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

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Dis koue kos, skat

Opskiet was a pop-up group show on the US Museum's 'stoep' that changed daily. This year each day represented a local movie, and I chose 'Dis koue kos, skat' as it was the most recent one I'd seen, and I had read the book. Of course the book was written by Marita van der Vyver, so I probably end up looking a tad obsessed.. or just very thematic. 
Yes, let's go with thematic.

Here are way too many photos of my work:

Marita van der Vyver by the show title, and incidentally my painting

Group shot incl works by Weyers du Toit, Hennie Meyer and Theo Kleinhans
As is verbrande hout  | 12 x 10 cm  | Acrylic on Canvas

Lepel lĂȘ / derde wiel  |  12.5 x 12.5 cm  |  Acrylic on Canvas

Lovely deep frames on these tiny ones

Freshly framed

Ek alleen  |  18 x 12.5 cm  |  Acrylic on Canvas
Ons, saam, alles  |  19 x 12.5 cm  |  Acrylic on Canva

Wederhalf - op soek na die hart agter die sjok  |  25 x 25 cm  |  Acrylic on Canvas

On an angle

Loves me not  |  40 x 30 cm  |  Acrylic on Canvas



Happiness is receiving photos from excited clients after sales!

More about this tomorrow x


I've been a tad distracted, multiple updates to follow! Here are detail shots of my painting and some beautiful photos of the show, borrowed from the Woordfees facebook page:

Die blou van onthou  |  Acrylic on Canvas  |  90 x 60 cm (SOLD)

On an angle


Sikho Mququ
Clementina van der Walt and Marike Kleynscheldt 

Theo Paul Vorster and Belinda Leontsinis

Kate Arthur and Michael Chandler

Dale Lambert and Diane McLean

Clare Menck and Margaret Woerman

Margie Malan, Michael Tietz-Geldenhuys and Michael Chandler

Cathy Brennon and Lien Botha

Ink! Magazine

Potblou brochure

Marita van der Vyver with my painting
If you've been following along on facebook, you'll know the full story behind the title, but the short version would be that my painting was named for a favourite novel by Marita van der Vyver. (The English version on the book is called 'Forget-me-not-blues', but the more direct translation would be 'the blue of remembering' - read it, it'll make more sense ;) 

And the VERY short version of the story is that I mailed her for permission to use her title, and explained my painting and how it ties in and how my best friend suggested the title, and basically shamelessly sharing how overly sentimental I am, and got her permission and blessing. And if that sounds very nonchalant, it's not, I'm not - AT ALL - the whole thing was utterly incredible. If only because I tend not to idolize people, except for incredible musicians and authors. The two kinds of people without whom my life would be terribly bland. And so believe me when I say I've been dancing on the inside for a month! Having her pose with this painting is very special. Also it made aforementioned best friend incredibly jealous/proud - what's the word for that feeling? - which is always fantastic :D

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Books of 2016

This is just an intermission, no art today! 

I mostly listen to audio books while I paint (unless I discover a new album, which I then listen to on repeat until I can't stand it anymore) And I found myself wondering how many books I read a year. So this year I wrote them down. These are just the books I finished, none of those started and abandoned make the list. And many are re-reads, since I have favourites and I'm nothing if not loyal to these faithful companions! 
This list is chronological, and so I've marked them as 'A' - audiobook, or 'P' - paperback, since I listen while I paint, but of course I still read actual books, 'cause it's my favourite thing in the whole world! (except for art and my husband and chocolate and so on) 
Also 'R' means reread.

