Sunday, 30 November 2014

#InMyStudio - up to 25 of 100 faces.

Corks had her art practical exam on Friday and the topic she had to draw was something fluffy, spiky or shiny - she chose fluffy and painted my beautiful authentic dream catcher from Canada.  She did it beautifully - I'm waiting for it to come back so I can have it framed up.  I am so proud of her.  Anyway, her art piece inspired my next 4 TeaBagGirls.  From the dreamcatchers to the color scheme.  Was nice to mixed it up a bit and do something a little different.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

#InMyStudio - working through a commission piece...

Three people asked to buy these little angels.  It really was a small piece and the interest in it really was a delightful surprised.   This little piece went to live with my beautiful friend Annie.  Christy emailed me and asked if I would consider doing one with 3 Angels for her that represent her and her 2 best friends... funny enough I had just done another small piece, with 3 angels on for a friend as a gift and had already drawn up 3 angels on a large canvas board.  So when Christy asked - I could send her what was now already a #WIP.  Synchronicity at it's best and I just love that.  One of my greatest joys about painting, is never really knowing how any piece is going to turn out and I certainly can't mimic any piece.  So I agreed to do the commission on one condition... that she wasn't bound by it - if it didn't speak right to her heart - she didn't have to take it.  It was something I was going to be doing anyway.  That way releasing her and myself - if it didn't work out.  I love that Christy gave me the freedom to paint them from my heart.

It's been almost 2 years since I did a commission piece - it was a decision I made not to do them until I felt ready... and this month, has been my 2nd commission work.
I wouldn't say now I'm ready... I guess it just kind of happened that way.

Anyway, here's the evolution so far... 

sharing the early stages... certainly takes courage
But I'm loving something about this image.

Kitty trying to be one of my girls.  
I do, however ,think it's her eyes that come out in all my paintings
She's my fav Angel of these 4

At this stage, for me, it's about getting my proportions right and getting
the three angels to work altogether.
Getting 3 faces to sync is no easy feat.
Feeling the tenderness here...

The challenge is getting my composition to a place that I'm happy with and my face proportions and that they make sense together.  Now I'm ready to go deeper with deeper layers of paint and detail work.  I would like to put more texture and layers on the dresses.  There is a tenderness between these 3 which I'm just loving.  It's a little dreamy with their papercrowns.  So far, I'm happy!  I had a big knot in my stomach yesterday.  I'm going to let them settle here for a day and come back on the weekend and see where we go together.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

#InMyStudio.... 100Faces continues...

So in order for me to finish my 100faces project by the end of December (which is the plan).  I have worked out that I would have to do about 2.2 #TeaBagGirls a day.  I've decided to wake up early every day to work on them before life, school and work happens.  That way stealing moments #InMyStudio.  If I count up the extra hours of painting that gives me everyday - it's crazy not to do it.  Next week, starts my December work schedule and I have a full work schedule again because we are in shooting season and everyone must be paid before Christmas and everything must be done for end of year shut down... so the pressure is on.  So I would like to continue with this project and other works and my courses before I loose complete perspective and I don't want to let work consume me... So far so good this week and I'm ahead of schedule...

I accidently gave #15 away as a gift (oops)
I will never finish at this rate...

17, 18, 19 and #20

This was originally #18 but I wasn't happy with her so I put her aside, almost in the bin.
The next day I came back and reworked her... 
completely saved her and I think she might be a new favorite of mine.

Monday, 24 November 2014

#InMyStudio - Tiny Stolen moments...

Mystery is at the heart of creativity.
That, and surprise...As creative channels, 
we need to trust the darkness".... Julia Cameron

When I'm out of my studio - I try find other ways to creatively play.
This pic was taken while driving to our weekend away and layering up with different photo apps.  Sometimes these images can take hours and you can really get lost in the process... which I just love.

