Friday, 1 January 2010

TFE's New Year Celebration of Lights


Today I'm taking part in TFE's New Year Celebration of Lights by lighting a candle in honour of persons who have especially influenced my life, and who are no longer on this earth.
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Firstly I'm celebrating my beloved boxer - (her blogger name shall be Gudrun!) - who lightened my life for several years. I had to draw her while she was asleep, as animals do not like to be stared at! She often snoozed with her tongue hanging out, which amused us.
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The perfect sketching companion, she would sit patiently while I drew or gazed at favourite places in the landscape. These pictures are from a journal in which I made very swift memory drawings of walks and found it helpful as an artist to include myself in the drawings occasionally. Looking at the pictures now very powerfully reminds me of those days, and the special bond which exists between oneself and one's dog.





The second lighting of the candle is to Finnish artist and author Tove Jansson. As a child I absolutely adored her illustrated Moomintroll books, (I still do!), and believe they have had a strong influence on my creative imagination, and the way I perceive nature.
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Last year my boyfriend bought me two volumes of her Moomin comic strip originally published in the London Evening News in the 1950's. They are as whimsical and enchanting as her children's books. She had great artistic integrity and refused to allow her work to be used in ways which detracted from it's essence. She is also an inspiration as someone who steadfastly followed her dreams and used her creative talent all her life.

Ingrid Sylvestre

33 comments:

Alaine said...

What a lovely idea and I love the sketch of Gudrun. I've had two boxers in my life, Penny and Tanjay, with fond memories and photos of them. Happy New Year! xa

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What a sweet picture of your dog, she looks so relaxed and happy! It's pretty amazing how strongly bonded we can become with our dogs. I'm glad you have so many good memories of her.
I hope you have a very happy new year!

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks for visiting at mine. This looks like a blog I will enjoy this year! I loved the Moomins too (though have yet to persuade my 9 year old of their power...).
Happy New Year.
x

Phoenix C. said...

Happy New Year to you too, Alaine! As you have also had boxers, you will be familiar with their endearing little ways! They are so lovable and entertaining - we got rid of the television and watched the boxer instead!

Phoenix C. said...

Catherine, she was very relaxed and happy, though when we first got her, from a rescue, she was nervous, trembling and thin. It was lovely to see her gradually get happy and get that natural boxer playfulness back again!

Happy New Year to you too, and I look forward to seeing your garden throughout 2010.

Phoenix C. said...

Looking forward to your visits during 2010, Rachel!

I hope your 9 year old gets into the Moomins - maybe later in life, if not as a child.

Happy New Year!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

My cat James is a wonderful companion, and it's a shame human and cat lifespans aren't more equal. He's 16.5 years old and slowing down, but still in great health. I didn't grow up with Moomins (more or less unknown in the US), but I've had a Finnish friend for over 20 years so I know those wonderful creatures, and there's something very endearing about them. I didn't know the artist had died.

Diane AZ said...

I love your drawing of Gudrun, what a wonderful pet she must be. Thank you for the intro to Tove Jansson and her charming Moomins. Happy New Year!

Carol said...

I love your Gudrun pastel! Sorry you had to lose him. I too love Tove Jansson, though I only found her magical art recently! It was a wonderful discovery through one of my Swedish blog friends. Lovely idea to light a candle in remembrance of a lost friend. Peace and Joy in this New Year! Best Wishes, Carol

Carol said...

I love the feeling in your sketches ... especially the one with you standing next to your dog. c

Paulie said...

What talent God has given you! Beautiful artistic memories of your special friend . . . a good time for remembering the great times you shared!

Hope you are making more memories for 2010!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hiya Phoenix c

Happy new year to you!

Lovely sentiments and what a beautiful dog. Here's to 2010.

Rob

Phoenix C. said...

Monica, as you say, cats are wonderful companions too - I've been introduced to James via your blog with your lovely photos.

I didn't realize Moomins were not well known in the US. I think they must be making a comeback here in the UK, because the entire set of children's books has recently been republished.

You've just reminded me that I used to have a Finnish penfriend when I was about 10 - must look her up!

