Sunday, 26 July 2015

#InMyStudio - AntlerGirl

Can I just tell you how much I wanted to try this and for how long too.  And how in love I am with her Antlers. I love the colors here and the simplicity of this piece.  I wanted the emphasis to be on the Antlers and I guess I didn't want to detract myself from that... 

I am delighted with her.

Now that I have proved to myself that I can do this... I would like to incorporate this into some of my other works.

I'm so glad I finished her.

#SundayHappyDance over here!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Dealing with loss...

"this year is leaving an echo that is haunting.
my heart is completely captivated and completely connected"
It's what I asked for but I wasn't expecting it in this way...

The tender moments of loss this year have been large and I'm feeling every moment of them.
My heart is heavy and achy all the time.  No one prepares you for loss.  There aren't pre-loss courses you can take to help shield you from the blows, that might come.  You get thrown into the the deep end of turmoil and you are expected to survive.
It's on the job training.

I understand death - but for me the pain I feel isn't for the death itself.
It's the devastation it leaves behind. Watching people I care about, suffer so in the agony of their loss, it is that, that breaks my heart.
I find it excruciating.   And this year, we are surrounded by it.
It's leaving an echo in my soul that is haunting.

In truth, I don't know how to be or how to help or what to say.
I'm here quietly, gently and deeply holding you so close to my heart.

An exciting journey...

So we had to wait to get last week behind us... before we could move forward with Corks...

While she was doing the Knysna Cross Country Marathon Mountain bike race, a talent scout spotted her and believed she had something special on the bike.  After much discussion - it became apparent - Corks needed a coach.
And it did pose the question - do we take the next step?

She is definitely showing potential and signs of being a fabulous young rider.  And she's at a perfect age.  It has taken us quickly down the road to finding someone to help us, help her.  As we don't really know the dos and don'ts of how to train a young lady.  After much research and talking to a few top SA women cyclists - we have found her a lovely coach who will train her for the next few months, with technical riding skills, bike technics and obviously a fitness regime, incorporating her trail running and school schedule.  Her program has officially started this week.  Together as a family, we are so excited for her.  And more so, so is she... 

Exciting times.

Friday, 24 July 2015

New project...

I'm spending July trying to iron it out the logistics.
It's not a new idea but it's just one I want to start venturing into.
It's with my beautiful Instax instamatic/polaroid/instant camera.

I want to take a photo everyday for 365 days.
I'm test running a few things with a new blog to share the journey.
It's taking a bit of time to set it up... but I'm getting there.
I'm calling it

I am still doing some research how to store the photos and how I'm going to document it but I think it's going to be a visually beautiful journey of love and gratitude.
Look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

#InMyStudio - July #1FaceaDay...

So this month I seem to be doing more drawing than painting.  When my days are so insane (as the past week was - with late night school pick ups, every night) and we aren't even going to talk about the cold... sometimes all I can manage is my pencil and paper and myself wrapped up in a cocoon in bed.... so here is some of my July journey.

I'm loving the muted tones... it's kind of matching my mood this month.

For this middle one... Kitty girl sat for me.
I am seeing some resemblance to her... and that's pretty exciting for me.
I absolutely love her beautiful face.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

#InMyStudio - A haunting beauty...

This is a complete makeover of an old piece I did in April 2014 and it was buried deep at the back of old pieces.  I never finished it - the size and complexity of it overwhelmed me so I hid it away.  Do you ever do that?

Leaving it that long and coming back to it now, meant I had completely outgrown it.  I love the magic of gesso.  I started working and reworking and this hauntingly beautiful face appeared.  I love how unusual she is... she's captivated me for sure.
I'm excited to finish this piece... it's big but not huge.  It's 20"x30"canvas board.
I can't wait to get back to finish her.  I will keep you posted.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

#InMyStudio... Anchored

Last year started me on a journey of painting hands.  I did a few successful pieces last year and some not so successful pieces.  But it was really this year has helped me face my dread around them and they are appearing more and more, in my pieces as I grow in my confidence with them.

They are difficult at times and not at others, but mostly they are.  I'm discovering what I like and what I don't like, and I mostly like elongated fingers, like in this piece... perhaps even slightly exaggerated.

But most of all I'm discovering that it is definitely a journey.  Most times they kick my butt and they take me the longest time on any piece.  But I know it's practice, practice, practice.  As I did and do with the face.

I hope with both my hands and faces it will be something I continue to mature, grow and improve in, ultimately each time adding a new dimension to the greater storytelling.  There is still so much I am learning in each new piece.

But for now, I am delighted!

Friday, 17 July 2015


Yip, I had them... a bit of the post holiday blues.

 Can I just say how excellent our time was and how so very needed it was.  I don't think we realised just how much... It came at the exact right moment in time!!  Each new day was better than the last...
And for that I'm grateful!

The re-entry this week really wasn't too bad... 
With the girls still being on leave this week, made it soft landing.
Life as we know it will return on Monday but I am feeling encouraged because we are rested.

