Now that the holidays are over, I am working on getting my etsy shop restocked and new art available for Midwinter. At this time of the year, I’m all about being cozy and I think you can see it in these pieces.
By Lantern Light
“By Lantern Light” is my latest painting, and it was a fun winter scene that isn’t necessarily for Christmas. Perhaps it is more about ‘midwinter’, and those dark winter nights and the loveliness of a candle’s glow on the snow.
Of course I had to give her some nice knitwear, and I do love a little red knitted gnome hat! The hat is like one my daughter used to wear, back when she was very small and would wear what I made her!
St. Distaff Day
This piece is called “St. Distaff Day,” and features a scene from an old and rather obscure saint day observed in Olde England called “St. Distaff Day.” There appears to not have really been an actual saint named Distaff, but the distaff has been, for centuries, a fiber art tool and later a symbol of domestic life and work done by women. A distaff is a stick used to hold wool or flax while it is being used for spinning. It could be attached to a spinning wheel or held as an object, either in hand, a pocket, or tied within a woman’s apron belt.
St. Distaff Day was observed on January 7, the day after Epiphany, as essentially— the day to get back to work and routine after the merriment of the 12 days of Christmas. Farm men would have observed ‘plow Monday’ around this time, when they’d prepare their fields for spring planting. Meanwhile the womenfolk would have sat down once again to their spinning and weaving, and thus, a little ‘holy day’ was born!
Painting the Dala Horse
Painting the Dala Horse is a piece I completed last year, and it is actually the art for February in my 2020 calendar (I have a small handful left of those in my shop, by the way! But they’re selling pretty steady so get yours now!)
This piece was inspired by cozy, indoor pursuits during the winter months, and focuses on the painting of a traditional dala horse by a father as his children look on. I spoke a little about this is a previous post, but in summary ‘dala horses’ are a traditional craft of Sweden, more precisely from the Dalarna region of the country. Carving and painting these simple, charming horses became a winter pass-time as it was too cold and dark to do much outdoors. In the summer months, these little dala horse figures would be sold as a tourist souvenir, and over time it became a symbol not only of the area, but the entire country.
Hannah’s stitches was inspired by a beautiful colonial style interior I found in an old issue of Country Living Magazine. I loved the color of the walls, and the woven coverlet on the wall. The rest of it came from my imagination, including the autumn landscape outside.
I made Hannah as an old fashioned girl working on her sewing, and her dress is patterned after the 1840s/1850s style, although it is folk art and a bit of an artistic interpretation. I love how the deep teal color and the burgandy dress compliment each other, and was pretty pleased with how my first painted overshot coverlet turned out!
ALL of these pieces are now available as prints in my shop, and at the moment I am working on new art— with my 2021 calendar not far from mind! The calendar has proven to be a fun challenge, as I try to create work that spans all the seasons. I do love Christmas and autumn, but I have to remind myself that there are other, just as lovely times to paint– especially spring and midwinter, after all the Christmas festivities have ended.
I hope you enjoy the new art! And I will be back very soon for a more chatty post. I just wanted to share with you here some of my newest items in the shop!~