P Haruki Murakami - A Great Sheep Chase                    
P Terry Goodkind - Wizards First Rule                   
A Terry Goodkind - Stone of Tears             
P Karin Slaughter - Pretty Girls         
P Mary Kubica - The Good Girl                
A Stephen King - Lisey's Story                                            - R
A Anne Rice - Interview with a Vampire                             -  R
A Anne Rice - The Vampire Lestat                                       
A Anne Rice - The Queen of the Damned                           
P Patrick Rothfuss - The Slow Regard of Silent Things      - R 
A Lemony Snicket - The Bad Beginning                              
A Lemony Snicket - The Reptile Room                               
A Lemony Snicket - The Erstatz Elevator                              
A Lemony Snicket - The Vile Village                                    
P Neil Gaiman - American Gods                                 
A Laurie R King - Bee Keeping for Beginners            
A Stephen King & Joe Hill - In the Tall Grass             
A Stan Lee - Amazing Fantastic Incredible                  
A Patrick Suskind - Perfume                                            
P Gaiman & Pratchett - Good Omens       
A Laurie R King - Folly                                                         - R
P Anchen Trotskie - Dis ek Anna     
A Stephen King - Duma Key                                                - R
A Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy  - R
A Douglas Adams - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - R
A Douglas Adams - Life, the Universe and Everything        - R
A Alan Bennett - The Clothes they stood up in 
A Charlie Janders - All the Birds in the Sky  
P Stephen King - Mr. Mercedes                                           - R
A Michael Crichton - Jurassic Park                                      - R
A Terry Pratchett - Lords and Ladies 
P Stephen King - Finders Keepers                                      - R
A Terry Pratchett - Unseen Academicals 
A Terry Pratchett - Reaperman                                            - R
A Terry Pratchett - Hogfather 
P Michael Crichton - The Lost World                                   - R
A Terry Pratchett - The Last Continent  
A Terry Pratchett - Guards, Guards 
A Terry Pratchett - Feet of Clay  
A Robert Galbraith - The Cuckoo's Calling  
P Douglas Adams - So long and Thanks for all the Fish      - R
A Connie Willis - To say nothing of the Dog  
A Stephen King - Firestarter                                                - R
P A A Milne - The Sunny Side                                             - R
A Stephen King - Insomnia                                                  - R
P Marian Keyes - Anybody Out There                                 - R
A Laurie R King - A Darker Place                                        - R
P Anne Bronte - Agnes Grey                                               - R
A Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl                                                  - R
A Stephen King - Rage                                                       - R
P Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre                                           - R
A Stephen King - Revival                                                    - R
A Robin Hobb - Assassin's Apprentice                               - R
A Robin Hobb - Royal Assassin                                          - R
P Neil Gaiman - Stardust  
A Stephen King End of Watch  
A Robin Hobb - Assassins Quest                                       - R
A Stephen King - The Stand  
P Hobb/Lindholm - The Inheritance  
A Stephen King - The Regulators                                      - R
A Stephen King - The Long Walk                                      - R
A Robert Jordan - The Eye of the World ( WOT)               - R
A Robert Jordan - The Great Hunt (WOT)                         - R
A Chuck Palahnuik - Invisible Monsters  
A Neil Gaiman - Coraline  
A Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys 
A Neil Gaiman - the Ocean at the End of the Lane 
A Frank Herbert - Dune                                                     - R
A Stephen King - The Gunslinger (Dark Tower)                 -R
A Stephen King - The Drawing of the Three (Dark Tower) - R
P Stephen King - Doctor Sleep                                          - R
A Stephen King - The Waste Lands (Dark Tower)             - R
A Matthew Fitzsimmons - The Short Drop 
A Stephen King - Lisey's Story                                          - R
A Stephen King - Different Seasons                                  - R
P Marita van der Vyver - Dis koue kos, skat 
A Stephen King - The Talisman                                         - R
P Baxter & Pratchett - The Long Utopia 
A Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train                           - R
A Malcolm Gladwell - David & Goliath 
A Stephen King - Roadworks                                            - R
A Chuck Palahnuik - Lullaby 
A Stephen King - Blaze 
A Stephen King - The Colorado Kid                                 - R
P Stephen King - The Running Man 
A Yana Martel - The Life of Pi 
A Karin Slaughter - Fallen 
A Arthur Golden - Memoirs of a Geisha                           - R
A Richard Matheson - I am Legend 
A Robert Bryndza - The Night Stalker  
P Neil Gaiman - Trigger Warning 
A B A Paris - Behind Closed Doors 
A Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin 
A Elizabeth Gilbert - Eat Pray Love 
A Bernhardt Schlink - The Reader 
A Anne Tyler - A Spool of Blue Thread 
A Ernest Cline - Ready Player One 
A Paul Beatty - The Sellout 
A Patrick Rothfuss - The Slow Regard of Silent Things  - R
A Neil Gaiman - American Gods                                     - R
A Chitra B Divakaruni - Oleander Girl 
P George R R Martin - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms 
A Mark Edwards - Follow you home 
A John Taylor - Sherlock Holmes: the Rediscovered Railway Mysteries and other stories 
A Kazuo Ishiguro - Never let me go 
A Truman Capote - In Cold Blood                                   - R
A Robin Cook - Crisis 
A Stephen King - Black House                                       - R
A Stephen King - (Dark Tower) Wizard and Glass  -      - R
P Marita van der Vyver - Die Blou van Onthou 
P Marita van der Vyver - Vergenoeg  
P Marita van der Vyver Die Dinge van 'n Kind 
A Stephen King - (Dark Tower) The Wolves of the Calla - R
A Stephen King - (Dark Tower) Song of Susannah         - R
P Marita van der Vyver -Die Ongelooglike Avonture van Hanna Hoekom  
P Marita van der Vyver - Swemlesse vir 'n Meermin 
P Karin Slaughter - The Kept Woman 
A Stephen King - (Dark Tower) The Dark Tower 
P Marian Keyes - Watermelon 

Yes, Stephen King is my Favourite person. Laurie R King, Neil Gaiman, Pat Rothfuss, these authors make my brain sing. 

In terms of art, I have completed 5 paintings you haven't seen, 4 of them for 2 upcoming shows (March 2017) - it's all very hush-hush at this stage, and the other I just haven't photographed! So there's that, and an upcoming auction (Jan 2017) about which I'll share more when I can! It's hard to do a roundup of the year when there's so much I can't share! Also, it's very hot. So I can't really think straight, never mind actually wax lyrical about 2016. Things were achieved, others not, hope next year is better etc. :)

Keep safe tonight if you're the partying kind, we'll be breaking in the new year with a braai and board/card games - classic South African Nerd things! Have a fantastic evening, all :D

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 this snippet from the Woordfees program below :)

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