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!

Friday, October 20, 2017

My favourite outfits

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

I just love autumn shades and these days comfort also plays a huge roll in planning my wardrobe - gone are the days of squeezing into tight jeans or hobbling along on 6" heels - go with the flow is what I say!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dark reaction

Acrylic on canvas

The dark within awakes.
My very breath it takes.

Bloody black feelings stir
growing shadowy black fur.

A drop of hate -
A torrent of anger -

A sheet of darkness -
A shard of light-

I lost track.
~ Mau Rose

Monday, July 10, 2017

Magaliesberg cliffs

Acrylic painting on gessoed un-stretched canvas sheet
Dedicated to all mountain-lovers!

A view of the Magaliesberg cliffs (NorthWest Province, South Africa), one of the few places where the White-backed Vulture still roams freely.

The Magaliesberg are among the oldest mountains in the world, almost 100 times older than Everest. They stretch for 120km from Bronkhorstspruit Dam east of Pretoria to Rustenburg in the west and separate the highveld grasslands to the south from the bushveld savannah in the north.

Sheer quartzite cliffs face south, overlooking a wide valley and a smaller ridge similar in shape and structure to the Magaliesberg.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Gum leaves - Botanical illustration

W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm

Dedicated to all Eucalypt and Bee-lovers.

A recent study by the SA National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) in South Africa has found that gum trees provide nectar and pollen for swarms of commercial bees – and bees in turn pollinate about 50 food crops in the country. This “service” bees provide is worth about R10.3 billion a year.

Gum trees are not only important food for bees, but so are many roadside wildflowers, crops, suburban flowering plants and those that many regard as weeds. A major reason for the decline of honey bees around the world is a lack of good forage plants to provide nectar, which is the carbohydrate in the bees’ diet, and pollen the protein. Bees collect nectar from Blue Gum tree blossoms from spring to late summer.

A lack of good quality and variety of forage plants can lead to unhealthy honey bee colonies that are more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

This in turn can lead to insufficient pollination of our important agricultural crop flowers, leading to a decreased yield or quality of the food crop, Insect pollinators are needed for 35 percent of all food production globally – or one of every three bites you eat.

Although most Bluegums have been declared as an invasive species in South Africa, Beekeepers are highly dependent on eucalyptus and if they are all removed because they are aliens it would mean a serious shortage of food for bees – with a knock-on effect on crop pollination.

Because of this, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ legislation on alien and invasive species, updated in 2014, is “nuanced” for eucalyptus trees, not requiring all of them to come under the axe or chainsaw.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tarlton Landscape

 Acrylic on Giverny 240gsm canvas – a beautiful summer’s day – done on location in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa

Not far from us a friend has a dam on his smallholding. When we visited, it gave me a chance to try my hand at some Acrylics, no sketching beforehand.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Early-morning Bluegums

 

Acrylic on canvas

The first light of day sweeps across some Bluegums (Eucalyptus trees) in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. 

Bluegums play in important part in South Africa’s economy as they provide forage for our threatened honey bee population.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rhus lancea leaves - Black Karee - Botanical illustration

W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm mixed media paper
Leaves of a Black Karee tree in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Indigenous to Southern Africa, this tree is a bit untidy with a weird growing habit of the branches backing up on one another and having most of its leaves right at the tip of the branches. It has a graceful, weeping form and dark, fissured bark that contrasts well with its long, thinnish, hairless, dark-green, tri-foliate leaves with smooth margins. The small, inconspicuous flowers are presented as much-branched sprays which are greenish-yellow in colour and are produced from June until September.

The fruit are small (up to 5mm in diameter), round, slightly flattened and covered with a thin fleshy layer which is glossy and yellowish to brown when ripe. The fruits are produced from September until January, and during that time, my garden is a total mess! And if it happens to rain a lot, I have hundreds of seedlings sprouting up throughout the garden. And yet I have never been able to remove one and grow it successfully …

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The beauties of Nature


Acrylic on canvas

Tasmanian bluegum (Eucalyptus globulus)

This large, straight-trunked tree grows to about 70m tall in open forests in south-eastern Tasmania, on Bass Strait islands and in parts of southern Victoria. Its common name comes from the waxy blue-green colour of its juvenile leaves. The plant’s cream-coloured flowers are a good source of nectar for bees and the resultant honey is dense and strongly flavoured. Here in South Africa, this bluegum is widely planted as forage for our honey bee populations.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Evening Primrose



Mixed media of W&N watercolour and candle wax on Bockingford 300gsm

I wanna be
the mild fragrance
of an evening primrose
gentle and sweet
beneath your sheet
cluster of petals
which bloom
white blossoms
to wither softly
into your sleep
— unknown

Monday, June 12, 2017

A corner in my garden

Ink sketch and colour wash.

When planning something new in the garden, I often do some quick sketches with notes in my Moleskine Gardening Journal, adding colour just to see what it will look like.

Notes
Put large terracotta pot lying on its side under Tree Fuchsia (Haleria lucida), Plant Echeverias in front, add stepping stones and pebbles.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Elaborate blossoms, in every hue

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
 
As I embrace Slumber
the eyes of Night watch over me,
and as I awaken
I stare at the sun,
which is the only eye of the day.
I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
~ Khalil Gibran

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yes, I'm fickle! And I'm back...

I get like this from time-to-time - either feeling overwhelmed by all I've got on my plate or getting cross about people stealing art, but, I also get over it every now and then! So here we go again, I'll be posting my art here again, I feel very sentimental about this blog which I've had for many years now. So my apologies for jerking you around and I'll be very glad to see you here again!

"Plant and care for Trees" - W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book

Trees combat climate change. Trees clean the air. Trees provide oxygen. Trees help prevent water pollution. Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife. Trees help prevent soil erosion.

How many more reasons do you need?

Friday, January 27, 2017

The end of an era - closing this blog


Well, this is a milestone in my life. I've been posting my art here since April 2009 and now, finally, I'm closing this blog. Here I've watched my art style grow and improve over the years and it's been a most enjoyable journey. I've met wonderful artists and friends and picked up many useful tips and encouragement along the way.

But now I'm spending most of my time posting my art on RedBubble, which I joined in September 2010 and it's really a lot of double work posting there and posting here as well. Another thing that's happened is that I found a lot of my work from here posted on other sites, some of it for sale! with no credit to me at all. It's amazing what some people will get up to.

I hope we can stay in touch, so please feel free to visit me on RedBubble where you will find all of my art plus some lovely goodies to buy for yourself or as gifts for family and friends.

Wishing you all the best,

Cheerio,

Maree

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Herbs - inside or out?

W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm watercolour paper 12″ × 8″
Herbs on a shelf in my potting shed (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Herbs can be grown indoors and out so the choice of where to plant them is a personal choice. Many people prefer to grow their herbs in their kitchen where they can be easily accessed during cooking. You can buy herbs as seedlings at any nursery or garden centre, or you can choose to start your plants from seeds.

If you are starting from seeds, just about any small container will do. If I’m going to be panting the herbs outside at a later stage, I normally start them off in egg shells filled with a bit of potting soil, put in my seeds and when they’re big enough, plant them outside shell and all.

I have quite a collection of various sizes of Terracotta pots, and the small ones are ideal for sowing some seeds for a kitchen window sill. This way you always have fresh herbs at hand and it also makes a nice display.

Some of my favourites are Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Basil, Chives, Garlic and Mint.