Most of us artists like to give the special people in our lives something hand made, hand crafted, or hand painted rather than some mass produced item from a retail store. If you're like me -- someone who detests shopping -- you'll move heaven and earth to avoid retail experiences.
But coming up with gift ideas can be tough, especially on short notice. Whenever I find myself in this situation, I turn to my collage skills and artists like Botticelli, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Using a small copy of one of their paintings, a snippet or two of found paper, scissors, glue and a quirky sense of humor, creating a one-of-a-kind present is quick and easy.
For example, here's a gift I made for my niece when she was in college. Figuring she'd appreciate having a purse-sized notebook, I created this collage on the cover of a small, blank artist's sketchbook using Botticelli's famous Venus:
I could have used Venus just as she appeared in the original painting, but I wanted to contemporize her a bit, so I gave her a hot pink bikini. (I had to cut out that paper bikini with manicure scissors, BTW!) My niece loves the beach, so for the background I used a fragment of a map depicting the coastal area she and her parents frequent on their family vacations. Finally, I added some text that fit my theme, brushed on a light coat of acrylic varnish, and it was done. From start to finish the project took less than an hour to complete.
This same technique lends itself to making fun greeting cards. (Thinking up clever sayings to use with the images is half the fun. The other half is making the art!) Or, you could decorate the top of a trinket box, a wooden pencil case, or just about any item with a flat surface. In less than the time it would take to drive to the mall, you can create something totally unique that's sure to be appreciated by the lucky recipient -- all the while flexing your creative abilities while remaining happily in your studio!
©2016 Lynn Edwards