In high school, I learned to shoot pool, AKA billiards, thanks to Saints Hubert and Ellene Watson, our church youth leaders. They adopted me, so to speak, as an honored guest into their home when I was a teen.
Friday nights, Ellene would bake her famous chocolate cake with butter cream frosting and Hube racked up the pool balls for a spirited game of pool.
I have no recollection of helping with dishes and I no doubt scratched the green felt on Hube’s pristine pool table. Nevertheless, they rolled out the red carpet for me, week after week.
Pool balls with stripes and spots
Today, I have my own set of pool balls, displayed in a crystal bowl. They remind me of friendship. I love peering at the ivory balls, much like watching goldfish in a fish bowl.
Beautiful, ivory white balls, each numbered and splashed with bright stripes and spots, ready for a game.
Why not make a painting of pool balls?
You draw what you love. Unfortunately, drawing and painting pool balls for me has led to a stash of failed attempts.
Hubby Darrell had compassion on me and sketched a pool ball with shape in front of my eyes — in a nano second.
Choose a light source, he said. Add shading to give shape and dimension, he said.
Suddenly he transforms a circle into a pool ball.
For me, it does not. So, I continue to study the elusive pool ball.
Back to the Drawing Board
Hopelessly, I asked Darrell to photograph our pool balls, thinking I could draw from the photographs. He photographed each one, individually, with the same light source.
I made a montage illustration in Photoshop by masking and arranging balls to my liking, resizing some.
Undaunted with my failures at painting, I played around with the pool balls in my digital art programs to make a poster.
A favorite Christmas quote from A Christmas Carol, says …
It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its Mighty founder was a child Himself.
The key to happiness is to hold on to that child-like wonder at Christmas.
Alas, the holiday season can bring a mix of good and bad memories. Once, during my Bah Humbug! period, I cross-stitched another Dickens quote, Bah Humbug! And beautified it with a gilded frame.
Foremost this Christmas, cherish the simple things of the heart.
Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes. -Charles Dickens
… Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good life!
My digital how-to artwork for story illustration:
In Adobe Illustrator, I penned a blue gradient for my snow bank.
I created layers of art in Photoshop. On top of the snow, I layered my Santa art, created in Illustrator.
Then, I duplicated Santa and skewed him, dialing back the transparency for a red shadow on the snow. I imagined Santa’s suit would reflect a jolly red on the snow rather than gray.
To complete the illustration, I added a lens flair above the snow for a heavenly light.
And cropped line work of the Nativity by hubby Darrell Wiskur from a Merry Christmas letter he designed years ago, commissioned by a dentist for his office Christmas letter.
Read Luke 21:1-40, a Biblical record of the incarnation of Christ … Emmanuel, God is with us.