Happy Solstice!

Winter Solstice Greetings

May light fill your hearts and your lives as the sun returns, bringing inspiration and happiness.

I have seen various images of winter trees in lino printing, all snowy white silhouetted against a dark sky. However I needed the sun in my sky, not the moon and stars, so after a lot of thought and several sketches, I came up with this design.

This is a tree I see to the East every morning, growing in a garden a short distance away and now tall enough to show over the rooftops. It always intrigues me to look at things in mirror image when creating lino prints, so I took that idea further by drawing the tree the right way and its mirror – knowing that once printed I would still have the right way and the mirror. For once I drew straight onto the lino, knowing that any copying and image reversing was superfluous.

Last summer I was able to acquire a small roller press, and this was its first use which was a joy. I can still improve my inking, but the ‘misty effect’ improved some of the images for me on this occasion. All a learning process which takes a long time when I seem to do only one a year!

Evergreen plants have long been a symbol of life and fertility for the middle of winter. Many ancient cultures used to bring sprigs of greenery into homes or temples for decoration at this time of year, and that has never stopped. A wreath, to me, symbolises the cyclical wheel of the year, always turning through each season, while trees are life themselves as well as representative of the World Tree from which all life grows. This particular tree is probably an overgrown Christmas tree planted out several years ago…

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

We have been given a mirror to hang on a wall. It has a dark wooden frame and bevelled edges to the glass, and was probably part of a dressing table before it had a chain fitted across its back for hanging.

I have written before on here about how I have been trying to change the energies particularly in our hallway, to create a more positive environment. The very cold turquoise blue that filled the centre of the house has always been hard to live with, but equally hard to change easily given the state of the walls, the difficulty of access over the stairs, and the fact it really needs doing last! (I tried to do it first, only the plaster fell off one wall. So one wall got painted, one was reduced to bare render, and the rest is still turquoise… including the ceiling!) Over the past year I have been creative in wall hangings to cover the colour and add to it, and now we have gained a mirror …

Mirrors can have the effect of reflecting light into dark spaces, always adding to whatever light is present. Assuming the glass is clear, they help to energise a space – not ideal in a bedroom, but great where energy is stagnant or where the flow of energy needs redirecting to fill the corners. They also help you see around a corner so are particularly useful in an L-shaped space such as we have.

Unfortunately the minute the mirror was up, I knew it was wrong. Instead of reflecting more happy, harmonious pictures and colours, such as the cute frog picture hung almost opposite it, it managed to pick up the turquoise and spread that back into all the areas I thought I had improved. Yes I could take it down again, but having taken three months to get it up, which involved making an attachment that could support its weight, I didn’t think that suggestion would go down well! So instead I thought for a while, and after a few hours the solution came to me. Paint just the bit of wall that was now being reflected. Doable while M has her nap, and dry in two hours. (I also considered hanging a coloured cloth, but cloths get pulled and tugged…)

So the wall is now a neutral straw colour, that being the one pot of leftover paint we had. Not quite as warm as I would have liked, but it has the advantage of being light and sunny which is exactly what our hallway needs.