I sincerely hope that anyone reading this is having a wonderful festive season!
Personally, I’m a huge fan of Christmas and, historically, start playing my festive tunes quite early in December (so only about two months after the shops start playing theirs!)
A perennial favourite, and one that always makes me feel quite humble and, as often as not, quite useless, is the John Lennon classic, Happy Xmas (War is Over). Among the many lines that resonate with me, it’s often the opener that sets me off:
Exactly. What have I done!? As ever, it rarely feels enough!
Well, in the hope that from small acorns mighty oaks grow, with this final post of 2019, I have racked up three consecutive years of publishing my weekly blog post. (The year before this run, I only published 48 posts as I used to allow myself the odd break for the holidays!)
This also means that I’ve managed to rack up another year of relatively consistent watercolour painting. Reflecting over the year, it feels like it’s been a bit of a strange one for my painting. Overall, I usually I feel each year that I take more steps forwards than I do backwards. This year however, I can’t help feeling that I’m probably nearer to a break even situation!
This isn’t to say, that there haven’t been any highlights during the course of the year. Now I’m sure that others may have their favourites but, for what it’s worth, here are a few of my personal highlights from 2019, spanning from January to December:
Some of these mean something to me because I particularly like the end result, while with others, it just felt as if ‘something clicked’ that helped move me on a little, more of step change of some sort rather than just a little incremental development.
It’s only a handful really out of a whole year of painting, so it would be nice to think that I can improve on this quota come the same time next year!
Oh, last week I posted an image of a scene in Florence of the Galleria degli Uffizi that was intended as a Christmas gift. As I wasn’t entirely bowled over with it I did manage to squeeze another version in that I finished just in the nick of time on Christmas eve.
Here are the two side by side for comparison:
While still not 100% satisfied, I do like the most recent version more, if only fractionally! I do quite like the fact that (aside from the direction of the shadows being exactly the same) it looks like the same scene at very different times of day with different qualities of light. Hopefully I’ll know later on which of these the intended recipient prefers!
Finally, I’d like to take this seasonal opportunity of goodwill to thank you for reading this blog, and I reserve special thanks to those of you that choose to like or comment on my posts. It really does mean a great deal to me and is a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement. I can tell, that I’m coming over all emotional now, so I’m going leave you with the magnificence of John Lennon. I hope that you all have a fabulous New Year, and I look forward to us hopefully reconvening in 2020.