January 3, 2014

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Holy smokes folks we’ve had some Wagnerian weather! Wow 2014 sure is off to a lion’s roar. {Why should that only apply to March?…lol} The trees bend over something scary in the worst of the gales. At our nearby reservoir, the gusts were measured at 56 miles/hour. Lovely to stay inside the cottage where it’s warm and dry. How lucky we feel that we have this cozy, beautiful cottage, which is so snuggly.


Chloe called at 2am. She’s come down with some sort of stomach bug and by the afternoon in Van, she was feeling like death ready to expire any minute. I stayed on the phone with her till my 7:30 when the nausea subsided somewhat, the second Gravol took some effect and she managed to drift off to sleep. Poor little button. Isn’t it the way that when your kiddo is sick, it doesn’t matter how old she is, she is immediately reduced to a five year old in a mom’s brain. Speaking of mom, she was with C yesterday and I hope she doesn’t catch this. Mom’s had the flu shot so I hope she’ll be OK. C caught it from her plague infested friends on New Years! Wonder if any of them had the flu shot. It’s still a bit of a gamble this flu shot business, isn’t it? I’ve never had one and very rarely catch anything, and mom has to have one to work in the hospital, and last year she had a monsteroonio of a flu. Anyway, I spoke to C this evening/morning Van, and she is feeling much better but still a bit weak. It’s probably only a 24 hour thing but I’m taking the phone to bed!

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In between the rains we rolled my beautiful mini shell out of the garage. Robert has been working on the body in my absence almost each day cutting out and welding in new bits to get rid of any rust and dents. Then sanding and filling and sanding and infinitum, putting the majority of his own projects on hold, and finally it is painted that beautiful Oxfordshire sky grey I was telling you about in the summer. Isn’t he just the most amazingest? And didn’t I choose an amazing paint? Look how it changes from almost blue to almost khaki under different light sources. I love it. It’s called tweed grey and is an old Austin mini colour. I’ll do a better post soon and show you the transformation. R says it’s such a Vancouver shade, it’s sooo me…allergic to colour! I’m like, “what? it’s going to have orange lights!”  🙂


We’ve been putting in long days these days working on projects and sometimes our wee pea brains don’t function as well as they should. Last night one of us closed the living room door and trapped Theo in there all night. Poor little buddy, he shot out first thing this morning and has been Velcro cat all day. I gave him a slice of ham at lunch.

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Yesterday I picked up my paints again. I’ve been working on the maps and small book page paintings in watercolour and chalk and it was lovely to rummage thru my boxes of oils. Oh my gosh I love the smell and feel of oil paints.
You know the funny thing? In Vancouver I’m really big on on particular blue, an ultramarine blue – it’s a really warm, violety blue – but when I bought this lot of oils second hand from, (from the girlfriend of an American artist who left England after they broke up…without his oils and brushes), that artist who used them used blue-green cobalt colours. I thought I would miss my blue, but really don’t. The other thing is that artist had…and now I have…about seventeen different yellows!

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Anyway, R was off for the day on Thursday and I painted three canvases in acrylics as a quick under-painting, {acrylics dry fast, cover and tone the canvas and save my more expensive oils}, then I painted one of the canvases in oils. I had in mind to paint a small beach scene, a field scene and R asked for a bird of prey which lives in our fields called a red kite. I’m sure I told you about them. Graham the butcher throws them meat scraps and Theo the terrorizer sits in the middle of the scraps muttering, “here birdie, birdie, birdie” under his little cat breath.

This is what the studio looked like mid afternoon before I got to the oils.
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And here are the two smaller paintings. I think they’re finished.
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Linking with Nancy for some random, even if there are six this week…{sometimes I have too much to say} 😀 And the WordPress weekly photo challenge. 

Shopping for prezzies for the Clover
Reflections and tea on this last day of 2013

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  • Reply michellepond January 3, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Sounds like winter is roaring worldwide. Beautiful work.

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Thank you so much Michelle. Big hugs. 🙂

  • Reply Christie January 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    It’s even cold in Florida today! So sorry to hear about Chloe – hope it really is only a 24 hour bug. Poor Theo – velcro kitty indeed! The mini is looking great – nice color. And your paintings are terrific! Happy New Year!

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Hi Christie, thank you so much. C’s much better now, I’m so relieved. I wish I was in Florida right now, nice and warm and dry, (sigh). Much love from me to you and a very happy New Year. 😀

  • Reply Tina Fariss Barbour January 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Lovely work, Veronica! I love seeing artists’ studios and hearing about their work. It’s fascinating and inspiring! Your kitty has the sweetest eyes and face. I hope your daughter is feeling better. Those stomach things can throw you for a loop.

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:31 am

      Hi Tina, thank you so much. Theo has very hypnotic eyes, doesn’t he? I think they look positively Egyptian. C’s feeling much better today, thanks, and it’s a good thing since her university starts again on Monday!

