Wood Panels And Small Towns

Dicembre. Dezember. I like December.  Holidays aside, it’s a nice month – possibly the only month where snowflakes are met with awe and happiness, and we’re not yet sick of shovelling and permanent goosebumps.

December Paintings | Saltwater Birch Studio

This week, I worked away on some oil paintings on wooden panels, made from birch trees (and made in Canada!). It’s a nice change to paint on a solid surface, with no give, and no worry about accidentally poking a hole through it (not that it’s ever happened…yet).

Winter Warmth by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Winter Warmth, oil on 4″x4″ wood panel

Untitled by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Untitled, oil on 5″x7″ wood panel

Pear by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Pear I, oil on 6″x6″ wood panel

Reflections I by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Blue, oil on 4″x6″ wood panel

I also took part in a local craft show over the weekend, and, despite the 6a.m. wake up call, it was an interesting experience. I do wish these venues for crafty folk were more frequent. So much talent and creativity, and how much of it is hidden away in basements and attics? 

December Craft Show | Saltwater Birch Studio

Excuse the blurriness – through my groggy, half-awake eyes, they looked in focus.

I did enjoy the occasion to people watch – such opportunities to passively observe are few and far between in small towns. Mainly because there aren’t that many people, and the few that remain, rarely congregate (I wonder if small towns attract crowd-averse people? Or if it’s the other way around..).

It’s also difficult to people watch, when small town inhabitants don’t give you the chance to be a silent witness. Instead, they greet passersby with a wave and a ‘how-are-you’ hello, and ask you which part of town you’re from, who you’re related to, and which of your neighbours they might know. And if all else fails, groan about impending weather. As repetitive as such conversations can be, it may be a good thing that small towns don’t let you float through unnoticed, where people recognize you by the car you drive, and the land you own. Where nosiness is intertwined with curiosity, and the grapevine is more accurate than the news.  There’s a level of accountability that comes with loss of anonymity. 



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