We both headed straight back to work and we had a few appointments.
But we slipped in some last minute holiday moments too... some afternoon naps {for me}... allowing myself to do that - bliss.  The girls, still reading.  Lots of sitting around the fire place.  Kitty had some classmates over.  After one of our appointments in the city... we shared a special evening together in town.  We all love the city a lot.  It was wonderful and today the girls and I popped back into the city for an appointment and some exploring.

We popped into the camera shop to dream - always a treat.

Wow she is beautiful and clever and artistic... 
I didn't ever think I would look at another camera, especially after my iPhone 6+ but hmmm she peeked my interest.  Not for now but always nice to find something delightful.

We accidentally found a beautiful art deco shop called ANOUK - what a treasure.
I love that the girls enjoy this kind of thing as much as I do.

Had a beautiful end of holiday lunch in the sweetest "Winkel" {shop} in town...
which might very well become a new fav spot for us...

I managed to finish my painting from holiday and work on others in between conquering mountains of washing and ironing.  So all in all this week was gentler than I was expecting.  This weekend will be kind and precious too before school starts up again next Monday.  We have a vicious cold front moving in... so I'm thinking much time around the fire place... some still reading, knitting, painting and watching the last of the Tour de France for the man.
She changed much but I'm happy <3
Happy weekend!

Monday, 13 July 2015

My heart is not ready...

I have come home a little heavy-hearted.
I didn't feel ready to pack up and head home...
and I'm not ready to face life yet... 

Our time alone together always feels so deep and so connected and completely sacred,
giving that up to get back to life - isn't easy for me today.

It was just that good and a little long overdue...

But for now... it will have to see us through for the next few months,
as we push through to the end of the year.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Home James...

Leaving with such a heavy heart... it's all I can say...

 As promised... a little photoshoot in the Canola fields... on the way home.
Object achieved!  Too beautiful for words.
A bittersweet end to our trip...

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Outeniqua Rust has definitely crept in...

Final breakfast on the beautiful deck...
After which we lit the fire, read, packed and relaxed all day.
We are so relaxed I'm not sure how we will ever get back into gear to leave in the morning.

Final trip down to the beach... again the lighting and atmosphere was breathtaking.
We sat at LookOut contemplating going down but really we could have sat well into the night.
But I wanted to walk and take last minute shots.

We literally had the beach to ourselves.
I could stand and watch the sea for days... I can't believe the beautiful days we had.
Peaceful, a little moody like that atmosphere... esp about going home.
My heart wasn't ready because having time - that precious beautiful thing - felt deep and connected.

And every now and again when you find it and get to taste it...
 You don't easily want to let that go.

What I do know... was that I was reminded about {us}!
The importance of taking time.  The value of it.  The necessity of it.
As the girls are getting older - we know things are changing...
Time isn't on our side and it is never our friend... 
and yes each new moment is exciting and beautiful,
but it is forever moving forward and it comes at a high price.

Why we keep coming back, to holiday at the same place time after time?

To me, in this place time seems to momentarily stand still.
We get to make memories each time we come here and each time, it feels deeper than the last.
My deepest hope is that it's these moments of togetherness, the girls will forever cherish, love and hold dear and one day continue these precious traditions with their families.

The importance of stealing back time... 
to be slow.  to be close.  to think.  to get perspective.  to talk. to remember.  to dream.
but most of all... to love.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Storms River Mouth...

This place is so special to me.
We have been several times, since Corks was 1.5 years old.
So coming back here is deeply personal to me... it's so beautiful.

This is Storms River Mouth - the boat wasn't running today
The seas were quite rough... I so wanted to take the girls down the river.
But it just means one thing... we will have to come back!

Hello avid photographers...

I love this little alcove beach... all pebbles and driftwood

But first... let me take a selfie...

Instax Fun!

A 1000 year old tree - sacred find.
We had a truly incredible day... another one for the memory book.
Doing this trip now that the girls are a little older - such a treat!
They loved every moment of it... and so did we.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

#InMyStudio... in the woods....

before my paints were unpacked - I got to play with pencil with Corks sitting as my live model.
Still something I want to practice more.

This day was so beautiful... it was warm and calm out.
And sitting out here until it got dark was priceless...
we got to create while the other two got to fish on the rocks...
this time, they didn't catch anything.

I love new draw ups.

The Memory Keeper...
The door to her memories.
I had so much fun with this piece.
Quirky hands, big hair and lots and lots of beads.
I'm loving beadwork at the moment.

Starting with a continuous line drawing and ended here.

I found some bark during our walk...
Recently, I had seen some others painting on it.
It was a wonderful surface to work on - sometimes it's fun to try new things.

All these pieces have a synergy and it felt like a bit of a series,
without meaning it to be... either way - I was having fun!
I'm thrilled I got some down time for creative play!
And I get to go home with some pieces.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Wednesday... Market Day @ Old Nic

The Old Nic Market is tiny but delightful.
It definitely had an Italian and French vibe.  After some purchases from Nonna Grazia
We settled down for some hot chocolate and home-baked chocolate brownies.

Visiting the Mungo Textile Shop and Museum... always a treat.

Always goofing around.
All in all a stunning day out followed by a early evening walk on the beach.
It was cold but we bundled up and headed up to Enrico's for hot chocolate and a pizza.
Absolute treat of a day.