Children at Christmas Collection A gift for Laurie Donald Zolan

Children at Christmas Collection - -A gift for Laurie- by Donald Zolan. Issued for Christmas 1984. First issue in the series.
Plate size approx 10.25 inches.
Suggested Retail $125.00

Nothing is more important to me than painting the joy of childhood. Children love the smallest things, like the first lick of an ice-cream cone, the blue sky after a rainstorm or the sound of crickets on a summer night.

When I first saw Laurie in this pose, with her feet crossed and her toes curled, I had to smile. She's a beautiful child, but natural, too.

With Laurie for a subject the painting didn't need much else, and I decided to leave the distracting details out of the background. I just wanted to wrap her in a warm Christmas glow. Maybe I was taking a chance using such deep red tones, but they seem to have worked. People tell me they can imagine all kinds of things in that red background, like the glow of a fireplace or the reflection of Christmas lights. I carried the shades of red into Laurie's rosy cheeks, the satin band around her gown, the velvet ribbon of the gift she's opening. All this helped give the painting warmth and depth.

Most of the painting went fairly easily. Laurie is an artist's dream, with her long golden hair and her dainty features. The hardest thing to get right was her tiny hands. I worked on them until I was completely satisfied. Then I let her long white gown flow into the background to give the painting softness. I didn't want a harsh line in it.

I actually found myself humming Christmas carols one day while I was working on the painting, even though it wasn't Christmas. By the time it was done, I really had the Christmas spirit. Now I just hope it brings as much pleasure to people who see it as it gave me to paint it. And I hope Laurie likes it. For Christmas I'm going to make sure she gets her own plate. Then maybe one day her children and grandchildren can see how she used to look at Christmas.
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