Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ok, Today I bought myself an early Christmas stocking filler. Weather turned a bit miz this afternoon so I took the boys to do a bit of last minute Christmas shopping. I found 2 faux 'pleather' covered small journals for sketching in.

 2 Pleather bound Journals

It is not the best paper for watercolours but I thought I'd like to take the journal and an ink pen to the beach with me and sketch the scenes on the beach. A classic example yesterday was a Jack Russell puppy chasing the shadow of a Frisbee two people were tossing to each other. I didn't even have my camera to capture the moment!

This will also be a wonderful way to record incidences of my holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bying art on -line saves time and money!

A blogger Maree Clarkson had an interesting article on her blog which I thought I share with you.... food for thought!
Thanks Maree!!!!

St Francis Bay - East Cape Coast

As I sit here in what seems to be an Idealic part of the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa where the sun calls us all to come down to the beach to watch the waves roll in and the children building sandcastles in the sand, teenagers strutting up and down on the shoreline wearing Santa hats or surfing in with the waves, or just simply catch the summer rays. While I soak up the sun, my thoughts are transported to all my friends and family in the Northern hemisphere where at the moment they seem to be having their first heavy snow falls. I must say, I do envy them in a way but I do enjoy our sunny Christmases, with the wonderful warm evenings sitting on the patio with a glass of wine watching the sun go down and enjoying a festive evening with friends around the braai (barbeque). The mood is happy, everyone looks healthy and full of life.....

But one thing I would love to experience is a white Christmas. I picture it as in the movies or on chocolate boxes, where you see families wrapped up warm collecting their live Christmas trees, and warm glowing fireplaces in cosy homes with the snow softly falling outside. Is that too idealistic? Am I just kidding myself?.... I don't know, but I would like to think it's like that anyway. And I'm sticking to that thought!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I snuck this in........ "Breakfast"

Phewww! Can someone please stop that clock!!!!!!!!! I am just not getting done what I ought to be doing. That's getting ready for our annual holiday. I've taken the trailer in to get the electrics sorted, picked up the mail, ALMOST finished the Christmas shopping, organised the dogs and now...... this morning the swimming pool motor gave up the ghost!!! Arghhhhh! I'll have to over ride it and have it switched on daily by hand when we're away as it won't be fixed before we leave on Tuesday!

But I am managing to paint bright and early in my day when the house is still quiet. Been working on a few animal paintings lately......thought you might like to take a peek at the first one I did. I have made adjustments to the eye as it was (in your face bold) as well as adding warmer colours to the skin to subdue the eye a bit more.

What! 15 days to Christmas?????

The pressures of life have really put me on hold art and internet wise. I have managed to sneak in a painting or two though, which I will post tomorrow!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What a wondrful Surprise!!!!!!!

I can't pop in for long, but I just wanted to share with you my 2am surprise!!!!!! I have had a manic few days lately and been unable to get online. But last night after our last guests left, I developed a second wind. I thought a quick 'catch up' on-line would help me relax. Besides a mountain of responses I had, I also discovered that my painting "Bearded Iris" was featured on the RedBubble Home Page!!!!

Click to see page!

I'm really over the moon about this......and want to thank all those wonderful people for their overwhelming support! I appreciate it enormously!

Till next week......

Oh! Just found the RedBubble home page blogger page....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lion at Heron Marsh

Some days you just need time to play..... here I was playing with a lion.... and added and added and added. Until...... I realised that there was far too much pigment on the mane and I lost the lovely layered hair. Their manes are not as long as I have painted it and looks a bit strange. But I'm posting it anyway, just so that I can come back in time and compare it to something newer or perhaps THAT master piece!!!!!

Till later......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Art comes in many voices….it is up to us to hear it… C Moses

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Seal Point. Cape St Francis

With exactly a month to go before we follow the masses down to the coast for our annual December holidays, I can't stop thinking about how much there is to do still before we go. All these things are taking preference in my mind right right now so I decided to help slow it down by painting  a watercolour of our favourite holiday destination...... St Francis Bay.
This is actually a view of Seal point where the old light house (1878) still burns daily and lights up the Eastern Cape craggy points of Cape St.  Francis.
We love coming to this beach as it is so wide and scenically beautiful. My boys love surfing here and spend most of the day at Bruce's Beauties. So named for the stretch of 'perfect' waves along the eastern side of the lighthouse which were used for a movie called 'Endless Summer' made popular in the 60's by surf enthusiast Bruce Brown.  "The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters" (IMDB -  Internet Movie Database).

