Each of us needs to find our element- the place where things we love to do and things we are good at, come together

Archive for the tag “life”

Why Blog?

Some blog for fame and fortune, others to amass a great following. For many it is a platform to test or flaunt? their opinions, their passions, or their creativity in whatever form. Some share their knowledge, their skills, others their dreams or their path of pain. The reasons and motivations are intriguing and as varied and unique as our fingerprints. One wonders what people did before the avalanche of social media caused us to start ‘living’ online? I, for one, prefer face to face living but blogging has brought even me online!

I have not blogged for many months….and as many reasons. The short version is that “life happened” and it was not at all good. You know the story of the flea? Well, it can jump very high and far but put it in a jar and close the lid?? It will still try to jump only to be blocked by the lid every time. After a day or so  it will no longer try to jump out. It will believe it can only jump to the height of the jar lid. So, all I can say is that my jumping became limited and my mindset followed shortly after.

I started blogging as an exercise to help me track my progress and to explore and find my place of passion, whether it be in art or a form of art. Sometimes we do things because we can and not necessarily because we want to. Also, at the time I felt dissatisfied with the realistic precision of my paintings (that’s about the same as saying I don’t want to me any more!!). I longed to break free of my box, to paint with loose, uninhibited strokes of colour upon colour. I felt unable to portray what I saw, how I perceived the beauty around me, and also  those pictures that “dropped” inside of me…so clear, yet so hard to paint. I wanted to know (or feel) that not one talent or ability given to me was going to waste…to come to the end of my days knowing that I have run the race and run it well.

It has been a long lonely barren desert walk. Often I have felt unable to take the next step, unable to find my element. So, in order to survive, I reduced my thinking, my painting (small blocks), my living….until I ended up just existing. I can safely say that living small does not produce life. It saps all that is still alive.

Now the floods have come. Torrential. Relentless. Sweeping away the drought, the barrenness, forcing me into change. No not the rain. Pain and more pain. Pain in all its forms. Isolation. Doubt. Fear. Sickness. Death and more death. Loss. Grief. The things that make us overcome and grow. And so it is time to leave the desert, literally and figuratively. Take off the lid. Be what only I can be. Myself. You don’t find yourself in another country. You wont find yourself on a different continent. You are everywhere you go. You find yourself when you dig deep enough. Inside yourself. And you let go. And be. The best that you can be. And so it is time to blog again…

This blog is really for my eyes only but life happens to us all and chances are that you have been through the same and more. I believe we are here to “rub off” onto one another, work through the negative and grab hold of the positive, help each other up when we are down. So feel free to travel the road with me , to share in my progress, creativity, wisdom and words, the beauty and pain around us and in us and may I rub off onto you as positively as some of you in blog world rub off onto me.

Time to say Goodbye

Painting flowers was a good journey. It is time to say goodbye.

Change the route. Plan a new trip.

Yep, hard to believe but I only painted one!

Yep, hard to believe but I only painted one!

In my travels through Australia, Zambia, Singapore, Bali and back and forth to South Africa, I  have

left house and garden behind. My goods went into storage. My garden became a gift of plants, pots

and furniture to all my friends. So I decided to build a vertical garden, small blocks of canvas, all the

flowers that crossed my path….. As you know, I am a ‘serial painter’ … I can never stop at just

painting one of a kind, so they ended up in sets of three or more.

Looks lonely. Hard not to paint a friend...

Looks lonely. Hard not to paint a friend…

I initially struggled to paint small (the blocks are mostly 20x 20/30 cm) but was motivated by lackof studio and space and reading this somewhere:  Work small, learn big. I did. I am familiar withpainting figures, not flowers…now I cant stop painting flowers! Building my ‘flower wall’ was veryfrustrating initially but turned out to be a great challenge and lots of fun. You know how we misswhat we had until one day we realize the present is  not actually bad, just a new way of doing thingsand then the enjoyment kicks in. So, here is a bit of my wall. I know what comes next but you’ll haveto wait and see…

Abstract Art

Pablo Picasso said, “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something.

Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

There is no abstract art.

There is no abstract art.

You must always start with I did.

You must always start with something….

Afterward you can remove all traces of reality...

Afterward you can remove all traces of reality…

There is no getting away from it. I am what I am!

There is no getting away from it. I am what I am!

The King

When I am weak ... Oil on canvas 90 x 100cm SoldWhen I am weak, He comes forth, ablaze with power…

When I am weak... Oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm SoldWhen I am weak... Oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm Sold

Kitchen Talk

Flies are lonely creatures (note : this is not a scientific study), or shall I say, single flies. Probably  a bit human in that respect. There is no food attraction in my kicthen. The house is empty, awaiting furniture. Just me and Fly (ok ok, not a study in grammar either). Flies have a short lifespan so we definitely havn’t met before. For that reason I cannot claim that this fly likes me, therefore my conclusion that it is lonely. It has spent the morning  following me everywhere.

I am considering talking to it.

Second observation: flies are good listeners, they do not intrrupt at all.

Third: they are tactile creatures. Always touching you somewhere. As our conversation gets more interesting, it parks on my shoulder, to hear better. It is very intrigued by the fact that I can talk and write at the same time, so every now and then it lands on my hand.

Fourth: they are vain creatures. It has realized there is some glory to be had in being the main character in my scribbles this morning, so it is now perched on my brow to see if I write with sufficient praise. Truth is irrelevant. Facts are a waste of time. It has given me permission to include two paintings of kitchen scenes. (maybe that is because we are now sitting in the kitchen, the only place with a chair).

Last observation: flies have a short attention span. Or maybe it just got bored with all this talk about kitchens and paintings?

Oh dear no! It’s having tea. My tea.

French Kitchen 30 x 40 cm Acrylic on canvasFrench kitchen 45 x 50 cm Acrylic on canvas


I hear the drops faintly go blip…blip….blip. I stare into the darkness, feeling the utter silence

that amplifies each sound. I can feel him. I can smell him, but he does not make a move.

An eternity passes, years added to my life without me having a say in it.

I am no longer afraid.

I get up and walk to the door and keep walking into the dark night.

I know I will find my way.


It is time for a challenge again, so here is my second attempt at palette knife painting.

(remember the Cape Cottages? I really must learn to do a link!).  It is quite a trick to

put the paint down and not go back over again with a second stroke which means your

colours must be just right. Will play some more…as usual, I am never done after just one,

so expect to see some more fruit and knife work. Not peeling! Painting.

Ok, I know you knew that!


White collection

You should know by now that I cannot resist painting a whole collection of whatever my current flower is!

I like the bright colours but, as usual, got caught up in the detail!! Must set myself a palette knife challenge

again to loosen up!




Familiar friends

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