Arty Christmas 2010

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
Snow trees - at a very early stage

The next two art group meetings clash with bank holidays, so, for this week, I have begun a new snowy painting at home. I plan to make the most of the snow and try to get a few paintings out of it if possible. As this one is in oils, it will take time to dry enough to add more to it. I’ll do more next weekend, and then lots more once I return to art group in the New Year.

I am using a Spectrum 30cm x 40cm canvas, ready gessoed (gesso is a substance that stops the oil colour going through the canvas). I started by drawing in the outline of the larger trees in pencil, then painting in a pale blue sky. I mixed the oil paint with a special medium although you can use Linseed oil and artists’ turpentine. Although the sky on the original photo is white, I always need some contrast when painting a snow scene. Most of this sky will eventually be covered by tree branches and twigs. I’ve created similar paintings before using a technique of watercolour or Chroma (like acrylic) background, then white acrylic for the snow, but I want to see how oils compares. It may well be the best one to use as you can cover dark areas with white.

Last week’s post had a photo of our Christmas tree at home. Many of the decorations are knitted. I made them thinking they would be safer than normal ones for a toddler, but I keep getting them out every year because they look quite good on the tree. These decorations were designed by Jean Greenhowe, well known for her cuddly toy knitting patterns. They are all quite straightforward to make and each one takes about an evening to knit. She does have some free patterns on her website (although not the tree decorations).

James's Publication work
This week, I am featuring the work of James Jackson, a local artist, landscape gardener and singer with a band.  James believes that “we can change the world through great design not self gratifying art for itself”.  He has produced designs for magazines, amongst other things, and his website is at: He also has a Facebook page at: I am reliably informed that he is a very talented singer, and recently heard someone say of him “he has more talent in his little finger than I have in my entire body”.   I wonder if I will ever get a compliment like that - perhaps it's something to aim for.  Here’s some of his artwork for you to enjoy, anyway.
Some of James's Sculptures

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