Flamingo

STATUS: FOR SALE – Price on request.

420x297cm Acrylic on Canvas.


This week I started a painting slightly larger than what I am used to. I decided to go bold and paint a brilliant pink flamingo.

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What’s mine is theirs.

We are so blessed to be here on this amazing planet. Everyday is a miracle filled with so much beauty to 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. Continue reading

Home Fabrics Trend Talk.

Have you ever needed just that little bit of a kick to get something done. Well today was my creative kick. All it took to hype me up was a trend talk by Home fabrics, one of South Africa’s leading fabric houses. I now feel like painting with metallic, dressing with velvets, dancing through rain forests and eating myself a slice of chocolate cake off my Grandmother’s delft plates.

I had been looking forward to this little event the whole week only to realize that our timeslot had been cancelled due to many who had cancelled?! How can you cancel on potential inspiration?! Luckily the folks at Home Fabrics are the best and we slotted in with an earlier presentation.

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Aside from the fact that I’m always ready for a boost of décor inspiration I really think that something as enlightening as a talk on the aesthetic trends of 2017 is a nice contrast to the state of our country’s political affairs. I feel happy that instead of focusing on all that could worry me about the country’s future I was able to spend my morning learning and inspiring.

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We started the event off with a short introduction and headed straight into this years biggest trends (I didn’t take enough notes to be too elaborate on each trend but seeing as this is all a learning curb each trend post will get better as I go)

First off, and my personal favourite is;

Theatre.

This trend is all about drama, fantasy and intrigue. There is an almost overwhelming atmosphere of negativity that seems to dominate today’s media and people are trying to find more and new exiting ways to inspire themselves by moving away from the everyday.

Harlequins and masquerade balls, renaissance and artistic romance, idealized and fantasized, perfectly imperfect to remind us that life is merely an eclectic colourful collage of moments, memories and experiences, good and some a little kitch, but all wondrous to behold.

The Theatre trend is a creative mix of colour, textile, history, arts and anything your dreams are made of (or atleast mine).

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Theatre.

My second Favourite trend is drawn from the nature we take for granted so often.

Birds of Paradise.

Rather self explanatory the “Birds of Paradise” trend is one that has popped up a few times over the last few years but seems to have stolen the spotlight and along with it our hearts (well, for now at least).

Our presenter started off with this image of Nicole Kidman’s Gucci Gown, a gown like no other. The shoulders of this emerald masterpiece are embellished with a sequence McCaw design. I have never seen such a balance of quirk and elegance in my life.

This is just one of the many examples of how “Birds of Paradise” is a trend taking the world by storm. It seems as many people seem to draw further from nature each day there are some who are adamant to keep all that creation has to offer alive in our homes and on what we wear. Whether it be art, fashion or interior décor, exotic prints and textiles that celebrate and reminisce in the beauty of plumage and flight are here to light up our eyes with new and creative ways to admire our feathered friends.

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Birds of Paradise

The third most prominent trend is that of Dutch delft.

Delft.

Delft is a forgotten art that only a few creative souls have the talent and patience for. Delft can be found and used within almost any interior space because of its rather simple yet striking palette of both white and blue. It seems that the reminiscent nature of delft and it’s timeless value is what makes it such a popular trend in todays world, like remembering simpler times past. However a dominant factor within this inspirational trend is that most textiles and designs inspired by delft have been deconstructed to form abstract impressions of delft rather than just copying it.

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And now for a few honorable mentions –

Water colour.

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Botanics (Big, Beautiful and Botanical)

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As I was listening I kept picturing everything  that could be possible with these beautiful fabrics at my fingertips. The combinations seem endless.

And to help my imaginings Home Fabrics gifted us with the prettiest goody bags bursting with design brochures and magazines.

If I wasn’t so sleepy I could probably write more but before my thoughts turn into complete dribble I’ll close off (now that I’ve finished all 4 seasons of Ugly Betty adjusted to the routine of work, I’ll be writing more about more).

And in light of Theatre and it’s hint of Surrealism I have a thought to leave you with about the nature of eclectic creativity, perfectly imperfect creation.

“Surrealism is the Magical Surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe where you were sure of finding shirts”

Frida Kahlo

c.h

 

Trend Talking.

So if you’ve come here to read an educated and structurally sound article about the latest trends in the design industry… you’ve come to wrong place. I won’t pretend to know what I’m talking about but I’m definitely going to give it a shot.

Yesterday we attended a U&G Fabrics trend talk. It is the second trend talk I have attended, the first was last year’s Hertex trend talk in Pretoria (which was amazing). For those of you that don’t know a trend talk is a presentation event where a design company would present it’s latest designs based on what is currently in fashion or in ‘trend’.

