Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve is the time for one of our small family rituals.
Anna, Grandpa and I go hunting for the best piece of holly we can find to decorate the top of our Christmas Pudding (which must of course, be served with custard).

Happy Christmas to all my family and friends in 'blog-land'. It's a great time of year with an amazing thing to celebrate; I pray that you all have a fantastic time!

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of, all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.

Oh the rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet saviour

The holly bears a berry as red as any blood, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.

The holly bears a prickle as sharp as any thorn, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas Day in the morn.

The holly bears a bark as bitter as any gall, a
nd Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ for to redeem us all.
I can't resist also sharing this piece by Anna that she did for her art course-work.
She was given the title "Ordinary Extraordinary" so she chose to use the score of The Holly and the Ivy for her background and use her felting skills to create the ivy leaf & acrylics for the holly.
The little doorway flap with the woodland scene behind was inspired by
Sue Blackwell and Arthur Rackham. Anna's had quite a week first hearing she achieved grade 7 harp with distinction then a few days later, distiction for her singing grade 6,
proud Dad time :) !

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Leas, Sheppey.

As you can see, I have finally painted the beach scene (promised in my recent 'Moody Sheppey' post). Partly from Rita's encouragement, I have stayed with watercolour rather than my original intention of using acrylics. Watercolour takes on more of a life of its own giving a greater feeling of spontaneity but at the expense of a degree of control - you can see that the dark reflections have bled into the wet wash a bit too much (especially with the middle poles). I think I was too impatient to put these in and needed to let the wash dry for a few more moments. But I am pleased with the sparkle effect which helps to provide extra contrast with the distance. This was achieved by leaving the whole thing to dry off completely then rubbing lightly over the surface in places, with some fine-grade sandpaper. The best part of painting this though, was that it took me right back to the day I was there. I could still see in my mind flocks of Brent Geese in the distance and Sanderlings on the tideline (both of which you'll just have to imagine!). Plus of course, the aura of rather dull winter light that we get here in England this time of year.