Illustrations for Christmas

all images, c. Kevin Sprouls

This post, I’m focussed on the Holiday Season, and Illustrations for Christmas in particular.

In my beloved town of Tryon, NC this evening, they put on the annual Christmas Parade (despite the Covid-19 threat). I celebrate them by issuing this collection of illustration I’ve produced over the years…

Here is a drawing I made by copying an engraving by one of my favorite artists, Albrecht Durer. You can see that my trademark Wall Street Journal Hedcut technique is in play here.  I call it Mad Santa. (Ye Better Watch Out, Ye Better Not Cry, Ye Better Not Pout!)

Another favorite, this blizzard scene shows two old guys walking in a Winter Wonderland towards a Feast at the Castle as the sun goes down.

An elaborate Holiday Card design, from 1988, involved a photo-print, glued onto a photostatic print, glued onto some custom paper-stock, and rubber-stamped with a sun-devise I found. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

Finally, what I really wanted to show you, Dear Reader, are a couple of historical and nostalgic glances of the past. These two illustrations were commissioned by The Home Insurance Company, which appears in news clips if you do a search, but is apparently no longer in business. Seems they were a big deal in their day, but overtaken by the ravages of time and men…

A cozy Christmas scene, with wrapped gifts under the tree, and a warming wood (coal?)-stove on the right. Replicating the wallpaper was a challenge!

Next, a scene from New York…

A colleague of mine from The Wall Street Journal did some research on this image, and discovered that The Home Insurance Company building was on Maiden Lane in New York, the same street where we used to work at The Journal. I guess it’s from the teens or twenties, judging by the motor-car rolling along in the snow. It showcases a very distinctive landmark building, no longer with us. Here is the interesting article she shared with me:

In closing, I wish the Viewer/Reader a Very Happy Festivus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas! Let’s rejoice in the coming years. Peace from the studio.

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