We left our weekend away really early - we rushed home because my folks were arriving for the last part of the weekend.  I still had to sort out things at home and make sure we were sorted for their visit.  They arrived late due to an airport delay - so while we waited patiently I stolen some moments #InMyStudio...

Being out of my studio for a whole week and weekend and not painting everyday, fears creep in.... like will I even remember how to paint.  I feel fearful and disconnected.  I know it's silly and crazy - but as soon as I start playing, I start feeling okay and I'm reminded why I just love this so very much!

I did some warm up exercises as I have to get back to my #100Faces and #TeaBagGirl project I'm working on and I have a commission to work on... more about that later.

Yay - my first #16 (slowly gaining ground)

My November and December is crazy busy (like every year - no matter how I try and guard against it).  I'm embracing it this year.  I am being deliberate about certain things so I don't loose it all along the way.  So I've decided through what's left of this month and next - I will wake early and paint most morning before work and life.  If I work wisely - I can score up to 3-4 extra hours. I have lots of art course material to get through... and when you don't have the luxury of free days - then you have to be wise... time wise.  This year my holiday will fall on the other side of Christmas.  I want to slow down enough to make some decisions about my schedule for next year.

I love #15

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Supporting the PaperBoys...

 The view from our little cottage and our daily visitor

I came back from a week of being out of town, I didn't even unpack... I just repacked and come Friday afternoon, we headed out the door for a weekend away.  Digby had a team event in the country and we were supporting - Team West Coast Paper Traders.

Team West Coast Paper Traders
What a magic bunch of guys!!

 I was having a hard time getting my head around this weekend away... I needed to be home.  I knew we would have fun - that was never an issue and we were going with excellent people.  It was just my homebody self and my need to be home.  Plus I have lots going on and the girls had studying... etc. etc.  That being said - we really did have a wonderful time.  I know how important it is for the guys when their people are there to support.  When exerting yourself like that - you need to feel the love.  And I get that.

My PaperBoy... big love!

Car shenanigans while waiting for the PaperBoys...

My Camera Girl - love her

And our little cottage for the weekend.  Precious, isn't it?
We had a surprising little discovery when we got there... that there was no electricity!!!
That was a pretty major gear shift - it was rather incredible...  Solar lamps and gas stove... right down to boiling the kettle on the stove.  A reminder of how spoilt we have become and how we take convenience for granted.  Remember... it wasn't so long ago that the loo was an outhouse.  Hahaha - I guess my connection issues are being challenged and reminding me to pull back, disconnect and shut off from time to time.  I know this much - I want to go back and spend some time chilling there with no agenda.  Reading, sleeping, eating etc... 

The view from my bed... 

Friday, 21 November 2014

#InMyStudio - Evolution of a TeaBagGirl...

1.  Fresh Herbal Tea                                              2.  Infuse with hot water

3.  Empty bag and dry                                             4.  When dry Gesso

Birds eye view...

First clip...

Second clip....

Small example...

a flit into the City...

I needed to get to the City for work and some training for my one client.  So eventually put my big girl panties on and caught my flight.  I'm not sure November was the best time for me, it's my busiest time of year and I'm more than a little stretched.  More importantly I am not a fan of big cities, especially this one.

The thing I forgot about this big city, in particular, is the sheer size of the place.  And how long everything takes to get from A to B.  Living there for 4 years of my life, 3 years back... was soul destroying for me.  Going back is still a little hard for me.  One of the things that totally broke my spirit previously was how many agonizing hours I spent behind the wheel a day.  I was reminded of that.  It's not a easy life.  And I look at everyone else coping and I wonder what was wrong with me - why couldn't I cut it?  But when this way of life, big city living is all you know - it's your default setting.  But when you know an alternate way of life - giving into that literally broke my heart.  It's like my whole being, body and soul resisted it.  It felt like I was in a constant inner war.  Being a true blue introvert - the hustle and bustle of big city living wasn't for me.  I am a small town kind of gal.

