Every year about this time my niece, Cara, begins asking that question. “Is it too early?” She’s referring to the Christmas holidays, and she can’t wait to start decorating. Forget the Labor Day weekend. Never mind about Halloween or Thanksgiving. If it were up to her, we’d just have Christmas all year long. She has quite a collection of Christmas trees, so at her home, every room gets decked out — along with the halls — for Christmas.
Now, she doesn’t really start in July or August, but she would if she could. She does, at least, start asking that question. Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas? Well, that depends on what that thinking leads to, I guess. It’s definitely not too early to do Christmas shopping, in my opinion, and for me, it’s not too early to begin thinking about my Christmas cards.
Back in 2015, when I first told my husband that I was learning to draw, his immediate remark was “Just think, you’ll be able to make our Christmas cards this year.” This was in late June. Definitely far too early to be thinking about the Christmas holidays, and of all things for him to suggest! It was a crazy idea. As it turned out, though, not only did I come up with a Christmas card illustration, I also gave several drawings as Christmas gifts. Surprise, surprise!
In the years since, I’ve enjoyed doing a small drawing or painting for the holidays each year. While this little drawing wasn’t done with any intentions of using it for a Christmas card, it definitely made me think about the holidays. Yes, it’s still early, but nothing like being prepared, right?
In making and painting this, I was not only sketching quickly — with graphite — but then experimenting with different brushes and brush techniques for adding the gansai. I laughed a lot while making this little sketch. Once again I was fooled by the pine cones. To me, they always look so simple. Surely I can draw a pine cone or two, I think whenever I see them. But, no, I can’t. I ran into that little problem back in October 2019 when I was doing Inktober drawings. You’ll see the pine cones I drew then here:
To that I can shake my head and add, “All right, fine. Fool me a third time!” Yes, I really thought these pine cones would be easy to draw, and, well, yes, draw them I did. I just didn’t draw them too accurately.
Even so, I enjoyed this drawing, and it did put me in a holiday mood. I did start thinking about the Christmas holidays and wondering what illustration I’ll create for our cards this year. I’m not sure if it will include pine cones or not. I’m not sure about which medium I’ll use either. Maybe I’ll go with my gansai since I’m loving it so much. Or maybe I’ll go back to my easel and oil paints. Or how about getting out those acrylic inks and using them for my holiday greeting card?
Lots of possibilities! That means lots to think about, lots of decisions to make, and lots of planning. So, you see, no, it’s really not too early to be thinking about Christmas.