Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Secret

 The Secret Revealed! 

One of the reasons I've been so slow to update or post any new works is that I was working on a painting for a group show at the 2017 Woordfees! I'll most likely post a sneak peek soon, but for now you'll have to be satisfied with the Woordfees program below :)

I marked our show with a pretty blue arrow in case you don't feel like reading!

Monday, 21 November 2016


Fluid  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  30 x 40  

Fluid is at Marze Botha gallery in Stellenbosch, if you want to go see him face to face. 
I framed him because I had decided to keep him - 

This is what happens: you have a blank space on the wall, 
so you hang an available painting there, just until 
you take it to a gallery or sell it, obviously.. 
only it looks rather pretty there, and you get a little attached 
and the next time you send a client a list of available paintings, you 
"neglect" to add that particular painting to the list..
and that's just terrible business

Let me just add, I still maintain that it's okay to like your own work - hell, even essential, how can you expect people to purchase and collect your own work if you don't like it? It's a good thing to create work you're proud of, in short: satisfaction = good, arrogance = very very bad

So I framed him to keep him and realised (again) that I really really need to start collecting other people's art - not just for the sake of supporting fellow artists and not being a hypocrite, but also 'cause there's SO MUCH amazing stuff out there, and my walls are missing out! Yep. I covet. But maybe coveting art is okay? 

So anyway
I took these two Soldiers to Feathers to get framed, because they're just so little and I was afraid I'd struggle to sell them. And someone came into the store and saw them, and ended up purchasing them before they were even framed - which is a delightful win, because they could choose a frame they preferred, and I didn't have to pay for framing! Yes!
I think I'll keep working so small once I dictate my own work again, it makes sense (now that I want to buy everyone's every art) to make art that's affordable(er) and tiny enough that it would fit in any home.

Ten little Soldier boys  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  10 x 15 cm each

I had begun to despair that RGB wouldn't sell (so much so that it became one of the paintings on my wall (shameless - it really pulled our bedroom together though) and this painting has been such a big deal to me. It was one of my most shared images on facebook (I want to say it went viral, but that would just be a complete lie), it was the 'cover double page spread image in my interview in Acrylic Artist magazine, and he was stlll just hanging around here (hehe) BUT I was contacted by a couple who had recently seen my work in the South African Artist magazine (of 2 years ago!) and I added RGB to the available paintings list as a wildcard and they loved him! Awesome customers, prompt payments, insisted on paying the postage fees that I accidentally misquoted them on - it's so lovely to meet people who don't want to squeeze you for every cent they can, and oddly rare - and I was just overjoyed that he found a home! 
Only now my bedroom is just bland; all white with a colourful painting is stylish, but all white with a bare nail in the wall is sad :'( but the story doesn't end there!

Variation Red Green Blue  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  50 x 90 cm

Straight after that sale I was contacted my a lovely lady through facebook, and she ended up picking RGB: Revisited out of all the available works (of which there were many) and it was so poetic to me, as (you might remember) Revisited was a tribute to RGB and they sold back to back!

RGB: Revisited  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  21 x 30 cm

 I can completely understand how that would be a very uninteresting story to anyone who isn't in fact me. Thanks for reading this far!!

I promised you exciting news didn't I? I lied. There's exciting news, but I'll share it tomorrow :) But have some cat tax! Little sleepy head  <3

September/October Recap:

Sugarlove I  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  29 x 29 cm

I've once again been absolutely too busy for you guys! I'm not even sorry, 'cause busy is good :D but I'll do my best to catch up!

Let's start with recent group shows I've neglected to advertise or brag about: 

The first annual Framed Feather and ArtShopper curated group show, where I exhibited Sugarlove I (but could not attend the opening as I pulled the thing in your neck/back that causes all of the debilitating pain - because I'm an unfit potato)

AND the 30 x 40 Committee's choice group exhibition at Art.b which is still running, and where I chose to show Scapegoat (still one of my favourite works of the year!)

The Scapegoat: A portrait  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  30 x 40 cm
 If you're interested in Scapegoat, you can contact Art.b directly - Juria 021 917 1197

And I have some exciting news - one of the reasons I've been too busy to blog - but I'll share that next time!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

 Spring is sprung! 

All that Glistens  |  40 x 30 cm  |  Acrylic on Canvas
Enough time has passed since completion that I can honestly say I like this painting. 
It was a cover-up, so I was working on quite a bit of texture, and I think that's part of what I like about it, it's a little less refined, the finest detail doesn't come close to that of 'Revisited' (below) but there's something a little magical about it. This was after (and sort of 'while') I was doing all those 15 x 20 cm paintings, so it felt quite large. 

And I hope you noticed those purple and blue shadows.. 'cause they kind of blend in, but MAN were they outside my comfort zone! *Now that I think of it, that's probably why I feel that magic, I challenged myself - AND managed to keep the challenging thing in the painting, that doesn't always happen!. 

