Friday, 23 December 2016

Hope in a troubled world

Holy Family III
linocut Christmas card by Teresa Newham

When I planned my 2016 Christmas card I already knew that I wanted to depict the Holy Family again.  Burning a candle for inspiration, I found myself doodling a heart shape on the paper - and everything flowed from that.  Imaginatively entitled "Holy Family III", the image shows the Virgin Mary and St Joseph cradling the baby Jesus while the star (which always foreshadows the cross in my designs) shines above.

As a Catholic, I celebrate the birth of Jesus as a sign of hope, a light in the darkness; as the Gospel of John says: The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world (1:9).  And although in the chaos of our everyday lives we may forget that light, or choose not to see it, it is still there - the light of love, joy and peace - burning brightly for believers and non-believers alike.

So let's be kind to one another - not just to family and friends, but strangers on the bus, in the shops, on the street.  Let us reach out to help other people, both at home and abroad.  Not just at Christmas, but always.  And let us remember to hope.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, 12 December 2016

card crazy

A6 greetings cards just received from the printers
© Teresa Newham

My artistic activity at this time of year is focused almost entirely on cards - mainly, but not exclusively, the Christmas variety.  Making them, sending them, selling them; the studio becomes a printmaking card factory -  it's just as well that I enjoy it!

a few remaining 'Adoration of the Magi' linocut cards
© Teresa Newham
Most years, it begins right after Open Studios finishes at the end of September.  For several years now I've designed my own hand-printed black and white linocut Christmas card to send to friends and family and re-printed it the following October to sell on behalf of the church building fund.This year, I needed to re-stock the greetings cards I'd sold during Open Studios, too - waiting for the Moo Autumn sale before I placed the order.

the new design for Christmas 2016 drying on every available surface in the studio . . .
© Teresa Newham
Then it was time to design my Christmas card for 2106 and print it up.  The cards take about a week to dry, and cover every available surface in the studio and the dining room.  I'd sold quite a few regular cards at the Harpenden Arts Club exhibition, so another order went off to Moo as soon as they announced their pre-Christmas sale.

. . . and the dining-room!
© Teresa Newham
 All the cards have to be labelled on the back, and I write the name on the linocut ones and sign them in pencil on the front  (muttering to myself as I do so that I really should choose a shorter title next year . . . ).  Cards to be sold have to be wrapped and priced, too.

I'll need to print up some more of these . . .
© Teresa Newham

This November most of my 2015 Christmas card Adoration of the Magi sold at church, along with what I had left over of the three previous years' cards. My next card printing job will be making more of those three designs.  And my entire stock of leaf print cards is now at Fleetville.  So as soon as the leaves come out on my Acer next Spring, guess what I'll be doing?

. . . . and these - but not until next year!
© Teresa Newham