Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Still Life

I'm not a still life painter, but these are little ones done in a few hours.  And I really enjoyed doing them!  Lucky for me, they sold as well at the last exhibition.

Soft Shadows

Daisies in Silver

Monday, April 11, 2022

In the Light

 Called this "In the Light".  I painted it from a pic I took from the internet but as I couldn't get permission for the use of it, this was just for me.  I loved the way the light came over her shoulder and emphasised the colour of her eye.  

Sometimes you see a pic on the internet or tv or wherever and you would love to paint it but cannot find out how to get permission. Ideally one should take own photos, but this is not always possible.  And there are such amazing reference pics on the web.  

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Pincushion Protea

This is one of the many protea species indigenous to the Western Cape.  This particular one was found in the Noordhoek area.  The best place to see all our protea species is in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a wonderful area set up against Table Mountain.

A view of Kirstenbosch Gardens with our national flower, the King Protea in the foreground

Wednesday, December 22, 2021


A few of the smaller flowers that I've been doing.

It's so long since I logged into the blogging world, I had forgotten there were so many artists out there that I was in constant contact with.  And it was quite sad to realise that, like me, they also have dropped off the blog list.  So maybe it's time I linked this to my Instagram and Facebook accounts!  If I could just figure out how to ....

Thursday, April 6, 2017


I didn't know if this would still work as I haven't been active on blogger for nearly a year.  I always say to myself that I will try harder, but never seem to manage it.  Winter is a slower period for us down south, so let's see.
Another cafe scene - Melissa's in central Cape Town.  Called it Espresso.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Navy Cadet

In between doing everything else, thought I would quickly post this.  I did a portrait course with an incredible portrait artist, Elize Bezuidenhout, and learnt so much.

The first is really a sepia rendering of the values - 

This next one I started with the skin colours 

And finally, the end result 
I took the original photo last summer on our week away in Langebaan.  A group of navy personnel were doing manouvres close to where we were painting and this chap was waiting for the rest of his group.

Monday, March 28, 2016

South African Birds

Done some time ago, a baby Yellow Tit, Cape Bulbul and Cape Robin.  All three visit my garden which I absolutely love.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pere Lachaise

An unusual place to visit, Pere Lachaise Cemetry is the resting place of many famous people, including Oscar Wilde.
Not usually on a tourist list, Pere Lachaise was worth the trip.  It overlooks Paris and is incredibly peaceful and relaxing.
These two were just sitting in the garden half way up the hill, softly drumming.  It was wonderful!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Post Paris

I was lucky enough to spend two months in Paris in August and September at the Cite International des Art.  Oh boy was it hot in August!  Going from freezing winter temperatures to that 30plus degree heat was something.

And then last week to wake up to the tragedy that has befallen that great city.  Thank goodness all the friends made at the Cite are fine and keeping a low profile.  But having been there so recently, my thoughts are constantly on Paris and the people.

What a wonderful city Paris is.  There is just so much to see and do and to discover.  Besides the visits to the numerous museums and galleries (big and small), there are the streets and the buildings and that amazing river, the Seine. 
The Cite is opposite the Seine and we had a great view of the river when the leaves started to fall in September.  It was great to take a sketch book and pop over the road to sit and sketch and watch the river traffic go by.
I did a few paintings - this one is of a young girl texting in the gardens at Place des Vosges.   
 The Notre Dame from the river
 One of my favourite museums - Musee Montmatre where Renoir lived and painted
 and his painting of the swing
 with the original swing in the garden
 And to crown everything, a visit to Giverney - I don't know if this is the original boat that Monet painted, but it looked rather great.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lady in Red

I realise I totally neglect my blog.  Computer technology is overtaking me and I seem to spend less time painting and more time trying to work out how to use all this techno stuff.
But to keep the link in cyberspace (or the clouds or wherever it is!), I thought I better put some work up.

Friday, December 19, 2014


A big thank you to those of you who haven't forgotten me!  And Martine, I still had to use Google Translate -hopefully I will learn a little bit of French in the New Year.

These 2 portraits were done mainly from life - with touch ups in the studio from photos.  Can't seem to help myself doing little bits afterwards.  I'm trying to be more painterly and was quite pleased with these.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Genadendal Locals

So long since the last blog ... time just seems to run away.
Just thought I'd break the ice and post this painting of two Genadendal locals chatting on a (broken) bench.  I also did a separate little painting of the older fellow.
And then let's see how I go keeping this up again.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Up the West Coast

I can't believe it's 3 months since I last posted!
I have been avoiding the computer when I can and painting as much as I can.  This summer has been a hive of activity with exhibitions running into each other. And of course, with exhibitions one needs paintings!
I have had a month's break but come Monday it's back into the swing of exhibitions again.
I do need to get back into reading all the blogs and catching up with what's going on in blogland, but until then, am posting a few paintings that I did on a long weekend painting trip to Langebaan.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The World is my Stage

Summer is here in all her glory.
That means the garden needs to be tended regularly otherwise one gets lost in mile high grass!  And summer is when we have most of our exhibitions.  So I've been painting very regularly - early in the morning when it's still nice and cool.  I also have my little TV with me so I can watch that wonderful summer sport - cricket!  India is here at the moment and we are into the second day of the second five-day test.  Cricket is definitely a game you have to understand to love.

