Archive for December 22nd, 2022

Boogie Woogie Santa Claus

Santa Claus 1994

Santa, Early Work July 1994

And, afterward, when a child was naughty or disobedient, its mother would say:
“You must pray to the good Santa Claus for forgiveness. He does not like naughty children, and, unless you repent, he will bring you no more pretty toys.”
But Santa Claus himself would not have approved this speech. He brought toys to the children because they were little and helpless, and because he loved them. He knew that the best of children were sometimes naughty, and that the naughty ones were often good. It is the way with children, the world over, and he would not have changed their natures had he possessed the power to do so.

L. Frank Baum, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)

Came across this old piece from the time when I was just starting to paint in earnest. I hadn’t yet found the technique and style that typified my later work but I was starting to zero on it at this point in 1994.

I don’t know how this piece came about. It certainly didn’t start out with Santa as its subject, especially in July when it was done. It most likely began as a pool of paint from which I began moving the pigment around until something caught my eye, until some form or pattern emerged. Kind of like reading tea leaves.

It’s not a great piece by any stretch of the imagination. But it always makes me smile probably because I have always imagined Santa huffing along as he toted this chubby kid in his arms while whispering to him to cut out the sweets because Santa was getting too old to for this crap.

Of course, we all know that Santa would never say such a thing. He remains for many much like L. Frank Baum portrayed him in his book on Santa cited above, as a tolerant and benevolent caretaker of children the world over.

If only…

Anyway, that leads me to a song from Mabel Scott. I play her rocking version of Baseball Boogie here quite often at the beginning of the season and it never gets old. This tune has all that same boogie woogie energy which Santa needs– the dude’s got a lot of work ahead of him. From 1948, this is Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.

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