Friday, 29 June 2012

A beautiful tribute... so blown away!

I received this tender tribute on my Facebook email the other day... I was completely blown away and moved that my art is touching people like this.  This has always been my prayer - that they won't just be pretty pictures but impactful.  I am so grateful... thank you!

Flowrsinherhair, your art makes me nostalgic. It's the vintage wallpaper I love; the essence of the 1920's fashion I adore; the colours of the seasons from my childhood - for you only truly experience all four seasons north of the equator -; the European cafes that I miss; the painting of the girl with a tear glistening in her eye, which still hangs on my grandmother's wall in Poland; beautiful postcards that so few post nowadays; the dreams I have for my children; captured on canvas, layer by layer.....

When your day starts off with a card like this...

Dear Mommy,
A Woman....

A woman, to me is a lady who is full of wisdom.
She would be inspiring, beautiful, motherly.
Someone who is full of OMPH!
She would be able to see their mistakes and fix them.
She wears clothes that are just right for her.
She is strong and she doesn't care what others think of her.
She is clothed with dignity and laughs without fear of the future.
She is loyal! She has strength!
Mother dear, you are a Woman!

Written by my beautiful daughter, Kitty - aged 11
I seriously have no words... Lots of emotion but seriously no words.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Don't let anyone wake me up... I am dreaming out loud!

I think this painting might be me and how I was feeling tonight...  A little dreamy, a little pensive, and maybe even a little scared.  But I have wings and I plan to use them soon as I dare allow myself to dream out loud...  Stretching one's wings is never easy, it's risky and it takes courage and bravery.  Perhaps a necessary journey, that I need to travel.  As a quest, as a pilgramage, my own.  But I have my wings on and I'm ready...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sweet Willow finds a sweet home...

My Sweet Willow has found herself a sweet home... she is going home to rest with a very creative and beautiful person and placed on her Studio wall.

I find it hard saying goodbye to any one of my pieces but especially this one... Willow was the first girl I named and one of my original girls.  She is special.  I love that she has spoken into my client's heart because that's my heart for every piece I do... that they will be a source of creative inspiration and a joy to look at every day.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

It's beautiful Kitty's turn for a run..

Kitty was chomping at the bit to get out for her run with me.  It had been raining and stormy all day... so I wasn't too hopeful but around 4pm we had a break in the weather and we dashed out the door... She did well for her 1st run in ages.  She wants to keep fit during the holidays so when she gets back to school she's fit for dancing.  We ran/walked for 3kms.  But the walking was all about holding hands and cuddling.  She's so sweet, this little cuddlebug of mine.  Such treasured moments.   Those little cheeks were rosy red when we got home. 

So loving running with my girls!!!!

I woke up this morning with a painting in my heart...

I forfeited my usual gym class and food this morning and got straight to painting... I had a brilliant session in my studio as this sweet little English rose flowed out of my brush... Meet Annie. 

She isn't finished yet but she's coming alive.  Still have some more layers to do and tweek a bit here and there.  But she's delightfully simple but the canvas is busy.  I prepped this canvas weeks ago as I wanted to use it as an experiment.  It is long and thin 24"x12" and I wanted to include a body on one of my girls.  When she's finished, I will share a full length picture of her.
Now let me get some food into my body before I keel over and get my running shoes on and hit the road for some fresh air...

It's been a beautiful day.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

My little studio is coming alive

I am getting so exciting with my growing stock. My studio is getting nice and full. I have about 10 paintings in my studio at the moment, all of which are due to go out. I will post some pics soon of the full studio. Still have much work to do though... but this sure is encouraging.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Precious stolen moments...

Digz and Kitty had a date tonight and they 
had been planning it all week.  There was much excitement all afternoon.  They very sweetly plan little surprises for each other for their evening out.  Kitty made Digz cards and spent all morning making them and Digz got her a polo-fleece jacket. The biggest part of that was that it's PINK.  All her, of course.  They had a really special evening together.  Nothing better than father/daughter quality time.

While the other two were out, we made use of our time too... we put our running shoes on and hit the road, we got to ran a little 5km's together.  How stunning that we can do this together.  I always promised myself that I would stay fit and healthy so that I can keep up with my girls.  Everytime I do something like this with them - I am grateful for that promise I made myself.  We got home, tidied up, made supper and ate together.  Some serious chatting going on and lots of teachable moments.  I love these stolen cherished moments together.  We got ready to meet the other two to take in a family movie together.

