30 January, 2014

Summer camping trip

We went camping for a week, a summer highlight for our family. I took my painting gear in a hope I would get a chance to sneak away and paint for an hour or two. I did and was very happy to paint along the Wentworth stream, close to the swimming hole which satisfies my boys obsession for jumping from heights into dark, cold water. Repetitively.



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I love this meadow! 

I had to paint fast…the sun was chasing me further and further back into the trees.I shall have to pick the leaves and bugs out of the painting when it has dried!

18 January, 2014

A view of silence

I love a view. To sit up high and watch the world is marvellous. Instantly calming and centering.

oil on canvas
61 x 61 cm

09 January, 2014

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, you can come too, too, too…..

I am having an interesting ( in a GOOD way) time experimenting with my paints whilst I am being a dutiful mother ( please read that as being present and involved) to my children during the summer school holidays. I cannot spend hours in the studio but I can use the odd hour here and there to play. Playing allows for mistakes and new learning. I am also getting to grips with the camera…I managed to push some button that stopped recording the photos! After some head scratching and manual reading, assistance from a pre-teen kid and then just pushing all buttons wildly, I seem to have got myself back to square one. Pathetic, I know. You will hear this story again.

I have some hardboard that I have gessoed, cut up into various sizes, as a new surface to paint on. I am using my paint scrapers, an old credit card, house paint brushes, a collection of rubber paint shapers and lots of turps washes . I am teaching myself to glaze in a way that intrigues me with Liquin and other mediums.. I have scoured the internet, devoured the literature and window shopped all the art store stores for various mediums, tools from the hardware store and even scavenged an old toothbrush…all in the name of play. I am using up my oil paints and although I love the water-soluble paints for easy clean, I miss the stink that tells me I have been making stuff. Like a kitchen needs to render good smells to encourage the appetite, a studio needs to reek of turps and linseed oil and maybe of dog…….

So, a small play on hardboard to be the inspiration for a larger painting on canvas…..the glazes begin when the underpainting is dry. Maybe to morrow, but I love what I am seeing so far…….semi abstract is what I am going for.

More impressions from flying over the Coromandel east coast .

30 x 30 cm
oil on board

Work in progress…..

So I took the kids to the zoo……..

….Cos they look SO at home there…...


I thought this Kune-kune pig had the right idea……

 On the way home I stopped to take some photos . When I turned round the kids had hopped out and were playing hide and seek in the bales…….

They look normal, right?

04 January, 2014

The sentiment of the place

I spent my honeymoon camping , mountainbiking and driving around the Western Cape and Little Karoo in South Africa. It was marvellous. Almost autumn, fruits being harvested from orchards, madly in love,fit and healthy and with such promise in the air. Heady stuff, really.

I bought my first piece of art in a town called Carlitzdorp from the artist, Tim Robsen. It was a watercolour, fabulously rendered, of the very landscape that was the backdrop to my happiness. He invited us into his gallery and served tea . We sat on his couch , we chatted to us about our lives , his life and his work.He was particularly interested in Charles's work as an oncologist. I was fascinated with his house. A few front rooms were galleries, another housed a guest artist and friend of his, his framing equipment stood in another room and the smallest room housed his bed and books.  We did not know he had only just been diagnosed with cancer and would die within the year. We are emotionally tied to the painting for reasons both happy and sad, as are we with the place.

So you see, so much emotion is tied up in how I experience a place that just rendering it accurately or realistically is not what I am aiming for. The sentiment needs to be expressed. If I see it in a painting, then I am happy with it, proportion, perspective and colour be damned!

So this is what I feel about that place. The aloe's pushing out of a rocky outcrop. the farms dry and yet somehow producing crops from god knows what sustenance, the  roads we cycled on, hard and dry, the views that left me quiet within.

Klein Karoo with aloes
30 x 60 cm
oil on canvas

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