The Claus factor

Dear Artist, Clausism is one of our most endearing and unique superstitions. Even when people stop believing in the Jolly Old Guy with the nighttime chimney-work, they tend to carry on his regimen of giving and receiving. Remarkably harmless to innocent bystanders, you seldom hear of anyone driving sleds into tall buildings while shouting “Claus is Great!” Santa urges his followers to go forth and be generous. Some years ago there was a movement to make him the Patron Saint of Artists. “An artist gives,” said Veronica Roth. “He gives visually, through courses, with free advice, through generosity of spirit and through a need to share.” Fact is, artists are in the Claus game all year ’round. “Art is the giving by each of us of our evidence to the world,” said Robert Henri. “Those who wish to give, love to give, discover the pleasure of giving. Those who give are tremendously strong.” And it’s this time of year when we artists get a chance to show just how strong we are. It’s not surprising that most charity fundraisers back their carts up to the Santa Season. When you think of it, we love doing the work — one fine way to help a children’s hospital, a dance centre, a small village in Africa, or further research toward a cure for cancer. Then there are the little gifts we give on our own. I like the unwrapped, offhand ones — perhaps a small painting or drawing given with no clatter on the roof, no cookie crumbs to clean up. I think Santa likes to hear about these little services — and besides, it lessens his load. More than anything, a gift that happens to be personally crafted by the giver is most likely to be a treasure to the receiver. It seems these days that Santa’s up-north workshop, once hands-on and all abuzz with creative elves, has now been transmogrified into a Chinese factory. All the more reason to get out your brushes and chisels. “It is when you give of yourself,” said Kahlil Gibran, “that you truly give.” Best regards, Robert PS: “To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy, a whole heart, and a free mind.” (Pearl S. Buck) Esoterica: Just being an artist is a big sack of abundance. Our blessings come down the chimney every time we squeeze our paint. A small effort is required to think and start, some fortitude is needed to stay with the vexing parts, some patience to stay and watch the miracle of the magic process, and some final joy to sign your name. It may as well be “S. Claus.” Ho ho ho, and by the way, Merry Christmas. “I am so rich that I must give myself away.” (Egon Schiele)   Claus not a superstition by Leslie Edwards Humez, Painesville, OH, USA  

“Masai Giraffes” (detail)
graphite pencil, 16 x 20 inches
by Leslie Edwards Humez

Cute word, clausism. From a linguistic point of view, however, you missed the sleigh when you wrote that the belief in Santa Claus is a superstition. It is, in fact, a mythology. For example, bad luck that comes as a result of walking under a ladder or breaking a mirror is superstition. The belief that the god Zeus lived on Mt. Olympus was the personal mythology of the ancient Greeks. Will you correct your rhetorical error? su*per*sti*tion An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. my*thol*o*gy A set of stories or beliefs about a particular person, culture, religious institution, or situation, especially when exaggerated or fictitious. (RG note) Thanks, Leslie. I stand corrected, I guess. But right now my thought is that Claus is neither superstition nor myth. He’s real. He has to be. He left a mess in our living room. Spilled eggnog. Cookie crumbs, Sooty footprints. Electronic gadgets. There is 1 comment for Claus not a superstition by Leslie Edwards Humez
From: JPR — Dec 27, 2011

Robert, where would I be without your weekly dictations?…. the lesser for it, I know! I love your sense of humour… it gives me a sense of fun to take to the studio! As for Mr. S. Claus…. he is fashioned after a real character in history…a kind-hearted fellow who wanted to give surprise and joy to the least likely, but most deserving of children… and since I want to be, and stay young in my heart, always…. I DO believe, I DO believe, I DO believe…..

