12 days of Christmas in a Paper Wonderland

Most people are familiar with the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". To most it's a delightful nonsensical rhyme set to music. As I recently discovered, it is a good deal more than just a repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of strange gifts.


12 Days of Christmas Paper Cut Motifs

To give you a brief background on the history, Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from any practice of their faith by law - private or public. It was a crime to be a Catholic.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith and used as a memory aid.

Today, this famous song was chosen to partner with our very popular ecard of the same name; the 12 days of Christmas paper cut card.

As an artist it is only natural that I draw inspiration from my own Danish heritage in my work.  In Denmark it is common to cut and display paper cuttings in windows all year round, but especially during Christmas.   They are also used to hang on Christmas and garden trees across all seasons in the form of paper hearts or stars. 

Common Christmas designs include sleighs and reindeer, flora and fauna, nativity scenes, villages etc. Contemporary designs modern silhouettes, cityscapes and famous sayings. 

And what better idea than to bring this famously silly series of gifts from the carol to life than in 12 ornaments in a paper cutting window scene.

 
To begin, I created paper cut motifs following the lyrics of the song. Each motif starts its life as a hand-drawn sketch and then is scanned and rendered on to the computer as a vector illustration.  The digitalized images then come to life in frame-by-frame animations. Turtle doves flutter, ballerinas twirl, swans glide and pipers play their flutes in celebration of the festive season.
Rather than being a static two dimensional setting, I designed the ecard to have visual depth and dimension.  To achieve this I placed the paper cutting within a window and adding a snowy background, adding contextual depth and dimension, resulting in a dynamic moving picture.







1 comment:

  1. Your "Nativity" on Care2 is the e-card of yours which I found today from Care2. It's the most beautiful, and best I've ever seen! Thank you!! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!!

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