Have a fabulous 2010 everyone! Winter Olympics in Canada, FIFA World Cup in South Africa - should be a funfilled year!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Have a fabulous 2010 everyone! Winter Olympics in Canada, FIFA World Cup in South Africa - should be a funfilled year!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
To all those who celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful day tomorrow, and to everyone else, enjoy the holiday season.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
And the week before, as a test run, just sketched this sunflower in full bloom.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I look at artists like Fabio Cembranelli who paints flowers in watercolour like an absolute angel and then I dare to post my couple of flowers in a pot! Cheek of it, but I thought, it's one of very few watercolours that I will be putting up. I need to practice!
Whilst on the watercolour theme, I tried a portrait as well! (Pushing my luck here). Not too bad, but still on the overworked side.
Eudith is a lovely lady with a beautiful smile who works as a housekeeper/cleaner for a number of people. She works like a demon and when I asked to take her picture, she didn't want to smile. She did eventually, but I did the one she liked first.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Not really, but that's what it feels like. I was sitting at the SASA Annual Exhibition at Kirstenbosch last week until Thursday, then Friday first thing, it was on the 'plane to Johannesburg for a friend's daughter's wedding. Only got back last night, so have done nothing with a brush for over a week!
This painting is of a Bushman, one of those incredible hunter gatherer people who are the original inhabitants of this country. They owned no land (they believe only God owns the land) and lived off it in much the same way the Aboriginal people of Australia and the Red Indians in America did.
Their ability to live in desert conditions is amazing and in this painting he is using his bow and arrow as a musical instrument.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I picked up on Dean's tip of using black gesso and then just painting with Prussian blue/Cad red and a bit of white mixed in in varying degrees.
Painting the negative shapes was a total challenge and sometimes I had to double back and constantly check where I was going with those tree shadows.
But the title! I finally settled on Insomnia, but am not 100% happy with it. Anyone got any other suggestions?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Dana Marie runs her blog a little differently in that you have to do your own posts. All you do is email her and she lets you have the details, and off you go!
This is the latest one from the blog - just a reminder of Autumn to all of you living in the Northern Hemisphere!
Oh I'm as pleased as Punch and so honoured! The inimitable James Parker, who lives in Texas, has a wicked sense of humour, also runs a challenge blog called Windows to the Words.
Last month he posted pictures of cats and my drawing of Michelle's Figaro was given 2nd place and a prize to boot!Thank you James, for doing what you do, and being who you are.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
So, a beautiful picture of a horse from Dana Marie's challenge blog, Inspiration all Around Us, was the subject of choice. I know this was an old challenge, so I hope Dana Marie doesn't mind me using it now.
Painting this lovely animal also reminded me of Maree, a fellow South African, who has just done the most amazing sketches of horses. Have a look.
For a typical neat Capricorn, it was almost teeth pulling to blur the outlines, especially of the back of the horse, but I think I did it.
Anyway, I kind of like the result! Would love to know the thoughts out there.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
This is part of James Parker's challenge blog - some of the cats he put up for this challenge were great, but I do think Michelle's cat came out as the number one choice for many.
This is my painting of him.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
She's quite elderly but I am greeted with such enthusiasm by both her and her 'sister' Abby.
I just love Tiggy's whiskers and the way she looks so poised, almost as if she was deliberately posing for the photograph.
It all went very well even though it was a long day and we had just short of 600 paintings submitted, a record. The judges were put through their paces, and it was a fascinating experience watching their marks. There are three judges and each judge gives his or her own mark without knowing what the others are doing. Apparently this works in England and we have adopted it here.
I was lucky enough to have one painting submitted, my still life, but the other two didn't make the cut. Maybe next year.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I struggled a bit and feel it's not quite as I would like it, but I've sent it off anyway.
Another problem is the photography! My trusty old camera died. So now I've had to use a 'cheap and nasty' that my sister has. But that's no excuse, I just took lousy pictures! So if it seems a little bit blurry, it is, don't check your specs.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
But these cup cakes were irresistible! To paint, that is. I don't really like cakes of any kind to eat - I find them too sweet. I prefer salty and spicy foods and love the food of the East, from India through to China.
I know many of you are going to think I'm nuts for not liking these sugary delicacies, but that leaves all the more for you out there!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
The last time I spent any time in London was almost two years ago! Time goes by so quickly.
It was in the colder month of November. It was quite a shock coming from our really lovely sunny Summer weather to hit the streets of London at close to 5 deg C. But no matter what the weather, London is a place that I really do enjoy.
