It's the most wonderful time of the year!
That's what they tell us, but of course, there are two sides to that coin. I hope you all are past the most stressful worries of holiday preparation and have landed on the side of peace and joy, or at the very least, merry-making!
This time of year artwork is just a side dish for the main course of crazy we can work ourselves up to. But it does help keep me sane.
Along with ubiquitous holiday prep there have been old-house, old-appliance issues this month. Studio time has been rare and precious. Like this little jingle bell painting. A reiteration of last year's Christmas card, it was a special request and has been happily delivered. (My favorite part of this painting is the elongated shadows!) There were a few other starts but nothing to show yet. Which is ok since December has other priorities.
Christmas is meant to be magical. And since magic is not so easy for us mere mortals, there's the stress of not disappointing those we love.
So here's my personal, little, Christmas story that has helped to keep that worry in perspective... somewhat -
Once, after what seemed like a pretty happy Christmas morning and fun day overall, I was tucking our 6 year old into bed when she said, "Now I really know there is no Santa Claus." I just about froze, then casually asked "what do you mean?" and she said, "because nobody but you could know exactly what I wanted" and gave me the biggest hug. Ahhh. Christmas magic.
I actually don't always know, hence the stress. I try to enjoy finding gifts that I think will make people smile, but mostly it makes me smile to imagine making them happy. When that's working, it's a gift ...to me. There have been plenty of misses. I remember being certain that the Easy-Bake Oven that made cakes from tiny box mixes was evil, but somehow the one that made pizza starting with smashed white bread seemed "healthy." Magically, that was still a smile-evoking gift. Phew!
Back to artwork, here are some paintings from my Christmas cards in recent years. The subjects are filled with memories and I hope they make you smile!
I have lots of thoughts for 2016, but for now, I wish -
Merry Memories to you all!
Memory holds together past and present, gives continuity and dignity to human life... the companion... the tutor, the poet, the library, with which you travel. (Mark van Doren)