Friday, 31 May 2013

A Love Letter... #proudmamamoments

Dear Moma,

I love you more than you will ever know. I love you even more when you laugh and when you are in your gown. I will always love you even if you won't love me which I don't think that is possible because you made me and have known me all my life. You are the most beautiful creature and I hope to someday be like you accept I am bigger than you were and will probably be bigger than you and my first surname would have been Webb.

I am so proud of your art and I wish I could draw and paint like you! 

You are special!!!!!!!
I love you soooo much!!!!!

Love Kitty


When your daughter sends you a love letter like this...

Man it makes life, the hardships and the challenges all worth it!

There are aspects of this letter that are totally endearing to me... esp. the "beautiful creature" and the "gown" parts... and I love it when she calls me "Moma".
I love how her mind works and just the little things that make her her!

She's such a precious soul!!!

Monday, 27 May 2013

#InMyStudio - "Little Secrets" - a Collaborative piece!!!

In case you didn't remember... this piece on the left was the remarkable piece Annie Hamman sent me almost two weeks ago.

Above everything else on this piece, I wanted to keep Annie's ladies.
As you remember from last week, I added a little birdie whispering secrets in her ear 
and the tulip in her hand, together with the pearls and patterned vase.

 I loved the blue moody sky that Annie had in her piece and
decided to carry that through on my piece.
I lowered my horizon line and slightly covered the gateway.

So this week, I still had much to do... 
I added another 2 birdies, another one fluttering above her other ear
and another little birdie in the tree...
Can you spot her?

My piece, not only became a night scene but also ended up with a rather Oriental feel to it..
so I knew that my background would keep with the Oriental theme.
I decided to add the Cherry Blossoms down the right side.
This was a huge undertaking and those tiny flowrs took me hours.

This week, I brought that sweet gateway back... 
There is lots going on in this painting so I decided the keep the pathway clean
as well as the rest of the background.

Annie had used a white charcoal pencil to outline some flowrs on the left side of the painting.
I loved this so much and didn't want to loose it at all.
I added a light wash of red, white and payne's grey oils within the white outlines
and it finished them off beautifully.
Again, without meaning to... but totally keeping with the Oriental feel.

I am completely in love with the pathway
that draws my eye up past the girls to the little gateway that reflects a bit of light
- it feels like it's calling me in...

There is such mystery to this piece and there are secrets...
And I love that each one of them holds something dear to them in their hands.

I think I am completely in love with this piece!

Thank you Annie for this remarkable journey and storytelling in this piece.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I'm soooo thrilled....

MISTY MAWN Original - Dressed in Flowrs and Pearl Earrings

This beautiful lady with the Pearl Earrings is coming to live with me... 

I am so thrilled and honored to have another Misty Mawn Original to add to my collection.
And what is completely thrilling me about this piece,
besides her beauty of course... is her size.

I am a lover of biggish paintings...

So this lady will be joining my ever growing collection of paintings and ladies.
I can hardly wait for her to arrive.

Thanks Misty!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

I'm having the best time...

24"x20" Acrylic Painting on Canvas Board
- Annie Hamman

So on Friday, I got a notification from my postoffice to say that they have a package for me too large for my box... and when I opened it... this is what I found... 

Annie so loved the #collaborative piece that I did with Sharon Tomilson a while back that she suggested we do one together.  But WOWSER - I wasn't excepting this.
I thought Annie would just send me a background to use and vice versa.  
My first response was "SHUT UP, I can never touch this... It's too beautiful!"
And man I was intimidated.  Fearful that I would just ruin it!
She's such a gifted artist!  I mean - look at those hands!

So I got home and I was immediately creatively challenged.
So I started rummaging through my napkins and ephemera desperate for anything that would help me.  Fear does that... make you rummage.
I'm freaking out over here... OK!

So I started with this sweetest little bird... telling her sweet secrets and her head is tilted in the perfect way for listening to the sweet whisperings!

So immediately I started to feel like - Ok, I think I can do this.

These beautiful hands need to be holding something, I played with a few ideas but then decided to put a tulip drooping over... it's still one of my favourite flowrs and the length of the stem was perfect with the length of her body...  I used Gesso to soften the dresses.  Annie made hanging sleeves on the taller lady so I decided to do that on all the ladies.

