Art as a Gift – Ask the Artsperts

by Juliana Meek and Kristine Meek

Dear Artsperts:

I am looking for a very special gift for very special people in my life. I wonder do you have any advice for me for purchasing a painting for each of my children and for my wife this Christmas.

Is it possible to find something that won’t break the bank?


Shopping for Others

“Epipyll II” by Gary Bukovnik, watercolor, 11”x11”, 2010. Bukovnik paints flowers with motion, giving them energy and interest as well as beauty.

Dear Shopping,

Art is personal, it is all about how the viewer relates to the images and colors in a work and the feelings the work evokes. Art makes for a perfect gift for someone special – a spouse, child, grandchild or dear friend –someone close to you, who you know well.

In most cases paintings that are purchased as a gift, tend to be small works. Not only are these works less expensive, but their size makes them easier to wrap and give. Small works are also easier to receive because they are more likely to fit anywhere in the recipient’s home.

There is always room for a small work of art! The one scenario that is an exception to this is the case of a delayed gift. We have had many situations where parents will purchase work with their children in mind, but with the intention of giving it many years in the future. Until that time they plan to have the works hanging in their own home, in which case they tend to purchase larger works.

When purchasing for multiple children, many people do like to keep the purchases fair in terms of value. A good choice is always a 10”x8” Hunt Slonem rabbit. These are our most popular works that are given as gifts to children (both young and adult).Hunt Slonem is well known for his rabbit paintings and the small 10”x8” rabbits come in a variety of colors and techniques, such as diamond dust and metallic paint. The price is the same for any 10”x8” sized work by Hunt Slonem. No matter how many he has painted, each rabbit has its own unique personality.

“Black Diamond” by Hunt Slonem, oil on wood, 10”x8”, 2017. Hunt Slonem uses diamond dust on many works including this one, which is ground glass. It’s one of his most loved techniques.

With gifts for friends, clients have purchased small watercolors of a particular type of flower by Gary Bukovnik. A noted watercolorist, Gary Bukovnik has works in the permanent collections of many top museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian, Chicago Museum of Art, and Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. His flowers are beautiful and make for a very special gift for a dear friend.

When purchasing for a spouse, there are many options to choose a work that reminds you of your spouse. The trick is keeping it a secret from your spouse! In one case, a client purchased a work for his wife as gift. He knew she loved the work, so it was an easy purchase. It became tricky when his wife came in to purchase the work for herself.

We are normally extremely honest at Harmon-Meek Gallery, but in this scenario, we had to come up with a quicklie to keep the purchase a secret!

Each year with the Holiday gifts in mind, Harmon-Meek Gallery has exhibited a small works art show. This year’s exhibition runs November 20 – December 8 at Harmon-Meek Gallery (5999th St N Suite 309). Small works are on display throughout the year at Harmon-Meek modern (382 12th Ave S).

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