So! there's a big sign at each end of the High Street saying the street will be closed for three hours on Thursday evening - for the switching on of the Christmas lights, and for the Christmas market, with stalls selling goodies and things for Christmas presents. So, the festive season has hit Peebles! I hate Christmas starting so early, and let's face it, our shops have been full of tinsel and sparkle for weeks already! By Christmas I've had enough of it! Had enough of the ho ho ho, here comes Santa Claus. I'm not a religious person, but what happened to the story of the baby in the manger? Isn't that what it was all about? It's just too big and too commercialised in the western world today and I hate it! Don't get me wrong... I like giving presents (and receiving them too) but there's no need to spend lots of money on them. So, friends and rellies, don't!!!!! Well, not on me, at any rate!
Today was Joe's art class again! How the weeks are flying by! We painted boats this week - rowing boats - bobbing on an early morning sea! I was quite pleased with the sketch I made but once again, painting ruined it! Joe spent a bit of time with me demonstrating the washes that made the sky in the distance and mid distance, and the sea. This is quite a different type of painting to what I did all those years ago at school! I mean, colours have funny names - like raw sienna, burnt sienna and burnt umber, which mean very little to me as it is such a long time since I was at school painting still life arrangements or flowers. We must have done some landscape stuff as I remember learning about things in the distance appearing smaller than in the foreground - which reminds me of a family story from the 1800s, written down by my great grand-uncle James about his brother Charles, another great grand-uncle. It appears that one day while visiting relations in Wigtown, a very young Charles was playing on the beach when he saw what he thought were fairy folk, also on the beach. To the amusement of his parents and older brothers the "fairy folk" turned out to be a group of fishermen away in the very far distance!
Anyway, here is Joe's painting of boats opposite the island of Lindisfarne. He mounted it in a frame for us to see this time, after he had demonstrated the various stages.
Do you remember last week's picture? Today I went around looking at other peoples' efforts and realised that the lady I was sitting next to is a wonderful artist! Here's her picture on the right beside Joe's! Two quite distinctive styles.
I really do find controlling the brush a big problem, which is why I think I would get on better with thick paint - acrylics or oils - where I can be a bit less finicky about the detail! Still, it's a good exercise - as an old friend in Yorkshire used to say!
Thinking about old friends made me think just now of Janet and Ray - old friends in the sense that I have known them for a lot of years! They just got back from a trip to Egypt, where they developed gyppy tummies, eventually feeling so rotten that they cut short their visit and flew home early. At least they had the best part, cruising down the Nile from Luxor, and sightseeing - all those tombs and temples! Wow! Welcome back, the two of you!
I must tell you about the present Janet gave me when I visited them a few weeks ago now. Janet printed out all my Antipodean blogs, complete with photos, and put them into a ring-binder file for me! I was so thrilled to bits to have it, so now I can just pick it up and leaf through it every now and again to remind me of the great time I had! It's odd how little details have already faded, but the book brings everything right back! What a gift! Thanks again, Janet! I'm still loving it!
Well, once again I am burning the midnight oil, so I think I should be heading for bed! A day off tomorrow! Still trying to decide what to do with it! There's lots to do at home here, but I can't be bothered tackling it! I'll see what the weather does first then I'll see if it's going to be a stay at home day or a go out one!
All for now then.
Talk again soon!