Twelve Days of Christmas Unwound

Last year I had this sort of crazy idea that I would post a YouTube video on my channel every day for each of the …

Last year I had this sort of crazy idea that I would post a YouTube video on my channel every day for each of the twelve days of Christmas. Well, several issues came up, the first of which, what are the official 12 days of Christmas? Turns out it matters who you ask. There is the advent calendar 12 days and then the Christian 12 days . Being the boss of me, I got to choose and decided it was much more fun leading up to the big day rather than after the fact. That settled, I had to decide whether I was going to shoot the video ahead of time or on the day of posting. Ahead of time!

Next, I wanted it to be a gift to my subscribers, not selling anything or a lesson, just a simple gift of appreciation for watching my videos and a wish for lots of art going into the new year. That’s how I envisioned it last year and this year as well.

This year was so busy for me in November and December. How was I going to pull this off again? Of course, video production in my studio has gotten just a little more complex as we’ve really tried to improve the quality, so that also makes it more time consuming. But I was committed to doing it despite any perceived obstacles. When things are hard, that’s where the good stuff is!

I decided to have fun with it and use it as an opportunity to play and venture into the landscape which I hadn’t done in a while. I did all of them on Pastelmat and kept them small. All of them are about 5in x 7in or smaller. This is my wheelhouse, so I knew I could get a few done every day for a few days. But…I had a couple false starts. Yikes! I didn’t get off to a good start, so I was worried it wouldn’t happen at all. It wasn’t so much the paintings that were going wrong, it was the video. I usually have a bit of help and not having done it alone for a while, I was forgetting a few critical things such as FOCUS!! If I intended to get them all done on time, I would have to do more than focus the camera, I’d have to focus my brain too!

First Day of Christmas

Second Day of Christmas​

“Morning Stop”

I like how the Second Day of Christmas turned out. The strong quality of light and shadow made this one work without trying very hard. It’s a good piece of reference from my trip to Kananaski, Canada. Many of the reference photos are from that trip. The landscape there was unbelievable. I went on a painting trip with Plein Air Magazine’s Streamline Publishing, “Fall Color Week”. It was well worth the effort, money and time invested. I met a bunch of new painting pals too!

Third Day of Christmas

“Evening Walk”

This is actually the parking lot at the hotel! I just love the way the lights are hitting the road and the glow it creates in contrast to the night sky. It’s fun when an ordinary scene is transformed into something special! This might be my favorite of all 12!

Fourth Day of Christmas

Nope, not a snow scene, but I do feel like it has a shimmering quality that reminds me of winter. Does that count? I tried to focus on dynamic mark making on this one and used some of Terry Ludwigs iridescent pastels just for good measure.

Fifth Day of Christmas

Sixth Day of Christmas

This photo is so pretty with the corona of light coming through the trees but these can be fairly tricky to pull off. I think it worked out!

Seventh Day of Christmas

Yay! The Final Snowman which I got on film!
You would think this fun little guy would have been the easiest one to do. But, no! I did it with no reference but still thought it would be a snap! The first one I tried had a weird point of view and I went too crazy on the lighting. He looked a little scary!
Then I thought I’d better do a sketch to get a better viewpoint. This helped a little.
I’m not paying attention to my sketch, so one more time…
Ok, I think I’ve finally got the hang of him but need to get it on film.

Eighth Day of Christmas

On the Way Home

Ninth Day of Christmas

Again, not a winter scene, but lovely light!

Tenth Day of Christmas

Sunset Dreams

Eleventh Day of Christmas

“Meadow Trance

Twelfth Day of Christmas

Of course this last one was super fun to do. I really love the sparkles!
I’m glad I took the time to do this project. It’s wonderful practice to paint so much and to share them online for consecutive days. I posted the videos to my Facebook Group/ Marla Baggetta’s Painting Lessons and lots of people followed along and did all of the pieces! Amazing!

I included a link to each of the videos if you click on the painting and for those pieces that are still available for sale, there is a link to my Daily PaintWorks gallery in the painting title.

I’ll try to do this every year! It’s a great way to get good painting energy started for 2020.

Happy New Years!!!


5 Responses

  1. Love the post -analysis/comments of the Twelve Days videos Marla! Like a little kid with an advent calendar, I eagerly awaited each days posting to see what you would come up with. Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to add a little cheer to our pre-Christmas bustle!

  2. Such an ambitious task for you this time of year, but one I certainly appreciated! It’s wonderful to see how you interpret your paintings from your reference photos. Though I wasn’t able to keep up with your challenges this holiday season, they have ‘jump started” my resolution to do more of the same in the new year. (If Marla can do it, there’s no reason I can’t.) Thank you for your generous instruction and inspiration! Wishing you a wonderful new year!

  3. I love watching you paint. I would sit with a cup of tea and enjoy the way you painted each scene. Thank you for this gift.

  4. Watched 2rd, 3rd and 11th Day of Christmas videos and will try to create paintings too. Since I live in Canada, snowy landscapes are a frequent reality of life. And I love it. And with your help I should now be better equipped to create some snow images as well. I love how you detect and capture beauty. Thank you so much!!

  5. Marla,

    Thank you for sharing your talent. It is also nice that you shared the struggle of painting the snowman. Those new to painting need to know that even experienced, talented painter struggle sometimes too.


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