Hi ho lovelies.

Today’s post is a look back at my first art show. It was 2 years ago this month. My friend Marva invited me to join her in a Krampus-themed show at the Cafe Bedlam. Marva creates terrific hand-drawn and hand-carved Krampus art.  She also created a Krampus costume.

A few months earlier, Marva asked me to take some photos of her in her awesome costume.  We went to a nearby park and I took a bazillion photos.  She kindly gave me permission to use the photos any way I wished. It was a beautiful day and the photos under the trees have a nice green, shadowy cast to them.  Mysterious!

Most of my art for the Krampus show were the photos of Marva in her costume.  I had a lot of fun playing with the photos in Gimp. In fact, I’d say it’s time to revisit the Krampus photo shoot and edit a couple more photos.  I’ve learned quite a lot about the Gimp’s many wonderful features – filters, effects, and ways to enhance my photos. But that’s a post for another day.

When the Krampus show was drawing near, I was deep in my mixed media art heaven and I wanted to include one of my paintings.  I happened to be in Effy Wild’s Radiant Faces class.  I was working on Tam Laporte’s Inner Child lesson.  As part of the class, Effy encouraged us to work the lesson as presented, make notes and then go back to the lesson and give it your own twist.

Tam’s color scheme leans toward pastels. I prefer a darker color palette.  The idea hit me to create a Krampus-themed portrait, and Krampus Handmaiden was born.


Both girls were painted on hot press watercolor paper, 140 lb, 11″x17″.  The biggest I had worked at that point – scary! I enjoyed having more space to fill. Both paintings were done primarily will water-based supplies, plus some permanent pens and stamped images with Stayzon ink.



I also enjoy the big-headed girls. They remind me of the Blythe doll, although the proportions used in these paintings are not quite as extreme as Blythe.  I took both gals to the Swedish Craft Fair and was pleasantly surprised that Krampus Handmaiden was purchased.

Tonight, I did a little editing on Krampus Handmaiden with the Gimp. I added a Color Enhance layer and a Tending layer, where I added some dodge and burn to increase the highlights and shadows on my gal.  I also re-sized the image to print as 8″x10′, which happens to be a ratio of 4:5.  Once I figured out that I could crop my paintings to the 8×10 ratio, it make printing a lot easier.  Unfortunately, I had to crop out a bit of the top of Krampus handmaiden’s cute devil hat.  Next time, I’ll be more mindful of placement of hats.

As I was writing this post, it occurred to me that I could cut/trim the watercolor paper to the 4:5 ratio so I don’t have to decide which part of the painting gets cropped out for the print version.

Krampus Handmaiden and some of the photos of Marva frolicking in her Krampus costume are available as prints.  If you interested in buying some Krampus-themed art, please stop by my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TenukiHandcrafts?ref=hdr_shop_menu&section_id=20148326

I love working with themes – having something to focus on gets my creative juices flowing.  What theme are you working on right now?  Leave a comment or link below. I’d love to see what you’re creating!