Christmas and Winter Solstice in Connecticut

Christmas card 2018

This is my family and I celebrate them all year long and especially at Christmas. There is so much love here. My son Joe and his wife Aurora are expecting a baby in February and I am so excited that I will become a grandma. I am so happy about having a baby join the family. My daughter Marianne is going to become an aunt and that is special for her too.

Christmas cactus 2018

My Christmas cactus is blooming in the big window in the livingroom. I bought it at a lovely florist shop last year in November while waiting for the yarn shop next door to open. If there was an early bird, that would be me. This is the first year it has bloomed for me and I love the first sign of buds when they appear.

Last night I attended the winter solstice mandala celebration hosted by my friend Kathryn Costa of True North Arts here and the 100 Mandalas community here. It was a live video conference and during the event we had time to color the seed mandala that Kathryn had provided us beforehand. The words just flowed out for me and creating this winter solstice mandala gave me a very peaceful feeling.

Art Journaling – Medicine Wheel

Art journal wheel

This piece was loosely inspired by the Medicine Wheel which is used by Native American tribes for health and healing. The four quadrants of the circle represent the Four Directions: East, South, West, and North.

Different tribes have different interpretations for the Medicine Wheel. Each direction typically has a distinctive color and each direction can represent a number of different concepts, for example stages of life, seasons of the year, aspects of life, or elements of nature.

On Friday night, while drifting off between awake and asleep, I had a vision of what I wanted to create the next day. I reached for the pad and pen on my nightstand, drew a circle with a horizontal and a vertical line, and wrote the words four seasons. When I looked at the piece of paper the next day, I realized that this was a Medicine Wheel.

I went through my day thinking about this in the back of my mind. I work intuitively and don’t have any plan when I sit down to make art. Then I thought about what a friend said to me the other day when we were talking about upcoming weekend plans… “No plan is the best plan – just go with the flow. Something good always comes up.”

When I was ready, I decided to work at the dining room table instead of in my art studio downstairs. I gathered up my new Canson CP 140lb art journal, my portable art tote, my Derwent intense blocks, and later on my bin of stamp pads. I don’t know how to explain how this piece happened, because it just did.

It’s a very simple piece and it reflects how I feel right now. It also reflects who I am as an artist. I was quite happy with this when it was finished. It marks a lot of new beginnings for me, both in my art and in my life.