Winter Solstice is almost upon us. The longest, darkest night, when the ground should be hard with frost as in the deep mid winter that carols sing about. The earth should be cold and asleep. It's not though, here there is not a sign of Jack Frost. In the garden there are flowers blooming and yesterday there were bees.
I don't think I've ever seen a bee on a flower in December here, ever!?
I know some folks are enjoying the mild weather, but I would prefer to see December decked out in frosty attire. The seasons are just not right. Maybe we won't get a winter at all?
Last weekend I had a fleeting visit to Dartmoor. It was my Birthday and I stayed a night at the Two Bridges hotel which is conveniently located a short walk from the ancient Wistmans wood. It was lovely to be back there again and this time in Winter rather than summertime which was when we visited last time. The lichen and moss seemed even brighter without leaves on the trees.
On our way back we passed Postbridge, and stopped to see the old clapper bridge .
A bronze age tomb remains.
Then walked a little and sat with the quiet stones.
Back home I've hung the green upon the door and the fae lady has mistletoe for hair once more.
It feels like weeks since I picked up a paintbrush. I've been so busy with packing orders there was little time for much else. Christmas has been busy in the shop and I'm very grateful to anyone that has supported my work and bought from me these last few weeks and of course throughout the year. The calendars have been a great success and only a small amount are remaining now.
Now things are beginning to quieten down and I have a painting on the go and even managed to find time to do three little Aceo sized paintings. Inspired by Wistmans wood.
It would have been wonderful to have seen the wood on a frosty day or in the snow. Maybe one day?...But even though I didn't, my little white hare got lucky! :)
Winter has returned but her frozen cloak has been tossed aside for now. There are primroses in flower in the garden and the days have been mild. The birds have feasted on all the holly berries and now the tree is empty. My holly picked a few weeks back, sits waiting in a bucket in the greenhouse. All ready to be brought indoors and tucked behind picture frames.
Inside It's beginning to look a little festive. The piano had a good dusting and I even cleaned the faerie house out too. :)
Nine doors have already been opened in my Advent calendar. Nine! already! :-o and here my mind is still in October....
The Advent calendar is an old one, which I'm recycling because it's so pretty and because the teen hobbit has a chocolate one which is a little uninspiring to look at. Whoops, sorry chocolate companies! ;)
In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors. ~ William Blake ~*~ It's been busy here, packing up orders, making more cards and trying to snatch time in between to do a little of my own Christmas shopping. On top of that I decided quite late, to do a 2016 Calendar. I've been waiting for them to arrive for a while now, wishing them here as time is ticking on of course. Anyway they are finally here! And now in the shop!
When opened out the calendar is A3 in size. Plenty of room to write things in the boxes and 13 pictures of my Artwork. One picture a month and an extra picture in the centre fold which can be used as an A4 poster afterwards.
The silver mists of November weave their soft spider web grey. Drawn to the river and the hills after three o clock until the sun chases them away the next morning.
Coming out of Avebury, the sky went dark. The mist disguising the sun as the moon.
Until it was obscured almost completely.
Quiet and still, stood the old hill, it's secrets kept hidden.
I love the mists and fog of November. You have probably heard me say that before if you have been visiting this blog over the years. But I need to say it each year, because each year I am reminded of just how much I love and appreciate all of this beautiful Island's seasons. November has almost gone now and soon we will be into the frosty days of Winter...
I've been busy here with making and painting, and have a few things to share.
First up, some small Aceo sized paintings. Simple designs, hares. Often after I've been painting more detailed work on the hangers, I do I find it refreshing to go back to simple paintings with less detail. This first one is called 'Song to the Moon'
The 'Sacred Pool'
Then lastly 'Midnight in the Meadow'
Then another simpler painting but bigger and back to my old 'up right' friend. We have had many adventures over the years together and I think he will always be with me.
This time the title is inspired by Mr Tolkien...'Not all those who wander are Lost'
Now to the detailed work that I've been busy with...
A friend of mine gave me a very small vintage frame a couple of years back and it has been sat on the desk waiting to have something painted inside it. During painting blackberries on a hare hanger, I suddenly realised what it wanted. Blackberries! So that's what I've done, along with a hare and a wren. So this one I have titled 'Conversation with a Wren'
I won't share each hare hanger that I've done as there are 10 of them, but will tell you that I shall be adding them to my shop tomorrow 27th November at 7pm (UK time ) along with the Aceo paintings and the above vintage framed one. And if you would like to see the hares you can see them on my Instagram.
In the meantime here is one of them...
In between working I have been taking time out to enjoy the simple things. A book by the fire and a glass of mulled wine.
Chatting with my bestie. ;)
And again appreciating all the beauty that these months reveal.
I will finish with something else that I worked on a few months back which is now available to buy and might make a lovely Christmas gift idea for someone that is interested in dance? You may remember earlier in the year I was painting this below, which was the cover for the dvd by irish dancer Edwina Guckian.
It's a tutorial and performance dvd and is hypnotic to watch. There is magic in her feet I'm sure.