We are so blessed to be here on this amazing planet. Everyday is a miracle filled with so much beauty to be behold, so much life to be seen and life to lived.
Every time we look out the window, take a walk, or breathe we can be reminded of the wonder that life is. But so much of this wonder is denied to so many who have an equal right to receive it. We are all here and we all belong. Man, woman, child and beast. This world is as much mine as it is my neighbor’s. As much mine as it is my cat’s.
And this is why I made this piece. I paint these works in tribute to Rhinos and the hundreds that are poached each year.
Over 1000 Rhinos were poached in 2017 alone, and for what? Status, greed, and ignorance.
For each wild life painting sold I donate 10% to the conservation of Rhinos hoping that even my small action will make a difference.
Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, Matt. 19:14.
This piece of scripture is one of my personal favourite. The story that surrounds this verse is one that emphasizes the value of children, their innocence, purity and the love Jesus Christ has for them, as well as the love we should have for them.
I recently completed an Acrylic piece for a friend of mine. It was a lovely experience and I enjoyed each challenge it presented as a learning curve.
This piece is an acrylic on canvas portrait painting of Christ with her two sons. Samuel (age 4) and Daniel (age 2). In the painting the two boys beam at the Saviour as he beams back. I loved painting this piece because of the spirit I feel it brings and the feeling of joy it emulates in faces of Sam and Dan.
The best part was presenting it to her and her family. The boys immediately recognized each other in the painting (very important in portrait paintings, thank goodness I got their likeness down) before exclaiming ” oh and there’s Jesus”. It was just too cute.
My hope is that this painting will bring a sweeter spirit into her home and that it will act as a reminder for the boys to focus on the Saviour’s example.
Over the last few weeks after really throwing myself into conceptualizing and producing art I have tried to reflect on the difference it has had on how I feel day to day.
One thing stands firm and clear – I feel fulfilled in a way I have never felt before and I expect this feeling to only get better. I may not paint a masterpiece each day, but each day I pick up my brush and I paint something. It may not be perfect but it is passion.
This week I’ve been working on a study of a piece I am planning for the Dimitrov Gallery in Dullstroom. This was an experiment through which I now better understand what composition to use and what elements to include or exclude for the larger work.
The piece is titled ‘Forget-Me-Not‘. It calls to same symbolism I used in a previous work titled ‘Never Pick a Wildflower‘, however this time I have used the small blue ‘forget-me-not’ flower to wrap around the Rhino’s horn (click here to read more on the symbolism behind the flower entwined horn). These small flowers and the pleading expression call on the viewer, asking them not to forget the everyday plight of Rhinos as poachings all over the world only seem to increase. The flowers to the bottom left corner symbolize so many who have lost their horns and even their lives but also draw attention to the hope that there is still a difference to be made.
Acrylic on canvas
Lets not forget. Help further the cause by contacting Rhino Connect via email or their FB page (website is down for maintenance). I will be talking more about them and the work they do in a future post.
I have begun to push myself towards a season of growth. I feel motivated and inspired by talented people who do good and the precious wildlife and creation all around me.
I feel the same motivation to use my talent to do good as others have done and still do.
“Never Pick a Wildflower” and the series to follow is the start of what I hope to be a lifetime of my own inspiration manifested in works of art. I want my life, the things I value and what strive towards to be reflected in the art I create.
I have recently completed a piece that makes my heart soar. A simple image of the Yellow Billed Stork wading in a glistening body of water. This piece, titled ‘Life Reflected‘, emphasizes the majesty of what some would consider common wildlife.
Painting this piece was also somewhat of an experiment that I thoroughly enjoyed and I am beyond happy with the end result! Initially I didn’t plan the composition, I just started with the under sketch and realized I hadn’t thought further. Not wanting to start again I decided to just go with what felt right and that was that.
The reference image was photgraphed by Scott Boake. He has kindly agreed to let me use his gorgeous photography as reference for many more works to come.
I have just completed another flower study in acrylic. This time I chose to paint my favourite flower a Protea, or in this case, a King Protea (I am still doing a series of roses – this was just to see how it would turn out).
As I mentioned in my previous post, flowers are not my traditional subject matter. I have really been enjoying the roses so I thought it would be good to try something else.
It took me a lot longer than I thought it would, the number of individual petals and the shadows they created needed a little more attention than my usual Rose.
At first I started with a blue background, thinking it would make the flower pop, all it did however was over power the pink petals, so instead, I opted for a textured white through which you still get a hint of the blue.
I’m glad I gave it a go, and I’m more or less happy about how it turned out but I do feel that it’s not 100% my style. I probably will be painting a Protea again but in a completely different composition and colour palette.
I did however relearn the value of experimenting and trying new subject matters. No painting is ever a waste, it’s all a series of practice, a practice I thoroughly enjoy. This painting might not be my greatest pride, but it is a piece of the puzzle and a step in the journey.
Let me know what you think in the comments below, or simply give a like!
/artmaking/ I’ve started a new project that will go on along side the Wildflower project. This one I started out of curiosity. I had simply never painted a flower and decided to give it a go.
