Sunday, 23 September 2012

#InMyStudio - I found a little Peace...

 It's Misty's recommendation on how to mix skin tones using acrylic paints.  Of course, I adapted them to my oils and I am so stoked with the outcome. I love this formula... and I will definitely be using it again.  I also used 100% Cotton Canvas paper and it was tough to work on but the outsome was so satisfying.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with these pieces that I am learning with esp. without a background.  Which got me thinking...  So I finished off the background and her dress and I am so chuffed - cos I am going to try and sell her in my Etsy Shop.  Janny in Canada asked me what I have named her - but I hadn't yet and asked her to do so.  She named her Peace. I love it!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

I am happy!

I know happiness is an emotion and can be fleeting.  An ever-moving target... but right now, right this very moment, today - I am happy.  I think I am quite a serious person and have been for most of my life so it isn't something I have felt all my life and although I have had moments of deep happiness - I can probably count them.  I am talking about the happiness that makes you giddy, crazy heart on fire happy, kind of happiness.  Or is that JOY.  Whatever it is,  I haven't always been #brave enough to say it out loud that "I am happy" in case it evades me and I have wanted to silently hang onto those moments because they are mine and I value them so deeply but today I am being #brave and I want to shout it out loud and if it evades me today, I am confident that tomorrow I will continue to seek it out.
What's completely taking me by surprise is that I am finding it in the small things, the simple things at the moment... like going for a run outside this morning before work, with the mountain as my backdrop.  I love it.  I adore my girls' schools so much and seeing them this happy and thriving has healed such a big part of my heart.  I am so grateful that school is in it's rightful place this year... I think for the first time ever.  And I have to tell you - I am loving how that feels right now.  I am loving how choosing simplicity this year as a life choice has brought me so much peace and inner joy.  Uncomplicating the clutter of my life, my schedule and my emotions has truly changed my life on every level.
It was last year when I was sitting in my art lesson with the paintbrush in hand with the lingering smell of linseed oils... I had such a deep sense of joy in what I was doing and it was a joy that I had never felt doing anything else before... it was then that I knew I wanted to paint fulltime.  I wasn't sure it was possible but I knew it wasn't something I wanted to do once a week anymore.  It was something I wanted to do all the time and it was something I wanted to feel all the time.  I climbed into bed last night after finishing Peace, a little painting I have been working on that I realized I had made some form of art everyday this week.  Making art daily has made my heart deeply happy.  I guess that's how it is meant to feel when you are doing something you love everyday.

I feel like I have found something today.  A truth perhaps... That finding and walking in what we were deeply called to do - brings about a deep sense of joy, a knowing and maybe even a sense of belonging.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

#InMyStudio - So moved by this piece...

I was petrified and in this instance I almost gave up but I am so chuffed that I pushed through.  Sometimes it's disgusting and scary.  It's hard for me to explain it fully. I love the skin undertones in this piece...
Again - I can't tell you how much I am learning in this process.

I was so emotionally moved this morning.  It's honestly been such a journey to get here and I know I am only just beginning but I feel in many ways this is exactly what I have been searching for this year... with my art.  I am so blown away that I actually did this.  I hope I will continue to learn and continue to grow in this process.

Full of complete gratitude today!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

#InMyStudio - Meet Beautiful Misty

I have called this painting Misty...
Aptly because it's completely Misty Mawn inspired.  Aspects of this painting are mine from my developing creative mind but certainly not all of it.  I love this painting so much.  She reminds me daily of my journey this year in discovering Unfurling {Misty's book}, discovering other artists who pointed me to OpenStudioWorkshop {Misty's online course} and of course pointed me towards Italy {a week long course painting with none other than MistyMawn}.
For me doing this piece was mostly about playing with new techniques that I am learning from Unfurling and OpenStudioWorkshop and also to see if I can do this technique and style before I get to Italy.  I have never done skin tones like this before.  I usually use Naples Yellow and Yellow Orche in my skin tones.  But here she recommends using White, Crimson, Payne's Grey and maybe some Ocher   I was shocked at how different the skin tones are... and to be honest - I love it.  I love the more white skin tones as opposed to my usual yellow undertones.  I applied her acrylic paint technique of mixing my skin colors on my palette to my oils.  I found it hard because it is difficult to figure out how much paint I would use because oils usually go further than acrylics.  I also used gesso for the dress and roses. I lay a heavy and dark shadow undertones first and then built it up with whites after... also new for me.
I am so excited about this piece and some of my other pieces this year... is that I didn't know what I was going to do with her hair or headpiece but I keep seeing a little white cap - almost like the type the Amish ladies wear.  I did some research and found that was exactly what I was envisaging.  The lace detail around her cap was inspired by some left over lace I got from my Gran when she died.  And I love the little stings interlinking by her neck.  All of that came from what I kept seeing every time I looked at her.  This is very exciting for me.  I am finally being able to paint without a reference and that creative ideas and visions for a painting are happening and working out on my canvas'.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Meet little Granny...

