Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cranberry Drop Cookie

The third of my series of 20 minute Christmas cookie paintings! (In case you were wondering, yes, my baking is getting done early - the cookies go in the freezer and keep perfectly until I assemble cookie plates!) This beauty is a cranberry drop cookie, a new recipe that is SO delicious I can't believe I haven't made them before. The cranberries stained the batter pink, making them so pretty, and perfectly festive. Watercolor, 5 1/2" x 8".

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gingerbread Biscotti

Here's another 20 minute sketch of a Christmas cookie, in this case, a gingerbread biscotti. Though the cookie looks a little overbaked, they taste absolutely perfect! I thought this festive napkin would be a good way to add some more color to the subject and it was a delight to paint the typography. Watercolor, approx. 4 1/2" x 6 1/2".

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Old St. Nick

Another bamboo pen sketch in 20 minutes, this one of a slightly creepy porcelain St. Nick figurine I brought out with the Christmas decorating. Most renditions of Santa Claus/St. Nick are a little disturbing to me. Their mustaches are always covering their mouths, and this one has no feet. Definitely a weird aspect of the holiday message. But I like using this pen very much. Dip pen & watercolor ink, 4" x 7".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peanut Butter [Christmas] Cookie

Why this particular kind of cookie (the peanut butter blossom) has become associated with Christmas, I have no idea. But if I do not make them as part of my Christmas baking every year, there is general uproar from the other family members. I don't have anything against them, personally (except for their overt sweetness and high calorie count), but they are not my holiday favorite. I loved painting it though! I've decided to honor each of the cookies I make this year with a special 20 minute portrait like this one - a special way to remember this year's holiday! Watercolor, approx. 4" x 4 1/2".

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Simple Gift - Shaker Boxes

This miniature stack of Shaker boxes (about 4" high) delights us each year as an ornament on our Christmas tree, and now it can delight me as a 20 minute sketch. I love Shaker-style anything, their aesthetic is timeless in its simplicity. Pen and watercolor, 4 1/2" x 6 1/2".

There is a quote ascribed to William Morris (the famous Arts & Crafts designer & erstwhile philosopher): "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” that I personally love, but at which the Shakers would have laughed. Every single item they owned, used and/or made was practical first, yet beautiful at the same time. They would never have had anything like "art for art's sake." Fortunately now we can admire aesthetics of all styles and eras and appreciate them simply because they are beautiful - Shaker-style included.