I have started with roses but i think I’ll add in a number of flowers for fun.
I really enjoy these small quick art pieces. They tend to really lift my mood and I can often get through another bigger piece of art a lot smoother if I take a break and do one of these tiny gorgeous little flowers.
I recently just finished a piece that I am crazy about. It is not necessarily the most artistically sound artwork I have ever created but there is something about it that just makes my heart skip. In fact i could go as far as saying that it is my favourite work to date.
I have for the last few weeks been experimenting with a metallic gold background and the results have me so excited for works ahead. This just shows what comes from experimenting and challenging myself. The painting I’ve just mentioned, that I love so much is actually the first time I have ever painted an animal as I tend to stick with portraiture. I was ridiculously nervous and would add a few strokes each day before panicking and just stopping, but yesterday I decided – “the heck with it” and finished it in one go.
Title: Never Pick a Wild Flower
Concept: So often, as I casually scroll through Facebook, my eyes are met with grotesque poaching tragedies and stories of near extinction, none more prominent than those of the Rhino Killings happening all over Africa. In “Never Pick a Wild Flower” I compare these majestic creatures to indigenous wild flowers. We are always told when going out into the wilds of nature we should ‘take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints’, in the case of indigenous species of fauna we are even discouraged from doing something as simple as picking a flower. When you or I look at a Rhino, we see a fierce but gentle creature, one of the Big 5 that we as South Africans are so proud of, but it seems that some, see these animals as nothing more than your common daisy, to be plucked at whim.
I will be doing a series of paintings in line with this stream of thoughts. Art is such a powerful tool an I want to use it to bring awareness to the plight of others, many of whom have no voice.
I will be selling prints of my works from which a portion of sales will be donated to specific conservation groups working to preserve a variety of endangered or helpless animals.
In the coming weeks I will be posting further detail.
Feel free to suggest organisations you feel deserve the support.
I have a small 2 bedroom house with a studio, lounge, dining area and spacious kitchen.
My husband and I moved in almost 2 years ago while my Oupa was still living here.
When we moved in I was adamant that this would be a temporary situation. At the time I didn’t like anything about the house. It was cramped, dark and rundown. Very little maintenance had happened in the 18 years since it’s erection. The paint was peeling and cracking, the walls were a dull off white (some still are) and everything was grimy and gross.
Nevertheless I was grateful to have a home with my newly wedded husband, so I settled.
I tried my best to brighten the place up with a thorough clean and a few decor changes.
Then I got a job which meant I wouldn’t be spending too much time at home anyway, so we hired a maid and my efforts faltered.
Every pay day weekend I would go to the mall trying to find things that would make my home beautiful, make it feel more like a home. Some of these things helped like replacing the curtain rods, others, like silly decor trinkets, didn’t.
I love interior decor, we just couldn’t afford doing everything we wanted to, so my enthusiasm took dips every so often.
Eventually we managed to save up the money to rip out the carpets in the bedrooms and put in Vinyl flooring. This made a huge difference and it sparked something in me I will never forget.
Our next step, was painting the main bedroom which had become ours since my Oupa moved out to go live with my uncle (that is a whole ‘nother story). We also purchased a beautiful tufted headboard, installed new curtain rods and got hold of a few second hand tab top curtains (thanks mom). It was like sleeping in a hotel! I had never loved a room so much! and I still love it! It is by far my favourite room in the house.
After making the decision together with my husband, I resigned from my job and decided to start working on a small business from home.
Now that I was at home almost all the time I knew I needed to put more effort in to how our home felt and how I felt about our home. We had already made a considerable improvement but there was still lots to be done.
A few months later I came across ‘minimalism’. This set the bar at a whole new level. In the months I used to purge my home of useless clutter it felt as though I was shedding skin. I could really feel the difference. It was from this that the love and appreciation I have for my home really started.
I was no longer concerned with the stuff in my home but rather the spirit of my home. Not the cosmetics of how it looked but how it felt. I found that this helped me develop my own décor style and hone in on a look and feel, one that was affordable, beautiful and unique to us as a family and me as a creative.
To save money as Duncan (hubby) started studies, we also decided that we would do the home improvements ourselves rather than hire the work out. This also made a big difference in how I see our home. I felt a sense of pride knowing that my husband repaired and I painted, and doing one room motivated me to paint another!
When it comes to how our home felt aside from the décor and obvious cues like keeping the home clean, we try to make our home a place we love to be by living how we love to live. This means taking the time to eat at the table together, having movie nights, cooking delicious home meals together, inviting friends and family, playing music that we love, reading good books and just cuddling with a good cup of tea or hot cocoa.
We still have a lot of work left to do, but that in part is what makes our home beautiful. It grows with us.
In the end it doesn’t matter how much money you have or what style you use to decorate, it all comes down to this – I love my home because I take the time to love my home. I try everyday to live the way I love and love the way I live with who I love to love.
I love my home because I take the time to love my home. I try everyday to live the way I love and love the way I live with who I love to love.
Let me know what makes you love the home you have or how you find ways to love the home you have, even if it’s not perfect?