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Wednesday, July 27, 2011





Do you ever have one of those strange days when the things that happen to you are inexplicable??

Well for me, today, was one of those days!!!

For some reason, the first thing I did when waking up this morning, I took a look at my emails on my phone...with one eye open!!

I got a mail that caused not only the other eye to open but my spirits to soar! I have been having a lot of doubts about myself of late and I've really had to dig deep to do the simple things that I really enjoy i.e. running, gardening, reading and most of all, painting. I felt myself challenged by my ability and success in fulfilling my role as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, .....artist!

My exhibition in London has turned out to be a real success for me. I exhibited five of my paintings for 5 days, between the 22nd and 26th of July....excluding my 'Last Supper' which was just to large....they didn't have the space as there were a number of artists.

'PEACE IN POVERTY' was voted the best painting or the Art Salon (?) 2011 which has now earned me the privilege of publishing any article in their local magazine.

'BLESSED HOPE' was bought by a Dr Tim Dilke who apparently gave a talk about it, saying he was very moved by it saying that it filled him with hope and gave him a new lease on life.

'THE GIFT' was bought by a Mrs Carmody who was also very moved. Apparently, there were a lot of very good remarks made about my work which they are going to photocopy and send to me.

I am so totally grateful and overwhelmed at this blessing!! I know a few people were praying for me so my first thoughts of gratitude goes to the Lord. The second is to my parents who encouraged me with this always believe in myself, even if...and especially if....nobody else does.

I know that this is not a big deal at all in artists circles...but for me, it means so much more than anyone could ever imagine. I'm a guppy in a HUGE ocean filled with big and beautiful day, I simply want to be part of the rich diversity.....right now, I'm just learning to swim!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


The men in my life have just left for their usual Sunday game of golf and I'm thankfully allowed some space and time to focus on my paintings. I spoke to an old school friend a few days ago, a very talented artist and she told me that she went back to work after only a few months as she found the isolation of being an artist oppressive.

Yes, it can get extremely lonely as you are entirely caught up in ones self, in ones own world. You can get so absorbed by your creation, you are surrounded by your own thoughts and imaginings where the colours of your mind cannot be shared and the textures of your heart can only be felt by you. Although it's a lonely and somewhat unhealthy place to be in terms of the necessary social interaction, its a valued and protected space. Just for a little while, you have time to simply 'be', and attune yourself to the essence of who you are...a free-thinking, creative and emotive creature. For me personally, it is a sacred time, to think, to process life with all its joys and dramas and express them a little in my journals and art. I crave this time to myself.

I've yet to come across an artist that enjoys someone sharing their paintbrushes and paints. Depending on the duration and type of company, I too, can get really irritated when my studio is shared by non-artists who are simply inquisitive or want to have step-by-step explanations while I work, of my reasoning as to why I am using a certain technique or colour etc. They do not have the same rationale, spirit, thought process, history, motive, mood or temperament. Explanation is wasted as it is bound to be in conflict with their own opinions. Not a single living human being is the same....regardless of parentage, genetics, seemingly like-mindedness............we are all innately unique!

Speaking to a friend yesterday, I realised that this can apply to everything in life. (and once again I was amazed at the timing of this lesson). We were eventually discussing one of her paintings which she had just painted over and each of us were looking to see what 'picture' came through the light overlay. I saw something and she saw something else.....when we differed on where we saw heads and arms, she said "well its my painting and it doesn't matter what you see". I laughed and thought, 'How true'...about life in general. No, it doesn't matter what anyone else sees or thinks.

There is no prototype in humanity. The story of the Tower of Babel possibly shouldn't be read in the literal sense but in the broader sense. What were Gods motives for creating people who could not understand each much so that they all went their own ways and formed their own nations...nations who eventually waged wars because of 'being different'. So why??

Why is it so important to have the same abilities, the same knowledge. Is it because we are forever on a quest to find a 'kinship'/like-mindedness/familiarity in those around us to simply give us a sense of self? Why is it so important that we need to label someone as something? Is it because we are attempting to validate our own lives or find excuses for our own short-comings by finding fault with our fellow man? There's so much that I do not know or do not understand ....about a lot of things and right now, I'm wondering if it even matters!! My ignorance is someone else's knowledge and vice versa. We were not graced with divine knowledge. The Lord alone knows everything, understands everything.

The bible talks of everyone being given a that is specially chosen for us. It may take a while to discover what it is and then a whole lot of grace to be able to use it .... but I think therein lies our blessings..our peace and ultimately our salvation.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Portchie is South Africa's, and in fact, I think the African continents, highest earning, living artist.

I met this quiet, humble man around two or three years ago, while he was preparing (painting) for an exhibition at the Alice Gallery, close to where I live. A large, very focused but friendly man, who was quiet happy to chat while he worked. His name comes from the time when his father ran a fruit and veg store. He was a chunky kid and he was called Porchie by (I think) the local Portuguese community.

Born in 1963, he grew up in a small Free State town called Tweeling, and eventually graduated with a B-Com degree from Stellenbosh University. He began painting as a hobby in 1991 and in 1994 had a solo exhibition where all 100 pieces were all sold. He has since had 57 solo exhibitions, locally and overseas.

Watching him was such an education for me, especially as my style, genre and medium, is so very different to his. His style is full of movement, colour, simplicity, I think, pretty much in keeping with his early childhood.

He arrives at the gallery with boxes and boxes of acrylic paint...a brand not available to any old 'Joe Blog', but which he especially chooses for its high pigment level and quality. Honestly, I have never seen such bright and vivid colours and I think this could be the one thing, other than his very nieve and unique art style, that sells his work. He squeezes copious amounts of paint on a small square 'pallet' (which is actually a small canvas board which he then uses for his final painting at the end of the day) and methodically slaps on paint, creating as he goes. He told me that he does have a clear vision of what he is going to do before he starts...and this is obvious while watching him....almost asif he also pre-envisioned each brush stroke, and slowly but surely, this picture enfolds. No sooner has he put the complete picture down, (which could be up to 1.5x1.5m) then he starts another!! Depending on the size, he could finish up to 8 pieces per day! His sculptures as equally as popular and normally are the first things to be sold at his exhibitions.

I have never really appreciated his style, simply because I have been somewhat 'closed up' in my own. But as with Vincent Van Gogh, who I honeslty didnt appreciate at all, I have slowly began to appreciate, not only his colourfull art, but his ability to market himself by simply MAKING it work.......possibly because I too am evolving as an artist....and as a person.

He BELIEVES in himself. He also believes, as is truth, that there is no such thing as 'right' or 'wrong' art but that the secret lies in its originality.

Vincent Van Gogh ....hmmmmm..... Listening to the words from the song 'Vincent' ...... beautiful and very apropriate words.......almost asif it was written for a dear friend.

It made me wonder:- If you could give your friends and loved ones a single song, which would epitomise them or their lives, .....Which one would it be?????