Saturday, 27 December 2014

Drifting Towards the New Year

I have mentioned before that I am an introvert who often functions like an extrovert.  In many ways this was necessary to perform my job and now that life has changed I have been able to behave a bit more true to my nature and am enjoying that.  Still, somehow I have to find a way to balance my love of people, the deep affection and joy in the company of family and friends I hold dear, both online and off, with my persistent need to retreat and withdraw and the fact that I can and will feel regularly overwhelmed by social interactions.  The Christmas season, a time generally associated with parties and people and events and frantic shopping, is a difficult time for me even though there are many aspects of it which I enjoy.  For the past three years I have held a Winter Solstice party for a group of about ten friends, my one annual event to demonstrate my love by providing a cosy home, a warm fire and homemade food.  In my world food is love and if I love you I feed you.  I feed you things I have laboured to make giving careful consideration to your tastes and preferences.  I find this exhausting but deeply satisfying, however this year I did not have my party.  In consideration of my struggle to keep my head above water the past few months and the fact that many of my friends find this time of year overwhelmingly busy, I have deferred my party until February. 

Christmas is a very low key event in my world, for which I am grateful, and although it came and went and was quite pleasant, there is little to show or tell of it.  I enjoyed the company of my son and my parents and a little more food (chocolate) than I would normally eat  Over the past month I have mostly spent time alone, often exhausted but sometimes able to indulge in bursts of creativity.  I have done some painting.

The blue girl, while not a self portrait, seems to have been a response to hearing the news that a dear friend of my mum's has been diagnosed with cancer.  I painted Blue Girl the day I found out.

All of the colours are very much inspired by the look of winter here, and as usual the subjects are mainly just from inside my head.  The small painting is inspired by, though not a replica of, the view of sky, islands and water that I see from my windows.


  1. Love and hugs to you Shawna, so much of what you write resonates with me. Glad you got to spend time with your son and Mum and Dad over Christmas.
    Your paintings are beautiful xx

  2. Belated Merry Christmas Shawna. Glad you got to spend time with your parents and son.

    LOVE your paintings ... especially the first one! (p.s. my nephews are in Houston at the moment so you can send it on over to them to bring home to me in South AFrica!!! LOL!!!)

    Sad to hear about your Mums friend ... wishing her a speedy recovery.

  3. Lovely paintings … I always love to see what you've been creating.
    Glad you had a nice Christmas … a quiet one sounds idyllic … though not possible around my place :0)

  4. Your paintings are wonderful, especially in light of knowing how much you love color. I love the texture in both of them.

    I could have written most of this post myself! Aaah, to find that happy balance. I love alone time but am always happy to spend time with friends as long as it doesn't go on for too long, I can get overwhelmed and just tired.
    Here's to a New Year of continual refinements and enjoyment! Let's see/make more art too!

  5. These are truly wonderful, Shawna! The Blue Girl does remind you, and her face is very expressive and true. The landscape is very much what it is here, feels very alive to me. And the first one I especially love - it reminds me of Spring, so tender...

    We are pretty low key here during Christmas. I did feel a cheerful holiday spirit, but not overwhelmingly busy. I guess we just don't go to places where the main crowd spends pre-Xmas days (read: malls :)). Theaters, mainly very small and not busy... parks, trails or beaches, mainly empty, with just a few fishermen on the pier... carolers arriving on boats... shopping done mostly online...and an easy but festive meal = happy cozy peaceful family holiday. Your Solstice party sounds wonderful, and why not celebrate in February if it's better for all involved.

    I am sorry about the sad news. I do wish your dear Mum's friend a full recovery soon. With all my love xxxxxx

  6. Oh Shawna your paintings are fabulous, but the very first one is like OMG WOW WOW WOW!!! You are so talented. Small Christmas get togethers are the best, glad you spent time with your lad.

  7. Life is all about finding the right balance, I think, and learning what works for us. If a quiet time with close family is needed just now, then that's the best thing for you to do. Add some creativity, with beautiful and touching results, and that sounds like a good Christmas to me! xxx

  8. Christmas spent with family is the best. My Christmas was a bit similar to yours with my family, however a few friends also stopped by. Lovely paintings. Hope you mum's friend beats the cancer. xo

  9. Your paintings are beautiful, Shawna. What a good idea to defer your party until February, a miserable and bleak month when festivities are most welcome. xxx
    PS You can eat my pakoras. I make them in the proper Indian way using gram flour, which come from chick peas and is gluten free.

  10. Lovely paintings, and definitely in a different mood than what you've shown us before. But it's important to follow the seasons of our lives and our moods, and it sounds like you've been definitely in a winter mood. It's a good time to hibernate, which goes against all the holiday cheer, but I think it's better to celebrate when you feel like it rather than the day the calendar tells you to do it. Happy New Year, Shawna, and I hope it's full of joys and rewards!

  11. wonderful paintings!!!!!
    this tender wintery colors are just beautiful!
    in my world food is love too - our only celebration of x-mas is to make a good and healthy meal. presents are not necessary.
    i wish you a happy new year!!!!

  12. Love and love your paintings Shawna-
    So sorry about your mother's friend, darn cancer!
    Good for you to respect and accept your limitations

    Happy New Year to you!


  13. So very sorry to hear about your mom's friend. Hope she kicks this cancer's ass! The painting is beautiful!
    I'm not into the whole big party thing too. I think New Year is overrated and I usually spend it at home on the couch and I love it :-D I try to find the perfect balance between social gatherings and time alone, cause I tend to get exhausted by people very fast, but on the other hand I like spending time with friends, go figure! So I totally understand what you're saying. The best way is when you feel the exhaustion, just take some time for yourself, and don't bend over for other people. Wishing you a lovely and relaxing holiday Shawna! Hope to see a lot more of you next year as well, cause you're the best! ^_^

  14. I like tradition, and I like to undo tradition too, like Curtise said, it's about balance and whats right for you, deferring the party till February sounds like a great idea - your paintings are all brilliant, the colours are dreamlike and I hope your Mums friend beats the living crap out of her diagnosis, I wish her a full and speedy recovery *loves and hugs, Sandra*

  15. You've done some amazing pieces here. All in the cool wintery colours of the season.

    I wish you health, love and happiness in 2015!


  16. I love these beautiful paintings despite the sadness behind Blue Girl x


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