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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Within without

Hush!!, what do I hear
Above strong breeze and breakers roar
like birds above treas, their cry's do soar
The heart heard loud whats deaf to the ear
the unspoken word behind the cynical leer

The smile belies the deadened heart
where sweet worded whispers hide tormented screams
borne of nighmares and vivid, devilish dreams
silence and forgiveness , it would rip apart
were it not for the fear of that poisoned dart

Dark eyes that stare unseeing
A caressing touch that neither feels or soothes
putting into place, what love neither gives or removes
the foundation and shield that ensnares well-being
the loud sob of memory, released without freeing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Actually, who cares

Five more weeks till W-day!! Why am I not panicking? My daughter has just sent me a to-do list which has more "reds" (to-do's) than "whites"(done). So far, I have made 30 small parish invites, 80 invitations with pewter, silk ribbons and little diamantes, and a meter and a half tall Eiffel Tower for her Bridal shower made entirely out of wire! My hands looked like they had been plunged into a bee hive.


Over and above that, life continued with the usual things... tilling a shower floor, painting a few meters of external railings and scrubbing grouting etc.....and then, squashed in the middle somewhere, was my sons operation ( a 3 1/2 hour ACL reconstruction) my commission, up to 7 new sheets of trumpet music per week and a new website about to be launched.  

No, actually,  things have gotten crazy where my life-long need to maintain balance has been challenged to the enth.  There are sporadic visits to church, to my friends, to gym and quiet moments that are spent reading or scribbling down garbled thoughts and amateurish pictures....or rather doodles of a somewhat un-wired and unimaginative mind which has been laid flat from chasing my own tail!

The rhythmic motions of the day have almost become my "hommmmmmm" meditation, where my mind competes in its own race between calm, agitation, practicality, light and dark.  I have learned to befriend them all.  The winner is the one which comes closest to touching the outside world.. so as to be fueled by it.

What value is this to anyone?  None whatsoever..dead-ass boring really, but  I learned from "practicality" today, that one cannot influence ones value in the eyes of another ....that your perceived value is as a direct result of what you have given out in your personal capacity as mother, wife, friend, sibling or artist for that matter.  Its recognition is influenced by the values that the recipients themselves have.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weapon of mass distruction

 My CD player has not been working for a while so I've been forced to listen to 702..a chat radio station during the week, but which has fantastic music over the weekends.

By the end of yesterday, I wanted to slit my blumming wrists!!!!!!  I listened to producer after producer discussing topics pertinent to our current news:  i.e. A step-father/child-rapist who's life sentence for raping his 12 year old step daughter, was commuted, because she "did not scream" while being raped, she "consented" for rewards, and there is no "evidence" of physical or psychological harm.  I won't elaborate at this point, as to how I felt about this judgement, or how I reacted to it, except perhaps to say.... "give that peadophilic b@#$%rd to me (and lots of ladies I know),.... they want screams,..... I'll give them screams"!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I thought the life sentence for child-rape in this country was mandatory ...!! Obviously not.

Then, there was a story of our police force...that most of them are overweight and failed their fitness tests...UNABLE to run 2 km in 20 minutes!!! With that in mind, the next story was of a truck-driver who died of his head injuries, and another who was burned alive in his truck yesterday, during the trucking strike (which happily ended today).  Where were our police???  (other than sitting in their cars with a cell phone to one ear and a "double Mac" being shoveled into their mouths) Their response was that the perpetrators "disappeared into thin air".  Case closed.

The mining strike is continuing and so far has cost this country over R3B....and our state president is, all the while, building a mansion in Inkantla, Natal, for his gazillion wives and children, of which R2M will be payed by the tax-payer.

On a positive note however, the controversial "Spear" painting was declassified yesterday...which has now allowed me to put it onto my blog.

For those who are not familiar with this story, In May this year, SA artist, Brett Murry, exhibited his painting called The Spear" at the popular Goodman Gallery.  Its a painting of Jacob Zuma with his rather nasty-looking third leg exposed.
The reaction was very mixed.  The ANC condemned it as disrespectful and a law-suit was opened against the gallery, followers of Jacob Zuma were vociferous in their anger at Bret Murry, calling hm a racist amongst other things and then proceeded to deface it.

