Some of my readers know that I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and moved to New York in the 1980's. But no matter how long one lives in or how much one loves this fabulous city, a girl never really loses her roots. And so, every December, as a reminder of simpler times, I get out this painting entitled "The Christmas Moose" by the Nova Scotian folk artist Joe Norris, and put it on the mantle in my living room.
Joe Norris was born in Halifax in 1924 and as a young child he moved with his family to Lower Prospect, a fishing community on the province's South Shore, not too far from where I grew up. Joe Norris was a fisherman by trade until a stroke at the age of 49 put an end to hauling nets and he picked up a paintbrush instead. Totally auto didactic, Joe painted what he saw - seagulls, fish, stars, deer - in a profusion of vibrant, happy colors on whatever surfaces he could find.
His paintings became very popular and by the time he died in 1996, Joe Norris' work had been featured in books on folk art, many magazine and newspaper articles, a UNICEF card, and his paintings hung in private and corporate collections throughout North America. I treasure my little moose, a gift from my husband, and look forward to its annual appearance for the holidays.
This blog marks the completion of five years and 250 posts of weekly sojourns into the worlds of art, culture and travel. When I first began in 2006 I could never have imagined how rewarding this blog would become for me. I thank you, dear readers, for all of your support and comments and hope you will join me for more adventures in 2011.
With Christmas literally hours away I would like to wish you and yours all the very best during this blessed season. May the magic and joy of simple things delight your days and sustain you throughout the year ahead.