DAILY ART FIX: The Christmas Tree Painting, Updated

 

 An update on a post from December 23, 2015

Our Christmas Tree: Our Work-in-Progress Tradition

It started in 2012.

It’s a little hard when you are adults, with no kids around, to find the proper level of Christmas decorating for the home.

To not decorate at all would be bleak. It would be an unhappy break from a lifetime cycle of excitement and fun around the holidays, as well as missing out on commemorating one of the definitive miraculous events in human history.

But to go for an 8 foot live tree with all the trimmings and a giant outdoor display seems excessive. There are other complications as well. Our cats were too intrigued by even the small artificial tree we used for a few years, leading to some unfortunate episodes. And we don’t even have an outlet on the outside of our house to plug lights into.

In 2012 my wife Michele Bledsoe came up with a great solution. We were both painters-why not make a painting of a Christmas tree that we could bring out for the holiday?

Inspired, we made a quick trip to the art supply store and got to work.

Tree paint 1

2012: I began with the star and some vague spots of color as a base coat for ornaments

Michele’s sister Sherry was living with us at the time, and joined in creating the tree and decorations. The idea was just to roughly block in the shapes at first. Then, every year at Christmas time when we bring out the painting, we would continue to work on it.

Tree paint 2

Sherry and Michele, adding details

Michele took on the role of clean up and enhancement. Since her paintings are so precise and intricate, she excels at getting images resolved.

Tree paint 3

2021 marks our ninth season of painting on the tree. There’s still room to add new ornaments, and plenty of opportunities to refine the elements we’ve already depicted. I imagine we will be working on this the rest of our lives.

When the tree is not on one of our easels, we put it on our family room floor, surrounded by presents. It’s been a wonderful tradition. And the cats don’t try to climb it.

Merry Christmas!

“Christmas Tree” acrylic on canvas 36″ x 24″ 2012-2021

Michele Bledsoe, Richard Bledsoe, Sherry

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Three Paintings of the Three Wise Men

Art world links which caught my eye…

From the book of Matthew, Chapter 2:

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Henry Ossawa Tanner “The Three Wise Men” 1925

Albrecht Dürer, “Adoration of the Magi” 1504

Hieronymus Bosch, “Adoration of the Magi” 1485

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: If Famous Artists Doodled Christmas Trees…

Art world links which caught my eye…

Merry Christmas!

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX – The 15 artworks that define Christmas – in pictures

Art world links which caught my eye…

Nativity at Night by Geertgen Tot Sint Jans Geertgen

Nativity at Night by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (c 1490)

A really lovely listicle, which features nativities and winter scenes.

Peasants trudging through snow, ice-skaters in the street and the baby Jesus glowing and golden in the manger … how the greatest painters have captured the majesty of the season

Adoration of the Shepherds, 1609, by Caravaggio

Adoration of the Shepherds by Caravaggio (1609)

Snow Scene at Argenteuil by Claude-Oscar Monet

Snow Scene at Argenteuil by Claude Monet (1875)

See the full list here: THE GUARDIAN – The 15 artworks that define Christmas – in pictures

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Video – 25 BIZARRE AND CREEPY VINTAGE CHRISTMAS CARDS

Art world links which caught my eye…

I wonder about the context of some of theses motifs. Why all the frogs? What do they have to do with Christmas?

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Christmas Lights: Photographing a Very American Tradition

Art world links which caught my eye…

a woman in a christmas sweater sits in front of her large home decorated in christmas lights

From An American Christmas

One Christmas tradition my wife and I maintain is decorating our porch with lights. We have a solar powered string festooning our railing and pillar, flashing evolving patterns in red, gold, blue and green. Many of our neighbors have put up their own light displays: dripping blue icicles, loops and coils of big bulbs, flurries sparkling in bushes and trees.

But many cities have that one homeowner who makes their house a destination, a real Christmastime spectacle. A recent book photographed the phenomenon.

Danelle Manthey’s American Christmas, published last fall, is the culmination of a decade-long project documenting elaborate Christmas displays across the US. Through intimate photographs and the artist’s own words, Manthey’s photographs and accompanying essays recontextualize these displays as more than just Christmas kitsch, but as visionary works of art created by talented folk artists. Featuring the stories of more than forty artists across twelve states, American Christmas shows their commonalities and differences, and how they are united by hard work and an inspired vision.

Read the full article here: ART & OBJECT – Christmas Lights: Photographing a Very American Tradition

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

Andy Warhol’s Pop Art Christmas Cards

An Andy Warhol Angel 

;

“Andy was a Catholic, the ethic ran through his bones/

He lived alone with his mother, collecting gossip and toys/

Every Sunday when he went to church/

He’d kneel in his pew and he’d say/

“It’s just work, all that matters is work.” 