The painting was still bought and is now safely (defacement and all) in Germany.

 Then, a few months letter, a black artist called Ayanda Mabulu painted our president with those same nasty bits exposed ( obviously, after being slammed in a door), which he exhibited in Cape Town.
He called his painting "Umshini Wam", which roughly translated into English means "My Weapon".

Interestingly, there has been a play on words by both artists, comparing his genitalia to a weapon....could this be due to the rape case that once stood over his head....or his claiming that a good shower could prevent AIDS?

The reaction to this particular painting, however more detailed and graphic it is, was subdued.  The ANC just politely asked all artists to "respect" our president.

 Is it because the art work was done by a black person instead of a white?...the "racist" card obviously could not be used.

Throughout history and the history of art, the earliest contemporary pieces always gave voice to the voiceless, exposing troubling social issues which were largely left unchallenged because of fear and politics...or both.

If this man commanded a deep respect from his people, through his leadership, through his governance, through his intelligence, words and actions, I wonder if these paintings would have been done.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 My eldest daughter is getting married in 7 weeks time which I believe, over these last few months of planning and preparation, is bringing about an emotional transition within me as a mother..from protective nurturer to bystander and more important, explorer, discoverer of a completely different world. A very strange and even frightening place for me to be.  When I walk into her bedroom now, its as if my mind consciously wants to absorb everything as it is: clothes lying around, make-up and jewelry, strewn everywhere, her smells, her pictures, her tacky little pot-plant...I feel a strange panic come over me that soon, this bedroom will be empty of all this and of my little girl. I will be handing the responsibility of her welfare to a man who has only known her for five years....and not 24....I will be handing her over to go and make decisions for her own family, her own life, and have to step back when she makes decisions which could potentially harm her or take her out of the comfort and protection which I as her mom, have striven  to give her, all her life.

My own parents still phone me often. I can hear the unvoiced concern in their voice...I can hear them reaching to me in love and I understand the desperation they feel's when their children hurt.
My fear is:  Do I have that incredible strength, to continue with my own life and detach myself when my heart is breaking, if my children move to different continents and I cant share their day-to-day life like I do now.
My role as a parent is taking on a whole new direction and Lord, it's scary...but also exciting, and wonderful.  I will be gaining a fantastic new son and, God willing, be blessed with beautiful grandchildren.

But right here, right now, its a matter of getting my head around all these changes...having the maturity of spirit to understand that this is all necessary, a natural progression of life...a generational transition, that every single human being ever created, has to go through this....the transience of life itself where each phase has its own importance and blessing.

I have been really busy lately but predominantly on my own. The voices in my head have been cruel, funny, calming, inspirational and I have listened to them all.  I have thought of love and being in love, the love of family and the love of friends:


Other than my family and "love" itself (Malvolio???) I love music .  my days are filled with all genre's of music, My trumpet has become my outlet and diversion. I wish that I had started to learn music sooner 

This is my all-time favorite love song..simplistic but beautiful


If a picture paints a thousand words then why can't I paint you?
the words will never show, the you I've come to know.
If a face could launch a thousand ships then where am I to go
There's no one home but you.You're all that's left me too. 
And when my love for life is running dry, 
you come and pour yourself on me.

If a man could be two places at one time, I'd be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world would stop revolving, spinning slowly down to die
I'd spend the end with you and when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out 
Then you and I would simply fly away.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ghosts and their horses

