staying with it...

last week i nearly lost patience with these paintings.

they had just become too messy and chaotic for my liking,
i was getting impatient and i couldn't see any resolution anymore.

until Dee gave me her expert advice and gentle guidance, 
she said they needed some "breathing space", 
 an area where the eye can rest and that could do that with flattening 
some parts of the painting. 

below you can see,  i did just that, i flattened the sky
and suddenly the painting works! 

for this one below i flattened the lower part at first 
and then some of the sky too

and these moment, i believe, are the reason why we paint! 
or at least why i paint... chasing this euphoric moment
when the painting i've been sweating on eventually falls into place, 
it is the best feeling! 

i don't think they are finished yet, 
they need a few more details. 

but i am so pleased that Dee kept me going, 
didn't allow me to give up or run away
(which i tend to do) 
but rather stay with the messy middle...
very uncomfortable messy middle! 

just like in life isn't it? 
there are the highs and the lows and the sometimes boring and mundane messy middles... 
but oh so important for growth. 


late afternoon autumn walks. 

my meditative time. 


i am not sure where i am heading with my art...

i'm in transition, not here not there. 

but i'm making marks. 
surely that is good enough? 

slow down...

our days are getting shorter here, 
and the weather beautiful and cooler. 

it is inspiring me to slow down, 
take time to contemplate, cozy up at home.

i'm knitting, my second beanie now, 
following these instructions
below you can see Pax modelling my first one! 

i have also been painting and drawing, 
more because i feel i "should' than because i feel like it... 
and none of what i've done is working.

so i go back to knitting, giving myself permission to take a small break.

and i have been listening  and loving these podcasts
reading and loving this article,
loving Flora's tips, tricks and reminders. 

happy cozy weekend beautiful people! 


i'm still busy with these guys... 
to be honest i am not mad about how long it is taking me 
but i am loving the learning curve, 
one layer at a time. 

as you can see above, i am working in thin layers of glazes
(oil paint thinned down with a lot of linseed oil) 
the layers are fairly transparent, i paint them all over
and then wipe down, then it has to dry...

a painfully slow process for an impatient person like me :)

 but i'm managing, i like the marks and what is busy unfolding. 




i was asked by a friend to decorate his surfboard...
i thought it could be interesting to give it a try. 

he gave me a few ideas of what he had in mind.
it needed to have some kind of black and white stripes to be... 
shark repellent! 

he is going on a trip and is a little concerned about the very sharky waters.
it has been said that the sharks don't like stripes, 
sea snakes and other ocean creatures use is as defence, 
i certainly hope my lady helps keeping them away. 

below is the finished drawing, 
i did it with the Posca paint pens and hopefully it will be steadfast in the salt water. 

it wasn't easy to draw with a very limited possibility to do some shading, 
which gives it more of a graphic feel. 
something new, something different... staying open. 

random thoughts on a monday morning...

despite the fact that i have lived in the 
southern hemisphere for nearly 15 years now, 
the opposite seasons still confuses my brain... 

possibly also because we don't have radical seasons changes 
here on the Dolphin Coast but 
i seem to constantly have to remind myself that, yes it is May 
and no it is not spring, it is autumn. 

to add to the confusion we can buy tulips here at the moment?

i'm not sure where they are from but when i saw these ones, 
with the frayed edges... 
i mean aren't they just too glorious? couldn't resist. 

oh and because "winter" is coming this side of the planet, 
i've started knitting a beanie ;) 
i'm really good at starting knitting projects, 
not sure if i ever finished one though. 
let's this one be the one! 

and i love the pink of the tulip and the pale green of the penny gum leaves together. 



i'm experimenting with these, 
they are oils on boards. 
above is where i started, 
below is where i am now. 

exploring different marks, techniques and tools. 
having no idea where i'm headed but going with it. 

opening night

i had a fabulous night at the exhibition opening 
on friday evening. 

i went there with my partners in crime 
and it was such fun to discover all the art, 
see my mad bunches on the wall 
and mingle with all the other artists! 

i'm on all the pics because i was a little flustered and distracted to think of taking photos. 
thank you girls for thinking of that ;) 

it still feels a little disconcerting to see my art hanging in a gallery... 

and then we went to S43 for a nice dinner, 
an overall joyous evening as you can tell by my permanent huge grin!


tonight is the night of the opening of the group show i am part of... 

it feels so vastly different to my last exhibition, 
i feel pretty calm and here are a few reasons why this might be: 

- it's not a solo exhibition so i don't feel that the spot light will be on me only and that 
feels so much less pressured. 

- this was a quick, impulsive decision, i had 3 weeks from the time i agreed to be part of it
 until the delivery of the paintings. so i had no time to agonise over whether what i had done 
was enough, it just had to happen, without the mind and the gremlins getting too involved. 

- and lastly i had so much fun doing these 8 paintings, i kept rotating them, moving on 
when something didn't work. the movement kept it fresh and interesting for me, 
a bit like dance really, and all that really suits my "busy bee/bit of this bit of that/inquisitive 

so all that said, tonight is the night and i'm looking forward to see my mad bunches up on the wall
i also have no idea what to expect... but i will keep reminding myself of  BrenĂ© Brown's mantra: 

"don't shrink, don't puff up, just stand your sacred ground."

and i might add: stay open. 

see you on the other side... 

love is in the details

this flower... it is magical!
it just keeps on giving. 

it is a  succulent called Orbea variegate or the star fish plant. 
it is AH-MAZING, the colours, the way it found its way through that little hole 
and the flowering from beginning to end is fascinating! 

nature does it best! 

even Pax is in love ;) 


now that i finished my flowers and delivered them to the gallery 
it's time to start thinking of what i am going to do next... 
i've prepared some background,  a lot of them i will use for my 
hand studies in oil. 

don't they just look so pretty drying in the sun like that ;)