We know there is a lot of debate about when it's appropriate to celebrate Christmas, but we've concluded that we celebrate when Ben says we celebrate. That means all year round!
Thankfully, others love Christmas as much as we do, like Adam Trest, the featured watercolor and acrylic folk artist from Laurel, Mississippi. You've most likely seen his work on Home Town and around Downtown Laurel, and we're lucky to carry his prints in our store. This year, we get to reveal his special edition Christmas prints just in time for the most significant gift-giving season. If you came here looking for inspiration, you're in the right place!
Adam Trest ran and operated his storefront in Downtown Laurel with his wife, Lily, for the past six years. This Christmas is the first season that Adam will not spend every moment at his store during the holiday season. Though those years were rewarding and unforgettable, he looks forward to spending more time with his family and continuing the Christmas traditions he loves most.
Adam says, "It's been enjoyable to have this season with my family and to be intentional about making it special for our girls. We love getting creative this time of year with them, like creating paper snowflakes and homemade decorations that are meaningful to us."
Adam alludes to his childhood memories of Christmas as a primary reason why he cherishes creating traditions with his daughters now.
"My childhood was a magical time. My parents were so creative with us, and we shared our best memories around this time of year. I'm obviously into maintaining and creating our traditions with my family now," he says.
This year is no different. Even though Adam's store is no longer open, he continues his longest-held tradition of releasing a limited edition set of Christmas prints for his collectors and friends.
Except for this year, he's releasing multiple new holiday prints. While they are all meaningful, his personal favorite from the collection is one that he's worked on since August.
Adam shares, "Sometimes I'll sit down at my desk and create something easily. Then occasionally, some pieces require more time. The Crowded Barn was that kind of piece for me. I've had this idea for about two or three years, and I finally sketched it in my sketchbook, and I had to kind of sit on it for a while. The concept was there but beginning the final sketch and carrying it through to completion took months. I had a lot of inspiration and inadvertently began a new tradition with my girls."
"We all sat together in my studio, we talked about the story of baby Jesus in the manger, and we began creating this scene. We talked about the kind of animals that would have been there and what their expressions might be. Who else could tell you the animals that should be in the barn with baby Jesus than a four-year-old and an eight-year-old? They said puppies, chickens, and cows. I had never thought about puppies being in the manger with Jesus, but they were adamant about it. Being able to let them be a part of this process and collaborating with their creativity is such a gift. I think that's what makes this one special to me," he says.
We're so grateful that we get to be a part of Adam's Christmas tradition this year, as he will be sharing his limited edition pieces (framed and unframed) at the Mercantile Anniversary Celebration on December 4th in the Mercantile Front Yard. Be sure to stop by and see him!