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About the book

The Country Life of an Artist

How Christmas Cards Tell My Story

This book is about making the most of your opportunities. When Anita came to America, she realized her childhood dream to study fine art. Her creative talent was recognized in college, where she created a process for creating works of art using crayon and ink, for which she was awarded a U.S. Patent. She also started creating Christmas cards and continued to do so for more than 25 years. When her husband suggested she write stories about her Christmas cards, Anita realized that those cards depicted her life story of becoming a successful professional artist.

The stories describe humorously how her relief from studies was riding dressage at Rock Creek Park Horse Center, where Anita met and bonded with Binky, her first horse. This led her husband to buy a farm in Virginia horse country, which opened the opportunity for her to join the Piedmont Fox Hounds.

After graduation, Anita set up her studio at the farm, acquired Binky, a dog and a cat, and received her first commission to recreate a George Stubbs painting for a neighbor. These life changes led her to create Christmas cards featuring her farm, her animals, and the hounds and foxes she adored. Anita seized these opportunities to become a sporting artist.

Each Christmas card is dated by the year Anita created it and recounts a significant moment in her life. Most are humorous and uplifting, but a few memorialize a sad event. All are personal, and most include poems that gave the drawings more meaning. Anita also started to use the Christmas cards as a tool to promote her art, and soon many of her friends started to collect and frame the cards.

This book includes hundreds of her works of art that show a tightening of her creative style to satisfy the opportunities to create art given to her by her patrons. She said, “I enjoy working with patrons who love their animals as much as I love mine.” Many funny stories were shared, which created personal bonds with her patrons. These art-related stories are titled and are placed chronologically between the stories of her Christmas cards. These stories explain why her abstract style changed in order to create realistic portraits of animals. By this book, Anita encourages the reader to seize every opportunity, as it often will lead to another. For those who are aspiring artists, she says, “I hope this book will encourage aspiring artists to follow their dream; stay the course, never give up, and take every opportunity offered to you and use it to promote your art and yourself as an artist.”

Read the article in Middleburg Life. A monthly magazine about people, lifestyles and trends..

Book Specifications:

The book is printed on 205 pages of Endurance Silk 100# stock. The book is protected by a Matte Laminate dust jacket.
The cover and the spine of the book are embossed with a rich copper foil.
Most of the 281 works of art are spot gloss varnished to highlight and protect the images in the book.
The end sheets are printed with the artist’s animal drawings in a sepia color.
The book is Smythsewn and cased in Full Sierra cloth in a natural canvas color.
personally signed message
Each book is shrink wrapped, unless a personally signed message by the author is requested.
Book in shipping carton
The book size is 11.125” x 8.75” and weights just over 2 pounds.

The Country Life of an Artist

Most of the 281 works of art which include oil paintings, pastels, pencil, crayon, pen and ink and watercolor drawings are spot varnished to highlight and protect the images in the book. The varnish enriches their color and the effect is striking. The linen book cover includes a beautiful foil embossing. The book is printed in the USA by Puritan Press Inc.


(Free shipping within the USA.)