Category Archives: Arts

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Unique and Different Christmas Gift Ideas

Coaster - Blue - Set 4 SplayedAs we lead up to Christmas with a few weeks to go, the big question (well, there are a few) is “What do I get so-and-so for Christmas?”  It’s always a hard one to find gifts for people, so thought I’d put my thinking cap on for you.  Yes, you can go with the usual gift card or voucher, but that’s quite impersonal, you may as well pop some money in an envelope.


Here are some thoughts for unique Christmas gifts ….


For the person who ‘has everything’

Well, the truth of the matter is that they probably don’t have everything, but I get it, they have a lot.  This will be a little harder and you will need to be observant.  What do they like doing?  What is their interest?  A rare gift doesn’t have to be expensive, but it certainly should be unique or consider something which is not unique, but by personalising it becomes unique.  For example, a low-cost item might be a t-shirt with a photo of you both on it or a great photo of your friend.  It might be a quote you know your friend or family member loves – again put onto a t-shirt or tea towel to make it something unique and personal.

Animal lover?

Considering a gift for someone who is an animal lover and adores their pet?  What about a pencil sketch of their fur baby?  As an artist, this is something I do – I sketch animals – specifically (and only) dogs.  My dog ‘pawtraits’ are completed in a couple of days once I receive the photographs and then mailed to you as flat.  You can select a frame and give as a gift which is unique, personal and something they are likely to treasure for a long time. Check out this page.

A lady can never have enough jewellery

The great thing about jewellery is that it can be worn with other pieces.  You can wear multiple bangles at once, even a number of rings on a single finger.  However, again, be observant and buy what the person is likely to wear.  If they wear only gold, then don’t buy them silver.  When you are shopping for someone else, don’t buy what you like, buy what you honestly believe they would like.  We all have different tastes and whilst one person would love big statement earrings, the next person would value petite, elegant ones.

Green thumb options

Plants are always a nice accessory to any home.  Personalise your gift a little more by buying a nice pot and a lovely plant to go in it and build the gift yourself.  Some nurseries will give you great options, but for something really unique you will have to put it together yourself.  If the person you are buying for likes to cook, what about a planter with a few herbs?  Just be sure to put the labels back in the new pot – I forgot one time for a friend who asked how to care for the plant.

 Art which doubles up as a drink coaster

An original piece of art would be a fantastic gift, but can sometimes be out of the budget – especially if you have quite a few gifts to buy.  However, something which is unique, original, artistic and falls within most budgets is my set of four drink coasters which are all original pieces of art.  My coasters are all originals, hand-painted and finished with a shiny gloss finish.  Each set of four sticks to a theme, but each and every one of them is just a little different, so even within a set, no two are exactly the same.  Check out this page.

And for the men …

I can remember growing up and the typical gift for a man (especially a Dad on Fathers Day) was a “tie, sox or jocks”.  As we got older, a good bottle of Scotch was an alternative.  If your man has a sport or hobby, you might be able to supplement that, but more often than not, they have everything they need.  So, what do you get?  Firstly, think carefully about the man you’re buying for.  Would he value an old book?  Does he have a ‘man-cave’ and a drink dispenser would fit in nicely?  Has he a bit of a sense of humour and sock or boxers with his (or your) face on them be considered fun?  Does he write a lot and a quality pen be greatly appreciated?  Again, think about this as many people are switching to tablets and iPads, but just as you cannot have enough jewellery, I don’t think you can have enough quality pens.  Is he into technology?  There are heaps of gadgets online.  If he’s into fishing, is there a cool new gadget out there?  Perhaps talking to one of his fishing mates for ideas might help; they will likely know what the “I wish I had” item would be.

Hampers custom-made

Whilst you can buy many hampers in stores and online, why not consider making your own.  Simply get a box or basket and fill it with things the person is likely to like, use and appreciate.  A good bottle of an adult beverage, along with savoury and sweet ideas, mini puddings or Christmas cakes and other goodies you know they will enjoy.  If you’re catching up with a family member a fair bit before Christmas, including cold items in there, such as a Christmas ham, would certainly go down well.  Have fun decorating your hamper with ribbons of gold, green and red.

