Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Day was not always on Jan 1

Various New Year traditions have been celebrated for a long time — the earliest recorded celebration was in about 2000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, where the new year was celebrated in mid-March, around the time of the vernal equinox. Iranians and Balinese still celebrate the new year with the spring equinox. The Chinese New Year is based around the lunar cycles, and it can fall between late January and late February. In Europe, the Celtic New Year began on November 1st, after the harvest.

The first time that New Year's Day was celebrated on January 1st was in 45 B.C., when Caesar redid the Roman calendar. I would have made NY Day on September 1. But that is the old "teacher" in me, I think. Fall is the time for "new beginnings". New shoes, new classes, new goals. There is a kind of "anticipation" in the air (at least up north).

In honor of "new goals" I started a little practice piece on Yupo, a paper that I hadn't revisited since last spring. I wanted to have a little example next Monday. And I didn't have anything in the works. I'll be teaching an "intro to Yupo" along with my friend Phyllis Crickenberger of WV in February. Many of the gals in my park Fine Art Group have not worked with Yupo and don't even know what it is!

I just wanted to show them some "possibilities" and let them feel the paper and show them a work in progress. The pair of porch chairs are actually from a photo at Phyllis' home in WV.

She paints VERY differently from me...loves florals and soft landscapes and still lifes. I tend to get more "abstract" with mine. So class participants will get a really different view of the paper and what it can do. I wanted to use some stamps and bubble wrap just to give the idea of how you can move the paint around. You can work so fast in Yupo and then go back and play and refine and change forever.

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