Making Christmas:
Franz Brown, Tom Browning and Santa Claus

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new book The Night Before Christmas

"Playing Through" 1997, from the 
Santa's Time Off Series
by Tom Browning

Franz Brown, a resident of Hot Springs, SD became friends with Tom Browning around 1987 while working on an article featuring Browning for Southwest Art magazine (published SWArt, Dec1990). Browning asked Brown to do some Santa modeling for him. Brown liked the idea and has continued to work with Browning ever since. Brown has now appeared in over 150 of Browning's Santa paintings. The Santa suits used by Franz Brown were designed by him and created with the assistance of Donna Mae Hoffman from Crawford, NE.

"Christmas Glow" 1997 from the Traditional Santa Series by Tom Browning


Many products feature Franz Brown in the Christmas paintings of Tom Browning. See a few here.

above: Tom Browning at work on commission. See more.

Artist Tom Browning and His Images of Santa:

Tom Browning started publishing his Santa images in 1985 with "Friendly Visit" which portrayed Santa Claus feeding some geese. In Santa's Time Off Browning presents the playful side of Santa in his "off-time", that is after the work is done when he goes out with a few of the elves. His Arbor Green series presented Santa in a more traditional way, and though Santa is seen at work, he's still having fun.

Tom Browning original published his Santa art under his own publishing company, at first called Santa's Time-Off and later Arbor Green publishers. Because of his own desire to focus on painting the publishing of his images is now licensed out to a number of companies. As of 2000 he has published over 65 images within his Santa's Time Off and Arbor Green lines. 

Tom Browning is an accomplished fine arts painter. He often portrays women and children in rural settings of a by-gone era, such as out harvesting pumpkins, picking flowers or chasing butterflies. His fine art paintings may be seen in Santa Fe, NM at the Wadle Gallery, Trailside Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ and the Cottage Gallery in Carmel, CA.

His book, Timeless Techniques for Better Oil Paintings, was published in 1994 by Northlight Publications.

Santa’s Time Off, featuring the works of Tom Browning and the writing of Bill Maynard was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 1997.

You can see many of the paintings listed below by going to this location on the Tom Browning Site.

go to Tom's Studio

"The Night Before Christmas"

by Clement Moore (maybe, maybe not) has long been popular in the United States. It is regularly published and many illustrators have contributed their twist to the story. Tom Browning recently completed his version and this will be published in October 2009.

at and Barnes and Noble

Don't forget your local booksellers. Especially those small stores that help keep small book publishers alive and who provide service to our many small towns.


Product Description


T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house…for decades families have gathered together to read Clement C. Moore's eternally enchanting holiday poem. And now there’s a magical new version to ring in the season with joy.


Featuring beautiful original illustrations by award-winning artist Tom Browning, this stunning edition of The Night Before Christmas stands apart from the rest. Browning, regarded in the gift industry as America’s premiere Santa painter, has created a classically styled Saint Nick—the quintessential round, jolly, white-bearded figure that that everyone, young and old, imagines. The look is timeless, traditional, filled with warmth and sentiment: exactly what Christmas should be.


The story’s enduring charm and Browning’s memorable art make  The Night Before Christmas a must-have for any child who is just discovering the tale--and every adult who has loved it forever.


# Reading level: Ages 9-12

# Hardcover: 48 pages

# Publisher: Sterling Innovation (October 6, 2009)

# Language: English

# ISBN-10: 1402754841

# ISBN-13: 978-1402754845


Barnes and Noble



Christmas specialty shops often carry Tom Browning's Santas.

Santa Paintings by Tom Browning, * items modeled by Franz Brown

2003 - 2009

Many more paintings have been done over this time.


*Gift to the Nation
*Santa's Arrival


*A Warm Hearth
*Christmas Tidings
*Doll Magic
*Good News
*Snow Fun

Detail from "Christmas Glow" 1997


*And All Through the House
*Bearly Christmas

Easy Putt Two
*Bubble Magic
*A Walk in the Wild
*Castles in the Sand
*Season's Greetings
*Jolly Old Soul
*Snowbirds 2
*Vignette Rainy Day
*Vignette Ice Carver
*Vignette Bubble Blower


By the Light of the Moon
*Christmas Trim
*Friendly Visit
*Old St. Nick
*Sun Surf and Santa



 * Baby’s Gift
 * Hoe Hoe Hoe!
 * Milk and Cookies
 * A Pinch of Cheer
 * Saints and Angels
 * Sandy Claus
 * Seashell Symphony
 * Santa’s Special Blend
 * A Warm Hearth 


 * Air Cuisine
* playing through
* Special Delivery
* Visions of Sugar Plums
* Christmas Glow



 * Catch of the Day
* Horseplay
* Not Even a mouse
* Claus n’ Paws



 * Beach Buddies
* Christmas Stories
* Finishing Touches
* New Suit for Santa
* Ready for Christmas
* Water Landing



 * Cookie Makers
* Gone Fishing
* Good Round
* It Feels like Xmas
* Merry Mariners
* Sunday Painter
* Tinker Toy
* Winter Leaguers


 * Downhill Thrills
* Fairway Fun
* Feathered Friends
* Shore is Fun
* Storyteller
* Touch of Magic



 Checking His List

* Fun Seekers
* Ice Capers
* Magical Moment
* Pedal Power
* Santa's Favorite Tm
* Spirit of Santa
Winter Greetings
Winter Rules
* Workshop



 Easy Putt
* Fishing Buddies
* Music Makers
New Friends
* Surf and Sand



 * Bottoms Up
Christmas Company
Gift for Santa
Happy Gardeners
In the Bunker
Tidal Surprise



Santa's Cuisine



 Court Jesters
Day at the Beach



 Day on the Slopes 
Santa's Personal Touch



 On the Green



 Chilly Supper
Friendly Visit


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Santa Claus Home
 Santa Claus by Franz Brown
Santa Claus by Tom Browning

For information about paintings and photography by Franz Brown go to Main Franz Brown home page
Links to other Franz Brown websites

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