Embellishing It Came Upon The Midnight Clear canvas

I am in the middle of designing a mixed media piece on canvas. Our church has a lovely Art Ministry and gallery. They are having an exhibit for Christmas. So, I decided to use the words from the Christmas song It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. The canvas is 24 x 24 and a deep gray color. I painted the baby Jesus and blanket and I am using all different papers to create the material of His blanket streaming from the crib. I have used the lyrics and sheet music to add some texture. I am going to use this image underneath the canopy of the manger with a goldleaf background and have the north star in the background.

I love the words to this song. While I was working on the collage today, I stopped to have a cup of coffee and just out of curiousity looked up the history to this song. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was written by Edmund Hamilton Sears in 1849. The carol started life as a poem written by its author who was a minister living in Massachusetts at the time. The music for It Came Upon A Midnight Clear was composed by American musician Richard Storrs Willis in 1859 who was inspired by the words of the poem." Can you imagine writing a poem and one hundred fifty eight years later people are still singing the lyrics that you wrote?

Here are the lyrics, if you want to sing along...


It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

I found within the story of the birth of Christ how this song was inspired. "Mary brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn. There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough." Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men."

Stage 2 embellished

It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, "Let's go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them."

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

I am continuing to design this Christmas canvas. I am thinking about adding an angel above the manger to the left. I am finished embellishing the baby and blankets. I put the music on to inspire me as I work on this creation. The song for this post is a lovely version of It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

100_0714 I find that if you photograph your work in stages you still possess each step on digital image. This way I can use the different versions to include in other pieces or to use by themselves. If you go too far, and fail to stop when it is actually still have the previous stages to use.

Happy Holiday creating, Karen
Jana B said...

*gasp* I absolutely adore that!!!!! I especially love his blankies, and that you used the song to inspire the collage you used the song-book page for!!! That is AWESOME!!!!!

Alison Gibbs said...

Karen that is absolutely beauiful.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Thank you for your encouragement. I was a bit insecure that my idea might appear too amateur for the gallery. I just love the mainstream mixed media, especially using sheet music. I was inspired to use words, another favorite I see added to collage these days. Blessings, Karen

. said...

Very nice indeed.

molly jean said...

You are so creative! I love the way you used the paper with the familiar song lyrics. Your colors are wonderful too. I see that you like the blue/white/silver Christmas colors! I love red and green all year round (think all kinds of red flowers with green leaves and all those green leaves with red touches) but I sometimes get tired of it at Christmas!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Thank you. I am still working on the canvas. I am going to create an angel with a harp and have her above the manger to the left. The color of this canvas really inspired me. It looked finished even before I started. I was inspired to create the pastel vintage santas and white Christmas this year for gifts. I love traditional red and green also.

Tea Time and Roses said...

Karen, This is just beautiful...lovely work indeed! I am celebrating my 50th post with a give-away, pop over and see me ok...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...


KarenHarveyCox said...

Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving, Karen