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!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coffee Charred Landscape

"Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure. We leave our homes for work, acting and even believing that we will reach our destinations with no unusual event startling us out of our set expectations. The truth is we know nothing, not where our cars will fail or when our buses will stall, whether our places of employment will be there when we arrive, or whether, in fact, we ourselves will arrive whole and alive at the end of our journeys. Life is pure adventure and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art: to bring all our energies to each encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when we expected to happen did not happen. We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed."
~ Maya Angelou - 'Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now'

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

"Charred Landscape" - Coffee and watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm watercolour paper
- 12" x 8"

Another exploration into the world of painting with coffee - I really love the natural, earthy colour it imparts and here I used it for the tree and all of the fore-ground, and got a bit bolder, using watercolour for the sky and mountains. The very dark parts on the tree and the trunks is achieved by dipping my brush into the very strong residue at the bottom of the glass and it actually dried to a rich, thick sheen, not visible on the scan. For the white areas I used art masking fluid, removing it afterwards (I just *love* peeling that stuff from the paper and my fingers!) and softening the stark white with a bit of coffee.

This is a depiction of our South African landscapes after the ravages of all the veld fires we have during winter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coffee Daisies

"Good Art comes from good Inspiration!"
- Maree

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

"Coffee Daisies" - Coffee and watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - 12" x 8"

I have discovered painting with coffee! I have used both coffee and tea in staining certain materials before, especially cotton, but never thought of using it in art until I saw some of Barbara Glatzeder's art on RedBubble.

I've painted these daisies almost totally with coffee, adding a bit of Cadmium Red to the background, leaving it to dry over-night. Then I did the flowers straight on the page with coffee the next morning (Nescafé instant, made VERY strong!), no sketching. A bit of grey/green was used for the flower stalks.

When looking at the original, the coffee, when it dries, leaves the richest, shiniest, wet-looking patina, better than any permanent staining watercolour, absolutely great! Wish they made coffee in other colours!! And as Barbara says, the artwork smells great!

I'm disappointed in the scanning of this image, as the rich patina of the coffee doesn't show at all.

You can view more Coffee Art HERE.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gemsbuck in the Kalahari

I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?
- James Thomson

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

Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - 12" x 8"

The gemsbok or gemsbuck (Oryx gazella) is a large African antelope, of the Oryx genus. The name is derived from the Dutch name of the male chamois, gemsbok. Although there are some superficial similarities in appearance (especially in the colour of the face area), the chamois and the oryx are not closely related.

In the *Kalahari Desert in South Africa*, they have to trek vast distances to find water. The park covers an area of a little less than 10,000 square kilometers and consists of mile upon mile of rolling rust-red sand dunes, solitary trees and scattered grasses. For lovers of the ambience of untamed Africa, this hauntingly beautiful region has a special appeal all of its own. The Kalahari Desert is a part of the largest continuous area of sand in the world.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Consumed by desert sands

Am I willing to give up what I have in order to be what I am not yet? Am I able to follow the spirit of love into the desert? It is a frightening and sacred moment. There is no return. One's life is charged forever. It is the fire that gives us our shape.
- Mary Richards

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

"Consumed by desert sands" - watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 12" x 8"

A short fiction ...

Trudging gingerly across the arid sands of the desert, the explorer is careful not to put a foot wrong, for he knows it may be his last. He scours the land and shifting valleys for tell-tale signs of disturbance in the sands below, always ready for the unexpected lurch of an alien being said to kill in one strike with a sharp spout of acidic venom to the face. A creature so secretive that no photographic evidence yet exists, but the locals know it’s there, always waiting in silence for its prey, waiting to strike ...

Just playing with watercolours on a clean sheet of paper gives me great pleasure, not knowing how it's going to turn out or what's going to show up. Here I used Burnt Sienna with a bit of Sepia, watching the interaction and flow of the colours. I can spend hours filling sheet after sheet with colour, watching how the colours react and fascinated by the contours formed in the process.