  The Night Before Christmas by Jim Lorriman, Shelburne, ON, Canada  

Staghorn Sumac wood sculpture
by Jim Lorriman

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shop, not a worker was stirring, all projects were stopped. The chisels were left by the whetstones with care, in hope that the elves would come sharpen them there. The tools were all nestled and snug where they lay, while visions of woodshavings danced on each blade. Then up in the woodloft there came such a clatter, the whole building shook from the weight of the matter. And there on the creaky tin roof did appear, a fine handmade sleigh drawn by ten dusty deer. With a sparkly-eyed craftsman as spry as a buck, who went by the nickname of “Old Saint Woodchuck.” He was dressed all in suede from his cap to his shoe, and his clothes were all covered with sawdust and glue. A bundle of tools he had tucked in his sack, with a Japanese saw sticking out of the back. On his face he wore goggles and a dust mask fit tightly, his cheeks were like rosewood, his hearing shot slightly. His skills were the sharpest and best in the land, and he still had five fingers on each of his hands. Then quick as a chainsaw his staunch helpers came, and he hooted and hollered and hailed them by name. “Now Router, now Ruler, now Hammer, now Bitbrace; on Shaper, on Scrollsaw, on Jackplane, on Compass.” All ran to the workbench and leapt to his call: “Now get to work, get to work, get to work all !” So they dulled not an edge, but cut straight to their task, and sawed, planed, pounded and scraped till, at last, All the toys the children were waiting to get, were finished and wrapped (though the paint was still wet). There were jacks made of walnut and dolls made of yew, and an ash rocking horse with its tail painted blue, A set of birch soldiers all carved from one log, and even a hand-turned oak ball for the dog. Then the kindly crew tidied and swept every crack, and Saint Woodchuck thanked them while stretching his back. Then he jumped to his stout sleigh and let out a yell, and they roared from that shop at the tone of the bell. But these words he exclaimed as they vanished from sight: “Merry Christmas to all — that’s enough for one night!” (Henry Douglas) There are 5 comments for The Night Before Christmas by Jim Lorriman
From: Carolyn Rotter — Dec 27, 2011

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

From: Louise — Dec 27, 2011

You kept my attention…..thanks for the artsy rendition!

From: angie — Dec 27, 2011

absolutely wonderful poetry thanks

From: Jan Ross — Dec 27, 2011

You are so clever! Merry Christmas to you and all who enjoy your gifts of art this year!

From: Cyndie Katz — Dec 28, 2011

On his face he wore goggles and a dust mask fit tightly, his cheeks were like rosewood, his hearing shot slightly. — brilliant!

  A world of good wishes by John Dinan, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland  

“Cong, Eire”
original painting
by John Dinan

Just a seasonal wish and thank you for all your wonderful letters throughout the year. Hope you have a great Yuletide and keep up the good work. The attachment is a painting I did of our nearby village of Cong (famous as location for The Quiet Man with John Wayne, 1951 — and still living off it!!) as it appeared this time last year — it’s an amazing 25 degrees Centigrade warmer this time around — it was minus 15 degrees last year. Merry Christmas and go easy on that hip flask!! (RG note) Thanks, John. And thanks to everyone who wrote with Christmas and other seasonal wishes. We lost track at sixty countries, but every one was read and appreciated. I feel truly blessed to have so many friends. It’s some sort of Earthly joy of sharing. If only all the world could be like the Painter’s Keys.   The value of ‘straight speak’ by Loraine Wellman, Richmond, BC, Canada  

original drawing
by Loraine Wellman

Thanks for another letter in “straight speak,” talking about how artists want to share. It is such a relief after reading a glossy art magazine full of “artspeak.” Nobody goes to their studio to “work” — they all have a “practice.” Never just inspired or fired up about ideas or needing to try to express beauty, they are all “conceptualizing” and being “informed by” experiences. One problem, after reading all that magazine wordiness is that a person can feel that they are just not “deep” enough. What a change to read about other artists who are just getting on with it! Happy holidays! There is 1 comment for The value of ‘straight speak’ by Loraine Wellman
From: Cathy Pascoe — Dec 27, 2011

I agree, Loraine, I am also not interested in all the pretentious “artspeak,” either. I do not believe that there has to be some deep, mysterious, incomprehensible profundity to art before it is considered to be significant. What’s wrong with art for enjoyment – simple and unpretentious.

