last post of 2016

I  re-joined Instagram last year  and posted a countdown to Christmas, a digital advent calendar. So I thought I would do a repeat performance this year.  I was going to try to do an original piece of art for each day but I failed on the first day. The simple felt angel expanded into a piece that was at least 3 times bigger, sparkling with sequins, lace  and  beads. In my mind’s eye, I would have liked to have made it huge but in practice, a lap size was achievable. The 2nd piece was simpler but just as big. I did find out that my ability with the sewing machine was seriously lacking with not a single  non wiggling line.  With the third and last piece, I just went overboard with the sequins, beads and collage. In my head, I saw a Christmas tree competing with the stars of the Universe as I remembered my feelings from childhood. Again I would love to have made it HUGE but even this size took several days to complete. The Christmas tree and the Angels WERE Christmas to me plus the nativity scene at the school play. I always wanted to be an angel but alas it was never to be. I was going to do a nativity scene but failed miserably but I know what I want to achieve so maybe that will be big one next year!  Below are the pictures I posted each day. It was surprisingly hard to post every day.

In the end, December wasn’t as productive as I would have like it. October and November flew by in haze of non activity or nearly. I managed to attend 4 paint out events and 1 open competition in San Angelo. I wasn’t planning to paint at San Angelo as I am not really in the competitions as I know I am unlikely to win anything. I realised quite late in life that one of the reasons I fail to do a lot of things is because I hate being a loser. I know you should just enjoy joining in but doesn’t help with the disappointment as you are passed over again 😦  I will do it again next year.

20161029_115655_richtonehdr

My entry.

There was an entry submitted competition which lasted a week and an open quick draw competition on the closing Saturday for other artists.  It was really interesting to see the work of the accepted artists and the quick draw contestants which made me realise how far I have to go with plein air painting. The only issue I had with the competition is that it was judged by one artist, rather than a panel.  Also after a morning of painting the lure of cooked food was torture as it was only for the accepted competition artists, not us lowly plebs (we had paid $10, so it not as if we just turned up). We had to wait for the lone judge to make up his mind before we could eat, so it was the middle of the afternoon before we ate. I was starving!

Apart from my Advent project and the plein air I haven’t really done much. I had started a still life  (which I mentioned in my last post) but quickly abandoned it.  Currently I am working on and hoping to complete the following still life painting  I found the hand-made rag doll in a junk shop in San Angelo.

untitled-180717

This will be the last painting for a while as I decided to sign up for an online embroidery course organised by The Embroiderers’ Guild UK.  I am going to start with the beginners course as although I have embroidered and beaded for several years, I am basically working in the dark as I do it (much as I am with painting to be honest, not a lot of teaching done in college in the late 70’s). I thought going through a structured course I might be able to extend my range to fuller extend. Life is a little distracting at home at the moment but come 6th Jan, my time is pretty much going to be  working full-time in this new direction.

I also got 2 books from Gordon this Christmas which I might work through as it should complement the embroidery course.

I already read Liz Steel’s blog ( my husband didn’t know this 🙂 )

Well this is my last post of this year.  I hope I will be more frequent next year with regular updates on my progress on the new course.

Happy 2017 (if that is possible) 

End of very bad year but I suspect it will only get worse for 2017.

adjusted

an old picture when I was more creative

So the end of the year is fast approaching and its been 3 months since I wrote on here. Unfortunately that depression just got worse as the months went by as it became apparent and then confirmed that Donald Trump was going to win the Presidency 😦

I will admit that shook me to my core. I have lived in the US for nearly 17 yrs now but I have very little contact with other Americans but listening to the folks I do know, it seemed that although they wouldn’t vote for Clinton, they wouldn’t vote for Trump either. Living in Texas, you know most people will vote republican and they would vote down ballot as republican but Trump was just a step too far. They would leave that blank. So I thought it would be close and Clinton might squeak in. I wasn’t convinced she was well, health wise (even before her collapse) , so although she was a flawed candidate  who would be subject to intense house battles, if she died in office, they had an OK VP in Tim Kaine. In the last weeks of the campaign it seemed to reverse, Trump might sneak at least a tie in the electoral college . But it was not a tie or even just a small electoral college win but a large win  😦 although he massively lost the popular vote.  Since then his actions via twitter and his cabinet picks have done nothing to allay my fears for the future.

Unfortunately, the Democrats still don’t seem to realise they lost because of Clinton, who for some reason the American public don’t like ( its been a hateful relationship since before she was even first Lady it seems and nothing she did was right for some reason, I don’t understand it myself). However, for an outsider (I was in the UK during the Clinton yrs) it was pretty obvious Clinton was not liked even during the non campaigning years ( 2012 -2014)  or she would have beaten Obama 8 yrs ago but the DNC seemed to think it was her ‘turn’ by rights. There are no options like that in politics, Gordon Brown found that out in the UK. You are a winner or a loser but not an heir apparent. Obviously the FBI actions and the Russians had a hand in it but she had lost months before when it was revealed the DNC had contrived to have her win the  nomination, making it obvious to any other candidates they would not get their support regardless of how good they might have been.  In re-electing Nancy Pelosi  minority leader of the House of Representatives, its obvious they don’t know what to do still and will now probably  follow the path of the UK Labour party’s downfall in the UK, where they seem to be in complete disarray despite a very weak Tory party.

Of course my personal bug bear, is Julian Assange. I hope he is happy because he will most definitely be stuck in that room for the next 4 yrs because Trump will definitely have him arrested if he leaves that building. He is a despicable human being in my eyes and deserves everything he gets. He might have started out with admirable intent (not convinced of that) but he has definitely warped into something else now.

My biggest disappointment is that someone like Trump got elected in the first place. Although he didn’t win the popular vote, a sizable number people did believe in his overwhelmingly hateful message, there was nothing positive about his platform.  I felt the same about the Brexit vote although I could see why British people felt overwhelm by the immigration issue.  This country is based on immigration! Trump’s parents were the result of that policy! His mother was Scottish for heaven’s sake and his both of his grandparents were German!  Of course, his campaign has revealed the not too underground current of racism in this country.

Anyway, that view from here. To be honest, the UK doesn’t look any better and its dog eat dog time in the world. Very depressing.  I would like to bury my head in the sand for the next few years but that would be irresponsible. I will just keep my fingers crossed that things aren’t as bleak as they currently look.

My next blog will be pictures (that had been my intention) I promise and I will be more upbeat!