Today marks the unofficial “official start” of the Christmas season, or maybe it’s the official “unofficial start”. Who knows who decides these things! Somehow over the years, it’s become an American tradition for communities to light Christmas trees on Thanksgiving night, and the following day — now known as Black Friday — all hell breaks loose in the shopping malls. I don’t swear, so those are strong words for me to use. I can’t think of a better way to describe the frenzy, however. Needless to say, I won’t be taking part. I refuse to leave the house on Black Friday.
Actually, I will get out of the house as little as possible between now and Christmas. I don’t care for traffic, I don’t like crowds, and I’m not much of a shopper. I have most of our holiday shopping done, so one trip to our local Wal-Mart will be all I need to finish up gift-buying for the grandkids and great-grandkids.
I will be getting out on December 4, though. That’s the date for our holiday luncheon at one of the art clubs I belong to. We will have meats and cheeses catered, and members will bring potluck dishes — sides and desserts. There we will also receive hand-made Christmas cards. That was our project at our most recent club meeting.
How intimidating for a still-beginning artist like me! I’ve been drawing for three years now, and I’ve learned lots of good pencil skills, so maybe I shouldn’t refer to myself as a beginner. Compared to other members (and, yes, I know, we should never compare ourselves and our art to others) I am definitely inexperienced, definitely a novice when it comes to creating art, especially what I call art on demand. To have a club leader hand me two pieces of cardstock with instructions to create two holiday cards for our dinner definitely brought out all my insecurities as a fledgling artist.
Many in the group are professional artists. Many have taught art in schools and colleges. Many are represented by art galleries in the region. All have many years of experience.
And then, there’s me.
Each member at the meeting created two cards. Printed stickers were affixed on the back stating that this was an original work of art, along with a place for our name and the club name. The cards go into envelopes, the envelopes go into a big wicker basket, and at our luncheon on December 4, everyone will grab a card to take home. Any remaining cards will be mailed out to members who weren’t able to attend the luncheon.
All of this meaning, of course, that two members will get cards with my name on them, and even though I know that this isn’t a competition, I can’t help but feel that my art will be judged — and found lacking. Oh, well. At least I did work up courage enough to go to the meeting. I had seriously considered skipping out, you see. But I do want to be part of our art community. I want to be part of the club. I want to learn and grow as an artist, and that means occasionally putting my art on the line.
I did take an easy approach to our card-making. Although I’d earlier done a few little practice scenes with churches and trees, I wasn’t sure I could create anything worth giving away. So, I resorted to doodling. It let me relax and enjoy the process. I was able to have fun, and best of all, I was able to come away from the experience with a completed Christmas card. I even received compliments on it from the ladies seated beside me.
So, here’s my doodle card.
This was drawn with those fine-point Sharpies I bought during Inktober. What a perfect opportunity to put them to use.
The drawing is actually on white cardstock, so I’m not sure why it looks almost pink in the photo.
It’s not much as far as art goes. But it represents who I am and where I am in my art journey.
I hope whoever receives the card will at least smile a little and think, “Well, she did her best.”
And what of the second card I made?
I didn’t want to do too much doodling, so I did a little bit of drawing for the second card. It looked somewhat bare at first, so using thoughts about design principles I added in lots of different dots in different shapes. As with the first card, it’s no work of art, but for me it was a little victory. I survived the day of drawing and turned in two completed cards.
As with the first card, I hope it brings a smile and that it will be a little part of someone’s happy holidays.
I’m going to be adding lots of Christmas ideas to my artist’s clipbook, and creating doodle cards may become a new holiday tradition for me.