JUST ME :: and a stack of blank pages

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fifty shades of brown

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm.

Using various shades of brown mixed from a variety of colours on my palette.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I love a tree..

W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book

When I pass to my reward.
Whatever that may be,
I’d like my friends to think of me
As one who loved a tree.
I may not have a statesman’s poise
Nor thrill a throng with speech
But I may benefit mankind
If I set out a beech.
If I transport a sapling oak
To rear its mighty head
Twill make for them a childhood shrine,
That will not soon decay.
Of if I plant a tree with fruit,
On which the birds may feed,
Then I have fostered feathered friends
And that’s a worthy deed.
- Samuel N. Baxter

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rosemary and Parsley

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

Herbs on a windowsill in my kitchen (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

I just love herbs in terra-cotta pots. Clumped together, they make a beautiful, as well as useful, arrangement on a window sill or just outside your kitchen door.
Rosemary, (Rosmarinus officinalis) is known as a symbol of remembrance and friendship, and fills a garden with aroma, flavor, and activity — busily pollinating bees love the blooms. The secret to beautiful rosemary is to give plants a hot, dry footing. Grow plants in well-drained soil or a raised bed and they look beautiful in terracotta pots.
Curly leaf parsley (Petroselinum) brings a crisp taste to salads, vegetables, and herb butters. The only maintenance this fuss-free herb requires is planting and harvesting. Give plants evenly moist, well-drained soil, and you’ll enjoy fresh green flavours in no time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A cool Sunday morning outing...

A scene near Magaliesburg, Gauteng, South Africa - Ink sketch and W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book

Sunday morning dawned with clear skies and lovely cool weather, so hubby and I decided to take the MGB Midget roadster out for a run to Magaliesburg and have breakfast at our favourite countryside tea garden. A 20-minute drive with hair blowing in the wind and we arrived, chose a table in the shade and I ordered my favourite, Mince and Cheese Jaffel with salad. By the time we finished eating and lingered, chatting for a while, temperatures were soaring in the early 30℃! The drive home was hot and bothersome and I wished I had taken a hat!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm sketchbook

A scene a couple of kilometers from where I live - a gravel road through Tarlton (South Africa) on the way to Randfontein. It's a short-cut we often take past all the veggie and flower farms, the rubbish dump where all the Seagulls (600km from the coast!) gather and where tall Blue gum trees flank the road. This section of the road is known as Bloekomdraai. Here you will find many old farmsteads dating back to the 1800's and early 1900's, but unfortunately most of these have fallen into disrepair and neglect and are more and more making way for more modern and comfortable homes.

There is also a vlei (marsh) area here that extends for many kilometers all the way to Tarlton and the hills fairly sing with the sound of birds and waterfowl. I presume this was the original feed for the Tarlton Dam, which is now empty, broken and no longer in existence, although the water still flows down the course during heavy periods of rain.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A scene at my pond

W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketchbook

I have this bit of Celtis forest (Celtis africana - White Stinkwood) at my wildlife pond and it's my favourite pastime to sit under the thatch umbrella and sketch part of the scenery. A few weeks ago the bare trees were just beginning to sport green leaves. This is also the area where Torti, my Leopard Tortoise, used to live before I relocated her to her new home at the Krugersdorp Game Reserve.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The last signs of winter

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

The last signs of winter are fast disappearing as spring comes to an end. We've had a bit of rain and Mother Nature is replacing her landscape of browns and yellows with various shades of green, one of my favourite colours. A walk down our smallholding revealed fresh grass, beautiful little wild flowers and birds preparing new nests and many of them already rearing a brood. My Fiscal Shrike has four little ones, keeping her busy the whole day!

(By the way, for those who saw my (hasty) post (deleted) that I won't be blogging here any more, my apologies, I just can't seem to give up my passion of sharing my art! The problem is that I have too many blogs and I am trying to find a way of prioritising which ones to keep, such a difficult decision! lol!)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Blue gum fantasy

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm in small sketch-book
Blue gum trees on our smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Blue gum eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus to the botanists, have been a part of the South African landscape since the Gold Rush, long enough that legends have sprung up about how they first made it to the country. The usual story is that 19th Century gold miners encouraged planting of the trees as a quick-growing source of quality lumber, then were disappointed to find out that South African-grown eucs produce wood unsuitable for much besides rough fenceposts and firewood.

The stories have some factual basis: there was a speculative eucalyptus-planting rush in the first years of the 20th Century, with people planning uses from fine furniture to rot-resistant railroad ties. And the home-grown trees, which grew far more quickly than their Australian counterparts, did not turn out to make lousy timber! The logs were extensively used in our mining industry and to this day they are still popular as fence posts and roof timber.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sketching again

Black ink sketch and colour wash on Amedeo 200gsm

I feel it's time for sketching again, have been neglecting it of late, been preferring just putting colour straight to paper.

Black ink sketch in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketchbook

Black ink sketch in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketchbook


Sunday, September 27, 2015

The dark forest

W&N watercolour in a small sketch-book with Bockingford 300gsm watercolour paper

A different depiction of the blue gum bush on our smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Woods creaked, the sounds of the forest was heard
A hoot and whisper’s in the darkness
Eyes lurking, bushes moving
Hunting beasts wandering,
waiting in the shadows…

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