I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a good one; mine was pretty great. My husband got me an incredibly thoughtful gift — a new desk to paint at, with plenty of space to store all my supplies. Previously I’d worked on the couch, the floor, well anywhere really, so this is a significant upgrade.

I also gave a gift that was pretty well received, a portrait of my mother-in-law and my late father-in-law that was based on a photo of them taken 45 years ago. My mother-in-law loved it which I’m glad about; I always find it a challenge to illustrate people I know. Why I find them tougher than people I don’t know personally I’m not sure exactly. I guess I just feel more pressure, self-imposed of course.

I also got a lot of feedback on the snowy owl illustration I put on this year’s Christmas cards. I realize it’s a bit early to be thinking about the holidays next year, but I’ve already put the owl image on my Fine Art America shop, so others can have it on their notecards too, or on their walls as a print or as a cell phone case to give to owl lovers. (Off topic, I would like to thank my husband’s uncle Garry and his grandmother for making a donation on our behalf for Christmas to help snowy owls.)