Ideas: The Lost Art of Painting Christmas Windows
Christmas Window Painting
My Work After Several Years
Christmas Painting on Windows
The Adventures of a Window Painter-the Fascination
When I was a little girl I remember being fascinated by those artistic paintings on windows that seemed to appear overnight around Christmas time - one day there were only panes of glass then the next day there were beautiful pictures painted on the glass of snowmen, pine trees, happy colors and holly berries.
Truly magical it was, to see those paintings appear seemingly overnight!
I used to think that whoever painted these windows must have been part of some secret Santa society of little elf painters, that came out in the dead of night to magically paint all the windows in town!
As I got older my fascination with these window paintings never went away.....
I always wondered who did these windows, how did they do them and most of importantly, when did they do them? I never seemed to be able to catch anyone in the act of doing one, so the mystery continued for me well into my twenties.
I was SO intrigued by these artistic paintings on windows that I even went out and took pictures of the windows, somehow hoping that by capturing these works of art on glass that I could somehow pin down who was doing these!
After my first son was born the mystery continued for me, even to the point that I decided one year that I was going to figure out how to do these windows, one way or another. So off I went to the art store in Santa Cruz to pick the brain of the clerk to get ideas on what paints I could use to paint some of these pretty windows for myself.
Armed with several bottles of tempera paint and brushes, I went back to my house feeling very satisfied, as if I had somehow just cracked some secret code into the art of painting windows. I mean after all, I had the paint now, didn't I ? All I had to do now was figure out how to do the actual painting , right?
Well Christmas came and went, the paints stayed in their boxes, and another year went by- my attention now onto other things. Armed with my pictures and my paints, I packed up and headed back to the San Francisco Bay Area, toddlers in tow (I now had 2 sons) - going through a divorce and seeking a refuge of my own.
It seemed like the elusive art of painting on windows was going to stay elusive, at least for awhile.
A few months after I settled down into my new place, I felt compelled to venture out one chilly night, with my 1 and 2 year old in tow, to take a walk through the outside mall downtown (this in itself was strange - as any mother knows it's no easy task getting 2 children ready for a drive, then a stroll, especially at night in the cold...it requires strategy, skill and perseverance...)
Actually meeting a window painter - finally!
So as we strolled down the sidewalk that cold chilly night, I saw what I thought was a mirage. In front of Nations Hamburgers were 2 women doing the unthinkable- painting a window....
I just about fell out - I had finally caught them!! They were the ones doing all this mischievous merriment on the windows all this time!! There were actual real live people doing this!
It was surely fate that had brought me out that night.........
Not one to miss an opportunity like this, I struck up a conversation with the 2 friendly ladies and I asked them the questions I'd always been wondering about:
How do you do this?
How do you get people to let you do this?
Do you actually get paid to do this?
( It just seemed too hard to believe that one could actually get paid for having that much fun!)
After a very long talk with the two ( which I was quite grateful for that they took the time to even talk to me), I finally got enough nerve to ask them if they needed any help.
They told me that they didn't need any help but that they had a friend that also painted windows and she usually hired a person to help her every season. So they gave me their friends phone number and encouraged me to call her.
I went home that night on cloud nine. I had not only got to see the magic of painting on windows actually unfold before me, but I even had a possible chance of being able to be apart of the magic myself!
So the next day I called Lisa, their friend, and immediately her and I hit it off. Although she had already hired someone to work with her that season, she invited me to come and join her painting windows for the next couple of days.
So out came my paints and we met at a prearranged place. That day I actually started my window painting career.......and I think that day I must have made the largest holly berry in the history of window painting! The more uneven my holly berry became the larger it got until it was the size of a small basketball. Ever encouraging, my new friend Lisa just laughed and said ( "it's fine") I knew it wasn't but was encouraged by her kinds words to continue on in my endeavours.
Now armed with my paint and a little knowledge , I got very brave and went out for the next few days to several of the local stores, and talked a few of them into letting me paint their windows. That Christmas was the best ever!
Not only was I having fun but I was making money having fun! And I had an envelope full of money from my painting that I could actually use for Christmas, which as even more fabulous! My kids and I were going to have a great Christmas that year!
And we did.
Now what happened during the next year would change the course of my life- as painting art on windows not only became my profession but netted me a new husband too.
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