That being said, some of my dearest people are there so I have to be brave sometimes so I can see them.  And from that aspect - I had a beautiful trip.  I got to do my work and training with two mighty woman and we had a brilliant time, albeit it work related and brief.  Feel so blessed to have had that time with them.  And my client.  Such good people.  We finished up quicker than expected... so I took Wednesday off, had breakfast at my favorite restaurant, Billi Bi's with two of my dearest friends, Sonia and Rene.  Two woman I miss in my life, daily.  Billi Bi's always getting my meals spot on.  Thanks Cliffie, this family miss you!!!  After that, I headed to my parent's farm to spend the day, it's about 40km out of the city.  I love spending time with my parents and being on their incredible farm and hearing their brilliant stories and adventures.  I'm mad about them.  And I'm super proud!  I'm thrilled to say they will be popping into Cape Town on the weekend to see the girls.  3 long years overdue.  It's hard living on opposite sides of the country from each other.

I love this picture on the left - she escaped her pen and found the feed and
literally dived into the bagged grasses and started munching away - 
I think she was literally smiling.

I love these sweet little things...

 I didn't stay on the farm because of work and being close to the airport etc. so I got to spend some time with one of my all time besties, Sonia and her hubby, Clifford.  I love her with my whole heart and absolutely adore her precious family!  I felt so embraced and being in their home and slotting into their life was sacred ground for me.  And it was Zara's birthday and I got to share early morning celebrations with them.  I miss our friendship so much, the day to day stuff.  Planning more visits.  I wish I had more time to see some of my other special friends and my brother.  But as you know, I can't bear being away from my hubby and girls for too long.  I feel frantic to be home.

Stolen moments... #soblessed

I've come home a little tenderhearted.  A little pensive.  Completely exhausted.  I'm heading into a quiet weekend... hoping to unpack some of my emotions from this week.  And I'm missing my studio terribly.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Weekend news... and studying blues....

Early Saturday Morning Meanderings.... love starting my weekend #InMyStudio
HappyHeart!  HappyDay for me.  But study madness is flowing through this house as we enter into a 3 week long exam cycle.  My least favorite time of year.

Live music and picnic in our little park until the rain came pouring down... so oooover winter!  Come now summer - I'm feeling desperate.  I'm back in winter warmers.

I had an old stretch canvas that I broke out of it's box frame.  I was using this  loose cut canvas under my paintings when I worked - I gessoed over it the other day and thought it would be nice to use it.  It's a new love I have.... painting on pieces of loose canvas (not stretched or on boards)  I love the softness of the soft loose canvas... so this is me just painting with Stabilo and Gesso - it's really something I just love doing... painting with gesso.  I might just leave this piece right here!!! Totally i love with this.

Packaging up and creating parcels.... gives me so much joy.
Off to the Post Office for me!!

Home improvements and wall art....

So most of the home and garden improvements are behind us - it was a hard week.
Headaches and blocked noses from paint fumes, running to the hardware shop, grouting tiles, etc etc... I'm over it.  Painful going through it but the rewards... oh so worth it.  I will share a video of our old farmstyle kitchen soon.  I'm stoked.

Here is a little clip putting up some wall art in Kitty's room... I love her space.  Such fun!

Saturday, 15 November 2014


So I've been asked quite a bit regarding my process about painting on these teabags and I'm just loving how this has ended up being a thing, a special thing.  I will share more about it soon.  But for now - this is what my studio is looking like.  I'm overrun by beautifully naturally dyed teabags...     

This weekend I only managed to add one new face to my #OneHundredFaces
(bringing me to 15) but I did another 8 in total.... 

2 as gifts and 6 for a commission... these 6 little TeaBagGirls are going to their new home next week and they will be framed up and distributed as gifts.  I love sending them out into the world.  It feels precious that my pieces will end up in homes of people I don't know.  They tell a story, their own story, perhaps a little of my story... to the people they will live with!  And I kind of love that. 