Phoenix C. said...

Happy New Year, Diane - and hope you are able to get hold of some of the Moomin books and enjoy Jansson's wonderful artwork!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Carol! I find that sometimes quick sketches convey feeling more than 'finished' artwork, more spontaneous maybe!

Glad you have discovered Jansson's work. Best Wishes for a wonderful 2010.

Phoenix C. said...

Paulie, thank you! The turn of the year is a good time for going through memories, as well as looking ahead. All the best to you for 2010 also!

Phoenix C. said...

Happy New Year to you too, Rob, and may 2010 be a great year for you. I look forward to seeing more gorgeous photos of your idyllic place in the Dordogne!

Totalfeckineejit said...

I really love those pencil sketches, they are wonderful.And what a fiting tribute too to your dog.Mollie the collie comes with me everywhere and just like your dog she sits patiently while I talk to people or take photographs.Must investigate The Moomins.Hapy New Year!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you TFE. Mollie the collie is a good name!

Hope you enjoy the Moomins.

Thank you for coming up with the idea for this Celebration of Lights, and wishing you a Happy New Year too!

Anna said...

What a fine and noble looking dog Phoenix - you must miss her. I enjoyed the Moomintrolls too. Have you read her 'A Winter Book' and 'The Summer Book' ? No illustrations as such, although the former has some photos of Tove Jansson as a child and of other members of her family. Both quite beautifully written and haunting. I think that you may enjoy them if you have not already come across them. A most happy and peaceful new year to you!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Anna. I had not heard of Jansson's 'Winter' and 'Summer' books - they sound really interesting, and I will look for them. I intend to read her memoir 'Sculptor's Daughter' too.

Best Wishes for a wonderful 2010 to you!

RuneE said...

That was a very nice concept - and especially for an artist like yourself. Very inspiring - and I wish you a Happy New Year!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you, RuneE! (I imagine Jansson's books are well known in Norway?) I wish you a Happy New Year too!

Pondside said...

Happy New Year to you!
What a good time I've just had looking at your last few posts. Your cards are quite amazing - I'm always attracted to the pop up cards that can be left out to give pleasure long after the occasion, whatever it is, has passed.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Pondside! I really enjoyed creating the pop up cards, and one of my aims for this year is to do some pop up book illustrations.

Wishing you a great 2010!

Malyss said...

I had a dog as little girl, and I wish I could have drawed his portrait to keep a sweet memory of him.. Now, I've got two cats, Jim and Chestnut; An other world..Ü but also bringing full of joy.
Each time I come here, your pictures are such a pleasure.
I wish you a lot of inspiration for this new Year, and the success in your books projects!

lynn'sgarden said...

Have you mentioned your boxer before, PC? I don't recall...What a wonderful sketch of her!
Thanks for being such a great blogging friend this past year and I soo look forward to seeing more of your amazing artwork!
Lynn ;)

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you so much, Malyss!

I had a cat too, when I was very young, and still have happy memories of him.

Wishing you a lovely New Year too, and I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful photographs, and benches!

Phoenix C. said...

I hadn't mentioned my boxer before, Lynn, as it was a while ago that we lost her - TFE's event has been an opportunity to share these happy memories of her.

Thank you for being such a great blogging friend too - here's to a great 2010!

Prospero said...

I think that Gudrun still lives in that portrait. It is just so lovingly done. And I know what you mean about them lighting up our lives. They do that with infinite grace.

I've just been reading Ibsen's Master Builder and I had to chuckle when you spoke of trolls! And, of course, I want to wish you the very best new year.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Prospero. Gudrun lights up my life every time I think about her still.

I haven't read any Ibsen, (yet!).

I wish you a wonderful 2010, Prospero, and look forward to enjoying your blog throughout the year.

Jasmine said...

I love that your first thought was your dog. I still think fondly of my old collie yet we parted 6 years ago. She lives in my heart!

Phoenix C. said...

Jasmine, it has been a very meaningful experience posting about my dog, and has reminded me afresh how much she meant, and still means, to me.