We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, And a Happy New Year! Good tidings we bring to you and your kin; Good tidings for Christmas And a Happy New Year!
My best Christmas wishes to you and your loved ones!
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. Andy Rooney
When you are finally cleaning up the mess of ribbons and wrapping paper, be sure to save some of the gift tags. I treasure the ones I have collected since I was a child. My mother loved to use the front of beautiful note cards with images of winter such as those by Cornelius Kriegoff, A. J. Casson, and Roy McMurtry. She had beautiful penmanship and always wrote a sweet note to go along with the present. I especially love the gift tags given to me from my daughters – their early attempts at printing “Mommy” and their names are delightful!
Last year my gift tag theme was Christmas trees, but this year I decided to go with birds. I hope one of my children continues my tradition of not only saving the tags but of creating them as well.
All of my life I’ve pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said, “I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple” – they have no idea what I’m talking about. About the best red is to copy the color of a child’s cap in any Renaissance portrait. -Diana Vreeland
Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, I have a wonderful feeling, Everything’s going my way. from Oklahoma by Rodgers and Hammerstein
I am a morning person. I like to get up with the sun and make a definite start to the day. But some mornings, especially when it is cold outside, I am completely seduced by the warmth of my own bed and the feeling of the covers around me. So I decide not to get up but to stay in bed and enjoy the moment.
In art, what we want is the certainty that one spark of original genius shall not be extinguished. Mary Cassatt.
My favorite women artists are Emily Carr and Mary Cassatt: the former for her landscapes and the latter for her portraits. It was difficult to narrow it down to just two as Berthe Morisot, Cecilia Beaux, Frida Kahlo, Marlene Dumas, Joan Brown, and Cecily Brown are also contenders. What I love is the great volume of work these artists have produced and in many different mediums.
The books pictured above: Joan Eardley by Fiona Pearson (exhibition catalogue) Berthe Morisot by Jean-Dominique Rey Berthe Morisot Impressionist by Charles F. Stuckey and William P. Scott Helene Schjerfbeck by the Royal Academy of Arts (exhibition catalogue) Vanessa Bell edited by Sarah Milroy and Ian A. C. Dejardin The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum edited by Peter H. Hassrick Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman organized by Judith A. Barter, Art Institute of Chicago The Art of Emily Carr by Doris Shadbolt American Women Artists 1830-1930 by Eleanor Tufts, The National Museum of Women in the Arts Women Artists by Margaret Barlow (1999 edition cover shown below with painting by Mary Cassatt, The Loge)
It will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not the key note, the standard of scale, and the chief organ of sentiment. John Constable
I decided to begin painting landscapes in earnest this past summer, and challenged myself to complete fifty landscape paintings by the end of 2021. To date, I have completed twenty-five, mostly in watercolor and acrylic, but two in oil. I have enjoyed the project so much that my 2022 New Year’s Resolution List will have to include another landscape challenge: twenty-five seascape and twenty-five cityscape paintings.
The books pictured above and listed below have served as wonderful sources of inspiration. I found most of them in the library or online. I like buying used books, especially art books. New art books are beautiful, but very expensive, and if they are too precious, I tend not to open them. So my second personal challenge has been to find instructive art books in the various used-book sales that the surrounding libraries and bookstores have, and never to spend more than $10 on any book.
Masters of 17th Century Dutch Landscape Painting by Peter C. Sutton (Exhibition catalog)
Turner In The North by David Hill
Unknown Terrain: The Landscapes of Andrew Wyeth byBeth Venn and Adam D. Weinberg
American Watercolors From The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Forward by John K. Howat
Jean-François Millet by Alexandra R. Murphy
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces at the Musée D’Orsay, Forward by Michel Laclotte
Joan Eardley by Fiona Pearson
The Age of American Impressionism, Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Judith A. Barter
Baltic Light, Early Open-Air Painting in Denmark and North Germany by Catherine Johnston, et. al
The Hudson River School, The landscape of Bierstadt, Cole, Church, Durand, Heade by Louise Minks
There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. – Steve Maraboli
When I renewed my driver’s license recently, I was surprised at the weight listed on the new license. I had made no changes during the renewal process, so all of the information was the same as it was several years ago. Was the weight listed my true weight at the time or an aspirational weight? If it were an aspirational weight, I wonder by how much? Short of requisitioning my medical records, I truly have no idea!
Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
Over the last several years I have taken many online and in-person art and craft classes. Instructors routinely have provided students with a list of materials needed for each class. At first I thought it was necessary to buy everything on the list, but unfortunately, practically every instructor had a different set of material preferences so the cost of the more expensive supplies became prohibitive. I finally decided to start making do with what I had. One of my favorite mop brushes came from the town of Saluda, South Carolina. I was walking along the side of a dirt road when I noticed a very large, and thankfully dead, rattlesnake in my path. Oddly, next to the rattlesnake lay a watercolor mop brush. Although it had seen better times – the wooden handle was chipped in many places and the ferrule was dented, the bristles appeared intact. I snatched it up and quickly moved on! On closer examination, the bristles were soft and full, and it has turned out to be the best brush in my stash for doing large color washes. I have made similar but not so exciting finds at Goodwill, garage sales, and in nature. Not having all the designated workshop supplies has not been a barrier to entry for my creative pursuits. In fact, sometimes the found supplies have been the most enjoyable to use!