Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christmas at the Country Store

This painting was literally about 15 years in the making. I don't remember where I was, or exactly when I sketched this old country store, but I know it was sometime while I was in high school. Several years ago, I ran across the pencil sketch again and put it in a simple black mat and black document frame. I don't know why I framed it, or why I've kept it hanging up in various places, but it has stuck with me for years now.

A few years ago, I walked into our daughter's playroom, looked up at the wall with this sketch on it and knew that it had to be painted. I do not paint a lot of snow scenes, but I could see this store out on a winding country road somewhere, with freshly fallen snow all around. A Christmas scene was what I envisioned for this lovely old store. But there were other projects to be finished, and other areas of life that always pull and tug at the time available, so the painting stayed in my head for quite a while. But every time I walked into the playroom, there it was on the wall as a constant reminder. (kind of like those eyes on the dollar bills in the Geico commercials) I couldn't get away from what I wanted that store to be. So finally, about a year and a half ago, I set about drawing the store again (I did change a few elements for composition sake) and painting a snowy scene and a Christmas wreath hanging up at the store.

It's what I envision Christmases past being like. A snowy day, and a stop at the country store for a few necessities, good conversation and some hard candy for the children. While I was painting this, it felt like being in a time warp, a different place and time when things were simpler and richer than they seem to be now.

So, that's the initial story behind the painting. I have been working with an excellent printing company out of High Point and am excited to announce that I will be selling this as a limited edition giclee print (only 100 will be printed and sold). I have been trying to decide if I should dive into the waters of the print sales world and trying to decide what painting to start with. This sketch and resulting painting have been with me since I started drawing more seriously, so it felt natural to have this be the first print.

The age of the original drawing made me think about high school and I thought of the local food pantry that I volunteered at during high school. I can still remember meeting some of the most wonderful people who were going through the worst times of their lives. I had the privledge of helping in a small way to try to make their lives a little easier. I know that times now are incredibly difficult, and the needs much larger than they were 15 years ago, so I have decided to donate 10% of the price of every print sold to the Foothills Food Pantry. They are taking contributions for their Christmas meals that they provide, and what better way for me to help than to donate part of the sales from my Christmas store painting to help those who need food and a chance to have a Merry Christmas.

So, if you are interested in a print, please let me know. The cost of a print is $35.00 and they will be hand-signed and the print number will be written on the print. Again, 10% will go to help the Food Pantry make Christmas a little brighter for those in need.

I hope that as you are reading this, that you are healthy, happy and well, and enjoying my occasional blog posts. It is so nice to be able to tell the stories behind the paintings. If you would like a print, you can email me directly. I am putting the link to the print on my website so that you can find all the important size information and anything else you might need to know.

I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and that whether or not you decide you would like this print in your home, that you please remember those around you who are in need and help those organizations that are trying to help them.

I know it's early, but Happy Holidays everyone!