Being the nice person that I am, I am going to help those of you out there who are flummoxed over what to buy the artist in your life. Although the artist you love would probably be perfectly happy, maybe even thrilled, to receive some more blank paper or new paints, I understand that the average person gets bored giving the same gift over and over and wants to give something unique. So here's an idea for you.
This is a picture of a gift that I recently received from my sister-in-law and her family. (Thanks Sue!) It is beautiful, shell shaped sculpture that looks lovely on my studio shelves. Even better, the sculpture is made from graphite, which means it is more than just a pretty ornament - it actually writes too! The point is nice for drawing lines, whereas the smooth flat side is good for creating broad strokes. The graphite does not rub off onto my hands or onto the shelf where it sits. Cool, huh? I'm sure most artists would think so.
Although the shell works as a pencil, I don't know how regularly I will use it. The form is so graceful I would be sad to wear it down. But I can see myself using it to do some warm up exercises or to play around with when I need to beat back one of those nasty artist slumps. And I think just having it displayed in my studio, seeing it sitting there full of possibility, will bring me inspiration when I need it.
My wonderful shell was created by sculptor Agelio Batle. You can learn more about his products here.