Racing to Christmas

This post could very easily be called ‘Racing past Christmas’ as I am certain many of us will be glad for it to come and then go, along with the rest of 2020!

However, I am an optimist and try, always, to find the good side of adversity where I can. It isn’t always easy, but looking for the good in bad times, is an exercise I recommend, whenever things are sad, tough or difficult – or all three at once, as this year has been for so many.

If there has been one positive for me through this year, it has been Friendship. I have been supported by (and I hope, I have supported in return) wonderful friends and family through this difficult year. I would have gone under without them, and thank all of them for kindness, understanding and encouragement in this (and all) years.

The image I have chosen to mark this Christmas came about because of a friendship. The friend is another artist, Derek Brittan, who lives and works nearby. Derek, like many of us has had serious and ongoing challenges to face this year, but nonetheless, his enquiring and creative mind still turns to new ideas and making art.

Derek is known for his colourful abstracts, which he makes in various media, from acrylic to plaster, rope, metals – even dishcloths! All materials can become art in his hands.

In normal times, we meet regularly at his home and studio to drink coffee and discuss whatever we’re presently working on, swap ideas and advice – all the things friends do. This year, of course, has been different, but we keep in touch on the phone and encourage each other where we can.

In one conversation, Derek asked me if I had planned a Christmas card? I hadn’t…Derek had an idea… ‘I have an image’, he said, ‘and I can see your cyclists riding through it’. With the help of his son Nick, and his skills as a graphic designer, we combined two images digitally, so my cyclists were riding through his landscape and ‘Racing to Christmas’ was made.

Amongst so much, our friends bring new thoughts, challenge us to try something we wouldn’t have thought of, cry with us when we weep and laugh with us when we laugh. Without them, we would be incomplete.

This year, Christmas will be different for everyone, and many of us will not be with our family and our friends as usual but nothing can diminish the bonds between us – and I feel, that adversity makes these bonds even stronger. People rise to challenges and pull together to get each other through.

We have seen so much evidence of this throughout 2020, all the years before and we know, yet to come.

Friendship is more infectious than any disease and its ‘R’ number very, very much higher than 1!

Merry Christmas and see you on the other side!

‘Racing to Christmas’ digital art collaboration, Maxine Dodd and Derek Brittan

See more of Derek Brittan’s art here… Derek Brittan Art