It’s coming into the Christmas season, and that means adding to my ’12 Days of Christmas’ greeting card series. I began this series quite innocently.
The first in the series began with the infamous ‘Partridge in a Pear Tree’. The plan was to add one card a year. In the beginning one, two and even three subjects on a 5″ x 7″ greeting card seemed to work well.
Then I came up against the ‘Six Geese a Laying’. Fitting that many characters on a small card was challenging — and it wasn’t going to get any easier from here.
To date, I am up to ‘Nine Ladies Dancing’, and although I had a fabulous idea from a friend to make them ladybugs, I just couldn’t get the design right. Dancing ladybugs are not an easy subject!
So I switched to bears in tutus. Ya, I know, much easier, right? I’m not sure why dancing lady bears somehow came to mind…but I had to run with it. Cards are where I play in my art practice. I somehow feel that I can be a bit more goofy and not take my self so seriously on a greeting card.
So, bears it is. Here is how I created my ‘Nine Ladies Dancing’ card.
The drawing on tissue, transferred to the block. I knew the bears would be mostly black, so only needed the outline as a guide.
I begin by carving most of the outlines of the bears, but then get caught up in the detail. It’s pretty organic…once I am in the zone of carving, there is no methodical approach.
Progress along the way. Most of the outlines done.
More of the piece carved, with the dancer’s dresses flipping up. The belly buttons were a late addition.
The block is complete, ready for inking.
Inking the block to pull the first proof.
The first proof looks good, so off I go, printing about 15 cards. For Christmas cards, I batch-print them as I need them. I’m already getting Christmas orders from some of the five locations I supply with cards. Our town bookstore, Cafe Books, one of the locations that sells my cards in Canmore says they have had requests for Christmas cards already!
Here is the newest card hanging with other Christmas cards drying on the line. For the Five Golden Rings cards, I hand-paint the rings with gold paint for that extra bit of sparkle!
Although I create many other Christmas themes (snowmen, Santas, and more), the ’12 Days’ greeting card series can be found here on my Facebook page 12 Days of Christmas. Next up: Lords ‘a Leaping! Any guesses what that might be?