JUST ME :: and a stack of blank pages

:: Living creatively ::

About me

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!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In life...

 

we 
all 
need 

an open heart . crisp paper 
a breeze ... be it cool or warm 
a friend who says call if you need to talk 
white linen . weekends . joy of music . a rest 
sun on our back . a chair for the garden . wings to fly 

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Trying to fence in freedom

“Fences are made for those who cannot fly.” 
- Elbert Hubbard

  
W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm heavy-duty sketching paper 

The Tarlton and Magaliesburg area (Gauteng, South Africa) is full of abandoned and broken down fences - maybe a reminder of the futility of trying to fence in freedom... 

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Watch what we believe

 
W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm 

This was Coco's (my Crow and companion for 20 years) typical stance when she was relaxing, and to me seemed wistful, pensive and deep in thought. I'm sure crows can be deep in thought - she certainly had enough to ponder - whether she should go into the kitchen and beg a tit-bit, where next to dig up my seedlings in the garden, which of the dogs to harass by pulling their tails or stealing their food or even wandering into the bedroom or bathroom to collect some items to stash up her tree. 

Crows often appear in groups and I've often wondered if she missed the company of other crows. Though there seems to be no variation in their caw-ing to each other, each caw actually has a different meaning. I would immediately know when she's hungry by the caw she uttered and their complex vocabulary is one sign of their intelligence, and is also a sign of their significance as power animals. When a crow explores something new, others watch closely to see what happens and then learn from it. They often make great noise when hunters are around, warning the animals and other birds. Crows recognise potential danger and hence always post lookouts when feeding. This is their most vulnerable time. This helps us understand that we must watch what we believe, to test our habitual ideas about reality against a more universal standard. 

Coco passed away at the age of 27 after a stroke and I can honestly say no other animal enriched my life like she did. 

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Gathering in the cold

 
Ink sketch and watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm 

Freezing cold weather here in South Africa and on the way to Magaliesburg to buy some new art materials I was wondering why all these crows were gathering on the telephone lines. Maybe some carrion just out of sight behind the shrubs...? Or were they just basking in the sun for warmth? 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No cold can touch me

When you know who you are; when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive. 
- Chief Seattle


W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 300gsm 

The hills of Magaliesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) are dressed in their winter finery, cold shadows falling across the landscape as the sun tries to warm the valleys below. We've had some REALLY freezing weather, but today it's warming up again. 

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

View from my Studio window

 
W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm heavy-duty sketching paper 

We've had some lovely Autumn days, but winter is now really settling in. Today the temperature is 12°C and when it's too cold to go outside and sketch, the next best thing is the view from my studio window. I've used some artistic licence here and left out the tractors and implements I sometimes have to stare at (but it is our bread and butter, so I don't really mind!) and instead enjoy the weeds, Dandelions and birds that forage around in the grass. 

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Friday, June 8, 2012

This fence

if i was a landscape, i would not be fenced

 
W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

On our way through Hartebeesthoek (Gauteng, South Africa), this fence in the middle of nowhere caught my eye - there must have been a reason for it at some time and it reminded me of Robert Frost's quote, "Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up." 

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crow on a bough

 
W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

Coco, my Crow and companion for 20 years 

I'm a crow on a bough 
battered by the winds 
I've got shelter indeed 
but Ill brave it for my sins 

I'm the sun on a snowdrop 
opening from it's sleep 
I've got a world to light 
but on it's petals I'll beat 

I'm the dogs at your door 
begging to be fed 
but if you feed me once 
your step will make my bed 

 like a worm in a worm hole 
thoughts tunnel my mind 
I am all of these things 
these exist within mankind 
- Unknown

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Winter walk in the Park

“In the summer I have this friend who I am closest to, and sometimes, in the winter, I long to call her up and say, come here and live with me, in this cold place. But we are summer friends. There is a rule it seems, that summer friends don't get together in the wintertime. Now, sitting here, waiting for her, I realize that I have never seen her in a winter coat, and for some reason that makes me sadder than anything else in the world.” 
- Jacqueline Woodson 

W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 300gsm Cold Pressed watercolour paper. 

Just because the trees are bare and there’s a chill in the air doesn’t mean you have to forgo your daily walks. In winter, sunlight and just being outdoors can do wonders for lifting your mood and self-esteem and leave you with an improved sense of well-being. 

Researchers say that winter walking could provide an effective, easy-to-stick-with therapy for mild-to-moderate depression. They also say that not getting outside during winter months slows down production and decreases the body’s store of vitamin D, which is important for keeping bones strong. 

So all you hibernating lazy bones, come join me for a walk in the park! (We'll leave the jogging for the more energetic!) 

 (It’s good to be outside again and breathing fresh air. We need to do this more often!) 

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