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Artists love the 12 Days of Christmas

By ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia

Image  GrammaLowe

As GrammaLowe says, December 13 is "day number one" of The 12 Days of Christmas for most of us, but centuries ago, when this now world-famous Christmas carol first became popular, Day Number One was Christmas Day, December 25. In some places, people exchanged gifts every day until Twelfth Day, January 6.

Talented Australian photographer Anne Geddes displays her version of 12 drummers drumming in one of her books. The drummers are all babies beating toy drums.

Anne has made a multi-million dollar fortune from her drawings, photos, books, greeting cards, plush toys, "collectible fairy mugs", bags, and accessories, all featuring cute babies.

The photographer, who lives in New Zealand, had four babies of her own, who are now adults. Last month she and her husband Kel, who is also her business manager, visited the US, Canada, France and the Netherlands, promoting her latest book, A Labor of Love, an autobiography.

Interviewed in Toronto by multimedia news agency The Canadian Press, she said she thought a photo of more than 100 babies in clay flowerpots, taken in Auckland 10 years ago. was one of her most memorable -- and most difficult -- achievements. The report continued:

Geddes can laugh at the experience because children's portraiture is obviously her ardent love, something she just came into 25 years ago without really thinking about it and without any formal training, she said.

Growing up on a cattle ranch with four sisters in North Queensland, Australia, the fetching blond didn't have access to any photography courses and only gained an interest in it while working in programming at a Brisbane TV station, which had a darkroom that she found intriguing.

Her first foray into photography was in Hong Kong, where she snapped shots of children and babies as a way to hone her craft. She later opened up her own studio in her home garage when she moved back to Australia.

In Australia, Good Weekend feature writer Jane Cadzow interviewed Anne "at the starkly elegant Potts Point apartment that is her Sydney base", and reported:

The 51-year-old Australian has sold an estimated 15 million books and journals, 12 million calendars and 10 times as many greeting cards since her cherubic images first appeared on the stands 15 years ago.

Parlaying her talent for infant portraiture into a booming international business, she has opened an office in Seattle, a store in Los Angeles and a website which has had 3.5 million visitors this year.

In the US and France, she is so popular that her photographs have been reproduced on postage stamps

Then there's a delightful Twelve Days of Christmas e-card designed by talented British artist Jacqui Lawson. You can enjoy it by clicking HERE


Story first posted December 2007

Copyright 2007

Eric Shackle

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