On the 6th Day of Christmas Trees

December 15th, 2010 by Carrie Midura

Joan Patrakis did bring to us… a tree filled with everything budding artists could create!

Decorated by Joan Patrakis

The Historical Society has a wonderful collection of school artwork and crafts, including watercolors like the ones on display. In addition, numerous craftmen have lived in Andover and developed their skill in this town – many starting as young children. This tree is inspired by those young crafters and painters and the many techniques they learned along the way from painting and wood-work to stitchery and drawing.

This Bird of Paradise was painted in watercolors by a school girl in the 19th century

Joan Patrakis delved into the collections of the Society, drawing inspiration from the beautiful watercolors that are on display, such as the lovely Bird-of-Paradise at left. At a time when young ladies were expected to be accomplished in numerous fine arts – painting schools, sculpture classes, and even floral workshops were all the rage. Joan pays tribute to the school girl studies by decorating her tree with mini-reproductions of hand-stitched samplers and watercolor studies typically hidden away in our archives and textile storage. She also added a few twists of her own with a fabric wrapped twig star, and samplers and knitting piecework that she stitched herself.


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