Christmas Art Countdown – Day 17

I love poinsettias at this time of year. I started out with the red until I found other varieties like the splashed white, and the pale red ones. Several years ago I discovered the pink ones. There were so many different versions of the pink ones, too. The “hotter” the pink, the better.

Last year, we had just moved to Florida and I couldn’t find the pink ones anywhere. Everywhere I went, there were red poinsettias. No pink. I missed my pink poinsettias. It was tough to keep them healthy as indoor plants when we lived up North. They would get buggy eventually so all my pink ones from 2018 died and I wasn’t able to bring any with us. We have three red ones left over from last year and they are just getting ready to flip over from green to red. I think we got these at Lowe’s and they were considered “garden” poinsettias. It’s definitely different to experience Christmas in Florida!

2020, although a tough year, did have some bright spots. My husband found pink poinsettias at Home Depot, of all places! And they are PINK! He brought home a couple as a surprise. I was so excited, we ran to get a few more. I gave one to the elderly lady down the street who was diagnosed with cancer this year. Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t do the things we would have normally done like baked something or paid her a few visits, the most we are able to do is say “hi” from the bottom of her driveway. I have been wanting to get her a bouquet or something and the pink poinsettia seemed to be just what was needed. She loves it.

Home Depot had quite a few stunners and we have them around the lanai, pool and two in the entry way. This one is on the table near the pool. I could have picked many different ways to interpret the prompt “poinsettia” but this gave me the excuse I needed to immortalize one of them and do it the old fashioned way, with a sketch.


Christmas Art Countdown – Day 16

As I post these on social media, I have been putting the shopping days left to Christmas, too. In one of the responses I received, from a woman in the Netherlands, she said that they only had one day of shopping left since the Netherlands folks were going on lockdown again. My heart went out to her. All I could say was “bummer.” Especially since it is getting colder and with snow in many areas, people won’t even be able to get out for winter activities.

My one offer of comfort is I hope that folks have plenty of coffee, tea and cocoa. This could be a time of trying new things like Afternoon Tea. It doesn’t even need to be fancy, but just taking time to sit down and do nothing but enjoying the tea (or coffee). Put in some peppermint for a treat. Go to the Food Network website for some treat ideas or check an issue of Tea Time magazine. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, I can think of no place better to cozy up to read a good book. I am reading Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton. I am also listening to her podcast. It’s very soothing.

If you are getting snow this week, lucky you. It may mean you’ll have a snowy white Christmas.

Christmas Art Countdown Day 15

The prompt for today is scarf….and we had a small warbler fly into the house this afternoon. I had the side door of the garage open and I heard my father-in-law say something about a bird. A little guy had flown into the house. My husband thought it was a sparrow but this little fellow had a bug catching beak. He had some color but not much, a tinge of yellow. He didn’t seem to be afraid of us. He flew across the house into our bedroom where he hid under the pillows. There are a LOT of raptors in the neighborhood so there is a good chance he was pursued and ducked into the garage for safety. We have a ton of palm warblers in the area and this little fellow looked like one although he wasn’t shaking his booty in the house.

We helped him leave the house through a window. I could hear a whole bunch of the warblers outside so I imagine his little tribe was looking for him. This time of year in our part of Florida, we get a lot of the palm warblers. They have a small thin reedy “peep” and they can make a little bit of a racket when there is a bunch of them. When I am sitting at my desk, or out on the lanai, I’ll hear their peep noises. They are adorable. They do a little butt bounce that makes them look like they have a nervous twitch. They love bugs and pig out on our lawn or refresh themselves in the birdbath.

This chubby fellow isn’t a palm warbler but he has personality. Why draw just a scarf when you can put one on a cardinal.

Christmas Art Countdown Day 14

The prompt is “sing” and every time I see the word “sing,” I think of the New Year’s Eve performance of My Chemical Romance. Maybe we all need to sing, for the WHOLE WORLD. Sing it from the heart, sing for the planet, sing for all species, sing for the whales and the manatees, sing for the polar bears and the tigers, sing for all endangered species…sing for clean water, sing for the babies of all species who are born on an ailing planet. Sing for resolution of climate change, sing for our future, sing for peace, sing for love…..sing for all these things.

Just sing…..

Christmas Art Countdown Day 12

Here’s a little toast for me making it halfway through the challenge AND I got my holiday ‘Zine completed. WOOOHOOO.

As I was finishing up my ‘Zine and getting it printed and assembled, I listened to Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” conducted by Eugene Ormandy. The memories of my childhood came flooding back. The fact that I know who Eugene Ormandy is makes me long for that time when I could go to the Tower Records Classical Music Store and shop for my favorite conductors. I don’t know many people today who listen to classical music. What a shame.

Here’s a toast to simpler times.

Christmas Art Countdown Day 9

I started my day working on my iPad this morning, trying to get ahead of some designs. Before I knew it, I ran low on battery power. I figured this was the perfect time to get my post written, while the iPad is recharging.

One thing about being an artist is I never seem to have enough desk space. I could have a whole room of counter space and I think I would still feel cramped. I tried to type this with a sketchbook on my desk until I realized that trying to type over the sketchbook was causing a lot of typos.

It’s cold here in Florida. OK, for those of you scoffing in the Northeast, it’s in the low 40’s overnight here. You would be cold in the NE, too. Orlando got down into the 30’s. For those of you who are not as familiar with Florida as you think you are…we DO get seasons down here. Not like you do up North, but trees actually lose leaves here. The one in our backyard is funny. When it gets cold I swear it just dumps leaves over night like a whomping willow. John and I were out doing some shopping this evening and we were like, “sheesh, it feels like Long Island!” This cool weather will come and go until March. On the bright side, at least it FEELS like Christmas. We do cover plants that might get cranky when it is cool. Oh, and Florida CAN get snow, at least in North Florida, like Jacksonville or Tallahassee. I live at the top of South Florida, just below the “frost line” where supposedly you don’t get frost. That’s a load of crap, too, because parts of South Florida, like the Lake Okeechobee area, can get frost and they have a frost warning up tonight for those in frost prone areas.

The manatees are the true Floridas. They bug out and head for warmer waters. They might be chubby but they do not like the cold.

Here’s the perfect sketch for cold weather…..

Christmas Art Countdown Day 8

Day 8 came to me after a bit of writing on and entirely different subject. I wrote a quick story about Christmas Eve with my husband’s family and sat in bed thinking of what I could do for Mistletoe and I pulled out my ipad and sketched this idea. When I got up, this is what came of that sketch. I find that straddling different forms of creative expression can help pollinate another form of creative expression to come up with ideas that would not have happened otherwise.