Sunday, December 11, 2011

The True Spirit of Christmas... Past and Present - Part I

This is a favourite picture of Deb that I treasure for a variety of reasons. She made this Sno Folk quartet for her beloved Regina, Saskatchewan Grand Girls Ava and Ella for their front lawn. At the end of Christmas, Ava... the eldest asked her Dad to allow her to keep it their play room... where she uses it as a backdrop for her doll play! Put BIG smiles on Gramma's face !!!

" Now it's Christmas!... I've got my sock!"

Deb's much anticipated annual sock exchange with son Spencer.

Some of Deb's Funky Girly-Girl Teen Line of jewellery

Deb with some of her new all occasion Krazee Kardz

Toled Wooden Top for wrought iron custom table

"The butterfly upon the road preaches contentment to the toad." - Kipling

Oops!.... A funky tongue -in-cheek window Hanging in a recycled window frame

A Stained Glass enclosed planter

Free standing Stained Glass Goldfinch

Deb and I have been out wandering the malls and shops... as most of you are as well... hoping to find a special gift for those we love. I will declare straight out... that I do so grudgingly... not because I wish not to gift those whom I love... but rather, I despise being drawn in by the pitch that compels one to comply... and that even sets the bar for spending.

I have come from a very simple family background... one in which the tradition of celebrating Christmas was the "high mass" in our family ethos. I vividly remember the very first gift that I gave my mother. It was a clothes sprinkler... an absolute necessity for an ironing mother... in a time when irons were preheated on the top plate of the wood stove... and later on with a regular electric iron (without steam).

My Dad and I gave the empty quart wine bottle a coat of aqua green house paint and allowed it to dry overnight. I then added a wine coloured zig-zig top and bottom around the bottle. Dad took me down to the local hardware store and we purchased an aluminum sprinkler nozzle and a pair of decals bearing an image of a Mexican having his siesta... yellow sombrero down to his bent knees... against a saguaro cactus. These were applied using a transfer method using water on opposing faces of the bottle.

All of this secretive sactivity was carried out away from my Mom's eyes, in the bowels of our home... a dank cellar which served as my Dad's "Inner Sanctum." This space was usually out of bounds to the family. It was here in this "man cave"...where he read... listened to music... transcribed music for his band. Just being allowed down into his private refuge from an active, noisy growing family was in itself, a gift of sorts to "Me"... and I realized it and appreciated it as such!

I could hardly keep the secret until Christmas Day.... and seeing my Mom cry when she opened it, forever etched into my own ethos... the reality that "We" can all be the bearer of gifts... simple gifts that we create... gifts that we can share with the whole world. That simple act of giving a "heart gift" means the world to anyone who receives it.... because it is personal and unique and can never be purchased! She used that gift for a lot of years... even well after she had her GE steam iron!!

One of my own favourite annual gifts at Christmas was one that we were permitted to open before Christmas... a day at a time! In our family... and in my own since... Advent Calendars herald the coming of that special day... one sweet taste at a time. In the spirit of that Christmas ritual... I am going to offer a daily gift to each of you out there... my own version of an Advent Calendar... in my deepest appreciation to each of you for your support and your encouragement over the past year.

I have chosen to offer my first Advent gift to my dear wife Deb... who I know... always has my back and my interests covered. And because of that... "She" has my promise of Unconditional Love... for as long as we both are here! This gift of recognizing "Her" on this blog is to laud her immensely beautiful spirit and creative gifts which she continually offers to the world. I have selected but a few samples of the body of quality work that she produces in many mediums. I think you will readily see... and agree... that "She" is a multi-faceted and gifted Artist... Extraordinaire.... a Child at heart and a Good Soul!!!

"I" am deeply blessed to share my journey... and studio with "Her"....

"I" Love "You" Deb!!!... "A bushel n' a peck... and a hug around the neck!"

Stay tuned for Part II!

Good Painting to ALL!!!


  1. Your post made me smile today, Bruce. I'm so happy you and Deb found each other. And yes, she is indeed multi-talented. I really love that stained glass piece with the cat's back end. How unique!!

  2. Hi Sherry!... Thanks for visiting and for your wonderful comments!

    We really do compliment each other as artists and as people. We enjoy the things that are important and matter most in life: Family... Friends... the outdoors and Art!

    She has created so many beautiful and equally unique pieces of stained glass... it was hard to choose one in particular. I loved this one because it really does show her wit... and unique powers of observation.

    Good Painting!
    Wamest regards,

  3. Bruce, your Deb certainly is very talented. There's some great work there. I agree with you about the way this festive season has been comercialled to the hilt. Long live the old values. Merry Christmas.

  4. Hi there John!... Thanks for the visit and for your own very valid views about Christmas!

    Deb really is a highly skilled and proroductive artist/artisan in her own right! She is really inspiring to be with!

    I guess how one chooses to celebrate can come down to really to following one's heart and traditions that matter uniquely to you and your family members.

    Have a great Christmas yourself John! Many blessings!

    Good painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Hi Bruce, it's nice to see some of Deb's work and very talented it is too. I suppose this post is in its way a present for her.

    I share your distaste for the way that the giving of gifts has become so much about monetary value.

    All the best,

  6. Hi there Keith!... It is a present for Deb... recognition that her work is as valid as my own!

    Very often the focus is on the hung work... but more and more people are realizing that her various offerings are very unique! She works so very hard to make our Gallery run smoothly!

    Christmas... and the way that it can be celebrated is up to the individual today. More than ever... in the face of such a weakened and unstable economy... handmade small gifts mean so much more. That's what our group is going this year.

