Wrapping up the year. . .

Katie and Kai  .  14 x 18  .  oil on linen canvas
Amazing (isn't it ?) that another year has come and not-quite-gone!  Steady work since August had kept me from looking up, and before I knew it Christmas was here.  How grateful I am for the opportunities folks have sent my way this past year.  Impromptu sales, commissions and challenging work filled my cup to nearly running over, signaling, perhaps, that I'm actually doing what I should be doing after all. 

There's a cyclical lull right after Christmas and most artists I know prepare for it.  It gives us the opportunity to organize, strategize, take stock, and make plans and dreams, chart our course, if you will.  The time at the easel is just a tiny portion of what it takes, as I'm sure you know.  The other demands of marketing, varnishing, prepping supports, framing, taking inventory and making sure you are tracking your work. . .well, you know, the happy chaos continues!  Let's not even talk about tax time being around the corner.  Smile.   

The painting above, Katie and Kai, traveled to California to be under the Christmas tree for dad.  A mother's joyful love, the light in her eye for her children, reminds us what love, family and tradition is all about, and Katie comes from a large family rich with love. Excitement and fun were both in the air as this secret Santa commissioned portrait came into being. . .

Evening Falls Softly .  8 x 10  .  oil on linen
Bailey Island, Maine, offers up some spectacular sunsets!  This commission gave me a chance to paint the myriad of colors a sunset can provide, along with water, the far off islands and the rocky coast.  How lucky can a girl get?  Also a Christmas surprise, I'm still thrilled when paintings are planned and executed in secret. Coastal people are treated to such wonders every day - I feel safe to say it's one of the reasons so many flock to the coast when time allows.  
Maine's coastal beauty is lovingly captured in photos by a man I follow on Instagram, Dan Dishner, www.coffeeontheporchme.com/ -  his story is interesting, involving roasting coffee and delivering plus teaching school - but his photos of the harbors, etc., are breathtaking.  Look him up.  I think he also has a Facebook page, Coffee on the Porch.  I'm sure his coffee is equally as good!

I was able to squeak in the annual Moose painting before the festivities began:

I haven't even given this a proper title yet, so if you come up with one, please feel free to comment, suggest!  This painting is a bit more realistic than the last few years - not sure how that happened, but it did!   The inspiration was from a photo taken by Gene Bias, who has graciously given me permission and rights to his Alaska photos.  I made the scene more wintry, as his original was taken in August with just a smidge of snow and green grass!  Since we've already had a snow here in Winston-Salem, my mind was on a more snowy look.  There's just something about a Moose, eh?  I just love their distinct look. . .

The 2016 Moose graced my Christmas cards last year!
Yes, Moose crazy.

I'm really wishing for a more peaceful world this next year. . .I send my very best thoughts and wishes of good health, prosperity and love to all who drop in on this blog.  Know that your visits, emails, comments, appreciation and patronage are deeply felt by this artist. Living in the solitude bubble of making art, you are my life-line, my link to the goodness of humanity and the faithfulness of friends.

Note:  find me on Instagram now!  Sandy Donn sandydonnart

Peace and love to all. . . 


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