Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’
While visiting my mother and sister, I joined my sister and some of her friends on a walk into the Sandia Mountains foothill area just after Christmas. The elevation of the city of Albuquerque is 5,312 feet, just above a mile-high. We ascended quite a few more feet into the beautiful snow-covered foothills, which is a protected area. The morning was a brisk 18 degrees F, but the sun was shining and our spirits were high.
Just as we came to the end of a small canyon and had to climb higher to ascend further, we came across this beautiful little waterfall, which was solidly frozen.
I loved how the water froze in these fantastic shapes:
The last photo is of a hole in the side of the rock through which some water was trying to escape as it got frozen.
It was a glorious morning. By the time we returned to our car, we had worked up a sweat and felt so good after all the days of sweets and sitting. More than that, it was wonderful to share time with loved ones and dear friends.
While I was away, visiting family, I learned that my painting “Aunt Peggy’s Sunroom” had been nominated for
Making A Mark Awards 2009: Nominations for the best picture (still life)
All of the nominated paintings are really great! You can also see at this blog the other competitions taking place and the wonderful art being showcased.
When I visit my Mom and sister in Albuquerque, I sleep on the floor on camping pads – hence, the weird viewpoint, looking upward. This vision greeted me Christmas morning.
And then “Santa” unveiled to reveal that charming gap-teethed smile only my sister can now make since her surgery. She looks like a cute, mischievous, and slightly demented Santa! Needless to say, we had great fun…and more details about my trip to New Mexico will come a bit later.
I’m posting this Christmas greeting early, as I fly to Albuquerque to visit my mother and sister, where it will be extremely cold, dry, but SUNNY! I’ll report later. Meantime, have a beautiful Christmas, everyone!
[Photo is of my greatgrandfather Papa Tobin and his grandchildren who are, left to right: My Aunt Betty Ryan, Aunt Jerry Ryan holding my squalling Aunt Peggy Ryan, and Uncle Dennis Tobin, 1925, Wichita, Kansas]
Well, I’m back to blogging, now that my new modem is in place. Hooray!
Light has been on my mind. In these waning days of winter, every day that there has been sun it has felt like Christmas to me. I’ve always loved light, reveled in it, and require it. No dark rooms for me! If I don’t have light, I start wilting.
I guess that explains why I emphasize the effects of light in my paintings so much. I love the way light plays with natural objects – how it glows through flower petals, revealing the intricate veining within (detail of Crocus Alive and Squash Blossom Ballet).
I also love how strong light provides contrast and shadows (Lizard at 11:10 and Feather Stone Study below).
With the sharp contrasts, the object being painted stands out and shouts to be noticed. (Hello, Mr. Lizard!)
Currently, I’m working on a project that also shows strong contrasts. I’ll include a photo of the finished painting when I’m done. It’s a bit of a departure and experimental. First, I’m combining watercolor and gouache. Secondly, I wanted to try Ampersand’s Clayboard. The results are unexpected and kind of weird (in a good way). I’m having fun with it, and that’s the point of doing what you love, after all.
Our family is reeling from the news today that my little sister has a rare “benign” tumor in her upper jaw called a desmoplastic ameloblastoma. It’s so benign that she has to have 5 teeth and part of her upper jaw removed to stop the tumor from its aggressive march. And in time a bone from her hip goes into her mouth to recreate the jaw part that’s been removed. The good news is that if the procedure goes as planned, there will be no recurrence.
Nevertheless, we’re looking at a long slog here that will require lots of fortitude, moral support, and liquid foods.
But for now, we take things day by day.
The good thing is that we’re all alive, and that is a great gift.
Somehow, we always manage to pull through some really bad times and make the best of things. And laugh later, if not now! We are, after all, fighting Irish.
Still, it doesn’t stop me from wishing: “All I want for Christmas is my sister to be healthy.”
Meanwhile, the Christmas season moves ahead, and I managed to put up my tiny tree, loaded with my favorite treasures I’ve found through the last several decades.
Some of those treasures are handmade by local artisans – local, that is, to a couple of cities in Bavaria: Nurnberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Rothenburg is a fairy-tale medieval city, preserved, then bombed during WWII, then restored again. It is well-known around the world and very much loved for its charm and its year-round Christmas shops.
Although I liked wandering the cobbled streets and ogling the too-expensive items, I preferred exploring the countryside in the Tauber Valley, below the city.
The last time I visited Rothenburg was in mid-October. The leaves were changing fast, the vineyards golden in the late afternoon sunlight. It was beautiful.
Here are a couple ornaments representative of what you’d find there: