Date Posted: 19th December 2013

Winter Sun Cumberland
and here's the envelope!

Percy Kelly always made his own individual Christmas cards. He usually  made a simple  lino cut of a pear, an owl or a robin. Sometimes it would be a black and white scraperboard image of a Cumberland farm house or a collage of a boat. He would start in September and create a terrible mess everywhere in the cottage. As Christmas approached he worked himself up into a frenzy of activity even painting the envelope for someone special.. The results were lovely but there was a catch. He expected the lucky recipients to write and thank him. If they didn't show appreciation he crossed them off his christmas card list.  In mitigation of his need for praise, if I had receieved just the envelope shown above I would have certainly written to him with effusive thanks... and chocolates ... and socks.....

In 1993, I put on a sculpture exhibition by two young men, Jo and Russell, from the Glasgow Sculpture School in the garden at Castlegate. They stayed overnight in the studio on the second floor of Castlegate House. We were still sorting, photographing and cataloguing the Kelly Estate which had recently arrived from Norfolk. It was arranged in heaps on the floor of the studio. Few people knew about him at that time. I was surprised therefore when Jo recognised the work immediately. His parents had been receiving these home made Christmas cards for many years and had carefully kept every one. Jo was puzzled because they hadn't received one for two years. He didn't realise Percy had been ill and died the previous summer. I don't think he got any sleep that night because he was so excited to be among all the wonderful paintings.

So for Percy's first Christmas with his own web site, here is a christmas card for you of one of his winter paintings. It is a farmhouse in his beloved Cumberland but I have no idea where it is exactly. If any of you recognise the location please let us all know.

We wish you good health and happiness this Chritmas and through the new year. Happy trailing on the West Cumbria Coast.

Chris and all at West Cumbria Tourism