blogging

a new year’s eve retrospecteave

No, I didn’t accidentally misspell retrospective; let me explain. This is David’s Teas Advent Calendar for 2016. You may remember the 2015 calendar from my Moment of Zen.

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For this last Discover Challenge of the year from The Daily Post we have been asked “to pull all the strands of your 2016 together before diving into the new year.” So here is a look back at thechangingpalette in 2016 with some favourites of both yours and mine. You will find two from each month in the drawers of the Calendar, but remember you must open them in order.

Happy hunting.

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Happy New Year to everyone. I look forward to seeing you in 2017, as much as I look forward to drinking David’s delicious teas. They are simply the best.

A Glimpse into 2017

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I am greatly honoured to have been invited to be one of the contributors to WordPress Discover’s A Glimpse into 2017: You and Your Site in The New Year (Part II) published today. My thanks to Cheri and The Daily Post for inviting me to participate and to whom the imaginary faux envelope containing my reply was addressed.

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The Vancouver postmark on the envelope began with a vintage 1932 image I found online.

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With a little Photoshop Elements magic I rearranged the numbers for 2016,

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and with a little more magic superimposed the Vancouver skyline stamp…et voila.

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You may remember the bouquet I chose taken from The Gift of the Four Treasures: Part Two

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Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, and as I wrote at the end of the WordPress Discover post, “I look forward to enjoying the fruits of your own blogging resolutions in 2017.”

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You can read the contributions of my fellow participants here in Part I .

a day like no other

Today has been a day full of honour, gratitude and inspiration.

Where to start?

Perhaps I’ll use the words of Dylan Thomas from the opening of his great poem Under Milk Wood, “To begin at the beginning…”

The day began with a message from WordPress Discover on Twitter that my post “From Yardwork to Artwork” was being featured today as an editor’s pick.

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I had received an email a week ago from Krista, one of WordPress’s great Editors, informing me that she had made the selection and I wrote back to thank her and to say how honoured I was. Her weekly photo challenges are always so enjoyable as you all know, so a big, big thank you once again Krista.

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This week’s Photo Challenge is all about Numbers, which certainly applies to today with my reaching over 1000 followers on The Changing Palette…

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…so I extend my gratitude to all of my wonderful followers for staying around for so long, and to those of you who have joined today in response to the post on WordPress Discover, a special welcome. I will be replying to all of your great comments over the next few days, so stay tuned.

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Finally, the inspiration today was from all those taking part in this year’s Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis.  I walk every year and wouldn’t miss it.  This year it was held at Trout Lake in Vancouver on an unusually hot Sunday morning, but as always everyone was in the greatest of spirits. A special thank you to all of the volunteers, organizers and sponsors.

It really has been a day like no other as you can see.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant

“Rejoice! It’s the end of the week” says Michelle “and time for a celebratory photo challenge.”

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What could be more celebratory than all the colour and joy of the festivities in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas leading up to Inti Raymi, the Inca festival of the winter solstice, which we had the good fortune of experiencing during our memorable visit to Peru, and of course Machu Picchu, in 2013.

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Perhaps also a moment to be personally jubilant as it is exactly three years ago when I started blogging just before we embarked on our Peruvian adventure. It’s been a great ride and long may it continue 🙂

Studio 365: Day 365

Day 365

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I’m going to consider that tonight’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are really to celebrate the successful completion of my 365 days of daily blogging. When I started out on January 1st I didn’t think it would be possible but here we are on the final day of the year and with this post I’ve actually done it.

My thanks to WordPress who two days ago sent me my 2015 Annual Report full of all sorts of interesting statistics. It begins:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

They then provided me with the posts that received the most views this past year, thanks to you all.

  • 1  Weekly Photo Challenge: Today Was a Good Day : This was my first mesh gallery and included photos from our visit to Antelope Canyon. It was also one of the featured posts by Cheri for the Daily Post’s favourites for this challenge.
  • 2  Both sides now…This was one of my favourite photos of the year, and clearly one of yours too.  It was of the amazing cloud formation behind The Wall Centre in Vancouver together with, appropriately enough,  Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now from her classic album Clouds.
  • 3  Studio 365: Day 116 It is worth seeing this again to watch and listen to Maestro Donato Cabrera conducting the Las Vegas Philharmonic playing Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony in a post that I titled, for good reason, Man in Motion.
  • 4  Studio 365: Day 110  After visiting Lower Antelope Canyon on Day 109, Day  110 featured photos from Upper Antelope Canyon, which included our visit to Owl Canyon and to finding that precious great horned owl feather.
  • 5  Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward In response to this photo challenge from Krista who asked ” What does reward mean to you?” I posted a gallery of photos from our never-to-be-forgotten day on Machu Picchu in 2013 after trekking for six days. 

What a lovely surprise to find that the post that received the most comments this year was on Day 178, the day our beautiful granddaughter was born.

The report informed that the busiest day of the year was November 29th with 304 views. The most popular post that day was Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition which showed how my painting of Cypress Alleyway at Castello di Reschio was created.