  A life of giving by Elle Fagan, Hartford, CT, USA  

watercolour painting, 10 x 8 inches
by Elle Fagan

Claus Factor, indeed! RGenn, you did it again — “hit the nail on the head” — I made a section of my site called “Art with Heart” for just that reason. I give routinely now for several years — and my donations often make hundreds of dollars each for people. The latest to Mark Twain House in November and, although I’d donated artwork sporadically earlier, Art With Heart started with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I remembered my “mommies” in girlhood (I liked helping and was already an artist). The mommies looked at my slender occasionally whizzy self and said, “OK you like to help, but later when you cannot, just donate your art to help for you.” Later College profs said the same. And later still, Small Business Administration recommended it for the good spirit, free ads, promotion of the artwork and tax deductions. I had been Red Cross as leader and follower in two wars and assorted disaster responses and, as planned, since I was no longer able to run to “Ground Zeros,” I stuck to my College-trained arts and began to donate small studies , framed and unframed to some of the response groups helping in the massive response needs for Katrina victims. Me and my little Mac PowerBook G3 were like Peanuts’ Schroeder at his toy piano, as I ticked away with enthusiasm at the keyboard, making contacts, settling on the specifics and arranging drop-off and shipping. Things were in such a turmoil as all the states sent things to help ! I did not even realize how much I’d sent till the receipts for it all came in… I’d donated over a thousand dollars! Churches, Red Cross, Animal response, etc… just quietly doing my own little response thing, using my art to help. I was quite disabled and my own life has had its moment , as I mended health and regained ground in my work and a normal life… and this Christmas, memories of those days are not so easy… but oh so proud. When the American Watercolor Society found out about my donations by way of response work, ‘kicked upstairs,” they welcomed me to join — an honor — and now I am Associate “newbie” — developing wins to the shows so that one day I may enjoy the “A.W.S.” after my name. I had no idea my May-born heart would win that bit extra for me. Always pays to be good I guess!   Memories of summertime joy by Elizabeth Gallant   I was sitting here supposedly thinking of all the things I need to accomplish before midnight tonight when I realized that I was actually counting my blessings. I was thinking about the ladies I met while waiting for the ferry from Quadra Island to Cortes Island. Then I thought about Margaret who offered me a roof over my head when I needed to get to Campbell River in order to meet up with friends in Nanaimo after the course was over. I thought of the nice people in the ferry lineup leaving Cortes and the lovely views we had while waiting. I thought of the ferry workers who tried to ensure that all of us made that sailing (and of the people who missed it). I thought of the lovely time we spent on Cortes, the 37-stroke paintings, the 37-minute paintings, the deer inspecting the paintings and your ‘rescue’ demo of my 37-minute attempt at a painting. Thank you, and thank you to all your contributors and especially to all the participants in the Hollyhock, Cortes workshop.   A challenge for inventive elves by Stella Reinwald, Santa Fe, NM, USA  

the paint tube troubles

I have a life-long gripe with paint packaging and wonder if anyone else wonders why no one seems able or willing to come up with a better design. The dysfunction of the common paint tube is universal, endlessly frustrating, wasteful, messy, and potentially dangerous (i.e. tracking Cadmium yellow across the floor for the kids/animals to walk in because the tube was leaking unnoticed until too late). I searched paint tubes and came up with this interesting factoid from Windsor Newton: “In 1841 the American portrait painter John Goffe Rand invented the squeezable or collapsible metal tube.” This innovation might have represented a real improvement over what was available in 1841 ( ! ) but it hasn’t changed much since then. As painters, we are forced to use a technology developed 170 years ago!! Not one manufacturer has had the foresight to improve substantially on this miserable, inefficient tool. Maybe they all count on the fact that the painter will eventually get so frustrated with the hassle and mess, that she will abandon the half-used tube and start over with a new one. It just can’t be so hard to devise a container that will release the product without gumming up the outlet when the paint inevitably passes through it, won’t leak top and bottom, become easily punctured, torn, or burst its bottom seam. The cap often becomes so tightly glued to the tube, one is forced to use pliers and even the resistance can be such that the metal tube tears, spilling its contents. Plastic tubes are not significantly better. Caps (plastic and metal) are universally a problem as they all have tiny threads that get clogged from the very first use and are truly an abomination. How is it that no one has devised a more clever system for storing paint? Can we all agree that this sorry state of ill-conceived and inefficient packaging needs correcting? Anyone out there up to the challenge? There are 12 comments for A challenge for inventive elves by Stella Reinwald
From: wes giesbrecht — Dec 27, 2011

What I would really like is a dispenser system. Load the full tubes and pull a lever to squeeze out as much as you need, until the tube is empty. Kind of like the dispensers they have for hard liquor in cocktail lounges. That’s gotta be doable. Maybe there already is such a thing?

From: Sonia Leggett — Dec 27, 2011

I can only agree with your comments, but having studied the image you supplied I am concerned that you might come to the unwanted attention of the SPAPT (the Society for the Prevention of Abuse of Paint Tubes)! These tubes definitely seem to have had a very hard life.