So grateful that I got this commission!
Getting to do what I love daily = pure happiness. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

#InMyStudio - tiny little faces...

Beautiful tiny stack of tiny faces, on tiny teabags, on a tiny china tea plate...
I can't wait for this pile to grow and grow.
This is only 14 can you imagine how tall 100 will be...
I need to get some momentum going!!!!
Come now Flowrs!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

#InMyStudio... #13 and #14 and then some...

#13 and #14
Looks like 14 is looking at 13!

Well actually I did a number #101 today too, as a gift for my friend Melody.  I found a sweet frame to house her little TeaBagGirl.  She won't fall part of my 100Faces because she will live elsewhere but she will always be one of my TeaBagGirls!  I even managed to squeeze in a tiny signature.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Connecting with creative friends...

So on Sunday I had my scheduled Skype chat with my friend Robin from Australia.  We connected online this year and again in real life in Italy.  She's an incredible artist and person.  And I'm so touched that we have had the chance to have our paths cross.  And I can't tell you how that made my day.  Speaking and really connecting with like minded creatives - was so what I needed.  It's something that I really realized while I was in Italy and again this weekend.

Sometimes I feel pretty isolated here in creating alone in my little studio in Cape Town, as much as I do love it too.  Then I'm reminded that I am part of such an incredible community, albeit online.  It's precious.  Sometimes I forget that we have the beauty of Skype - making connecting much easier and closer.  It's definitely something I want to... I need to do more of.  Thank you Robin for sharing part of you with me.  And allowing me to do the same.  Definitely a highlight to my weekend.

Robin's piece of art from her website... Click on the link above.

A creative and productive weekend....

The beautiful man was out of town this week for business and whenever he is we have a tradition that us girls grab a sushi date together.  I love that it's become our thing.  We always go to the same little place... don't ask me what it's called but we are regulars.  And tonight was eat as much as you like.  We always start and end our date with a fortune cookie and then that sets the tone and ends the tone.
It's quirky but I love it!
a good one... 
So my weeks have been full on with work and art and I really needed time to just be with the girls.  So after the photo session and playing a bit with fortune cookies... phones got packed away and we got to connect.
my girls are getting so big

I thought we would hang here until we headed to the airport - but sleep overcame me and we headed home... I had a quick coffee to keep me awake... doing a 10pm Airport call on a Friday night is no easy feat.  I thought I would just prep a canvas and dabble a bit before heading out and the next minute (literally... ) these two angels appeared.  It was spontaneous, fast and fun and a delightful surprise and I managed to finish it all before I left.  It was an old canvas board I had been using as a palette board and it had wonderful texture on it - which really formed part of this painting.  I really love the pieces that happen like this... 

Christmas Angels - already on their way to their new home
  I've been doing so many tiny paintings on teabags lately.  I needed to do a big one... and I needed to escape a bit from reality because my kitchen is being striped and getting a make over... and it's a tad bit stressful.  Never mind the fumes... so I hid out #InMyStudio for the rest of Saturday.  Digz was watching sports and the girls were studying... yip it's that time of year - we are in exam time and lock down mode.

The Wisdom Seeker - a gentle soul with Truth in her heart
I had an canvas prepped from Italy and it was calling me to work on it.  This painting morphed a good few times so much so that the paint is thick and textured on it.  I went to bed on Saturday night with her one way (not overly impressed with myself) but she woke me up early on Sunday beckoning me to change her and I'm so glad I did... I love where she ended.  And I'm thrilled to say that this tender girl is on her way to her new home this week.

We spent the rest of Sunday getting our monthly supplies and kitchen tiles and door handles for our little kitchen make-over which was such fun.  I got to lay my tiles on Sunday evening and now I have the tedious job of grouting that in the week.... yikes.

I have much to get through this coming week - but I see a good few teabags in my future.