Christmas Letter ~ The Art Of Living 2013

Once again the Christmas season is open us. It came up fast this year for me. I have been a very busy bee in 2013.

I averaged approx 4 paintings a month until my accident but even that didn’t stop me from painting completely. I finished 3 paintings while recuperating.

In June we had the Art and Garden Tour in our community. The Elissa Anthony Studio was on “the map” for that event as both a garden and an art location. We had a ton of prep work for that Show and I must say our property had never looked so wonderful.

At the same time we had a lovely couple staying in our suite for the month,Val and Eric. It just so happened that Val was an artist too, so we spent some quality time together discussing ~ you guessed it ~ ART. Val also helped us get the studio ready for the Art and Garden Tour. Thanks Val and Eric!

We had over 100 people thru our garden and studio, so I would consider that a successful day. Especially when you consider we live in the middle of nowhere!

For the July long weekend we packed the car up with 17 paintings ,cooler, clothes and us and headed for Waterton National Park where I had a joint show with a photographer in the Gust gallery. The Show was well attended and I met some new people, so although not a huge financial success it was in terms of “getting my name out there”.  After the show Gerry and Leslie had a wonderful Canada day celebration where I was asked to sing the National Anthem. Pretty memorable to be standing there looking out over an incredible mountain range and singing a song about the splendours of our country. We are so very lucky to live here.

We ended up in Calgary for a couple of day visiting with James family and then home for more painting. I had another show in Port Alberni at the Rollin Centre,so I wanted to get some work done that was specifically of the Port Alberni area. After these were finished I decided since the studio walls were almost naked that it was a good time to fill holes and paint the walls. Which I did. That took most of 5 days.

Then we had delivered the paintings and they were hung at the Rollin Centre. We had ordered the appie trays for the Saturday Show and were just winding down the afternoon so that we could relax on the deck with a glass of wine. It was Friday August 9th~ the Opening for the Alberni Show was the next day.

James said he would just put one last wire on a painting  and I said Ok then I will hang one more painting. And then disaster ~ He said something to me and I turned while on the step stool misplaced my foot twisted and fell hard on my right side. I heard the crunch and knew immediately that I had  broken something. The ambulance was called and I ended up in emergency over night with a 3 hour surgery the next day to set 4 breaks.

I spent the next 2 months in bed where I also developed an infection at the top of one of the incisions. A month ago I went back in for more surgery to remove a piece of hardware and they found another infection. I was on an antibiotic drip for 3 days and needed a week of bedrest. actually more like 2 weeks.

In the midst of this we had another Studio Tour happen ~ The CIA Tour (www.centralislandartisans.com) which was a huge success. It was a 2 day event and I must admit James spent most of the time out there on Sunday as I was just exhausted from the Saturday. I was still in a wheel chair at that point, but was able to get into the studio with the help of my walker.

I am now walking ~ just barely with a cane, and I don’t have much strength physically or emotionally but I do know I will be able to walk again at some point. I am painting as well, so I count myself lucky. This year was topsy-turvy. From the highest highs to the lowest lows.

I had lots of time to think while I was laid up and I realized something that I had been overlooking ~ family and friends are what makes this life bearable. Choose your friends wisely and treat them well. You may need their help someday and often times those you thought were friends are not capable of seeing you thru tough times. I know ~ I was let down by many of those I called friends and was very hurt by their lack of visiting, phoning etc~ even though most of them live within a 1 k distance of our house. Made me realize I only have a handful of true friends I can count on, so I will treat them with great care in the future.

I would like to thank Dagmar Sydel and Nancy Robertson for their unwavering friendship during that time. And my sister in law Cindy Cherry who came out to stay with us those first tough weeks when I was completely bedridden.

Life is about art ~ but it is about the art of enjoying what you have, who you are and those closest to you. Remember to STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES.

Next year I intend to round out my life a bit more ~ spend more quality time with my husband, work in the garden together, see friends more often, swim x2 a week and eat properly. Have the whole pie instead of just a slice called “painting”.

All the best to you all for the holidays, enjoy your family, friends and rest assured in the knowledge that someone out there loves you like I am loved by my husband James.

Merry Christmas.

 

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