BATH — “Never give up.” That’s what Bath, Maine artist Sandy Crabtree used to say to her students.

She taught art at Morse High School for nearly 30 years. For 10 of those years, she submitted artwork to Pine Tree Society for consideration as a design for its annual holiday card. Her perseverance finally paid off and, in 1992, her work was selected for the first time. Since then, her paintings have been chosen 10 times and helped raise over $3 million dollars for Maine people with disabilities.

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 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. 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.”

Carlton Plummer’s painting “Homeward Bound” was also selected as a design for one of this year’s cards, marking the eighth time his artwork has been featured.
Plummer’s watercolor scene features a man making his way home after harvesting the perfect Christmas tree. He moves through the rugged landscape of the snow-covered forest on his way to the quaint town in the clearing where his family eagerly awaits his arrival.

In the 1960s, Pine Tree Society staff had the idea that a Maine-themed holiday card could be the perfect fundraiser. More than 50 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 winter landscape. This annual holiday tradition draws work from artists from around the state competing for a chance to be featured.

Pine Tree Society helps Maine people with disabilities lead richer, more socially connected lives and all proceeds from holiday card sales support its programs. For more information or to purchase cards, call 443-3341 or visit www.pinetreesociety.org.