Three Santas


Three Santas [Christmas card design] (30 cms x 30 cms ink and coloured pencil 2014)

‘Take a look back over the past 12 months,’ WordPress recommends for an end-of-year post. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather close the door on 2016 and leave it to gather dust in that room where nobody goes.

According to some rough and ready BBC research we lost twice as many ‘celebrities’ in the first three months of 2016 as during the same period in 2015 and five times as many as in 2012. The world is certainly less colourful for the loss of Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, Victoria Wood and many others; my own little world of enthusiasms was rocked by the deaths of Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner, Billy Paul, Dutch cartoonist and illustrator Peter van Straaten, Gilbert Kaplan (who taught himself to conduct Mahler’s 2nd Symphony) and comedian Garry Shandling.

Then there was Brexit and Trump, the inability of the West to prevent the slaughter in Syria, the rise of intolerance and anger in so many European countries, a darkness of spirit that seems to have spread into so many corners of our lives in 2016. On a personal level too, 2016 for me was a year of endings and unforeseen change, of bittersweet moments, of realities that needed to be faced.

Where there are endings there are also beginnings. I’ve been blessed by the support of friends this year, surprised by the kindness of strangers and buoyed up by an excellent meditation course. Nothing can bring back Leonard Cohen, but his life remains an inspiration for second chances in later years and his music is there for everyone who wants to hear it.

So I wish you a happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Chahrshanbeh Soori, winter solstice or whatever you celebrate to bring light to these dark days. Thank you to those whose support and help has meant so much during the year, to all of you following this blog and especially those who take the time to comment. Thanks to all the artists who have provided such inspiration and helped me find my way forward.

To all of you, I dedicate these jolly, naked Santas. You know it’s what you were waiting for.








31 thoughts on “Three Santas

  1. I didn’t know it was what I was waiting for until now – time to amend my Christmas list. 😉 Haha, great stuff Michael, as ever!

    It has been a turbulent one, hasn’t it, to say the least. Thanks back at you for all the inspiration and fun through the craziness – I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the whole year’s worth of posts – I’ve enjoyed every one and more often than not been bouyed up by them when things have seemed particularly grim. And thanks for three slightly nervous and vulnerable looking Santas – somehow a Santa for our times! Hope you have a truly happy Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE these naked Santas. What a perfect way to wrap up this year. It has been a challenge and I’m afraid 2017 might be one, too. I’m grateful to have your blog to look forward to. I plan to play with art supplies and work to increase peace and beauty in the world. Thanks for making it a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The drawings are great! How delightfully irreverent.
    My personal list for 2016 includes a cancer diagnosis. But also a long and arduous recovery. I agree with you about the celebrities and find it nice that you knew of Peter van Straaten. I don’t know if any of his acerbic captions were translated, but he was spot on most of the time.
    Add poor George Michael to the list of celebrities that passed this year.
    I’m glad to let the year go, but there were also gifts along with all the difficulty, ones that would not have been received without the health crisis. I heard someone in a TedX talk say that you don’t choose to go through heavy crises, but when you do have to navigate one, you can be thankful for the lessons learned that only that particular experience brought. Sort of how I feel.
    Have a great rest of holiday season and for goodness sake, get some clothes on, you’ll catch cold!!


  5. Pingback: New Year’s Eve | A Certain Line

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