardest hit people.  The first thing people do in hard economic times, is cut back.  They stop frivolous spending.  So those people who would treat themselves to a new look for their dining room walls, and a nice piece of artwork to hang on that wall, won’t invest the extra money.  I have been hit hard by the economy. I have friends who are artists too and we sit to compare notes on how bad it is financially.  So I know I am not alone in my plight.

We all know there are special occasions that come around like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays, and Christmas where we need to spend money buying a gift.  Most artists have paintings lying around that are reasonably priced for budget minded people.  Also buying an artist reproduction is a way of purchasing reasonably priced art.  Or you could go one step further and have a painting specially made to suit your loved one.  Children especially need to learn to appreciate art.  I always give my  granddaughters art for special occasions…and sometimes for no reason at all…

Pink Butterfly for Lex, my granddaughter

Gift to my granddaughter Lindley







My gifts are the ones they appreciate the most.  These are just a sample of artwork I have given them.


Once I painted a Bass fish for a client’s son who loved fishing.  She had it made into a pillow for his bed. I bet he still owns that pillow to this day.  On Mother’s Day how about a handmade jewelry set, purchased from that woman down the street who makes jewelry, instead of buying jewelry from a department store or jewelry store?  We all know there have been times when the gift we’d like to purchase is too expensive for our budget.  So we get one or two people to share the expense.  That takes planning though.  So shop early, put some thought into the gift, and collaborate efforts if it is not in your personal budget.  At Christmas, I only give handmade gifts.  For one, I am always financially strapped and I surely can’t afford to give myself a Christmas bonus.  I remember one year in particular, I actually had a bit of extra money, and I was extremely busy.  So I shopped, because I just didn’t have the time to create(yes it takes way more time to create than to shop).  I felt horrible about my gifts that year.  And so did the members of my family that look so forward to my gifts.

I am blessed with a talent and I will use that talent to celebrate the GIFT of giving on Jesus’ Birthday.  I do all sort of creative projects at Christmas.  Sometimes I make everyone a painting.  Other times I do jewelry or treasure boxes.  For several years everyone received hand painted glassware.  This year I gave Saints wine glasses.  I can go into each of my family members homes and pick out many years of the gifts I have given on the walls, in china cabinets, and on dressers.  I realize not everyone’s blessed with the ability to create.  Just remember there are artists all over that create year round so they can sell art in hopes of just paying the bills, so they can continue in their craft, doing what they love, and bringing a little more beauty in this world.

NOW here is the real reason to buy art and support artists…There is no greater gift than art.  I am sure we have all heard the saying ART IS A GIFT THAT COMES FROM THE HEART.  How cliche…but so true.  That shirt you bought for Father’s Day, in a couple of years will go to good will, or be used as a rag for cleaning one day.  But the Bass fish artwork you had painted for dad last year will still be hanging on that wall for many years to come.  And he will inevitably pass that picture onto his son some day.  So for generations, that picture will be remembered.  You will have made a small contribution in helping an artist, but you will have a invested in lifetime of joy and heartfelt memories for a man who loved to fish. I have a friend who commissions me to make all of her baby shower gifts.  She gives me a budget, sends me a picture of the nursery bedding, and I paint the cutest paintings to hang on the walls.

baby shower gift-bees

This is just one set I painted for her.  After the first shower and her gift was a huge hit, HER gifts were the one’s everyone couldn’t wait to see in future showers.  Her gift will be the one that friend will always remember. In 20 years her friend will still remember who gave her that painting of the cute little bees.  I am positive she will not have a clue who gave her the booties that came from Wal-Mart.  And seeing as she will have no use for them, they will be given to good will or handed down to another expecting mom in less than a year.

Baby shower gift-Bees2

The bee paintings will be given to the child who grew up in that nursery to use for her first-born child’s nursery.  And so another heartfelt gift has served its purpose for many generations to come.

Simply put, if you use the theory of always buying  handmade, and not manufactured, you will help some person who is struggling in hard times.  And most importantly, you will show that person you love, how much you REALLY care, because you put some thought into their gift. For those of you who don’t get the purpose of this post, and you think it’s a bit corney…Who knows, someday that gift that you paid $75.00 for, may be worth 10 times or even 100 times that.  So lets just say you are making an investment in art, and one day you may be strapped for cash, and that small investment could bail you out.  I think you get the point.
I will quit babbling…God Bless…until next time…