Ackee #5

SAM_1693

Oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″

In my ackee! That’s a Jamaican expression for being totally happy with the way things are, and that is exactly the case for me these days; I’m not doing any Christmas preparations other than painting. I’m so appreciative not to be out in heavy traffic and the dealing with the stress that goes with congested roads and stressed-out drivers, or going from place to place buying stuff, or cooking lunches and dinners, or making any more sorrel, or wrapping  a mountain of presents, or doing anything at all other than painting. It has to be the best way to spend Christmas, being at home with my Blue Mountains Christmas tree lit, beautiful seasonal music playing choirs and Handel and harmoniously-arranged carols on my favorite Irish radio program, and painting…

SAM_1694

detail

Tomorrow morning we’ll finish the last of the fruits and have a cup of coffee in the cool air of the garden, bringing in Christmas morning with peace and calm and love, and then head to the airport to fly out on what we reckon will be a very quiet airplane, and travel through almost empty airports, and land in Canada to walk in downtown Toronto on Christmas night. I cannot wait to see all the lights and street decorations, and check into a luxurious hotel, and feel cold weather and see my breath come out in little clouds, and wear the warm gloves and snuggly jacket and fur-lined boots a dear friend lent me of the occasion, and find a restaurant and order a delicious meal – in my ackee!

SAM_1695

detail

Ackee study # 4

SAM_1678

Oil on canvas, 8″ x 12″

I like this one; simple strokes, fresh surface, not overpainted, good feeling of light…nice to sometimes feel that I’m making progress. And the best thing about it is that it’s that mad Christmas rush time, and I’m not participating in it, but rather taking the time to paint and be quiet. So nice : )

Morning Walk

SAM_1604

Oil on canvas, 58″ x 42″

There’s a quiet gentle hill a few minutes from my home, and in the mornings when I get up in time I walk up and down for half an hour or so, starting the day with fresh morning air. Now that it’s officially winter it’s been a little cooler than usual, and it’s felt heavenly.

I started this painting months ago but only recently managed to finish it. The thunbergia vine is not quite so abundant on my walk, but I remember a teaching spot I used years ago, a concrete table under a trellis of these lovely flowers, so I wanted to show them in their beauty, and not be hampered by the reality of the roadside that inspired this piece. Despite the exaggeration, the outskirts of Kingston city that lie at the foothills of the Blue Mountains often do have a real feel of ‘country’…