Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday card, 1997

Treeseller. Woodcut with watercolor.

In 1997, I made the first of what would become an annual tradition: a handmade holiday greeting card. Before this year's Christmas comes, I hope to post all that have come along since then. The first was cut from a cheap piece of pine, and printed on Rives BFK [the last time I would use either wood or BFK paper]. For our Christmas-celebrating friends and family, I handcolored the guy's Santa cap in red and wrote "Merry Christmas" in blue ink with a reed pen. For our other-denominational friends, I left the cap uncolored and wrote "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings," I don't quite remember which. I think this proof may be the only copy of this one that I still have. I don't remember how many we printed, but in the years since, I've usually made editions in the 50-100 range, just to make sure we have plenty.

The Treeseller was an image I'd also played around with in drawings and paintings, because I've always liked the sight of trees lined up on NYC sidewalks in December. My father, who took his Christmas trees seriously, always felt there was some kind of Noellian evergreen conspiracy which sent all the best trees to this fair city. "They're all perfect!" he used to say. "You guys get all the best trees!" Produce, too, according to my mother, who once said she bought and sliced the perfect tomato right here in Brooklyn. Go figya.

I have a big painting based on the Treeseller image; I'll have to shoot and post it one of these Yules.

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