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Posts tagged “plein air painting

Plein air painting

Nature is always at its best, but in autumn it is simply majestic.

A hazy day

oil on board, 23x34cm

plein air painting

 

landscape plein air 2-7009

On the hill.

oil on board, 40×31 cm

landscape plein air 4-4403

 


Now isn’t that special..

This writing is all about ME. So, if you can’t stand self-indulgence, then you should move on immediately.

I was used to intense birthday celebrations since childhood.  Making a fuss of a birthday was a milieu I grew up in. My mom went to a lot of trouble to make it special, to make the birthday boy/girl feel special, whoever it was. She also made her friends feel special. Somehow she felt special too by seeing everybody else  feel special. She had a good friend from childhood. They both got married at different stages, had their families and ended up living far away from each other, which resulted in less contact. But they religiously called each other every year on their birthdays until my mother died at 84 years old.  And on these birthday calls they chatted away, catching up on the year’s news, and time and distance fell away. Isn’t that special...

…l’orage approche…

oil on canvas, 30x30cm

l'orage approche

After leaving home, my birthday celebration years continued. With my family. With a small but close circle of friends. And a few traditions. I have a friend celebrating the same day as mine. Every year on our birthday, Naomi baked(and still does) this incredible black forest cake. Only this one time a year. And it was tradition that I would go over to her house  for a quick coffee(before all the visits started) and the two of us would feast on a slice each. With another friend I shared another kind of tradition; I baked her a cake on her birthday and she bake me one on my birthday…I once got a  sticky marsh-mellow cake from her and on her birthday she got a giant pink and white cake smothered in rose petals from me. We laughed. This very same friend, Colette, booked an airoplane ticket  a few years later to share  my 40th  birthday with me in South Carolina, US. Isn’t that special…

I had a surprise one year, organized by Mariaan, one crazy, deliciously fun friend. Nobody called me on my birthday that year. It was a strange phenomena.  It just didn’t happen. I was always spoiled with phone calls and drop-ins and cards from very early morning on every birthday. That year…nothing! Nada! Except of course for my family living far away. By the evening I was in such a bad state of depression that I decided to leave town the next day, never to return. I would go live with the animals in the bush. On our way out to “dinner” that evening(my last meal in civilization, I decided…), I opened the door and stared into the laughing faces of my whole circle of friends.  Each with a huge dish of food and drinks and coloured gifts with huge bows and even huger smiles. We ate and drank and danced, they washed dishes and we kept the neighbourhood up until early hours. Isn’t that special…

Then we left South Africa. Celebrating birthdays changed face very suddenly. The next birthday was only the four of us and our good friends Cecily and family in Felixstowe, who were there for one year.  I tried very hard to be original, making us a meal in grandiose style..so many courses, wearing  evening attire with french perfumes, sat down to a pristine set table…just to have an over the top, overcooked meal with the dessert literally running off the meringue! But the memory of laughter and jokes and joy of sharing with family and two good friends in a foreign country stays firmly on the plate. Isn’t that special…

Since then, birthdays have been quiet and I’ve been spoiled by my family with love,  gifts early morning in bed, breakfasts, and intimate dinners in chateaux, dinners by die fire and a far away call here and there. Isn’t that special…

...le forêt…

oil on canvas, 24x33cm

le forêt

This week I was surprised with facebook wishes from all over the planet, with Marta being the leader of the pack..starting it off already a day early! I was bowled over by the wishes from people I have just recently met, or never met yet , or only seen photos of, or only exchanged emails with and even people I never thought would care to send me wishes! I received a mail from a friend who is away on holiday in Corsica, who cared enough to take some time from precious sunny days to send me good wishes. I received an international  mobile phone call from a good friend in SA who couldn’t reach me at home in Montlouis, who will have a horrendously expensive bill to pay very soon!! There is a gift waiting for me in the mail and by opening it, my house will be strewn with glitter stars and I will find a star on the floor somewhere until next year when her next gift will show up, decorated with glittery stars! After all the quiet years with only my small family here in France and  a call here and there from my family and friends far away. Now isn’t that special…!

Maybe you receive a lot of special attention on your  special day in the year and might think this is peanuts to the attention you receive! It is possible. Maybe you’re reading here and thinking peeved how lucky I am for you don’t even receive a single note or call! It is possible. Which makes this writing then not so selfindulgent any more. Because at some stage or another, we all have the need to feel special. To have  a memory of one day in a year that belonged only to you, a day that you can look back onto and say: “Now wasn’t that special..!”