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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

Making a Christmas Artwork

I usually make a festive themed artwork to wish my followers a merry Christmas.

The first image, was just a silly cartoon which I think accurately depicts what Christmas is like when you own cats. I didn't bother decorating my tree this year, since last year Boudicca kept pulling the Baubles off, smashing some of them in the process. She also tried to climb up the tree so I've tied mine with wire to the cieling beam to prevent her from knocking it over. I also made the mistake of leaving some presents I had wrapped under the tree thinking it would look nice for a few weeks - of course, the cats pulled the ribbons off and shredded the paper (as depicted in the cartoon). In the end, I've hidden everyone else's presents but left the cats' presents under the tree, to unwrap at their leisure. The cartoon was easy for me to make, it's a simple design, in a simple style which only took a few hours to create - ultimately the aim was to put a smile on people's faces when they see it. I regret writing "Merry" instead of "Meowy Catmas" which would have been funnier, but I couldn't be bothered to redraw the cartoon after I realised my mistake.

I also wanted to create a more "Fine Art" festive image, since we have been planning a Christmas post sharing artworks from the staff and trustees of the Arts charity I work for and the quality of their work is very high. I decided I wanted to create a new splatter painting with festive colours but make it a commentary on the current fashion (spear-headed by Kim Kardashian) to have all-beige Christmas decorations. I have seen various celebrities/influencers on social media making video rants about people who attempt to have "sophisticated, minimalist" Christmas decor, which I find hilarious and I wanted to add my own contribution to this debate. My personal opinion is that Christmas is supposed to be maximalist, bright, colourful and glittery and I love over-the-top Christmas trees decorated with tat (especially home-made tat) - I think this is part of the charm. When I see "minimalist" decorations, attempting to make Christmas decor "fashionable" and "sophisticated" I feel like a little part of my soul has died. I also hate the colour "beige" - it is a nothing colour, ot quite brown, boring and bland like watery porridge.

I decided to create a colourful splatter painting with text overlayed, with words to this effect - I attempted painting two by hand (one with beige text, the other with gold), but it was difficult to read the text. The splatters were made with watercolour paints, with some gold and silver acrylic flecks added on top, and the hand-painted text also in acrylic. I also made a third splatter painting, with no text on with the aim of adding it digitally afterwards.

I think the digital text looks much more impactful and is also clearer read, so I decided to go with this option, although I had to add a black shadow/background to make the text stand out more clearly from the background. The beauty of editing digitally is that you can play around with these things without wasting much time nor paint.

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