Saturday, August 30, 2014

Noel With Peace & Joy

The blank and willing stocking!
As I have continued my cleaning and organizing, digging into my "collection" of goodies I found some wooden Christmas stockings that no doubt were meant to be used as Christmas Tree ornaments. Usually the kits that come with such things are too "cutsie" for me, guess its a guy thing, but I could see potential with them glued on a Christmas themed birdhouse. After all, the wooden trees looked pretty good and gave dimension to the birdhouse that painting alone never could.

I am also a craft catalog junkie reading every page! I found the recent ARTIST'S CLUB catalog cleaning and took a break to check that out. I sure hope they never give catalogs up. Comparing and reading about things in a catalog is SOOOO much better than reading it online. At least you know that page is in your hot little hands. Click wrong and it's gone forever on the Internet. I spotted a interesting use for my 4" wooden stockings that I found I couldn't resist.

While the argument rages about whether Zentangle's are an art form, it wasn't hard to realize that the patterns I saw in every gift shop in Norway with their structured patterns and designs could be considered a precursor of this fascinating trend. Of course anyone who has seen East Indian henna designs would say the same thing. Artists strive to create and often similar ideas and designs emerge in different places all over the world.

Noel, Peace and Joy Decorated front and back!
So I dug out a few more of the stockings, studied Zentangle books and keeping a tight palette of only black green, Nanthol Red and white I began. I painted each stocking with one of the base colors. Then I sketched out the patterns that I wanted and began. Even with tiny brushes and limited colors I found that I smeared paint and often had to walk away between colors or sides. 

Once dried, what I couldn't do with a paint brush I used a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent marker in either red or black. That allowed even more detail. A word of caution here. The Sharpies are wonderful and give you a precision most of us never achieve with a brush. However, when varnishing be sure to start with at least one coat of acrylic varnish from a bottle. Spray varnish dissolves the ink and you will have a mess that will need to be repainted again. Trust me. I know!

One of the things that separates me from many other crafting artists is that I always finish all sides of a project. These stockings are painted front and back. I spent more time on any one of these than many of my best and favorite paintings. The sad reality though is that while they could be considered art you as an artist can't charge them as that. So I waiver between $15 to $20 each and that is probably too high for todays market place.

I still have to add a hook and raffia so they can be hung but once varnished they will make a treasured gift for years to come! After all, all they do for a month of so every year is hang around!

Please visit my craft store at and my fine art store at Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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