A Makeover for Santa

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When I show prints of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) Santa, right off the bat I explain that Santa isn’t one of Mother’s best works.  As a matter of fact, the original had been passed by and left in a portfolio in a closet at Gunderland until Christmas Day of 2003.  Santa needed a makeover.

Christmas Day, 2003 -- Katie and Santa.  Mother had just returned to the Rolfe Care Center after having Christmas dinner at the farm.

Christmas Day, 2003 -- Katie (our younger daughter) and Santa. Mother had just returned to the Rolfe Care Center after having Christmas dinner at the farm. Click photo to enlarge.

Mother moved to Rolfe’s (Iowa) nursing home the fall of 2003.  In December that year she was still well enough to spend a few hours with family at Gunderland (the farm) on Christmas Day.

After she returned to the Rolfe Care Center that day, several of us family members perused Mother’s portfolios.  I fell in love with Santa.  Within days, Mother granted me permission to have Santa in my home.

In November of 2004 I had Santa matted and framed.  Later that month, I took Santa to the Rolfe Care Center so Mother could visualize the mats and moulding I had chosen for Santa.

Left: Santa limited edition size 10" W x 16.1" H print $__..  Smaller prints size 6.5" W x 10.5" H are also available, $__.  Right:  Santa original. Click photo to enlarge.

Left: Santa medium size limited edition 10" W x 16.1" H, $25. Smallest prints are size 6.5" W x 10.5" H, $15. Right: Original Santa. Large prints (same size as original watercolor) are 12.5" W x 20.1" H, $35. The large size is available by special order. Click photo to enlarge.

The day after Thanksgiving that year was the first time I displayed Santa in our home.  Mother passed away four days later on November 30th, 2004.

Since then, every year the day after Thanksgiving, Santa is displayed above our fireplace.  My daughters have each requested a print of Santa, with exactly the same mats and moulding as shown in this post.  Their requests led to my having prints made.

How I have Santa framed in my home.  Click photo to enlarge.

How I have Santa framed in our home. Click photo to enlarge. If your computer will allow, click photo again to magnify the moulding detail.

I also plan to give matted (but not framed) Santa prints in the smallest size.  (See above caption for dimensions.)  If the recipients choose to do so, they may custom frame the prints, or use a black (or other color) standard size 11″ x 14″ frame.

Would I display this print in my home unmatted and unframed?  No.  But dressed up with a mat (or even a step further, framed) Santa is a most unique, heart-warming holiday work of art.

(Please click here for information on where to view/purchase prints.)

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

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One Response to “A Makeover for Santa”

  1. Peg Says:

    Ohhhh, Louise, this is my absolute favorite post so far. It is just beautiful. I don’t think I’d heard 75% of it before. NOW I “get” a lot of why the painting is so special to you! I may have to rethink my receptivity. XOXOX

    I’m glad you started right out with it not being one of Mother’s best works and its being in the portfolio all those years. But the STORY. OH MY! And seeing it matted and framed. Marvelous. And something about Santa’s happy, rosy cheeks. And the whimsy of the painting. You and Mother are a great team on bringing this one alive! Bravho-ho-ho! 🙂

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