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Thrill the Artist with these unique gifts.

These 5 unique kinds of gifts will thrill the artist in your life, especially if they’re the sort who loves nature, or natural and organic things. I’m a nature lover, an artist and paint-maker myself and so I’ve compiled this list with a somewhat biased eye, I admit.

This year seems like a good year to do a “Christmas in July” sort of post. Except I’ll post this in June, instead. It will be nice to look at and dream of gift-giving and receiving after the difficult start we’ve all experienced with Year 2020. Except for the book, the items I’ve highlighted here are hand-crafted items. The book (and the art journal) are gifts I’ve recently given myself, and would probably be loved by anyone who loves creating things from nature. I’d love it if you have a maker to recommend for this list. Leave a comment with a description of what they make and how to find them. Money is tight for many people right now, so if you’re not in a position to gift your nature artist friend or loved one now, bookmark this page and come back to it later when you are!

Thrill the Artist in Your Life with These 5 Unique Kinds of Gifts

I’m not able to stick with only five individual gift ideas, because I found too many in a couple of the categories that I really wanted to share with you. So it’s 5 unique gift categories instead. All of the images below are linked to the maker’s page or Instagram profile, so you can learn more about them.

1. Art Journal

These little repurposed leather (and refillable!) watercolor journals are likely to thrill the artist of any genre. The maker lives in Michigan and is also a paint maker. I found her through yet another paint maker (who makes brushes) in my circle of kindreds on Instagram.

A repurposed leather watercolor journal from Colors of the Iron Range. Sure to thrill the artist.
If this one is no longer available, look for the shop Colors of the Iron Range to see the others.

For the artist who likes to also journal their art lives, our very own local Little Mountain Book Bindery in Fayetteville, AR makes these gorgeous refillable fillions. This is on my wish list.

I love these. I love journaling in general, but to do it in one of these would be pretty awesome.

2. Paint Brushes

@mmmordere is the artist/paint-maker/brush-maker I mentioned in the ‘journal’ item above. While brush-making is not her main thrust in the artistic life, because she’s a paint-maker and artist too, … and maybe she actually has another life on the side, too, lol … she does make and post about these from time to time. They sell almost as fast as she makes them, so it’s a good idea to watch her Instagram feed if you’d like to have one. Her brushes are made from natural fibers/hair and the shafts are usually foraged natural items. If you want a completely unique item that is sure to delight a nature loving artist, this would be it.

There’s another artist on Instagram who makes brushes using road-kill hairs (fox, squirrel, etc.) and bamboo shafts. Here’s one of hers with an oak shaft:

Handmade brushes for artists are sure to be a gift that will thrill the artist.
A brush by Gretchen Gavlahn.

3. Mood Spray (Aromatherapy)

There are a lot of good reasons to use one of these wonderful sprays from Good Acres Life, but I love the idea of setting the mood for a creative session in the studio. I particularly like the “Rest” scent, but I think “Awaken” may be better for activity. The idea of a space-setting ritual appeals to me. This is bound to thrill the artist in your life. Another future gift idea to make a mental note of… they’re building a retreat rental with incredible neck-deep tubs for soaking in. I am planning to spend a night there just so I can soak in that tub! Luckily they’re located right here in northwest Arkansas. Want a sneak peak at it? Go to their Instagram page and you’ll see it posted there.

One of the 5 Unique Gifts for the Artists in Your Life: These wonderful environmentally friendly sprays are great for setting the mood for a creative jaunt in the studio.
These wonderful environmentally friendly sprays are great for setting the mood for a creative jaunt in the studio.

4. Handmade Watercolors

Yep, I threw one of my own creations in here too 😉 This travel kit has everything you need to make art in a tight pinch. Maybe it’ll thrill the artist you know. They can throw it in their backpack, pack it into their luggage, or just carry it in a tote.

But there are more than my pigments to choose from. If you’ll follow the #handmadewatercolors or #earthpigments hashtags you’ll find a lot of them. Or just look to see who I’m following. I’m not able to highlight them all, but here are two who’s work inspires me. First is Heidi Gustafson from Early Futures. She is … indescribable. I don’t know how to explain how ‘connected’ she is to the stories of the earth. One of her workshops would be the ultimate gift for an artist.

Heidi leads workshops and sells pigments. Start here if you’re just beginning to learn about handmade watercolors. She’s @heidilynnheidilynn at Instagram. Definitely follow her there.

Scott Sutton is @pigmenthunter at Instagram. His work with foraged pigments (both earth and plant based) has been an inspiration to me. There are so many others, too. Here is a collection I love from @pigmenthunter:

The Northwest Watercolor Palette is a collection of pigments that @pigmenthunter harvested over the past 15 years while exploring different watersheds and geological environments.
Not available yet, but should be soon. Visit the website by clicking the image and learn more about it.

Another artist-paintmaker who inspires me is Jodi Gear. She makes these awesome pigment sticks. Follow her at Instagram, too, if you’d like to get inspired.

5. A Book of Ideas

My copy of this hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m totally excited to be getting it. Though it’s not like I need more ideas on things to do. I just love the organic look and feel of my own pigments, so figured it wouldn’t hurt to immerse in the knowledge of how to do other similar sustainable sorts of artsy things.

Thrill the Artist

If you are a maker of things that would thrill the artist, please do leave a comment with your website link. Outside of Instagram, I don’t have a whole lot of knowledge of who’s who out there. If you’re not an artist, but know someone who is, bookmark this page so you can come back to it whenever you’re stumped for ideas on what to gift them.


Madison Woods is an artist and paintmaker from Kingston, Arkansas.
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Author/Artist Info
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In the summer of 2018 I began making watercolor paints from the rocks, clay, and other resources of our land here in the Ozarks. My artwork is made exclusively with these paints. I call them Wild Ozark Paleo Paints, because they’re made in a way very close to the same way paints were made when man first put a hand-print on the wall of a cave. My specialty is painting nature, specifically the nature that surrounds me here in the remote hills of northwest Arkansas.

Click here to join my mailing list.

Madison Woods
@wildozark (Instagram and FB)
[email protected]

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11 June 2020 9:48 am

[…] Also Read: Thrill the Artist in Your Life with These 5 Unique Kinds of Gifts […]

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