What an excellent day.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Time is not my friend today....

What do you do when you have no control on time and when the little people in your life are growing up and developing at such a rate that it almost takes your breath away.  And with each new day, new year and new stage - you know things will change and some things will never be the same again.  We have such little precious time and I want to make the most of every moment that we have together as a family living under one roof.  I want to make memories... deep ones that will last a lifetime.

Tonight we hit another landmark... My little big girl went to her first real highschool teenage party and I watched her get dress and ready - she's beautiful.  And it's a scary world out there and I am afraid to let her go into it sometimes but even though I know I must - I find it difficult.  But she did good and it was a good party and a good introduction to the big world out there.  I am proud of her and of the young lady she's becoming.  I am so aware that in 4 years time she will be finishing school and going off to university or maybe travel the world, who knows... but life as we know it - will be forever changed.  Here's to stolen moments and to living purposefully and to making each moment count.

Winter holidays are here... yeah!!!

Cape Town winters are beautiful... there is no doubt.  They are cold but not brutually so.  They are wet but it's the kind of rain that is soft and sets in.  But is oddly beautiful and the clouds, lighting and sunsets are absolutely breathtaking.  However, they aren't without their own little issues... like the darkness.  Sun rising really late and the sun setting really early.  Dropping your kids off in the dark at school, just seems wrong on all levels.  So to have a lovely long holiday in winter is always such a treat.  Late sleep ins.  Cuddling down with hotwater bottles and down duvets through the coldest month, just makes perfect sense to me.  It was a challenging term, filled with exams and preparing for exams.  We felt house bound for weeks while the girls were studying and preparing.  Glad this term is behind us. It was Kitty's first exam set ever and Corks first highschool exam set.  Both girls did well and passed our expectations.  All in all... another successful term!  #Proudmom

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Flowrs went live today...

About a month ago I stumbled across Weebly, a free website design tool esp. for people like me. :-D.  I have been silently tinkering around and learning how to drive this design tool, that together with starting my new blog.  Both of which are new territories for me.  I found the blog very limiting in Weebly, so after much thought, I decided to go with Blogger for this section of my website and I am already enjoying this decision.  Today I not only settled on my blog, but also the templete and design of my site.  I feel it's a better representation of who I am.  For those of you who have been following my slow progess, I hope you like the new changes I made today.

I guess I have been shyly waiting to officially "launch" my website and I have just been slowly letting people know about it.  But today the word got out... my dear friend Mel, let all her arty buddies know.  So appreciate the shout out Mel.  #Hugs

For all of you who visited today for the first time...  Thanks for the kind comments and trusting you will find your way back here soon.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Delicate Rose get's an facelift...

Delicate Rose was my very first experiment painting with this new range of mine #thisismygirltoday. I did Rose mainly for me while I was just playing, learning and experimenting. I loved how she initially evolved but since this first trial-run, I clearly made some mistakes, like putting the lace on before I had painted the face etc. My style and technique has also evolved as I have been learning and experimenting with what works and what doesn't. And I guess my own unique style is developing. So I have been working on changing her a little as I wasn't completely happy with a few things, especially her eyes. I loved how big they were because they made her look so innocent and I loved the colour but I just felt they needed work. Well this decision has got me in to some hot water with my daughters. They aren't too happy with me right now esp. with Rose's lack of eyes.

I am hoping I will be able to save, reform and tweak her back and get rid of some of my initial bugbears. Trusting Delicate Rose will be as delicate and as beautiful as before. She's still very special to me because she represents so much of me. She sits in my studio on my desk and looks at me everyday and is my reminder of where I started and where I am going...

Let's Recycle, Let's Go Green!!

PictureThis became our family slogan about 18 months ago while we were on holiday at one of the most creative places in South Africa, Moonshine on Whiskey Creek. It's clear they creatively live by this slogan too. It was something we really wanted to live out, but rolling it out took us much longer than we expected. It's fine to recycle at home but if you don't have anywhere to take it to in your local area  - it's pretty pointless. So while we didn't have much luck in Jhb and with a move pending, we decided to start small and recycle in small ways in the home... reusing paper, glass jars etc.

