Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Big Beady-Eyed Bird

Another bird - this time one of Saundra Lane Galloway's ones from her visit to her local zoo.  You can see all her animals from her Surprise Day at the Zoo, here.

This I did in watercolour,  a medium that I still battle with.  Only one in 4 or 5 of my attempts at watercolour am I satisfied with.  Note the word satisfied - not thrilled, over-the-moon or ecstatic about, just satisfied.

This Winter we have a number of workshops arranged and I am determined to take at least one on learning to use watercolours.  I wish I could visit all those wonderful watercolourists in India and the USA for lessons, but no can do, so have to find someone from our local awesomely talented artists.

In the meantime, meet the Beady Eyed Crane!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kirstenbosch Visitors

Whilst on duty at Kirstenbosch during the Merit Exhibition, a group of pre-schoolers came for an outing through the gardens.  

This is a regular occurrence during the week with all sorts of school groups coming through to learn about the gardens, how they are run, and more importantly, to respect the natural order of nature and not to just pick and destroy.

This little group was part of a very much larger group who gathered together on the stone steps waiting for instructions and direction from their teachers.  They were also the cause of much photographing by the adults, including me, as they presented such a cute picture.  I am hoping to do a few more of the kids as they sat on the steps, but this is the first.

and a close up of the three

I have also been given another award - Martine Alison who does the most amazing paintings, writes in French, a language I have had no connection with, and consequently have to rely on Google translate to understand fully what she says.  She is a lovely lady who never fails to leave a comment on my blog.  Martine, bless you, and thank you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Swallow

I've decided I like painting birds and am going full steam ahead (well, full steam in between everything else), and putting together some good old South African birds.

This is a Swallow.  He lives somewhere around here because the picture was taken in the Paarl area just outside Cape Town by fantastic photographer John Kennekam.  John has kindly given me permission to paint some of his birds and boy, does he have a lot to choose from.

Hope you like this little fella even though I picked up a bit of glare on the blue!

Maree, who is totally knowledgeable about these things, has pointed out that this is a Swallow, not a Sparrow!  Oops!  Thank you Maree, I just know he is a really pretty bird!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Velddrif in April

A group of us went up to Velddrif this past week to do some painting.  Hah!  How can you improve on nature?

It is such a beautiful time of year here with Autumn peaking round the corner.  The days are still lovely and warm and the nights are starting to hint at the chill to come, but it's still t-shirts and shorts for a few more weeks.  There were no mosquitoes, the wind was just a breeze and the company was wonderful.

In lieu of posting any scribbles that I did do, here are some of the scenes we were subjected to from the front stoep of the house we were staying at.

Our early morning flamingo view

The pelicans came gliding past late afternoon along with the spoonbills

And at sunset

On our way back, we popped in to meet wonderful West Coast artist Marie Theron and saw her wonderful paintings in real life!   And we were treated in true Afrikaans hospitality with coffee and cake in their really beautiful home.  Thank you Marie and Phillip.  We will be seeing you again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Storm Brewing

Well, 10 days away and I've just spent the entire morning going through so many of the blogs I've missed whilst sitting at the exhibition.  If I haven't left a comment, I'm still getting there.  So, still no painting yet.  Or maybe I'm just putting it off - no I will definitely be going into my studio this afternoon, or at the latest, tomorrow morning.  This afternoon I may just have to watch cricket and rugby - it is, after all, Saturday!

So now I'm being brave and posting a painting that I did on a course I did in February.  This canvas is BIG (for me) being 40" x 30"!  It was done in acrylics and I find that I don't like acrylics anymore - they dry too fast, especially in the heat.  I did like the size though, but in the end, hated the painting. 

I was the only one who hated it - oh my sister didn't like it either.  Everyone else in the class thought it was amazing, but I don't know whether they were just being kind.

Anyway, because I haven't done a thing for 10 days, I thought I would let you have a look at what I call "A Red Mess" but actually has been titled Storm Brewing.

(What about 'Picnic Time for Red Teddy Bears' ??)