Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jane Austen

I must start reading Pride and Prejudice today! And why haven't I read it sooner?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

'The First Christmas Stocking' by Vicki Lindley Reece

Finished! - as you can see, I changed the arrangement of coins.

Vicki is SO WONDERFUL because she had no idea what anguish I went through getting the coins the way I wanted them - and she told me they were her favorite part! Success!

What I ended up using to get the sharpness I wanted was use an 18 kt. Gold leafing pen by Krylon - it worked right over the pastels! The metalic-ness of the coins shows a lot more and I felt pretty happy in the end.

Although the book and dvd are not for sale yet, email me and I can get you in contact with Vicki if you're interested. This is what Vicki wrote:

"The First Christmas Stocking is based on one of earliest
legends of St. Nicholas, where he saves three girls who
were destitute. Nicholas hears of their plight, and under
the cover of night drops a bag of gold through the window.
Legend has it that it fell into a stocking hanging to
dry. Yes, that is the source of our tradition of hanging
stockings at Christmas!
I took the few paragraphs from "The Golden Legend" and
made up a storyline...and an evil character who steals
their money. Then I did alot of research about the
historical Nicholas, and did my best to stay close to who
he was and what scriptures about giving would have shaped
a young man who later became a priest and bishop and
developed an amazing reputation for giving.
This summer we recorded the voiceovers, and then children
from the town of Jesup, Iowa drew pictures ! We had guidelines
for the characters so that there was continuity from page
to page...with 30 illustrators!
We even found some pictures that my daughters (the
original illustrators) had drawn 10 years ago and
surprised them by including them in the DVD. All the
illustrations are with markers.
Of course I was so thankful that my best friend, and
favorite artist Mary Telfer Holden illustrated the
cover--even on short notice! :) Oh to be so talented!!
I am currently editing a short book to accompany the
story...which is all about giving. The discussions will
be be geared to memories about Christmas, giving, our
hopes, fears and feelings about money and giving.
Included are brief scriptures and prayers, written to
gently transform our hearts as we allow Spirit to work
within us. I believe there will be healing and
generousity released through this project.
I've bought the domain
and hope to launch the story there...
not sure of a timeline yet!
It would be fun if others listen to the story, and create
pictures too!
By the way, I was pregnant when I wrote the story, and
named my daughter after the heroine in the story!"



I blended the colors and values together, imagining the light coming from the left.

Now take a look at changing the composition of the coins.

the Stocking

I then chose a dark, rich red for the stocking. I knew she didn't want it 'too Christmassy' but it seemed like the right color - red and green are complimenary colors, Christmas or not! I added a few values and white to show form.

The composition of where the coins fall bothers me.

Started with the background

So, I used 140# Richeson watercolor paper and Unison pastels.

I started with the background because then the foreground can literally lay over the background to show a little depth. I was thinking neutrals. I like the foresty green because it's subtle, but suggests it's laying outside. And the stone wall has to be there, but not overpower the stocking and pouch.

A commissioned pastel - with not much time

A week ago my best friend, Vicki, who wrote a story called 'The first Christmas Stocking' called me and said she needed the cover artwork for the dvd - in two days! She would never have thrown this on me without much notice without a very good reason.

The reason was her producer said 'I need the artwork by Wednesday night.' and Vicki's response was 'What artwork?' - that's what friends are for! I was coming back into town so basically I had less than one day to do this - but she is worth it!

She wanted a stocking (not too Christmassy) and a pouch with gold coins. She wanted the stocking draped - but she didn't know what it should be draped on.

I had to use my imagination and combine Vicki's vision with my vision and hope for the best since there was no time.

Here's my pencil sketch.