Friday, November 04, 2011

The Artist's Calendar - for 2012

At this time of year I begin to get very anxious about finding a new art calendar for the New Year.  If I haven't found one by the beginning of December I ratchet up to 'panic stations' mode! That's because I don't keep a diary - I maintain a calendar - and it sits right in front of me at my desk - just to the right of the iMac - and what I look at through the year is very important to me!

This year I got rather more anxious than usual when I didn't see a "must have" art calendar soon after they started to be published in the late summer.

So this year I actually sat down and created a website - just to make sure I knew what was on offer this year!  Except when I got started I actually ended up with two (prompted by Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery  - see my blog post on The Art of the Landscape)!

Click the links below to see the two websites I created.

Which artists do you like for your calendars?

I think you can tell a lot about the art you like by the calendars you choose.  I have to confess I hoard my old calendars because of the quality of the reproductions.  (Did I say I refuse point blank to have a calendar with poor quality reproductions?)


  1. Who are your favourite artists for your art calendars?
  2. Which artist will be gracing your walls in 2012?
I dug out my hoard to reveal that my recent favourites were as follows:
  • 2011 - John Singer Sargent
  • 2010 - Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh
  • 2009 - Vilhelm Hammershoi
  • 2008 - Monet Waterlilies and The New Yorker Cats
  • 2007:  Georgia O'Keeffe and Leonardo Drawings (I was a very happy bunny with these two!)
  • 2006:  Charles Rennie Mackintosh (my absolute favourite - watercolour landscapes and couple of flower studies from two exhibitions held by the National Galleries of Scotland - I've been trying to hunt down similar calendars ever since!)
My calendar this year is of Klimt's Landscapes.

Klimt's Landscapes - 2012 Wall Calendar

and the calendar for the kitchen is the National Trust's Railway Poster Art - which has the notes on the same page as the image - which is fine for one line prompts.  It's good for reminders about trips out with "he who must not be bored while I sketch".

Railway Poster Art Calendar 2012
- available from the National Trust
Tips for researching art calendars

Here are some tips for researching art calendars.  These are based on experience and lots of research - I look at an awful lot of calendars before I buy!
  • In general I find museum calendars to be pretty good quality - but this is not always the case.  
  • The publishers who almost invariably produce a good quality product - in terms of choice of image and quality of calendar - are Pomegranate Press, Taschen and Brown Trout .  (Is there anybody else you'd like to recommend?)
  • Anything which is produced for the European market and includes translations into German is invariably good - otherwise it wouldn't sell in Germany!
  • ALWAYS check the size when ordering online - a decent wall calendar is invariably around about 12" square.  Some which you think might be wall calendars are actually quite a bit smaller - but left out the important word "mini"!
  • Those which have the notes on the same page as the image are 12 pages; those which have a separate page for the notes (ie two pages hang vertically) are referred to as being 24 pages.  I always get the latter for my study.
  • If ordering online check out the images on the reverse of the calendar to see whether it's a choice you're happy with.
  • The final criteria is does the calendar have a nice image for my birthday month!
The Artist's Calendar - your own production
  • Are any of you producing your own calendars this year?
  • Do you have any tips to share with others who might be thinking about doing this in future?


  1. I can see why you would want to look at Klimt every day, Katherine but I am amazed that you can live without a diary. Where do you write the bits that won't fit in the little square your calendar provides for each day?

  2. There's nothing much that won't go on the calendars I get. I always get one which has one page for the image and one page for the calendar and I find there's lots of space for details! I couldn't cope with a smaller calendar and less space though.

    I do the reminders to "get off butt and go somewhere" on the computer calendar.

  3. I forgot my kitchen calendar for next year - now added.

    That's one of the ones where the image is on the same page as the notes - and that's fine where you just need one line prompts. I think this is the sort Robyn was referring to - but this 12 page type doesn't have the space I require in the study. I've added to the notes to make this clearer re buying calendars online.

  4. I actually was tempted the other week by that railway poster, I love those images! But I don't really use a big wall calendar (we have a 3-person one in our house to write down commitments, and I use a pocket diary for my art appointments).

    And since you asked, I've made a calendar this year! Was prompted to try it by an illustrator friend. And yes, it's a "mini" I guess. Oops! I'll add that word to my descriptions. :) My top tip is actually for selling it - try a pre-order special (I did 1/3rd off) for your mailing list or social media followers. I actually covered the cost of printing with pre-sales.

  5. Many thanks for the tip Tina

    Anybody else with any more?

    Feel free to leave a link to your calendar if you've got a decent useful tip!

  6. I just bought a beautiful calendar from Tracy Hall . I usually look for anything with watercolours but there is rarely one with really top quality work available on the high street. Tracy's calendar features lovely farmhouse scenes - tea and cake, dogs by the fire, chickens in the yard - the sort of idyllic life I'd love to be living!

    I look for quirky things, I find those mass produced 'famous name artist' calenders a bit boring. It seems to be the same few on a loop every year - I wouldn't mind if it was say, Edmund Dulac or Kay Nielson!


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