My new year has got off to a good start. First of all an unexpected trip down to Peterborough yesterday with my blogging friend Wendy Snape to visit our friends at Art and Stitch for their winter sale day.
We couldn't believe the queue when we walked through the door but everyone was having a lovely time choosing their fabrics and catching up with friends not seen for a few weeks.
Somehow these lovelies came home with me. The snowflakey fabric at the top was only £2.50 a metre so I bought it for backing and the batiks were all 40% off. I'm sure I'll find a use for them but please, somone remind me, I'm supposed to be using up my stash this year.
Before Christmas I entered a prize draw on the blog of a local painter and was delighted when my name was chosen to receive one of her paintings. The painter in question is Haidee-Jo Summers and she has a wonderful lively way of painting. She had a particularly successful year last year when she was selected by the BBC to paint a view of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant from the Millenium Bridge in London. As you may remember Pageant Day was a torrential day and Haidee did well to continue with her task while other artist's were beaten by the wet conditions. I've included a video of Haidee painting the previous weekend in kinder conditions.
In addition Haidee was selected as the Artist of the Year for 2012 by the Society For All Artists. Then, in December, Haidee-Jo attended the Art Event evening of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and her portrait painted there was selected by the members as the best painting of the evening painted by a non-member. You can view the painting and read about the evening here. I think Haidee's painting is beautiful and full of the warmth and character of the sitter.
Well, I did say that I won a prize from Haidee so I should get on and show you what arrived today.
You can see I won the star prize! The painting was very well wrapped against the ravages of Royal Mail.
Inside was this pretty parcel.
This is the lovely little painting I've won and I love it! I know the exact place where this was painted as it is quite close to where I live and I know that it was painted en-plein air which makes it all the more special as I appreciate that Haidee braved the elements to achieve it and that has added to the quality of the atmosphere she describes. Haidee's blog about the painting experience is here. I can feel the lumps and bumps in the ground and the greying atmosphere as the fog descended.
You can probably tell that I very much like Haidee-Jo's work. I have met her just once many years ago when I was still painting but had lost track of her until recently. Her blog is well worth browsing if you like her style of painting and her subjects are very varied. Thank you Haidee very much for my lovely painting. It is tempting me to get my own pochade box out and brush off the cobwebs!