From: Susan Kellogg, Austin, TX — Dec 27, 2011

It is so perfect a container because it allows no air to enter…but now that I think of it, one could use a clean shallow wide mouth jar, (e.g. small marinated artichoke jar or small roasted pepper jar). Squeeze the tube of paint into it, cover the unfilled area with water that you empty out when you want to dip into it with your paint knife to transfer the paint to palette. I miss painting in oil more than anything. Thank you Wegener’s Granulomatosis.

From: Jackie Knott — Dec 27, 2011

Tubes of paint are reasonably functional as are toothpaste tubes and the mousetrap: old design isn’t necessarily bad design. I find the problem is usually one of quality material, such as a flimsy cap that comes apart when one tries to firmly tighten it. Or, a tear appears in the metal/plastic sleeve. It is inadequate packaging. Still, usage can be prolonged by careful handling … but even with judicious respect some paint tubes will break down with the first opening use. Suppliers?

From: Nina Allen Freeman — Dec 27, 2011

why don’t they take some of the technology for the toothpaste industry-that stuff seems to work better, if only slightly.

From: Darrell Baschak — Dec 27, 2011

My son, an engineer with Boeing, is working on it. I asked him to bring me a tube of Chinese Vermillion from Seattle. His baggage was randomly searched and in the process the tube burst, ruining all the contents and Xmas presents he was bringing home! I hope the security people got some on them as well.

From: Sylvia — Dec 27, 2011

Have you tried heating the top and lid of your tube with hair dryer or heat gun? This works with oils. Running acrylic lids under hot water usually works for me.

From: Maureen Byrne — Dec 27, 2011

I use pieces of that rubbery bobbly cupboard or refrigerator drawer liners to open stubborn paint tubes. I also have found that the center circle of the caps on paint tubes is usually where it leaks….who ever thought up a two piece plastic cap I’ll never know. It is a good idea to put the paint in a small jar, but what would you put on top of watercolour paint?

From: Angela Treat Lyon — Dec 27, 2011

I paint in both acrylics and oils, and have seen that the tubes made for acrylics work a heck of a lot better than the ones for oils — wha’??? Why? The Liquitex tubes of their cheapest paints are the best — they have a flip cap that closes very tight on the center squeezer-outer-hole. It has to be air tight to keep the acrylics form drying, so why not for oils? I like to take those squeeze bottles with the flat, stand-upon lids with the flip cover that honey comes in and clean them up and use them to squeeze out my mixture of sienna and gesso for my background layer — why couldn’t you do that with your paints as well — esp if you paint big? I’m sure there are smaller squeezy containers with tight-closing flip lids like that that would work as well for smaller amounts.

From: Robyn Rinehart — Dec 27, 2011
From: mars — Dec 29, 2011

Agreed!!!! the paint tubes are old hat——I’ve been so frustrated with them–when one uses the plyers–some tear–takes time to soak them in turps–so that’s out—-what’s the answer–outthere–lets hear it??? why not put the paint into small jars with wide screw band–then I can open them —with my jar opener. thanks.

From: Sarah — Dec 31, 2011

I’ve found that the top part of rubber gloves opens most paint tubes, even old ones.

  Multiple intelligences by Bruce Bundock, Kingston, NY, USA  

acrylic painting, 12 x 16 inches
by Bruce Bundock

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year! Let me take a moment to thank you for the energy you put out with your twice-weekly entries. I have saved over 350 of them and reflect on the content which is rich and varied. You struck a nerve with Howard Gardner as his work played an important part in my graduate dissertation. It may seem odd that I did not pursue an MFA but, instead, received an MA degree (master of arts in liberal studies). My reason was simple: I wanted to write. I wanted to write about the creative process across occupational domains. That I was a painter was a given. I wanted to convince others outside the sphere of art that its study and practice could enhance, expand awareness and provide additional resources with their own creative problem-solving in their respective occupations. Maybe it was a search for validation (I had an uphill battle in high school) or at least a call to be invited to the table — and not be marginalized. Gardner’s theory made perfect sense on a number of levels. It explained what I was feeling but could not put into words at the time. We are map makers with flawed cartography, all. We customize our lives according to our interests, yet there are always stones to overturn, discoveries to be made.    

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for The Claus factor

From: Daniela — Dec 22, 2011

Robert, with a letter such as this one, you could convert almost anyone to Christmas cheer! Thank you for all the wit and wisdom throughout the year.

From: Eric — Dec 22, 2011

There was an interesting thread on Wet Canvas not long ago where people shared their experiences with donating paintings to various fundraisers, and a lot of the stories mirrored my own. It’s common, for instance, for non-profits to have silent auctions of donated work, with the eventual selling price often being drastically lower than the pieces would bring in the open market. Factoring in the limited extent to which the US tax laws allow an artist a deduction for donations of works, in some cases it’s more tempting to just write a check to support the non-profit.

