’Twas the night before Christmas, and on this eve of the Yule,
Not an artist was stirring, not even a Poole.

Their brushes lay cleaned by their palettes with care,
In hopes that their muses soon would be there;

The creatives were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of artworks danced in their heads.

Colin and I had packed up our clay
And laid down to rest at the end of our day.

When from my iPhone there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what ’twas the matter.

A text of significance greeted my eyes,
A Zoom meeting was on, it was to apprise.

The glow of my Macbook lit up my face,
As I scrambled to log in and join in the space.

When what to my wondering eyes came to view,
But thirty-six creatives – the whole Muddy crew!

Someone was speaking, inspiring the clan,
I knew in a moment it must have been Dan.

More clever than foxes, his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted and called them by name:

“Now Fenner, now Bonner, Giancola and Belledin!
On Theurer, on Lyon, Miracola and Chin!

Encourage the artists! Inspire them all!
Now paint away! Sculpt away! Create away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, take to the sky:

So to their own columns, the writers they went
With mind to contribute, their wisdom they lent.

And then, in a twinkling, I saw on the site
Fabulous articles lit up the night!

As I scanned through the pages, delighted I found
So much information, I could easily drown.

Panepinto on business, illustration by Hunt,
Palumbo brought photography up to the front.

Vanessa was brilliant with her theories of paint,
Greg Ruth spoke philosophy with the ease of a saint.

Dragons by Justin and composition by Tommy,
Drawing with Allen is a creative tsunami.

Ron teaches us ways to be more resilient,
And anything by Cory is bound to be brilliant!

Paintings by Manchess and demos by Scott,
Composition and color! Techniques we have sought!

I’ve been part of this crew for just under a year
But from the beginning, it’s all been quite clear:

Muddy Colors is a family of like-minded souls,
Together we learn and will reach all our goals.

I returned to the Zoom, inspired and cheery,
Certain that 2021 would not be so dreary.

Dan was looking quite sprightly – a right jolly young elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself:

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me know I had nothing to dread.

He’ll keep us on track if we start to wander,
and help us curtail our penchant to maunder.

He wraps up the meeting when he sees all is right,
His scribblers are pleased, the future is bright.

He sprang to his screen, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he faded from sight –
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

-with love to you all!
(my gratitude to Clement Clarke Moore for my liberal borrowing from his holiday classic)