I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
Art & Creativity - Maree Clarkson
Shhh… germination in progress. Can you hear the swish of the brush, dipping, dipping into water, gathering colour from the palette? That's the process of planting flowers in my watercolour garden. *•.¸🌿¸.•*
This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play. The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is. I’m here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away. When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!
I get like this from time-to-time - either feeling overwhelmed by all I've got on my plate or getting cross about people stealing art, but, I also get over it every now and then! So here we go again, I'll be posting my art here again, I feel very sentimental about this blog which I've had for many years now. So my apologies for jerking you around and I'll be very glad to see you here again!
"Plant and care for Trees" - W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book
Trees combat climate change. Trees clean the air. Trees provide oxygen.
Trees help prevent water pollution. Trees provide a canopy and habitat
for wildlife. Trees help prevent soil erosion.
Well, this is a milestone in my life. I've been posting my art here since April 2009 and now, finally, I'm closing this blog. Here I've watched my art style grow and improve over the years and it's been a most enjoyable journey. I've met wonderful artists and friends and picked up many useful tips and encouragement along the way.
But now I'm spending most of my time posting my art on RedBubble, which I joined in September 2010 and it's really a lot of double work posting there and posting here as well. Another thing that's happened is that I found a lot of my work from here posted on other sites, some of it for sale! with no credit to me at all. It's amazing what some people will get up to.
I hope we can stay in touch, so please feel free to visit me on RedBubble where you will find all of my art plus some lovely goodies to buy for yourself or as gifts for family and friends.
W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm watercolour paper 12″ × 8″ Herbs on
a shelf in my potting shed (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)
Herbs can be grown indoors and out so the choice of where to plant them is a personal choice. Many people prefer to grow their herbs in their kitchen where they can be easily accessed during cooking. You can buy herbs as seedlings at any nursery or garden centre, or you can choose to start your plants from seeds.
If you are starting from seeds, just about any small container will do. If I’m going to be panting the herbs outside at a later stage, I normally start them off in egg shells filled with a bit of potting soil, put in my seeds and when they’re big enough, plant them outside shell and all.
I have quite a collection of various sizes of Terracotta pots, and the small ones are ideal for sowing some seeds for a kitchen window sill. This way you always have fresh herbs at hand and it also makes a nice display.
Some of my favourites are Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Basil, Chives, Garlic and Mint.
W&N watercolour and coffee (Nescafé instant) on Bockingford 300gsm ██Ɔ
They made her a grave, too cold and damp For a soul so warm and true; And she’s gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp, Where, all night long, by a fire-fly lamp, She paddles her white canoe. — By Thomas Moore
The Dismal Swamp has a fascinating history. If you’re not already aware of its intricacies, check it out here.
“Even though the average depth of the lake is only six feet, its
unusually pure water is essential to the swamp’s survival. The
amber-colored water is preserved by tannic acids from the bark of the
juniper, gum and cypress trees, prohibiting growth of bacteria. Before
the days of refrigeration, water from the Swamp was a highly prized
commodity on sailing ships. It was put in kegs and would stay fresh a
long time. People spoke of the magical qualities of the Swamp’s
tea-coloured water and how, if it were regularly drunk, it prevented
illness and promoted long life.”
I took a hiatus from blogging for a while, overwhelmed by everything going on in my life, but now things have settled down a bit so here's one of my latest paintings done in coffee with a bit of watercolour.
is Hedgie, a male Southern African Hedgehog (Atelerix frontalis) that I
was lucky enough to have in my life for almost six years after I found
him wandering on our previous smallholding. A couple of months after
finding him, I also found Sethlong, a female, who joined Hedgie in the
large enclosure I had made for them and together they raised a lovely
brood of eight little babies.
Ink sketch and watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – Kei Apple tree and a
Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae – (Chameleo dilepis)
The Kei-apple, Dovyalis caffra, is well known all over the
eastern parts South Africa, common in open bush and wooded grassland,
and often near termite mounds. It is a thick, shiny, spiny shrub up to three metres in height. The branches are armed with straight, robust spines up to 7 cm long. Fresh, ripe fruits are rich in Vitamin C and pectin and, following the
example of the Pedi people who squeeze the juice onto their pap
(porridge), they make an excellent addition to a fruit salad and to
muesli and yoghurt. Nature seems to know best when to give us the right
foods to boost our immune systems in preparation for the onslaught of
winter colds and ‘flu.
Last year my trees also bore an abundance of fruit for the first time
ever and I ascribe this to the fact that we get heavy frost here in
Tarlton (South Africa). It has taken almost seven years for my trees to
reach just over three meters tall and I was absolutely thrilled to have
the fruit. Of course I had to try them but they really are too acidic,
with a slight hint of sweetness, to enjoy on a full-time basis. And I’m
therefore also not surprised at all that Torti, my Leopard Tortoise, did
not touch any that had fallen on the floor. But they look really
beautiful displayed in a dish!
And the Chameleon didn't seem to have any problem with the huge thorns! I was really thrilled to see him in my garden as these lovely creatures seem to be getting scarcer and scarcer.
W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm (135lb) Smooth heavy-weight
sketching paper, from my imagination, no preliminary sketching.
“One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four
tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” —U.S. Department of Agriculture
for the planet, plant for the people. Planting trees is a simple way to
protect and support the local environment, agriculture, water supplies,
community development and health, as well as the world’s climate.