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Home > Archives > Archived Contest > 2015 Contests and Challenges > Nightal ~ The Drawing Down ~ Light in the Darkness ... ~ Dec 2015 Contest ~ ENDED ~
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The Toys Light the Night.

This piece was inspired by the light that is emitted from within, both physical and spiritual light! Thus the only illumination of the scene comes from light sources that are visible. These are the light in the darkness. It is also truly a "Christmas" render... I prepped the image on the 23rd and 24th, and set it to render at Midnight on Christmas eve. It rendered for twenty-four hours, from the very beginning of Christmas at midnight, and I stopped the rendering in the wee ours of the morning on the 26th. Thus I can truly say it came to life on Christmas!

One form of this spiritual light has been the innovative generosity I have witnessed both in the past and present. People radiate the light of joy when they do the thing they love. One place I have witnessed this type of radiant generosity came from a childhood tradition of visiting a local nursery. During most of the year, the nursery we visited was a fairly ordinary nursery, but for Christmas, they transformed every inch of their property into a Christmas wonderland. Even compared to modern lights displays run by elaborate computer systems, the work and love that went into creating their ode to the joy of Christmas was impressive.

Outside the store, they had a walk-through display of lights, trees and life sized animated characters that "came to life"- this was before the age of robotics, the motions were simple mechanical repetitions, such as an arm that chopped wood, or a head that turned side to side, with music that might have been supplied by 8 track discs, reel to reel, or vinyl records! As this was the late seventies, their Christmas wonderland was way ahead of its time in the idea of music and motion driven Christmas displays. There was a long tunnel of outdoor displays that created scenes ranging from Disney, to creative snow and ice fountains, angels, the manger and more. For a small child, the displays conveyed a magic, spell-like quality of wonder and awe. I remember spending weeks asking when we would go. It remains one of my favorite Christmas memories.

The outdoor tunnel seamlessly led the participant inside and moved them through display after display of different themes of Christmas decor, with products like ornaments, drums and toys, and other delights brightly shown off on the walls behind each display. Their merchandising inspired my approach to interactive displays both in elementary education and later in my retail career. The best part was that while their extravagant Christmas ornaments and other products were well beyond our humble means, enjoying their display was completely free! They were an early example of using their store as a destination to drive sales. Sadly, this was a family owned business that has shrunk considerable in size over the years and they no longer do their Christmas display... but it lives on in memory.

From this experience and movies such as Toy Story grew the idea of the toys coming to life, lighting up the darkness. In my render, the soldier and mouse-king nutcrackers, along with Mr Pizzpot the snowman, help the toy store owner after the store is closed by shoveling the snow from the walk. They are glowing with light and generosity.

In the spirit of those who bring joy to others without asking anything in return, this is made almost entirely with freebies. The freebies that are available for seasonal renders, particularly for Christmas, show that many vendors have that light in their souls that drives them to make and sell their products out of a love for creating. I am very grateful for their time, effort and energy, and I hope that this art celebrates them. I hope that like the helpful toys come to life, that I can return their generosity in the coming year.

Some of the freebies, despite all the advances in 3D technology, would be considered just as high quality today as they were when they were made. Like the seventies animatronic Christmas displays described above, folks must have been ahead of their time in skills needed to create great products.

And so here is my tribute to light in the darkness: "The Toys Light Up the Night". It is a tribute to physical light, but also to "spiritual light"; generosity, helpfulness, and the light in the darkness that comes from doing what you love to do for no other reason than it brings yourself (and thus others) joy.

I wish you good tidings of great joy during the Octave of Christmas and throughout the new year.


