I had several fun commissions for Christmas this year. One old friend asked me to paint Grace St. Luke's church because her husband is a reader there. I love painting churches, and it was peaceful to sit in the quiet sanctuary and paint.
Another old friend is a co-owner of the Irish pub the Brass Door and wanted me to paint it for her husband. It was a chilly day, and I got lucky enough to be able to pull my truck up just opposite it and paint from inside the truck instead of sitting outside in the elements.
Then I had to find a proper parking spot, though, because Meg had arranged for me to be fed lunch when I went down to paint, and I had some marvelous Irish stew and house made soda bread.
I also did something a bit out of my ordinary. Christian Stanfield of the band the Side Street Steppers wanted a handmade, personal card for his wife Vera, also in the band. They have stuffed animals wtih instruments in their house, so I set up a still life of those animals but also took photos of her banjo (one Christian made himself for Vera) and his guitar to add those details to the sketch.
Vera posted a photo on facebook and seemed quite happy with the result. "Got choked up over this last gift from @tntomcat... He had our local artist Martha Kelly do a watercolor of our banjo puffin and guitar monkey ❤️❤️❤️#truelove #spiritanimals"
I really love being able to give joy with my work. And it's an honor to get to be a part of special occasions for my friends.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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