February?  Already?  It’s been a long, cold winter so far, with more to come, but at least in February we can celebrate Valentine’s Day and share the love and eat guilt-free chocolates, because they were a gift from a sweetie, right?  All of this led me to wonder about the man after whom the day is named.  There have been several saints named Valentine, evidently, the first being a man who was martyred for going against the Roman Emperor and performing forbidden marriages.  That was about 270 AD.  There are many more Valentines in Christian history, though.

Why, I wondered, do we associate the martyrdom of a priest with the romantic aura of today’s Valentine’s Day? Here’s one theory from The History Channel:  “The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.” https://www.history.com/news/6-surprising-facts-about-st-valentineThe romantic in me–and the literature major–prefers this version to the martydom of the first St. Valentine.

I posted a photo of my studio on my personal Facebook page, and Stephen Edwards told me the studio was way too neat, and I needed to get busy! J  I told him the mess was behind the doors.  The fact is, though, that I’m a neat and tidy person.  My house isn’t a mess, and neither is my studio.  Too much clutter and mess makes me crazy and actually impairs my creativity.  I guess my mind has enough chaos on its own that I don’t need more chaos in my environment.

I have been painting, though.  Have you?  I have several projects underway, and I’m experimenting with acrylics and continuing to try to improve my watercolor techniques and work on sketching and drawing.  I said in a previous blog that I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions, but I DO believe in self-improvement, and we all know that it takes practice, practice, practice.

I hope to see you at the March 17 General Meeting where you can meet new Board members and enjoy Valerie Allen from Golden Paints share her ideas about Golden and COR Watercolors by Golden.  I had a really good conversation with her the other day, and she’s looking forward to her visit, and I’m looking forward to meeting her in person.  She lives in Mid-Michigan, so she’s a middle-of-the-country resident just as we are. 

I think she’ll do a great job.

But that’s just My Opinion.