Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Card: Joy-Filled Art Making

The Joy Fiasco 2012: Making Christmas Cards

For about 10 years now I've been making my own Christmas cards.  It is always filled with a certain amount of anxiety: what will the subject be, will I get a decent painting in time, where will I get it printed, how might I get it printed more efficiently, and ultimately - will I be able to get the cards out in time for Christmas.  And so, last year I got into my head that I could just paint 80 Christmas cards instead of running to the printer.  I did several small pieces before I finally settled on the theme "Joy."  Are you laughing yet?

I decided to post the images on Facebook as they came out in a series, and was delighted that so many friends liked them and commented on how they enjoyed seeing these little messages everyday.  

Soon I realized that when it came to actually sending out the cards I would have to decide who got which card, and I'd be deciding until long after Christmas which "Joy" painting was most appropriate for any one of my 80 recipients.  I stopped seriously trying to produce 80 cards at about image 14 or so.  I took 4 or 5 images to a local printer and eventually settled on one for production.

The image above was not selected to be last year's card. Although it was one of my favorites, it didn't work quite as well as I wanted for the format of the card. So, I put it on a coffee mug on Zazzle.   

"Joy" has some of my favorite elements in it - the look of being old, hanging around for generations and being dis-covered, and renewed.  Always here - past and present.  


  1. Great story and card, Jim!! Wishing you Joy also.

  2. Thank you, Elaine! And the same to you!

  3. Joy to you as well Jim. This is lovely. had to laugh at the attempt to paint 80 cards. Before Christmas. Only because I always think in September, that I can paint cars for everyone. Well, again this year it did not happen. ha ha ha If I could twitch my nose and make it so... but sadly my Samantha's magic twitch never got activated. Merry Christmas to you and yours!