Monday, December 15, 2014


Ahhh... Christmas. Such a magical time of the year.

Ten days and counting. Here it is. A ton of forced socializing with its attendant hangovers, frazzled nerves and time constraints, and that's before the... dum-da-dum-dum... the dreaded MALL. How to not get caught up in the mind-numbing, lemming-like, demoralizing, financially devastating pursuit of gimmee, gimmee, gimmee and give, give, give till it hurts?

Well, you could get completely under the covers and simply not come out, although the result might be men in white coats brandishing a Taser and a straight jacket, and a forced frog-march to a padded room at the chuckle farm. (Hmmm, I wonder if they serve turkey there on Xmas. Might be a good thing...)
Here's another, better idea. Get your weary carcass to an art gallery and give the gift of a piece of art. Not only will you avoid the crush of ill-tempered zombies, you'll be giving something unique and meaningful. Meaningful!! How much of that do you find in that commercial wasteland known as The Mall?

Anita Nelson's perfect little paintings.
Art: I know what you're thinking; that you'd be afraid of choosing something weird or wrong which could result in an embarrassing faux pas, like that time you were caught picking your... never mind! Or you're convinced that art is so incredibly expensive you'd have to melt down your five golden rings the silver bells and sell your ingenious nativity made completely of glue-soaked cat hair. Wrong on all counts. Read on, oh Christmas burn-out.

Here are some pieces of ART (not from China, but handmade right here in Houston) priced at $120 or below. So forget the juicers, the necktie, the predictable plastic STUFF... this year start something new. Make it something special, something personal, something thoughtful and meaningful, something that isn't mass produced. Take a stand and take back Christmas.

Cookie Wells' evocative faces

Tumblers by Bally Studio

Joel Anderson's clever tiles combining the periodic table with popular phrases (know an engineer or scientist?)

Here's the dealio... the how-to of buying art-as-a-gift.

  • You have a friend and you want to get them something special. Right. Where to start.

  • What are your friend's special interests or hobbies? Competitive dog grooming, naked bacon frying, gardening, sailing?... Sure it sounds basic, but to make a gift of art work, it should resonate with the recipient...
If this is your friend's dog, they may have
a preference for something colorful
  • If the friend has no hobbies, what sort of work do they do? Fortune cookie writer, bee keeper, fashion designer?...

  • One more question about your friend... what is their style? Consider how they've decorated. Only you can suss out whether the receiver prefers abstract, realism, minimalism, maximalism (okay, I just made that last one up)...

  • Set a price in your head... your maximum budget, and stick to it.

  • Now head to Archway Gallery. (Get a grip... of course I'm going to plug my gallery!) Get thee to the calm oasis of Archway where we've put up a plethora of reasonably priced beautiful pieces for your Christmas cheer.
Another of Anita Nelson's tiny perfect paintings of animals and birds
Look! $120 or less!

Gene Hester's glass bowls
with magical shadows
More tumblers from Bally Studios

Harold Joiner's calming landscapes

And one of my five floral studies available now at Archway

Thanks for stopping by.
Hope your Christmas shopping goes smoothly.
Art online:
Archway Gallery: