Painted Presents and the Art of Christmas


It’s hard to paint with a cat in your lap.

Many years ago I painted a portrait of my sister

for her Christmas present.

I am a slow painter.

If I remember correctly…

I started that painting

many months before Christmas

giving myself time

to linger over my work.

“Portrait of Sherry” by Michele Bledsoe

This Christmas

my sister asked for another portrait.

Not of herself,

but one of her beloved cat, Munchkin

who passed away this year..

leaving me 6 days to finish the painting.

6 days.

As of today, it is 5.

Did I decline her request?

Did I make excuses?

Did I explain that I simply had too many other things to do before Christmas?


I just grabbed a blank canvas and started painting.

Dead Baby Birds and Weird Portraits

Lullaby 2014

There are certain objects that repeat themselves in my paintings.

Leaves, ribbons, crumbling stone, bits of string.. and the occasional dead baby bird.

I call this painting, “Lullaby”.. because that’s what it is.

Many years ago, I painted a portrait of my sister for a Christmas present. She was thrilled, but demanded that I leave off her glasses – and warned me not to do anything “weird” to her.

Suffice it to say, I did what I wanted.. and did not let her look at it until it was done.


When she saw the painting, she looked at me and shouted: “A DEAD BABY CHICKEN! WHY??”

She didn’t even notice the mouse.

I am happy to say that after the initial shock, she has come to really love her portrait..

but I still wish she had let me paint her with glasses.