Changing Seasons – December 2018

When I opened my blog to write this post I could almost hear the silent accusation of abandonment. It’s been a month since I was last here.

I haven’t been ill, or involved in any crisis that demanded my attention. I’ve simply been busy living life elsewhere.

Spreading Christmas cheer on the trails at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Decembers are like that – decorating, shopping, planning, cooking, cleaning … and then there are the parties and other gatherings with family and friends.

All good stuff.

A rare photo together with my long-time friend, Suzanne, enjoying the Christmas market in the Distillery District.

Unlike last year’s Arctic freeze, this December has been relatively mild with glorious days of sunshine. So, squeezed in with all the other stuff of life, I took advantage of this nice weather and spent some time outdoors whenever possible.

Lynde Shores Conservation Area on a stunningly beautiful December day (Whitby, Ont)
Lynde Shores Conservation Area – no snow! That’s MY kind of winter!

Unfortunately, this month I’ve taken an extraordinary number of really bad photos. A few weeks ago I suddenly developed an eye problem that’s affected my close-up vision. It’s like trying to see through a lens that’s covered in Vaseline.

I’ve seen my ophthalmologist and been told the fix is a simple procedure … well, as ‘simple’ as a procedure can be that involves a laser poking a hole in your eye.

The end result is that until my vision is corrected, seeing clearly will continue to be a challenge. It affects my ability to read (the horror!!), and of course taking a photo in focus.

Some Christmas cheer …

Needless to say, it hasn’t made me wildly enthusiastic about getting behind a camera, but I try. Even with auto-focus on a camera, you’d be surprised how challenging it can be to take a photo.

Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington (Ontario)
My 3 favourite Ninjas off for a run on Christmas morning – Dempsey, Jordan, and Misha. While it may be white outside now, it was a green Christmas.

.. and for those of you who have kindly asked me to post more of my art from the painting classes I’m taking, I will close with a piece that I finally finished this month. It look an extraordinary amount of time to complete – largely because I had to redo the background 3 times.

In the end, I was happy with the result. I have a whole new respect for artists and their craft.

Happy New Year everyone and best wishes for 2019!

Changing Seasons is a monthly photo feature hosted by Su Leslie from Zimmerbitch.


87 comments

  1. Your eye problem sounds scary. It is easy to take things like good eyesight or one’s mobility for granted until having a problem with it.

    I am never 100% happy with any painting I do, but also there is always something about each one that I like. I find that it is always a learning process, and that I enjoy the process of painting as much as the final product.

    You mentioned that you have had trouble commenting on my blog. I have not changed anything in my settings since you last commented. Nor have your comments gone to spam; I checked. Other WordPress users are still able to comment, and I can’t figure out what the issue is. I’m sorry that it is causing you problems. The only thing I can think of is to suggest not using “preview” to look at your comment before posting it. “Preview” in Blogger has always been unreliable.

    Happy 2019.

    Jude

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    • I just tried again and YAY! I can comment again on your blog! 🙂

      I too am enjoying this process of painting. As a newbie, it’s a process of discovery – some of it uncomfortable and all of it exciting as a creation takes shape.

      Like

    • Thanks Manja. I’m currently working on a landscape – not something I would otherwise feel compelled to do, but my instructor wants me to try all forms. I’m discovering I just don’t feel the same engagement with ‘traditional’ landscapes, although I am learning a lot.

      I too love those hands. They entice me to return again in warmer weather when the gardens are in bloom.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So good to hear from you but never apologize for living life or photos that you think aren’t up to your high standards. I applaud your efforts while you battle an eye problem. And, I LOVE your artwork. If you can finish that while not seeing clearly, lady, your skills are impressive. Good luck with the laser surgery. I’ve had laser eye surgery before and survived to tell the tale. 🙂

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    • Thanks Judy. I must say I’m quite surprised by the reaction from readers about my painting. While I was super-impressed with myself, I didn’t expect others to share my enthusiasm 🙂

      I too have had eye surgery – twice on this same eye. I’m hoping this 3rd time is a charm :/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Joanne. I’m happy that you took time to enjoy life! I’m going to try and do some of that myself this year. Look at all these comments — even at this time of year when everyone is so busy. You were missed by so many!
    I’m really sorry about the vision problem. That has to be frightening. But I would have never guessed you were having any difficulty from these photos. They’re all wonderful. And I absolutely love your painting!
    Wishing you a joyous, healthful, and just flat out fabulous 2019. Mega hugs!

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  4. I always look forward to your changing seasons posts, Joanne. And I’m glad you’ve been busy and getting time outside even though we don’t see you as much. I hope that your eye is recovering and that you’ll resume your photographic confidence! And AMAZING painting. Many wonderful wishes for the new year. 🙂 ❤

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    • It’s always a pleasure to have you visit my space 💕 I hope the new year is treating you well so far!

