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Another year begins ...

Tuesday 02/01/18

Debby Faulkner-Stevens

I know it's just another day on the calendar, but there is something rather exciting about seeing twelve new months stretched out before you. A few dates filled in, but the rest a lovely blank surprise.. No resolutions, no expectations - let's see what happens!



It does seem a long time since I picked up a paintbrush in earnest.
December is generally taken up with producing handmade or drawn gifts for the family. The children's story books - this year unicorns for Izabella and aliens for Ethan - take almost two weeks each, with pages of handwritten text and cartoon like illustrations on every page. It's always a panic to get them done in time for the big day, but I always get there by the skin of my teeth and, despite the stress and sore knees ( I end up drawing them kneeling on the floor in my studio which is the most comfortable position - at the time ) I thoroughly enjoy it and they look forward to reading them and spotting themselves in the illustrations, so it's all worthwhile.
There is always a Christmas picture for Alan - generally a miniature - but this year he had a wintry fairy like lady with holly and swirly white drapery for a change, and I had a complete change of direction for our daughter and son in laws gift. Silhouette portraits of the grandchildren. I had been wanting to experiment with a silhouette for some time, and on a pre Christmas trip to the antique fair at the NEC, I fell into conversation with a dealer who specialised in portrait miniatures and I was able to study some Georgian silhouettes up close and try to absorb the look and feel of them and get an idea of how to approach the task .
As it turned out, getting the children to sit still so I could take a picture of them in profile was the hardest part!
The resulting portraits were relatively easy and certainly a lot quicker to produce than my usual work, and I was quietly pleased with the result. Of course, the subject matter was delightful and it certainly helps knowing the character of your subjects when trying to get a good likeness in such a restrictive style .

And so - back to work I go. A few ideas, a few deadlines to meet, but other than that I'm free wheeling this year as I have  a feeling I am going to be taken off in a rather exciting direction before too long .....

 
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