"Santa and Grizz"
by Franz Brown / John P Falstaff

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Acrylic 24x18
2005

“This was my first Christmas painting as well as my first self portrait. It was thus the foundation for the others. I am wearing a Christmas coat (The Snowflake Coat) made for me by Donna Mae Hoffman of Crawford, NE. Donna Mae also made my first coat, that one has been used by artist Tom Browning in many of his portraits of me. I wanted to add something new to the suit so I found a tree skirt and tried my best to make a short cape.

I’m holding “Grizz.” He’s a little grizzly bear puppet, one of a number of puppets I use in special Santa appearances. Many small children, frightened by my appearance, were able to relax in the presence of Grizz; he’s my favorite, I guess partly because I like bears.

I wanted to come up with a different type of background from the usual Christmas scene or plain backgrounds used by many artists. I decided on a dark green with candles partly for the symbolism of the candles, they are like candles on a tree but also lights in darkness.

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Copyright  Franz Brown