Happy Little Accidents: The Wit & Wisdom of Bob Ross
When it comes down to it, life is really is just a series of happy little accidents from beginning to end (the good parts, at least). Which makes the late Bob Ross, cult hero and former host of The Joy of Painting, sort of like a modern American Buddha. This book collects his best short sayings, quips, and insights into one handy volume that can be referenced any time they need a lift. If this doesn’t transport them to a folksy sort of nirvana, nothing will.
It can be tough to shop for artists, but one thing you know for sure is - they’re into art. Commission an original work by a local artist or find a starving artist online who is hungry for a sale. The gift will be sincerely appreciated by everyone involved. Make sure you pick something that suits your friend’s aesthetic and not your own!
In the right hands, a color wheel is like a recipe book for beautiful design. There are actually a lot of cool tricks that can be achieved by placing certain colors beside each other, as Jasper Johns explored in his work in the 1950s. For example, did you know that you can make one color look like two different colors? Or make two different colors appear as if they were exactly the same? There is a science behind it all, about how your brain interprets sensory input, but let the artist worry about that. Just know that this is an item that should be included with every painter’s toolkit, that can help them mix colors and understand the effects colors have on one another.
Any artist will want need this circular ruler as soon as they see it. Why did it take so long for someone to invent this? All that time spent multiplying the diameter by Pi to find the circumference of a circle, wasted. This is a no-brainer. Buy this thing now.
Inspiration is fleeting, and art trends come and go. Help the artist you know embrace the impermanence of their creations with this Zen water canvas. Water is brushed on the absorbent canvas, leaving beautiful gray marks that evaporate and completely disappear within minutes, reminding the artist that their best ideas are yet to come.
The greatest innovation in stippling since…well maybe the only innovation in stippling. It’s a fun process and the results are beautiful, there’s just one big problem - making all those damn dots. If the artist you know happens to have shaky hands (or a serious coffee addiction), then they may already be a stippling machine, but for the rest of us there is the Pointillist Electronic Pen.
We are constantly awash in a sea of waves, fields, and rays, not to mention whatever the aliens are shooting into us, and if the scientists didn’t tell us about it we would have no idea any of that stuff is even there. The ferrofluid desk toy is a super cool way to see what magnetic fields would look like if they were actually visible. The included 2-poled magnetic wand allows the user to literally manipulate physics with their hands. Well, that’s probably not true, but it kind of looks like it.
If you know an artist that likes to draw or paint from photographs, this instant printer may be just the thing they need. Sure they could use their desktop computer, but this is a whole lot easier and they can take it anywhere. If you’ve ever played with an old Polaroid camera you know the joy of snapping a photo and instantly seeing a print. It’s also a quick way to produce small scale art - snap a picture with the phone, print, sign, and sell.
Artists are always searching the world for inspiration, but the most amazing discoveries are really inside their creative minds. Treat them to a sensory depravation experience and let their minds wander the Cosmos in search of beauty and truth. Or maybe they just take a nap, either way they’ll get something out of it.