Delicate.jpg Skadi1c.jpg toy_store_framed.jpg Anyone_home.jpg Drinking_from_a_brook.jpg
File information
Album name:fionathegood / Nightal ~ The Drawing Down ~ Light in the Darkness ... ~ Dec 2015 Contest ~ ENDED ~
Keywords:Light / Dark / Darkness / Christmas / Toy / Store / Snow / Snowman / Nutcracker / Soldier / Tree / North / Pole
Filesize:1396 KiB
Date added:Dec 27, 2015
Dimensions:2000 x 1850 pixels
Displayed:111 times
Favorites:Add to Favorites

Comment 1 to 14 of 14
Page: 1

fionathegood   [Jan 09, 2016 at 12:32 AM]
thank you so much, I was so surprised to have placed! There were so many wonderful images, I appreciate everyone's work as it was very inspiring.
sidherose   [Jan 08, 2016 at 11:05 AM]
Congratulations on your wonderful piece of nostalgia, Fionna :)
Napalmarsenal   [Jan 08, 2016 at 09:40 AM]
Congratulations Fiona!!! I love the look of this piece especially the nutcracker mouse!! Beautifully done :-D
fionathegood   [Jan 01, 2016 at 02:29 AM]
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the opportunity to share my nostalgia... I showed this to my mom and sister and they smiled about it too. Of course my Dad was the one who loved Christmas lighting more than anyone, and I hope he enjoys this one from above.
RainbowGypsy   [Dec 31, 2015 at 12:41 AM]
Great image and mood.
semicharm   [Dec 30, 2015 at 11:32 AM]
Love the scene. Everyone's got to do their part to keep the store ready for the kids.:lol:
donnena   [Dec 28, 2015 at 08:33 PM]
Grand image!!
sidherose   [Dec 28, 2015 at 02:32 PM]
Oh, I remember the old animatronic Christmas displays in the store windows. They were wonderful. Your recollection gave me a smile, Fionna. It's just not the same today, is it? Beautiful work and story :)
Aelin   [Dec 28, 2015 at 01:28 PM]
Of course toys are alive ;) Sweet Christmas mood :)
mtdana   [Dec 28, 2015 at 11:34 AM]
Beautiful scene and story behind it - very positive and delightful work - Happy Holidays!!! :-D
fionathegood   [Dec 28, 2015 at 02:02 AM]
It makes me happy that you enjoyed it, thank you for taking the time to comment. The feedback that we offer each other makes this artist community a warm and inviting place that encourages. I need to give myself the time to enjoy the art in the galleries and offer that support to others. 8-)
renecyberdoc   [Dec 28, 2015 at 12:35 AM]
while reading the words i had a very warm and positive feeling ,along with the fantastic renderwork/lighting it gave me a very fine moment thank you for this!!!
fionathegood   [Dec 27, 2015 at 11:19 PM]
TY! I wanted to put credits in the caption but I ran out of space, so here they are! I wish links were allowed in the comments section...

Software Used: Daz Studio Iray Render
Photoshop Elements 12
Filter Forge 4

Freebies used: PizzPot the Snowman by Art Collab, From RDNA Cranksville Series 2 (...)
Nutcracker, MouseKing Nutcracker Addon, North Pole Sign from 2003 13 Days of RDNA (...)
Snow Pile by ngartplay from RDNA A Silent Night 13 Days of Christmas 2012 Day 1: (...)
Winter Time Shovel by ngartplay from RDNA A Silent Night 13 Days of Christmas 2012 Day 4: (...)
Morphing Terrain By NGartplay from RDNA's Disturbia 13 Days of Christmas 2013 Day 11: (...)
Wheelbarrow By DryJack,
Toy Store and Toys by Luke A from Rendo Christmas in July 2015 (these may have gone back to full price after Christmas) (...)
Renderwelten Stree Lamp by Pamela Gohra from Render-Atelier Advent Calendar 2015 (This may no longer be available) (...)
Tree- "Flinks Christmas 2011" from Renderosity Christmas Holiday Giveaway 2011 (...)
Snow Brushes by yana-stock (...)
White Lights from RDNA Gothic 13 Days of Christmas
Daz freebies... may no longer be free?
Lantern from Western Bric A Brac by Faveral (...)
Desk lamp from Work Desk Set by ARTCollab
oldeekdog   [Dec 27, 2015 at 09:11 PM]
very nice christmas display, also a great capture. thanks for sharing.

Comment 1 to 14 of 14
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