Every piece of art being created is so much more than the visual outcome alone...it's the journey not the destination.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Spreading Seeds Of Peace

Sometimes you don't like a new song when you hear it for the first time on the radio, but over time as you listen to it again and again it seems to grow on you and it becomes your new favorite song.  I am sure you have had this experience before too.

Well this was my experience with this painting.  Initially after I did the acrylic pour and the painting was dry, I didn't like the result for some or other reason.  It felt hollow and meaningless and it needed something to give it meaning and tell a story.  I decided to hang it on my lounge wall anyway where I could see it every day, not that I looked at it all the time.  Every now and again in passing the painting my eye will catch sight of it.  Eventually this painting started to grow on me and I liked it more and more, but at the same time I knew that it needed something. That something that will tell a story or make a statement.  I didn't know what this something was, so I just left the painting hanging on the wall until such time that I knew what was lacking.  The painting will eventually 'tell' me what it needed to be completed.  So days and a couple of weeks passed by.  One day when I got up from the couch and my eyes caught sight of the painting a thought of someone blowing came to mind and then I knew what the painting needed. 

I played around with different ideas...one of a woman blowing something and the other image of a child blowing something.  A couple of days passed by and my mind and soul decided that it needed to be a child and the title of the painting came at the same time.  I sealed the acrylic pouring and proceeded to paint the child blowing the "Seeds Of Peace".

You might ask "Why did you decide on the child?"...Well to me children are all born innocent and they learn impatience, aggression, selfishness, no respect and all the other bad stuff from adults because we are their example.  My biggest desire would be peace on earth...peace between countries, peace between different races and people in general.  I personally believe that greed, selfishness, intolerance and not having respect for self and others are some of the main culprits responsible for war, fights and crime.

Initially the child in the photograph was wearing a camouflage hat and this to me was the exact opposite of my intention and meaning in the painting.  Camouflage clothing and gear to me means war and hunting.  I thus decided to change the colour of the hat to green, as green to me represents renewal, growth, nature, energy, harmony, freshness, safety, healing power.  Green is soothing, relaxing, youthful and it brings a sense of hope, self-control, compassion and harmony...all of these playing a role in achieving peace.

The child, whom is born innocent, is blowing the seeds of peace into the world.

"Spreading Seeds Of Peace" 
Mixed media
45 x 121 x 4cm gallery wrapped canvas.  

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Arty Table

Wishing you a happy, blessed and peaceful 2018. May the dreams you have been harboring become a reality and a great success.

I played with acrylic pouring in the beginning when I started painting in the year 2000, which I then sometimes combined with resin pouring. Wow, 18 years ago and the sound of that makes me sound  ancient 😁, however I am still 25 in my mind. spirit and heart with a great sense of  humor! My biggest commission at that time was a triptych (a painting made up out of 3 canvas panels  hanging together to form one painting).  Each panel was 100cm x 150cm and the overall size of the painting was 100cm x 150cm. Since then acrylic pouring has evolved with new and fun techniques. You can see some of my 2017 acrylic pouring paintings here.

We inherited a kitchen table and chairs from my parents-in-law just over a year ago and it was in need of a makeover.

Initially I considered a big Mandala design on the table top, however I left the table as is for the time being as I was still throwing ideas around in my mind.  In December however I decided that now is the time for that makeover and set my mind on doing an acrylic pour on the table top, yet keeping the chairs plain as the table top will be the focus.

I needed sufficient space to do the acrylic pouring on the table as it is round.  I also needed a dust free area as it takes a couple of days for the acrylic pour to dry.  We have 3 kitties and the area had to be non-accessible to them...even if it was just for a couple of days until the table top was dry otherwise I would have kitty paws all over the table top and everywhere else.  The best place I could think of was my studio even though it is very small, however I was able to fit it in...only just!

Here are some photographs of the table in my studio where I have painted the table top solid white.  

The limited space...and yes, an exercise ball in the background which I use as a chair...it's indeed very comfortable to sit on.

Four 1 liter cups filled with the different colours of paint.

The covered carpeted floor. after doing the acrylic pouring on the table top.
I sealed the base of the table in so that none of the paint could reach the newly painted table base.

I never wear gloves 😆

Now if this is what my hands looked like, just imagine the feet...I'd rather not post of photograph of the feet 😯

The final result

Some close-up photographs of the table top.

