In my old life, this is normally the time of year I’d begin the unit on diorama in the art room. It’s the only time I ask the kids to bring something in from their home, namely a shoe box, but I was never mean about kids without because my mother had never kept a single shoe box in her life when I was growing up so I couldn’t participate in that particular unit in art as a fourth grader. I couldn’t seem to make my teacher understand not all people get their shoes that came in boxes or explain about my mother’s disdain for one. Also, at the time my English wasn’t proficient enough to go and beg my neighbours for one either. All in all that incident was traumatic because I would have LOVED to make a diorama. Fortunately a friend/colleague of mine was really into shoes and kept all the boxes they came in so she was able to help out some of my shoebox less students and nobody was left out.

I’ve been DYING to create more dioramas and one such opportunity landed on my table recently. The woman asking for one even provided a chance for me to paint some seriously dramatic landscape for the background. I was feeling a little trepidatious at first, as landscapes aren’t my forte. The last time I painted the highland sky was when I was in Scotland about, oh, 26 years ago maybe? I was more than eager to relive that experience, and fortunately the weather here in Oz have cooled down considerably so I got to pull out my “painting shawl” and got to work.

It’s always fun putting all the pieces together. I made some terrible mistakes cutting up the canvas papers, but as that always happens, I didn’t grouse about it. Just kept calm and carried on. A bunch of annoyingly trivial matters have been plaguing my life as of late, so it was really lovely to sit down and lose myself in the tranquility of painting a scenic landscape. And a castle.

This one features Lord John Grey, Jamie Fraser, Claire Fraser, and Murtagh, who seems to be a fan favourite as I have painted him in just about every set of Outlander so far.