Friday, 16 December 2011

But She Painted a Robin Last Year!

That New Design
I posted the last of my Christmas cards this week. I smiled because only I knew the reason why a robin has been chosen as a subject the second year running for my 2011 Christmas Design. Every year, as a tradition, I aim to paint something new to bring a smile to friends faces as they open my cards when they arrive. It has now become a wonderful guessing game as to what each years new design will  be.

Happy Memories
There was a snowy church scene one year which allowed the original painting to be auctioned to raise funds for our  own local church. And it fast became a favourite seller. Another year there was my lovely Bearded Collie,Taffy, in a Santa hat which certainly did create smiles long after Christmas had past. Santa Taffy cards are now on sale at the Dogs in Art Gallery in Stockbridge, Hampshire this month. I painted this special card with Taffy as my subject the year before he passed away as I  had an inkling that would be his last Christmas with us and I was right.

Last Years "Robin" Christmas Story.
Last year I painted a robin as my Christmas card design and there was a story behind the painting. We had moved into our cottage which had been lovingly renovated by an amazing man. Every detail  in it was perfect. The care taken over the whole project as he patiently oversaw builders and craftsmen bring our cottage to life was outstanding. We lived nearby waiting for the completion date to arrive and visited daily to see the work progressing.

While our home was being restored this incredible man befriended a robin. " Rocky" became so tame he fed from the builders hands taking morsels of their lunch daily. Rocky would also come inside the cottage and sit on windowsills. He became  a part of our new home. So much so that every builder and craftsman was sad to leave and know they would be missing him!

Rocky is still here with us and still just as tame.

 "Rocky" 2010
To thank this very special man I painted a robin last year as my Christmas card design and aimed to give the original watercolour to him as a gift. Unfortunately life has a funny way of changing events because my painting as well as others sold in a hectic Christmas run up to the 25th December 2011 in a gallery. A gallery visitor had immediately fallen in love with it.

Rocky 2011
So this year I lovingly painted a new robin card design as a gift. Only the real Rocky at the moment is looking a little overweight!  I painted him with his feathers fluffed up against a snowy sky. He was sat on a branch and I loved bringing his eye to life.  The real Rocky watched me working in my studio with his head slightly tilted to one side. I felt he was letting me know this year the painting had to be a gift and reach his friend as a suprise.

A Special Gift
Yesterday I had a wonderful day with friends including a fabulous artist I have known for years who lives in Dubai. They always visit me when they visit their family in London each year.  After a fabulous day together I drove my friend to our tiny village train station  so that they could return to London. On the way home I dropped into the house where my robin painting was going to live. It was wrapped with a red,shiny ribbon, the original painting from this years card design.

I stood by the  beautifully lit Christmas tree outside the house and was met with a warm welcome. I was delighted to hear my posted Christmas card with this years robin on it had arrived and was very much loved. I listened happily as I heard it had been placed in a frame.  I smiled widely as I heard there had also been a recent visit to the local gallery to see if another original painting of Rocky Robin by me was there for sale this year at Christmas, as the family wanted one so much.

Imagine the scene, as I knew in my hands was the painting they had been looking for recently and hoping to buy.

To explain I was holding the original painting from this years cards as a gift was a wonderful feeling. And looking at their faces as it dawned on them as to what was in my hands was a moment I shall remember forever.

The Gift Of Giving
I drove home feeling brilliant.

This week I have given three paintings,all original new watercolours to very special people in my life who have touched my heart in ways I cannot type about. There are times when giving a painting away to a home where it will be truly loved and enjoyed, with the special meaning from the heart when it was given, far outweighs any huge fee a sale from a gallery can bring.

This is a special time of year and I love every second of making everyone I know around me  feel happy, loved and included in my life. I wish every month could hold the magic that December carries. Maybe it could if we allowed it too.

We should  feel the Spirit of Christmas all year around!



Zoe said...

Jean, this story just sings of the enthusiasm, beauty and kind heart I have come to associate with you. And I am so thankful that your love and kindness became such a blessing for you as well as those you gave your beautiful painting to. Wishing you the most gloriously joyous Christmas and a fabulous 2012. xx Zoe

bonne destination said...

A lovely, Christmas post, Jean, and a testament to your generosity and kindness. What a treat to be on visiting terms with a robin. Merry Christmas.


corinne60 said...

what a lovely story..............

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Such a touching story, hope lucky to be able to have a relationship with one of God's wild creatures. I have no doubt the builder will cherish your gift of a 'Rocky' portrait.

Sally said...

Jean I can't say anything more than has already been posted. You have brought light into so many lifes. Hope to meet you in person in Texas 2012. Love to you and your family. Have a blessed Christmas.

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Zoe,thank you for such a wonderful reply. I have never met you and yet I know you are one very special,kind individual as your love of life shines in all you do,

Have a truly memorable Christmas and an even better New Year,

God Bless


Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Joan,its so lovely to see you here,

Thank you so much for your reply,yes Rocky is quite a little character,he waits to be fed daily in this cold weather!

Merry Christmas!


Jean Haines SWA said...

Thank you Corinne,its lovely to see you as always:):) Happy Christmas to you and your family:):)

Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Elaine,

Its really lovely to see you and thank you so much for following my blog,

Merry Christmas!


Jean Haines SWA said...

Hello Sally

I can't wait to come to Texas in 2012 and if we meet that will b ethe icing on the cake !!

Have a truly wonderful Christmas Sally,to you and yours,