christmas

Christmas Postscript

I suspect that if you want to find the happiest people around Christmastime you might head for the places where people are offering holiday cheer to folks who can use it, like at homeless shelters and such. lrrsantaandjingles_1

Places like The Living Room, a day program that service homeless and at risk women and their children. I’ve been going there for the last month as a volunteer, talking with the participants and volunteers and sketching the stories. I never leave without feeling that I have new friends and feeling a lot better about “human nature” to see the generosity of the community and the friendly welcoming-ness of the women who find solace there.

Of course the Christmas party was putting smiles on everyone’s face, with all the food and singing and treats for the kids and Santa and his elf. Not only did the kids get to sit on Santa’s knee, but the moms and other adults did too, including some luminaries who were visiting, like two young Wine Country beauty queens, tiaras and all!

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Before the hot lunch and the cookies there were Santa hats, bagels and coffee and more.

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And then Christmas carols for the adults and the children.

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The moms and kids all went home with pictures taken with Santa. (and no, I didn’t have time to sketch this one on location, but did it later from a picture!)

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Jingles and Santa Tim insisted on posing with me and surprised me with a (blush) kiss!

For our family’s Christmas card this year I sketched a Santa from about 24 years ago, with Ben on his knee.

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Hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas!

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Celebrate!

celebrate

acrylic monoprint with collaged stamp prints on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

They say the heavenly angels are around this time of year with their hosannas and hallelujahs, exhorting us to celebrate a birthday with them. And today I noticed multitudes of mushrooms poking their heads up from their moist earth beds to join in.

The mushrooms are a divine wonder in this land of fires. Some of the outcroppings of ‘shrooms are so tiny I must use my reading glasses to see them. They remind me of childhood reveries where fairies inhabited the forest lands where I roamed. The moist earth is a heady concoction.

This monoprint is another piece from the “laboratory” of ideas I’m exploring for the next Playful Muse series of mixed media classes in my studio. It starts Monday, January 21 and runs 6 weeks. There are two spots left at this point. If you think one of them possibly has your name on it, you can find out more and register on my website.

 

Yeah, right

peace

acrylic inks and photo collage on 10 X 11″ w/c paper

Call me Mr. Pepper.  I am not your Santa man!

Peace on Earth.  OF COURSE one must pray for this. But some days one is just a bit too out of sorts, like Mr. Pepper here, to believe in it, and the world news at least, provides ample evidence of not-peace.

But this was an art lesson on Monday: to add words or start with words, painting and collaging to some finish. I started by playing with my favorite Daler Rowney acrylic ink colors, Antelope Brown and Flame Red, drawing shapes with the droppers and letting colors bleed for soft edges. It reminded me of Santa Claus. But then there was the part of me that always wants to swim against the current of the commercialized Christmas that seeks to entice us all. I guess that side won out here. My husband refused to let me put this one on the refrigerator door.  I wonder why?

Sugar Plums

sugarplums

acrylic inks and gesso, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

It’s a Christmas of sorts.  Sugar plums and all the rest. 

“Even though it’s dark and cloudy

Sun may peep through and say. . .howdy. . .”

How do you do?  when the world says CeLeBrAtE! CELEBRATE

when Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays rule

and you just want to take long naps and walk in the rain,

spotting mushrooms and those red hatted peckers.

I actually painted this earlier in the month.  An old songbook provided a collage element and a prompt for the writing.  The year has just tipped past the solstice point when (slowly) days will lengthen again.  Here in California the sun showed up as if on cue.

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Something about this picture, taken under an umbrella outside my studio door, seemed to connect with the above piece.  These mushrooms, large and small have been like sugar plum treats, not to eat!  but to inspire art through that connection with the fruits of the earth.