I sincerely hope that anyone reading this is doing so having had a wonderful christmas – by whatever criteria that may be for your own idea of a perfect Christmas! For me, my perfection was spending some quality, uninterrupted and unpressurised time with my loved ones. And with that peace, contentment and relaxation, also came space for reflection (and of course a little time for some painting too!)
Now I must confess to a peculiar pedantic-ness (just one of many I fear!) Despite the recent weeks being full of reviews and round-ups of the best films / music / exhibitions of the year, I can’t bring myself to do a review of my own year until it’s completely over. I like to think that this speaks of an eternal optimism that something amazing may only be another painting, blog post or email away. Truth is, I think it really is just the pedant within! But, if I may, I’d like to indulge just a little.
Back in January, some 51 weeks ago, I laid out my revolutionary plans to change my regular posting day from a Tuesday to a Wednesday. In 2016 I managed what I considered to be a respectable 47 posts from a potential 52 weekly efforts. As we hurtle towards the end of 2017, I’m delighted to be able to report that my cunning master plan worked out and that this is my 52nd, and final Wednesday watercolour post of the year! Now I appreciate that this is small change to the many more prolific bloggers out there. For me however, it represents the pinnacle of my blogging frequency ambitions – just one of the many benefits of setting my bar of aspiration so low!
Frivolity aside, it also points to a number of other achievements such as more painting, greater discipline and an increasing resilience to continue both painting and posting even during the lean times when both enthusiasm and results can be at a low ebb! I’ll leave making any predictions and resolutions for 2018 for another time. For now, however, I’m content to close this particular year of blogging out with the satisfaction of having surpassed last year’s efforts. Now, onto some painting!
After weeks of purposefully avoiding our English winter by focussing on views of sunnier scenes, I’ve finally been able to turn myself away from the the heat and the sunshades to find something to celebrate in the festive season.
Now as if having an indo-Islamic inspired palace in the middle of an English seaside town isn’t incongruous enough, every winter Brighton Pavilion hosts an open air ice rink. I’ve already hit the ice a few times with my daughter in the run up to Christmas and, unfortunately, have the bruises to prove it! The whole thing is simultaneously completely bonkers and utterly magical!
On this occasion, the crisp, bright early morning light really picked out the ornate-ness of the architecture. Another major bonus happened to be that there were a lot fewer people around to collide with.
Aside from a dramatic change of scene from my recent posts, this painting is also notable for some other milestones: my first attempt at painting Brighton Pavilion, my first attempt at portraying ice, and my first attempt at portraying ice-skaters.
Now I must confess that I’m not wholly convinced by my portrayal of any of these three new subjects. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the challenge and, from a distance feel it captures some of the mood of the moment.
I’d like to take this final opportunity of 2017 to express my heartiest thanks to all that follow my watercolour adventures. I really do appreciate your follows, likes, comments and emails. I also hope that you have a wonderful end to 2017 and I look forward to resuming my Wednesday watercolour posts in 2018. Happy New Year everyone.