 A little commission for Kitty's Teacher... the 3rd one in a 5 series family portraits.  This is Granny.  It's the first little Granny I have done.  And this little Granny loves working in the kitchen... hence her apron.  She's kind of elegant and I love how this painting came out with her gray hair.  I did high buns because she used to be a ballerina.  Looking forward to sending this Little Granny home...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

I love Wednesdays...

Seriously!  I love Wednesdays... it's usually the day we do a bit of exploring... whether it is on a #trailrunning route or just discovering beautiful places in and around Cape Town, whatever it is - it has fast become the highlight of my week.  And when we don't do it - I miss it!  Terribly.  The regular commitment to do something on this day, almost like an ArtistsDate - has not only got me out of the house but also got me to take my blinkers off and really see and value life around me... which is generally one of those magical things that happen when you purposefully step out of the door.  I love getting out and about in Cape Town and discovering new places.  And I love finding new places to have coffee.  A favourite pastime of mine... because I love coffee.  Whether it's just with Melody or some other mates or by myself - it's always a treat... And today was no different.  I headed into Kalk Bay to meet Melody to finalise some things about Project40.  I love this little village.  I love the quirky arty shops and the sidewalk cafes along the coastline!  I swear, sometimes I have to pinch myself.  We found this gorgeous little train that had been converted into a little cafe.  Just adorable... I can't wait to bring the girls back here.  From there we shot into Noordhoek for a mini-photo shoot for Project40 and Mel helped me capture exactly what I was looking for...

While we were in Noordhoek - we popped up to Melody's fav spot in Monkey Valley which overlooks the beach.  A great day for sharing stories about motherhood, womanhood and just life in general.  #stolenmoments 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

#InMyStudio - OpenStudio - Pencil Portrait Drawings...

I have been using delay tactics for the past few weeks. The course has felt so big. Bigger than me and I have been so full of fear... Where do I even begin. So finally I faced myself last night and I headed to be beginning and started reading the tutorials and notes.  Most importantly, I started drawing.  I have been painting so much over the past few years but I haven't drawn for ages... I have always loved drawing with pencil so in many ways, it felt like I had come home. It felt great and I managed to draw a few pieces.  In a perfect world - I would like to spend 20 minutes everyday to draw faces.

Monday, 10 September 2012

#InMyStudio - I am here... OpenStudio

A woman.  A wife.  A mother

Rounded hips.  Silver strands.  Tiny lines.

Youth slipping away and I have no say about it.

Running out of time.

To be me.

To be true.

To find me.

Running out of time with 2 amazing girls,

Who will leave soon to live their own beautiful lives full of hope

Full of promise,

With their compasses in their hands.

It makes my heart leap out of my chest as I count my days.

My days left with them.

Brave is my new name.

Brave is my new game.

Was once a lost little girl who wondered through half her life without a compass.

Hoping to find joy and grace in her heart, with flowrsinherhair.

As I discover who I am.

Love who that is and know this is me.

With my whole heart in my hands.

As I am.

Right now.

Right here.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A busy weekend at a Glance...

So stoked... Melody and I got to do our 11km trailrun on Saturday from Silvermine Nature Reserve to Tokai Forest.  It wasn't easy... but mentally we had real breakthrough.  It was a perfect Cape Town Spring day.  Digz and all the kids spent the morning at the Tokai Market while they waited for us to arrive.  It was great way to spend our Saturday morning... out and about and active.  We have booked to run the Cape Gun Run in October - so training is on the cards for the next few weeks...

