And although I did a lot of playing during January, I also completed a couple botanical watercolor paintings.
The wind chill was in double-digit negatives, but I couldn't resist bringing a little blooming orchid plant home from the store (zipping it up in my coat to shelter it from the cold on the way home).
Yes, I already had many -- I won't admit how many -- phalaenopsis orchids in my studio, but their buds haven't opened yet.
And I needed flowers.
Until then, there will always be flowers on paper (this time aided by my new sweet plant).
I'm working on a non-flowery commission right now, but perhaps when I'm finished with it some of my other orchids will have opened. I have a vision for my next painting.
Possibly the hardest thing about winter for me is that I don't have a garden filled with flowers (and herbs and veggies) out the back door for inspiration.
Painting from photo inspiration just isn't the same. It lacks the connection I get when I'm sitting with a flower in front of me.
There are few things as joy-filled as bringing the garden into my studio.
An armload of flowers
or a handful of tomatoes.
I know, I know. I have plenty of subjects to paint at any time of the year, but when I want flowers, nothing else will do.
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
I always want to see them.
This rose wreath painting was inspired by a sketch from last year.
Without looking at the date, I would have said the sketch was done in the garden in the summer, but I would have been wrong.
Apparently that one was also done in the depths of January, working from photos, my imagination and memory.
As much as I enjoy sketching like that, there are few things as magical as sitting in the garden with my sketchbook and micron pens, connecting with nature while I fill up a page.
That time will come.
Until then, I'll be in my studio. Dreaming and planning and painting and drawing and savoring the magic that exists all year long.
I hope you will be savoring, too.
p.s. both of these paintings are now available in my shop. You can find them here and here.