Friday, October 30, 2009

To Market

I have painted this mother and child before but added a different background. I took this photo when I was in Mozambique and was intrigued by the way these busy woman work all morning on the shore-line catching shrimp, crab, and small delicacies to sell at the market. The whole time keeping their babies fastened to their backs.

Naughty Twins

A sketch I did a while ago trying desperately to be loose.Think I achieved that but lost the dimensions of the one ellie's face. Just went in with the brush, no initial sketching. Would love to recreate this sketch as the two elephant have such a mischievous look to them.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I took some lovely photo's of wildlife when I was away last week.. one being a Zebra.....Got my blacks by mixing copious amounts of UMB and B Sienna so I wouldn't run out of my (black) shade. This guy had lovely white eyelashes, which is not always the case. Done on Waterfords watercolour paper 27x38cm. No initial pencil sketch just went in with paint!


I quietly painted this the other day... we have just had our flush of different aloes flowering up the driveway to our house..... this is one which is quite botanical to my eye.... not sure if it needs a bit of a back-ground colour which will give it that edge!! Any suggestions.....?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just Marley

My sister has a Lab puppy, Marley, who has such character! I just HAD to photograph him with visions of painting this loveable poochie before he gets too big. In this sketch, I was playing with colour ideas for a larger piece which I hope to paint after I get back from my trip to Pilanesberg Game Reserve....

Mama Africa.

I tried something different the other day! This is a design in watercolours from my head. I wanted to portray numerous elements of Africa. The elements which brings this picture together are the cornerstone which strongly define this continent's balance in nature of Africa today. I brought components from the whole continent into the painting. A Zulu woman from Southern Africa (Mama Africa), the landscape in the painting is more that of arid, harsh, sweltering north Africa. The animals represent the prominent wildlife which are found in parts of Africa.

The (African) lady with a zebra pattern on her clothing is representational of the people of Africa. She is the balance between nature and man. The elephant and seed pod with foliage are the symbols of nature which live in harmony. Below the trees on the top left, are the roots which anchor the elements firmly in the African soil. The arid landscape depicts the decay of nature, emphasizing the need to preserve what we have or it will be destroyed, hence the dead tree and Buffalo skull.

It's not very visible on the screen... but in the bottom right of the painting is a tiny dung beetle rolling his dung ball to it's nest! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Empty Room

I was trying to play with light in this painting... The girl could have been a lot darker as the light  was coming in through the window behind her but I was afraid of over working the darks on her body, so I left her as she was. Will have to work on achieving darker skin tones for these slightly silhouetted Paintings with strong light.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Venice Afternoon.... amended

After looking at this painting on the screen, I could see something was missing. I have gone and done some amendments on it which have helped a bit.

The blue wall above the middle doorway was really bugging me as well as the tone of the water. I added a window to the blue wall and created a balcony. I also darkened the water a bit more with Cobalt Turquoise. Hope this does the trick and makes it more balanced.

BTW.... this is the first Architectural watercolour I have done. Painting buildings have always scared me!!!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Venice Afternoon..... completed!

I have to admit the texture of this paper (Saunders 200lbs)
was so different to work with. I normally work in Bockingfords
or Fabriano or if I'm feeling generous, Arches. This paper is very
spongy and handles paint well. You have to add a lot of pigment to
the paper to get dark effects and tone.But it has wonderful flow,
I loved working with this quality! I might have to splurge out and
invest in some on-line sometime as we don't get it here in South Africa.!

Anyway here is the final painting..........

Venice Afternoon

I was scrummaging through my old washes I had done some time
back on a workshop I did when I was in the UK earlier this year,
and came across this wash I did, I had obviously had something
in mind with it, but couldn't remember what. I was in the mood
for trying out paper I don't use often and found this sheet with
washes on it just begging to be finished! I have never been to
Venice but have seen some wonderful pictures of the beautiful
canals from friends. After studying the washes I had laid out
on the sheet I saw a 'Venice' scene, so started making up as
I went along.

