The Changing Seasons – January 2018


I´m in for a new blogging adventure called “The Changing Seasons”, a monthly event and photo challenge that has been originally invented by Max over at Cardinal Guzman and is now in the wonderful and capable hands of my dear friend Su over at Zimmerbitch.

January started with the few Christmas decorations I managed to put out for this holiday still firmly in place – I never seem to be able to let them go so soon and rather enjoy their heart-warming presence.


One of my favorite candle holders (Jan. 2018)


On a rare sunshine day I went out to make a few pictures, the bare trees allow for a better view on buildings that are normally hidden behind their foliage.

I´m not really religious but I admire beautiful buildings and architecture, and churches therefor are no exception to this.


Holy Cross Church in Kreuzberg (Jan. 2018)


And even when you live in a city as big as this one, you can find signs of life nearly everywhere in this season if you only take care to look closely…


Ivy fighting its way through a stone barrier (Jan. 2018)


And sometimes you don´t even have to go outside to find those signs of new life – I found this fallen leaf sprouting new life on my window sill hidden behind the pot of my succulent plant.


new life
New life out of decay (Jan. 2018)


And I also made some small drawings and paintings this month:


Squirrel monkey (Jan. 2018; micron ink and water color on paper)


Funny bird (Jan. 2018; micron ink and water color on paper)

But there´s also a bigger work in progress – an acrylic painting on canvas!

But as for now, I´m only going to share with you these little tidbits. It shows you that I only work with red, blue, yellow, black and white from which I then create by mixing them with each other any color imaginable.


This is how my palette looks before I set to work. I prefer working with a porcelain plate as a palette instead of the more traditional wood palette you might be familiar with from paintings or movies, because I like to clean it after work and start afresh each session. (Jan. 2018)


Mixed colors on a plate (Jan. 2018)


Acrylic paint on a plate, I especially love the deep purple on the right (Jan. 2018)


I´m not a fast painter which is mostly due to the fact that

A) the paint needs to dry before I put the next layer on which often drives me crazy!

B) I prefer to paint by daylight instead of artificial light and there are only so many hours of daylight during which I find the time to actually paint 😉

C) sometimes a painting simply needs more time to develop than others.


And here are the Challenge guidelines if you feel like joining us:


The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.


Hope you enjoyed this little journey through my month and hope to see you back here at the end of February!



Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

83 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – January 2018

  1. Those are some wonderful photos. I’m not religious either but the church’s architecture is beautiful. Never got to the Berlin area. Your photo of new growth out of decay is prize winning I would think. So unusual! I love your drawing of the monkey. He is so cute and colorful. It never would have occurred to me to use a porcelain plate for paint. I always used plastic but I like your solution better. I always painted with acrylics so they dry quickly. I agree about the light. Daylight is when I prefer to sew as well. Looking forward to the finished painting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Marlene! I was so amazed when I found that leaf – one of my friends here called it a “resurrection leave” which I find very apt. And guess what? I´ve found another one! So now I have them both put in a little glass of water to help them develop more roots before I will plant them in the earth.
      I think a plastic palette makes much sense, because it´s so much lighter than porcelain – my arm grows quite heavy holding it for too long a time. But I think I will keep it anyway as it is what I´m used to. 😉 Did you share some of your paintings on your blog? I would love to see them!
      Wish you a wonderful and creative week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the name “resurrection leaf”! Finding two is a bit like the Universe speaking to you. I will think about finding a porcelain plate if I ever get to paint again. I don’t to paintings. I painted shirts, boxes, silly decorations for the house. A bit of decorative painting they call it. It was all the rage here in the late 80’s and now is no more. I miss doing it. I have too many hobbies that leave me spinning in too many directions. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled week. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, I think you´re so right about the Universe speaking to me through these leaves! It really is something, I´ve never seen my plants do anything like it before.
        I think it doesn’t matter at all on what you paint – be it shirts, boxes or canvases – the main thing is, that you paint. 😀 I dream of painting a whole wall one day, nothing daunting like the facade of a building, but more like the walls in a room.
        Hope you will find some to pick up those brushes again – winter is a good time for it.
        Have a wonder filled week too! Hugs! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post, Sarah. I felt like I was taking a walk through the month with you. Beautiful photos and paintings. The funny bird made me laugh! You accomplished your goal. And a tease at the end with those paints! I’m looking forward to seeing the result when the colors settle into place. Enjoy your February!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like your squirrel monkey and funny bird drawings. You are so talented. Can’t wait to see your acrylic painting. Where is your beautiful vampire story? I wanted to show it to a friend but could not find it on your blog. Have a lovely Sunday Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Dominique! I hope my current work in progress won´t take very long anymore but it´s always hard to predict such things.
      I´m so sorry about Count Harecula! I´ve decided to maybe publish it when it´s finished and have it therefore taken off my blog for now. You´re the first one who noticed his absence!
      Wish you a wonderful and creative week! xoxo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everything in time. With artwork it is really hard to gauge, but preferably no work should be done under time pressure! I shall patiently wait for your publication of Count Harecula. xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Patty! It’s an intersting challenge and I find myself already musing about what my next season’s post might look like! 😄
      I’m fine, thank you dear, it’s only bitter cold here today and my shoulders seem to touch my ears all the time! LOL! 😄 How are you? Hope you feel a bit more accustomed with your protheses! Have a lovely weekend! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s freaking cold here too and will only be colder next week! I NEED Spring, haha
        Getting there, not able to eat everything yet, but getting there.
        A wonderful weekend for you too, sweetie!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah, these photos are all fabulous from the beautiful candle holder, to the stunning church shot, to the signs of life, and lastly, to your wonderful artwork. I loved seeing your palettes, too. It gives us a “colorful” visual of how your process begins. Can’t wait to see the end result.Today is the Feb. 1st already, and time is flying. Before you know it, you’ll be able to display your Christmas decorations again. 🙂 Have a lovely day, my friend. Hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Miss G – I have to teel you that the way I arrived at the church building helped me FEEL the grandness.
    I was quietly checking my blog – your comment came in – you know – the soft quilt art and well then I come here – click on this post. see the candle holder – the soft glow – the soft warm tone – and your words were feeling calm – the tone I guess – and then you noted that winter trees allow us to see buildings that might normally have the foliage – and then I scrolled and bam. the gorgeous building was felt.
    I soaked up the photo and paused.
    so that was a highlight for me –
    and the rest of the post was nice – the piece of your plant was a really cool photo (reminded me of a snail) and then ending with your paint was back to this calm.
    like a pause in time – and I love seeing an artist’s palette – to me it whispers something about the painter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, Yvette! Thank you so much for this special comment! You’ve described your impressions so beautifully and I’m so glad you could feel the church’s grandness – it’s one of my favourites in Berlin and it always makes me stop and pause to admire it. Hold to that calm feeling, it’s so precious! I’m so happy I could add to it! 😄💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes = and it will be nice to se the church again during other “seasons” post –
        and side note- I was recently bugging (well hopefully not annoying) Su and Cardinal about the details of the challenge and If I had read your post first I would have known. LOL
        anyhow, I am joining in too…
        and wishing you a good day

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sarah, this is such a positive and lifegiving post. Thank you. The photos are great and the little leaf adorable.
    I do love your porcelain plate palette, so smooth and satisfying. You can almost taste the colours.
    Your drawings/paintings would be wonderful for children’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Miriam! You’re spot on with the smoothness of the porcelain plate, it’s exactly why I like working with it so much!
      And I would absolutely love to illustrate children’s books!! Thank you so much again, you have made my day! And I wish you a beautiful one! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah, I love your post!! 😀 It is full of treasures, such beautiful photos and a few are quite surreal. The sprouting leaf is astonishing and the ivy against the grey of the stones and wire is dramatically stunning. As always it’s a joy to see your art and then how you manage to take such artistic photos of your palette! Only you!! 😀 This is only the tiniest of hints of your WIP – can’t wait to learn more! Happy Creating and look forward to your response to these challenges next month! I might well look at taking part as there is scope within the guidelines and it can be interesting to focus on the month! hugs xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Annika! Your words always make me smile. 😄 The sprouting leaf is now nurtured in a tiny glass of water to help it develope more roots. 😊
      And I hope you really will consider taking part in this challenge – I’ve only started and already can feel that it changes my perspective for the flow of time! Have a wonderful day! Hugs! xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for this peek into your month! and especially into your painting process. I know I’ve said this before, but your paintings have so much life in them – that monkey is so very cheeky! and that bird is adorable!!!

