December 2014

Below is is my final (December) oil on canvas for my 'Unique Picturebook Calendar 2014', due for launch around Easter this year. Below it is my subtext narrative and verse.

This current year (2013) calendar was produced as a joint effort including my landscape pastel paintings with my friend Eoghain Maclean's wildlife photographs. It proved very successful and was sold out to the shops by the end of August. However some folk said they would prefer one or the other, so for 2014 Eoghain is producing his and me mine once again; it'll be my sixth year of calendar production and I'll soon be putting it up for sale on www.picturesandpoems.co.uk.

I can think of two people who may recognise the viewpoint ...this is the verse to go with it ...



This Winter world around Loch Ewe lies, still,
and glorious the sky these north lights bring
then you can feel the ages in these hills,
the birth, the re-birth of all living things.
so you just know this earth is living, too.
she breathes; each breath a turning season long;
although in ways unknown to me and you
she hears and shares the rhythm of life's song.
but yet how strong, how long north winds can blow,
(whilst winter snows cloak those old Torridons,)
and sometimes raging seas down sea lochs flow
through long dark nights when little comfort comes.

It matters not! how perfect our world is,
how sweet her blessing, soft her bedtime kiss.

And this the narrative for December 2014 ...


Sometimes on a cold, clear, windless night between November and February the famous Aurora Borealis will appear in our northern skies. We leave the curtains open, just in case, but have seen a proper one only four times in the ten years we have lived here. There’s no telling which of all the colours will predominate or whether the roll-down sheets, flashes and the ethereal glow will consist only of a single colour. Whatever, you can imagine the effect on our ancestors who didn’t have our present day understanding of its background science. I thought to end our journey through 2014 with this night time scene because the nights here in December last for eighteen hours - and because there can be few sights on earth more splendid than the full blown Aurora Borealis.
Thank you for coming along with me through a cycle of seasons in the Scottish Highlands. By the time you’re reading this I hope I’ll have completed another twelve paintings and another twelve little verses for my ‘Unique Pictures and Poems’ calendar 2015. As says the poet, “Come on along o’ me for the best is yet to be’. Well we can all hope so!


 

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