Then and Now: December 2021, January 2022.

December is the month to wrap up projects and to take stock of the year gone by. While looking back, December, in my family, is also when we come together and make new memories, in the present. This intersection of past-present-future infuses the month with an air of contemplation. As Proust taught us, memory-making and recalling are very much tied to our senses.

In Canada, December brings fresh, crisp snowfall, the smell of cloves and fir trees, the crackling of a fire, the twinkle of lights against a dark night sky. For me, December means a bottomless pot of hot apple cider simmering on the stove and piles of clementine oranges and Christmas baking throughout the house. In this post, I write about my recent ‘then’—what I’ve been up to during my favourite month of the year—and my ‘now’, the first month of 2022!

This December I was in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, where I grew up, vising family. Just before the holidays, I participated in an art fair pop up at The Arches of St. George Street. Lots of work and preparation went into the day (read about that process here) and at the end of it, I was tired but happy!

Hi from my booth at the Saturday, December 18th, 2021, Art Fair Pop Up in Moncton, N.B.

My favourite part about the art fair experience was meeting and talking with people. So much of what I do, whether that be in the studio or in the office, I do alone – that is, with the very important exception of my husband Thomas, who joins me on inspiration walks and helps with all things photography, technology, business, and marketing. Although I know when a painting is finished for me, it really feels complete when I get to connect with collectors and see my work find new homes. It feels wonderful that my watercolours, prints, and cards have homes in New Brunswick.

My booth with Laura K. Smith Paintings greeting cards, original watercolours, and prints of selected acrylic paintings.

In the last days of 2021, I also got to deliver two commissioned paintings. I was asked to make a pair of paintings that depict Fall in the Maritimes; one of a rugged hiking trail, the other of a view of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. I worked on these paintings simultaneously to ensure a colour cohesion across the pieces. I am very pleased with the result – here are a few photos of the paintings!

When I contemplate 2021, I think, as we all must, of the continuing global pandemic. Although my 2021 involved some pandemic stress and minor changed plans, I have been able to see my closest family and friends and have stayed healthy. I think back on 2021 with gratitude that I’m able to do what I love everyday. In 2022, I will focus on developing my painting practice. This will involve continuing my education in watercolour painting at The Ann Arbor Art Center, working on commissioned painting projects (commissions now open, visit my page), and developing my acrylic landscape series.

Now, in the early days of the new year, I am finishing up my latest commissioned painting. This one is of birch trees on a bright park lawn in summer. A strong sunlight, coming from the left, illuminates the tree leaves and casts shadows across the grass, making a multi-coloured patchwork landscape. Here’s a sneak peek from early in the process! Stay tuned for the end result!

Thanks for reading!

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