And by total coincidence, last month's challenge on the Google Earth site , The Virtual Paintout run by wonderful artist, Bill Guffey, was ... London! So my immediate reaction was to google where I went when I was last there, and one of the nicest sites was riding on the number 9 bus over the Hammersmith Bridge.
It is an incredible bridge - yes I know Tower Bridge is the one that is associated with London and beheadings and all that! but the little known Hammersmith Bridge has such lovely markings and old fashioned lights and all the little English quirks that we've come to expect.
Next time you're in London, take the no. 9 bus just for a trip to Hammersmith Bridge.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
This is painted from one of two pictures the family sent me and I think she's gorgeous! (But I am biased as well).
About the leaves and flowers in her hair. Midsummer is a national holiday in Scandinavia and they celebrate by dancing around maypoles and doing all sorts of wonderful summer holiday things. The girls dress in white and put garlands of flowers in their hair, so Catherine joined in the party, although she's only four months old at this stage.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Kiera is a DARG dog, and according to DARG, she's a great companion, bonds well with people, is love-starved and is a real softie. I guess that's quite hard to believe from a Pitbull, given the bad reputation they've got over the years.
But like all protective breeds, if they're treated properly, they will be great companions. The Pitbull reputation has been brought about by unscrupulous owners using them for fighting purposes. So, there is no such creature as a bad dog, only a BAD OWNER.
I hope she finds the loving home she so deserves.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
My sister was doing her dog/housesitting with Carlos and two of his pals whilst their mom went overseas to the UK.
I met him when she brought him round for a visit. He is practically blind and quite deaf, but he still loves life, and very definitely, FOOD. Put your hand near him and it's snuffle, snuffle, looking for tidbits to eat.
I don't think he's going to be with us for much longer, but as his doctor says, he's happy and in no pain, so let him enjoy his twilight years in the luxurious comforts of the Constantia greenbelt.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
But all better now and I am spending an incredible amount of time going through all the postings that I've missed. It is sometimes better to wait a while and then get an eyeful of all the wonderful work out there - sensory overload!
So, in order to make my 'come back', I thought I would post a painting I did from one of the sketches in our life drawing group a month ago. I will also be putting this up at the end of the month for our annual Life Drawing and Landscape competition which is held by our local Art Society, South African Society of Artists. No selling, just judging by our peers! Nerve wracking!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
But this month I thought I would do something. Even though I'm not mad about painting flowers - (I leave that to the immensely talented artist from Texas, Nancy Medina) - there is one artist whose flower paintings I really admire.
Georgia O'Keeffe's work is always a pleasure to look at. One day I hope I will get the opportunity to see her works in person, but until then, all I do is admire.
This is my version of her 1926 work, Black Pansy. Although this was painted more than 50 years ago, O'Keeffe only died fairly recently, thus I can admire and emulate, but this painting will be for my own space.
Hope you like what I've done to this wonderful American artist's work.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
This was taken by a friend who paints with our group every Friday. He is lucky enough to have a holiday house up the West Coast in a fishing area called Velddrift. His is one of 3 houses in the area and this is the view from his front 'garden'.
Winter in the Cape, and especially up the West Coast, has it's own bleek kind of beauty. A Winter rainfall area, everything seems wet and damp, but the water brings out the most glorious colours when the sun shines.
But wait! About 3 weeks ago, I did try a plein air piece. This was done from a friend's house in Tableview. She has the most magnificent view of the vlei, which is home to an incredible amount of birdlife, leading through to this panorama of Table Mountain. The day we were there, the clouds danced in and out and around the mountain, first hiding then revealing this beautiful mountain we live with every wonderful day. I don't think I've done it justice, but there it is, my plein air piece!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Brilliant New York artist, Susan Martin Spar, always posts the most incredible still life paintings. So I thought, let me try again. With a bit of help from a fellow artist (we were lucky enough to use our wonderful teacher, Margie Johnson's studio while she was visiting her son in Australia), we set up this grouping.
I think I really wanted to try again because of the incredible reflections in the copper kettle. A spare bottle of red wine was found to round off the setting, which we promptly drank when I had finished.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I am not 100% happy with it and think I need to tone down the background somewhat, but because I've sent it on to Karin (hopefully in the correct format!) I thought I would post him here as well.
I will in time, think of things to say about me that I haven't already said on my blog, although what Karie-Ann said about herself rings a lot of bells with me. Rather than send it on to individual people, I would dedicate this award to all those wonderful people I interact with on my blog - last count 76! All you amazingly talented artists out there, this one is for you!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It presented such a wonderful pose that just begged to be put into paint, and as everyone who reads my blog knows by now, I love all animals, this delightful goose being no exception. Not that I'd tempt fate by going too near any goose as they are known to be rather fierce watch..geese! Probably better than my two rather soppy Rottweilers!