Eighteen months and one school project later, I am happy to say we can now live by that slogan... "Let's Recycle. Let's go Green". After much research into our local area we found quite a few recycling initiatives right on our doorstep. So our plastic/paper/glass bins are permanently set up and we recycle weekly. We are supporting a local initiative called
Oasis Recycling. It has a dual purpose. Recycling obviously but they also provide work/housing/funding for people who suffer with severe Dyslexia who aren't able to integrate in the workplace or society. I love that we are contributing to this initiative in our small way. This inspires me to continue, not only for our environment but also for the people in our local community less fortunate... Love it.

We still make good choices in the home... reusing glass, I use the old mushroom punnets for my paint palettes, material shopping bags or choosing "refill" options etc. I guess once you get started your mind just gets in line with all the small little ways you can make a difference.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Greyton, we came, we saw, we conquered...

We left Cape Town on Friday afternoon, but getting out of town on a weekend isn't always easy... the traffic was horrid.  We pulled off for an early dinner and when we finally arrived in Greyton, we booked into our backpackers hostel and registered without any hassels.  We even managed to squeeze in a dessert and coffee run before bed.  I didn't have a great nights sleep.  Myself, Mel and Russ were doing the 10km trailrun and Digz was braving a 45km mountain bike race.  It's only our second running race and we managed to shave 15 minutes off our last 10km race.  It was cold.  I am still learning how to dress for winter running.  I haven't got it right yet but getting there.  The views were incredible and honestly the most beautiful 10km race I have ever done.

It seemed crazy to make a small trek for a race so short but it was completely worth it... never too old for backpacking and never too old for mini-adventures with great friends.  I highly recommend it.

Friday, 15 June 2012

I wish these had been my words...

I follow Syda from Kreativenotions on Instagram and she wrote and posted this little poem and I wish I could have come up with those words myself... I think this might describle exactly how I am feeling at the moment. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am almost 40. I am not sure. But I really liked it.

This year, I feel like I am walking into a new season and learning to fly all over again while I am trying new things. It feels like something has shiffed inside of me and at times have wondered if I am even the same person inside and as I keep taking new breaths, I realise I am still ME. And this is OK, as I try to find peace in my new place, where I am right now. Thanks Syda for this post... glad to know I am not in this alone. #hugs

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Finding a moment to be still...


I have had a good week in terms of my routine and getting up early and I guess having a new routine that starts off this early is always an adjustment.  I'm finding I am a little exhausted.  This week has also been particularly cold and has made functioning at full capacity a challenge.  Today was a tough day but I managed to plough through and tick off most of my admin nightmares.  I am happy to say they are all behind me.  Which has completely freed me up in many regards, esp. mentally.  I had a few other challenges today which left me crawling onto the couch next to the fire for a good ol' fashioned afternoon nap.  Whenever I get horizontal on the couch with the blankie, I either have my girls snuggling up close or I have these two furry friends find their spot.  I guess this was just what I needed.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Little Ree finds a home...

So today Kitty bolts into my bedroom and says... "I know you have lots of orders to fulfil but please can I also put in an order, I really would like a girl too". I burst out laughing and gave her a big hug... after all it's a good day when your biggest fan wants to place an order.

After much procrastinating I finally settled down to my paint brush and canvas'. And once I got started I sat there for hours. I have to make good with the daylight hours. So I managed to finish two miniature pieces today. I am so stoked. When the girls got back from school, Kitty rushed into my studio and helped me name Little Ree. She helps me brainstorm most of the names for my girls. But this one was love at first sight for her. She loved her short hair and dreamy closed eyes. Two characteristics I had been dying to try for ages. She almost had a heart-attack when she found out that this little one was going out into the world. She begged me to keep Ree in my studio. I knew right then that Little Ree had found her home... right there, in Kitty's heart. I know this for sure, this is exactly how I would love people to find the right #girl for them... love at first sight. There has to be something about the #girl that speaks or sneaks right into their hearts.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

It's a beautiful day...

Today I remembered to set my alarm to wake up for my early #morningpages. I cherish this hour quiet time. It's my time! My time with my Great Creator. The school run went smoothly this morning, I am happy to report. I don't have library duty at school for the next few weeks because its stock-take time and holidays are looming... so I have been able to get to the early gym class. I am still nursing my ankle a bit... but it was a brilliant class. I headed home and headed straight for my studio... I have these delicious canvas' waiting for me. It just makes me so happy knowing I am going to paint today! I have a few designs in mind and I can't wait to get started. I have the house to myself today and it's quiet and peaceful. What a treat. This day is feeling perfect and I am so grateful for it.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Monday Morning Mayhem...

