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, April 25, 2011

Rampage of Appreciation

Watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm sketchbook

Appreciate your friends
and family
and hold them near.

Compliment yourself
on the day’s achievements
no matter how big or few they are.

Appreciate the stamina of your body.
And who you are.

Turn toward
your perfect life.
It is the best feeling.

Go on a rampage of appreciation.

Relax and breathe into appreciation
of what you shared.
No relationship is ever done.
It’s all eternal.
- Maree Clarkson

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daisies Postcard 2

I'm a pretty little thing,
Always coming with the spring;
In the meadows green I'm found,
Peeping just above the ground,
And my stalk is cover'd flat
With a white and yellow hat.

Little Mary, when you pass
Lightly o'er the tender grass,
Skip about, but do not tread
On my bright but lowly head,
For I always seem to say,
"Surely winter's gone away."
- Ann Taylor, "The Field Daisy"

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

"Daisies Postcard" - Watercolour on handwritten background text on Visual 200gsm - 12" x 10"

Every Spring, the daisies in my garden spring up with such exuberance and last spring I just had to paint some of them!

I'm exploring doing some watercolours on back-grounds with handwriting on them (this one from Boccacino), and find it gives some lovely soft effects. First I print out the texture on watercolour paper and then add the sketches and watercolours.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Winter Bullrushes

“Never cut a tree down in the winter time. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
- Robert H. Schuller

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

Winter Bullrushes - W & N Watercolours on Arches 300gsm - 7" x 10"

I absolutely LOVE Bullrushes and used to have them growing at my pond (in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa), until I discovered how quickly they take over an area, killing everything in its path. I also used to cut the velvety flowering spikes to arrange in a vase, absolutely gorgeous!, also only until I discovered that, when they're ripe and ready to disperse their seeds, the velvety spike would burst open, covering the house with bundles of dense, cottony fluff! Only the female flower does this, the male withers and dies once it has dispersed its pollen.

Typha Typhaceae is found in a variety of wetland habitats. These plants are known in British English as bulrush, bullrush, or reed mace, in American English as cattail, punks, or corndog grass, in Australia as cumbungi & also bulrush, and in New Zealand as raupo.

Some interesting information : the dense cottony fluff was used for stuffing Futons in Japan before the advent of cotton.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Around the corner there may wait...

Around the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

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

 W & N watercolours on Arches 300gsm - 10" x 7"

Tarlton (Gauteng, South Africa) is mostly a farming community, with small farms and smallholdings scattered throughout the area, and I just love peeping up all the little roads leading to where somebody is eking out a living from the soil and nature. We don't even have many of the basic services like the laying out of roads to the various farms and properties - these are all done by the owners themselves, often just being little tracks that go for miles before reaching the house.

This is one such little road not far from us, leading off the Sterkfontein Main road, taking one over the hills to where a couple of owners farm with chickens, cattle and vegetables.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The magical process

"Painting is a magical process that I like, where you conjure something out of nothing; you get a little idea that leads you through ... You can go into a trance while you're doing it, so it's a nice contrast to real life."
- Paul McCartney

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

Watercolour on Arches 300gsm

Stuck indoors again, lots of rain, so no field sketching at the moment! This is one of the 6 paintings I did while it poured outside and being without electricity (and therefore internet as well!) - having to boil water for coffee on the little gas burner and sitting close to the window (for light). Did this from my imagination, taking inspiration from the blue, wet hues outside, the bright green of all the grass and all the muddy patches everywhere.