Thursday, 29 November 2012


All I can say is that I was reluctant to start this homework... I think I was afraid.  How do you put yourself on a canvas.  Not only that but I think as artists we are our own worse critics.  But I am so pleased I jumped in.  I drew her up the other night and then yesterday after work I started my first layers of paint...
All I can say is that I really learnt a lot with this piece.  Today putting my second layer of paints down and working in the highlights really helped make this piece move from looking kind of one dimensional to a piece with depth.  I actually loved the size of this canvas {10"x 10"} and I really enjoyed where I ended...
As to whether she actually looks like me - I am just not sure! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Putting down deeper roots...

So this week will be one year exactly since we packed up our house and moved 1400km's to another city.  When we arrived back here, we rented a small little 1920's house close to the girl's school.  Truth be told, I love old houses and fell in love with quirky offbeat place.  But living in an old house does come with issues and this house is no exception.  This "old gal" had seriously been neglected and unloved... and in some ways that made me love her even more.  We didn't think we would be staying long so have been keeping things light and I guess in a little bit of limbo.
But it's been a year already and it was time to decide if we will be renewing our lease or moving on.  The thought of packing up house and moving so soon - almost made us sick!  We just aren't ready for that.  So we have renewed our lease and decided for now, we will stay on for another year.  We can't really continue to live in limbo so we are doing somethings around the house to make it feel more like home.  We have been working on the garden for the past year and it's come along nicely.  I redid the kitchen floor and I am happy with how that turned out.
The girls had been feeling unsettled with the prospect of "are we moving or are we staying" - so we decided to start with the girls room... a new lick of paint, new beds, new bedding and some major rearranging and we have happy hearts and beautiful rooms.  My next project was putting pictures up... yesterday we put a total of 15 pictures up and it looks pretty amazing.  I had been working on a set of pictures for my dining room which were made up of some of the beautiful art I received in Italy from my new friends, together with some of my own pieces from before, during and after Italy.  It has completely transformed this area.
Our next big job will be to paint out the kitchen and bathroom... but that is another job for another weekend.

The Big 4.0. for Mel...

Being 40 and being beautiful!!!!
I can't believe this day has come... We have been talking 40 birthdays all year... And tonight was Mel's 40th Birthday bash. I can't remember when last I got dressed up for a party.  In fact, I can't remember when last I went to a dance party.  Party's are completely out of my comfort zones... I guess partying the night away, isn't something we ever really do as a couple.  If you had to ask me why, I really couldn't tell you.  I guess we just do other things... Maybe we have got  too serious over the years.  Maybe it has to do with being with our girls and doing family things as opposed to the party thing... which we just prefer.
But that being said, I have to say - getting all dressed up was great fun and because it's kind of a rare occassion - it felt so special.  Maybe because we are older and don't take these special date night moments for granted.  Not only that but spending a night out with Mel and Russ and her friends and family was just such a treat!  I was so glad we were there to hear the speeches and share this moment with her.  Got a few tips for my 40th next year!!

So Mel thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zones to have some party fun!!!  I loved the dancing, the laughing and loved our silly 40 year old style dance moves... the high heels almost killed me but it was worth it for sure!

Being out with my beautiful man - always a treat!

Love the Disco lights!!!!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Journey - Dreaming of Orvieto...

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
"Mend my life!" each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do -
determined to save the only life you could save.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Creative Weekend = happy heart!!!

I have been helping out one or two days on a filmshoot this past week, which means long days...  I got home quite late on Friday and I was exhausted.  I wasn't planning on painting but I couldn't resist... 
I started working on my Italian Fresco and ended up painting until 2am.
This is a mighty journey... I look forward to working more on her face.
My alignment is a little off... can't wait to do more layers.

 I am still struggling through this piece...

Working on this new piece, from being back in the classroom.  I have up my weekend surf to get back in the classroom.  I am so please to be back there... Loving this piece very much.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Stargardener's Guest Post...

Wow - yesterday my sweet friend Teresa Robinson {aka Stargardener aka The Art Journaler} who I discovered on Instagram this year and follow on Facebook, featured me as a Guest on her website called "Her Story"...