    Thanks for visiting and your positive comments Keith! I always look forward to our exchanges... which are in themselves... "gifts" of a sort!

    Merry Christmas to "You" and your family Keith!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Merry, merry to you and lovely Deb! Such a talented family!

  8. Hi there Linny!...Thank you for taking the time to drop by... and for your kind words!

    It is always a pleasure to share visits Linny... "You" always carry such a positive attitude and are an uplifting spirit!

    A warm and heArty "Jolly Holly" from The Paint Box Folk... to Linnyland!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  9. Deb is as lovely as her work. what a wonderfully joyful couple you make. what a joy to visit your blog. this was an incredible post, so moving. happy holidays to your wonderful family. hi deb! amazing work!

  10. Hi there Suz!... Such an uplifting pleasure... as is always the case ... to have you visit Suzanne!

    Your kind comments and support are always viewed with great pride... simply because of the fact that I hold "You"... and your very fine art and "Person" in high regard!

    Deb is indeed as lovely as her work Suz! You two "Lady Bugs" share so much of the sense of your "Child Within".... that I am certain that you would be soul mates... as we are... all three!

    Happy Holidays and a "Jolly Holly" to "You" and Himself Suzanne!

    Warmest regards!
    Bruce (and Deb)

  11. How talented your wife is, I love her stained glass work, I have dabbled in this media too in the past and know the skill and compexities involved. How wonderful to have a highly creative partner, one you can not only share your life with but your gallery business as well.
    I do agree about the aweful commercialization of Christmas so that the whole point of the celebration is lost. I treasure any hand made gift given to me, knowing and appreciating how much effort and love has gone into it's making.
    You are truly blessed in many ways and of course you know that!
    Thanks for sharing your life,family, paintings and comments much appreciated

  12. Dear Bruce and Deb,

    To Bruce, your are truly Blessed to be so gifted in many respects. The kind soul and loving person you are, that is shared with your family and friends and is reflected in your art.

    To Deb,
    I am so happy that Bruce has posted your amazing work. Oh yes, Deb, Bruce is so right in saying that you are gifted. Multi talented truly describes your work.

    May God Bless you and your family this holiday season.

  13. Dear Diana... Thank you for continuing to visit and to contribute your fine ideas and spirit!

    This blog has been created to serve as a common forum for like minds and passionate souls like ours to meet and to share our art and processes.

    It is so uplifting to meet other like spirits who put aside the pettiness of competition and the focus on money... simply to reach out and to share and support others, who like ourselves value the making of art!

    Not only am "I" blessed to have my partner and my my family members to support... share and encourage "Me"... the blog has brought many talented and very down-to-earth new Friends like "You"... to share in my life's work.

    I deeply value and appreciate your ongoing friendship and participation in this forum!

    Good Painting.,.. and Happy Holidays to "You" and yours!

    Warmest regards,
    Bruce (and Deb)

  14. Dear Friend Joan!... What a pleasure it is to tune in to my blog and to find a "Joan" comment on board!

    Your enthusiasm and excitement in your own search really does motivate visitors like me to your site... to stretch and to be open to new learning ourselves. "You" are such a fine role model for emergent and established artists alike... no matter their skill levels!

    Deb and I both are thankful to share time... ideas and space on Blogger... where can meet and stay in touch!

    You certainly have that partner and family support in your own corner Joan... and it is indeed wonderful to watch you continuously balancing your artist and parent roles so beautifully! No wonder you are growing artistically... so rapidly!

    Good Painting!... and Happy Holidays to "You" and all of your Family!

    Warmest regards,

  15. So many talents in one family.
    It is wonderful to see how you enjoy sharing your pride and love in your wife and family!!

    I too dislike that part of Christmas. I even get a bit incensed when I hear those ads that encourage us to give gifts to less fortunate kids "SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE A CHRISTMAS". The gift ISN'T Christmas!

    It's nice and it's a caring practice to share with others, but it isn't giving them Christmas.

    Enough of my rant. Sorry.

  16. Hi there Marian... Thanks for... as always making your visits uplifting and thoughtful with your honest sharing of your own thoughts and ideas!

    Your view isn't a rant in my books Marian! It's an educated... rational and very personal substitute view... in lieu of the "taken-for-granted" need to buy into somehow having the power to buy Happiness and to put it under a tree for those who... for the most part struggle alone with their poverty and misfortune misfortune during the rmainder of the calendar year.

    Sharing is indeed necessary... because the act denotes caring. However... more universal and longer lasting programmes which address poverty and inequity on a daily basis need to been undertaken and underwritten by the people as a whole... through government initiated and funded incentives.

    Perhaps we rant together... in such cases... add my apologies to yours.

    On a more pleasant note...Merry Christams to "You" and yours Marian! Thanks for your "presence"... and yes... the spelling and meaning are correct! HA HA!!!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce (and Deb)

  17. Hello Laddie! I finally made it here to be able to write and leave you a comment. I saw your post a few days ago when I was feeling unwell and it brought a smile to me. Deb is a very fine and bonny lassie, talented too with her fine selection of craftworks. You are both a great team!

  18. Hello my Highland Lass!... Nice to hear from "You" and to note that' you're again able to smile!... and to paint soon???

    "I"... am indeed very blessed to have Deb as my life partner... and to share the joy of making art together! We are indeed a great team together... and share a wonderfully enriched lifestyle!

    It is wonderful to be able to share thoughts... art... process... and even on occasion a shoulder for those wonderful soul mates we meet on line!

    Glad that you are feeling better Caroline! Easy at it!

    Good painting... resting and Happy Holidays!
    Warmest regards,