Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Beginning Of The Year

New pages, an empty book. What will we fill our brand new year with?

I have set myself a little challenge this year. A sketch a day. I often don't make time to just sketch. Normally I only roughly draw out the designs for a painting. So each day I will draw something large or tiny depending on how I'm feeling and what time is to hand. I think it will be a useful idea  as a warm up  exercise in the morning and it will spark fresh ideas as it can be drawings from life or my imagination. So by the end of the year I should have a book filled with 365 pictures which will be very interesting to look back on.

Yesterday while I was out walking, a willow tree had fallen down in the wind. I picked some branches and brought  pussy willow home (the vase in my window sill above) Spring is already on her way and soon the snowdrops will also be showing their pretty faces.
I've been day dreaming about trees and snow, foxes and bears. I 've also been watching bears on tv as many of you probably have? The Bear Family And Me with Gordon Buchanan if you missed it it's well worth catching it on BBC iplayer here.   I'm  feeling a little as if I'm related to them this winter. I'm sure I do have that hibernating gene in me somewhere!
Here's my first painting offering of the new year.
                                                                  'Across Silver Fields'
 This was actually started in late December when snow covered the ground and was inspired by our Christmas day walk.
I also have been painting some pendants. This little collection are named 'Love Trees'
They will be listed in my Etsy shop over the course of today.
I hope 2011 has begun well for everyone?
A warm welcome to new followers.


  1. I love the pendants you made. Gorgeous. And funny, you have the same book as me. Paperblanks, my favourite, Makes it so much nicer to write your thoughts or sketch in a pretty diary :-)

  2. I loved the idea of making a drawing a day.
    And your paintings are all beautiful, as well has everything about this blog.

  3. I set out an art journal for myself and had hoped that I would do something in it each day, I've failed already. Love that you plan to do a sketch a day what a wonderful collection of work you'd have by the end of the year.

  4. Love the new painting! And pendants! And your windowsill! :))

  5. Hello! Your idea of drawing every day in the Book With the Beautiful Cover is wonderful! It will remain as a sweet remembrance of 2011! The white, pure sheets are tempting, I suppose!:) So, let inspiration be with you all year long! As well as health, love, joy and good luck for you and your family!
    I like your first drawing for the year! I just wonder why this foxie is hurrying so much?...:)
    And the pendants are lovely, like everything, created by you!

  6. Laura...Thanks :) paper blanks are lovely aren't they. Almost too good to use. ;)

    Margarida...Thank you x

    Dyche designs...It is hard to keep up these things that we promise ourselves at the beginning of a new year. It's only early still though and you could still keep your journal going. Maybe weekly? :)

    Inmost light... Thank you Victoria :) x

  7. Rosshika... Thank you :) x
    I hope 2011 is the same for you also.
    I'm not sure why the fox is hurrying? Maybe he has a magical meeting to attend? ;)

  8. Beautiful window sill filled with so many things of nature. Adore the new painting, and your tree pendents. Your inspiration book is a great idea. Thanks Karen for a lovely post. Robin.

  9. Happy New year. Good to see new posts.
    I knew someone, a bit odd someone, who drew in a small square on a board every morning with her eyes shut (that's the odd bit.)Later she'd inscribe the drawing more deeply and paint it. By the end of the year that board was really something.--hart

  10. Thanks Robin you are welcome :)

    Hart...Well that is a rather unusual idea, how wonderful.
    A happy new year to you too. :)

  11. I'm sure it will be a huge pleasure sketching in such a beautiful book Karen. I love your pussy willow - I never seem to come across it on my walks - I wish I could!

    Your pendants are gorgeous ... of course!


  12. Beautiful winter painting and tree pendants.... Living with bears over here is quite a gift... I'll give that link a try. I'm definitely in my winter hibernation moment on the last week before classes begin again.

    Winter blessings and a year full of inspiring daily sketches. I call that "stirring the imaginal cauldron", quite useful!

