Am I an Overachiever?

No one has ever accused me of being an overachiever before, but I think I may be in danger of becoming one this year. Though I just released my latest painting, “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store,” it gave me an idea for another new painting that I couldn’t get out of my head. So I went right back into the studio.

As you know, I put our famous Santa in toy form in the S.W. Randall display window in “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store.” So I started thinking… “Why not do one more Jolly Old Elf painting?”

Well, last week, I rang up Santa and asked him if he would mind posing for me one more time. On Thursday, I flew up to the North Pole, where Santa very kindly welcomed me into his beautiful Christmas home, full of light and holiday splendor. And there we took on the challenge of creating “Santa’s Merry Wink!”

Poor Santa had to wink at least 200 times just to get the one perfect photo… and considering my lack of photography talent, it wasn’t all that perfect. But as the basis for an artwork, it was definitely good enough.

Sometimes inspiration is like a tidal wave, and that was the case for “Santa’s Merry Wink.” I printed the photo on Friday afternoon and started painting on Friday night. I finished the painting on Saturday night, refined it on Sunday, then dropped it off at the printer on Monday.

On Tuesday, I showed up at the studio to work with my printer to tweak the print to get it just right. But when I saw it for the first time, I knew that wasn’t going to be necessary, and I exclaimed, “Alex – it’s perfect!”  I thought he was going to cry. I’ve never said those words to any printer! Alex is just that good, but I think the way the painting came together was destiny.

You can get a better look at it on my website — . It’s an open edition and matches the size of my companion prints in the Jolly Old Elf Series (9” x 12” image size). It will also be available to the public for the first time along with “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store” at Fort Ligonier Days, October 14-16.

The originals for both paintings are still available. If you’re interested, send me an email or call 1.888.748.8278

Speaking of Fort Ligonier Days – I have a big announcement! I have been “promoted” up to the Municipal Lot, just north of the bandstand. I will be in Booth #19-20. As you can see in this photo, I’m standing in what will be my space with the YMCA just behind me. I’m glad I won’t be in the lot right next to the Fort this year… I used to jump every time the cannon fired!

I hope you can make it to see me in Ligonier next weekend. I would love to see you and show you all the fun new paintings I have to share this year!