The New Year dawns grey and soft over the marshes of Georgia, with wood storks sailing high and exquisite little American Goldfinches rushing to feast on the sunflower seeds in the feeders. 2014 - it starts beautifully and gently. Today is one version of the wide marshland world, but the memory of so many others underpins today's views.
It is one of those times when art is more a concept than an action: there do not seem to be enough hours in the day to paint or draw at the moment, But that will change as everything in life comes in cycles. It is a time instead to reach out to other artists, to seek opportunities to share with others the art that I have created in past months and years. That aspect of being an artist is full of fascinations and rewards too: some of my most delightful friends are fellow artists, some of whom I only know via the Internet and telephone. But their art is eloquent and tells of their inner soul.
Thinking ahead to the New Year and art endeavours is always exciting - an Artist Residency in Portugal ahead, perhaps others in France if I get accepted, landscapes to celebrate in paint, silverpoint drawings to develop. Always with the thought that nature, in its wonder and diversity, is the lodestar of my art, for I never tire of its incredible detail and grandiose complexity. Perhaps the thought of enormous climatic changes impending lends urgency to my desire to celebrate the natural world around me that I know and love so deeply.
I came across a quote that I had jotted down on a Post-It note ages ago: I don't know whence it comes and for once, Google does not help me find its source: "And those that limned with magic brush, The fleeting joys of earth."
So many wonderful artists down the ages, from 30,000 years ago until today, who give us joy with their magic brushes - it is a heritage for which we are all the richer, and one which each of us needs to celebrate, mindful of the "fleeting joys of earth".
Somehow, it seems part of an appropriate New Year toast to my friends and my fellow artists as I wish everyone Molts d'Anys, Happy New Year!