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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A little box for Bron

I started making this two days ago. My daughter is leaving for Argentina soon and I wanted to make her something special to take with her. Its a small jewelry box for that special ring or necklace.
I bought the raw box, carved a design into the side panels then painted it with fabric paint.
The reason I used fabric paint is that the material is porous and the paint is easily taken into the wood but leaves the desired colour on the surface. It also dries quickly. I then painted into the carved areas. I wanted to give it a pewter look so I layered it with different shades of a mixture of the same paints.
I then took little angels, snapped the loops off and stuck them into the carved out hollows of the pannels. It complimented the picture above and just rounded off the whole box.

Obviously, by this time, I'd compleated the pewter design. It was really small so I had to be very careful how I
worked it, especially the cutting out, trying not to leave jaggered edges. I used a thread picker to do some of the
detail! It didnt quite come out with the amount of detail I intended, but the gist of the picture can be seen and
understood...which is an angel, guiding children accross a bridge.

I dont think I had the right tools for this kind of work, but art is a matter of trial and error.
I'm having fun learning new things and experimenting.
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The Final Product

Done! the pewter design fitter nicely on the came out better than I expected
The photos were taken in poor light so not much detail can be seen. Just as well I guess as there are lots of little mistakes all over the place.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On Love

This is my darling son, Liam. He's been kept very busy with his piping, having played in two events last week and will be playing in another this week and the week after that.

When I'm with my family, I'm always called to think about the things in this life that truely, truely matter.
My heart has been very sore over the last few days for various reasons. There are few people who I share these matters with and in fact prefer not to, as life, like everything, is transient...and so are the bad days and bad experiences ,and the way we deal with hurts, reacting to that hurt, may hurt us even more in the long run. Knee-jerk reactions to pain and hurts are never a good idea. Instead, quiet prayer and meditation..time to not easy sometimes, but a wiser choice.

A little while ago, I was asked "why don't you ever react when people are rude or say or do hurtfull things to you"? Its simple. By reacting in the same way as you've been treated, you are feeding that persons need for conflict.
I was raised in humility, in a strict, Catholic Christian home, and fortunately, my childhood was such, that there was seldom voices raised in anger. Yes there are those who advocate that its best to 'say your mind', and they may have a point, but I believe more in "there's a time to speak and a time to keep quiet". Words can hurt for life, just as much as they can be your life's strength. We have a choice to make..speak out in anger or speak out in love. I choose the latter........ or at least, I try!!!

Of course, I absolutely DO pop my cork with people, my children, service providers..assertion is nessesary. But if you think of it, really, if you saw everyone just simply as 'human' with faults and failings and weaknesses, its so much easier to not get angry when they hurt you.
A friend of mine posted something once, "True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly"

Over the last two days, I've asked myself, what de-sensitises someone to a) not take hurtfull behaviour personally and b) to be totally, seemingly oblivious, to hurting others. I really dont know and if its the one thing that I never want to happen to me, is be so effected by my own hurts and pain, that I fail to see it in others. Hmmmmmm, the University of Life has some work yet!!!!

Happinesss is something you choose. It doesn't matter what life throws at you, everything depends on how you see it!! I think I decided (even subconciously as a child) to see the good in people. What people decide to do with that, is for them and their concience. I can choose to spend each day counting up all the horrible people, experiences and things around me, or I can thank the Lord for every family member, every friend..every smile or gesture of thoughtfullness or kindness that I recieve. By giving it, one expects it and in turn, its pre-empted in a way, so that often, it WILL be recieved. If not, well, thats just humanity. Love IS like a bank account. The amount you deposit into the world is the amount which you will recieve one day...and God promises: "with interest"!
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Monday, September 27, 2010

A matter of confidence

I have to submit 4 paintings and 4 drawings to UNISA for acceptance into the BVA degree. This is one which I'm going to submit.

I did this one a while ago and my children all love it...I've never been that wild about it. Its one of my more 'free -er' pieces and I really enjoyed doing it
This is the reference of the painting, the reproduction, which I've just compleated.
There is a market for this kind of work but it is a very select market and can never generate a good enough income for an artist. Besides the fact, there is obvious issues pertaining to the actual practice of 'art', expression and originality....all three, psychologically impact on both artist and purchaser. The human soul needs uniquiness because of it's being unique, likewise, human nature will seek this in decorating their nests!
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Sheesh, finally!! I've signed it off and its my personal policy, never to work on it again once it has been....:o)..but I know that I'm bound to fiddle again. It needs a glaze, but I can only do this in a few months time. I'm just really tierd of working on this one now and need to complete a few others that have been hovering. Just looking at this photo, I can see a few faults and things that need attention. Usually, I do look at a photo before I sign a painting off as its a sure way of seeing what needs a little more work.

