I'm not overly fond of New Year's Eve celebrations, and I celebrate the New Year by getting up early on New Year's Day and greeting the day. One of my favorite things to do is to take down the old calendar and put up the new. I look at the fresh, clean pages and wonder what the months ahead have in store. Usually - at least most of the time - we can choose how we fill those pages. Two 21st Century "buzzwords" are proactive and reactive, and we can truly be proactive as much as possible about how our days will unfold. If we proceed with inertia and sluggishness, our days will be filled reactively rather than proactively. I think we all tend to go through the "coulda, shoulda, woulda" phase occasionally, but somehow New Year's Day has the promise of "can, shall, will" - don't you think? I never make New Year's resolutions, because they usually don't last until much past noon, but I do like the fresh, clean pages of a new calendar and a new year.
My calendar this year was one of my Christmas gifts from my family, and it is a wonderful calendar of female Impressionist painters. These paintings are by Berthe Morisot, who was a friend of Edouard Manet, and in fact she married his brother, Eugène.
I think this painting is easily as wonderful as anything painted by Vincent van Gogh, who came along later. Berthe Morisot was a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. Undervalued for over a century, possibly because she was a woman, she is now considered among the first league of Impressionist painters. Although traditionally Manet has been related as the master and Morisot as the follower, there is evidence that their relationship was a reciprocating one. Morisot had developed her own distinctive artistic style. Records of paintings show Manet's approval and appreciation of certain stylistic and compositional decisions that Morisot originated. He incorporated some of these characteristics into his own work.
You can read more about Berthe Morisot here and see more of her paintings here.
With the passing of another year, we all hear that loud ching as the clock ticks ahead. I hope you all go out and make it a wonderful new year. And remember, look ahead, not back. Last year's calendar has been filed away.