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U&G’s event was some what smaller than the Hertex event I went to last year but still enjoyable. I can say that I loved a few of their new ranges and that I strongly disliked (hate is too strong of a word) a few of their new ranges but as you read you’ll hear more about it (come to think of it I didn’t really take photos of what I didn’t like. Mmm, oh well, why fill the world with more negativity – you’ll only see what I loved).

Upon arrival we were welcomed (by we I mean Meagan – My boss – I don’t know anyone to greet yet), we were then offered coffee, tea or juice. On each bench sat a few freebies and a bright pink valentine’s cupcake, which was cute and delicious but a little random.

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Then the presentation started. They presented a number of new ranges and spoke about what would be in trend through 2017. Emerald greens, velvets, soft metallics, botanical prints, blues, black and white and an emphasis on ‘hand made’ design are a few of the trends that were touched on.

My favourite of the lot are by far the emerald greens and some of the printed velvets – they are gorgeous.

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Printed velvets (looove)

I haven’t always liked velvets but they’re starting to win me over. Ps. before now, I didn’t even know you could print on a velvet (textile noob – that means amateur – I learnt it from my gamer husband).

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More printed velvet.

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And a pretty floral print.

From working with fabric sample from U&G fabrics for the last few weeks these new ranges feel a lot more modern and in trend than previous ranges and that makes me happy because that means more prettiness to ‘pretty’ the world up with.

They closed the presentation off with a few words from the rep from their trimmings range (I am sure there is another word for that). That part was a little boring – except for the one photo of brightly coloured pom-poms – because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love pom-poms.

I then proceeded to meander through the showroom looking at what there was to look at.

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After that it was over and time to get back to work. I can’t wait for the next one. (and Hertex!). But till then I’ll keep myself inspired (which is never really too hard if you know where to look).

c.h.

 

MAKERS.

I don’t actually know how to start this post. So much is happening and almost everything seems to excite me these days.

So first things first. I started my first real job last week Monday and it’s the BEST (it’s also the reason I haven’t posted in a while – time management people).

I work as a Junior showroom assistant at MAKERS Upholstery and Design, an upholstery and interior decor shop in Centurion. What I do is help clients select fabric for their upholstery and interior decor needs as well as a whole list of admin work.

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This is the shop front. This was taken in the evening so everything was a little darker than it is in real life but I’ll be sure to get a photo in better light soon. And they stick out like a sore thumb (the most beautiful manicured thumb ever) – LOVE the brand design.

How did all this happen so fast? Well let’s just say I decided it was time to put on my big girl pants and push myself a little. At MAKERS, not only am I taking in an amazing amount of interior decor, fabric and furniture knowledge, I am also really inspired by the whole experience. I feel so full of energy, interest, curiosity and ideas, even my art seems more exciting because of it.

I am also lucky to have such awesome creative people as my mentors, employees and coworkers. They give such good advice and are always willing to answer what I feel can be really ‘dof’ questions sometimes (but no question is a stupid question – except when it is).

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This was really cute – it stood at the entrance on our first day (Neo was also just recently hired).

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These are custom little caricatures I did for each of them (all that’s missing is Neo – will definitely do that soon).

One of the biggest things I’ve learnt after just a week of working there is that you need to make things interesting for yourself (all three of my mentors have said exactly that) and to take inspiration from wherever it comes.

The whole idea behind MAKERS is to bring “Makers” (people who “make” things, creative and beautiful things) together to a space where they can both feel inspired and inspire others through their craft, whatever it may be.

This idea alone is inspiring and exciting in itself and just makes me giddy with anticipation for what is to come for this small business. Working and talking with MAKERS has really opened my heart towards Makers of all kinds because at the end of the day creatives are makers. We ‘make’ because we want to give the world the best of ourselves. We ‘make’ because we want to share and inspire. We see a need for connection, for inspiration, joy, and all manner of wonders, and then we put our whole heart and soul into sharing our own little piece of wonder, wonder that comes in all shapes and sizes. I could really go on and on about this beautiful concept but I’ll keep it short and sweet (yes that is my short and sweet).

Another pro about MAKERS is that where I work, everything is so colourful and different. It’s so unlike any upholstery and decor store I’ve ever been to. Unique and true to itself. I love it all.

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As you walk in ♥

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MAKERS has a huge range of fabric from a number of suppliers. I’m still trying to familiarize myself with everything of course.

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This is our front desk (that is where I spend my time – when I’m not working with clients).

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How gorgeous is this ♥♥♥ ! (all the upholstery work you see in these photos are examples of work that MAKERS have done).

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Oh the prettiness.

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This is my favourite piece in the shop at the moment. That is such a gorgeous print. Would love this in my own home.

It’s getting late so I better head off to bed. I’ll be posting again soon, so stay tuned (ps. even now in my sleepy state I feel excited for my next day of work…what?!).

c.h

Why.

Today was a difficult day. Not terribly hard or terribly stressful, it was just difficult – the kind of difficult one would use to describe a stubborn sibling. Just difficult. Full stop.