 This is a progression of the first commission which I completed recently. It is the first of a few references which I received from a "high profile" individual, who, frustratingly,  I know very little about.  The little I do know, I'm not at liberty to divulge. I really try and personalize my commissions but knowing next to nothing about this family, and given strict instructions to paint "the reference"only ("yes sir"!!!)  any artistic license which I may have been tempted to claim, has been squished!!
 Step two:  completing the background in layers, waiting for each to dry.  Patience is a necessary virtue here....hell on the nerves if you have two weeks to complete it by!!  If your paint is thin enough, it should work out well.
 Next, I started layering from the top left-hand corner, deciding on the base color and painting in the natural direction of the muscles, thinning out and thickening where the shadow occurs.  This makes it easier when working in the last layers of light or shadow
 I continued with this, working in sections.
 Being a dark colour, fortunately, it dried quickly so this part was quick (as quick as an anal artist could find it)  I worked in the white after the darker colors were takes a whole lot longer to dry and there is more chance of smooshing white all over the place ... (like always get covered with blue paint even when the darn tube is capped....whats with that???....or finding spinach in your teeth when all you've eaten is a jub-jub!)
 I worked from left to right as usual but didn't move down to grass level as that still needed layering before I could do the legs.
At this point, I was standing away from the painting a lot to ensure I've managed to capture the perspective, colors and shades and was going from one thing to another to correct and fill in as they came to my attention.
(I once painted an entire penis and only realized it once a fellow artist started laughing and I took a few steps back to actually SEE the picture)
 Once the grass was painted in, in the distance, only then could I start doing the legs and tail.  The fur was largely done using a fairly long rigger loaded with really thin paint. 
 Almost done, I was in a panic at this stage to ensure all the white had been added as the drying time is really long...especially if the weather is cold or rainy (which it was).  the white feet had to be completely dry before I could paint in the foreground. 
Done!  I hate painting in grass.  Its tedious and I'm still learning that less is more....i.e., sometimes using only a little detail in the foreground will create a better picture.

Because thin layers were used throughout, a week's drying time was adequate for me to cover in a thin gloss varnish.  I love using varnish as it enhances the color of your painting, especially if, like me, you are not a colorist.

Happily, my secretive client really loved her painting and a day later, I received a few more to do.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Marikana,Molema and Mom

I dont normally post on my blog without a picture or ten...I am visual and I recon a great deal of people are too, but this is not my normal post. This is a vent...since I no longer journal.

I am also inclined to be oppinionated and wont think twice to express myself when a subject is brought up in a discussion (or on tv) dealing with moral issues and issues of principal. Not wanting to bore my friends or family or the average SA with my rantings...which they predominantly share, I wanted to share a simple lay-man's view...a womans, view....a mothers view, on what is happening in this beautiful country of ours.

Right now, I am battling to find a single iota of positivity in the leadership of this country.

A few days ago, a little girl of 13 was shot and killed outside her home for her cell phone. Her sister and father were also shot for the same reason. They soon arrested the four men, one of whom had the little girls sim-card in his possesion>>>> but they were all later acquitted due to "lack of evidence". Obviously, in this country, you need to have the victims blood all over you and be standing over the body before you get thrown in jail....and then , you are released on a "presidential pardon" on the annual Freedom Day by the state president after serving only a fraction of your do it again!!

The Marikana debacle is the scariest part of all!! The miners, granted, weapon-wielding and aggro, were shot in the back while trying to flee ....and apparently at close range...execution-style, by the very "law enforcers" who are supposed to serve and protect.

From what I understand, the mine is owned by the family and have connections ,to our government leaders..but they have treated "their own" in a manner that supersedes any dark behaviour or the "apartheid", Nationalist fact....what on earth is the difference between what happened in Sharpville in the 1960's and now, in Marikana.....The difference is that shooters where predominantly black police officers who received their orders from our ANC government...the very government who STILL blames the spiralling un-employment, high crime rate, lack of school books, etc on "apartheid", even after being in rule for nineteen years. The issue of colour and racism has been forced onto my children daily, by the BEE (black economic empowerment) policy, which has ensured that they will find it almost impossible to get into a sports team, University and subsequently a job...because they are white!!

Then, the cretinous anarchist, Julious Molema ,who is cashing in on the violence and desperation of the poor, uneducated and homeless (as is the modus operandi of all dictators ) and inciting them to make Cape Town (DA governed province), and the mines "ungovernable". does one react to all this negativity?? How does one ignore a system that, in all its bias, unfairness, weakness, and lack of failing and directly effecting the future of ones children??

I wish I had the answer. My dear mother...simple, beautiful soul that she is, has always taught me: "My darling, pray. God is in charge".

