Friday, 25 December 2015

Season's Greetings and 2015 Review

Blog 51

On this Christmas Day, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and all the best for the year 2016. I would like to thank all of you for your ongoing support and hope you will spent some relaxing and happy days with your family and friends.

As next Friday will fall on January 1, 2016 (Can you believe it?), and everyone is hopefully busy with activities they enjoy, the first new blog of 2016 will be published on January 8, 2016.

Instead of my usual blog, following you will find the first 12 paintings of my advent calendar that I posted from December 1 to 24 on my Facebook and Google+ pages, which I invite you to follow. Next Friday, you will find the second 12 days of my advent calendar. I hope you enjoy my walk through my paintings of the last 12 months.

Day 1:
In Germany the advent calendar is very popular to help kids count the days until Christmas Eve. It helps to shorten the waiting time until Christmas and heightens the anticipation.

For this year, I will post my personal advent calendar, each day showing one of my favourite paintings of this year. Today, you get to see a special treat: the progression of my painting Evening Glow (see above), an 18" x 24" acrylic painting I created with painting knives.

Day 2:
"Tulips from Amsterdam", a 10" x 8" oil painting, was created during the Plein Air Ensemble trip to Val David. I had spent the morning painting outside and was so cold that I decided to stay indoors for the afternoon. The title comes from my grandmother's favourite song, and I am very happy that the painting has found a permanent home at my parents' house.

Day 3:
I painted this 11" x 14" oil painting at the beginning of May at the Black Chute Rapids of the Ottawa River. You would not believe how loud the sound of the crashing water is. I titled the painting "The Buseater" because this is the inofficial name of the chutes. The waves are so high, they could easily swallow a whole bus. What I find really interesting is the fact that it looks like horses are racing through the water.

Day 4:
"Spring Bouquet With Gerbera and Lilac", an 14" x 11" oil painting, is another painting from the painting trip to Val David. While it was raining cats and dogs, my friend Janis and I were sitting in the cottage painting this still life. The flowers and pitcher were already standing on the table. We added the oranges that were left over from lunch.

Day 5:
Rittke Road Swamp, Eganville, is a 5” x 7” oil painting. My friend Hélène and I both painted the scene and were so immersed in the painting process that we did not even notice that we were watched by a deer. This little painting found a new home on December 5 during my Open House.

Day 6:
My 7" x 5" acrylic painting "Rose Hips" was created during my summer holidays from a photo I had taken on one of the visits to the Kamouraska area. Even though I usually do not find much time to paint during our summer week at the cottage, I always take a small paint box and some reference photos with me.

Day 7:
My 9" x 12" acrylic still life "Have Some Fruit!" makes your mouth water for a fresh fruit. Maybe, you have noticed that this still life does not contain a single apple.

Day 8:
I started my 11" x 14" oil painting "Purple Fields, Saint-Pacôme, Quebec" in September 2013 during our yearly trip to Kamouraska. My friend Janis and I were sitting on the top of the ski hill and could not take our eyes from these richly coloured fields. I actually painted a second painting with similar purple fields a couple of days later in Kamouraska which I completely forgot to upload to my website after my husband and I had a little accident while framing the piece for a show. We managed to damage the expensive frame when the screws for the wire went through the front. The screws that we used were longer than what I was used to. I was so upset at the time that the artwork stayed for months in a corner in my studio. I managed to repair the frame, not perfectly but good enough for my own collection. It is a nice little piece, and will be added to my website shortly.

Day 9:

I started my 10" x 8" oil painting "Pink Gerbera" during a demonstration to the students of my introduction to painting class. I love the vibrancy of the flower. It took me a while to mix the right pink but I am quite happy with the final result.

Day 10:
My 11" x 14" oil painting "The Pilgrims, St.-André-de-Kamouraska" was started on September 12, 2014. My friend Janis and I spent the morning driving around trying to find a sheltered painting spot. It was bright and sunny but the wind made it hard to open even the car doors. Therefore, we drove to the lighthouse in St. André. There we met our friend Leslie who had the same idea. Leslie and Janis set up in the lighthouse but I decided to go outside as the wind had decreased.

I had a great time painting while listening to an audiobook. I did two paintings, had some interesting conversations in French with a couple of people that dropped by, and just felt very blessed to be able in that wonderful spot.

Day 11:
My 8" x 10" acrylic painting "Yellow Mushrooms" also started out as a demonstration at one of my introduction to painting classes. I just love all those mushrooms in the fall forest. When I look at the painting I am reminded of the smell of the autumn woods.

Day 12:
I started my 24" x 18" acrylic knife painting "Iced Birch" with reference photos in early March 2015 but put it aside when I was struggling with the branches of the tree. I had a certain image of the ice covered branches glistening in the sun in mind but was not able to realize it on the canvas. Then spring arrived and I did not feel like finishing a winter painting. So finally in November, when I was preparing my "Winter Wonderland" exhibition, I went back to the easel and this time everything just came together.

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