Monday, December 10, 2012

A Little Gift of Yourself!

For three years I have run  a watercolor greeting card class (or tried to) at the Art Centers where I teach. For some reason they often do not fill with enough people to run. Which confuses me. The classes that I have taught have been well received.  I've even had repeat students disappointed the class did not run. 

I recently had an conversation with two artist friends about Christmas Cards and if it's worth sending them given the cost of cards and postage. Are times so tough that many or most have quit sending Christmas cards? I hope not, because I really love getting them from my friends and family, many of whom are far away and I never see them.  Yet once a year I get a card and usually a letter updating me on a year in their life I've missed.  That is something I look forward to.

 I still find it sad that email and the Internet have replaced the written word and stationary!  To me, letters and notes are so very personal and special.  And nowadays, even more so!    Many of my friends who are artists have cards printed of their work to send for the holidays. My friend Maria says "A card of your painting is also like a little gift. I thoroughly enjoy getting the creative efforts of my friends (plus I can also be jealous!)." I love her perspective! A little gift! I totally agree with Maria.
Or, as one student suggested, do you need to feel the art is "good enough" to share so broadly? (And so many of us doubt our paintings are any good)   Do you worry it's not "good enough" to share with the world?  Ask yourself if that's the point.  Instead of worrying about producing a masterpiece, do a playful painting like the Christmas lights above.  I saw a card online with some lights and used the idea, but did it my way!  Its simple but fun. I have a few templates and ideas for my classes that are simple and easy to replicate, but look around you for ideas.  Save cards that speak to you as inspiration for your own.  While copying is a no-no, you can use the subject matter in a unique way.

What says Christmas to you?  You cant go wrong when you paint something that speaks to you!  I've done a Poinsettia painting every year for years.  Eventually if you do a subject enough times you will get a painting you like!  I've used a few of these paintings and poinsettias have special meaning since my mother & grandmother loved them so. 

So why do a painting for a Christmas card? Because you are sharing a little more of yourself with your friends and family.   My point is to not get all caught up in the perfect painting, but instead get caught up in the joy that is painting and the joy that is Christmas!  Combine those and you cant go wrong.  And if you need that extra inspiration and confidence that comes from guidance-sign up next year for my classes!  :)

 Have a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with joy! (and ART!)