That is the only answer that I have. I am a mother, a wife and an artist. I guess, I will just keep on doing what I know, the best way I know how...and hope it will be enough.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gallery hopping

One of my favorite things at the moment is to visit galleries with my artist friends....something I'm not getting to do much of late. Its fun, it keeps you in the loop as to whats out there and, for me, most of all ,its hugely inspiring. We visited Artspace, David Krut and Gallery 2...a fairly new gallery, all off Jan Smuts Ave in Parktown.

This is the art work of Kendal Geers who had a solo exhibition at the Goodman Gallery this month.
The pieces were very interesting as they were diverse, with the use of various media, multi-faceted . The use of flattened, cut and shaped razor wire to sculptures of forefinger and thumb forming chains (loved this) and interesting sculptures of sculls.

These are some of the paintings which are currently on display at the Standard Bank Gallery in Jhb. The theme, being the human form, artists like Matisse, Monet, Wilfred Lam, Gino Severini, Francis Gruber and Francis Bacon to name a few

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The adventure (and lessons) of life

Having just returned from Cape Town, I've had a pretty euphoric week....up till two days ago!

This wonderful lady works at a Kalk Bay, dock-side fish-n-chips 'restaurant' called 'Kalkies'.
A free spirit, a happy soul, that is as loud as she is funny.
She pretty much runs the show..she's the one who shouts out the prepared orders "Nummer 35"....."NUMMER 35!!!!!"
Love her!!!
She sat next to one of her male customers for a photo and just as the shot went off...she leaned over and stuck her tongue in his ear.
Great mirth!!!

This is the view we get, driving into CT from the airport. Tin-shack townships are as much a part of South Africa as the mountains themselves.

There's surprisingly little rubbish lying around...comparing it to Gauteng (Joburg) that is...but then, CT is run by the DA and not the ANC. In Gauteng, ones car tyres are constantly being shredded by pot holes, beautifull old buildings are vandalized.
Driving all around CT for four days, there wasn't a single pot-hole to be seen and old buildings were being renovated.....hmmmmm

Very exciting things are happening all around....and some really not nice things as well.

I was invited by a gallery owner, a few months back, to become involved in a brand new concept involving the entire art world...from all artists, known and 'unknown' and multi-crafts persons, through to framers, restorers, students and art equipment suppliers, etc. Again, I cannot divulge anything as I had to sign an NDA a few weeks back, but shortly , all will be revealed and I will happily post the details on my blog. Basically, its something which will be of complete benefit, the artist and people in this line, who need to be paid and recognized for what they do and offer in their respective fields. I had to meet with some of the others involved in this exciting venture, to discuss strategy and progress and we all came away feeling "wow".
Although a very positive person, I'm a born septic and battle when it comes to trusting people that I don't know... but especially, my own abilities with something you will read in my previous 'projectile vomit' of a blog.

One of the wine estates we stopped at, Rust en Vrede, in Stellenbosch
This estate makes the most expensive bottle of wine in the whole of SA, the1694 Classification 2007...selling for R1200 per bottle!!

Their Estate 2009 is wonderful...consisting of a blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Shiraz. Yum!!

There is neighboring wine estate called Bilton which has tried to sell a bottle of wine for R3000...obviously (and thankfully) its not selling.
How on earth is that price validated!!?

Then, my eldest daughter is getting married soon and we have been running in between dress fittings, venue's, cake-makers, material, haberdashery and stationary shops. I am making 80 wedding invitations with various types of paper, ribbons and pewter and these have to be completed at least by the end of September. I totally suck at working out fonts and fact, anything that involves computers and technology (I lie....I CAN fix the odd kettle, leaking cistern and washing machine :o) ) but honestly, am finding that I do not have the time or patience to faff with stuff anymore. Just want to get things done!

My darling and precious daughters in one of the bridal fitting rooms.

How I love them!!

