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 “painting”

Self- portraits

When one starts from a portrait and seeks by successive eliminations to find pure form….one inevitably ends up with an egg ( Pablo Picasso). I am not so sure about pure form but there is a lot of the egg in this one….rather elongated! So,I just closed my eyes and pushed the camera button because suddenly there seemed to be so much that needs fixing! Now, the whole point of the exercise is the time limit and the colour restrictions, so, no fixing allowed! Only 4 colours used here: black, red, yellow ochre and white. Very easy to mix mud!

Oh well, I have decided to be more kind to myself. Life is tough enough as it is. Somehow that new gentle approach seems to have found its way into this portrait? It is kind of soft…. What do you think?

By the way, I appreciate very single visitor and follower, so my apologies for the irregular postings. One fine day, not to far from now, all will be back on track.


I find it rather difficult to paint myself. Also, I try to put on a friendly face but as I go along it seems to settle into a rather serious look, so to keep on painting and smiling turned out to be quite a mission. And the colours are foreign to me… And I keep wondering, do I really look like that? When is it going to look like me? And yes, I was taught not to start sentences with ” and” , so let’s get that out of the way! And to top all that, I keep wondering how much time I have left ( put a time restriction on myself as you may remember )

I am beginning to agree with Umberto Boccioni who said,” A portrait, to be a work of art, neither must nor may resemble the sitter…one must paint its atmosphere . I think to myself, ” Wonderful, exactly right! It is after all also merely an exercise!” And then I wonder….does it show any atmosphere?!

All I can say is, wait till you see the rest! Atmosphere developing plus a few other things…


To paint or not

” Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot
into the sun” (Pablo Picasso) and of course I would like to fall into the latter

It is also true that I can spend all day negatively pondering my spot that looks
nothing like the sun, or I can pick the easy? route and not attempt painting
the spot at all…none of these add to my daily joy! By now you’re thinking, what
on earth is she rambling on about? Well, once again, I showed you the real thing
first, and because I am yet again moving, I am a bit late in posting the painted
version of those beautiful yellow flowers in Catching Sunshine. Yes, we are not
really talking about the sun….but the “sun” represents getting the subject just
right with a simplicity of brush strokes that will leave you in absolute awe…
or having stopped painting at just that point where less is more…

This may be a good place to stop...

This may be a good place to stop…

Nope. I did not stop there but I quite like the "mosaic" effect.

Nope. I did not stop there but I quite like the “mosaic” effect.

Which one do you like better? Maybe I should learn to stop at one only!

Which one do you like better? Maybe I should learn to stop at one only!

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


Had to try one boat painting with a palette knife…


A friend of mine photographed some beautiful brightly coloured boats in Turkey and gave me

permission to try my hand at painting a few. I reckon I will have to do a few more before I can

say I am satisfied with the outcome….foreign territory!


This was my second attempt at painting wildlife. A good time to reflect on what was.

I often wonder what it would look like if I had to paint a leopard today? Worth a try

as soon as I unpack my paints again after the move and get set up for some painting!

My thoughts today…whether you move a leopard from Africa to Australia, the spots

stay the same; so here I am, new place, same old me…taking a trip down memory lane

before I get stuck in again. Hope you enjoy it with me.

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