I should have taken a photo of the sheet with just the washes
on to show you where the inspiration came from, but I got a
bit carried away and managed to only take the photo halfway

 You can see some of the washes on the left and bottom
of the painting.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm Late, I'm late!!!!!

I have just realised that the end of the month has arrived, Gosh, where has the year gone! I can't believe how quickly this month has flown by.... I was looking at the WSSA calendar the other day and realised that I need to submit 3 paintings by next Tuesday.....OMG!!!!! I also have another exhibition coming up too which I need to paint for as well. Best I get a move on and paint up a storm!!!!! Isn't it strange that human nature allows us to wait until the last minute! Or is it just me. I always put myself unwittingly under such pressure!!!!

In the mean time I painted a fun painting of penguins. I thought it would make a lovely painting for a child's bedroom. The colours are so fresh and suitable for that. I'm not entirely happy with the way it turned out as I wanted a softer approach, but this will have to do for now until I do another. I need to study the subject more before I just attack the paper I think!

Anyway here is the first attempt........

Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

Till then......

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reflective Moments

Think I can call this completed...... I quite like the way the the soft transparent wrap around her hips turned out, giving enough to detail to the eye.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've finally got my brushes wet today. After a lovely tranquil morning painting and a short dog walk later this afternoon, I finally got another painting finished. This is a painting of my niece Sam in Mozambique..... she was in a reflective mood and seemed distant in her own thoughts. (24 x 34cm) on Bockingfords paper. I couldn't resist taking this photo at the time. This is a WIP for now.....

Till tomorrow...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This week was not very productive painting wise... I had a few distractions which kept me away from my easel. But in the evenings when the family were in dreamland I managed to dabble in a few small watercolours 18 x 13cm. Thought they would look good either as a series on a kitchen wall or as a triptych.





  Cherry Tomatoes

Saturday, September 12, 2009

 I painted Elephants last night.... With great enthusiasm and determination I thought I'd end up with a result that made the viewer think........ WOW!... but alas, it was no where near that.... in fact it landed in the bin.! I am not totally upset about this though... I know I can try it again. I am determined to get this right.  I live in South Africa,  you would have thought I'd have these animals tapped.  With my best intentions... I just can't seem to get it right!!!!! I found some interesting thoughts on transparent watercolours written by Jim Kosvanec........  he wrote......."You can only master transparent watercolor by disciplined study. Knowledge frees the soul to express its creativity. Ultimately, however, the medium cannot be mastered...only handled masterfully."
So seems like I need to go and paint all the hundreds of photos I've taken of Elephants, to master to fluidity of transparent watercolours...... watch this space.......................................

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tails of the sea ... revisited!

This is the re-do of the old fisherman I painted
the other day!!!! It's not exactly how I pictured
it in my mind's eye, but thought Id share it with you.
This one had initial pencil lines to get proportions
right. I'ts amazing to see the differences between
just going in with a brush (as the one below) and
doing a general outline first!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Child Of Innocence

Child of Innocence was inspired by a photograph
taken by photographer John Spies, with thanks.
It portrays a little Black Lahu girl captured in a pensive
mood. When I saw this I just had to paint her. Her
captivating eyes grabbed me and the light and shadows
showed a very haunting story of an Opium smoking
village in Thailand where the unborn children were so
addicted to Opium from their mothers that the mothers
had to blow Opium smoke into their faces after they
were born, to calm them down.
Apparently the laws there have changed since then!
But the need to paint this powerful photo of her runs
deeper than just the story behind those eyes!
A watercolour, painted wet on wet and dry brush detail
at the end.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tails of the Sea...

 I did manage to paint a portrait of a Fisherman.
Went in straight with a brush, no initial pencil.
He could do with loosening up a bit...... so I'll
redo it at some stage.

First Post..... Spring!

Hello, 3 days into spring, here in the Southern hemisphere. I have been in my garden for 3 full solid days now. My gardener was expected back from is yearly leave on Tuesday....... but... didn't pitch. So I put on my garden gloves, hauled the 20 bags of lawn dressing onto the lawn and raked it in.... all alone. Well! as expected the next day I could hardly move. My arm muscles and back took quite a hammering, not to mention my nails which could do with a manicure now as a result! Wonder if I can pick up a brush to paint tonight?