Bailey in his Christmas Antlers
Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve and surprisingly everything in our cottage is ready for this special time of year. Presents are under the tree, wonderfully tempting food is in every corner of the kitchen and the scents of cinnamon fill the air. I have always loved Christmas and spend months before hand thinking of recipes and ways to decorate our home so that it is welcoming to all who visit. This has been instilled in me since childhood. I never tire of the Christmas songs or season and love every second while it lasts.
Each day the postman has delivered Christmas cards from friends who live overseas and its' been a magical time opening them and reading each message. A photograph of my God daughter was probably one of the nicest surprises and I imagine Jo, her Mum, has absolutely no idea how happy it made me to see how Amy is growing and her brother, Noah too who are beautiful children.
I look back at last year and feel so lucky as so much has happened. Many of my artist friends have been concerned at how much I seem to be doing. I had a new book launch in May with "Atmospheric Watercolours" and this week heard it has had to go into reprint yet again because it has been so popular. I also heard my first book "How to Paint Colour an Light in Watercolour" is reaching incredible sales figureswhich is great news. I filmed "Watercolour Passion " my new DVD which along with "Amazing Ways with Watercolour" is selling really well also. Then there was the launch of my personalised brush sets with Rosemary &Co which are so sensual to use. The feedback on each has been phenomenal. I have said all along that all I want is for everyone to share the joy of working in watercolour as much as I do and I am really grateful to everyone who has taken time to let me know how much they like my books, brushes and DVDs.
My workshops this year were all fully booked and I met some incredible people on them. I am still taken aback at how far artists come to attend in UK. This year we had people from Vietnam, Iceland, USA, Spain and Portugal to name but a few countries. I travelled and taught in USA for the first time too and I can't wait to return next year, but this time it will be like returning to a family as everyone gave me such a warm welcome. I owe special thanks to Karla, Joanne and Patty for making this happen. My 2013 UK workshops filled up as soon as the dates were released and sadly my diary in England is heavily committed next year, so the best way to see me now will be at Patchings in summer but please book your place early! I taught at Dedham Hall also for the first time and loved it so my week course there next year is going to be great fun but again is fully booked.
I have been fortunate to show with amazing galleries and have exhibitions in 2013 that will see me working studiously and loving bringing new collections to life. But most of all news wise I have an exciting new project of a book that for now is really a wonderfully delicious secret and I can't wait to share the news about it at a later stage.
I do take on a lot and my life is rich because of the time I put into painting and sharing my passion for watercolour. But by my side I have the most amazing husband who I love so much. Artists attending my workshops here and abroad have also instantly recognised how great he is, having met him in person. I would be lost without him which is why in each book there is a dedication to him.
In life, it does make a huge difference if you are loved and capabable of loving. This happy emotion flows into my brushstrokes and text when I am typing. So my wish for Christmas and the New Year is that whoever you are,whatever your dreams, large or small I hope they come true. And I genuinely wish you the happiest of Christmas's with an even happiest of years to follow.
I can't thank you enough for all the kind emails and messages you have given to me.
All I can do is seriously wish you a very