HELLO 2015 January 16 2015

I hope you’ve had a fabulous festive break!

With the tinsel tucked away for another year, the dark months of January find me making batches of Seville orange marmalade, spotting the first snowdrops and spring-cleaning my studio…washing paint palettes and brushes, sharpening pencils and drawing out my year planner in readiness to kick-start the new creative year.

2015 already looks set to be an exciting and busy year - I’m due to move into my new workspace in the coming months, with lots of fresh artwork collections and projects in the pipeline, plus I’m delighted to say that - I have a forthcoming exhibition at Southwark Cathedral Refectory in the Spring - details to follow soon.

As part of my creative research, I love learning about traditional British customs and festivals, so throughout the year I’ll be sharing my findings here.

On 17 January, the tradition of Wassailing is practiced in the cider-producing counties in the South West and South East of England by way of encouraging fruit trees and crops to thrive in the coming season. This involves people processing and gathering in orchards, singing wassail songs and drinking hot mulled cider from the wassail cup.

Perhaps one of the best-known January customs is Burn’s Night, whereby Burn’s Suppers are held in celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, usually on or around 25 January. A traditional Burn’s Night supper consists of haggis, neeps and tatties, washed down with Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burn’s poetry.

I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year (or Happy Hogmanay!)… more soon.