I am thrilled with the end result and I hope you enjoyed this post.  Your feedback is welcome and please do not hesitate to ask should you have any questions.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Rooster Art Journal

Recently I was commissioned to make an Art Journal with a special request that it needed to have a rooster on the front cover. This journal was commissioned by a daughter for her mother whom loves to draw in pencil and charcoal.  What a special gift for a very special person indeed.  I asked what the mother's favourite colour was...burnt orange came the reply and I made an effort in bringing this colour in on various areas of the front cover, including the colour of the binding cotton which I waxed with beeswax.  The Art Journal is completely handmade and hand bound with a painting of a rooster on the front cover.  The pages inside are 200gsm drawing paper and the Journal consists out of 13 signatures, each containing 3 folders, which amounts to a total of 78 A5 pages in landscape format.

Front Cover

Full front view. 

 Close-up of the rooster painting.

Bound spine of Art Journal.

Close-up of the Coptic Stitch binding.

The Art Journal opens up flat for comfortable drawing.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Keep The Creativity Flowing

What can I say...it has been a tough and emotionally rough 12 months.  Advance apologies for the long blog post, but I have quite a bit to share, including some photographs and I promise I will try not to go overboard.

In my previous blog post you will see that my kitty 'Smokey' passed away on 28 August 2016.  On 12 October 2016 my Mom passed away unexpectedly and since then it has been an emotional roller coaster ride and in such times I tend to withdraw into myself.  Creativity went out the window, however I started writing a journal, almost like letters to my Mom.  There has also been some serious health issues with some of my close family members.  My creative muse took absence and sometimes when artists go through difficult times emotionally it enhances their creativity, however for some artists creativity evaporates into thin air to much frustration of the artist.

I truly missed being creative, I simply could not paint and I decided to start with small craft projects a couple of weeks after my Mom's passing to at least try and satisfy my creative soul... Like painting a pair of my Mom's favorite boots with Mandalas, butterflies and flowers.  Oh how my Mom would have loved her painted boots!


Some of the other items at I decided to revamp...

"Welcome" door sign 
When I bought this "Welcome" cat sign made from wood it was like a rustic brown colour with black stripes.  I painted this grey (as Smokey was a Russian Blue and this is in memory of her) with some happy flowers which represents all the happiness and memories she brought into our lives and a red heart for the love we shared.

These coasters (for the coffee table) was shop bought and had a printed image on the front which got stained with marks over time from coffee mugs.  They were chucked in a drawer with the idea to be revamped sometime or another.

In this time of mourning after my Mom's passing I was approached by my friend Lisa, owner of the IBD Kitties website.  She asked if I would be able to make a design that can be used on various items and 100% of the profits on all the products will go directly for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)  research.  I designed the image for Lisa and donated it as part of my contribution towards the research as I am unable to contribute financially and as my Smokey passed away due to IBD that turned into lymphoma.  Should you be interested in taking a look at some of the products you can click  here or to find out more about IBD you can click here.  Should you wish to make a donation towards the cause you can click here for more information. 

Even though I painted my Mom's boots and made the design for IBD Kitties, keeping the creativity flow remained a struggle.  I watched inspirational videos, creative videos, did some reading etc. but the creative muse did not show her face.  I also know that for the creative muse to be present, she needs to find you 'working', thus I decided last weekend that I will do at least one drawing or painting every day even if the drawing or painting is the size of a small matchbox.  Last week Monday I started with my plan in action and thrilled to say that I painted or did a drawing every day of the week.  It's not paintings I will ever offer for sale or anything like that, it is just to get the creative process rolling and every piece of art being created is so much more than the visual outcome alone, it's the journey that counts and not the destination.

All the little bits of creative time spend last week had a great positive effect ranging from my emotions to ideas and more.  I was inspired to start Art Journaling instead of a writing journal and thus thought it fit to make my very first hand made art journal from scratch.  I used an A3 190gsm watercolour pad consisting of 20 pages plus three A3 watercolour paper sheets that was left over on another watercolour pad, to make up the pages in the journal.  I placed 4 folders (pages) in a signature (this is a bundle of the pages).  The Art Journal contains 13 signatures in total.  Crochet cotton, doubled up, was used to sew the Art Journal together with the Coptic Stitch.  What I really like about the journal is that the pages remain flat when opened, which in turn makes drawing or painting in the journal easier.  On the front page design is a Mandala which is also painted by myself on a round piece of wood.  The entire design with the Mandala, feathers, ribbon and beads reminds me of a dreamcatcher.