So here he/she is - Saundra's feathered friend!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Although I am a 'dog' person, I still love all animals, and Shadow looked so sweet lying on the sofa without a care in the world, I decided to have a go. (Go to Saundra's post on the story of Shadow)
It is such a shame that our much loved pets only stay with us for a short time, but maybe they teach us that life is fleeting and to be enjoyed while we can.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Over the past four weeks we have had life drawing classes (I couldn't make the first two), but while America was enjoying a July 4th holiday and Europe and the UK were basking in Summer sunshine, we were bundled up, heaters going full blast trying to keep the model, Christina, warm.
The opportunities for classes such as life drawing are limited here and I only know of one or two (private) groups that have models regularly for classes. So for me it was a totally new and wonderful experience, something that I hopefully will repeat in the very near future.
These are sketches from the first Saturday - I haven't yet taken photos of yesterday's class.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
James Parker, that inimitable artist from Texas has his own challenge blog. For the month of June he decided to post 'Wrinklies' and what a wonderful subject! Nothing like the character in those facial lines of old folk, and because I'm heading in that direction, I like the idea of trumpeting those face maps.
But the deadline for sending it to him is TODAY. Luckily I'm quite a few hours ahead of the States, so I should just make it.
From tomorrow he will posting pics of doggies - one of my favourite subjects - check it out.
Here's my June 'Wrinkly' with a bit of a glare from the wet paint.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I love the medium but freely admit that oils are my preferred choice. But the discipline and clarity of watercolours will always attract. As a result I have spent ages on paintings, only to tear them up in frustration. Overworking again and again, even though I know I'm doing it but can't help it!
But if nothing else, I'm stubborn and will persevere until I get better at it. After all, isn't that what art is about?
This comes from a photograph taken in the Baviaanskloof area - there was a handler in the picture, but I just concentrated on the donkeys.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Khaya and her companion, were left to fend for themselves and were picked up wandering on the N7 highway just outside Cape Town (the main West Coast Road). Both youngsters, Khaya is a cross Husky Lab, were obviously just dumped as people become less and less able to feed and care for them.
An unusual name, Khaya is the Zulu (and Xhosa) word for 'home'. And the good news is that both Khaya and her "sister", Ujo, have just been adopted. I'm hoping that the new owners will donate to DARG for Khaya's portrait. Fingers crossed!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Although I find landscapes quite daunting, I had no trouble at all in selecting one of my favourite South African artists to copy.
Pierneef (full name is Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef) has always been immensely appealing in his rather 'different', geometric way of portraying the landscape of our country. His love of the land shows through in all his work, a love, I guess, that is shared by most of us Africans.
This one is entitled Bushveld Autumn Landscape and was painted in 1943. I did check that I was within the copyright limits of 50 years; Pierneef died in 1957.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I did finish the Companion of Diana e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y, but have to confess that I'm nowhere near finished the Masters one.
This is my version of Diana's companion (I'm not even going anywhere near the Manhattan taxis!)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
This initiative, which was started by Sheila and Carrie, has taken on a life of its own in the USA. Hopefully it will progress to other countries across the world.
Daphne has been with DARG for some time now, and the hopes of her being re-homed are quite remote. It is scary the number of animals that are 'discarded' by people - they currently have a whole host of puppies that have been rescued and one puppy pitbull that is deaf.
I always feel so sad when I see the faces of all these lost animals. Thank goodness for organisations like DARG and thank goodness for people like Sheila and Carrie who give people like me an opportunity to help them.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It also seems just a few days ago that I last posted on my blog, but it was actually a week and half. The time that I have seems to be taken up with all sorts of 'other' things, like going to cricket to watch the Indian Premier League.
May also heralds the advent of winter and the days this week have been decidedly chillier. Today, however, was the exception - beautiful and sunny and absolutely perfect for gardening.
But I did manage to finish another painting from the 'Forgotton Portraits of a People' article that appeared in the Sunday Argus last year. It was also taken in 1864. The first one I did was of Mickie, the rather sad Khoikhoi from Harrismith in the Orange Free State.
This one is of a 'transport rider' called Nelleka who came from an area in the Eastern Cape formerly known as British Kaffraria. It doesn't say what nationality he is, but it is likely that coming from that area, he would be of Xhosa descent. Like Mickie, what struck me was the sadness in his eyes but I also think he had an extremely beautiful face.