One final set of statistics that WordPress did not provide might be of interest to you. Over the year I posted 736 photos, 223 paintings, 25 pen and ink drawings and 54 different palettes. It seems only appropriate to end this last post of the year with some of those paintings in a concluding gallery with a painting from each month of the year.

Finally, a big thank you to all of you who have been with me all year long. Your support, interest, encouragement and wonderful comments throughout the year have made it all worthwhile. Knowing you were travelling along with me made me more determined than ever to reach my goal; I couldn’t have done it without you.

I’ll finish with the words of Winston Churchill: Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. The beginning of what you might ask? All I can say is when I know the answer I’ll let you know.

Happy New Year everyone

Studio 365: Day 360

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June and July: One event in June was simply the best day of the year. I am of course referring to the birth of our beautiful granddaughter on June 27th. She will be six months old tomorrow and becomes more beautiful every day. Day 178 really was the best day of the year.

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At the beginning of the month I continued my Italian theme with two Tuscan landscapes…

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…and three variations of the Upper Church of the Basilica di San Francesco in Assissi…

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…and in the process quite serendipitously created a series of palette mosaic fans made from the colour test strips from all of the Italian paintings.

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Towards the end of June I began my journey through the Tate Watercolour Manual: Lessons from the Great Masters, which I had been introduced to by the wonderful Debi Riley whose blog The Creative Zone is a treasure trove you should all explore.  Over the next four weeks I worked my way through the book and learnt so much in the process…

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…posting another wall of paintings at the end of my journey on July 24th, Day 205, a post that also included a slide show of all the pieces.

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Two final images from June and July to join my favourite paintings of the year…

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…the dresses and shoes in my granddaughters closet.

Studio 365: Day 358

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April: What a sensational month this was in every way and in the true meaning of the word in which our senses were stimulated by landscapes full of color, light, shadow and depth, with vistas stretching as far as the eye could see in Agassiz, British Columbia or Bryce Canyon, Utah and no further than the length of one’s arms in Antelope Canyon, Arizona.

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The memory of the Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz BC lingered for days and resulted in some joyful paintings later in the studio. If you would like to relive the day visit my slideshow of those glorious fields of colour that I posted on April 12th under the title Petal Power.

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But as you know more was yet to come. What can I say about our visit to the canyons of Arizona, Utah and Nevada? I had seen so many photos of Antelope Canyon and finally had the opportunity to see for myself.  Nothing compares to being  enveloped by the natural beauty that surrounds you, which can only be described as simply awe inspiring.  The galleries of photos on Days 109 and 110 say it all; here are just three from them.

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…and my treasure from the trip this Great Horned Owl feather from Owl Canyon.

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Finally a painting from the month that joins my favourites of the year and titled Blurred Lines. The steps of its development can be seen on Day 95.

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Happy Xmas Eve

Studio 365: Day 357

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Palette – Day 87

March: Perhaps the easiest way to remember March is to see my eclectic media library for the month with its mixture of palettes, pen and inks, light painting and monochrome photography, watercolours and acrylics.

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I’m going to pick three of my favourite images from the month.  The first is a “fence” made from the juxtaposition of palette fragments from palette photos saved from the beginning of the year.

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The second is this photograph of my treasured grandfather’s watch that I included in a gallery on March 1st of all the monochromes photos I had submitted to Leanne Cole’s wonderful Monochrome Madness blog during 2014.  I posted colour photos of the watch later in the year for a Weekly Photo Challenge in September that I entitled Golden Time…

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…and the third is another photo from that MM gallery as it seems an appropriate way to wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays with Xmas Eve only a day away.

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Studio 365: Day 356

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February: New York, New York was definitely the highlight of the month. After our disappointment at having to cancel because of the weather in January we made a last minute decision to have a long weekend and took the red eye flight on the evening of Thursday the 6th. We arrived in New York early the next morning and didn’t stop for three days, taking in the Matisse Cut-Out exhibition at MOMA on Friday, the 9/11 Memorial site and Museum on Saturday, and the Metropolitan Museum on Sunday. The Freedom Tower overlooking the Memorial site was a powerful image that I tried to capture in the studio on our return.  I wrote that it seemed to represent not only freedom but so much more: defiance, resilience, endurance, hope and above all remembrance.

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On the 18th I posted about our visit to MOMA which I cheekily entitled MOMA Mia. If you haven’t seen it take a look as you might enjoy the slide show of some of my favourite pieces in the museum.  I also posted a slide show of our afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum entitled Well Met on the 20th; cheesy titles I know.

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The month also include collages and my early attempts at light painting photography, which definitely improved as the year continued.

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Studio 365: Day 353

With Day 365 less than two weeks away and with all of the holiday season activities to enjoy with family and friends, for these final few days of the year I thought I would share some older pieces from the studio as well as look back at some of the highlights of the year since Day 1.

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Landscape of the imagination 1991

My resolution for 2015 on that first day was to spend more time painting, with a goal of posting a photo from the studio each day throughout the year. During the times we were away I declared my camera and laptop my “mobile studio” so that I could continue to blog each day. I’m happy to say that with twelve days to go my goal and the finish line are almost in sight.