Wednesday, 29 August 2012

An artists date in a little French town...

A friend warned me that I should write-off August because the weather is bad.  Really bad.  I didn't know she was serious but I think she was spot on.  I feel like I have been trapped for the whole month.  And I have cabin fever.  So today we planned a little road trip to Franschoek which if directly translated means French Corner.  And a sweet little French Corner it is.  The touristy shops are beautiful but completely over priced but shopping wasn't the order of the day... meeting together for coffee and a breakfast in a little French Cafe was... plus we really only had a couple of hours to play with before real life kicked in again.
The weather as August would have it, was still mizzy which didn't make for brilliant photography but it was just perfect for cuddling in the Cafe witha  little fire going and chatting about love, life and everything arty.  It was a beautiful morning... and quite frankly just what I needed.  Thanks lovely ladies for a morning well spent!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Victoria ships on Thursday...

I am happy to report that Victoria is being packed and ready to go home. I find finishing off and tweaking a painting can sometimes take as long as the painting itself. I added a few extra things and added some more color to her cheeks. But I am rather happy with how she turned out. I always get so nervous sending off a piece. It's one thing seeing the photo of her but seeing her in real life... well let's put it this way.... "nerve-wrecking".  It's quite a large painting so wrapping her up is going to be interesting.  But I look forward to her arriving in her new home and trusting that she will be just as loved.

My beautiful gals...

I realised this past week that I haven't taken any personal pics for the past couple of months.  Partly because I have been distracted with all things art, work and traveling and partly because I am aware that as my girls are getting older, they too need a level of privacy.  But a lot of people haven't seen us this year yet and it was time for an update.  Their growth and maturing has been rather large this year.  Corks is almost 14 and she's just about as tall as me now and is completely diving into my closet and loving having access to all my clothes, shoes and handbags.  I don't mind at all - it's kind of special.  And on some level assures me that my dress sense can't be all that bad.  As for my Kitty girl - she's heading towards 12 and is lovely as ever.  She's honestly having one of the most incredible years of her life.  Seeing my girls happy this year has been a great source of joy to me and being a mother to these amazing young ladies has been one of the most incredible journeys of my life.  At times I am afraid at how fast time is passing us by and I cherish these stolen moments I get with them.

This weekend we braved the mizzy weather to watch my sister finish an insane 77km trail race through Cape Town.  It was so inspiring and has got my juices flowing again to get my running shoes back on, rain or shine and start hitting the paths again.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mother Daughter Love...

I had a fairly big canvas to play with and I knew that I wanted to do a painting with two girls... I started playing with the idea of doing a Mother Daughter canvas.  When I drew up this design, I was happy to see that my girls naturally came out as one looking like a Mother and the other smaller, looking like her daughter.  I was also working on some new hair styles.

I have been so excited about this design.  When I got back from the office today, I didn't waste anytime - I got painting straight away.  As you can see from my this picture, my proportions were all out.  My eyes were too high, the shape of the faces were a bit off.  But the more I worked on it, the more I was able to pull it back into proportion.  I am really delighted where I ended off tonight after my first layers... tomorrow I will work on the eyes and mouths.  #Delightedwiththispiece

Friday, 17 August 2012

#Evolutionofapainting... Meet AnnaBeth!

AnnaBeth is available in my Etsy Shop.

Meet Victoria...

This piece wasn't easy for me... I thought I had lost my mojo but I think it was because I actually wasn't well. So I just took my time working through it... And I am so happy with how she ended up. She's incredibly soft and serene. A little regal and a little old fashioned. Her collar is 3D and lace that I got from my gran, so it's kind of special.  This was a commission for a friend of mine in Johannesburg, as soon the painting is dry, she will be shipped. Hoping for next week sometime.  I sent the images through to Charmaine this morning {on her birthday} and she asked me to name her. After some consulting with my family, who always help me name all my #thisismygirltoday girls - we all settled on Victoria... which I think really suits her regal and vintage look.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Journey back to health...

I started this year off with a mission... My journey back to health!

Who knew that unhappiness and stress could lead to such an unhealthy way of life.  From a lifetime of being active, I have never really had major weight issues.  But for the 1st time ever my weight was out of control.  Our last winter in the city almost did us in... it was bitter!  Our training regime stopped, eating habits weren't good and our stress levels were through the roof.  We were in hectic survival mode.  And I guess we were comfort eating and didn't even realise it.  I think at some point it stopped being about comfort but became habitual and maybe even a coping mechanism.  Whatever it was....  We were officially unhealthy!

I came home in probably the worst condition I have ever been in... hugely overweight, the heaviest I have ever been not pregnant.  Unfit.  Iron levels at an all time low.... the list goes on.

As soon as we arrived home in Cape Town - both my hubby and I started exercising again.  Doing a mirade of different things from surfing, walking, running, hiking, spinning and aerobics.  I didn't mind what it was - as long as I was doing something.  I can live with being slightly overweight but being able to run 10km comfortably is the greatest gift you can give yourself!

I found myself at the doctor last week because I had picked up a viral infection (spreading like wildfire this winter) which lead them to do a mirade of tests.  Which in hindsight was a blessing because I got the lowdown on how my health has improved... So it's taken 8.5 months and I am happy to report my health is back on the up and up.  My iron levels are up 7points = greater energy levels.  My blood pressure is good.  Immune system is stronger.  I have managed to loose 7kg {15.5 lbs} and although my training has slowed a bit through winter, I am still fit!  I am reminded that there are no quick fixes in this life... sometimes the journey back is just that - the journey.  The plugging in.  The pushing through!  And it's in the descipline and the obdience to these things that we reap the rewards!