Other than my 'incomplete' pieces, I'm now working on something for a friend, also a first and very challenging in the draught phase.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Still have one or two little touch-ups to do to finish..detail needs a bit more attention and will need to find some copper patina to define it more, but this is pretty much how it looks. not too sure what to do with it. It actually went quicker than I thought. I would love to do a biiiiiiiiiig pewter piece one day
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here we go again..

This is what I'm working on at the moment. The last supper on a thick sheet of copper and brrrrrrrother..!!...its turning out to be a challenge. I started this a while ago but was (rightly) intimidated by the amount of work. I would like to finish it by tomorrow as all my pieces are getting time limits put on them. I'm distractable and a notorious procrastinator and by giving myself time limits, I'm trying to train myself to be less anal about 'perfecting' my creations, just be happily more 'creative' .
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Monday, September 20, 2010


I havent done pewter in quite a while. I started this one a while ago and finishing it is just the first one in a long list of pieces that need compleating.
Basically, the design was put straight onto the pewter with the result that there is not much uniformity, but that is just where I am at at the moment..simplyfying and just doing things.
God The Father is signified by the crown at the top of the cross, the design down the cross signify His tears shed through our sin and personal hurts, the hand at the bottom is that of the Son of God, Jesus, who although at the foot of the cross, is the biggest entity on it and is trying to catch our attention. The two doves on either side of the cross signifies the Holy Spirit.

I've started the Last Supper on a copper sheet (NOT a nice metal for fine work, and now also very wrinkly from being stored) but this is a test peace for a bigger one in pewter.
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Going away on my own is something I would never have done, for various reasons, up till a few years ago. Two things happen when you are away from the family.: you discover that there's still a 'me' under all that wife and mom, and how important your family actually are, that you've left important they are in compleating the 'me'.
In Paternoster, we went from fish 'n tjips at the Paternoster Hotel, to 'pudding' at a gorgeous little resturant on the beach...and ended up haggling with fishermen for crayfish.

We took the long way to Paternoster....a good 3 hour trip, stopping at Darling and Yserfontein. There was a festival in Darling at the time with taxi-rides, musicians sitting on the rooves, young children learning to 'Hip-Hop', Flea-markets, Darling beer and greeting cards which you can plant and produce a herb (one can only imagine)

Sometimes, its good for the soul to do something which you know would cause your children embarrasment :o) dancing and laughing with abandon, chatting with the locals like old friends, greeting and chatting to total strangers about absolutely nothing.
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On Blood and Love

My recent trip to CT has given me some very precious memories. My husbands two sisters. shared four days with me. These are two of the dearest, kindest and most special people that you could ever be blessed to share time with. We had four days of laughs, the last one, literally for the whole day, right untill I dropped them off at the airport.

I know that there's a saying: 'friends are family that we choose', well, these two dear people are family that the Lord chose for me. I have two precious sisters of my own who I adore, but I've been given two more. How blessed am I!
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Today, I used 'Caran D'Ache' (which probably was correctly translated by a friend, as simply 'Oil Pastels') which I mooshed around with turps, and large quantities at that! The end result was not too bad seeing that I gave myself a time limit to do this and didnt know my medium.
Let me explain, I have inherited some interesting stuff which I want to try out. Most of it, I havent the foggiest idea what to do with. I've resorted to some antequated books on techniques on the stuff which I can identify (not great teaching tools as my previous blog would indicate) and a 'what the heck' attitude with the stuff I cant. Just enjoying the journey.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Keeping it simple

Just plain and simple pastle. I enjoyed using this medium, except that it's very powdery. (No milk or snake urine added)
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A bit better...only a little

This is the final picture of another new medium.

First (my upload wouldn't capture in sequence, so, bottom first):

ordinary pastels were used, then I over-painted in milk (I thought 'Long-life' may be appropriate seeing that its organic and visualised this picture eventually turning green or being eaten by my cat)

Apparently Edgar Degas was known for this technique. Jolly good for him. Me? not too sure.

