tough love

this past weekend 
i took part in Dee Donaldson's 3 day drawing workshop. 

it has taken me a while to gather myself and my thoughts since...
i'm not sure i can put words to it yet but i will give it a try: 

it was amazing, tough, exhausting and enlightening. 
i have never done anything creative or related to art harder than this. 

Dee wasn't asking for pretty drawings with nice shading.

she wanted a rawness, gut responses, she wanted us to dig deeper, to play, 
to rely on sensation rather than thoughts. 

and that was so hard... i wrestled with myself a lot of the time; 
with the conditioned parts of me who wanted to make a pretty but emotionless drawing, 
with the part of me that wanted to do it "right", 
the part of me that wanted to know what was "expected of me". 

my head and thoughts struggled to let go of what i "should" be drawing 
but here and there in the course i had little glimpses of what it is 
like to "respond from my gut", to let it come up from deep inside of me. 

the drawings i share here are the ones where i feel i dropped deeper and trusted that 
i could respond... such an incredible, fleeting feeling. 

i feel that these three days have rocked my arting world 
and will bring many changes to my practice. 

i feel the need to go inward,  to dig deep to hopefully discover what my creative voice really, really
looks like. 

i feel as if i'm standing at a doorway not sure of what is coming just yet. 

happy days

today i treated myself to the most gorgeous flowers... 
and tomorrow i'm embarking on a 3 day life drawing course! 


i love all these accidental marks. 
working with them brings me such inspiration. 

the unpredictability of the ink takes me to places i would never have discovered.

on my easel

at the end of last week i hit a wall with my big painting 
i know it's not finished but i do not know what my next step is. 

so this weekend i decided to take a break and do something else. 
i stood at my easel and played with marks, 
ink, charcoal, pastel... 

i made pages and pages of those little faces, 
some good, some mad.

i'll share some more in the next few days. 

afternoon light

the afternoon light was irresistible in my studio.

i've been working with ink and bamboo sticks, 
quick drawing practices. 

many bad ones and a few interesting ones in between, 
which is what i am looking for... some interesting, unexpected traits i can 
use later in my paintings. 


remember my wild bunch paintings from earlier this year? 
they were part of a group exhibition at the Loading Bay in Durban. 

well... it is a little "cringy" for my ego to admit but none of them sold... 
so i took them back home and left them in the garage for a few months.

i unpacked them and had a good honest look at them yesterday, 
and i do like them, they felt alive and wild. 
it was good to see them with fresh eyes again. 

i'm not sure why they didn't sell, i could come up with many reasons
and excuses but that wouldn't make a difference. 

of course it has been a great learning experience, 
 and i learnt a few good lessons along the way. 

one of them being: "don't take it personally, it is what it is, 
get back up and keep going, keep showing up, keep doing what you love."

oh and i keep repeating to myself, just like on the opening night... 
Brene Brown's mantra: "don't shrink, don't puff up, just stand your sacred ground."

now that i've cleared the air ;) 

i have put my bouquets in my Etsy shop, it's all pretty and updated. 
(PS: my feeling is that they were priced a little too high at the exhibition, so i reduced the prices slightly) 

going big... continues

this big guy and i have been on a big journey already... 

we still have along way to go! 

some of the marks, close up

 slowly taking shape... 

 i am loving the process! 

keeping it small

while my big painting dries 
(see yesterday's post) 
i play with all these smaller marks, 
drawing quick, spontaneous faces... 

experimenting with ink. 

going big...

this is the biggest canvas i've ever painted on! 
i've been commissioned by a friend to do an abstract painting for her lounge, 
i have never done this before but it felt like an exciting new project 
i took a leap and i said yes! 

 for now this big guy and i are getting to know each other... 
mark making on a big scale.