In a nutshell - Mission accomplished!  And the best part is that this little heart of mine is not only healthy again but also extremely HAPPY!!!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

OpenStudioWorkshop - 1st Portrait Painting Assignment

My 1st Portait Painting Assignment.  I would love to say I found this easy but I never find working in Acrylic paints easy.  It dries so fast which means I have to work fast.  And I am generally a slow painter.  I bought a single black and white full bodied paint to do this assignment to give myself the best chance.  I worked quickly so I could keep up with the instructional video and with the paints.  I wasn't completely blown away by my portrait {I didn't have a reference} but I just left it for a day or two.  Kitty and I both saw a little Native American girl everytime we walked past her.  So I decided to make this piece so.  After spending the afternoon researching Native American art, jewelery and headgear, I had more of an idea of what I wanted to do.  I selected a typical NA rug for my background and the rest, as I would say... evolved.  I have once again grown with the piece and I have fallen totally inlove with her.  Now I have to name her... {help}.  The feathers, headgear and necklace are done with oil paints, as I don't have color acrylics yet.  The great thing about oils is that you can work over acrylics, no problem. I wanted to see how I worked with the black and white paints before I rushed out and bought a whole new stash of paints.  I am passionate about my oil paints and I have enough to last me a lifetime.  I feel encouraged, not only about working with acrylics successfully for the first time but I think I might be more excited about my vision for this piece and that I was able to execute it!  #stoked

Saturday, 11 August 2012

The week at a glance...

Detox week.  Wow it is tough to detox in the coldest week of our winter.  I have no problem giving up chocolate, bread or sugar  but giving up coffee was a tough call.  As the week moved on, I was feeling quite ill, so I headed to the doctor yesterday and discovered I have a viral infection in my inner ear and my 2nd left rib... don't ask - I have no words to explain that one.  I also have a magnesium deficency and it's this that has been making me feel so grotty.  There is no quick fix, just time and rest.  Which also means no running or walking for 5-10 days!

Yeah, we finally got to see #Brave and I loved every minute of it.  I just loved her personality and her beautiful hair.  I think every girl wishes they had a mane of hair just like hers.   I loved this Scottish tale and music... very special to my hubby and I because it's where we got engaged.  I loved the sentiment between the mother-daughter relationship.  And the moral of the story... the art of communication and the gifts that come with listening to each other and honouring each other.  And the fruits that come from that.
    Project #40 - #2.  I picked my theme for my number 2 of 40 and I chose "CHILDHOOD" from my Unfurling Self Portrait list.  I was a bit taken aback but the emotions that came up for me during this week around this theme.  I am still writing about it under Project #40.  This is a self-portrait of me when I was baby.  My girls love this picture of me.  I am seriously challenged by the art journaling but kind of loving the creative play and new techniques that's coming with this project.  Nevermind the personal discovery.
      OpenStudio Workshop.  I have been using delay tactics but I have finally started.  I started with the Painting Module because this is what I will be doing in my IRL course with Misty.  I don't paint with Acrylics so I am hugely challenged.  Much to lear before I go.  I am also experiementing with what I learn and applying them to my Oils - my true love.  So I worked through my 1st two instructional video's and applied them... One with Oils and one with Acrylics, pics to follow soon.  I have a few assignments to work through but looking forward to the new growth.

      Commision work.  I have been working hard on this commission for about two weeks.  I am much further than this picture is showing but I am only going to share it here when she's finished!  I have made steady progress this week.  She hasn't been easy but she is evolving and she is starting to emerge.  Encouraged.  I am hoping to work on some other paintings tomorrow while she's busy drying.  Have much to do but more posts about that tomorrow!!!

      Sunday, 5 August 2012

      Mini Mixed Media Worshop with LGN

      What an awesome arty Friday and just what the doctor ordered.  I am not sure why I haven't really painted since my Fairy Painting but it might have something to do with the fact that I have been a bit overwhelmed with everything that has happened this past month.  It's been a tad bit huge!  But a bit of play therapy never hurt anyone and it certainly didn't hurt me today.  I had such fun!  Was I pushed out of my comfort zones - completely!  When my buddy Mel started tearing paper to put on her canvas - I almost fainted.  I never tear my papers but it was actually OK!  For the life of me I don't know why I am so uptight.  But Mel knows I hate this aspect of myself so she was happy to "kick my ask" {just kidding} gentle pushed me out of my comfort zones to be more free and it was WONDERFUL!  The words I chose for this piece was "She let her inner artist explore" and boy did I.  It was so good for me.  Seriously good for me.  It feels like I took my artist on a play date and she had the best time!  Thanks Mel aka {LGN} - you were medicine for my inner artist!

      The play therapy helped me to start one of my commissions and work on another painting I am experiementing with and I did my 1st Project#40 Art Journal spread {my darlings got to journal with me too which is always a treat}.  I also managed to see family this weekend and help my SIL to start her own website and I got to finish all my tasks around the home and be ready for my week ahead.

      All in all it's been a brilliant weekend and I am totally encouraged!