I have work on an exhibition at the moment and then on the 1st January there is another one, followed immediately on the 13th and then again on the 23rd.  Different work for all of them!
This is one I'm putting on on the 23rd.  It's of a farm hand who works out in the Elgin area, relaxing in the evening, entertaining friends.

And then there was the death of our revered Nelson Mandela.  Everyone glued to the television sets watching the proceedings - a time of both sadness and thankfulness at what he did for our country.  It was also with great pride that we saw how the rest of the world held him in awe.  I was lucky enough to shake his hand at a press luncheon just after his release from prison.  Rest in peace Tata.
Nelson Mandela Timeline

I hope everyone had a peaceful Festive Season and may 2014 be the most wonderful year ever!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Today is holiday here - Heritage Day.  I still haven't quite figured out the meaning, but I do know that it's also known as 'Braai Day' - translated Barbecue Day.  So there's a lot of meat being cooked over fires with plenty of beer to help the process.

I on the other hand, have been attending to my blog inbetween doing a bit of gardening.  Spring is nearly here and the lovely green buds on the trees are out as are some of my spring flowers.  Beautiful.  So, no painting today, but I did paint yesterday.  And this painting is of one of the waitresses at a coffee shop called Melissa's here in Cape Town.  This scored highly at the judging, so I'm quite proud of that!  And thanks so much for always visiting my very under utilised blog!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Morning News

Haven't been to visit anyone, it's late at night and I'm currently between exhibitions!
On Monday there are 2 exhibitions that I need to put work on and I really don't have much work available, having sold 4 last week.  I also have to keep back 3 which were selected for our Annual Exhibition in October and thereafter need to produce another 5 for January!
Isn't life great!
This is one that was selected.

Of a weathered man sitting outside having coffee.  Sitting outside in the cold winter weather because he needed to have his ciggie with his coffee.

I will do the rounds sometime next week and catch up with everyone.  A special thank you for all your great comments.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cycling Season

I think that I just have to accept that I can't (don't) get around to blogging as often as I should (could).  I miss so much of my blogging friends' work - work that has always been an inspiration to me.

And this winter has been absolutely gorgeous here in Cape Town - a couple of weeks of rain (which is necessary to fill those depleted dams) and some lovely, lovely warm sunshine.  So, apart from the society work that keeps me out of mischief, I have been happily painting in my studio in the back garden (no heating you see!)

Inspired by le Tour de France, I have posted this painting I did a couple of months ago of a cycle tour we have here - The Cape Argus.  If you want to see some amazing paintings of le Tour, have a look at Rob Ijbema's blog - he paints the Tour every year!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One of my Favourite Subjects

It's been a frantic, busy Summer!  And 5 months have just slipped past unnoticed.

The Art Society takes up a lot of my time these days and at this time of the year there seems to be more activity than normal.  We just put our feet up from the exhibitions before Christmas, when there's another one at the end of January to prepare for.  And no sooner has that finished when our first Art in the Park at Groot Constantia vineyards was upon us.

And just before the 'silly season' I was off to Cyprus via Paris!  My son and daughter-in-law finally decided to get officially married in church after 13 years and 3 children.  The wedding was in Cyprus because Barbara's father lives there and what a wonderful wedding and holiday it was, and being with the family and grandchildren was fantastic - Cyprus in winter is worth visiting and the people are so warm and welcoming.  Paris for a day was a pleasure as well - instead of paying for a visa for a direct flight to Cyprus, I used my Schengen visa to visit the City of Lights and spend the day at the Musee D'Orsay.  What a treat and totally recommended.

And of course, in between been doing some painting.  I had two commissions just before Christmas and this rather good looking gentleman (done in watercolour!) was one of them!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I think one of the things that keeps me away from blogging, is the slowness of our computer networks in this country.  It sometimes takes forever to download some blogs - I can go and make a cup of tea while I wait!

But that's just another excuse!  I have been exceptionally busy, but luckily the last exhibition for the year is now over (just one more but I'm not involved in the organising).  But when you've been away from the old easel for so long, it takes an effort to get back into the swing of things.  With summer almost here, it should get easier.

I did this particular painting some time ago.  It's of Sossusvlei in Namibia, the oldest desert in the world.  A lot of the sand is red/orange and very beautiful and this particular vlei is a popular tourist area.

The picture was taken by my watercolour teacher when she was on holiday in Namibia, so a special thank you to Penny for letting me use her photo.

A big thank you to all of you who continue to visit and give me that support that keeps me going.  I do visit every now and then but usually briefly and don't leave messages.

Friday, August 10, 2012

From Sweden

I think I've worked out that since I joined the art society council, my time spent on the computer is taken up with society things - hence the lack of desire at the end of the day to blog.

