Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Very Special Santa Claus Cypress Knee

Over the past few years I have painted cypress knees given to me by a friend, and in exchange, I create customized Santas, Angels, even a Raggedy Ann and Andy for him to give his sweet wife and daughters-in-law for Christmas.

This year I happened to meet two of his daughters-in-law while set up at a Farmers and Artist Market.  When they realized I was the artist who had created their Santas, they asked me if I could paint them a very special Santa for their father-in-law who, unbeknowst to me, had lost his wife to cancer only a couple of months ago.

The young ladies came over and picked out an especially nice cypress knee that their father-in-law and given me and sent me emails of photos of the special things they wanted to add to his Santa Claus.

They asked that special items be added to the Santa including 8 grandchildren.

On one side, I painted three helping with decorating and setting out toys.

On the back, two step grandsons are sitting on Santa's bag. The oldest is holding one of his step cousins. I thought is was extra special that they included these two boys on the Santa.

Part of the cypress knee's design made for a great garland,

Raggedy Ann and Andy were a favorite of his wife's, so they were added to the toy bag.

At first I thought about adding my friend's face on the Santa, then I decided that since this was more about his wife, the Santa needed to be unique.

HIs wife cross-stitched every one in the family a stocking, so they asked that I add hers to the cypress knee Santa along with a very special hummingbird feeder that she loved.

And of course, the angel, painted to look like Deb, in one of her favorite gowns.
I called my friend a couple of days after Christmas and left him a message. He came by see me today and we talked about his loss and all the love he had for his wife. The Santa Claus cypress knee I painted touched him immensely and I told him that I had happy and loving thoughts all the time I was working on it.

He was blessed to have had such a loving, thoughtful, and sweet wife. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.