Karl Wagner, Boyle resident and professional artist, was chosen by Senator Cochran to design a Christmas card.
"It was kind of one of those 15 minutes of fame things. I am featured in the current holiday issue of the Delta Magazine. Senator Cochran gets the Delta Magazine and after looking in the magazine, he saw my picture and it had an article about me and some of my paintings," said Wagner.
Wagner said that is was an honor to have been chosen to design the cards.
"It was a one shot deal and I am sure that I won't do it again because he chooses a Mississippi artist each year and I just got blessed to be the one. "
According to Wagner, he had to work expeditiously to design the cards because Cochran was on a deadline to have the cards designed, copied and mailed out.
"I can't imagine how many cards he sends out. I am sure that it is more than I could ever send out," he added.
Wagner said that most of the consultation about the design of the cards was primarily done over the phone.
"We talked over the phone and I got an idea of some of what he may have wanted. "He kind of discussed with me what he has had in the past, and we did establish a little bit of criteria because of the number of people that the Senator would send it to. We didn’t want it to be overly religious, he wanted it to be distinctly southern and distinctly Mississippi," Wagner said.
He had intentions of designing two different cards in order to give Cochran a wider selection, but after designing the first card and sending it to Cochran, he was very pleased and felt that there was no need for Wagner to take the design process any further.
"I didn’t expect him to go with the first idea, I wanted to give him more options but he was sold on the first one," said Wagner.
Wagner is a lifelong artist and considers himself a scenic artist.
"I have painted on furniture and billboards. I have been painting professionally my whole life. I was blessed to have been chosen by Senator Thad Cochran to design his Christmas Cards," said Wagner.
According to Wagner, God gave him the talent to paint and draw.
"I am blessed with the ability to visualize stories, or moments in time, and then to recreate them for others to see what I saw in my mind. ?I have in some form or fashion painted for a living my whole life," he added.
"My art focuses on what I may feel is memorable at the moment. A snapshot in time, or something that may be disappearing, or maybe just an emotional moment in life. So it may be wildlife, pets, landscapes, people, or whatever. Custom work is my specialty, whether it is portraits, small pieces, and murals interior or exterior, or as large as a theatrical backdrop. I can do it," said Wagner.