All that Glistens - detail, angle
 And this is Revisited:

Revisited (RGB)  |  30 x 21 cm  |  Acrylic on Canvas
Revisited - detail, angle
Does it look familiar? It was a little ode to this guy:

Cause well I've always liked the layout, and I thought I'd revisit it. Only waaayyyyy smaller. think life size marbles instead of dinner plate sized.. And again some blueish shadows - possibly the first time I've done shadows behind an object. 
And also about 6 background colour changes. With this one I wanted to see if I could pull off a background similar to the main object's colour, close but different enough that it still pops. (Turns out that's really tricky)

I'm working on a commission that I can't show on here, been busy with it for about 3 weeks, and it's absolutely murderously hard. And it's not sweets in foil, which is sad isn't it. But I have that to look forward to, so that's nice.
And I had a pretty amazing spring day in terms of sales, but until it's all finalised I guess I'll be all mysterious and vague about it :P

Monday, 25 July 2016

 Concerning blame 
Aftermath of the Radio interview

First off, I have to mention that one of the greatest things that came out of the interview was the overwhelming love and support from my friends and extended family. So many people sitting huddled around radios in their homes, sending me messages of support, and even play-by-play messages about a comment I made or a question I was asked. We forget how many people root for us in silence, and the sheer amount of people hoping for my success astounds me!
I also got quite a few messages from strangers on facebook, new fans wanting to connect, and I chatted with a couple of them. And the thing that kept coming up was one of the main things that concerned me right after we recorded the interview. She asked me how I got started, and about my not having formal training. And I said the first thing that came to mind, namely that my art teacher told me not to study art, that it wasn't a good idea, and that I believed her.
Which is all true. 

Thing is, I can't remember the exact context or emotions. For all I know she didn't realise I was asking her whether I should seriously stop thinking of going to Stellenbosch, or doing research into fine arts degrees. We didn't have a long heart to heart about it, I remember that much. BUT I was very young for my age, and naive. And I REALLY didn't have a clue what to do with my life, I only knew that school never interested me, I only enjoyed art. So I need to make this clear: There's no blame for the art teacher. I made my own decisions. I didn't have to believe her, but I did. I could've done more research and gotten more opinions, but I didn't. Mainly because I was immature, and had no idea how to make large decisions like that. 
Also. I do believe things happened the way they did for a reason. The two years I spent studying graphic design taught me so much about layout and colour - and the photoshop skills I need to set up paintings and to clean up and colour-correct photos of paintings. 

I believe that, because I was so immature at that age, if I had gone to a fine arts institution, I wouldn't have been strong enough to shape my own style, I would've emulated others. And getting critiqued on paintings would've devastated me - crit sessions in design was bad enough, and I wasn't really even invested in that! 
I had to find my own style in my own time, through trial and error, and without an art lecturers opinions and tastes shaping them. Of course that doesn't apply to all, this is just my opinion on a thing I don't know much about.

We've become to quick to blame others for our failings in life. I could have become a graphic designer, and for the rest of my life bored people at dinner parties with tales of how I could've become a famous artist had it not been for that witch of an art teacher who foiled my plans and wrecked my life. But that's just silly. for the most part we ourselves are to blame for missed opportunities, and it's so much easier to blame people than to take chances and fail. I mean if the art degree was the issue, I could enroll today! Nothings stopping me! Stop blaming people for your life. If you're unhappy, start making changes.

I mean most people didn't initially support me in my art choice. My parents wanted me to get something secure first, many friends tried to intervene, most people tried having 'serious talks' with me about it, or just talked about it when I wasn't around. And that sucked. It's horrible when you're working your butt off to achieve something and people try to talk you out of it.
But if I was the kind of person to listen to those people I wouldn't be where I am today. The only way to make it if you don't have money or the right contacts is through sheer stubbornness, and hard work. 

My art teacher liked a bunch of my paintings in high school, and that was great. But it didn't matter so much cause I wasn't making art for her. And honestly, the 'work' I produced then sucked. Because it was only the beginning of the road. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

 15 x 20 

Strawberries and Cream I & II
15 x 20 cm
Acrylic on Canvas

I recently took part in Art.b's 'Tiny Treasures' group show, a fundraising show. I only had time to make two little paintings for the show, and both were sold out on opening night, and brought me two more 15 x 20 cm commissions!

Opening Night
The new Commissions:

15 x 20 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
Lekkers vir Ilse
15 x 20 cm
Acrylic on Canvas

I'll do a more wordy post soon, I've had a couple of things on my mind since the RSG interview, I'll make time for that soon. Until then, happy painting!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

 Ten little soldier boys 

Ten little Soldier boys
15 x 10 cm each
Acrylic on Canvas
I made two 15 x 20 cm paintings for an upcoming group exhibition - so very small! But very satisfying to complete paintings quickly for a change.. well I say complete, but I haven't uploaded them yet, since I'm still tweaking. They are done, I just keep changing my mind about the background, it has such an impact on the foreground; shouldn't detract, but highlight and complement the tones, and subtle changes actually make a big difference. So they sit on the shelf behind my easel, waiting. But I enjoyed them enough that I bought two even smaller canvasses, a quick challenge before larger work. 
And this is the result. The first actual life size marbles I've done. (I changed the background this morning :P ) These are also the first paintings I intend to frame before showing them, just because they're so very small, and I think they would be very handsome when framed.

On Angle
In other news, the Hoepelpoep show is still on, Alex's studio will be open on the following days: 

Tuesday (14th) until 4pm
Wednesday (15th) 9am to 2pm
Friday (17th) 9am to 4pm
Monday (20th) 9am to 4pm
Tuesday (21st) 9am to 4pm
And the RSG (Radio Sonder Grense, roughly translates as 'radio without borders') interview is tonight at 8pm, but you can be a sneaky bum like me and listen to it on their site, here: Marike Potgooi

I really do prefer putting my thoughts into images above trying to put my images into words!

On the easel today: All that glitters, about two days in. 

I took a bunch of reference photos last week, and this time I used natural light from the right, and a yellow desk lamp from the left, so I have even more exciting tones to work with (The ten little soldiers reference photos were also taken last week, but I think the paintings are so small, it doesn't really show) 
I don't usually start a painting with such a neat background, this is a cover-up, and only because I needed a certain size canvas, couldn't find a new one on the same day, and the half-done painting on this canvas just didn't excite me. The reddish background will probably change, I'm thinking something between this and caramel, but who knows what will happen, depends on what colours end up in the wrappers.

That's all for now, happy painting! :)