Saturday, December 24, 2011

An Artist's " Night Before Christmas "

With apologies to Clement Moore and, yes, I wrote it myself:

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the studio
Not a paintbrush was stirring, the Artist wasn't in the moodio
The blank canvas was hung on the easel with care
In hopes that the Muse soon would be there

The paint was all nestled all snug in the jars
While visions and ideas were remote as Mars
And I as the Artist without sizzle or snap
The Creative spark was gone for a long winter's nap

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the curtains and threw up the sash

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid day to objects below
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature palette with eight arty deer

And a little old driver all covered in acrylic
I knew in a moment it was St. Arty Nick!
More rapid than brushstrokes, his art deer they came
He whistled and shouted, and called them by name

"Now Van Gogh! Now Rembrandt! Now O'Keeffe and Khalo!
On Rubens! On Escher! On Mucha and Picasso"
To the top of the easel! To the Studio wall!
Now paint away! Paint away! Paint away all!

As sketches that before a wild wind will fly
And met with an obstacle, mount to the sky
Up to the easel the art deer they flew
With a palette full of color and St Arty Nick too!

Then in a twinkling on the easel they stepped
Layered on some Gesso, the canvas was prepped
I blinked both my eyes and almost fell down
When up to the easel St Arty Nick bound

He was dressed all in paint clothes, from his head to his foot
And his hands were all smudgy from charcoal black as soot
A bundle of brushes he had flung on his back
He looked very messy, like me, that's a fact

His eyes-how they glittered! His teeth they were set
His cheeks were rose madder, his nose quite scarlet
His droll little mouth was a mixed media study
He was a walking art text book - really quite funny

The stump of a pencil he held in his hand
And he laid out a painting and it wasn't half bad
The lines were quite bold, the perspective a sensation
I knew all at once I had found inspiration

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
And finished that painting with a flourish and perk
Then laying his paintbrush aside of his nose
He gave me a wink as to the palette he rose

He called to his art deer and loudly did whistle
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle
But I heard him exclaim and I really knew it
"You'll always be surrounded by the Creative Spirit!

The picture is by J. C. Leyendecker who I've featured before - a most accomplished illustrator who did quite a few Santas for magazines and advertising during the early part of the last century. I like his style very much.

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