artist advent calendar : cathy nichols

Today we're visiting artist Cathy Nichols, in New York as she bravely sets up the family playroom to paint Christmas ornaments with her children...

This year marked the beginning of a new holiday tradition for my family. While shopping last week, I found these adorable paper mache boxes and ornaments, and had a eureka moment! I decided to create some hand-painted encaustic boxes to use for gifts and to sell at my Etsy shop. And I would have my children create ornaments for the tree! Well, doing my part was quite simple. I painted each box top with a unique beeswax painting embellished with gold leaf for some sparkle. Then I painted the rest of the boxes with matching acrylic paint and adorned their bottoms with fancy paper. Now I will have some cool gift boxes for those earings I bought at last night's holiday boutique!

Then it was time to help the children with their ornaments. So, I gathered Nicky (16 months), Annabelle (almost 3) and Axelle (7) into the playroom, and we started painting!

Though Nicky tried to eat the paint a few times, I was amazed at his dedication to stabbing his ornament with red and green paint.

He was so cute about it, and so were the girls. My husband even took a video.

In the end we had 3 very distinct ornament creations.

Axelle covered her heart with red sparkles.Annabelle adhered a pile of glittery stickers,and Nicky's was mostly red, green and white! Then I wrote their names and 2009 on little handmade tags and attached them the the ornaments. This was so much fun, and the children are excited to paint a new ornament every Christmas!

For 2010, I wish for peace on earth, an end to global warming and that all of us will continue to thrive as artists and creators... filling the world with more beauty than ever before.

Thank you Cathy! How great to see your creative children in action, and I love your new encaustic gift boxes :)