  13. New follower sending love and blessings to you for the new year :) I *adore* your artwork...it just takes my breathe away with it's great peace and beauty and magic...so very happy to have found your ethereal blog. Anne.x

  14. I started a sketch a day book last year, but it kind of peetered out! I'd really like to give it another go with hopefully a bit more self discipline this time! I hope you enjoy yours and do better than I did too!

  15. Cottage garden...Thank you :) x

    Valerianna.... Oh a gift it must be indeed. You live in such a beautiful place. You are indeed blessed in both respects.
    Oh I love that term 'stirring the imaginal cauldron' :)x

    Stripeycat... Welcome! It's always lovely to hear from new followers (and old one's of course! ;)
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so glad that like my work. xx

  16. Swan Artworks... I hope so too. I will try my best. ;)

  17. I love your new painting. I'm amazed that the pussy willow is already showing, I must check out the willow thicket near the woods and see if that is showing any signs yet.

  18. Unfortunately, that bear family and me link doesn't work in the US. Its happened before, something with rights and BBC or something. Anyway, I'll keep and eye out!

    A GREAT and amazing book if you are interested in bears, is called, " Amongst the Bears", by Benjamin Killham. He raised orphan bears in New Hampshire, US, not far from here. He's pretty much shaken up a lot of what folks originally thought about bears and has documented their amazing intellect....

  19. Rowan...Thankyou x
    I was a little surprised to see the pussy willowin bud, what with all the cold weather we have had. I'm sure that's not the end of it either as it is only early January. I'm hoping for a little bit more snow yet! ;)

    Valerianna.... Thanks for the book recommendation. I will check that one out. :)x

  20. The beauty of your paintings takes my breath away.
    The tree pendants I love as well.

  21. I agree with Cait above....always such breathtaking journeys into the forest....into Nature, thru the magical veil that separates reality and imagination...

    I just Love what you do :)

    I must say, hibernating comes easy for me, too...lol!

  22. I love your new painting! I'm apinting trees in a forest today with a similar feel but no snow! Your pendants are goegeous too and I'm sure they'll sell really well. I'm enjoying my bird you made, it makes me happy to see it every day :)

  23. Cait.... Thank you x

    Cameron... Thank you x Yes, me to I do love my sleep. ;)

    Jessie...Yes I popped over and saw your large painting it's looking gorgeous! So glad you like the birdie too :) x

  24. Happy new year to you, Karen! Love the new painting. :)

    Great idea with the sketches. I look forward to seeing some of the results. xo

  25. What a lovely post Karen :)
    I am a journal-aholic so your sketch a day book sounds like a great idea:)

    The painting is utterly magical..I love the way you captured the colours in the sky & yet made it feel so wintery & crisp.

    And we watched the bear program too. Wasn't it fabulous! We've been randomly saying 'hey bear...it's me bear' ever since! lol
    Such gorgeous animals.

  26. Karen, I'd love to include your blog in my Create 365 link on my site(it is already on my 'blogs to visit' link! I am, ahem, a few days behind, but am not giving up. (: Woodland peace and blessings, Amy www.happypeasant.blogspot.com

  27. a beautiful post Karen.
    i can't wait to visit your shop again, my piggy-bank need to put on just a little bit more weight ;o)

    a very happy new year to you

    love and hugs xxx


  28. Karen, your painting is mesmerizing... It's wonderful to see such beautiful art from you in the beginning of the year.

    Here's to many more inspirational paintings from you!


  29. HI Karen. Just wanted to say how lovely I think your illustrations are. Stumbled on to your blog this morning and will definitely come back. Your illustrations remind me of books I read as a child. Like you I love hares, horses, deer and all things nature!
    Dawn x

  30. The Garden Ms... Happy New year to you too. :) x

    Julia... Thanks x
    "Hey Bear" I loved the way he said that. hehe

    The Happy Peasant....
    Thankyou for offering me to be part of your 365 day project Amy. However what I'm doing is more of a personal exercise and I won't really be blog posting sketches. Good luck with yours. x

    Millie... Happy New Year! x

    Amalia...Thankyou x

    Darkislebook... Thankyou and welcome. Lovely to meet you. :)

  31. Gorgeous painting! A wonderful way to begin the new year.


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