Christmas Eve in the Mountains

Christmas Eve in the Mountains

Good morning everyone. Well, obviously it’s not quite Christmas Eve just yet, but it’s been on my mind a bit this year. Because it will be different again, due to restrictions here in the UK. Normally we would visit a big house to see the lovely decorations, but we’re not too keen to be indoors with lots of people. So, just before things started tightening up we we went to the Carding Shed cafe, which is quite large and, luckily, was not crowded. And the coffee is very good! Not to mention the home baked pastries.

The Carding Shed Bar

Incidentally, I’d just like to explain that the business is part classic car repair shop and part cafe with an American diner, fifties style. So, that might help you to make sense of the photos.

Classic Car
Christmas Decs
Christmas Tree and Toy Soldier

Anyway, just to explain, the premises is a renovated industrial building in a Pennine valley, near Holmfirth. And I think the name ‘Carding Shed’ refers to one of the processes in preparing raw wool into yarn. Actually, weaving was one of the main occupations in this area of Yorkshire back in the day.

Christmas Eve in the Mountains

However, although we haven’t been very far at all this year, I do travel virtually in my paintings. For instance, I went to a beautiful little valley in the mountains here! Then I came home and painted myself this souvenir. Seriously though, I was very pleased with this as I painted it all from my imagination. And, for me, this is a big deal – something I find hard to do. So, on that note of traditional Christmas card scene, I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year ( remember, snow is optional). You can find another Yorkshire snow scene in this post here.

My Natural Style Christmas Decorations

A gouache painting, showing a Christmas wreath , natural style. Hanging on a garden gate
Christmas Wreath

Hello everyone. I hope you have had a peaceful few days. Before the season is over, I’d like to show you this little gouache painting in my artjournal, a natural style of Christmas decoration. To be honest, I chose this subject in response to the challenge ‘ Christmas at Home ‘. It was set to inspire us in our Beginner Gouache Group on Mewe. And, I think it is a really good subject to explore. Especially now, of course, when some people can’t get home or see the ones they want to.

Anyway, this little illustration took far longer then I expected to complete, considering that it is only 8 inch square. But, I think it is really good that I try different styles of painting and drawing – it gets me out of my comfort zone. And it can also be surprisingly enjoyable.

Christmas Tree – Natural Style

Christmas Tree – Natural Style.

Actually, I painted this gloriously impressive tree from life, whilst sitting in the beautifully decorated Ballroom at Cannon Hall, a nearby stately home. However, I don’t think that my on the spot watercolour really captures the full effect of the tree. It must have been at least 18 foot tall! Personally, I adore real life fir trees and we always have one in the house ( about 6 feet tall ). It really makes Christmas for me. And, I also choose a very simple, natural style wreath, made of fir or holly, with just a simple ribbon bow. In fact, a lot of the decorations in my house are painted wood and ceramic,textile, my own festive paintings, flowers and plants plus candles – quite simple and natural.

A photo of a twig garland decorated in natural style with holly, fir ,slices of dried lime and white wooden stars.

We went for a walk before Christmas in the formal garden of Nostell Priory, another big house nearby. And to my delight, as we walked away from the lake towards the Menagerie Garden, we caught sight of the natural style decorations in the trees. And they were beautifully made by a local artist, using twigs, pinecones, twine and holly. As you might imagine, I felt quite inspired. Something to bear in mind for next Christmas! Click here to see some of my festive paintings from last year.

Christmas Paintings in Acrylic on Canvas

Ideas for Christmas Paintings

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Here are some ideas for Christmas paintings.

Small box canvas Christmas paintings in acrylic- Robin,  Christmas tree  and  snow covered village scenes.
The box canvas Christmas paintings

I love this time of year but the downside is not having enough time to paint as well as get the house Christmas ready. Of course you have to buy and wrap the pressies, decorate the tree and so on.

So it’s a good idea to : 1] Paint Christmas paintings and card designs the year before and then have them printed in time to send this year.

A watercolour painting of a boy dragging home this year's Christmas tree in the forest. A forest landscape.
This year’s tree

And the second strategy is to recycle artwork from previous years, dust them off and arrange them somewhere different in the house.

Mother and child walking through the snow  to the  Christmas service at church
Going to Church

Last year, I took part in the Angel Festival of Hoylandswaine church with my art group. I must say, the church looked brilliant – full of beautiful angels.

A traditional angel  walking down the path from Heaven to Earth .
Angel of Peace

Do you know , I got so enthused this year that I arranged an angel painting evening at Barnsley and District Art Society. And it was great fun. See more angels in my January post ‘ Mythical Creatures – Including Dragons ! ‘ here

Angel in a golden robe

And I did it all before the festive season to cut down on creative stress.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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