Festive market

A huge thank you to everyone who came to the University Staff Common Room festive arts and crafts market last week. What a wonderful evening! There was a buzz in the air while we were setting up and it lasted throughout the event.

Jeanne-Louise stands behind a table laden with art on display stands and in display files. The table has a red table cloth.

I didn't have quite enough time to enjoy the great range of lovely wares my colleagues were displaying but I did buy some yummy preserves (going to go well with a cheese board or few) and chocolate (going to be very tempting to eat myself).

My best sellers were my greetingscards and my bird paintings. Here are some of the birds that took flight to their new forever homes:

Painting of robin perched amidst snowy branches. The painting is on a display stand next to a vase of daffodils and rose quartz crystals.

^ Snow day (acrylic on board)

Snow day is an extra special painting because it was the first time I attempted to paint a snowy landscape. It was inspired by a robin I saw on a snowy wintery walk around a rather icy Whiteknights Lake in 2020. I love robins, they are one of my favourite British birds. I'm drawn to the contrast of their rotund shape and dinky legs, their darting movement, quizzical expression and of course that fabulous flash of red-orange plumage. Love a colour pop!

Painting of swan gliding on water with tree reflections and water ripples

^ Swan on the Kennet (acrylic on paper)

Swan on the Kennet was also inspired by a local walk but this time alongside the River Kennet. It was also my first swan painting. At the time, I didn't realise that painting birds, and swans in particular, was going to become a regular subject for me. My focus in the painting was more on the reflections and the ripples than the white bird – I've always marvelled at water but it's really hard to paint well so I'm proud of how well the foliage reflections came out on this one.

Painting of two African penguins near the waters-edge on a sandy beach

^ Penguins at Boulders (acrylic on paper)

Penguins at Boulders is an earlier work (you can tell by the signature) inspired by a lovely early morning outing to Boulders' Beach with family. If you're ever in Cape Town, don't miss this special African penguin colony spot. 

Among all the greetingscard sales, the birds (owls and penguins) and the bees sold well. As did a few flower and ballet cards. But most of my card sales were, as anticipated, my festive ballettoons. To enjoy my festive Hedgies throughout December, follow @ballettoons on Insta. 

Ballettoons greetingscard: Hedgie poised in arabesque in a Christmas bauble costumeBallettoons greetingscard: Hedgie poised in arabesque in a Clara costume holding a Nutcracker doll aloftBallettoons greetingscard: Hedgie in a red and white Christmas stocking

There are still a few festive Hedgies available. If you're interested in buying 3 for £10, get in touch before Friday and I'll let you know which ones are still available. If you're one of my art newsletter subscribers, I'll throw in complimentary UK postage.

Jeanne-Louise holds a swan painting as she stands behind her art market table

Thank you again to everyone who was involved in joining and supporting the market. And a big shout out to our wonderful organisers Sarah and Charlene!

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