As a kid I always wanted to see Santa. Not just one of the “Santa helpers” in the mall, but the real Santa. The one who actually lives at the North Pole and delivers the toys. Well I can now say I’ve seen Santa! Or at least a picture of him. Actually an oil painted portrait to be exact.
You see Nathan Pinnock, my oil painting teacher, has seen Santa. At least he must have seen him to have been able to paint Santa so perfectly. His Santa portraits look exactly as I have imagined him all these years.
From Santa’s twinkling eyes, to the radiance of his loving features, Nathan gives us a glimpse into who Santa is and what he represents in our hearts. There is more to his Santa portraits than just the iconic gift giver. In them we see quiet compassion, tender thoughtfulness, and a penetrating gaze, as though Santa is looking right at us and we know his elves have been watching. Does he like what he sees? Have we been naughty or nice?
But at the same time Santa’s cheerful personality shines through. In some of his portraits, Santa looks as though he has just told a joke or shared a humorous riddle. But only Nathan knows.
Santa’s fun loving side shows best as he freely dances a jig with Misses Claus in the cozy atmosphere of their North Pole home.
Of course Santa must also work hard as depicted in the detail rich painting of Santa working away in his shop.
But again we return to Nathan’s Santa portraits which seem to draw on the observer, as though Santa is asking them to look beyond the superficial symbol of commercialism, that he often represents, and look deeper. As though he is willing us to ask him who he really is and why he does his yearly labor. Nathan’s Santas seems to ask us to remember why we are celebrating the holiday; their penetrating eyes seem to say, “Remember, it isn’t really about me.”
Whether smiling, laughing, dancing, working, or in quiet contemplation, there is a quiet wisdom in the often wrinkled but timeless eyes of Nathan Pinnock’s Santa Claus portraits. The kind of wisdom that only comes from years of service to others.
Maybe one of these days Nathan will tell us just what it’s like to actually meet Santa. But until then we can enjoy the beautiful portraits he creates each year.
AprilNathan Pinnock has been painting professionally for 20 years, and always takes time away from his other works to do a few Santa paintings for Christmas. We at Home Hinges are honored to have this opportunity to share some of his pieces online with our readers. For more information about Nathan Pinnock, his paintings, and classes, please visit his website at NathanPinnock.com.
I’m linking to:Making the World Cuter , Made By You Mondays at Skip to My Lou , Sugar Bee Craft Edition: Take a Look Tuesday , The Gypsy’s Corner , Today’s Creative Blog, Domestically Speaking: Power of Paint