Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tis the Season

"Belle", 36 x 36 in. oil on canvas

The RISD Sale is nearly here...This Saturday, at the RI Convention Center. On Friday evening, I'll do my usual drive to the loading dock and schlep all the display panels and boxes into the convention hall, and on Saturday morning, will be the fun task of setting up the booth, and visiting with other vendors that have become familiar friendly faces. This Holiday sale is a joy, a far cry from the early days of the RISD holiday sale, when half the booths were in a freezing, leaky tent on the quad, and the rest were crowded into the upper refectory. The RI Convention center is spacious, and warm, with music to create the mood, and an easy loading in and out.
I'll have "Belle" there this year, as well as a bunch of new original animal paintings, prints and cards. I'll have signed copies of "For Horse Crazy Girls Only" available for sale, and I'll be bringing the bargain bin! All the originals in the bargain bin are $75., and some are even framed.

Despite the fact that November and December tend to be the busiest time of year, with holiday art sales and internet orders to fill, it also seems to be the time I can be most productive. It could be that I seem to thrive on deadlines, or simply that there is much more "indoor" time available. Early darkness means I'm not outside puttering in the yard, throwing a tennis ball for the dog, or plucking weeds from the flowerbeds. Leaves are all raked--the rest can just blow away.

I've mentioned before in this blog how important the annual holiday card is to me. In my mind, it isn't just a perfunctory greeting, it's a gift to an extensive list of family and friends who are far-flung, and who we may not communicate with at any other time of year. It's a way to say we still think about you. And as my husband and I are both artists, the design of the card is a personal statement. It's a fun annual design challenge.

This year, it almost didn't happen. Not that we would have abandoned the annual holiday card altogether, but "stuff" was getting in the way of our usual enthusiasm for the project. Not to mention a raging sinus infection through Thanksgiving that had me down for the count for a couple of weeks. I was resigned to just picking out a photo from our digital files, and doing a simple photo card at Walmart.

But I sat down at the computer and printed out a couple of possible photos, and I just couldn't do it. The card had to be more than this. So I dug back into my files and found a story of mine to share. An hour or so of fiddling around with text in Illustrator, and creating a cover photo for the story, (which I had printed at Walmart), and suddenly we had a card that is special. (and time-consuming to assemble!) The assembly becomes a family project, which has become a nice tradition to share with my son. So I am glad I didn't go the easy route.