Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Well this is my first contribution to the Art for Animals blog.

His name is Wharf and he comes from the Hout Bay based organisation, DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group). I don't know very much about Wharf, but from his
name would imagine he was found wandering round the docks.

DARG have a policy of never putting a healthy animal down and as a result, there are a few dogs and cats who have been staying at the centre for some time. Wharf is one of them, a sweet faced eldery dog who is looking for a home to retire to. Hopefully my little painting will help him find his 'forever' place in the sun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This is Emma. She was my friend and companion for 8 years before she went to doggy heaven 6 years ago. She had bone cancer and when she broke her leg, there was nothing the vet could do for her. I miss her still and get a little teary eyed when I look at her inquiring expression.

She discovered squeaky toys late in life and this little pink one was HERS. It seemed to be the only one that wasn't destroyed, maybe because it was a little bit spiky.

This painting of Emma is also my warm-up for Sheila's Art for Animals blog. I need to take photos and get down to painting the unwanted dogs that people throw away. Watch this space!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One of the best watercolourists whose work I follow slavishly, has deemed me good enough to receive this award. Mineke Reinders is an incredible artist and I am honoured that she included me in her award list. The award was designed by Kim Ratigan who is an extremely talented animal and wildlife artist. Visit her blog for a look-see.
Now, I need to pass this award on.

Just because you love to create fabulous works of art -

Marian Fortunati - who always makes me laugh
Carol Hadfield - because I know how much she loves to paint
Di McNaughton - who loves life and art and is so generous with herself
Sanjeev Joshi - whose watercolours I love and because he also loves cricket
Jean Lursson - a fabulous watercolourist with links to SA
Sheila Tajima - who gets so many awards I thought I'd just slip this one in
Cathy Gatland - simply because you need to check out her blog

There are so many people out there who I'd like to pass this on to, just because your blogs are so wonderful to read and are also so inspirational. All you really need to do is go to my blog list of friends to know who I think deserve this award.

To those I've linked to, in turn you can link to the person who gave you the award, pass it on to 7 other bloggers whose work inspires you, and list 7 things you love. Or not.

The 7 things I love? Oh ok.

1. The changing of the seasons

2. All animals including cats, rats and bats, but most especially, dogs and horses!

3. Watching a good rugby game especially when our side wins!

4. Staying in the countryside.

5. Reading a well written book - current favourite is The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - check it out.

6. Quiet me time.

Ok, that's only 6, but I guess the 7th one would definitely be sitting in my little back room, painting!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


On November 9 last year, our local newspaper, the Sunday Argus, published an article on "Forgotten Portraits of a People".

The article was about a German photographer, Gustav Fritsch, who came to southern Africa in 1863 and stayed until 1865, and in that time took photographs with the newly discovered technology of photography.

After lying forgotten for all those years, the images were sourced in Germany, scanned by Keith Dietrich of the University of Stellenbosch, and recently put on display at the Sasol Museum in Stellenbosch.

The Sunday Argus published four portraits and a group photo, and this is my interpretation of Mickie, a Khoikhoi who lived in Harrismith in the Free State. The original photograph was taken in 1864, was obviously a sepia image, but what struck me most about the picture was the absolute sadness in her eyes. I think it reflects the history of colonisation around the world, not only in our country. I have tried to reflect not only this sadness, but also the absolute beauty of Mickie.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Well, I'm now back in sunny South Africa and what a temperature shock it's been. Leaving Stockholm airport at minus 5 deg C (that's 23 deg F in old money!) and arriving back in Cape Town to soaring temperatures of 38 deg C (100.4 deg F)! These first two days at home have been sweltering and the news has been that fires have destroyed one of the wine farms in Paarl and are still raging in the area. Yesterday we couldn't see Table Mountain because of all the smoke blowing through from the countryside. I know I miss the family, but with this heat, a little bit of that snow (a teeny bit!) .... maybe that would be nice as well.

But one of the nice things about coming back home is that I can now watch the cricket and rugby again. So, to celebrate that fact, I am posting a painting I did just before I left, of one our "boys" who is a household name right around the cricketing world, Jacques Kallis.

It is also a sort of celebratory painting as it was done just as he achieved his 10 000th test run in world cricket. He is the only Test cricketer in the history of the game to hold more than 10 000 runs AND 250 wickets. He also has over 10 000 runs in One Day Internationals.

Hope you like it.