The Sleigh Bell reminds me of my favorite modern Christmas movie, The Polar Express. On Christmas Eve, a boy witnesses a train called the Polar Express that is about to depart for the North Pole. Once at the North Pole and Santa’s sleigh is loaded with gifts. As the reindeer are prepared and  Santa arrives, One bell breaks loose from a harness, and the hero boy retrieves it. He first hears nothing, but when he believes, he hears a sound. Santa entrusts the boy the bell as “The first gift of Christmas”. Santa leaves with his reindeer, and a band plays in celebration. The next morning, the boy’s sister wakes him up to open presents, including the bell he lost. The parents hear nothing, and the boy leaves it on the table. The narrator ends the story by saying the bell only rings for those who truly believe. Watercolor and Gouache in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2015-12-21 Sleigh Bell

A Christmas Carol

Tonight we had the pleasure of attending a production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The play was put on by the Bay Colony Shakespeare Company and performed solo by Neil McGarry. Neil did an amazing job in playing all of the parts with proper tones, accents and emotion. It is amazing that he can perform the entire 2 hour show with only a small break and no notes. It was a very moving performance and it gets in you the right state of mind for the season. This sketch is of a fictitious English scene from Dickens’ era with the fog and snow making the scene soft and moody. Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Beta series Stillman and Birn sketchbook.
2015-12-20 A Christmas Carol


Serenity Chatham

This fishing boat had a perfect name for the scene of Chatham Harbor at the Fish Pier. The water was calm and a deep blue with the reflections of the sunset behind me in the clouds. While I was standing at the quay, a harbor seal just below me swam by slowly on his back enjoying himself. It was a wonderful pleasure to see the seal so peaceful and probably closer than you would see in an aquarium. A wonderful experience and true serenity. Pilot Falcon fountain pen with Noodler’s black ink and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2015-12-18 Serenity Chatham

Christmas Party

A sketch of the beautiful table centerpieces at our company Christmas Party. The event was held at Al Forno in Providence and was wonderful. Great food, lovely space and fun with co-workers and families. The centerpieces were created by a friend of the owner and were a mixture of greens, gold and silver ribbon, metallic ornaments and small birch logs. Lamy Safari fountain pen with Noodler’s Black ink and Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook.

2015-12-16 JBD Party

Christmas Card Options

As usual I am getting a late start to making my Christmas Cards. They will be complete this weekend once I decide. Typically I hand paint at least a portion of each card. The upper one would be a lino cut for the base with watercolor accent, the nutcrackers would be reproduced from a sketch earlier in the week and the others would be watercolors. Almost decision time. I think I am leaning towards the Sleigh Bell. Pilot Falcon fountain pen with watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2015-12-15 Card Options

North Conway Railroad #537

One final sketch from our weekend getaway. The North Conway Scenic Railway has a collection of old trains and passenger cars. They also operate scenic tours in the valley, up to Crawford Notch and Dinner Trains. #573 is the engine that is operating the Christmas Polar Express Trains. Lam Safari fountain pen with Noodler’s Black ink and Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2015-12-14 N Conway Railroad

White Mountain Inn and Resort

I am catching up with scanning from our travels over the weekend. We spent Saturday evening at this resort in North Conway, New Hampshire. It is located off of the beaten path of downtown North Conway on West Side Road , but still only a mile or 2 from the shops and restaurants. The resort sits at the base of Cathedral and White Horse Ledges that are very popular with rock climbers. The climbs range from 5.5 to 5.11 and can be very challenging to even experienced rock climbers. The perspective is drooping a little to the right. Faber-Castell Pitt Art pens with Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2015-12-13 White Mountain Resort

Christ Church Episcopal

Christ Church sits at the corner of White Mountain Highway and River Road at the North end of North Conway, New Hampshire. The building is a simple wood board and batten building with an interesting bell tower. Lamy Safari fountain pen with Noodler’s black ink, Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2015-12-12 N Conway Church