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, March 31, 2014

No. 52

The 52nd sketch in one my Moleskine 200gsm sketch-book - 8" x 5" (21cm x 12cm).

I have several Moleskine watercolour sketchbooks in this size and then I have a few that are A4 size (12" x 8") - the 200gsm paper is lovely to work with and doesn't bleed through to the back at all.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No. 53

The 53rd sketch in my Moleskine 200gsm sketch-book - 8" x 5" (21cm x 12cm).

I just love these small Moleskine watercolour sketch-books. They have lovely 200gsm paper and are so easy to pack and are great for pencil, pen or watercolours.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Walking home

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

A familiar scene in our area - locals taking a short-cut on their way back from shopping at the local café.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Magalies River

With all the rain we've been having, the Magalies River is in full flow, winding its way down to Hartebeespoort Dam in the NorthWest Province (South Africa), where they have all the sluices open to release some of the water.

W&N watercolour on smooth cardboard, very similar to Yuppo


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blue gums. The first light of day

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

The first light of day sweeps across some blue gums (Eucalyptus) on our smallholding


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Balmy autumn days

"Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods, And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt."
- William Allingham

W&N watercolour in my Moleskine 200gsm Nature Journal

Balmy autumn days and the landscape is softly turning yellow, heralding that winter is close.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The promise of things to come

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

There is a chilly whisper in the breeze reminding us that winter will soon be here. We’ve really had a cold and rainy past two weeks here in Tarlton (South Africa), but today the sun is shining brightly, the temperature is in the middle 20C’s and it’s now turning into that blissful time of year when it’s a joy to be outside in nature before we settle indoors to sit out the winter.

I’ll be somewhere outside,
soaking up those last few rays 
of autumn sun…

what are you up to?


Sunday, March 9, 2014

A familiar South African sight

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – ©Maree Clarkson 

A few centuries ago, farmers and the people of Southern Africa extensively used thorn trees or branches to safely house their cattle and protect their properties, but since the advent of Barbed wire fencing in the early 20th century, first erected by the English during the first South African Boer War to restrict the Boers to a certain area, it has become a very familiar sight in South Africa.

It is simple and cost effective to construct and quick to erect, even by an unskilled person. Barbed wire fencing requires only fence posts, wire, and fixing devices such as staples or nails. It serves as an effective barrier as any person or animal trying to pass through or over barbed wire will suffer discomfort and possibly injury.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Rain, rain and more rain

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

It has been raining solidly, every day, for over two weeks now and the landscape is saturated with water, forming large pans of water everywhere. Some days my rain gauge overflows, meaning more than 120mm in just a few hours! My chooks are bedraggled and wet, choosing the safety and dryness of the coop. While all this water is excellent for our ground water tables, it has caused massive flooding and damage in large parts of South Africa. I think we're getting a spin-off from all the ice storms and flooding in the Northern Hemisphere, because this is most unusual weather for us.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coco on the fencepost

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 
Black Crow/Cape Crow (Corvus capensis) - Endemic to Africa

Coco, my Black Crow’s favourite vantage point on top of an old abandoned fencepost.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Black-headed Oriole

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

The Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is a frequent visitor to my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) and I’m always thrilled to hear his liquid call, upon which I rush out to refill the oranges and apples, which seem to be his favourite fruit.