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December

2006

It is so quiet here that you can hear the rush of starlings' wings as they rise from the winter fields, so wet that you can hear the water running through the grass.

The fire is burning, being fed morning and evening and cared for like an animal, keeping the house warm and dry.

I have poetry for breakfast and lunch and supper and have fallen for the words of George Mackay Brown. Until the poetry book is finished I need to stay at home and work and walk, warm by the fire.

The days get shorter, light fades quicker and comes back into the day slower in the mornings. There is a feel of quiet waiting in the house.

My car is in a garage waiting to be fixed and so I walk everywhere, or go nowhere.

Dec 5th. Painted and walked. Met a wild pony on the side of the hill. The wind was cold. He held the warmth of the low winter sun in his rust-red coat.

wtercolour painting for Until I saw the sea, Barefoot Book of Classic Poems by Jackie Morris

 

 

watercolour painting of person in a wood with tall autumn trees, for The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, by Jackie Morris

Dec 7th. Walked early. Pearly day. The cats walked too. Painted. The day grew darker outside and the wind came in. Rain lashed around the windows and by 2pm it seemed as dark as twilight. Meanwhile I was in a yellow wood trying to paint The Road Less Traveled. The type fits into the space on the right of the image.

Solitude makes work easier.

Dec 8th Walking down steep paths made by wild things, beside stone walls built by ancient hands, the low winter sun bleaching the landscape to cold colours. In my head the words for "He wishes for the Clothes of Heaven" stumble and fumble around.

Dec 9th Lovely review for Little Bear in the Independent Newspaper. To read it take a look at the Little Bear page.

Dec 11th Went to Narberth to listen to storytellers in the evening. Magical stories, wonderful music. Very medieval. Needed a roaring fire, baronial hall and glasses of mead, but not for long as was swept away by the images dancing in my mind's eye. Nick Hennessey told a selkie story I had not heard before.

Back at home, late, the children put themselves to bed swift and tired, while I walked the dogs around the village under a sky full of stars, with moon shadows following and the moon itself making a silver path across the sea. I want to see a moonset across the sea, silver on the water, colder than a sunset.

When we woke we walked a long walk in crystal winter sunshine, Tom and Hannah and the dogs, then spent the rest of the day listening to the cd's I had bought at the storytelling, Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden and Nick Hennessey who plays the harp and sings a story to touch the soul.

Dec 13th Busy weekend, painting, still waiting for the car to be fixed, Christmas creeping closer and nothing done but painting. New exhibition coming fast, in February in Ireland, and working on roughs and trying to balance pages.

 

watercolour painting for Wild Trees by Laurie Lee for BArefoot Book of Classic poems, by Jackie Morris
watercolour painting for Burnt Offerings by Amy Lovell, for Barefoot Book of Classic Poems, illustrated by Jackie Morris  

Dec 14th At last my car is mended.

This morning I painted like a donkey having drawn two children that both looked like strange hobbits but convinced myself that they would be ok with the right colouring in. Unfortunately made a mess of that too. Went for a walk and whilst walking thought it best to start again. This afternoon was better, the result, the Twins. A little further through the poetry book, but I have a craving for gold leaf, and though I would love to do something really big, with little chance of working over Christmas I will have to content myself with a smaller diversion.

 

Dec 17th Little Bear was reviewed in The Times Review of Books today by Amanda Craig. To see the review and a couple of others see the Little Bear page of the website.

Last night the moon was so bright that the cloud shadows chased across the fields. When the moon went behind clouds the light dimmed, then came back with a fierce, white brightness, and all around the moonshadows danced. To see this you need to be away from the orange lights of streets. In London I could not see even the stars. Here I can watch as they fall across the sky.

hare and the moon2
Hare and the moon 1

hare and the moon, watercolour and gold leaf painting by Jackie Morris

 

18th Dec Painting hares with gold leaf to relax from the poetry book.

Tried Christmas shopping without either much success or enthusiasm. Fortunately Hannah reminded me that we had to go to the butchers to order a turkey, and that just thinking about it wouldn't make it happen.

Weekend turned wet and wintery so cwtched up by the fire with a good book.

28th Dec After Christmas headed for the sanity of the hills rather than the January sales, on a day crisp with frost flowers. Walked along to the Dragon's Back and down to the Valley of the Seven Stones on ground made hard by the cold and Robin took a photo of me looking happy and oh so very stylish to close the year with.

photograph of Jackie Morris looking oh so stylish in the Preseli Hills

Worked on adding ecards to the website, as new ones were definitely needed and missed painting as the year rolled to a close.

next.............

 

 

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©Jackie Morris