Rather than giving you a list of 101 gift ideas and just listing everything and anything, what I want you to do is think about the person.  What colours do they like?  What is their age group?  Are they more traditional or very modern?  Gender, of course, plays a part.  In fact, it’s often a great idea the few months leading up to Christmas to start a list of everyone you need to buy for, and then begin jotting down ideas.  Thinking of things last minute is hard, but with a bit of planning and thought I’m sure you’ll come up with something.  So, wishing you a Merry Christmas and may your New Year be prosperous and fulfilling. 🙂

Read Benefits of Having Art in the Workplace.


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Painting Outside (Plein Air Painting) vs Inside the Studio

Painting Outside (Plein Air Painting) vs Inside the StudioAt some point in any of my chats with fellow artists and followers, I get asked whether I prefer to do plein air painting or inside the studio.  A silent argument between the two has been lingering on some people’s minds.  So let me address that continuing concern here in my blog to give you access about which of the two should be weighed better or does one really matter over the other?



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Tips in Building Your Social Media Following in Your Art Business

Tips in Building Your Social Media Following in Your Art BusinessHaving an online presence in social media is absolutely one of the most important marketing strategies to promote a brand nowadays. There is no need denying the fact that social media (coupled with online options) is the best place to market your products because it is where the most influential and exciting interactions happen.  Every year, technology offers something that modifies social media and makes people even more connected to one another and to the things they love and are passionate about.

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What I Believe is Art’s Place in Society

Arts place in societyArt has become part of our civilisation since I don’t know when.  Well actually, probably since caveman days.  It is unarguably present in all aspects of our culture and activities.  All of the significant historical events are brought to commemoration through the arts.  Perhaps that is where (or why) we have the phrase “a picture says a thousand words”.  It is the most important record in every society there is.  It is through these that people are brought together as great accomplishments are being remembered and particular values are reinforced.

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Redland’s Creative Alliance Horizons Art Exhibition


Opening Saturday 9th March 2019
At Myhorizon Event Centre Runnymede Road, Capalaba
1-15A Runnymede Road, Capalaba QLD 4157, next to Indigiscapes
4.30pm – drinks and nibbles, 5pm – entertainment till 7.30pm.

The entertainment supplied by performance members will commence at 5.30pm (gold coin entry to help our starving artists?!)
Join in this celebration with a diverse and wonderful variety of artists, to be held in the wonderful semi outdoors, newest event facility in the Redlands. It’s an opportunity to meet the artists, the people of Myhorizon Event Centre and honoured guests. There will be light refreshments and a pay bar. Please invite your family and friends.

RSVP to by 1st March 2019.

Click here for more info.

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How Art is Therapeutic

How Art is TherapeuticAmongst the many misconceptions surrounding art is the belief that you have to be born with the talent to achieve something from it.  So many people are afraid to delve into arts because they think that there is no benefit from it because they do not know anything about it – or they believe they are “talentless”.  Well, let me say, that does not hold true.  I have seen and known of many a person who states they have no skill, gain so much from the actual act of being artistic.  Remember also that art comes in many forms.  Art can be painting, or drama, singing or playing music, or pottery, sculpture, printing … the list goes on and on.  Art has been a large chunk of my entire life; from bringing inspiration, motivation, peace, harmony, confidence and success, it has also brought me a wide array of actions that is advantageous to my growth and well-being.

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What is Your Advice / Tips for Making It In the Art Industry?

What is Your Advice Tips for Making It In the Art IndustryThere are so many things happening in the art world.  At times it can be a bit intimidating especially for newcomers. There is a need to cope with the realities of the ever-changing era of this vast art industry.  Life of an artist is a bittersweet mix of an infinite sea of uncertain arrangements, profitable demands, and aggressive competitiveness.

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How I Cope with Artist’s Block

We’ve heard of writer’s block, but have you heard about artist’s block?

How I cope with artist's block

Frightening as it may seem, the phrase is essentially the absence of creativity; something no artist wants in his life. Although it is not an unusual experience for an artist’s imagination to dry up – which can be frustrating, particularly if you are meeting a deadline or have to produce a piece for an occasion. The process of bringing back inspiration into your craft can be demanding but is well worthwhile.

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Creating a Series of Paintings and Its Advantages

Beneath the SeaA series of painting might seem strange to some.  It brings varied thoughts to both artists and spectators.  The negative (or positive), if your focus is to sell pieces, is that if a large group does not like the subject, all may be dismissed.  But likewise, if the subject is popular, then you are offering many options of that popular subject.


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How to Select Art to Buy

How to select an art to buyFor some, it can be a hard decision on what to buy.   How do you come to that decision?   What are the factors you should consider when buying art pieces?



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