Some not-so-nice things: Two of my very close friends have family members with a terminal disease and are battling quietly in their own ways to deal with the impending losses. Here again...the Lord sending people into my life who, through their own personal struggles, have taught me... and are busy teaching me.... such valuable lessons in coping skills. I am in complete awe of them...beautiful, spiritually strong women who, despite everything, still impart such calm wisdom, kindness and unwavering love to all and everything around them while battling with these weighty and sad issues in their own lives. To be able to share not only the good, but the bad, is precious.
Recently, after the rarity of me becoming vulnerable with a friend, I was told that she couldn't be my 'therapist'. I felt awful, believing that I had been a burden, but I have since realized, that we are ALL unqualified 'therapists' in some form or other,..... at some stage of our life,..... as a family member or friend. The only thing that qualifies us in this role, is LOVE . Trust is the mutual catalyst. Like breast feeding, a gift which is offered and received unconditionally, thoughtlessly and willingly by both mother and child... if the baby doesn't latch,or if your milk dries up, there's nothing you can do except offer a don't stop feeding the baby. You may feel disappointed or a sense of rejection......but maybe....its not what the baby needs to grow strong and thrive.

While in CT, I got a call from my daughter that her husband-to-be was beaten up...having a glass (??) smashed in his face. He was defending her my other daughter from the advances of a lecherous old fart.
I am entirely besotted with my children and know in my heart, that if I had received the call while here at home, I would have arrived on the scene in my dated slippers and gown, donning a baseball bat!!! (what can I say....I have all the class of a Hillbilly, having being raised in a mining and farming community). Happily, he's mended well and I've removed the ten stitches from various parts of his face today.

Taken the day after he was beaten future son-in-law. He is a very big chap, a rugby player, and could have done some real damage....if he was that way inclined.

Love him, dearly, dearly

There were days in the past when I felt really angry at my father's decision not to let me go into teaching. I realized profoundly this week, that there have been times when my 'forced' profession as a nurse and midwife, has played such an important role in my personal life...with my husband, my children, my friends....and now, two days ago, a complete stranger. It didn't end well but my experience allowed me to do what I could, calmly.

The husband of a domestic worker, who works for a friend, collapsed. We were sitting in the studio painting when we got the frantic call.....All hell broke loose!!.....running around, tears, screaming, crying, praying.
I last did CPR about 25 years ago as a student nurse, but its amazing how the mind kicks in with the fright and flight response. When I reached him, I knew that it was already too late...he was 'chain-stoking', having drowned in the mucus which had flooded his diseased and scarred lungs from a bad bout of pneumonia. Other than being a heavy smoker all his life, he had been released too early from one of our useless government hospitals....they had given him an oxygen tank...without tubing or mask for heaven sake...and obviously, without instruction on how or when to use it!!

I was desperate to try and save him as his wife was kneeling next to me, wailing out prayers. I tried for around 15 some stage, I remember feeling his sternum crack with the force of my compressions....all to no avail. He took his last breath,I believe, while still in my arms before I had even started!!.

I was rattled to the core by the whole episode...more than I care to admit, but having mastered the art of suppressing emotion pretty much all my life, I calmly continued my day, and even slept well that night. However, I woke up feeling such love for my family and friends and had an urgent need to tell them that. I know that one or two recipients of an email telling them so, probably think that I've lost the plot....but that's ok. I haven't. I just realized how quickly life can be taken from you...there IS NO TIME TO LOSE, when it comes to love.....there is no wrong in expressing it and least of all, showing matter how ill received :o)...the only wrong is not telling someone how much they are valued when you have the chance!!

I recently read something...I don't know who the quote is from but it is worth sharing:

"We make up and break up with people and continue as if nothing has happened. But we all know it has. What do you do with the inventory of adventures you had with people, good and bad?
You sort of arrange them, mural-like, on the inside of your heart, and have exhibitions every now and then, so that you can confirm your worst fears and sometimes happy thoughts and everything that is preposterous and glorious around you".

Friday, August 3, 2012

Out of the blue ('s)

For the longest time...or so it seems...I have been feeling a sense of impatience and drought in my creativity. I have been all but stuck in the rut of trying to reproduce a photo with oils, and haven't felt the freedom of simply being able to produce something from "me"...which would be of any value, that is. I've had the odd emotional explosion of recklessness, related to hurt and anger and frustration...and, come to think of it,loss...but the violent colors, the garbled and pathetic attempt to try and release whatever it was that I was trying to deal with, let go of, is worthless and meaningless to the world....or anyone who supposedly, 'appreciates art'. It's worth or worthlessness, is mine alone.