I was not only so touched be this incredible gesture to some of the work, art and blogging I have done this year but also so incredibly touched by the compilation of her work.  Teresa took pieces I have written on my different blogs and some letters we shared together and created a beautiful story... A portrait of how she sees me and this journey I have been on this year.  A gift she has, for sure, of painting a picture through one's words.  I found this so powerful and profound when she joined my pieces together.  In many ways - it completely surprised me.  You are a storyteller, my friend!!
The thought of being able to inspire and encourage anyone through our art and words is so deeply personal to me, it is such a gift.  I think it's one of the greatest things we can give each other... because in so many ways - it breathes life and hope into our souls.  {Teresa and what she does online - has without a doubt been this to me this year.  She is a beautiful and kind and gifted artist with a deep wisdom and ability with words.  She has the most incredible heart and capacity for what she does in difficult circumstances but never ceases to amaze me with all she does.  I love seeing wisdom in action and Teresa not only talks it but walks it and completely lives it!  Authenticity at it's best!}
I know that I have found such incredible inspiration online this year from some very special people and incredible artists from all over the world who have added to my life and journey, some of whom I have been fortunate to have met in person.  It is a special community.  I love that when we choose to be {brave} and dare to risk, dare to step out the door, dare to open our hearts to new possibilities, new friends and the unknown - we discover a whole new life, full of adventure and full of beautiful people = changed heARTS forever!
I am so grateful today for the amazing people I have met online this year!! {and in person}

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Life in general....

I am not sure why exactly, but it has taken me a full month to find my feet after Italy.  My energy levels were at an all time low, getting out of bed was a struggle.  Probably had a lot to do with the late night painting sessions in the studio in Italy and the full schedule and also the traveling took it's toll.  Nevermind nervous energy.  But I am happy to say I am finally feel like I am back on track.  I have slowly got back into my training regime and also trying to get back into my painting / art regime. 

Before Italy, I was doing something art wise every day.  I wouldn't say I am back there yet but getting there.  I had started so many wonderful things in Italy and I have been slowly finishing those pieces.  I have so many things in mind that I want to start doing and I am also trying {unsuccessfully - I might add} to get back into my class #openstudioworkshop.  Not because I haven't wanted to but because I have been playing catch up and this weekend past I had no internet connectivity.  I was pulling my hair out... That being said - I did use the "down" time to put together my art journal that Misty gave us in Orveito.  And I am totally in love with it.  I have put photo's in, pieces of art, little stories and keepsakes from Italy.  And it's visually gorgeous.


It's officially summer here and we finally hit the surf again this weekend and it's honestly the highlight of our week.  As a family, it is a beautiful place for us to connect...  Digs and Corks ride their surfboards together and Kitty and I bodyboard together.  She's seriously my surfing buddy and with her being a year older, a bit stronger and taller - her abilities in the water have improved which means she's now able to get to the backline with me and we caught some awesome waves together.  I love the ocean and I don't take these precious moments for granted, not one bit.

I am super excited because last week I have found a new art shop, with a good enough stock and priced competitively.  I will be supporting them from now on.  I got a bit carried away and bought some new brushes and some new oils.  Can't wait to start playing again.  I am still working on my fresco so these will certainly come in handy!!!  Buying art supplies always makes my heart happy!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A little Italian Fresco in my Entrance Hall

I was so moved by the Italian Fresco in our Monestary in Orvieto... I knew I wanted to paint it or part of it.
About 18 months ago I started a painting on the largest canvas I have ever worked on (1.5m tall and 1m wide).  When I got back to Cape Town, almost a year ago - I immediately painted over it because I had moved on from that piece... my idea was to paint something on it this year.  Well this year is almost over and it's been lying here for that long.  As Italy was a bit unexpected - I would never have come up with the idea of painting a fresco on this big canvas... But how perfect.  What a beautiful way for me to have a memory of my time there. 

This gives you a good idea of the size... Love painting this big.
I didn't mean to start it today. I woke up early before everyone else, something I haven't been able to do since before my trip.  And before I knew it I found myself standing in front of my canvas with my pencil and eraser in hand and I was drawing my fresco.  While the image was still fresh in mind, I grabbed my oils and got started.  Ahhh what a beautiful way to spend my morning.

Where I am leaving it today... Sadly these pics don't do it justice...
I am so excited by this piece!!!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Back in the Studio...

I am finally back in my studio after two weeks out.  I have been busy with work and month end and catching up with life in general...  I have been working so hard to get everything sorted so that I can get back into #openstudioworkshop this weekend.
I worked on this last night... finally finishing this piece... and loving every moment of being back in my studio.