      I’m still in a holding pattern about my eye. Getting onto the schedule of any surgeon is always an exercise in patience … something I don’t have an abundance of at any time. Thankfully it’s more annoying than anything else. The human body is such a remarkable thing … I’m already getting used to the blur and compensating for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year Joanne. Hope your eye issue resolves quickly. I like reading your posts. I’m half asleep as I’m about to go back to work. But a bit of blog reading is good for me.

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  6. Gorgeous photos Joanne and I totally get ‘being busy living life elsewhere’. I found in 2018 that blogging was continuing to encroach more into my life. Whilst I love it, I also don’t want to miss out on living my life and enjoying new adventures and opportunities. I think many of us in the blogging world feel the same and need to overcome the guilt if we don’t post something. I’m sorry to hear about your eye problem and hope that it is fixed soon. I also love your artwork and am envious of those who can paint. I say I can’t but perhaps I’m not trying enough. Have a wonderful 2019 and I would love to have you as a guest for my Over 50 & Thriving series which I am continuing this year. If you are keen, can you drop me an email at sue@sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au ? I can then send you some details. Happy New Year! xx

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    • After 6 years in the blogging world I still haven’t figured out the balance between living life in real time vs virtual time. I’m starting to think of it as a good problem to have since it means I’m still engaged with the world 🙂

      I was told by a teacher when I was young that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body and was therefore convinced I could never do creative work like painting.
      Several bloggers tried to convince me that everyone has an artist inside of them, so I accepted the challenge and signed up for classes.
      As a result, I am amazing myself.
      I’m discovering it is a skill like any other – there are techniques that can be learned … even by people like me.
      It’s been scary, it’s been uncomfortable, and I’m still intimidated whenever I face the canvas I’m working on … but I’m slowing getting over it as the skills start to feel more comfortable.
      If this is something you’ve always wanted to do – I recommend it! Find a good, nurturing studio and let your inner artist out!! Trust me on this one – if I can do it, anyone can 🙂

      Thank you for considering me for your Over 50 series, but I don’t think my blogging voice lends itself very well to doing guest spots. I tried it once and it felt very awkward and unnatural.

      Like

  7. I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your eyesight but glad to hear that it’s able to be remedied. Getting out and taking advantage of warmer days is always a treat!! It sounds like you had a very full December. I love your painting! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful new year!!

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  8. Ah-ha, well no wonder you’re experiencing blurry vision: that cocktail is half-consumed! Take the pictures before having a drink, Joanne. 😉 Good luck with the procedure; I hope it all goes well. Happy New Year! – Marty

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    • hahaha!! The camera rarely comes out when the martinis are flowing. I had one very unfortunately incident a number of years ago when a drink was dropped on my laptop. It was a very expensive lesson learned. Now I keep my electronics away!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry about your eye, Joanne. I am enjoying the photos you shared. I really like the one that shows perspective and distance and especially that blue sky. Your painting is beautiful! I agree with you on “the stuff of life’’ taking up time and yet, this is where the stories are. All the best for 2019!

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    • Photos taken on days with brilliantly blue skies tend to be my favourite, especially if there is also an interesting cloud formation. Unfortunately it seems we don’t get a lot of those.

      You are so right about stories being located in the stuff of life. I admit that I feel like I spent so much of my working years chasing life that I often failed to see the story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Annie – we all have our challenges and my eyes have long been one of mine. This is just one more chapter in a book with too many plot twists. In the grand scheme of things though, I really can’t complain.

      Happy New Year to you and Pauly. I hope 2019 is a kind and happy year for the 2 of you ❤️

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  10. No recriminations here about your quiet December on the blog front, although I did miss your voice. You are entitled to enjoy your holiday guilt-free! Sorry about the eye issue, although I think your photos are fabulous. 🙂 Nancy

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  11. Despite your eye troubles (which I am sorry to hear about!), I think your photos are wonderful. As is that painting you did! Brava, my friend!
    Sometimes I take photos without slapping on my glasses first, on purpose! I then “see” shapes and composition more and detail less (because of course there is no detail to be seen through the lens when my glasses are off…LOL!)
    Wishing you a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebrations, Joanne…Deb

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    • We all have our proverbial Achilles heel and my eyes are one of my mine. Frustrating more than anything else. I’m hoping it won’t be too long before I can get scheduled for the correction. In the meantime, I cross my fingers and hope my photos come out reasonably in focus 🙂

      Happy New Year, Deb. Hoping that the weather next weekend is good and we can get out on that hike together!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. If you’re away from your blog because you are living a full life I won’t complain. Sorry about your eye troubles. I still think you take marvellous photos. I love that hand sculpture. Thank you for sharing more of your art. That piece is absolutely wonderful.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

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    • Yeah – December is just one of those months when there is too much going on to worry much about blogging 🙂 With the long winter still ahead, I imagine there will be plenty of time to play catch-up.

