Saturday, 25 November 2017

 Finally, Instagram! 

I joined the ranks, so please give me a 'follow'! I post most of what I post there now, just 'cause they make it so darned easy!

Friday, 17 November 2017

 Aurora Awakens 
The Clemengold Auction

'Aurora Awakens' | 100 x 70 cm | Acrylic on Canvas
June 2017. Alex and Zelda Hamilton invited me to participate in "Dawn breathes gold / Die oggendstond het goud in die mond”, a Charity Art Auction sponsored by Clemengold. 15 Artists made 15 diverse works and I was very excited, high on the successes of the Woordfees exhibitions. And Since my painting 'Die blou van onthou' was so well received, I decided to do something in the same kind of layout, a complex but rather traditional still life, with quite a few complicated textures to challenge me.

The snippet that inspired me most, from Zelda's initial email to participate in 'Dawn Breathes Gold':

'Aurora, the goddess of dawn, sweeps across the sky between 
her brother Sol (the sun) and her sister Luna (the moon), 
announcing the new day and being first to greet her four children, 
the winds from the north, south, east and west. 
This announcement is accompanied by brilliant colour and the 
anticipation of new beginnings, but simultaneously she weeps softly for her 
fifth child; her tears falling to the earth in the form of morning dew.'

I don't mean to guide people in their interpretations, but I intended the wrapped and unwrapped clementines as the sun and moon gods, Aurora being represented by the colours of dawn rising between them. And much more symbolism of course, but isn't there always? 
My favourite part of this painting is the majestic paper halo around the top naartjie, it was tricky as all heck to paint, but I'm quite proud of that idea, and will most definitely use it again in future compositions! That and the texture of the naartjie just above the pomegranate, I really struggled to decide how loose to paint them, and this was exactly right.

Proceeds from the Auction went to
a little study, one small step

Riley  |  20 x 20 cm  | Acrylic on Canvas

Hi bloggers! It's been ah.. well it's been half a year. I'll update where I'm at at the moment, and then fill in the rest of the year in a different post!

I finished a large marbles commission last weekend, it took me a month and a half, and while I was working on that we had what we'll just call some "family drama" Understatement of the decade. So rather a bit of stress. And I already have two group shows lined up for early next year, I need to produce work for that, but I'm wrecked. Emotionally wreckedness leads to physically wreckedness and that's no good.

SO while I was waiting for a canvas to be made, I decided to continue my learning. If you've journeyed with me for a while, you probably know that photo realism isn't my goal. I have finally embraced the fact that my paintings are photo realistic, but I want more. Completing a realistic still life is the absolute best feeling in the world, sitting back and seeing what you've made is the most satisfying, complete feeling. 
But I miss painting as expression. And painting as exploration. So I started making paintings that are a little looser in between serious work, and it's just terribly enjoyable. 

So with my tummy in knots and head achy, my neck all bunched up and just a storm in my brain, I picked up a discarded canvas and opened up one of my favourite paintings of someone I very much look up to, and just tried to replicate her brush strokes, her sense of movement and colour and in half a day I got rid of all my heaviness. I lost myself in painting. And I remembered why I chose painting. So, on a high from that 'success' - and the sudden clarity and excitement, I sent a message to my friends to forward me photos of their kids, 'cause I'm going to be making a ton of little portraits, might as well make some that people want to keep! (needless to sau I got a LOT of photos!)

And this is my first attempt: Riley. 
So the tricky thing is that I could make gorgeous marks and exciting colour play with my first experiment, because it was just an anonymous head. But when it comes to capturing a likeness, my brain reverted back to what it knows, and my hand would just automatically pick up small brushes again. I would have to paint over detail, lose detail to get back brush strokes. And that delicate balance is everything. But this is just the beginning :) I love this little portrait, but it's very much more my usual style than what I'm striving for.

To give you an idea of what I love, check out Jennifer Balkan and Benjamin Bjorklund. This is what my heart yearns for. It's more than portraiture, it's skill and expression, and it's play. 
Eventually I would love to become a full on figurative painter, and create large dramatic dioramas in the vein of Pamela Wilson and Natalia Fabia but I have much to learn before then. Also my studio is about 5 times too small! Babysteps.

For your trouble, have some process:

That's all folks <3