From: adrienne-marie walker — Dec 22, 2011

Dear Robert, This is a Jolly Delightful Message, thank you so much! Although over the last two years I haven’t been able to put a pen(cil) on paper and such, the New Year will be different! I’ve now built my straw bale house and sold my small business per 1st Jan. I cannot wait to start taking my art stuff out of hiding and practise what you wrote in today’s letter. A Happy Christmas to all artists and especially to you!

From: Kathy Sarlo — Dec 23, 2011

I am not a “career” artist but rather took up watercolor as a hobby to relieve stress from my working life. I am so fortunate to paint with some amazing artists in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and I have learned so much from them. The majority of my work I have given away to friends and relatives (yes – they wanted them!!) and I was very lucky to sell 3 pieces this year. All the proceeds were donated to charities and I hope I have other opportunities to continue down this path. My life has been blessed and I want to share those blessings any way I can. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!!

From: Fiona — Dec 23, 2011

I quietly read these emails of yours….have been for a while now…and just wanted to thank you for giving so much of yourself away. You are always spot on, and an absolute treat. Wishing you and your family all the very best this Holiday Season. Continued art, inspiration, love, health & happiness throughout the New Year. You are a gem Genn. Toronto, ON

From: Barbara Allen Frost — Dec 23, 2011

Speaking of giving….your Twice-Weekly Letter is a wonderful gift that comes into my email mailbox all year long. Thank you so much for that… pass on all the ones that I think will help my other artists friends, but I read everything you send and try and absorb it into my psyche…. Again, thank you so much for making my life that much richer. Have a wonderful holiday season……. Westerville, OH

From: Lynda Jamieson — Dec 23, 2011
From: Manuel — Dec 23, 2011

Here in Portugal you make even the stupid people think and confront their superstitions. We have many english readers here who paint and read you a lot when they have the time.

From: Brenda — Dec 23, 2011

Great stuff Robert: Our art group of Lakefield yesterday just decided to revive itself after a respite of about a year. Very giving people. Your letter nails it! I heard about your site some years ago from a 4th cousin who is an artist as well in the Ottawa Valley.We continue to learn. Merry Christmas.

From: S. L. Lester — Dec 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Robert–to you and your family and all who help you out on your wonderful site–and to all the people who write with further information and points of view. They and you have created a Brotherhood and Sisterhood that is so appreciated by us on the fringes.

From: Katalin Goddard — Dec 23, 2011

I love receiving your letters. Merry Christmas from Barbados!

From: Sarah — Dec 23, 2011

I am forever grateful to receive your newsletters. Happy Holidays to you and your family and all the little elves that help you !!

From: Louise Francke — Dec 23, 2011

I particularly like and dislike Xmas. A part of me hates the “give me” attitude and the commercialization starting in late October through December. The more traditional side likes the celebration of new life and joy which is evident at this time and would prefer to give the gifts on St Nick’s Day instead of the 25th. When I have an abundance of art works, it makes me glow with warmth to give a little etching that shows I appreciate my friends just being there in the background. The past couple of years, I have been giving out the remaining calendars which haven’t sold to brighten up each month and day of the new year. This gift has also been appreciated.

From: Jackie Fyers — Dec 23, 2011

Dear Robert Claus, Every Tuesday and Friday you do your bit of giving of yourself in the true Santa spirit. Your e-mails improve my day — always. Just want to thank you for another year. Every mail you write makes me think new thoughts and reminds me anew how fortunate I am to be a painter. I wish you a very Happy Christmas and hope that 2012 is one of your best years yet.

From: Susan DeRosa — Dec 23, 2011

Dear Robert, Sending a note of appreciation for your weekly words and to thank you for sharing. Your letters have reinforced and rewarded me with abundance throughout the years. Merry Christmas, and God bless.

From: Dianna Williams, Tarpon Springs, Fl. — Dec 23, 2011

Good Morning Robert……. “your brain with thoughts, ideas, comments, facts….must never sleep.”

From: Frederica Marshall — Dec 25, 2011

I recently gave 8 large canvas paintings to the local nursing home when I noticed they had only bare walls or faded posters. I gave good paintings of colorful flowers and landscapes. I had painted them when I lived in Florida. I moved to Maine and there is not a market for tropical flowers here. The paintings brightened up the nursing home and I had a sale of a Maine painting as a result. Karma is always working!

