Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas blessings

Holy Family II
Teresa Newham 2012

It's almost Christmas, and amidst the chaos of our working and domestic lives we Catholics are called to take time out and reflect on its true meaning: God made man and born of a Virgin to be our Saviour.  The Virgin Mary has been on my mind a lot during Advent; a girl no older than thirteen or fourteen, from a humble background;  chosen by God before she is born to be his own sinless mother when he takes human form.  She doesn't know this of course; and when the Angel Gabriel announces that she has been chosen to bear Jesus she could still say 'no'.  But she doesn't; she accepts God's will even though it is made clear to her that hers will not be an easy path.  Joseph, too, when he realises his betrothed is expecting a child, has to take a leap of faith, and trust in God.

We are also called to follow God's plan for us.  It's easy to say and can be incredibly difficult to do, even in the mundane circumstances of our own lives.  But if Mary and Joseph can say 'yes', can't we?

Wishing all readers of this blog blessings and peace at Christmas, and always xxx

Friday, 7 December 2012

more sketches from Kerry

During our recent stay in Kerry we spent a lot of time chilling out at our friends' house; eating, drinking, watching TV and enjoying the splendid light in their conservatory.  It was ideal for sketching, and as their home is full of interesting bits and pieces it wasn't long before these two concertinas caught my eye:

concertinas at Kilkeaveragh

 I had to try them out, of course, even though I'd never played one before.  They are intriguing instruments requiring you to use each hand in a different way.  This brought back grim memories of trying (and failing) to learn to play both hands at once on the piano.  I soon abandoned the idea of making a tune and did a little pencil sketch of them instead.

two concertinas

I enjoyed doing this so much that I cast round for something else on which to practice my drawing skills.    Amongst all the tempting items I spotted this stack of lidded baskets:

Another very happy hour soon passed.  It's not often I get the time to concentrate exclusively on drawing something like this;  unless you're in something like a life class there will always be interruptions or distractions.  It did me good to study the baskets and I produced a better drawing than I had managed with the concertinas.

baskets, Kilkeaveragh

It was a very pleasant afternoon sketching;  I must develop the discipline to do more drawing at home.  Practice, as they say, makes perfect - and you can tell I haven't been practising as much as I should!