I’m very excited to show these guys all finished up! For me stockings always take a while to evolve and develop.  I had a sketch I liked for a while and was so happy to finally get a chunk of time to get back and paint, but that was start and stop and they hung around my office partly painted for quite a while, somewhat polar bear-y in this stage.

 

Scout seemed fairly suspicious, always keeping her eye on them.

And her feet.

And her behind.  So disrespectful.

The mermaids came by to see how it was going, too.  Suggested their border colour as  a possible background. Thanks, ladies.

Scout held onto her suspicions.  She’s had bears in her backyard.  She wasn’t about to turn her back on these ones just because they’re a bit flatter.  (She’s feeling street tough with the horrid new notch in her ear.  I’m happier with her guarding these inside bears than sneaking out and crossing paths with the awful neighbourhood white cat.)

The bears, once painted, started to wonder what the things they were holding were.  I told them they were presents, because they were sweet bears and I wanted to thank them for showing up in my head.  (I should add here that each bear was drawn from a photo of a real bear.  Even the guy lying on his back looking up at his toes. Bears are so awesome.)

I asked each of them what they would most like for presents.

Hazel looked at the package uncertainly, not sure if it was big enough for a longed-for pony but also thinking a nice ripe pear would be glorious.

Lucy held her present close and thought about what she would really like to find inside.  Maybe a pillow would be nice. But also… this box itself was pretty cool.

Jane gave her present a gentle shake and listened for rattles.  She would love some pencil crayons.  She’d love to draw some bees and beetles and butterflies.

Bob wondered if bears could wear socks.  Big woollen socks.  He hated when his toes got cold.  Socks would be nice.

Gracey sniffed her present and licked a bit of drool off her chops.  She smelled honey.

Claire… no, don’t call her Claire bear, never Claire bear, that is never OK … Claire spotted some little holes in the side of her parcel and hoped there might be a dragonfly of her own inside.  She’d love to share her space with a dragonfly.

Oscar thought a kite would be fabulous.  A kite shaped like a bird.  Or a caterpillar.

Eva crossed her fingers  — no she didn’t because doesn’t have any but she sort of mushed her paw  pads together – and wished fervently for ten juicy apples.

Hans stood up on his feet and thought about what he wished for.  A nice sunny day would be nice.  Or a salmon.  And some salmon ice cream.  Maybe salmon sorbet.  That would be sweet.

Randall just loved the wrapping paper on his present.  It was so unbelievably cool.  Maye there’d be some more inside.

Lawrence tucked his chin down and and smiled happily.  He hoped maybe, just maybe, he’d find a cookbook full of recipes for berries.  And grubs.  And honey.  With wildflower garnishes.

Jacob thought a nightlight might be nice.  Caves were sort of dark.  If he had a nightlight maybe he’d figure out how to make cool shadows on the walls.  Flapping crows.  And bunny rabbits.  And a rock.

These guys.  What a nice time we had hanging out.

If you want to invite a dozen scruffy but friendly bears to your home (or any of the other new Pippin designs) order through your favourite needlework shop.

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