    I am very slow to put away my Christmas decorations too; my angels are still on my front door – my daughters insist that I leave them there! And I love candles; we used to collect them when we travelled for a souvenir! I love your reindeers!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I look forward to seeing more of your work with acrylic paints! How long do you have to wait for them to dry before you can continue your work? And as for your Christmas decorations, I’m the same way. They are so pretty and January is such a long and cold month, that I always leave them up for just a little bit longer. They make winter more bearable! Take care,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It depends on how thick I´ve applied the paint but generally I would say something between 30 and 60 minutes, so you’ve got to work on another part of the painting during that time, or doing something entirely different like blogging 😉 Painting with oil based colors would be much worse – they take days(!) to dry!
      So glad not to be alone with my hanging on to the Christmas deco 😀
      Take care! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting! I can see where that would be a special challenge when you’re trying to create something. Sort of like being in the middle of an important paragraph of a a novel and having the computer go blank for an hour! I imagine that would take some getting used to. As for oil-based colors, I now have a whole new appreciation of what artists go through. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Max! It´s amazing how beautiful these religious buildings and temples can be, isn´t it? Makes me always wonder if they did it just to distract the believers from what was going on 😉


  10. Yay and double yay. I’m so glad you’ve joined the Changing Seasons. The challenge has always felt to be as much about community as anything else, and you’re such an important part of my blogging community. I love the photos of your paint and brushes. The colours are glorious, and you’ve captured the paint textures beautifully. Your “funny bird” looks remarkably like a Kiwi — did you know that? And your monkey is so sweet. But my favourite photo of all is your shot of the sprouting leaf — it is beautiful and joyous and full of hope. xxxxxxx 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Su! I can feel that it´s going to be a great blogging experience and find myself already thinking about what my next Changing Seasons post might look like. 😉
      Haha! Yes, I also felt reminded of a Kiwi, until I looked it up and discovered that they have quite big feet actually, which is why I thought it better not to mention it. 😉 The funny thing, at least for me, was, that this little painting started because I was cleaning my brush on the paper! Then I felt reminded of those lovely feathers Kiwi have and added the beak, eyes and feet.
      The sprouting leaf is now swimming in a tiny glas of water so it can develop more roots. Such a strong will to live has to be rewarded, don´t you think? 😀 xxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad Sarah.
        You’re right; Kiwi do have big feet, which I guess makes sense as they are flightless.
        I love that you’re nurturing the sprouting leaf. I hope it thrives. 🙂 xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sarah, your keen observation of the world guides your creativity as an artist. The contrast between the detailed magnificence of the church with the tiny leaf sprouting new buds against all odds is a tender portrait in valuing life. And I can’t wait to see your painting – when you’re ready to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon, thank you so much for your truly wonderful comment! I can not help being amazed about the beauty of life and nature, it´s everywhere around us if we know where to look.
      I don´t know yet when my painting is going to be finished (actually they never really are but that´s just me being too critical with myself), it could be a week, a month or more than that. I´ve been working on this project for over six months now, on and off, but I yearn for it to find its end. As soon as it is ready, I´m going to share it – thank you so much for your eagerness to see it, this will help me paint much faster! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Chris! The church is one of my favourites in Berlin. And I just love squirrel monkeys and always wanted one as a pet when I was a kid, just like Pippi Longstockings. 😄 Have a wonderful week too! Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hehe! That happens to me all the time too! 😉 And thank you very much! The Godiva chocolate box now only holds a couple of my brushes, but there’s usually some kind of snack around too. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

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