“For decades now, how I’ve decorated for the holiDAZE has more to do
with celebrating the beauty of winter and the return of the light.”
I suppose this is somewhat a contradiction about what I loved about Christmas as a kid — the more glitter, color and sparkle the better! Decorating more organically was fairly instinctive by the time I was in my early twenties. One of my first jobs was at a local fast food chain and one of my tasks was to decorate the place for Christmas. I was living in a rural area and I recall going for a long walk through the fields and hills around our house, collecting milkweed pods, pine cones, pampas grass, etc., and painting them silver and gold. Oddly enough, people in the store liked this naturalism as opposed to something more in the ‘Santa’ or ‘cartoon vein’.
Years later, living on my own in a city, I hadn’t gotten around to getting some sort of tree, but still had a pumpkin never carved for Halloween. I went outside the apartment house and clipped pine branches and stems from a holly berry bush to create a tableau. People laughed when they heard I decorated a pumpkin, but when they saw it, they liked it so much they would make sure I had a pumpkin around the time of the holidays. It was then I really began to feel the connection of a Thanksgiving cornocopia extending into December and at least the first of the year.
By the time I met my partner fifteen years ago, I realized how this organic decorating was quite definitely related to Yule, to the Solstice, and also to love / relationships / humanity / ancestry, thus I would incorporate what we’d given to one another as gifts: a rosewood harp, a horned god statue, and even a red ribbon ornament to honor the spirits of World AIDS Day. I wouldn’t define this sort of decorating as consciously gay, but it helps!
To view more of Stephen’s artwork and art projects, please visit his Red Bubble online portfolio and shop
A resident of New York, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short collage-films and poetry/music mp3s. Much can be learned of his multi-media work by placing his name in any search engine. His latest project-in-progress, a collaborative effort with composer Kevin MacLeod, is entitled ‘Whispers of Arias’, a two volume download of narrative poems sung to music (link). His latest Amazon release, ‘31 Kisses’, a poetry-art hybrid, is a celebration of romance for lovers everywhere regardless of sexual orientation (link)