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!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Off for a week (not to Venice!)

Well, I'm off to Ballito on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal tomorrow for a week - I am taking my laptop with me, but might or might not be posting here. Am going to try and fit some painting in, but that remains to be seen, as I have a lot of catching up to do with the family.

“If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you've imagined. Venice is -- Venice is better.”
Fran Lebowitz

My daily sketch for today...

"Venice" watercolour on Bockingford - Maree©

This is actually an old painting I did in the 80's, but revamped it with some bolder colour and a couple of architectural changes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Botanical - Butterflies, Double Feature

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”

A daily practice of sketching and painting gives you a chance to exercise the big three P's - practice, practice, practice!

Botanical Butterflies - "Double Feature"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Psychedelic Me

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
Oscar Wilde

A daily practice of sketching and painting gives you a chance to exercise the big three P's - practice, practice, practice!

"Psychedelic Me" watercolour on Daler-Rowney 190gsm - Maree©

For this one I printed out a photograph of myself on Daler-Rowney 190gsm paper in very light grey-scale (all colour removed and contrast and enhancement set to very low in the picture manager) and then added some watercolour. I think I've flattered myself - doesn't show the double chin or the wrinkles...!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Moleskine Journal entry

    A daily journal entry and sketch ...


    Moleskine Journal entry and watercolour sketch - Maree©

    (Click to enlarge)


    "Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;

    Today the glint of green is there;

    Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;

    I know nothing so wondrous fair,

    No miracles so strongly rare.

    I wonder what will next be there!"

    - L.H. Bailey

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

My daily sketch for today...

"Hillside" watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garden Journal entry

An entry and sketch in my Daily Garden Journal
(Click to enlarge and read the entry)

To me, the garden is a doorway to other worlds; one of them, of course, is the world of birds. The garden is their dinner table, bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lighthouse Santa Cruz

Without planning, your painting will probably be indecisive and fragmented, and you'll try to say too much in one picture.
- Ron Ranson

A daily practice of sketching and painting gives you a chance to exercise the big three P's - practice, practice, practice!

"Lighthouse - Santa Cruz, California" watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lighthouse Sunset

“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart”
- Confucius

My daily sketch for today...

"Lighthouse - Stormy Sunset" watercolour on Visual 140gsm - Maree©

Friday, September 11, 2009

Misty Beach

"The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change -- until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds."
- Unknown

My daily sketch...

"Misty Beach" watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©

Done from a photograph by Cameron Nelson. Cameron and his wife Deelia, live in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. Cameron is a photographic artist and you can go to Cameron Nelson Photography to see some of his stunning works, or go to his BLOG for more of his works, especially weddings on the island.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Botanical - Bee in Nature

To 'bee' in nature is to experience one of our planet's most awesome gifts. Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.

My sketch for today...

"Bee In Daisy" a (not so quick) quick pencil sketch and watercolour done from a photograph by Crista from 'Nature As Is' on Daler-Rowney 190gsm - Maree©

This lovely photograph by Christa inspired me to sketch this and at first I thought the bee was going to be the difficult part, but the daisy just would not conform to the way I wanted it to go! Just goes to show...


Monday, September 7, 2009

Spring Reflections

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
~Mark Twain

A daily practice of sketching and painting gives you a chance to exercise the big three P's - practice, practice, practice!

"Spring Reflections" watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©

This sketch was inspired by Pam Johnson Brickell's 'Sunrise Surprise' - her management of watercolours is astonishing and always an inspiration.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

In Memoriam - R.I.P.

I look at life as a gift of God. Now that he wants it back I have no right to complain.
---Joyce Cary

My sketch for today - in memoriam of Pappa Goose - 1991 - 2009.

"Pappa Goose" watercolour on Visual 140gsm - 05/09/09 Maree©

Pappa Goose, an Egyptian Goose, was brought to me to take care of him in 1991 - don't know how old he was - he had one gammy foot as a result of fishing gut being entangled around his leg and severing the tendons and nerves, causing his foot to pull backwards. I was lucky to have the pleasure of his presence in my life for 18 years when, finally yesterday, I had to have him euthanized because his legs were riddled with arthritis and he could hardly stand up anymore. If there is a Goose Heaven, I'm sure that's where he is now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Onion Shell

An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.
Paul Valery

A daily practice of sketching and painting gives you a chance to exercise the big three P's - practice, practice, practice!

"Onion Shell" (family Melapiidae) - pencil sketch and watercolour in 'Journal' sketchbook - Maree©

I sketched this shell in 2002, but decided to put some colour to it yesterday.

These shells are smooth on the outside, without ridging, and have a quite flattened spire. In South Africa we have Melapium lineatum and Melapium elatum - 2 really beautiful shells. The lineatum's common name is 'Onion shell' - the shape and patterns resemble an onion.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Namaqualand Daisies

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
~Robin Williams

A daily practice of sketching and painting gives you a chance to exercise the big three P's - practice, practice, practice!

"Namaqualand Daisies" watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©

Namaqualand! 100% Big sky country. Extending from the Atlantic Ocean in the west of South Africa to the small town of Pofadder in the east, north from the great Orange River and south beyond Garies, Namaqualand is indeed a vast and varied region.

During the arid summer months it is difficult for the tourist to imagine the phenomenon of the yearly wild flower appearance.

After the winter rainfall, Namaqualand dons her coat of many colours and for a brief moment, the wildflowers invade the countryside. Countless poems, novels, paintings and prose have been dedicated to this annual shower of God's colour.

Before the flowers appear

At the end of winter

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cottage Rose

Being in nature and allowing ourselves to absorb both its gentle beauty and fierce power is a healing act. We do not have to travel far to open ourselves to this gift.
- Unknown

My sketch for today...

"Cottage Rose" watercolour on Visual 140gsm - Maree©

I did this sketch on a piece of Visual 140gsm watercolour paper - it's so thin, it just sucks up the paint and won't flow at all and once you've made a mistake, that's it, can't be fixed. Like the muddy leaf top right-hand corner - I promised myself I won't be using it again, but there you go...

And it reminds me of Ronell van Wyk's post on using greens - I've decided they are very tricky after all!