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Cypress Santa is Coming to Town!

Thalo sat down with artist Becky Ransom during this holiday season.  Becky is best known for her Cypress Santas. The name of this festive artwork comes from the Cypress knees which are the protruding tree roots that grow in the near the swamps of Becky’s native Cushman, Arkansas.

Thalo: What is your artwork about and what do you want people to take from it?

Becky Ransom: It is all about having fun, Christmas, traditions, friends and family. I would like my artwork to bring back a special memory for anyone that sees them.

Thalo: What is the process for creating your Cypress Santas?

Becky Ransom: We start off by cutting the Cypress knees from the swamp, then we boil them to allow us to peel the bark, wash and then hang them to dry.  This all has to be done before I can begin painting.  The process takes several months.  All my Santas are sold only one time a year at the Mountains & Mistletoe Show in Mountainview, Arkansas.

Thalo: How many Cypress Santas do you sell a year?

Becky Ransom: I sell around 200 – 250 Santas a year at the one day craft show, Mountains & Mistletoe Show in November.  This year I sold out in 9 minutes at the Nov 18th show.

Thalo: How do you overcome artist blocks?

Becky Ransom: The first thing I do is pick up my guitar and start playing music, and its usually Christmas music.  I am also lucky enough to have my family around me and I will often talk to them for inspiration.

Thalo: Do you have advice or tips for fellow artists?

Becky Ransom: Do what you love, and be passionate, once you have a passion for your art, you will always work to improve it, and your customers will appreciate it. I have been creating Cypress Santas for 30 years!

All photos courtesy of Becky Ransom