Thursday, December 8, 2011

Waiting For Santa and La Befana

As we anticipate the arrival of our favorite seasonal characters, my head is spinning with inspiration...There's Santa of course, and all his variations (my favorite is Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost). There's La Befana (more on her in a minute), and of course, there are more-legged characters as well - The selfless cat from The Cat Carol, Charles Dickens' Cricket on the Hearth...and who could forget all those reindeer?

One of the first seasonal offerings this year is a Christmas Mouse, and I thought it would be fun to share a bit of his progress. It begins with a simple pencil sketch on canvas...

Next, colors are blocked in, and a bit of detail added. You'll notice the mouse in the painting is considerably larger than the one in the sketch - an adjustment made during the painting process, to keep the mouse more in proportion to the mouse-hole.

Finally, the finished piece. I had such fun with the tiny details like the stocking and mistletoe hung with pins, and the swiss cheese gift wrap. ;)

I've titled this one "Waiting for Santa", and the little guy will be up for grabs on the PFATT Marketplace, this Saturday morning at 10AM Pacific time (1PM EST).

The next piece on the studio table is another favorite of mine, La Befana, whose image will grace this large wooden plate. Right now, there's just this vibrant background...

The next step will be to hand letter a traditional Italian verse around the outer edge of the piece:

La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!

The English translation is:

The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!

Lettering accomplished (hopefully later today), La Befana will make her appearance.

This one will probably list on Etsy sometime in the next day or two. :)

So many other creatures and characters are whirling around in my brain, wanting desperately to escape to canvas or wood panel, box or bowl. (All I need is another couple of months before Christmas and Yule - is that too much to ask?)...

How about you? Do you have a favorite creature or character this time of year? A favorite childhood story or legend? Please share a comment - I soooo love hearing about how these stories shape our holidays and celebrations!

Looking forward to hearing from you, and in the meantime, I'm off to accomplish a few mundane household chores so I can get to that lettering before noon.

Wishing you all the blessings of the season, and time to enjoy them!

♥ Carolee


Cameron said...

Oh, Carolee! That mouse painting is just adorable!! What a talent you have!!

I love Santa's reindeer, favorite parts of Christmas movies are when they depict them dashing away...running magically through the sky...
The flying scene when they're trying to get up off the ground in the movie ELF gives me goosebumps...heehee :)

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Love the mouse!