Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday card, 2001

Sledboy, linocut.

I was kind of surprised to look back and see that this was the card from that year. But I'm glad to see it was. My oldest brother says this is still his favorite of all the holiday cards. I remember it took me a while to get the drawing and design right, and I tried a few different versions till I settled on the solution of white ink printed on a cool-toned blue card stock. This is the only card whose image bleeds all the way to the edges of the card.

We spent a lot of time sledding the hills of Highland Park in Toledo when I was kid, and those hours in the snow were definitely on my mind when I made this. I tried hard to get the weight and gesture of the kid just right as he trudges back up the hill, hauling his Flexible Flyer. When I was sledding, I would not go back inside until my feet were absolutely numb. It helped that we lived down half a block and across the street from the park. There were a couple big blizzards in '77 and '78, and one year there was an ice storm that turned the hill and field into a sheet of ice that could carry you all the way to McCarthy Ballpark.

For some reason, a cherished childhood memory for me is this big box of black galoshes we had, and wearing bread bags on our feet to help them slide in and keep them dry and warm. And a big thick candle we used to wax our runners. And lying on our backs with our feet up against the radiator [our house in the Old West End had stand up radiators; when we moved to the South Side of Toledo, the radiators were in the floor]. And hot chocolate in Santa Claus mugs. [Santa Claus mug...a future card design? Hmm....]

Anyway, lots of associations pile up this time of year, I guess. Highland now has a much bigger sledding hill, as my nieces and nephews will tell you.

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