SCHENECTADY When Cobleskill’s Samantha Marasciulo sees Santa Claus and his North Pole Express, she sees the traditional red and white uniform.
Santa’s big Christmas locomotive chugs along in light blue and hot pink, with peppermint-colored swirls for wheels.
Samantha, 10, knows her crayons and markers. Thanks to her passion for pigment on paper, she will soon be seeing dark green on the stage at Proctors in Schenectady.
Miss Marasciulo is the winner of the 2012 Gazette Christmas Coloring Contest. Her holiday vision of Santa on a roll was chosen from a large field of minor masterpieces, and she will receive four tickets for the high-flying “Peter Pan” show this April.
Kids named Olivia, Grace, Ryan, Breann, Jason, Andrew and Emma offered versions of Santa in scarlets and emeralds. Some went for light tones, others for dark. All of them were colored with heart and happiness.
Samantha, a fifth-grade student at Radez Elementary School in Cobleskill, was surprised to hear her full-page Santa was named best in class.
“There were a lot of people,” she said. “It was like one in 100. I couldn’t believe that I won!”
Actually, it was one in 512 entries. Devin Kilgalleh of Niskayuna was the first to submit in the contest, which began in late November. The 5-year-old walked into The Daily Gazette’s front lobby and delivered his artwork in person.
One child enclosed a poem. Others enclosed greetings for “Merry Christmas.” A 17-year-old girl even entered, even though she was out of time — the competition was open to kids aged 12 and under. She just wanted to be part of the fun.
Samantha, daughter of Mabel and Anthony Marasciulo, will take her parents and 14-year-old sister Keyla to see “Peter Pan.” She explained the methods behind her artistic expression.
“I wanted to make everything pop,” she said. “It’s Christmas and Christmas is colorful and I love all different colors and blending them together.”
The colorist said she loves bright hues, such as the lime green and pink roof on Santa’s locomotive and yellow beams of light — with streaks of orange — the shine from the engine’s headlight. Samantha also outlined the train and inside frame of the drawing with neat, light orange lines. The four stars on the corners of the piece are all orange and yellow, with reddish eyes and smiles.
Samantha is not a big fan of dark colors. “That doesn’t make anything pop,” she said.
Mabel Marasciulo was thrilled to hear an award-winning artist is now part of her family.
“She loves to color,” Marasciulo said. “She used her father’s markers and every day it was like, ‘Did you mail the package yet? Did you mail the package yet? Did you mail the package yet?’ He said. ‘Yes, I mailed it!’”
Judith S. Patrick, editor of The Daily Gazette, appreciated all the efforts.
“Like last year’s entries, the ones we received this year brought a bit of a child’s holiday spirit into the newsroom,” she said. “I loved the effort and the imagination they showed in their work. And even though we received over 500 entries, every one was different.”
List of entrants
View the complete list of all 512 contest entrants on page A5 in today's print editions of The Daily Gazette.
Judges especially appreciated the efforts of Jenna Coutant of Rotterdam, Jacob Shafer of Glenville and Demytrei Irizarry of Schenectady.
Samantha, a brown-eyed brunette, is looking forward to a bit of fame. People will be talking about her merry Santa scene.
“It’s like people, now they notice you,” she said. “People you never knew, they’re going to know who you are now. You were just a kid in fifth grade and now you’re famous for coloring a picture you love.”
Other budding artists will get the chance for recognition next Christmas.
“The contest will continue,” Patrick said. “For us at The Daily Gazette, the contest is a good way to involve young people in the work of the newspaper, much in the same way as our publication of The Student Gazette does each year in the spring. And as our world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, it’s nice to know that hundreds of children are out there — crayon in hand — patiently creating their own little piece of art out of our newsprint.”