Happy New Year!  Yes, it is I, the prodigal blogger, back for one night only to wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous, peaceful 2012 free of all asteroids, pole switches, super volcanoes or whatever disaster it was the Mayans thought we had coming this year…

This past autumn and winter have been busy busy busy for me with the onset of grad school madness, hence the complete and utter death of my artistic life, sadly.  That’s not entirely true… I did enter a couple paintings in one more – the fourth of the year! – exhibition, at Peacock Visual Arts here in Aberdeen, for their enormous 500+ strong Winter Exhibition.  It was an excellent if slightly overwhelming show and an honour to be included amongst so many talented local artists.

But other than that, it wasn’t until today that I finally had some time to do some painting.  That too isn’t entirely true… I actually ought to be reading and doing all manner of things for my psych experiments and literature reviews due in January, but I figured it being New Years Day, I could take the day off guilt-free and hit the salt mines again tomorrow…

I had really wanted to take part in the Virtual Paintout challenge for December, the location for which was Eureka, California.  Given that December is holiday month, and given that I always get horrifically homesick this time of the year, I was relishing sitting down and browsing through Google Streetviews of good ol’ northern California.  But there were final projects for grad school, there was Christmas shopping, and I just didn’t get to it until today… when it’s too late to enter it in VP.  But that’s okay, I still got the pleasure of a virtual trip home(ish), and the sight of sunshine and redwoods did this California girl’s homesick heart the world of good.

I ended up doing a painting of a road lined with redwoods.  My camera just could not get a decent shot of this painting tonight, I’m afraid, and no amount of Photoshopping seemed to help, sorry.

Redwoods & Sunshine

Redwoods & Sunshine

But you get the gist.  Everyone always thinks of palm trees when they think of California, but if you grew up in northern California as I did, the redwood tree is another staple tree.  This particular image reminded me of a camping trip I went on with a friend about a decade ago.  We went up to Canada and I remember mainly how incredibly cold, even in the middle of summer, it was the whole time.  At one point I think I was wearing every item of clothing I’d brought with me + some of my friend’s, and I was STILL frozen.  On our last night, back in California at last, we stayed the night in a redwood forest somewhere near where this Google Streetview source photo was taken.  For the first time on that trip, I was actually pleasantly warm, and I remember lying in the tent listening to the redwoods creaking as they swayed gently in the breeze.  It was heaven.  The rest of the trip convinced me that I am definitely not a camper; but that night is a pleasant memory – and I was so happy to be back on California soil…

In other news, I have finished the Mermaid painting I showed as a work in progress earlier.  It’s one of the paintings that went into the Peacock Exhibition.  I’m quite pleased with how it looked in the frame too.  Prints of this painting are also available for sale on my various shops (see sidebar for links).


Mermaid (Framed)

2011 was a good year for me artistically – my first exhibitions, I started up virtual shopfronts, I have sold paintings and prints and made friends in the local art scene.  2012 will unfortunately have to be spent focusing on my psychology degree instead.  However, I am determined that I will find time in the coming year to do some painting – for my own sanity!