Fast and Furious December

                                                          Lush Desert
 This is one of several canvases I am struggling to finish.

December felt like such an odd month, a limbo month as the year begins to wind down and the January break promises adventures and rest in the new year. Then the calm before the storm is over and December rears its busy head in earnest. This December has been especially busy with my son graduating Primary School and getting ready for High School, something I didn't except to be so emotionally battered by. Honestly I'm wondering who has time for Christmas. The only Christmas shopping I've done so far was for my son's teachers and they weren't really Christmas presents but more gifts of undying gratitude for those few teachers who protected my son's spirit over the last few years instead of trying to snub it (as some others did). Today when I went up to the school to say thank you to his teacher I couldn't even get the words out as the tears streamed- I wasn't expecting that.

Fast and Furious Still Lives:
                                       Gardenia Sketch 1

                         Gardenia Sketch 2

My garden is filled with natural bush which gives the impression of a rain forest and is as low maintance as it can get (except for the aftermath of the purple snow season we just had brought on by the beautiful Jacarandas). I have a tiny patch of garden to plant into and have jam packed it with Gardenias and one white Camillia for winter. This year with the deluge of rain we've had the Gardenias have bloomed early and I got to enjoy them (usually they bloom in Jan when I'm away). I am astounded and just how lush and magnificent they are. Though not the easiest to paint, I attempted two fast and furious paint sketches of them.
I also ambitiously thought I could make Chrissy cards this year but didn't get very far- not sure any will make it into the post at this late date :(  Longing for a quiet moment to curl up with this beautiful book by Angie Lewin, hopefully by March. Absolutely inspiring.
 
My Thai Mandala, collaged out of photos I took in Thailand and a few bits of memorabilia we brought back.