Thursday, 16 April 2015


Does April count as autumn yet? Well I'm freezing my toes off, and the trees in our little homestead have all reddened, so might as well be.

As promised, updated photos of Frolicking, more or less colour correct, and already in their new home!

Also, I thought I'd share the 'how to' that was in The South African Artist magazine last year. I'm seeing it as more of a glimpse into how I work than a how to, to be honest, the idea of hundreds of people copying my painting is shudder inducing. But this kind of thing would have meant so much to me as a budding (clue-less) painter, and that excites me.

I know you faithful blog-readers have seen hundreds of these kinds of step-by-step posts from me, but I don't usually do it with notes, so hopefully that's informative!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

 Sneak Peek 

As promised, a little preview of my frolicking candy apples. 30 x 30 cm each.

I will most likely have to photograph them again, as you can see I'm struggling to capture the colour and texture - that background is something like charcoal with a little maroon, if I had to describe it (in reality, obviously there's about 15 more colours mixed in, but you know what I mean!). Also, it should be noted that I actually painted these simultaneously, next to each other on the easel - and it has to be said it is VERY satisfying to complete two paintings in a day!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Almost April
 In which I profusely apologise for not updating more often

And so. Every time I think I've succumbed to chaos, it gets a little worse. Adulthood and all that. 
We had a brief medical scare earlier this year, which accounts for little painting, no blogging and rather a lot of panic. It turned out to not be serious at all, but when it concerns your own body, everything is rather serious if you ask me! And so we're still trying to get back to normal. Suffice to say I am appreciating the little things quite a bit more than I did last year :P

Update time though: 

The last of the December drawings, completed in January, of the late Toto, beloved and never forgotten.
A3, pencil on 160 gsm untextured paper

The first candies of 2015! Completed in February, it turned out rather more 'vectory' and graphic than originally planned, but I'll admit, I'm rather crushing on this painting! 
Jannie verjaar is the term we used for the 'mix-o-drink' (aanmaak koeldrank) at every childhood birthday, red, and almost tasting of strawberry or raspberry or just possibly red with soda in it. These little cheap lollies taste exactly like the red of birthdays, pool parties and sun.
Jannie verjaar
40 x 50 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
After Jannie verjaar I did a commission of running horses, not to be shared on social media, but indeed a massive learning curve! My first landscape and first animal painting all in one. And for someone who has absolutely no idea how horses work, I'm quite proud that I survived it. 

Shortly followed by this painting, which rather didn't feel like being done, and fought me for every stroke. So much so that I managed to do two other paintings in-between bouts of painting and raging at it. 
This one was particularly hard because of the properties of yellow paint, which tends to want to turn green if you so much as think about adding any other shade to it! (banana and bubblegum flavoured, much tastier than you might imagine)

Blue lolly, Yellow lolly
50 x 40 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
I'll post the two in-between paintings later this week, right now my laptop seems to be turning itself off and on of it's own volition, which isn't conducive to good blogging. And of course, I'm working on yet more lollipops as we speak, never-ending fountain of candy and all that :) And yes. I eat them all. 

Also, it has to be said, it's my dad's birthday today (60!) and I'm off to eat all the gluten free snacks my mom could conceive of! 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Rust-en-Vrede Gallery

Join us at the opening of Rust-en-Vrede's Summer Sale tomorrow night, 20 Jan '15 at 19:00!

These works will be on sale for LESS THAN THE MARKET VALUE from 20th January to 5th February only, after which it will revert back to the normal price. Only members may buy - but you can become a member on opening night :)

In completely unrelated news, LOOK AT MY GORGEOUS TOMATOES! I shall make a salad! :P

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

 December Drawings continued 
Michelle's Portraits

I absolutely LOVED working on these drawings! What charming kids. I've been so Blessed in that  all the photo's I had to work with for the December Drawings were amazing, great quality AND loads of personality. 
As with Layla and Zoe's double portrait in 2014, the biggest challenge with these kids' faces is not to accentuate the lines too much, to keep the skin soft and youthful, but also keep the correct details that make them who they are. I'm really proud of how these drawings came out - pity that some of the photo's are a little dodgy, my camera also died, so I'm havng to rely on my husbands phone camera (which, sad but true, is in fact a better camera than my little Nikon) and that also means I can't take photos in daylight. My own phone camera is not quite on par, all his photos end up hazy and soft, boo. 

ANYWAY. speaking of Layla and Zoe, their companion Toto sadly passed away in December, and this is my drawing of him:

You will be missed, dear Toto.

Friday, 2 January 2015

 Happy New Year! 
*not really a recap*

We had a very laid back new years eve with friends in Milterton; braai, drinks, deliciously silly conversation; and walked down to the beach just before the count-down, to watch the Waterfront fireworks show from across the water - 

so imagine this view, but with fireworks! It was incredible!

I took a moment to walk into the water and just focus myself for the oncoming year. And I said a little prayer, thanking the Lord for the successes of 2014, and that I came out of it a little stronger. And that I would work harder and produce better work in 2015. What a wonderful moment, with the laughter and celebrating of my companions in the background! 

And so, with that as a starting point for 2015, I'm going to keep the looking back to a minimum.

