Where has this year gone? Didn't seem like two minutes since we were welcoming 2016 and now I think most people are happy we are nearing the end of what has turned out to be a bit of a rubbish year, really. Me included. I lost one of my dear friends to the dreaded Big C in August after a short illness. She was only 62 which is no age at all and had so many years left to enjoy her retirement but someone upstairs decided it was not to be.
So it was with this in mind that I produced my 2017 slim kitchen calendar and have dedicated it to my dear friend, Joyce Hunt, and will be donating 10% of all proceeds to Cancer Research UK. If you fancy buying one, they are only £6.95 each (more info here). A really lovely addition to anyone's kitchen wall. And should you wonder at all which famous artist you might share your birthday with, the calendar includes many of the great masters' date and year of birth. Very interesting indeed to flick through the calendar to see the high concentration of artist's birthdays in particular months and none in others.
Anyhow, apart from calendars I have been incredibly busy with commissions and have fitted a couple of daily paintings in as well - Basil & Tomato and Petit Dejeuner - both lovely foodie subjects. These popular little paintings are the subject of this year's calendar, by the way! Forgot to mention that earlier. I shall, of course, be doing more daily paintings in the new year so if you have any particular food and drink combinations you wish me to paint feel free to let me know. I have also done some small daily painting commissions, too. Three particular items that sum up that person. These go down very well for special birthdays or anniversaries as they very specific to that individual. Lovely idea and worth thinking of as they are not too expensive, either. They come framed and mounted, too. Below is a small selection of some of the artwork I have completed so far this year - what an eclectic mix. Aside from painting my own art, commissions can bring a real diverse bag of subjects and you never know what you are going to get next. It is all good, of course, as it also stretches me as an artist. There are some more wonderful commissions to show you but they are currently under wraps as they are surprise gifts for people, many for Christmas. Don't worry I will ensure they are shared with you all once the recipient has got it hanging on their wall.
So this is where I am at currently, busy doing commissions around my family life and of course we have the run up to Christmas, too, which is always a frantic time both personally and professionally. This year, for the first time, we shall be sitting down as a family to eat our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, for a change, as recommended by a friend. She said it worked so well they will be doing it again this year. That way it takes all the pressure off for Xmas day as there is enough going on with gifts, visitors, etc. Christmas day we shall enjoy a nice champagne brunch, perhaps and a luxurious buffet later in the day. A chilled Xmas day is in order this year. What are you doing this year?
I have lots to look forward to in 2017 - both artistically and personally. I am reaching the big Five Oh. Can't believe it, I still feel about thirty! This means all my contemporaries will be 50, too, so lots of parties are in store, I suspect. On a professional level, watch this space as I will be doing a particular painting with a texture twist. I have a feeling that once I have done this one and people get wind of what has been created, I will be doing more of them... can't tell you yet, though, but I am so looking forward to this project.
In case I don't get chance before the festivities begin, I would like to wish you all a peaceful Xmas (I know it's only November but better ear;ly than not at all) and I hope for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017 for everyone. Heaven knows we could do with it after what this year has brought us. Bye bye 2016.