Next step was to start working on the collars and sleeves...  And start putting down layers of oils over Annie's Acrylics.  It's actually the first time I've ever done a painting with my base layer being Acrylics and I think I really like it!

Without meaning to, this piece has taken a rather oriental feel with the dark blues and reds and whites... and the style the dresses.  I added a pattern to the vase and wrapped pearls around the front girls hands! And put pearls around the ladies buns!
I also added paint layers to the tulip and birdie.

So my front girl isn't where I would like her to be... but I will get there!

I have some ideas for the background that will stick with the oriental vibe that this piece has taken on.  I need to consolidate my background with these amazing ladies!
I will share more as I gain ground and hopefully finish this piece that will be a true reflection of both of us as the artists of this piece.

Annie made a complete replica of this painting for herself to work on to see how different our directions go.  What a fabulous project to work on with her!

It's been a complete honour, completely humbling and extremely challenging doing this piece with her!  I do believe we should do more sharing of our skills and art this way, purely for this reason.  It makes what we do so fun and exciting.  It's on days like this that I am blown away by the direction my art is going and I am having the best time with some pretty remarkable people... And it occurred to me on Friday, that I'm living my dream!
Almost every single day!

I plan to do many more of these wonderful collaborations!

My #collaborative piece is ready to send to Annie, when she receives it via our postal system - I will post more about what I did for her.  My piece for her is so completely different!
I am nervous about it but I hope she loves it as much as I have loved hers.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Practicing for an exciting new project...

Most of you who know me, know that working in my ArtJournal is really hard work for me...
I find it so incredibly intimidating... I've been even known to start from the back and move my way to the front.  Don't ask me why - it just freaks me out.

But this year when I started FacetoFaceWorkshop - I did a my first Journal piece on the first page and it was lovely.  Then I did the second and third and they've just got easier.  Sometimes I am afraid that beautiful pieces that could be framed up will get trapped in a book forever...

Hahaha I do know there are ways around that.

This is a new piece I did in my leather bound journal and I'm loving collaging so much.  It's like a puzzle.  How the pieces eventually work together.

Reason why I'm practicing is that I've been approached to be part of a  very exciting new project...

Will share more soon!

Monday, 13 May 2013

#InMyStudio - just wanted to share more about this piece...

"Mother - A Gift made with Love"

I just wanted to share more about how this piece came together...

I had some tiny little offcuts and and little bits of ephemera lying on my desk.
I had a little magazine square piece with Nelson Mandela's face on it.
I picked it up and decided to just test how the NeoColors work on magazine print.
I feel a bit embarrassed about making Nelson a woman but it's amazing how the NeoColors covered the whole face and I was able to make it my own.
I wish I took progress shots because I think that would have been quite something!

I decided to stick the finished piece in my LeatherBound Journal
that my hubby bought me for Christmas and what I used
for the FacetoFaceWorkshop.
I had all these bits and pieces on my desk and I started arranging them
and soon this piece was born.
I would love to say I planned it but she just came together.

"Gift" landed right on her chest and "made with love" is so clear... It's also Mother's Day -
So how perfect... "Mother - A Gift made with Love"

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Other Things that happened #InMyStudio this weekend...

A 14"x18" CanvasBoard ready for painting

A little PostCard for my SIL's birthday card
She's so lovely and loose!!!

This is a piece I did in my LeatherBound ArtJournal
The face was a face I found in a magazine... and that's where I started
this piece... the other collage elements just came together!
I think she's amazing!!

#InMyStudio - #EvolutionofaPainting

Started with Graphite on CanvasBoard and then
Added AllMarks with a water wash

Adding layers of OilPaints

There is something so sincere and serene about her...
I am leaving her to dry but I'm quite happy where she's at.
I worked more on her hair to make soft whisps and broadened her mouth.

A Little Trip to the City!

As most of you know - I left Johannesburg 18months ago, thinking I would probably never return... yes Johannesburg was that difficult for me that going back, even for a visit wasn't going to happen.  But it's true, they say "never say never" because this week I found myself there for work... I added one more day to this work trip so that I could see my family.  What was awesome for me to see, that there has been a level of healing in my heart because being back wasn't difficult, at all!  I didn't expect that.  I guess I was ready and without really knowing it.  With such limited time and limited transport, it was a bit tough but I went with a very specific agenda, all of which was achieved.

