Art view                Paulette Thenhaus


Gifts for the artist


The editor requests a story ... one less salacious than the last. Perhaps one on what a gift-­giver might give to an artist? Well, I can write that one pretty painlessly.

The first thing on my list is a portable heater (Big Heat is good). Unless you're a blue-chip artist like Dorothea Tanning, your studio is probably darn cold at this time of year. Every artist can use more warmth. An electric blanket is another thoughtful gift. Mittens with flaps that expose the fingers so a painter can paint are pretty neat, too.

Many artists collect tools, just as carpenters do. They're always building frames, pedestals, stretchers and the like. The hammer is often misplaced when hanging a show. Give him or her a power drill or a new staple gun and you'll get a "Wow!" Get them a Fleximaster Point Master for framing and you will probably get a big kiss on the cheek.

Artists do have office duties. I mean, they do pay taxes like everybody else. A box of paper clips, pens, rubber bands, scissors and pushpins and the like, will save them a trip to Staples in January.

Artists also hate to waste time and money shopping for such mundane things as socks and underwear. If you are a close enough friend to the guy or gal to know their specific size, give them several pairs. If youÕre not that close, just guess and keep the receipt.

Since the price of tube paint has tripled in two years, you are really saying "I like your work" when you give them a tube of cadmium red (or their favorite color, or just white to be safe). Know whether they use oils, acrylics or watercolor when you head to Dick Blick. In fact, a gift card to Dick Blick is worth more to an artist than one to TiffanyÕs.

Everyone likes to eat, especially artists, but they hate to waste time shopping and preparing meals (They have better things to do). Those little boxes of cheese and sausage that some pooh-pooh as a gift are relished by studio artists. Caution: First find out whether the artist is vegetarian or not. Anything baked or homemade is a sure delight, even fruitcake.

A subscription to Art in America will save the artist a monthly trip to the library.

Of course, if we're talking big-time gifts, what artist wouldn't love an all expense paid trip to Chicago. Now that will ring some bells! But to truly honor an artist, buy one of their works. Your artist probably has a reasonably priced work in one of Galesburg's cafˇs, the Antique Mall, Dovetail, Carolina's Creations or the Galesburg Civic Art Center. Nothing warms an artist's heart more in the chill of January like getting a check for a holiday sale.

From "Art View" to you, Happy Holidays and remember to treat your favorite artist well all year long. As has been said before, "You gotta have art!"