Of course... what's a bit of Monday without a bit of mayhem. That's what happens when you make Sunday impromptu memories and throw all your responsibilities aside. I must have been too exhausted to prepare for the next school week... let alone remember it. I think I might have even completely forgotten that it exsisted. Is that even possible??? To completely forget about school lunches, uniforms and even to set my alarm to wake up early to write my #morningpages. What is going on??

Needless to say I totally started my Monday off on the backfoot... the girls were running aorund with their hair on fire. I bolted out of bed and dashed here and there. Thank goodness, I managed to get them out the door on time. I had an hour of quiet to compose myself and get back on track... Phew - note to self... "remember there is usually a Monday after Sunday". I spent the morning working, as Monday is my working day. However, today I had a lunchtime pick up call for Corks and I had a surprise for her... our dear friends Carolyn and Katy were in town and we were meeting them for lunch. Corks and Katy go back 4 years now, exJhb buddies and have become good friends through the years. Pleased both our families are now in the Cape.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

When the mountain is calling your name...

What an epic day... it was a little impromptu but often those are the best days!!!

Digz has been absolutely desparate to get up the mountain since we moved back to Cape Town and today was the day. In fact, this was my birthday gift to him. A few weeks late... but as they say, better late than never. With all my peeps full of colds and flu from the insane past few weeks... we decided to go regardless. As we were picking our route, The Browns sent through a message - saying "let's go for a walk". And just like that - the ball was set in motion and nothing was stopping this day, not a sore foot, flu or cold weather. And let me tell you, the sun was up but man, it was freezing.

It was a most spectacular memorable day. One that will be stored in our memory banks for a long time.


Friday, 8 June 2012

It's Official

Today I officially became on Artist.

A strange thing to say or perhaps believe, I know. But standing up and declaring "I am and Artist" never really sat comfortably with me. Who gives me the right to claim these things out loud.    What has been a common debate in our house and the question has been asked often "when will you become or feel like a real Artist?" And my reply has always been "when I sell my first piece". I think it's been my own private measure.

So I am happy to say that this morning I got to drop off this sweet little piece and I received the cash in hand. On the way home, I got a little emotional about it because it held so much personal meaning to me. So to me, today I became my own real Artist. And I am celebrating inside. My family know how long and personal this road has been for me. I am excited to say I have more commissions in my pipeline... #happy!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Morning Pages

One of my new month resolutions for June is, (now that we have been here for 6 months already and relatively settled) it is time to finally settle my routine that has been all over the place the past while. Especially my routine and how much time I get to spend in my studio.

One of the ways I have decided to do this is to pick up my #morningpages again. Which entails early rising around 5am which is always a challenge in winter but one I funnily enough enjoy, grab a cappacino and begin my 3 pages of long hand writing. It's a wonderful discipline and so much happens for me in these pages. At the same time I am working through the 12 week program in #WalkingintotheWorld by Julia Cameron, together with her first book called the #ArtistsWay. Both are fantastic. So along with my #morningpages, I also have to include a weekly 30 minute walk and an hour long solo #artistsdate. That together with some written exercises. All of which are great disciplines and look forward to making them all part of my routine. My family support me in all my Artists Way things. So when I disappear somewhere for an hour and I get asked where I am off to, I shout out... my #artistsdate, everyone gets it. More about my dates and walks later. 
So it's been a great start to this month and I'm feeling totally excited, totally focused and totally inspired.

Dreaming out loud and in colour

Here is to new beginnings...

It's a new month. And it's brilliant to start anything new at the beginning of any new month. But particularly this new month. Today marks the day we moved back to Cape Town 6 months ago. So much has changed in our lives over the past 6 months. Good things, tough things but equally wonderful things. Has it been tough... Of course, moving homes, let alone cities is always tough.

One of these changes have been my decision to pursue art on a more full-time basis. A pipe-dream... perhaps. But for now, I'm dreaming out loud and in colour, beautiful, glorious oil colours.

One of my dreams for this year was to set up my own website[check], blog[check] and have an exhibition, or maybe two or three... a bit over the top... well hey, it is my dream...

I am discovering as I take one step in the direction I am heading, things are just opening up. For example this website, commission work, a show, meeting fabulous artists online from all over the world. Things are happening. In small ways - ways that I can cope with. So here's to new beginnings and here's to dreaming out loud. Here's to believing that dreams can come true, just takes a little faith and loads of hard work.