When we finished our run, we ambled through the Flee Market and met a delightful young artist called Ferne.  She handmade and printed these lovely "CapeStyle" skirts.  It was love at first sight.  She also allowed us to leave with our skirts without paying for them.  We had no money on us because of our run.  I love meeting people that are this generous and trusting in spirit.  What a find.  I am hoping to shoot back to Ferne to find some more lovely designs. 

I am making progress with my Mother Daughter Love painting.  I am still loving this piece so much.  Both their dresses are on and I am slowly building up the layers of skin.  The clocks behind symobilized that time is running out... before my beautiful teenager is a woman in her own right who will be making all her own choices, driving her own car and living her own life.  I am acutely aware that we have such precious moments left to make the most of each moment we have together.

I am slowly working through my tutorials on OpenStudioWorkshop.  Today I worked with Charcoal.  A complete first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I am surprised and delighted with each new face finding it's way onto my pages.  After much drawing and playing today we popped out to meet my brother and his wife for dinner to celebrate on the eve of their baby being born...

Friday, 7 September 2012

A moment to breathe...

Perfection was the call of the day!  I loved this morning very much.
I haven't been to Silvermine with my running buddy, Melody for over a month and I have missed it.  The dam is stunning and each time I'm there it always looks different.  Today it was completely perfect.  It was so lovely to dip our feet into the cold water and chat after our run!
Love the reflections!!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Lazy "girlie" mornings...

This has been a part of our lives for the past 12 years...  My hubby goes out for his long weekend ride/race and we get to spend our morning together.  It's our "girlie" quality time.  This morning we sat chatting over coffee and hot chocolate and planning our regime for summer sports that starts in the next month or so.  The girls were studying and later we moved from our spot of sun to the art room and spent the whole morning creating art, chatting and listening to music.  I love our times together especially as they are getting older.  I love our quality conversations and teachable moments.  I love that they team up and tease me and laugh at my idiosyncrasies.  We have the best fun together!  I am hoping that these moments we share together will be something that they will carry with them always... like I know I will!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

News Flashes...

This Tuesday, 16 years ago was the day that Digz and I got engaged in Edinburgh, Scotland. I found this old photo of us minutes after the delicate little ring was slipped onto my finger... Wow I still can't believe how young we look... just kids. We have never really observe this special day so it was delightful to remember it this year.  It's a beautiful story how after a year of writing to each other, Digz came out to the UK to propose.  It was special sharing it with the girls!

There is one thing we both enjoy - our coffee dates.  And it looks like we have finally found "our" place to sneak in after the school drop. It's something we started doing a few years ago because the girls get dropped off early, so we often have an hour to kill and nothing better than quality time over coffee while we wait for the traffic to subside. We accidently went down the "wrong" street this week and ended up finding this great place.
This week was Kitty's Grandparents day at school. She was so excited for Nana to come through.  Kitty absolutely loves these special occasions and it was by far the highlight of her week.  She gave Nana the tour of her classroom and was very proud to show off her happy school and introduce Nana to her lovely teacher.  The kids all sang to their granparents and all made them something special.  Sweet day all round.

After much delaying and doing everything else other than getting started on the drawing module of my online course, OpenStudioWorkshop - I finally faced myself last night and today and started doing my 1st bunch of assignments.  I handmade my 1st coptic bound journal, wrote my "I am here" poem and started drawing.  I managed to do a total of 4 drawings.  I am so delighted to finally have broken through my fears and really excited to keep moving forward.

After doing nothing but art all day - it was time to get out. The late afternoon sun was still peeking out and I knew I could still grab a short run. I haven't run for about a month now… so I have actually been chomping at the bit to get going again. I encouraged Kitty to come out with me too. We ended up running almost 5km's together. We had the best fun.  Considering I hadn't run for almost a month, I felt great. It's still chilly but it was worth it to not only get some quality time with my babes but also to get some fresh air.

It's the 1st September and it's officially SpringDay today but it's still so cold. I am happy to say that the sun did come out a little bit this morning and evening but not for long. It is still so bitterly cold and we are still warding off cold fronts after cold fronts. Kitty and I stumbled upon this blossomed daisy when we were running... a promise that Spring and Summer is on its way.  Living in hope.