So what am I?? The age-old question, which I believe every single artist who ever existed, has asked them self, so, so many times. Am I even an artist when I have achieved nothing remotely close to that of the standard set and required to qualify that title?

Do I measure my worth or talent...or lack thereof, through the eyes of a cynical, critical, and fickle society which I have never embraced as my own...where seemingly, everybody is an expert and knows what good art or bad art 'educators' who feel sanctioned to rape and pillage your soul, intellectualizing what they see, through their own bias and insecure need for conformity and norm and a need to recognize like-mindedness.
Saying this...I'm, stuck in my very own conformity and window-less box. I cannot see out. I cannot see any other world except my own...and I'm not even trying to look. Is it that I do not care to?? why? Arrogance?

What a hypocrite I am!!! that I see a solid red circle , roughly splattered on a blue painted canvas,... as absurd!
But then, I don't see myself as an artist, so what does my opinion matter?!!!
I don't care to be seen as one. I refuse to be governed by a label to substantiate who I am or what I do.(by what or who's authority anyway...when tomorrow it will change??) I can use nobody or nothing as a yard-stick.... only the strength I gain through times lessons.... my own frailties....I know nothing except that which I have experienced for my opinion - on anything - is really meaningless.
It's therefore shocking and almost unbelievable that anyone who looks at my work , finds any value in it. Nobody knows what drives me least of all me. I can only act within the circumstances which the Universe delivers...things that, through my own positive or negative energies and decisions, allowed to filter through into my life.

Out of the blue, my aunt commissioned me to paint a stallion which she wanted to give away as a gift to someone of royal birth (I'm really not at liberty to divulge exactly who). I haven't painted horses in ages, so was at a loss.

I had mixed feelings about the reference I chose as the angle at which I chose to paint it (rearing up), made it seem a bit like a darn Ferrari ad! However, I have learned from past experience, always to go with my initial gut feeling and so I did. When she received it, she was adamant that she was going to keep it. Not to be.

The background took a fair amount of time as creating the mood for this picture was very important.

Next came the silhouette of the horse...which by the way, was not painted in black, (a color which I seldom use as it's a really 'dead'... no, seriously) but instead I used different shades of Van Dyke brown.

I slowly started to work in the highlights....using an array of colors...Payne's grey, yellow Ochre, raw umber, purple etc....not only white as it would appear here. I loved doing the fine detail of the tail and mane!!!

I decided NOT to paint the eye in....feeling that if I did, it would leave nothing to the imagination of the viewer...the painting would always just be an interpretation of my own.

Lastly, I added the foreground, trying to keep the detail but at the same time, toning down the color's so as not to detract from the subject matter. Lastly, I added in a little dust....or at least, attempted to.

I have now been commissioned further, to paint three of 'Madame Secret's' Shires.....the most beautiful animals that I have ever seen in my life......with possibly more to come. hmmmm....whereto from here.??

One of the best art-related quotes I've read in a while: " There's no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let others get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections".

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lessons in the veld

Not too sure where the Drakenzigt 'resort' is located but getting there required around two hours of rough and dusty off-roading.

It's located about 60km from Dullstroom.......via a "short-cut" of a winding rocky sand path over the mountains which I'm sure, was only meant for committed hikers and donkeys.

It's run by a couple with two young boys and consists of some tired looking accommodation, an unused swimming pool and a 'links' golf course.

I haven't played golf in around 5 years, but if I had, I would have used up a bukkie-load of balls and very likely, would have lost my clubs too!

Playing golf here, on this home-made nine-hole course, sets you back by R150...incredibly steep considering that there's not a whole lot to maintain except for the tee's and greens. Not a value for money exercise!

In stead, I wondered off to do a little drawing and exploring.

One of my favorite things is to go walk-about on my own...not ideal in this country, but there's something about being completely on your own, in body and mind that brings you into the realty of who or what you are. The silence around you allows the inner-self to talk and reminds you of what is real and what is not, what matters and what never has.
Peace becomes tangible and is not just a word.

