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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Painting Nasturtiums


I continue my series of posts on painting flowers, by looking at nasturtiums, showing older works as well as recent work. One can have these tiny bright flowers available at various times of the year and they grow most easily from seeds. Where I live in a nature reserve, they can easily take over the natural habitat, so I do not plant them, but go out to collect some from friends or in places where they grow wild.

In this post I show paintings done over the past few years. You will notice that I paint with the flowers close by to inspire me. One thing that I love to do, is work with 3 or 4 paintings to create sets.
A medley of small nasturtium paintings

A set like this can fill a colourless corner with light and brightness.
Contact me at to order sets


This is my latest nasturtium painting.

By using the blues in the background, the bright colours of the leaves,
 petals and buds are emphasized.
It also provides a clean contrast for the little Delft vase.

Hello New Year Nasturtiums
by Marie Theron
150mm x 210mm
5" x 8"

Available (contact the artist)
ZAR: 660
USD: 44.5 (it varies)
plus shipping costs
It is important to do sketches of your subject and to learn the parts of the flowers.

Where I sit at the moment, I look upon a wonderful large bush filled with hibiscus flowers. In my next post I will show new as well as past work on the subject of hibiscus.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Painting Poppies

Aren't they the most uplifting of flowers? In our warm country the vase life of poppies is not very long, but what joy they give, pushed into a jug or tumbler, as informal as possible. Where poppies are, there will be colour! 

We often had them as painting subjects in my watercolour courses. Once again, like with most flowers, I made sure that my students held a poppy in their spare hand while making the initial drawing. That is the only way one can discover the beautiful intricate folds of the petals, the splendid capsule form in the centre with stamen like the rays of the sun, and the grey-green stems.

Freshly picked poppies in various stages of popping open.
Photo: Marie Theron   ‪#‎artmatters‬
This design of "poppies blowing in the wind" appeared as a card in book stores during the 1990's
©Marie Theron 1991  ‪#‎artmatters‬

This is probably my oldest painting of poppies
©Marie Theron 1991  ‪#‎artmatters‬

Aquarelle pencils are such nice tools for getting the detail of poppies.
I enhanced the drawing with white designer's gouache.
©Marie Theron 1991  ‪#‎artmatters‬

A large watercolour 1993
©Marie Theron 1993  ‪#‎artmatters‬

Another large watercolour  1993
©Marie Theron 1993  ‪#‎artmatters‬
Noticing my poppies in watercolour, a friend gave me a commission to make an acrylic painting. It was a hit, and I stepped away from watercolours! I started the new era of 2000 as a painter and no longer as an art lecturer. I still love teaching, so please feel free to ask tips on anything. 

The painting that started my career in oils and acrylic painting  ‪#‎artmatters‬.
My Facebook Page is for you to ask any art-related question. Visit my FACEBOOK PAGE 

An apology: All the poppy paintings on my page has been sold. However, you may want to consider some lovely prints, available HERE, ON THE BLOG OF CAROL NELSON

Later this year I will attend a workshop with Nancy Medina in Texas. HAVE A LOOK AT THE VIBRANT POPPY PAINTING ON HER BLOG or THIS LOVELY SET BY NANCY

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Long Relationship with the Painting of Flowers

Lecturing my course Flowers in Watercolour at Rust en Vrede, Durbanville (1990's)

In the last blog post, I showed some recent rose paintings that I have done. But at 71 years of age themes come round and round again. So today, I will  revisit the past to show more roses and other flowers I have done.

During the years 1991 to 1999, I taught a course in Flowers in Watercolour. I taught this in Wynberg, at Constantia, at the Parow Sport Centre and at Bellville Art Centre and Rust en Vrede, Durbanville and I also toured to Vredendal, Rustenburg and Durban teaching courses. When my old computer gave in and I lost my data base, there were already over 500 people who had received my tuition in watercolours and various crafts. Among my students there were 7 doctors/ dentists, a boy who afterwards had a long career as a South African rugby captain, the wife of a famous national rugby figure, a Miss South Africa runner-up and many entertaining and interesting students. 

Something I was very pleased with was the commission to design sunflower gift wrap and other products for a well known company. I also did cards for them.

A very good  and popular Afrikaans book "Aromaterapie" published by Van Schaiks, had me and my sister in collaboration. It was her academic nature and thorough knowledge and my watercolour paintings which made it a sought-after book during the heyday of aromatherapy.

I had a great disappointment when my book-to-be on watercolour was shelved due to government restrictions,,,it was a year reserved for the printing of school textbooks only.

These were some tidbits...the wind blows and one's personal history becomes insignificant and forgotten!  Next time I will show what I did with poppies, and how that actually led me away from watercolours in the end.

An illustration featuring roses from "AROMATERAPIE" by Maxie Cloete (1990's)
Sunflower gift wrap and products for Clifton Cards (1990's)

Large protea painting for my late husband's 50th birthday (1993)

Painting  Flowers in Durbanville (1990's)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Week of Roses

I love roses in winter, and they seem to like the season too, charming us with a long slow opening from bud to full bloom. I will allow the photos to tell the story of my rose painting adventures:

Some of these paintings are available! I invite you to visit my website  (link at the bottom of the page) and do remember that I take commissions if you need a special size painting or different colour roses. Shipping worldwide.

Five White Roses 9" x 12"

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Roses in an Antique Teapot painted in the Zorn Palette

Madcap me has reached an age where things come by more than once! Fashions, oh yes! And young people listen to songs from "our" era! And now, having painted flowers in oils 35 years ago, I suddenly saw these incredible roses and had to start painting them again! I will show an old painting of mine at the end of this post!

Here is my latest work (sold on Facebook). I tried the colour palette used by Anders Zorn and which also gets a friendly nod from Richard Schmid and is demonstrated and explained by Westerberg Fine Art. The colours are Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red and Ivory Black with the addition of White. All went well with my still life and even the grey I made with the two neutral colours appeared like the  blue of the teapot. The most difficult part was to paint foliage. I used a reddish brown made with the red, yellow ochre and black to shade yellow ochre leaves.

Roses in an Antique Teapot by South African Artist Marie Theron
500mm x 400mm Oil on Canvas

I promised to show a painting I did in 1989, half a lifetime ago. This was painted when I lived in Durban and had lots of hibiscus in my garden.