According to her bio, Emily Buchanan is a plein air landscape painter who primarily recreates scenes from Litchfield County, Connecticut, the Hudson River Valley, and the Berkshires. Other commissions have taken her around the world, but her primary work is done in New England in places like Squam Lake, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and Maine. Oddly enough, her most recent commission brought her to the great indoors, where she was tasked with creating the 2014 White House Holiday Card.
Writes Brandon Kralik for The Huffington Post, “Buchanan has paid her dues and put time, years, into perfecting her craft, so the job of painting the holiday card for the White House should come as no surprise,” of her immense talent and discipline. Commissioning an artist each year to create the White House Holiday Card has been a tradition for some time; while each year’s card is different from the last, the Obamas have always included their two dogs, Sunny and Bo.
Buchanan’s The White House Holiday Card, 2014 is a beautiful glimpse into the White House during the holiday season. Her ability to recreate light and reflections is truly impressive, and her use of color is a subtle nod to December holiday imagery. Interestingly, the White House Holiday Card features a Christmas tree in the center of the background; in the past, holiday cards from the White House have been notably secular.
“It was through the Government Arts in the Embassies program which I have tremendous admiration for,” Buchanan says, of how she was commissioned by the White House for this painting. “They hang paintings for two to three years depending on the length of the ambassador’s appointment. I’ve worked with the program for about eight years, and that is how this project with the White House Holiday Card came about,” explaining that the process actually started about a year ago.
For more information about Emily Buchanan, and to see her artworks, visit her official website.