Saturday, December 15, 2007

"THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS"...Drawing My Own Christmas Card :)

One of my "sanity savers" is to sit down and draw! It captivates my soul, my sense of color and dimension, and my love of fine small details! I get lost in drawing! It's like reading the best book and looking up to discover that three hours have passed.

I started drawing when I was quite young. I took a number of art classes in Seattle, but I am mostly self-taught! My favorite kind of art to engage in is water color pencil drawing, collage with fine transparent papers, and pen and ink drawing!

I made Memory Books for both Jessi and Amy..."Letters From Your Mom-What I Want You To Know When I Am Gone" and I included some of my art. I also have a tradition of drawing my own Christmas cards.

Someone recently asked me what that process was like. So here's a view inside this artist's head:

First, I search and search for an inspiration piece, something that jogs my ideas anf gets my creative juices flowing. One year I found my inspiration on a card, another year in a painting in a window in Levinworth Washington, on a piece of fabric, a cookie box, and this year in an art piece in a book.

Next, I get artist's paper and begin to sketch in pencil. This often takes several days to a week of work. Getting the size and dimensions to "fit" on a small piece of paper is often difficult. My biggest problem areas are eyes and smiles. Last year I must have re-done Santa's eyes ten times.

After sketching everything in pencil, and if you look closely at my letters and drawings you can still see some of the pencil marks, I set out with paint pens, watercolor pencils. white out for mistakes and take over our dining table as the process unfolds.

This year, as always, Bert was a part of the whole process. His encouragement and comments.. "Wow, that's coming right along!"... are so helpful. You should see our dining room...paper and pens, glitter and envelopes...EVERYWHERE! The painting process often takes several 6-8 hour days to complete.

I then take the painted original to Kinkos and they color copy the original. I usually make 40 cards. However, the process is far from over.

The next step is to personalize each card with gold paint (for Santa's buckle. sleigh rails, bells etc) and lots and lots of glitter! My grandaughter , Emma, is my inspiration for that! Like her Nana, she loves sparkles and glitter. Her card is always so glittered that you can hardly see the drawing:) ...Clear glitter for Santa's beard, gold glitter for the elves boots, Santa's buckle. green glitter...well the list goes on and on. Needless to say, our carpet sparkles.

I dry all the cards by our fireplace, punch holes in the card and attached letter, and tie each one with ribbon. I then write a short personalized note, decorate the envelope, and send the card on its way.

The whole process usually takes several weeks and often the ideas percolate for several months. I often take the saying for the card from old Christmas songs. Last year I had Santa checking his list and said, "He's making a list and checking it twice" and I had all the names of my grandchildren on the list! What a hoot!

I already have an idea for next year and wish there was time to get started right now!

These cards are a gift of love from me to my family, a Christmas tradition. Making the cards is is a gift to my soul.

Over the years, to see all the fine, detailed work, I have graduated to wearing glasses during the process...just like St. Nick. I'll unveil this card on my blog after I send it out to family and friends!

Tee Hee! What fun!
Love and Christmas kisses! God bless! Love, Linda


jessithompson said...

This is one of my favorite traditions!!! You are such a talented artist, Mom!

Tiffany said...

Oh my gosh, what a fun tradition. People must be so excited when they see your card in the mail every year! I am amazed by the amount of time you put into this. What a special gift. I can't wait until you unveil the card on your blog...I'll be checking!!

Kim said...

First, can I get on the list? I love it. My grandma would be so proud of you. She would always make her own cards, from cutting up old Christmas cards! Then she would always write a poem, a rhyming poem at that. She and my Grandpa would always have a trivia game at Christmas that included family history. The winning team got to start at the divinity plate first!

This must be where Jessi gets all of her creative flares!

Love ya!
Kim M.

The Farrell Family said...

I'm so touched by the amount of time that you put into these Christmas cards. They are so beatiful. I think that it is a gift for those who get to see it.

I love you.

Kayla Jode said...

All of the Christmas cards you ever do look so pretty! I love you all tons!

LORIE said...

You are so amazing and talented. Thank you for sharing this process.

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