I have always found that leaving one calendar year and entering another is a good time for reflection.
As an artist, I am aware that all of life is interconnected. There are no lines around anything, and as I often point out when teaching…to change one tiny portion of a painting, is to change the whole. This same principle applies to everything in life.
With the internet and social media our interconnection is much more tangible. We can communicate with people from around the globe in a way that has never been possible before.
As the environmentalist, David Suzuki says,
‘The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.’
Many indigenous peoples, saw the hummingbird as a connection with nature and the unseen worlds.
This past calendar year has been a good one for me and has been all about ‘interconnection’.
Through Facebook I have connected with Axlepin Publishing, and through Axlepin I have connected with some brilliant writers, poets, painters and photographers from around the world.
Early in the year, again through FB, I connected with a fascinating woman in Dubai, who suggested that I contact her son who is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in London. This lead to a meeting with Arsha Kaviani – an extraordinarily gifted composer, pianist, which in turn led to my painting his portrait.
I had two fun visits from my friend and fellow artist, Suzy Davidson from S. Africa. I first met Suzy when I house/studio/animal sat for her seven years ago in a wonderful place outside of Brussells.
This ‘still life’ represents an inside joke, which only Suzy will fully appreciate:) For me, it represents a wonderful memory.
Last February I visited my friend Helga and her two lovely cats in Vienna….This time around we took the train to Semmering, a delightful place in the lower mountains of Austria…not much more than a two hour train journey from Vienna. It was snowing and cold….and very beautiful.
Helga taking a mid afternoon picture in Semmering.
I also spent a long weekend with my old art college friend Maureen Poynter Franklyn. We were reunited through FB after not having seen one another for 47 years! Five minutes in one another’s company, and it was as if no time had gone by:)
I took this photograph in an ancient Dorset church when visiting Maureen last spring.
I visited and painted portraits of my friends Mick and Gail. We have known one another since we were young children. Our lives are intertwined in so many ways.
Gail Duff…writer, performer, musician, therapist and dear friend.
Mick Duff. Photographer, performer, musician and dear friend.
I had a wonderful surprise in August when my friends, The Kearnsclan called to say that their daughter, Catherine was to be married in October, and that they would be sending tickets for me to attend!
I was at Lynn and Stratton’s (the parents) wedding in 1977, and have known their four children since they were born….they are family to me.
I painted this large watercolour of Catherine, the day before the wedding. A very special moment.
It was a joyful affair…full of love and laughter….this picture shows the bride and groom and wedding party…..
Given that I was in the States, I also visited my beautiful daughter, Christie and my equally beautiful niece Kate and her husband and the the twins, in Ipswich, Mass……and we had so much fun.
Photograph of Kate, Christie and Grace in front of a mural in Ipswich, Mass.
Me painting with the glorious twins…..a very happy moment.
On the same trip, I saw other friends who I haven’t seen since 1968! Once again we found one another through FB…..oh the power of the internet.
A photograph taken in 1967 when we were neighbours living on Staten Island, New York. Helen and I were wearing costumes…a special memory.
This joyful picture is of Carmella….a budding young artist who lives outside of West Chester, Pennsylvania. I have known her grandparents since 1974, and can remember the day that my daughter and I delivered a baby present to Carmella’s mother….Ruby.
Thanks to FB and the internet, we are all still able to be in touch and enjoy special moments like this one.
There were many more special moments in the past year. T hese were some of the highlights.
Tomorrow, New Years Eve, I will talk about my hopes and wishes for the coming year.