“Never give up.”

That’s what Maine artist Sandy Crabtree used to say to her students.

She taught art at Morse High School in Bath for nearly 30 years. For ten of those years, she submitted artwork to Pine Tree Society for consideration as a design for its annual holiday card.

“Even when my work wasn’t chosen, I kept entering every year and would use it as a teaching tool with my students and also as a way to encourage other artists to never give up.”

Her perseverance paid off and, in 1992, her work was selected. Since then, her paintings have been chosen ten times and helped raise over $3 million dollars for Maine people with disabilities.

“Pine Tree Society’s art collection is wonderful and I love being a part of it. You never know how it strikes people’s hearts. The holiday cards evoke feelings of nostalgia for Maine as a place where you grew up or visited.”

Her 2017 painting “Squirrel Point” is a captivating watercolor of a beloved Maine lighthouse.  On a clear, brisk day on the Kennebec River, Squirrel Point Lighthouse is festively adorned with a wreath, a Christmas tree, and a jolly snowman waving from the hill.

Crabtree loves lighthouses. She also loves tree houses.

“The tree house at Pine Tree Camp is what first inspired me to want to support the organization. I think it’s a wonderful idea for kids to be able to go up in the air like that.”

Crabtree painted Squirrel Point Lighthouse from a photo she took while on a boat 20 years ago.

“That’s what it looked like then, it was maintained and looked like what the card looks like. Today, people are raising money to restore it. It’s on such a sweet point in the river and is such a landmark in our area. I’m hoping the card helps raise awareness about the importance of saving things that matter, like Squirrel Point Lighthouse and like the tree house at Pine Tree Camp.”

In the 1960s, Pine Tree Society staff had the idea that a Maine-themed holiday card could be the perfect fundraiser. More than fifty years later, the tradition is still going strong and the Society has acquired an extensive collection of quintessential Maine art.

Every June, Pine Tree Society’s office is flooded with paintings depicting Maine’s beautiful winter landscape. This annual holiday tradition draws work from artists from around the state competing for a chance to be featured.

To view and order your Pine Tree Society holiday cards, click here.

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