This is my art year. The highlight was being published for the first time in an international magazine, and a close second was being published in a local magazine. 
The low was definitely the couple of weeks somewhere in the middle which I had to spend playing with my toes, too broke to buy the next canvas, and just waiting for something to happen. 
Basically, if I had to nutshell it, one of the galleries representing me decided it was time to push my prices up rather significantly - HIGH FIVES ALL ROUND! - and then I proceeded to have the lowest amount of sales through my galleries that I've had since I actually started exhibiting. Yeah. Pretty bad.

Thankfully I have loyal customers who come back for more, word of mouth, and social media connections, and the commissions pretty much carried me through the year. 
But it wasn't easy. I know it doesn't sound that terrible, but when you're in the 4th/5th/6th week of nothing happening, with no idea of when or even if something's going to change, it really is impossible to 'mind-over-matter' it, and a little self-doubt goes a long way. 
I come out the other side a little disillusioned, and a little scarred, but still thankful, grateful, and always with renewed hope.
That desperate lull in sales was the reason for my excitement over the December Drawings receiving so much interest. It was awesome to be reminded that to the public my work is good, its just the money that's an issue.

I'm so proud of the work I did last year, and so excited about all the things I have planned for 2015. I bumped my head a couple of times, but I've come far, and I can't wait to find out what the next weeks, months and years have in store for me and my art!

My husband became an uncle! Welcome to the world little Anje! 

- And we finally painted the interior of the house! Its not margarine yellow anymore, but instead a greeny gray. And it makes such a MASSIVE difference! 

- And we finally cleaned our teeny tiny little back'yard' (like 1 x 3 meters of walled in clothes drying space)

- Which lead to me getting bitten by a spider. Panic all round, since we have A LOT of black widows around the house, and so we googled it and found that my 'bite wound' looked exactly like a black widow's - even more panic - and so we waited for the excruciating muscle spasms to start (to verify that it was worthy of panic, and then rush to the doctor) but it never came. But on day two the toe was swollen double, a couple of hours later I had two little bloaty sausages for toes, and even later three, itching like mad, and not really fitting into any decent looking shoe. But today (day five? I think?) it finally started looking better. So I think I shall not only survive, but keep all my toes! Which is great, cause my balance is pretty bad as is.

That's all for now, I need to make coffee and couchpotato for a couple of hours!

Monday, 29 December 2014


Just a belated little update before the tiresome philosophical end-of-year review :P

First and foremost: 
The local magazine feature! Being published was a big first for this year, and having it happen twice was all kinds of exciting! I think I'll elaborate on that in a separate post, since the magazine is still available, and I suggest that you read all about it before I give you the inside scoop! (If you're not a subscriber, I know they're available at Boston's Framed Feather - or are they called Art Shopper now? - and also at Tyger Valley's CNA)

'Painting reflective surfaces' - my middle name.
I delivered 6 paintings to the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery (and might add two more) towards their Summer Sale (group show). Where members only may exhibit and buy at significantly reduced prices. But you can become a member for only R100 for the whole of 2015, so don't let that stop you! Opening night is 20 January, and sales only begin after the opening speeches - terribly exciting and all that. Looking forward to it, if I have a good January I might just make a purchase or two!
Signed, sealed and on their way to be delivered.


Merry Christmas! Had a lovely day with my parents, sibling, our respective partners, and my brother's brother-in-law, who I call 'skoon-neef' (cousin-in-law?) since we've been friends for years, and we're too lazy to figure out what our relation is now. 
Said Christmas included my mom's BEST EVER roast, delicious veggies and my sis-in-law's awe-inspiring Pavlova. And it was a refreshingly cool day - normally I associate Christmas with stifling, sweaty and feeling too full, so this was good. :) Smiles all round.

Fourthly (and finally I should think):

THE DECEMBER SPECIAL! It went SO well! The response is super encouraging, so much so that I'll do this kind of special more often, probably in June-July again I think. I got a good combination of still lifes, portraits and a pet-portrait, which should keep me busy for a while. 
At this stage I have four done, and five to go - and somewhere in-between I have to do a sweets painting for a gallery, AND a large commission, and having all of that going on is the reason why I haven't updated this blog sooner, and also the reason why I now own a white board (is that what they're called?) in the studio, since I started losing track of the what's and when's. But that's the absolute best way to go into the new year. And incidentally a great way of upsetting your friends and family, by being super busy when they actually have time.. oops.

So! Jan's four commissioned December Drawings, some marbles and a cherry triptych: These are all A3 sized drawings on A2 paper, to leave some paper for handling and that he has more options when framing.


I LOVED working on these, and I will definitely do some more in the future, any excuse to buy cherries (and consume them in record speed after photographing them) - I'm seriously considering doing some of them for galleries, as they are relatively fast and affordable. 

Ek weet nie of jy die blog lees nie, Jan, maar dit was lekker om jou te ontmoet, en ek hoop jou jaar in Bloem vlieg verby, en dan praat ons albasters in akriel! 

Next time, probably a bit of a look back at 2014, after I've found the time to figure out what I painted when and what I learned from this rollercoaster year!