It’s always really rewarding and heart-warming to support your local arts and craft scene. This year, with all the strain put on the creative industries, means more than ever.
I made a compilation of Top 10 Christmas Presents back in 2016, feel free to have a look. This years includes more creatives I’ve discovered since who are worth a shout.
Andy Farr creates meaningful oil paintings that are inspired by the themes of mental health and well-being. I found his exhibition ‘The Twisted Rose and Other Lives‘ deeply moving. His recent project has been ‘Portraits of Isolation‘ which explores peoples experiences of lockdown.
You may have read my interview with Katie I did for the blog a while ago. Her original paintings of wildlife animals are a combination of reality and imagination and can easily transfer you to an enchanted world where not everything is what it looks like. She has a true talent for pet portraits too which can easily make one-of-a-kind special present for someone (or yourself).
We met with Rachel at a Christmas market in Fargo Village in Coventry a few years back. Her bright, striking colours and mischievous characters are bound to bring a smile to your face and brighten your day. I recently became the proud owner of one of her prints – ‘Two Cheeky Birds’ – which I absolutely love and remind me of my childhood books with folk fairytales.
We’ve not met in person as yet but I’m following Judith’s artworks on social media and we are both members of UK Artists organisation. She paints beautiful seascapes, fields with flowers and sunsets and charming rabbits and other wild animals. Definitely worth a visit to her website!
Mark is a fellow NaiveArt painter who created enchanting paintings overflowing with colour and positive emotions. You will soon recognise a lot of the local places of interest such as the Chesterton Windmill or Leamington Town Bowling Club or Shakespeares Birthplace. I usually don’t miss an opportunity to stock on his wonderful greeting cards and I’ve also purchased a print for a gift to my grandparents.
If you are fond of the works of the old masters, you’d find Roger’s fine art is definitely your cup of tea. His mastery is undeniable and he can tell you a lot about the story in a painting and about the transformational power of painting. He was my ‘art neighbour’ at the fair where I showed my artworks to the world for the first time. I vividly remember him assigning that day to his art student to turn a summary landscape into winter one which magically happened (with lots of hard work) at the end of the three days.
Chris Dunn’s artworks are in every sense of the word magical! Simply bow before his talent and the heart-warming fairytales which you get the chance to visit through them.
I’ve discovered Alex Johnson’s works through another talented friend and he also held an exhibition of prints at the White Horse in Leamington in 2019 which I had the honour to visit. His eye for detail and dark beauty make his captures spellbinding. I especially like his portraits of the night sky.
A photographer with a strong sense of social justice and gift for capturing the right moment at the right time. His photographs of wild animals are like soul portraits, they make you see powerful relationship in nature to which you can relate. I especially admire his photo journalism which is great example or art brining about positive change.
The most fascinating ceramic works, true delight to the eye and imagination! I’m so happy I met Sarah at one of the Contemporary Art Fairs in Windsor. I got a few of her beautiful postcards. Would recommend to anyone looking for one-of-a-kind, exquisite fine art present.
Those who have had the pleasure to meet Emma also know her bubbly personality and natural ability to make you smile and encourage you learn about the magic behind her creative process. Her textile landscapes fascinate with their bold colour combinations and positive energy. I’ve got one of her pin brooches which reminds me of my mum somehow.
You’ve got to instantly fall in love with Nicola’s delicate and intricate ceramic creations. That’s what happened to me when I found her works exhibited at a local art show in Jepson Gardens. Her process and the unique effects on her ceramics turn them into a statement pice that would adorn the home of the creative soul.
Jenny’s original ceramic works are bound to be stuck in your mind for a long time. They really stop you in your tracks and make you think. I feel really privileged to have had the chance to exhibit next to her at Art in The Park festival in 2019. She struck me as cheerful and wise, someone you can lear a lot from.
At the same Art in The Park art-venture we were exhibiting under the same tent with Ben Cowan as well. His satyrical, thought-provoking prints and unique up-cycled lamps can make the perfect present this festive season. There is also the feel-good factor of giving a new life and a new home of an object that has just found its new mission.
Probably worth mentioning that most of the artists from the list above would also offer prints and greeting cards.
Delighted to have discovered these beautiful, funny, charming greeting cards by artists Fiona and Hilary Scoble. It’s just like in those kid’s fairytales.
I was on the look for nature-inspired british-made jewellery and that’s how I discovered this lovely family business. I am confident they will make the perfect gift for someone close to your heart.
So, that’s my list for the moment, I am sure it will keep growing as I discover more and more local artists and crafters. Feel free to share your list and let’s help small businesses in the UK ride out the storm.