Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Polar Express Painting

One of my favorite Christmas books is The Polar Express.
As a kid we had a set with a cassette tape and a little bell.  I remember sitting in our living room on the couch, the only lights were from the Christmas tree, and listening to the tape feeling like I was really "reading" the book as a little girl.
This story was always really magical to me.


"Santa's Bell"
acrylic on 14x14 canvas


So I wanted a little tribute to the book, and have been planning this painting for a long time.
I traded with my friend Jill a while ago, and I had her make the last line from the book for me in black vinyl.
In the story, you can only hear the bell if you believe in Santa

So it's finally all together.
Rather than painting the whole train, I chose to just paint the bell that's actually the last picture in the book because that seemed a lot easier.

I'm not a great artist, but I like the way it came out.

The first stage:

Next I painted the body of the bell, and realized the whole thing was too monochromatic.
Once I took the picture, the painting was pretty much black and white gray scale. 

So I just added some navy blue to the background to hopefully make the bell pop. 

This painting took place over about a week and a half--when my son would paint on construction paper, I'd sit by him and work on the bell.
One afternoon we were listening to instrumental Christmas music, and I looked over and he'd totally zonked.
Sometimes I wish I could sleep anywhere like kids.

So right now I can't decide if I should hang it on the wall, or keep it on the mantle where it's sitting right now.
Hmmm....

10 comments:

  1. that turned out darling Jess...great idea with the vinyl and painting! I love it!

    hey, we are going to be in utah for thanksgiving, are you going to be down?

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  2. that turned out darling Jess...great idea with the vinyl and painting! I love it!

    hey, we are going to be in utah for thanksgiving, are you going to be down?

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  3. I really love this. Polar Express is my all time favorite children's book. The illustations are so classic and beautiful. I LOVE the bell painting. I only wish I could bribe you to make ME one as well! :)

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  4. Wow! I am so impressed! You can't ever say that you aren't an artist again :) Your little guy is so adorable and I think you are such a great mom to have him work on projects with you....I need to do that more and you have definitely inspired me :)

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  5. That is SO beautiful---your talent is amazing! Thnx for sharing

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  6. I love that story! The painting turned out amazingly! It's awesome. YOu are very talented!!!

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  7. Ahhhh-mazing! You are talented! Love the story and your painting.

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  8. I like your story! The painting turned out great. I like it with Santa and the sled...all that snow in the story makes it seem just right. Enjoy!

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  9. One of my favorite books, and I love your painting. I think it looks great right on your mantle. It looks like it fits right in.

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