I had so much fun being crafty and making gifts for friends and family this holiday season. I was also surprised and delighted to be the recipient of so many lovely pieces of art. From the silly to the sublime, I adore them all:
1. This is just one sample of the many wonderful drawings my youngest daughter has been creating lately. Many of them were given away to make other people happy but I got to keep this one all to myself:
2. The very best thing about this card from my BFF is that she laughed all through giving it to me. I am sure she is actually *still* laughing about it and that is something I really love about her. Also, this is super relatable and I am going to incorporate "downcycling" into my vernacular:
3. The next two are gifts from friends from work and were not made by the gift givers . . . but I do know the artists and each one is poignant in its own way.
First up, a joint gift from two women I didn't even know last year at this time who I've met and grown to love through my new job as the Curator at our small local Museum. They gave me a print of a painting that I had admired.
Our last exhibit was a watercolor show that included many book illustrations by a local artist and delightful human, Doris Ettlinger. She painted this for a book called T is for Teacher and had used our former school house Museum as inspiration. If you wondered what the inside of my Museum looks like, it's this: (coal stove, clock, chalkboard and all!)
4. Something I was very proud of creating at the Museum last year was the Plein Airing of the Quilts . . . an event that invited artists to sit in our yard and paint (known as a "plein air" event") while we hung our historic quilts on the line to air them out.
The quilts looked so beautiful and attracted so many visitors. They got much-needed fresh air and sunshine and were easier to enjoy. My assistant (who is also now a good friend) and I extended the original one-day event to last for the entire month and have agreed that it will now be a twice-yearly occurrence.
As a very special "Merry-Christmas-Happy-New-Year-Happy-Work-Anniversary-Congratulations-On-Your-Success" gift, she purchased me an oil painting created at our Plein Airing of the Quilts. The local man who made it is a supporter of the Museum and a talented artist. (I don't think he has a website but you can read about him here.)
I adore this painting and all that it symbolizes.
5. You might think it'd be hard to top that in poignancy but there's a reason I saved this one for last . . . my amazingly talented and intuitive oldest daughter has become extremely prolific in linocut printmaking. Basically, she carves an image and/or words (in reverse) into a block of soft linoleum and then makes prints with these stamps.
For my gift this year, she combined my wounded, flying heart rape survival imagery with the lyrics that I found so much comfort in after my rapist's prison term was up.
This kid! She outdoes herself with creative gifts every year. The thought, love, care and detail she put into this one is going to be really hard to top . . . isn't it amazing?