Holiday Card 2016

Back in 2012, I started a new holiday tradition for myself by making my own seasonal greeting cards; it's my way of battling the over-commercialization of Christmas and its companion winter holidays and celebrations. I'm not the only artistically-minded person to do this, Gustave Baumann of Santa Fe traded handmade cards with his fellow artist friends for years, so I like to think I'm in good company.

Since I always base my cards on my local surroundings, this year I decided to use the fox sketch I'd done up at the artist Linda Miller's house, as it makes for a good story as well as an image.

For the past few years I've been doing small drypoints on Plexiglas as the primary image, as I like the the speed of the drawing process and the amount of detail I can put into a relatively small image. Someday I'll shake it up with a relief print, but for now intaglio it is.

Although I've been using the same basic process for the last three years, I do like to vary the details of the overall technique. In 2014 I hand-painted each drypoint, for example, and last year I printed my plates on marbled paper. Both times I printed on white bamboo paper, but this time I decided to shake it up by printing on my cream BFK Rives paper and adhering that to a bright red paperstock background.

Once I had torn up and soaked my papers, it was time to begin printing. Here's the actual image:

Last year I had printed over 40 images, and wound up with a surplus of cards. This year I cut the number down and kept it to about 36, giving myself some leeway in case I botched some of the actual cards.

After the prints had dried, I glued them with modgepodge onto the card stock and left them under books to dry and flatten.

After they had dried I trimmed the edges of the card stock to make them somewhat neater. Initially I had tried using pattern scissors to create scalloped edges, but the end result reminded me too much of doilies, so I stuck with straight edges.

Finally, I glued each piece onto a white card, and placed the cards under books to dry and flatten.

I've never tried to make cards that look overtly Christmas-y, but with the red background, these are probably the closest I've come to a card that deliberately channels the holiday aesthetic.

That said, since I base these cards on images in my own day-to-day life, I doubt I'll ever make a card with holly or mistletoe as the image. For me, it's the time and love you put into the card that counts; that is what should embody the holiday spirit, not some red-and-green color scheme.
 Good tidings, everyone.