My Christmas Card & the Passion of Doing What You Love

I’m working on my Christmas card right now.  It’s a painting called “The Toymaker”, and it’s of an elderly elf sitting, working at his bench making a toy in the wee hours of the night. I feel a strong connection with this one because,  it illustrates the passion and dedication of people who create, who are driven to create. Loving what you do, no matter what it is,  is I believe one of the most important things in life. We spend more time working than we do on any other activity, so it makes sense to me that it should be something that we really love to do.  In these hard times I know that a lot people feel stuck in jobs that they really don’t like. Afraid to quit and look for something that really inspires them , they are trudging through their lives, believing that they won’t be able to find more work.  I also know people that don’t know what they love. Who’ve never found that thing that makes them want to get out of bed in the morning and get the day started.  If you are in the first category I recommend any of the books by Abraham and Hicks, and really a powerful little book called “Every Word Has Power” (Yvonne Oswald). If you are in the second category, there are many books out there that help you figure out what your calling is.  I can think of very few things that are more important than figuring  that out.  Happy Holidays!

Here’s the finished card: 

An Elvish Christmas

For my Christmas card this year I wanted to paint two elves sitting together at the end of the day on Christmas Eve enjoying tea and Christmas cookies. All their hard work is done and Santa has left in his sleigh. I borrowed a couple of photos (my son Josh took at the Fairy Worlds Festival this past August) that served as the inspiration for my elves. The child is the same in each photo.

On the first photo I dropped the hands away from the face and placed her on a footstool and changed her costume. On the second I changed the angle that she was looking down and placed a tea cup and a cookie in the hands. Added legs and made her sit. (By the way isn’t Josh a fabulous photographer!)

I made my preliminary sketch:

Then I scanned it and took it into Photo Shop. Using the brush tool I painted crudely painted in large blocks of color to get a sense of what I was getting. I discovered that the composition wasn’t working the way I wanted so I moved some things around and added another ornament. I would also end up painting some of the colors differently.

I scanned it and in Photo Shop added the type. And since I’ve done that I’ve continued to add a few washes to the deep green background to darken it and also added some more color to the floor and the shadows. Why? I just wanted to make the elves pop a little more and a add a little more drama with the contrast.

That’s all for now. Merry Christmas! Blessing to your household!
Ann