So, keep the creativity flowing to get you out of a creative block by taking baby steps with small craft projects, drawings and paintings, do them diligently every day irrelevant if you like the outcome or not...Remember, it's the process that counts!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

My Soul Kitty

I would like to introduce you to my Soul Kitty named "Smokey"

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow"

Yesterday I completed this painting of 'Smokey' whom sadly crossed the rainbow bridge on 28 August. 

Emotionally this has been the most difficult painting I have ever done.  I did the drawing the week prior to her passing and the following week after her passing I started on the painting.  I did not realize how much more difficult emotionally it would get as the painting progressed. Yes, it has been very therapeutic as well as painful. Some days I could not work on her painting as it was just too tough and my emotions were simply just too raw. Every day when I walked into my studio, I would look at her painting and then greet her with "good morning Smokey". I also talked to her sometimes as I caressed the canvas with the brushstrokes. I had long conversations with her through the painting process.  After many brushstrokes and many tears I can say she is complete.  Rest in peace my little girly...  You will be in my heart forever!

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Cup And Saucer

The Cup And Saucer

Acrylic on gesso'ed canvas on board
20 x 15cm

So what is the story behind this painting?  Well, my mom told me the following story years ago...  Even though the Daffodil is not my birth month flower, my mom said that she always thought of the Daffodil as my flower.  The reason for  this is... the day I was born my mom said she looked out of the window of her room and outside was a big bed of Daffodil flowers in full bloom.  August being my Birth month as well as Women's Month I thus thought it perfect timing to paint ‘The Cup And Saucer’ flower in a cup and saucer.  

Now as a little girl growing up, I got to know this flower not as a daffodil, but as a cup and saucer flower.  The base petals being the saucer and the trumpet section the cup, however I am not sure if the Daffodil is known by anyone else as a ‘cup and saucer’ flower.

This painting was painted from memory with no reference photograph or still life set-up.

Symbolic meaning of Daffodils:  Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the Daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring (even though our Spring only starts in September, the daffodils starts blooming in August already).  Other symbolic meanings of the Daffodil are clarity, vitality, memory, renewal, creativity, inspiration, awareness, forgiveness and inner-reflection.

A question that came to mind once the painting was completed was if the cup is empty or does it have some water in for the flower to keep it blooming?

For me, even though times are tough, my cup overflows as I have so much I am grateful and thankful for everyday.  A heart of gratitude and thankfulness goes a long way in having a cup that overflows.

So my question to you is this - Is your cup empty, half empty, half full or overflowing?

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Medicine For My Lemon Man

"Medicine For My Lemon Man" is an oil on 14.5 x 20cm gesso'ed board.  I put my shadow box in action this week and did a still life set-up of whisky, honey and a lemon.  I have drawn from life before, but never painted anything from life, so this was a first for me.  I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process.  
The story behind the painting...Recently my husband, Adrian was horribly sick with flu and his best friend, whom lives just around the corner from us, made him a 'Hot Toddy' for the flu. Well I am sure the 'Hot Toddy' did the trick and that gave me the idea to paint the ingredients.
So I asked Adrian on one fine day, when he was feeling a lot better, to please pop into the shop on his way home from work and buy me a lemon. I said to him that it must not just be any lemon...it must please be a beautiful lemon, one that is firm, smooth (not the rough skinned ones) and beautifully shaped. I have such a sweet husband! He got to the fruit and vegetable section and looked through the lemons. He did not find one to his satisfaction and my description. He asked one of the assistants in the section if they have any great looking lemons, as he really needs a beautiful lemon for his wife. Now I did not mention to him that I would like to use it in a still life set-up and paint it, however knowing how my brain works he figured it out already.smile emoticon
The assistant in the department went to fetch a box out of the cooler room and my sweet darling husband went through the lemons until he found the perfect one...actually he bought two.
Excitement over the little things in life ~ As he got home and handed me the lemons with a big smile while telling me the story, I had the most wonderful feeling of excitement, butterflies in my tummy as if he just gave me the biggest diamond in the world. So since then I call him my Lemon Man. Together we will make Lemonade.