Merry Christmas to Me!

When I was growing up, I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. I knew all along that the department store Santas who came ho-ho-ho’ing around were just men dressed up in a red suit, black boots, and a fake wig and beard. I had no desire to sit upon their laps and tell them what I wanted for Christmas.

I’ve never cared much for surprises, either, so every year I tell my husband “Don’t get me anything for Christmas.” Same with birthdays, too. In fact, it’s the same all year long. Please don’t “surprise” me with any gifts — the only exceptions being cash in hand or ice cream. I’ll always accept those surprises.

From Spiegel’s 1955 Christmas Catalog

As a child, instead of telling Santa — or anyone else — what I wanted for Christmas, I simply picked up the Spiegel catalogue that always came in the mail, flipped through the pages, and picked out what I wanted. It made it all so simple, and I was always sure of getting something I wanted, not something I had to pretend to like.

I’ve continued this practice throughout the years. The Spiegel catalogue is no longer available, but now there’s Amazon! So when my birthday comes around and then again in December, I pick out what I want and treat myself to a lovely little gift. In the last few years since I started learning to draw, those gifts have mostly been art-related.

Earlier this morning I picked out and gave myself my Christmas gift. It’s a bit early, that’s true, but an e-mail arrived offering me a $10.00 discount on a year’s membership at Artists’ Network. I’ve been thinking about joining, considered trying it out for a month or two, but then when that $10.00 discount arrived, I figured it was time to jump in and become a member.

The site has been recommended to me by many artists, and I think it’s going to prove well worth the price. It covers a lot of different media, offers a lot of helpful articles and videos, and will provide a lot of inspiration, I’m sure.

My one concern is that there are so many areas to explore, I might find myself getting overwhelmed! To keep that from happening, I’m going to do my best to remain focused on the three primary areas I’m exploring: graphite drawing, landscape oil painting, and loose watercolor. The site offers a lot of live demonstrations, opportunities to chat with other artists, and a variety of books, all included with the membership. There are even “members only” art competitions.

Again, the one concern I have is that there’s so much to explore, I might be tempted to try too many different things.

If there’s one disadvantage here that I’ve found from my morning browsing, it’s that the various demonstrations aren’t listed with any particular skill level. I’d find it more helpful if articles and demonstrations were arranged to show “beginner’s level”, “intermediate skill” or “advanced techniques.” But even so, I’ll have fun reading, learning, and — on my own — trying out different techniques.

So, Merry Christmas to me… and Merry Christmas to everyone! What art goodies are on your “wish list” this year?



  1. No art goodies. However, it’s hard to do art in the winter without a nice big mug of cappuccino handy, and my ancient espresso/cappuccino maker was threatening to blow up in a mountain of overheated steam. You know something is seriously broken when you can’t turn off the milk frother! So I answered the SO’s “what do you want for Christmas” question and a lovely DiLonghi machine arrived yesterday.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This year I stocked up on acrylic supplies to make my office space more aesthetically pleasing. My birthday is in December so I racked up in the same month. The products I inquired are of premium materials so I feel like a professional. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i used to love spiegels! and fingerhut… far as art networks i have been on a few and i just never seem to use them much..but looking forward to your adventures!!right now i am into my large Rive’s paper and my BF got me 4 extra large canvasses to play with for christmas:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, it’s so much fun to get art supplies. One year all the girls bought me canvases and drawing paper. That was so nice!

      Yes, Spiegel’s was my favorite. We also had the Sears “Wish Book” and a Montgomery Ward catalog, too.

      I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth from Artist’s Network. I’ve been browsing, and there are a lot of landscape painting videos and articles to learn from. I just hope I can find time for it all!

      Liked by 1 person

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