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James C. Christensen - Christmas Bells -  LIMITED EDITION CANVAS Published by the Greenwich Workshop

Christmas is a season of magic. Open your heart to it and the world becomes a place more beautiful and full of hope. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s inspiration for "Christmas Bells" is such a story.

After years of despair brought on by the loss of his wife and the wounding of his son in the Civil War, Longfellow felt he would never feel the joy of the holiday season again. Yet, on Christmas Day 1864, the sound of church bells ringing in lofty spires stirred something warm in his soul. He sat down and wrote the ode of promise and hope upon which the Christmas carol "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is based.

Perhaps, as Christensen’s "Christmas Bells" alludes, there was a touch of divine intervention that wintery day. When those bells “pealed more loud and deep” than they had before, piercing Longfellow’s despair, an inspirational message to all mankind was delivered.

Christmas Bells

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Christmas Bells
by James C. Christensen

See the Artist Biography
LIMITED EDITION CANVAS
Image size: 10"w x 20"h.
Limited Edition of: 150
Originally Published:
December 2013
$245.00

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James C. Christensen
James C. Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California. He studied painting at Brigham Young University as well as the University of California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since then he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is prized in collections throughout the United States and Europe. Opulent, colorful, Shakespearean, extraordinary: All words that aptly portray Christensen’s most popular artworks that have also been described as “creations from the land a little left of reality.” He has created a Shakespearean Island, an entire undersea world and a village of Mother Goose characters. But when he isn’t giving life to other’s worlds, he paints a place of his own. The result is a unique kinetic kingdom where recognizable human emotions are often manifested as fish or fowl, utilizing the viewer’s own imagination as no other artist can. His art includes unique people, places and things that exist somewhere between adult dreams and childhood memories. “I don’t think of myself as a fantasy artist,” said Christensen. “I certainly have an affinity for myths, fables and ancient lore, but I also find time to create landscapes and other subjects which include commissions. Recent projects, for example, include a mural commission for a conference center in Nauvoo, Illinois, a poster for the 2001 Utah Shakespearean Festival and a sculpture for Nu-Skin. “What’s truly important to me is that my art is introspective and in turn challenges the mind’s eye of those who view it regardless of the subject matter.” The artist has been commissioned by both Time/Life Books and Omni to create illustrations for their publications and his work has appeared in the prestigious American Illustration Annual and Japan’s Outstanding American Illustrators. Christensen has also won all the professional art honors the World Science Fiction Convention can bestow, as well as multiple Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. Christensen’s fine art appears as works of art in porcelain and brass from The Greenwich Workshop Collection; artist-inspired products such as note cards, silk ties and books are also available. His first book, A Journey of the Imagination: The Art of James Christensen, was published to great acclaim in 1994. His second, the adventure fantasy Voyage of the Basset, has more than 75,000 copies in print. His subsequent book include the inventive Rhymes & Reasons, published in May 1997, Parables (written by Robert Millet, 1999), The Personal Illumination Series and The Personal Illumination Journal (2000), a series of interactive journals, A Shakespeare Sketchbook (2001) and James Christensen, Foremost Fantasy Artist (2001). Christensen was recently designated as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’s Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted into the U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Carole, co-chair the Mormon Arts Foundation.


 

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