And I do regret not blogging when I finally get round to see what I'm missing.  The work out there in blogland is absolutely terrific and reading the blogs makes me feel connected to a wonderful art family.  All my intentions to blog regularly are there - they just don't seem to come to fruition.

We have just had our annual selection weekend and again, my job was doing the computer work and keeping track of the judges scores.  It was a hectic two days and I didn't do so well this year - only one painting was accepted out of three.  Never mind - just have to keep trying.

I am posting these two portraits of my daughter-in-law's young cousins in Sweden.  Her uncle asked me to paint them and I did struggle with Sophie because of the lack of light and shade on her face.  But they were happy, and that's what counts.  Two beautiful young people indeed.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Warmer side to Africa

I've been back for a while now, but as usual my blog has suffered while other more pressing things needed to be done.  And, as usual, I haven't been visiting anyone.  And it's cold in the computer room!

But I have been going to my watercolour classes and have desperately been painting for our annual selection day.  Even now I don't know whether what I have is going to be good enough - doubt raising its ugly head!  It won't be these as paintings done in a class are not eligible, but my watercolours are improving.  I thought I'd put these two together - the elephants and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe - as Zim used to be home to great herds of these amazing animals.

Will try and visit soon, but thanks to everyone for keeping me going.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I'm off Again

I thought I would at least be able to post once a month and visit all the blogs, but of course, time has run away again and I'm off to Sweden tomorrow to visit my little family!

So, I think I will have some time on my hands when I'm there, and I am definitely going to try and visit everyone.

For my trip I've painted four portraits so that was also a bit of a rush.  At least I finished in enough time for them to dry.  Needless to say, all my other painting has taken a back seat and I'm only taking a sketch book to Sweden with me.

So, just to keep this blog alive, these are two portraits I did as a commission for a very lovely lady who comes to my fabric painting lessons.  It's nice when you get paid to do what you love, and I loved painting these.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Gardener's Bicycle

I've been up since the early hours going through all the blogs on my side bar and haven't yet touched others that I visit when I'm on line!  I'm sorry if I've missed you or haven't left a message and I thank you all for continuing to visit my humble blog and leave comments.

I'm finding it's taking me longer and longer to finish a painting.  And during school term (because of teaching) I find I'm only seriously painting once a week.  Monday is my watercolour class, Tuesday to Thursday taken up with everything else, and Friday morning left for painting with the group.

As a result I found that after the last exhibition, I have very little (actually absolutely nothing that I would consider suitable) for the next exhibition which is just around the corner.  So I really have to pull my finger out and get into my little studio and do some work.

This was done in the Friday group and sold on the opening night of the last exhibition.  Bicycles will always remind me of Ramesh Jhawar who is an expert bicycle painter.  This was taken on a plein air outing at a private home - just around a corner I found this gem - the gardener's bicycle propped against the garden shed.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dry Dock

Gosh it's almost mid-Feb - time has just slipped by.

In January I seemed to be on the go the whole time, with 3 exhibitions to paint for.  And then on top of everything it's been so darned hot!  It must be the hottest January we've had in years with temperatures in the mid-30's (C that is).  The other day, I'm sure it topped 40!  But it's cooling down a little now, so the energy levels start to rise again.

I did rather well at the last exhibition which was the South African Society of Artists Merit Exhibition which I qualified for last year.  Sold a total of 5 paintings which was rather nice.  Considering on the previous 2, I only sold one.

This is one that sold.  It was done from a photo taken whilst plein air painting (or trying to) at the Waterfront in Cape Town centre.  It's called Dry Dock.

I had a quick trip around all my blogging friends, but haven't left any messages.  Will try and revisit in the next day or two.  Thanks for putting up with my tardiness!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Christmas Gift

Some time ago, I did a painting of two delightful dogs, Saffie and Lulu (will be posting them soon).  The owner's sister saw the picture and between the two of them, came up with the idea to have their mother's precious dog painted for her for Christmas.

Now, because it was a Christmas present, I never got to meet the dog or take my own photographs.  It can be a bit unnerving painting from photographs of someone you've never met, but in the end we agreed on the best way to crop the picture and this is the result.

Her name is Emmy and she is much loved by her owners.  And you can understand why, looking at that cute face!

Today is January 1.  
Today is the start of a new year that I hope will bring all the richest blessings, peace, harmony and happiness into all your lives.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

For me, Christmas came a few days early.

Sharon Wright, an amazing portrait artist living somewhere in England! sent me a portrait she did some time ago, and which I was lucky enough to 'win' in a lucky draw she had, oh, nearly two years ago!

It's taken that long to get to me, living at the bottom end of Africa.  No, the postal service was not to blame.  The cost of posting was!  We tried to think of various (less expensive) ways of getting this lovely lady to her new sunny home, but in the end, Sharon just decided to send it anyway.

And here she is, ready to be taken to the framers as soon as they get back from lounging around on the beach!

Thank you Sharon.

To everyone out there in blogland, have a wonderful, fabulous day, and may your good fortunes increase in the new year.