JUST ME :: and a stack of blank pages

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting for the rain

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

The fields are quiet, the lands are empty – oh, for the sound of rain!

Summer has hit with a vengeance - Spring was short-lived and after freezing temperatures, we went straight into 30℃ heat.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

The colour of Winter

The colour of springtime is in the flowers, the colour of winter is in the imagination. 
~Terri Guillemets 


W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

A winter scene in South Africa.

Clear blue skies and trees scorched by veld fires is a familiar sight here in South Africa in winter. With just a few more weeks of cold, the August winds have already blown in Spring, bringing everything to life again.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Arum fields


W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

A happy meander through the fields and flowers of a sunny Spring morning ...

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Winter is golden

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

Winter is always depicted in cold colours of blue and grey, but here in South Africa, cold as it is, the sun is shining on a bright brown, yellow and green landscape. The only time we have blues and greys is in summer when it is raining!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thoughts

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

Thoughts drifting through my mind as I wend my way up the path towards the gate…

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Guineas are back


For the first time in many years (except for a brief visit in December 2013), I've had Guinea Fowl visiting my garden again. They even stopped to have a quick snack of corn which I put out for Solly's chickens.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Africa burns

It's winter, which means it's once again time for our annual veld fires (wild fires). A couple of weeks ago we had one rushing through our property, but luckily the grass had already been cut in preparation of the event and the damage was minimal. But with strong winds, it is scary the speed at which these fires can travel.

The fire rushing through our property

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Three cheers


Winter is still persisting but three cheers for rising temperatures this morning. A spring in my step and a smile on my face!

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Playing with a candle


A couple of years ago I decided to try out a new technique (probably not new to many of you!) - I used a candle to draw some random lines on watercolour paper, gave the whole sheet a soft wash of ochre, which made the tree trunks stand out and from there I could complete the scenery, darkening the main trunks, adding more trees in the back-ground and then doing a fore-ground. Since then I often use this method and it's amazing what results one can achieve.

Below is another painting I did using the same technique using the waxed areas as highlites.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

If you are lucky enough...



… to be at the beach…
then you are lucky enough.


W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm sketchbook

This is the walk-way down to the beach in Chaka’s Rock, Ballito, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

What better way of whiling away winter hours than dreaming of being at the beach?

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Winter with a vengeance


Winter has hit us here in South Africa with a vengeance and it's snowing in many parts of the country. Last night we experienced -6℃ and all the bird baths and water bowls had a quarter inch thick ice on top. I'm sure if it snowed here in Tarlton it wouldn't be this cold...

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

HOME Décor - throw pillows

 African Indaba

You may be interested in purchasing some of my art printed on throw pillows, the perfect décor accessory for any home, with a wide variety of colours and themes. You can head over to my site at RedBubble and on any artwork, click on the THROW PILLOW option.

Redbubble’s new Throw Pillows are really something to get excited about! As soft and comfortable as an alpaca full of marshmallows but considerably better looking! The super soft 100% spun polyester pillows come in 3 sizes to suit even the most extravagant of couches. And with such a vast range of excellent designs to choose from it’ll be a breeze to personalize any room.

  • Selected design printed on both sides
  • Three square sizes available: 16”, 18”, 20"
  • Concealed zipper for aesthetic wonderment
  • Soft yet hard wearing 100% spun Polyester Poplin fabric
  • Available with or without 100% recycled polyester fibre insert
Care Instructions: Dry or Spot Clean Only

Affirmation for Healing the Earth

 African clay pots - Ethnic series

African Lion - Ethnic series

A word lovingly written

Cosmos beauty

Daisies in Spring

Kingfisher Daisies

Daisies postcard

African Tribal dress

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

French Marigolds

W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm – Marigolds in a pot in my garden

Marigolds (Tagetes patula) are easy to grow and they help keep the away aphids. The relationship between plants and insects is known as ‘companion planting.’ and it’s by far the safest, natural way to garden organically.

Annual Marigolds can be used anywhere to deter beetles and many harmful insects. They are also known to repel harmful root knot nematodes (soil dwelling microscopic white worms) that attack tomatoes, potatoes, roses, and strawberries. The root of the Marigold produces a chemical that kills nematodes as they enter the soil. If a whole area is infested, at the end of the season, turn the Marigolds under so the roots will decay in the soil. You can safely plant there again the following spring. The flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. They are noted for attracting wildlife. The leaves of the marigold are coated with oily glands that produce a pungent scent.

Did You Know? Marigolds, which are from the Aster family and the Calendula genus, were first discovered by the Portuguese in Central America in the 16th century.

Some interesting info :
In addition to colouring foods, yellow dye from the flowers is also used to colour textiles. The whole plant is harvested when in flower and distilled for its essential oil. The oil is used in perfumery; it is blended with sandalwood oil to produce ‘attar genda’ perfume. About 35 kilograms of oil can be extracted from 1 hectare of the plant (yielding 2,500 kg of flowers and 25,000 kg of herbage). The oil is also being investigated for antifungal activity, including treatment of candidiasis and treating fungal infections in plants This info from Wikipedia

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Looking back at your art

Looking back at my art since early 2009 when I started this blog, I've come to the pleasing conclusion that my art has improved, I have grown and I seem to have developed a "style". Style comes about by our preferences - preferences of the colours we use, preferences of subjects and preferences of how we look at things. I think every artist's fear is stagnating and getting nowhere, doing the same thing year in and year out.

My subjects have stayed the same - landscapes, birds, wildlife - the things in nature that I love. I did branch out into portraits, and there was a slight improvement, but I found that portraits were not really my forté at all, so I don't do many of those. I also now and then try acrylics and oils, but unless I spend a LOT more time practicing in those mediums, it's not going to get very far!

Early paintings










Recent paintings












What do you find when you look back at your art? I hardly ever throw anything away. Even though I cringe at some of the older paintings, it's a reminder of where you were. I love scratching through some old pieces, finding something that might have some potential and adding to it. Often something of value appears, if not, it's then destined for the dustbin. It's amazing what a feeling of freedom arises from the fact that it doesn't matter whether you botch it or not, it gives you a free hand to really go for it!


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Winter is coming



W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

The first signs of winter are already showing amongst the bluegum trees on our smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa). Yellow grass, fallen leaves and longer shadows accompany me as I take my (now cold) early morning walks. The lizards and snakes have all but disappeared or only come out much later in the day as it warms up. Even the birds seem to be more quiet, preferring to sit in the top branches of some dead trees, basking in the early morning sun and warming up before taking on the day.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The road to a friend's farm

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

Two years ago I visited a friend in Tarlton and sketched the road leading to their farm (above). When I visited them again this past weekend, I noticed a few changes along the road and decided to sketch it again (below).

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

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