In honor of the holiday season, I am going to post a few of my favorite images from the illustration greats and their contributions to Christmas.

It is really hard to beat a Leyendecker profile.  That and the graphic staccato brushwork.  Love it.

More Christmas goodness from Leyendecker.  Look at the neat imagery in her sleeves and her right hand (our left) is gorgeous.

As I write this, it is snowing out my window.  This morning, it felt a little like this painting from Maxfield Parrish titled Christmas Morn.  The peaceful serenity of freshly fallen snow and the cold winter colors contrasted with the warm inviting glow of light from the house windows lends this painting a great visceral experience.

One of my top 5 Rockwell paintings, Christmas Homecoming.  It is full of sentimentality and idealism, sometimes dirty words in the art world, but not for me.  My personal gallery has plenty of room for paintings like this along with many others.  I love the little touches like the hastily packed bag showing the edges of some clothes peeking out.  I love seeing Rockwell himself, pipe in hand and the way he records with fidelity the clothes and hairstyles of the time.

A great depiction of Santa from Rockwell.  The textures in the clothes and wood are great as usual.  Rockwell is so good at creating characters that are believable.  This is a Santa that has seen the world and eaten a lot of cookies.  The halo is an interesting touch, probably from St. Nick, but one we don’t see as much these days.

What selection of Christmas illustrations would be complete without a Haddon Sundblom Coca-Cola Santa.  Nothing says “holiday spirit” like a whip and a soda. 😉  I love all the paintings that Sundblom created for Coke over his career.  He helped to define the modern character of the jolly old elf himself.  Here is a link with some more reading from Coke if you are interested:  Coke and Santa.

Whatever your celebrations or holidays may be, I hope that they contain joy, art and love.  Looking forward to posting again in 2015!  See you in the New Year!