I wondered off the path, making my way to a ridge full of flowering aloe' know when, for no reason, you are drawn to something???.....well this was one of those times.

The only problem was, that I was not wearing my hardy hiking shoes and had to negotiate my way through the thickest grass that I've ever seen. My feet literally disappeared, up to the knee, into a thick bed of white, gold and grey,crunchy, dry grass. Eventually, I was stumblng around like a drunkard, slipping off unseen rocks and into unseen holes. My concern was that one of those holes could be housing a fat, aggressive puff-adder!

So far and no further!???

As in life, things that seem easy and conventional usually never are.....there are always things we cannot see coming or predict. We walk anyway, anxious but resolute....always hoping that the hardship will prove to be worth t.

Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. Fortunately, faith and hope and an indomitable spirit of positivity, always brings us back to ignoring the potential dangers, face the unknown again....and just keep walking.

We drove for an hour to find a trout dam.. Contrary to the advert, our 'resort' had four small dams which pretty much, only stored micro-organisms!

Ol' Murphy was jumping up and down doing star-jumps that day.......there were plenty of fish, but not a single one was interested in being landed. Good for them!

Rob, at one of the dams. We were eventually so frozen, that our fingers just wouldn't work any longer.

Floating nylon lines....Wooly Buggers....just didn't work.

Another hour and we were home.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finally, I've found my shop!!! (or is it my 'era')

We stopped at this BEAUTIFUL little shop on our way out of Clarens. There wasn't a single member of our group who didn't walk away with something. We were gob-smacked.

OMW!!!!!!!.......the clothing in that store. Everyone who knows me, will also know that I do NOT enjoy shops or shopping AT ALL. Funding this little gem of a store, got me so worked up.

It was a functional period piece and everything in it drew me...the decor, the clothing, the ambiance, even the owner looked asf she had come from a different time-zone, as young as she ancient soul!

There was absolutely nothing that didn't appeal to me....the colors, textiles, design, ....Lord, what a 'Sharon Shop'!!!!!

I'm going back....soon.......who's coming with??

Painting wth Richard Rennie

Last week, I went with a group of artists (and friends)to Clarens on an art retreat, a workshop with water-colorist and landscape artist, Richard Rennie.

What an awesome time was had! The comraderie amoungst not only artists, but women artists, is just really special. A matter of 'anything goes', there was no pressure to be or do anything other than what's good for you. Lots of good food, walks, long talks into the night ( the topics were often quite risque.....because they could be :o) ) sipping wine and liqueurs like 'Hot sex' and 'Nagtmusiek', laughing till we cried, hugs, shared interests.....all made those few days so memorable>

On our way, Nor, doing what she usually does....took a sudden turn onto a sand road and we all ended up at the outlet for the Lesotho Highlands Water project.

Richard Rennie, showing us a very loose technique he uses in his paintings. He's as comfortable with his messed-up paintbrushes as we are breathing! Almost without any thought (and absolutely no cleaning of brushes), he goes about applying his colors in just the right places and quantities.
I was fascinated

One of his water colors.

He taught us to move from dark, down to off-center lighter tones, down to dark at the bottom. There should be a darker focal point in the middle (or rather, center of your subject matter) to draw the eye in.

It all made sense, and although my style is nowhere near close to his, I learned so much.

Some of the pieces which I did in the first two days.

Naive and be critical of my own work....

A silhouette of an elephant....which Richard recons was far too difficult for me to do on the first day....but in fact, this was the easiest painting that I've done in a while...

This is a painting which I did for my husband. With the content changed somewhat, its a painting I did from a photo taken while we were staying in Lake Como, Italy, a few years ago.

Two of the most fabulous ladies in the world!
Aletta, a well-known SA Journalst, with the sharpest sence of humour you've ever come across, (Richard often had to sit down, laughng at her chirps) she's 72 years young, has been married forever with four daughters and 5 grandchldren. Her energy is inspiring in itself!

Then of course, of my soul sisters....a special, special lady!

A group photo...mostly Noreen's students. They love her dearly.