Cypress Santas - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Cypress Santas

Updated: Dec 4, 2012 02:14 PM CST

Karen Grings says there is a story in every piece of wood. The wood is from the roots of Cypress trees in Tennessee.

Karen is an artist who lives near Moscow, Iowa. For almost twenty years, she has used Cypress wood to paint Santa, rabbit, and Halloween characters on the wood. 

The first criteria, she says, is to look for a place to put a face. She says the shape of the wood lends itself to certain types of characters. Each Santa has a different facial expression. She says there is quite a bit of detail in every piece that she paints.

Each piece of art is different. A Nativity scene on one, snowmen and rabbits on others. Karen estimates that she has painted more than a thousand Santas over the years. Her artwork is also found on saws, stones, and also an ostrich egg. 

She uses acrylic paint. It takes a minimum of ten to twelve hours to do a piece. Each piece is numbered and titled. They range in height from about three inches to two and a half feet.  

What started in 1993 has turned into a labor of love. Cypress Santas, courtesy of Karen Grings.



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