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Journey Around the Sun - a painting of The Wheel of the Year

Journey Around the Sun - a painting of The Wheel of the Year

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Journey Around the Sun is a painting of entire calendar year, charting the seasons month by month, as Mother Earth does a complete orbit around the sun. Pagans might call it The Wheel of the Year.

  • An original painting in watercolour, size 730mm x 520mm
  • Digital file for you to make a single print at a format and size of your choice

The Earth revolving tilted on its axis causes the seasons, and all living things must adapt to each season and take advantage of what they bring. My painting features some of the natural wonders and folk traditions of each month.

Note: My painting charts the passage of the Earth's Journey Around the Sun from the point of view of someone living in the Northern Hemisphere. Apologies to Southern Hemisphere dwellers!

January I start with the two faces of the Roman god Janus, who looks both forward and back, after whom the month is named. A snowdrop flower fairy - a figure from Cicely Mary Barker - greets the first flowers of the year. A red fox calls for a mate - they do this into February.

February February begins with the Celtic festival of Imbolc - represented in my painting by a St Brigid's Cross, The candle represents the Christian festival of Candlemas. Song thrushes begin to sing, and if you're lucky you'll spot the first primroses.

March In February and into March, frogs begin to pair up and spawn. Ewes begin to give birth to their lambs, and celandines, such charming little yellow flowers begin to bloom. Brown hares begin boxing and mating. Spring equinox on about 2oth March is an important date for many cultures.

April The lengthening days bring swallows as they return from Africa to breed. I usually see my first swallow in mid April - often on my birthday. The bluebells begin ringing in the woods, and many birds begin nesting. The oaks begin to come into leaf. Blossoms emerge. It's an exciting time of year!

May May Day is marked with traditions festivals and events, such as Obby Oss in Padstow and Morris Dancing. Chicks begin to fledge, and the hawthorn blossom lights up hedgerows!

June In early June the dog roses flower. Midsummer day - the longest day - has celebrated by humans in almost every culture. In my painting, I have depicted Stonehenge, and also a Swedish maypole in the shape of St John's cross. Midsommar is an importatnt festival to Swedes! It's fascinating to me how folkloric traditions and the traditions and feast days of organized religions co-incide.

July High summer brings some of my favourite things - butterflies, strawberries and a proliferation of wildflowers. The crops are ripening and the first harvests come home.

August The festivals of Lammas or Lughnasadh are represented with a plaited loaf - a Lammas loaf - and a cornucopia of freshly harvested vegetables. The salmon begin to return upriver to spawn and the bears are ready to catch them!

September In Abbots Bromley the traditional Horn Dance takes place, jays begin to collect acorns, the horse chestnut trees produce millions of conkers, and the grape harvest is in full swing.

October Autumn is upon us and the stags begin to rut in the woods among the newly emerging fungi. Around the world people mark autumn with festivals including Diwali and Halloween.

November In the UK we mark the foiled plot of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament with Bonfire night on 5 November. Starlings begin to commune in vast flocks to roost together. And the first winter storms roll in.

December Despite the foul weather, on British beaches grey seals begin pupping. At the winter solstice, the rising sun casts light into the passage tomb at Newgrange in Ireland to reveal the triple spirals carved into the stone. In South Wales, the Mari Lywd folk custom takes place. As with all folk customs, it involves singing and drinking and making merry but this one also includes a hobby horse made from a horse's skull. And we begin where we started with the Roman god Janus.


To put the whole cycle of the Earth's orbit around the sun in a cosmic context, I have illustrated some constellations:

  • bottom right - monoceros and canis major
  • top right - ursa major and canis venatici
  • top left - aquila and capricorn
  • bottom left - orion and taurus

Shipping and delivery

This website takes orders from UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

If you are not in these countries and you would like to make a purchase, please get in touch with me directly.

Posting your order

Typically, orders for physical products placed after 12pm on Friday, and on Saturday or Sunday will not be posted until Monday at the earliest. I use Royal Mail to dispatch your order.

If you have ordered multiple items, I will try to post everything together. Occasionally, this is not possible, in which case they will be dispatched in separate packages.

Digital files will typically be transferred to customers within 24 hours via email using WeTransfer, the file transfer website.

Buying an original painting? Please choose the tracked option!

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