Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Market, to Market

This gannet painting sized 8x8 is one of the ten paintings I created for the exhibition I told you about last week. How to describe this amazing concept? The show is called "A Slice of Life" and will show 630 works by 63 South African artists, picked by Avril Gardiner from all corners of the country. Our opening is Wednesday 3rd November 2010. The 630 'slices of life' will be displayed on one wall and will be revealed at 6pm sharp.

Let me assure you, not one of us artists are even allowed to view THE WALL before opening night.I have seen photos of the work of Salome Briers who painted scenes from the Bokaap and District 6, very colourful and beautiful!

My viewer counter here on the blog show that nearly over 2600 unique South Africans have visited my blog. Who ARE you? (like they say in almost every Hollywood film) are invited to The Liebrecht Gallery to attend this event! For my friends who cannot attend, I will keep you updated!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The West Coast at Springtime

I have been working on 10 paintings for an exhibition and finished the last one yesterday! They are all West Coast themes and meant for an invited show of 63 artists each doing 10 paintings of the popular 8 x 8 size. "A SLICE of LIFE "Exhibition will show all 630 paintings on one gallery wall!

Before I start blogging and chatting about these completed works, I would love to show my favourite photos of the coastal flower displays not far from my home during Springtime.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gardening on the West Coast

In planning a West Coast garden, I decided to take my cue from the surrounding veld. There are no trees in the pristine fynbos, so I did not plant any. This is not a coast of waving palm trees and huge tall plants, and I often see people planting them because they love trees/want shade/want birds/need something tall as a focal point, or for whatever reason. But surely one would then attract the wrong sort of birds, because our Cape Robins, Francolins and Black Oystercatchers sleep on the ground or in low vegetation.

Another rule would be to have no flowers that will self-seed and start spreading into the fynbos. Nasturtiums are a no-no! I plant so that there is always a great display of colour. This is a long narrow garden and I want colour as far as the eye can see. By not trimming and allowing plants to grow together there are never any weeds as there is no room for them. Because of harsh rainless summers you need plants that do not need a lot of water. We are planning to make some "green" plans this year to water the patch of lawn.

In the photos you will notice that I allow the wild pelargoniums, sorrel, watsonias, Livingstone daisies (bokbaai vygies), all types of aloes and ragwort to grow where they want to. I make no division between wild and cultivated plants.

My garden has been photographed by many people who can see it over the walls, and are thrilled by all the colour! This is a garden where I only spend about 4 days working in a year, while the buffalo grass grows vertical and needs trimming about every third week only.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Wish for the West Coast

When you have been away for a month, you will always look anew at your home turf. In Pretoria, I was charmed by the very positive outlook of people, the lovely climate, the lush parks and gardens. Something that is almost a phenomena is the ability of people up there to create! The markets, whether they are permanent, or held weekly or annually, just have so much that is beautiful and of a high quality.

Back home, I need to make a few fast sketches of some boats at Velddrif. There is a large hall, quite spacious at the little harbour and it is divided into market stalls, but the spark is not there and the visitors are scarce. Seeing that the West Coast is rather poor, it would have been lovely if the same quality home bakes and crafts that we see a few kilometers further in Paternoster could be offered here. This prettiest and most historical of harbours just do not see the visitors it could receive.

Lately, we have seen far too many impersonal malls appear on the West Coast, it would therefore be so meaningful to see this great space at Velddrif become something much more craft-friendly.

Here, once again, I have painted a colourful little boat in the mouth of the Berg River at Velddrif. As you can see it is not seriously realistic! I preferred to play around with some designs, like those repetitive rings!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A West Coast morning exhibition in Pretoria

The moment that I met a new friend, Zelda, on Facebook a year ago, she enthusiastically offered me an informal morning exhibition in Pretoria. To make things easy, I packed mostly smaller and unframed paintings. We could not wish for a lovelier Pretoria spring morning!.

1)The first photo shows the imposing gates of Zelda's home with a mass of sweetpeas in bloom.

2)Soon I had some flowers in my hand for a playful photo-session with my graceful hostess.

3)The paintings stood everywhere between roses, silver bowls and in the pretty garden. This painting of a lighthouse was the first to sell.

4) The cupcakes which the guests had with long girly-type drinks or champagne.

5) More artful cupcakes, as delicious as they look!

6) The antique roses that filled the house.

7) Gentle background music and French songs by Esperance.

8) A tearful meeting with Debbie whom I have met on blogging, Facebook and RedBubble! (The tears of emotion were mine!) And Debbie bought a Paternoster painting of mine!

At the end of the day, I have sold 9 paintings and gave away two little ones as gifts. And of course, Zelda got the autumn doll painting that she loved.