Thursday started with Lyndi fetching me from the airport and we had such a lovely catch up and a quick trip to see her new home on the way into the office.  I just wish we had had more time to catch up. It was great being at the office and I managed to finish everything I needed to.  My Mama came to fetch me after work and I spent the evening with my folks on the farm.  I got to see my brother and his family too.  Happy to say I have come home with a heap of Goat's and Sheep Cheese.

My brother took me to Billi Bi on Friday to see my very dearest friends, Sonia and Rene for breakie.  Sonia and Clifford own Billi Bi's, the sweetest little French Cafe where we spent many hours when we lived there.  After breakfast, Rene and my brother left and I spent the rest of the morning with my buddy, Sonia catching up and sharing stories from the year.  I miss my dear friends!  Later Annie joined us there for lunch.  I met Annie on my Face2Face Art Course and we wanted to meet each other "face2face"... hahaha that's quite funny because we will be doing some collaborative pieces together.  We exchanged a piece of art and shared bits of our stories.  I had the best day!  Saying goodbye to my dearest friend, Sonia was tough going.  It will never be something I get used to... just wish we had had more time.

Meeting Annie

Annie loved my piece called "Butterfly Dreams" so I brought that for her.
And Annie kindly painted this beautiful Lady in Pink esp for me.
Feel so touched to have another Annie Original.

"Red Lady" - went to live with Sonia

My Mama collected me around 2pm from Billi Bi's to head back to the farm to spend my afternoon touring the Cheesery and Farm (which has changed so much in 18months).  I love what they are doing and have achieved.  My folks are quite remarkable!

I was happy to be heading home.  I never find it easy being away from my little chickens even though I know it's good for them to have a change of pace, change of routine and good for them to miss me a bit! 

Monday, 6 May 2013

That totally made my day...

WOW - this beautiful girl is coming to live with meeeee.

She's painted by one of my fav artists, Francesca Di Leo.  I first discovered her on the OpenStudioWorkshop hashtag on Instagram and her work took my breath away.
Every time I see her work... I think to myself... "ahh man, one day I hope to paint like this".
To me her work just feels so creative and so arty!

I remember when Francesca painted this girl and I loved her immediately and today Francesca mentioned that she's sending these PostCards out.

I had no idea that I would be receiving one and one of my absolute favourites too.
I'm speechless!  Thrilled!!  I can't wipe the smile off my face!

Thank you Frannie!  Seriously!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

#InMyStudio - Still playing with PostCards!!!

So I still had a few more postcards to do on my list and I wanted to get through them so I can finish my painting and I want to move forward with some of my course materials...  There are some more courses I would like to consider doing but I won't do that until I've adequately finished my current courses.

I didn't have a brilliant night as 2 of my 4 landed in the bin...
but I guess you have to have those days too to appreciate the good days.
Happy to say that this week I have sent out 10 Packages.
So wonderful!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

#InMyStudio - Bathsheba is finally finished!

I started this piece in Italy last year and it was the first proper acrylic I had ever done.
I'm not a huge fan of acrylics... because it dries so quickly and I can't work fast enough... Although this piece helped me understand more how to use them.
I started having breakthrough on her face in Italy, you can see on the forehead but I just couldn't get it right on the lower face... out of frustration, I eventually just covered it up with Gesso and thought I would come back to it...

Well to be honest, I didn't have the courage to use my acrylics again.

I was looking for something last week and I came across this unfinished piece and I decided to use my NeoColors to just play on it.  I had nothing to loose - it's not like it was going anywhere in it's unfinished state.

But I'm happy to say I had real victory!  I am so in love with this piece.
She's a real reminder to me of my time #InTheStudio in Orvieto and the mini victories I had there and since.

#InMyStudio - PostcardsPostcardsPostcards

I have had another long list of postcards waiting for me... today was a public holiday - so I decided I would just work on my list....

My cards were all ready for me to start.
  I started off doing a little warming up exercise with my NeoColors on a Treasure Island page that was sent to me with my package from JeanneOliver.
And she was so wonderful to do... that I just kept going with my NeoColors.
I think I am in love with them.

I used pieces of card that Betty Wilkins sent me in one of her packages and they were perfect to work on.  As I posted each piece on FaceBook and Instagram some of them got snatched up quickly... 

I have to say that was rather fun!
Each one of these pieces have a home to go to... 
and they will be shipped off tomorrow morning!