  • Reply Beth January 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    i am terrible with car names – if the hubby was here he would know that car … that is Mr. Bean car … right? so cute!! please keep us up to date on it’s changes. so fun!! i think some one is going to paint … you are so creative. i need to get back into that … i have let that side of me … sort of stop for too long … it is high time to get back into it. ( :

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Hi Elizabeth, That’s exactly the Mr Bean car! A very iconic British car. Thank you so much, I hope you do pick up your paints and then show me what you’ve done; I’d love to see. 🙂

  • Reply Daryl January 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    poor theo … i am sure he was well over it after lunch … you are such a gifted painter .. a while ago i thought i would try my hand at painting again … i bought some acrylics brushes small canvases and was reminded in no time at all how poorly i paint .. i want things to look just as they look but they dont so i will stick to my camera at least there i can show you what exactly i see … by the way i gave my paints/brushes to a friend who used to only paint in oil she’s been evolving into mixed media thanks to my, now her, acrylics!

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Hi Daryl, we felt badly about the poor cat but he felt much better after his breakfast and lunch ham. Too bad about your painting experience. If you were closer we would hang out in my studio and paint together. Oils are more satisfying for me than acrylics because they take ages to dry and I can keep reworking the painting if I want to. Mixed media is lovely and very relaxing for me to do. 🙂

  • Reply tinajo January 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Beautiful painting – and the face of that cat is lovely! 🙂

  • Reply dianecayton January 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Your paintings are so nice! Great soft colors. We had wind last night too and I wondered if it were going to blow us away overnight. Not one flake of snow though so it’s still all brown outside.

    So nice to be good with a paint brush!

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thank you so much Diane. 🙂 We forgot about the recycling bins the other day and it’s a good thing that they didn’t blow away…lol. The winds are great though, I love wind storms.

  • Reply sustainabilitea January 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Lots of lovely beginnings, Veronica. I hope everyone is well soon and 2014 gets off to a less rocky start. In the Chicago area, it’s snowy and very cold, but beautiful.


    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Hi Janet, I bet it’s lovely in Chicago. I drove thru Chicago before and loved it. 🙂

  • Reply Ida P. Krause January 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Wow your paintings are lovely. I like the one of the rolled hay bales – those always fascinate me.
    Sorry to hear you’ve had such awful weather and so windy, that’s never fun. It’s actually been nice here with 50+ today but dropping down later this week. Still I can’t complain about the weather as I know many are having much worse.
    Sorry to that your kiddo was sick. I’ve never had a Flu shot either and rarely come down with anything worse then a cold (knock on wood).
    One of our kitties got locked in the closet all day once, he was pretty grateful when he got out too.
    Happy New Year!

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Hi Ida, thank you so much. It’s all good with the weather, and pretty much expected. My only real grumble is that I can’t really walk on the Thames path because the river has breached its banks. 🙁 Missing my river walks.

  • Reply Bams Triwoko January 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Love the painting… Happy New Year… 🙂

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Thank you so much Bam, happy New Year to you too. 🙂

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  • Reply dawnsrays January 4, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    your paintings are just great!
    The weather here is a real bitch, too! cold and more cold and even more bitter cold to come! it’s insane.
    Once Thumper got trapped between the glass door and the hard door of our front door and she was there all night long. I got up in the morning and heard this faint meowing. When I opened the front door there she was pinned between the two. Omg, I felt to awful. Her voice was nearly gone. She must have been meowing all night!! Sometimes it’s not so easy being a pet.

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Oh no Dawn! Poor Thumper. I remember my first cat climbed 25ft up a tree and meowed pitifully and I got my first husband to climb up and rescue him and that darn cat did the same thing except went up 50 ft this time and husband said no way. That cat found his way down the next day. Cats! 😀

  • Reply sarahhuizenga January 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Love the mini!!

    • Reply Veronica January 4, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Me too! 🙂

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  • Reply Snap January 5, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Hope Chloe is well … no fun being sick. Lovely images. Love your car! Your kitty is so pretty — they sure don’t like getting locked up and yet they’ll go hide and look so innocent when they come out! The weather has been wild everywhere. Stay warm and Happy New Year!

  • Reply Karen January 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Hi Veronica,
    I understand how worried you are about Chloe. My daughter was prone to stomach flu many times a year before she got appendicitis. At the time I was always so very concerned. I do hope Chloe is feeling better now. Do you have relatives who can check on her? Your paintings are so lovely and I hope that you are enjoying your time at your cottage. It is very cold here today at my wee cottage on the West Coast. Frost is on the ground outside and I had to turn up the heat. Thank you so much for visiting me and I wish you the best of everything in 2014! Happy New Year Dear Friend!
    Take care,

    • Reply Veronica January 6, 2014 at 12:11 am

      Hi Karen, thank you so much for your kindness. 😀 My mom’s a doctor and right in Vancouver and has been checking on the clover. She’s doing much better now. I think it was the Norwalk virus; it seems to be going around Vancouver. 🙁 She’s supposed to have her first class tomorrow am but probably will still take a day or two off.

  • Reply Sara v January 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Beeyootiful paintings!! Love them all 🙂 And that color on your mini is very cool. Kinda like eyes that change with what you wear 😉 Stay warm and thank you for all the beauty in my inbox!

    • Reply Veronica January 6, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Thank you so much Sara. I love seeing your comments, always. Hope to be able to give you a big hug of thanks one day in person. 😀

  • Reply Nancy @ A Rural Journal January 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Seems as if wintery weather brings out the artist in many of us — lovely paintings V! xo

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