I'm busy with another pastel now. lets see how this one turns out. Think I'm going to try snake urine.
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A bit of a b@#$%r-up

This is the final product of three new mediums which I've been trying for the first time....not successfully.

First, the oil pastel drawing,
second, the gouache (gooch,....sorry my friend :o)...its 'gooch' till it diserves to be called 'g..wash'), as filler

then, the 'thick' coat of white gouche,
, a layer of waterproof India ink.

The instructions said "scrape off". WHAAAAAATEVER.
Even if I had a surgical scalpal or in fact a darn lazer, there was no chance of 'scraping' anything off.
This resulted in me furiously using a sponge in an attempt to recover at least a glimps of 2 hours work. Hmph!

The result: A picture that has as much character as a toasted cheese sandwich.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

On art courses and things

I have just returned from a week in Cape Town. My 'travels', however, took me to some very unexpected places and helped me notch up lessons in human behavior as well as art.
My first nude: wow, what fun. I loved the whole thing. From creating with like-minded yet so different individuals, to the excitement of discovering self when put in a situation of 'just do it'. (not having time तो be restricted or in fact caring about ones inhibitions or lack of experience) The first few exercises were 3 minute 'blind', continuous drawings of the model with the third being incorporating a little more detail.
We then went on to do a quick 10 minute(approximate) drawing of the model. I was rather pleased at how this came out, given that I don't normally work in charcoal, I always have an eraser on hand (which I use prolifically) and I often draw in tentative overlaying lines. We didn't have time to faf, and I didn't. The lecturer was pleased with this one saying that my proportions are accurate, although, I personally feel that I needed to explore a more expressive interpretation. (she possibly did too).
This was also a quickie. I was initially very nervous to interpret the spacial accurately and I think my nervousness showed, so it's still a bit 'tight'. In terms of accuracy and possibly also, proportion, not too bad, but again, lacks a lot of zhoooz....still, with practice, I'll get there. It was painted in ink and jik.
This was the final 'sitting', whereby the model was wrapped in toilet paper (to distort lines), and lay on her side on a small mat. The lecturer liked this out of all the pieces that I'd done as it was looser and more expressive.

I'm hoping somewhere in here, the worm will become a butterfly, that the contempory artist will suddenly emerge from her cocoon!! I want to and need to explore this. A long way to go yet.

I managed to speak to a few of the other artists at the course who all encouraged me in my dream to take this art thing to another level. I am so ready!!!
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Soul City

I'm off to Cape Town tomorrow...the one place on earth where I would love to spend my twilight years.
This beautiful city evokes so much emotion within me for so many reasons. The first time I went, I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was euphoric about that as well as driving into another world of majestic mountains, ice cold seas, fishing boats and harbours, wine farms, there just seemed to be so much of all the important things...a naturalness and being able to be part of it all just by sitting down and doing nothing...except breathing and being quiet. The various cultures and manerisms, born from a heroic and turbulant history makes this city vibrant, alive, real. Here, you find your own pace for living, and whatever it is, its just fine.

I am leaving my family at home, and although I have done this a few times in the last two years, I still feel pangs of guilt. But there has to be a point where one believes that there is only one spirit and soul in your body and it belongs to you and, if you do not feed it, it will die and nobody will have the benefits.! Yes, we are placed on this earth in service to our fellow man, but not to our own detriment.

When and how does man lose faith in love. How injured do you have to be to shun affection or worse, not even recognise it when it comes to
you; that all you feel is anxiety and mistrust when someone puts their
arms around you and says "hey, I really love you". That you become
the enemy because you are being or doing something so strange
in caring and loving someone with all your heart.

There's so many questions to my life's journey at the moment, and slowly
slowly I'm learning the answers. The answers that dont come, are
obviously not meant to be answered now and just need acceptance and
patience and faith that everything is 'in Gods time'.

Nobody is an island and nobody can be placed in a box. If we are to
co-inhabit this earth in peace, then everyone in it must surely just
simply be seen as HUMAN, nothing more, nothing less, for that is what
we all are.......just human ...with frailties and faults.... but souls,
everyone, yearning for love, acceptance, validation.

We first need to claim that right, because we are worth it.

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