#37 Mistletoe & Loved Ones

Before I present my Christmas 2012 AmperArt design, I wish to to tell you about the two incredible kids who inspired it.

Lydia Jayne, 12 years old, and her brother Alden Blake, 14, are exceptionally talented children. Both of them are visual artists and both of them are musicians. They’ve even produced short films together.

Just recently they produced their 2012 Christmas album.

When I say “they produced” I really mean that—they produced it all by themselves.
Lydia sang the lyrics and added percussion.
Alden played all the instruments
— Guitar, Bass, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Ukulele, and Percussion.
Alden also recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced everything. Want more? He is the album cover artist as well. In short, there were no adults involved at all! (To mentor Alden in my area of expertise, I changed a few elements on the cover art that appears on this AmperArt page, but not Alden’s original art which is on their own site.)

I’ve known these kids for several years, heard them play and watched them draw, but I had no idea they were this incredibly talented. I actually had tears listening to Lydia’s and Alden’s rendition of these songs. Lydia has a strong, soulful voice and unusually great styling–as if she were a veteran songstress. Alden’s inflections, phrasing and cadence with each of his instruments conveys the precise meaning of the part of the song he’s playing.

Lydia and Alden are amazingly talented. The term genius comes to mind.
I especially like Lydia’s personality and Alden’s ukelele on “Holly Jolly Christmas,” and their heartfelt rendition of “Oh Holy Night.” For a solo guitar treat, listen to Alden’s “Carol of the Bells.”

Listen free — click here (http://lydiajayne.bandcamp.com/album/christmas-spirit)

Enjoy the beautiful, charming, joyous music these children have created, absolutely free. In the spirit of Christmas you may wish to help kick-start their career by purchasing a song (name your own price) or the entire album. These children are donating a portion of the proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund.

These kids, and their Christmas album, inspired my 2012 AmperArt edition. Fortunately, one of the album’s songs, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” contains an ampersand (actually, the word “and”) in the lyrics.




You may view, download and print a high-resolution pdf of this special AmperArt edtion here:      Letter size 8½x11 inches       Tabloid size 11×17 inches

Best wishes for a Christmas season full of happiness, love, cheer, and wondrously beautiful music!

#33 Raindrops & Whiskers


This is the first of four pieces in the My Favorite Things collection, inspired by the song from the 1960 musical and 1965 movie The Sound of Music. Only the lyric phrases containing “and” were turned into AmperArt designs. I’m glad “whiskers on kittens” was one of them. I love cats & kittens. I don’t like roses as much as carnations, but “raindrops on carnations” probably would not have won an Emmy.

Each edition in this series will be released a week apart. You must subscribe to receive high-resolution pdf files so you can create beautiful prints (11×17 or 8.5×11 inches). Subscriptions are free & you will receive your print downloads by email. You’ll find suggestions on printing and framing here.

In researching the style to use for this artwork I found one of the original movie posters, sampled the colors from which I chose a limited palette (I did not use blue as that would be your perfect mat in a nice frame), selected the appropriate typestyles & hand-drew the ampersand, stylizing it to resemble the main title in the poster:

The ampersand not only connects raindrops and kittens and kettles and ponies and doorknobs, it also links the last two lines of the song, which appear on all four layouts at very top and very bottom.

To further research this piece, I really enjoyed watching the movie! If you ever need a joyful lift & a little humor, this is the movie to see. It’s wonderful & timeless.

If you love the ampersand subscribe to AmperArt here to receive future AmperArt editions. They’re always fun & fabulous & free. Subscribers also receive special bonuses.