Monday, December 31, 2012

A Little Snow Scene 
Oil on Canvas      5"x7"
We did not get a "White Christmas" but New Years is definitely WHITE. Happy New Year all!
A special "Thank you" to Leslie Saeta for her 30 Daily Painting Challenge... Starts Jan. 2.
Because of several events during the last five months of 2012, I have painted very little. I am using her wonderful idea to jump start my painting activity again.
I will be doing several at a time (hoping for at least two a day to begin) so I can skip Sundays and still have paintings to post.
Today is my day to prepare! Exciting for me, a little intimidating because it has been so long, and really challenging to be consistent for a whole month!!! Here we go! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Painting.....

"Come to Bethlehem"
Oil on Canvas Panel 14"X11" nfs
During the summer plans were made for a program of Christmas music for our community planned and performed by members of our Burley West Stake, Church of. Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was asked to make a painting for the cover of the program. While I was contemplating it, a wonderful photograph came on a Blog I have been following, "Huntsman's in the Holy Land". It showed a group of students  standing near Bethlehem in what is called the L.D.S. Shepherd's Field. I was so excited. As I looked at it, I could see this painting and felt it would be perfect for the cover.
I was able to contact Eric Huntsman who graciously gave his permission to use his photograph.
Our program was held Sunday, Dec. 16th  and was a wonderful experience for all who attended.
What must be on my Christmas Tree....
First, of course, Lights!
Lights to represent THE LIGHT of the world, Jesus Christ.
Lights to dispel the darkness.
Lights to brighten us and to shine in our eyes.

Then come the Glass Ornaments. Most are round, but some are differently shaped like the small blue ball with the convex silver and pink sculpted front that was my Grandmothers, perhaps from as early as the 1920's, no later than the 30's. And the small pink bell which has a glass clapper and rings! There are also hand blown Santa's, French horns, violins (though I prefer to think they represent the cello...), and tear drops.

There are glass ornaments from all the decades our immediate family has existed. From the 30's, the glass bell that rings and a small pink glassine Christmas tree. From the 40's a clear green glass ball with a paper top reminiscent of the scarcity of World War II days. The 50's brought ornaments of every color! Many painted with “Merry Christmas”, snow scenes, a Nativity, churches, a sleigh, and stripes. Through the 60's, and 70's my mother collected wonderful ornaments as marketing was done for the Drugstore, all colors and sizes. She got enough ornaments and lights to have our tree be all pink, or all blue, or all red, or all colors mixed. She got a wonderful six foot white plastic tree to display all and put it up religiously each Christmas to the delight of all who saw it. My Father always loved her creations and always photographed it each year.

On my Tree, there must be Every Color! Red, pink, blue, yellow, orange, green. and violet! There is lots of white and gold. Bright colors, and pastel colors, and I even allow a bit of brown, maybe some grey.

There must be Creatures! Lots of birds, a family of partridges, several pairs of doves with long tinsel tails, butterflies and a mouse. I really need at least one cat and one dog, preferably a fawn colored long hair Chihuahua....I'll keep looking.

There must be Snow and Ice! We are in the north, but sometimes the only white Christmas that happens is with snow ornaments. There are clear sparkling snowflakes and crocheted snowflakes. And lots of icicles. I have two hand blown by an acquaintance in SLC and wonderful set of a dozen hand blown icicles given my Mother and I by our neighbor/friends, Kathleen and Randy

Places I have visited (or wished to visit...) are represented. China is here in the way of small plastic triangular rectangles of colored braid with tassels which I found being sold one day by a street vendor in Hong Kong. I am so glad I bought them. I never saw them again until I came back to Burley in 1991.A crafts show on television showed how to make them! I was so tickled and made many with colored ribbon and nylon yarn tassels. They are wonderfully oriental and Christmassy, colorful and fun!

 The Philippines is represented by translucent butterflies made of gapis shell.

Switzerland is represented with a small Indian infant doll with fur hair and beads made by my artist soul mate friend, Karin and several small colorful silk stuffed and beaded stars. She is a glass artist.... I wonder if she has ever considered making small glass angels?

Iran and our older brother, Iraj, are here too with turquoise ceramic ornaments given to us by Iraj's wife when they came to visit. Iraj lived with us for a summer while he apprenticed with my Father in the Drugstore as part of his pharmaceutical training. Our association with him has enriched our lives in many wonderful ways.... and I feel that the Wise Men may have come from Persia.... Also, on a trip to New York at the Metropolitan Museum, I found a gold ornament from a Persian design.

From Washington D.C., I have two annual ornaments from the White House. One I bought to commemorate 2007 when my Aunt Glenna and I were guests at the artist reception at the White House because I was invited to paint an ornament of City of Rocks which hung on the tree in the Blue Room. What a fine day that was! The other was given me by Linda and Dr. Joe Petersen who so graciously gave us the gift of a stay at the Marriott for that occasion.

 Israel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Jewish people are represented by a tiny trio of olive wood Nativity ornaments given me by my friend Cheryl. Perhaps the most important object on my tree comes from a dear friend in Salt Lake city, a fellow artist and Jewish man who made a beautiful brass ornament of Hebrew letters saying “Shalom”. I do cherish it and hang it with reverence each year.

There must be Books! Tiny books of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and “A Christmas Carol” hang each year. Today I decided I must make a new small book of Luke 2, the first Christmas story. as an ornament....

There must be Toys! Julie, my music mentor friend, gave me a small articulated nutcracker/soldier. I have thought many times this year about the first time I saw The Nutcracker Ballet performed. It was a magical Christmas present ~ tickets to attend a performance by the Utah Ballet at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake when I was probably 11 or twelve years old. Ballet was my first love and that performance still lives fresh in my mind.

There must be Temples! I have pretty, gold replicas given us by Judy of the Salt Lake Temple because it is THE Temple., Nauvoo because several of our family progenitors did get their work done in it before coming west, and the Logan Temple where Mom and Dad were married May 29, 1935.

There must be Hearts! The two red hearts Mom bought to represent their love for each other. I love remembering them as I put them on the tree each year.

There must be Music! Bells, French Horns, Cellos... and piano sheet- music.

There must be Stars! As many stars a possible! I have mirrored stars and the Swiss silk stars. I think I would like to carve and paint some wooden stars. I have for the past several years painted stars with jewels on glass ornaments and have one on my tree. One thing is missing so far this year.... Last year my star tree topper was broken. I must find a GREAT star for the top of my tree. It won't quite be Christmas until I find it.... maybe today!

Wishing each of us and all of us Christmas JOY!


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