But strangely enough that is what made this day a good day. Because the difficulty made me think and puzzle ’till my puzzler was sore’.

I had started the day off by posting some of the work I had done yesterday when I decided to watch a few TED talks. One of the talks I came across is a pretty well known idea – I just had no idea who had originally thought of it. The talk in question was by a man names Simon Sinek and it is titled “People don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it” (go take a listen). And this really had me thinking (since I’ve started a blog and all that), “why do I do what i do?” Ridiculous right? Like how can you not know why you do something?

Well the first thing that came to mind was;

psh well, because it’s what you love” and to that the other little voice in my head was like “yeah dummy, but WHY do you love it!“.

well, ..uh..” And for a few seconds my brain was blank. But then it hit me. So clearly.

I paint, sketch and scribble. That is what I do. I make art. I ‘artist’ (to ‘Artist’ is to do what an artist does).

I paint, sketch and scribble my inspirations.

I paint, sketch and scribble my hopes.

I paint, sketch and scribble my faith.

Why?

I want to inspire.

I want to give hope.

I want to strengthen faith (trust and Pixie dust* haha – I couldn’t help myself).

I paint, sketch and scribble because I am only human. I paint, sketch and scribble because I believe in being human. and my art is the most humanly honest light I can give the world. And that is why I do what I do.

I was a little overwhelmed the first time I realized this, so much so I had little tears in my eyes (I warned you this would be heart talk). So know that I’m trying to be as genuine and honest as possible, just so that you can understand what really goes behind what I do.

I never realized, before I decided to really think about it, how important it is to truly understand why you do something and that not knowing can really just lead to frustration and hollow talk. So I hope that this has at least got you thinking a little, even if none of what I said makes sense to you (although I hope it does – really).

Let me know why you do whatever it is that you do (whatever that may be) – and think a little more than just saying “well, uh I have to eat and be clothed and have a house – pretty obvious psh” No. Think about your passions and why you do that. And if you love your job tell me about that too.

Pretty please.

c.h

 

 

 

 

Queens of light: Pen and ink sketches

I felt a little bit off yesterday and landed up being restricted to the couch or my bed, if I stood up, it felt like I was gonna hurl. So instead of being a regular couch potato I decided that if I couldn’t paint I would keep up with my January project by doing a few quick pen and ink sketches of Mary.

While sketching these, I played with a new technique and I’m kinda in love with it. So expect more of the same to come, just more practiced, precise and pretty.

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This was actually my second try at this specific pose. I wasn’t using accurate guidlines but rather tried to draw straight from looking at the refrence image, so that’s why it may seem a little wonky. But I love it nonetheless.

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This is then my second pose. I’ll be trying more later today.

c.h

Art Progression: Queens of Light – Mary

Finally I have a ‘live’ and in-progress art project to share with you!

The first project for 2017 will be a series of portraits titled “Queens of Light”, named for the type of women I will be painting. I believe that the art I make needs to be a reflection of myself and who I am and being a passionate Christian, I believe that this series will reflect quite strongly that part of me.

“Queens of Light” is a series of portraits depicting inspiring women from the bible and (as the series progresses) equally inspiring women from everyday life.

To start my series I have been focusing on Mary. Virgin Mary, Mother Mary. The woman who delivered the man who would deliver us all. She showed faith, wisdom and grace well beyond her years. After just having reflected on the Christmas season this past holiday, my thoughts still dwelled on her quiet beauty and I decided that she would be the leading light to my art series.

To paint this series I will be using models to portray the women I have chosen for the series. These models are everyday women, not professional supermodels or celebrity look-a-likes. They are real and everyday women and each has been chosen to portray a specific character from the bible based on their own countenance and how they carry themselves. I have not chosen them merely for looks (although they are all beautiful).

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For painting Mother Mary, I asked a friend of mine who I have known for years. She is a strong, faithful and down-to-earth woman who is a mother herself (another reason I chose her to portray Mary) to two boys, who just happen to be the cutest kids to have ever lived. This past week I asked if she would be ‘my’ Mother Mary and thank fully she agreed. Friday morning, bright and early she came to my home and posed for the pictures I will use as reference.

 

Oh and this beautiful woman is Kerry.

 

I started painting this morning and this is where I am at present.

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You can see a fine outline of the shape of Mary and the basics – where her eyeballs are, nose and lip line. These act as my guideline, details are added as I paint and get formed as I go – so they never start out looking pretty. Oh and the messy coat of ochre is a light base coat.

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Here I’ve added a white base coat. In case you hadn’t guessed yet, I paint in layers. A LOT of layers.

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Background. More detailed to be added at the end.

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and here I started adding the next section of white base coat. And on the left you can see my reference image.

I’ll be sharing the final product and the rest of my progress images next week. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. AND I’ll be doing a few charcoal sketches for this art series too. Whoop.

c.h

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