I'm in the midst of Christmas painting, which honestly--- I love! Even though its July and its going to be 100 degrees today, my imagination is swirling with snow and evergreens. This latest painting is called "Country Nativity" and was inspired by the idea of children playacting the nativity in the every day surroundings of the family farm. Mama looks on from the distance, and the farm animals all decide to join in or at least watch (or cuddle up!)
There is something very sweet about children making their faith part of their imaginary play. I can remember my heart positively melting a few years ago when I overheard Audrey giving communion to her little toys in the bath. And not long ago, as she was holding her little brother during church, she sang quietly along with the priest before communion. It's at those times that you realize--- your child is noticing these special things, internalizing them, letting these things spark in their imagination.
It was that idea, combined with the idea of putting something holy in the context of a setting that was so 'every day' that inspired Country Nativity.
I wanted to paint a wild and wooly sheep in the scene--- and I love how this one came out. Although Audrey told me he looks like a hedge hog- surely not!? Ha! And of course I couldn't forget the winter birds, eating the seeds left out in the snow--- and there are little bird tracks flecking the snowscape if you look close enough. Footsteps in the snow also connect the house to the nativity scene, a subtle connection between home and faith.
I couldnt resist a red and white quilt again like I have in my painting Woodland Madonna. I thought a star quilt would be fitting for the nativity too. The children wear their nativity costumes (perhaps they are practicing for the church nativity play?) but also have on their mittens or shawls to guard against the winter cold.
Right now the original painting is listed for sale in my shop! It is my plan to offer prints and hopefully postcards as well when the holidays get closer.
I hope you like this piece! And that you dont mind a little snow in July!~
Have a great weekend,