From: Iola Benton — Dec 25, 2011

This is to wish you Happy Holidays and to THANK YOU for all the information and JOY that your words have brought me during this year. I have seen your art work and more of some very good artists. Keep going and again THANK YOU FOR YOUR GREAT LETTERS.

From: Eugene Kovacs — Dec 25, 2011

You are a very talented person, you have a great treasure of knowledge and you share your thoughts with other people. I hope that you, as a great artist, will influence others and overcome the difficulties in our uncertain world. I wish you a peaceful Holiday season.

From: Polly Stark — Dec 25, 2011

Thanks Robert! I loved that! I painted three paintings for special friends for Christmas and they are my most favorite presents as they are really from ME! Merry Christmas!

From: Leah Hawks — Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to you, too! I recently enjoyed listening to a radio broadcast online featuring an interview with you. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the twice-weekly well-written words of artistic wisdom. I enjoy it for the information as well as the varied, tongue in cheek, humorous and delightfully crafted writing! Napa Valley, CA …..

From: Elaine Dube — Dec 25, 2011

I sent a copy of the painting for my Christmas card this year to a lady who was so helpful getting my on line order to me by Christmas. She will be able to use it for her card next year. It is good to share the gift we have been given.

From: Vivian Chamberlin — Dec 25, 2011

In this letter you mentioned two of my favourite authors – Kahlil Gibran and Pearl S. Buck! What magic they put on paper! I wish the magic would rub off with my paintings!

From: Gavin Logan — Dec 25, 2011

I hope you are aware that this is the most widely read art blog on the Internet. Such a beautiful balance. Such timely thoughts. Such wisdom without pretense. You and all your staff are wished a very merry Christmas from all of us.

From: Vicki Louise Neil Ross — Dec 26, 2011

Worth any price…especially free! I’ve been a loyal subscriber for several years and highly recommend Robert and appreciate his wisdom.

From: Terrie Christian — Dec 27, 2011

Thanks Robert for the giving that you do. It is an inspiration for many of us to put ourselves “out there”. This year on Christmas eve day I sent out a “piece of art for peace” to people working on Aquatic Invasive Species issues in Minnesota. The past year has been difficult and some have been very negative. It felt like a risk to put out one of my rabbit paintings which is about affirmation of friendship, light and love of the sparkling water in a very childlike way. What I received was some surprising feedback of thanks. My intent was to lift spirits and now I know for some it did.

From: hannah — Dec 27, 2011

thanks for this. everyone else is all “giving is sacrifice”. no one else would understand this but artists. exactly how i feel.

From: Kathy Johnson — Dec 27, 2011

There is a brand of paint — I think it’s called Classic, that is in a caulking tube and it takes a caulking gun to squeeze it out. It is huge and doesn’t leak. You’re instant comment math problem is unreadable! I have a Mac–is that why? I’ve copied and pasted it below: IAD 4LB D 7 U J7N DNB 79H WIE D D 2 AYW FT6 O8C Any clues?

From: June Raabe — Dec 27, 2011

A Christmas and paintng story. A son (one of 3) phoned and asked if I still had the painting I used to head my “Christmas letter”. and if it was for sale. I said yes to both, and he said he would come over. I had thought it lacked a frame and said he might have to frame it. Afterwards I thought about this and realized I NEVER send my Christmas letter to my children, so how could he have seen this particular image? I wondered if it was the previous year’s letter, so hastened to phone him to offer to correct the problem. It seems for once I HAD e-mailed the Xmas letter to my children. He had seen it but “lost it”. Speaking to the delighted daughter in law yesterday, she said she especially liked it because of the bright colours, and my son liked the fruit in the plastic bag. Naturally I told him he did not need to buy it from me. (That was guilt speaking, I had completely forgot his birthday this year, no card to gift!) This has made my Christmas this year, finding a home for a painting! Happy New Year, June

     Featured Workshop: Dianna Shyne
122711_robert-gennDianna Shyne workshops   The Workshop Calendar provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order. 


acrylic painting, 36 x 48 inches by Nadi Spencer, Three Rivers, CA, USA

  You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013. That includes Pam Askew of Tuscaloosa, AL, USA, who wrote, “And what a gift you all give with these caring, insightful letters. Thank you and Merry Christmas!”    

Robert and Sara Genn Twice-Weekly Letters

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