-Lou Reed, from Songs for Drella

 

It’s true. Pop artist Andy Warhol, the legendary, ironically blank scenester, was also a devoutly religious man. He attended church faithfully, volunteered in soup kitchens, and made a late body of Christian themed works that have been largely overlooked by the hostilely secular art world.

.

Warhol Meets Pope John Paul II, 1980 

As a person of faith, Warhol used his artistic skills to celebrate Christmas. Before Andy found fame in the gallery scene, he was a successful commercial artist. From 1956-1962 he produced box sets of Christmas cards sold by Tiffany’s. He rendered these as quirky doodles, far removed from the slick screen  prints he’s known for.

Here are just a few examples of Warhol’s holiday spirit.

.

c

Christmas

Christmas

Christmas Cards 

 

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, Warhol left a mixed legacy:

“As the prophet of the Postmodern, Warhol was another harbinger of the mess of a culture we are currently slogging through. It’s not his fault. Do you blame a reporter for the news he covers? The cultural traits Warhol portrayed didn’t start with him. He fulfilled the role of the artist giving us foresight into the culture’s momentum.”

1978: Truman Capote and Andy Warhol Celebrate the Season

Maybe a Little Too High Spirited 

But I like to think behind the facade of celebrity and detachment, there was the real human Andy, who celebrated Christ’s birth with sincere joy.

Merry Christmas!

An Andy Warhol Nativity 

 

***********

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you! 

 

 

ARTISTS: Salvador Dali’s Surreal Christmas Cards

Ho Ho Ho my Gosh; ‘Tis the Season for Surrealism 

In 1960, before the visuals arts had withdrawn into their current status of hostile, insular irrelevance, greeting card benchmark Hallmark had an idea to bring people some culture for Christmas. 50 artists were featured on Hallmark Christmas cards, with the noble intention of sharing some Modern masters with the mass market. Along with staples like Norman Rockwell and Currier and Ives, more avant-garde figures like Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Paul Cezanne were presented.

One of the artists recruited was Surrealist Salvador Dali. The choice was not as strange as it might seem. He had already created a Christmas image for the cover of Vogue in 1948.

Dali’s Christmas Vogue Cover

For a flat fee of $15,000.00 and promises of complete artistic control, Dali produced a series of Yuletide images. Unfortunately, the executives at Hallmark decided he went a little TOO cultural for the tastes of the time, and only a few of his tamer paintings were used.

.

.

Two of the Dali Images used: Tame compared to the others

.

But now, thanks to the magic of the internet, we can enjoy some surrealism for the season. Here are some of Salvador Dali’s unused Christmas card pictures.

 

.

.

.

Merry Christmas!

 

.

 

EXPLOITS: The Christmas Tree Painting

Tree Detail 3

Our Christmas Tree: A detail shot from our work-in progress tradition

It started in 2012.

It’s a little hard when you are adults, with no kids around, to find the proper level of Christmas decorating for the home.

To not decorate at all would be bleak. It would be an unhappy break from a lifetime cycle of excitement and fun around the holidays, as well as missing out on commemorating one of the definitive miraculous events in human history.

But to go for an 8 foot live tree with all the trimmings and a giant outdoor display seems excessive. There are other complications as well. Our cats were too intrigued by even the small artificial tree we used for a few years, leading to some unfortunate episodes. And we don’t even have an outlet on the outside of our house to plug lights into.

In 2012 my wife Michele Bledsoe came up with a great solution. We were both painters-why not make a painting of a Christmas tree that we could bring out for the holiday?

Inspired, we made a quick trip to the art supply store and got to work.

Tree paint 1

2012: I began with the star and some vague spots of color as a base coat for ornaments

Michele’s sister Sherry Weiss was living with us at the time, and joined in creating the tree and decorations. The idea was just to roughly block in the shapes at first. Then, every year at Christmas time when we bring out the painting, we would continue to work on it.

Tree paint 2

Sherry and Michele, adding details

Michele took on the role of clean up and enhancement. Since her paintings are so precise and intricate, she excels at getting images resolved.

Tree paint 3

2015 marks our fourth season of painting on the tree. There’s still room to add new ornaments, and plenty of opportunities to refine the elements we’ve already depicted. We haven’t even touched the background yet. I imagine we will be working on this the rest of our lives.

When the tree is not on one of our easels, we put it on our family room floor, surrounded by presents. It’s been a wonderful tradition. And the cats don’t try to climb it.

Merry Christmas!

Tree

“Christmas Tree” acrylic on canvas 36″ x 24″

Michele Bledsoe, Richard Bledsoe, Sherry Weiss