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, September 29, 2012

The Playful Crow


“Even the blackest of them all, the crow, Renders good service as your man-at-arms, Crushing the beetle in his coat of mail, And crying havoc on the slug and snail.
 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Coco, my Black Crow - Pilot Fineliner Black Ink sketch and watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm Watercolour Sketchbook

Crow – Corvus capensis. Found: Africa

Ample press is given to charismatic animals such as dolphins, chimps and the like, but few, when talking of intelligent beings, think to mention the crow or raven. It is, however, easy to understand the natural aversions some people have towards these birds: They’re lacking in any type of floral-like beauty; they have a cacophonous and sometimes incessant caw, and are cunning thieves to boot. 

But if you look closer, and get to know these beautiful birds on a more intimate level, you will see not just see ‘plain black’ feathers, but beautiful iridescent colours of purple, blue, green and brown. And discover a great intelligence, and even a sense of humour, not normally associated with birds. 

They are smart, ingenious, protective, adventurous, and full of engaging play; I recall my 27yr-old crow, Coco, watching intently as I planted my pansy seedlings, only to up-root them the minute I turned my back, cawing in laughter as she fled my mock chase! 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Usual summer garb

How does one do it? How does one weave a hat of straw and create a finished product that serves as art upon our head? It seems magical. Or, perhaps it is the magic and the grace which carries the hat that is the thing which makes that hat seem so special. 
- Bohomamma 

W&aN watercolour on DalerRowney 190gsm 

Summer is here and I’m back in my straw hat and brown pants, my usual summer garb. I’m by no means a hat-lover, but straw hats, watering cans and garden gloves go hand-in-hand when you enter nature’s domain.


Friday, September 14, 2012

The sensations of Summer

W&N watercolour on Aqua 300gsm
The beach at Zinkwazi, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Zinkwazi – home of the Fish Eagle – is a small village of unspoilt sub-tropical beauty. It is 85kms north of Durban, 6 hours from Gauteng and 45 minutes from Durban International. A 7km lagoon is situated among the lush sub-tropical vegetation of the Zinkwazi conservancy. It is reported to have 180 species of birds and is an excellent stepping stone to the Zululand birding route. There are endless unspoilt beaches both north and south and a safe protected beach in front of the lagoon. I just love sitting in the shade of the beach vegetation, listening to the call of the Fish Eagle and watching the waves, which are quite wild on this stretch of coast.

Sprinkle, squish between my toes,
The smell of ocean to my nose.
I can feel each grain of sand,
It falls from air into my hand.
The shells I find along the shore,
Picked up by birds that fly and soar.
They sparkle like the ocean’s waves,
And carry sand from all the lakes.
I walk along the tip of the sea,
That’s where my feet leave prints to be.
I walk all the way to the end of the land,
The land that holds this beautiful sand.
- Morgan Swain


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A new beginning

W&N watercolour on Aqua 300gsm watercolour paper

Summer peeking through on our smallholding...

Every spring, a new beginning…

I open a door
Stepping boldly thru
I have no idea
Where it leads
All I desire
Is a new beginning
But then …
Every day
Is a new beginning
If you let it be!

- Unknown



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Delicious Autumn

W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 300gsm – Autumn in South Africa

George Eliot said, Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns! How I agree! Delicious mild days when there is no hurry,
 no thing to be done
 and no event that is 
out of order, when Nature seems to pause between summer heat and winter ice, weaving this world 
like needle and thread, 
every action
 a divine rhythm.