      I was quite fascinated by that hand sculpture and took many photos of it. I’d like to return there again in the spring/summer.

      Thanks for liking my painting. I know there are many very talented artists out there and I certainly don’t profess to be anywhere close, but I understand now the allure of creating art. The more I do, the more I want to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yours is a lovely post. I found it both uplifting and honest. Here’s to your continuing to live life elsewhere, dealing with whatever each day presents. The photos that accompany your narrative are alive and thoughtful. Thank you for creating time to share.

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    • Thanks Jan – but I can’t take credit for the composition. I’m still learning technique so I’m recreating someone else’s work.
      I really struggled with the technique to get the background like the original work so in the end, after 3 attempts, the background became ‘mine’.

      Like

  14. Love the painting, Joanne! The colors are some of my favorites. The hands sculpture is magnificent too! Looks like you’ve been having a fun time, except for the eye issue. Hope you have a terrific New Year.

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  15. I’m so sorry to hear about your eye problem. I really hope it is a simple (and painless!!!!) fix.
    Your painting is really, really lovely. I am so glad you found the class and that you’re enjoying it. I have the biggest smile right now!
    Wishing you a very happy, adventure-filled and creative year ahead. Thanks so much for being part of the Changing Seasons whanau.

    Like

    • Thanks Su. It will actually be the 3rd time on this eye. Sigh. But I also appreciate it could be much worse.

      I really appreciate the encouragement I’ve received from you. This has been so far outside my comfort level and although I admit that it still intimidates me, I’m slowing starting to feel a bit more confidence. Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  16. “Oh yeah, doc. Please poke a hole in my eye!” Ugh. So sorry about the vision problem, Joanne. I don’t know what you had to redo on the painting, but it’s beautiful. Your 3 Ninjas look so ripped! If it wasn’t raining outside and we didn’t still have holiday food to polish off, I would join them! Haha! No, I wouldn’t…Happy New to you, Joanne!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, my 3 ninjas ARE totally ripped! I guess that’s what happens when you’re young, athletic, and eat responsibly … something I’m missing on all 3 counts 😏

      Thanks for liking my painting. It often was a work of frustration but I learned a LOT though!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. I am enjoying this learning process but I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point when it no longer intimidates me.
      I have a lot of homework to do before classes start again in a week. I’ve been procrastinating ….

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  17. Ugh to the eye issue Joanne. It must be very frustrating. Perhaps just use your phone to take photos for now? Your artwork is seriously beautiful. Wishing you all the very best in 2019. Happy New Year!

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  18. Goodbye December and hello 2019. Some great photos here and what a handsome group your fit looking ninja’s are. Good luck with your eye procedure – seems many of us ‘femmes d’un certain age’ are developing problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, all the men in my life are a very fit bunch 🙂
      This aging thing is really annoying at times. There always seems to be something that goes on the fritz. I’m grateful that so far they’ve been only in the annoying category. I can live with that 😉

      Like

  19. Ooh, love the painting with the bent tree and the autumn colours in the background suggesting movement and wind and a lovely Harvest moon. You have talent. Sorry to hear about the eye problem, that does sound horrid and I hope it can be fixed without too much trauma. You are obviously someone who enjoys Christmas and all that goes with it and it sounds like you are having a lovely time. Wishing you all the best for 2019 and I hope you will still find time in your busy life to share some of it with us 🙂
    Jude xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lots of love back at you, Jude 💕 Hope that 2019 is kind and generous.

      Thanks for your kind words about my painting. I’m not so sure about the talent part, but I am learning that art can be a teachable skill. Apparently even I can learn 😉
      I’m serious about my comment that real artists deserve a lot of respect. I’ve learned just enough to appreciate how hard it really is.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sorry to hear about your vision problem. I hope the procedure is less scary than it sounds and easily corrects the problem. I think your painting is quite nice, and your winter scene photos are amazing, especially the bare trees along the shore.

    Happy New Year, Joanne!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dan. Right now it’s an irritant more than anything else. It just takes me longer to do things, and I realize it could be so much worse. I too am hoping that the reality of the procedure is a LOT less scarier than it sounds 😏

      Happy New Year!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I guess a green Christmas is a special treat for Canadians. I like the colorful and other-worldly look to your painting. Hope your eye gets better soon, although it hasn’t seemed to affect the quality of your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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