Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A commission.

Abundance | Acrylic on canvas | 180 x 45 cm
I painted this large marbles commission last year and actually documented it! Mostly images for a change :)

I abhor white primed canvas shining through in completed paintings, so I do a neutral background as a kind of primer. Of course with a large painting like this I had to pre-mix a LOT of paint. But that always comes in handy later, if not on this painting, it will make an appearance on the next.

Floor to ceiling shot to give you an idea of scale. I had to work sideways like this for most of the painting, and when I couldn't reach anymore, turn it 180 degrees. When I actually wanted to see the painting right way around, I had to balance it on the bookshelf to the left, and the desk on the right - on books 'cause of course they wouldn't be the same height! 
AND then it was slightly too big to take in. 
Balance it on the shelf and desk, then go stand in the hallway just outside the studio door to take it all in! Mentally earmark everything that looks strange, come back in, move everything back, start making changes. I'd love a motorized easel in a warehouse. But this goes to show that you really can make do.

This is a little progression from start to finish focusing on the green (issues with colour discrepancy due to lighting, contrast on the bottom photo is too high, but you get the idea!)


Little lady bird joined me pushing paint around

Stay hydrated! 

Studio shot with all the filters

I really loved that rusty marble. But the right side of the canvas had become terribly dull colour wise, so I stole some marbles from elsewhere on the same reference photo and snuck them in! There are a bunch pf little places I added punch, just to balance things out - for example the red background at the top, just right of the yellow marble. Balance ÜBER ALLES!

Also, you'll notice that the 'background' colour left of the green goon keeps darkening. I needed it to pop, and while I wanted it to stay neutral, it just wanted to be dark. Dark neutral, sort of like chaotic good.

It looked lovely on our lounge wall, perfect size for the room. Something to remember when we get something to put there permanently, as opposed to this merry-go-round of foster paintings! 

Also. When your clients bring champagne that they brought all the way from a tiny little village in France to celebrate your completion, you harbor no ill will :P It was deliciously fancy.

Some detail shots for your pleasure:

Look at that big flat expanse of red! Isn't it great?! Flat red is larger than the painting I finished over the weekend. But in context, it isn't flat. Light does crazy things with glass, which is one of the reasons I will probably never tire of painting marbles.

L'il rust-replacer turned out to be one of my favourite marbles in the painting, it has most of the colours in it - I realised at some stage that we have all the colours except pink, so I had to sneak that in there too! 

Another wonderfully flat marble. It just didn't catch any light, seems rather unrealistic. Which is one of the joys of photorealistic painting, sometimes you need to make something look flat, because even though when you focus in on it your brain expects something different, you're being true to the photo. Realism can be terribly unrealistic.

I have some upcoming exhibitions in March, but I'll brag them separately, have a fantastic rest-of-the-week folks!

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 www.lalela.org
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 lê / 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