Saturday, December 18, 2010

West Coast Wishes

This will be my last post of 2010. For me it was a lovely year with many West Coast paintings sold both locally and all over the world, thanks to the Internet.

To wish you well, I am using a framed effect I made in watercolours, containing our most popular images: the boats, the cottages, fisher folks, a gull and a delicious pot of mussels!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Diamonds on the West Coast

Diamonds, like all other products, have been given to man to utilize and create jobs. If you are not into the romantic side of these blingy bits, consider that they are also very useful in industry because of their hardness and strength.

I found these lovely colourful diamond trawlers at Lambert's Bay, the best area for maritime diamond mining. This industry has only been commercially viable since the 1990's. Seabed crawlers can be remote controlled but mostly divers are needed. These divers, who can only work about six days per month because of our famous stormy waters, have to work in the cold of the Atlantic Ocean for up to 8 hours. When they spot diamond-bearing gravel on the seabed they direct the suction hoses towards it.

The gravel is then pumped onto sorting tables. When the boats return, the diamonds are taken ashore. What I loved about this scene was the hollow hoses floating on top of the water, providing seating for hundreds of Cape Cormorants.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Purple Ragwort (Senecio arenarius)

I am painting the last of the purple ragwort flowers of the season! Because I water my garden twice a week some of them survived a bit longer than they would in the field.

Ragwort make a wonderful display in springtime, colouring the fields around us to a purple landscape. The flowers are pretty but poisonous to humans and livestock as it is said to affect the liver. Yet my beloved voles, which I painted a few months ago, are vegetarians and find ragwort such a treat. It is just too cute to see the flowers in those little hand-like paws! I have found that if you move past a window or stir a curtain the voles are gone! They are extremely sensitive. Maybe the early morning sun blinded them a little this morning, so I stood behind the glass and got the photos I have been yearning for. I hope to invest in a telephoto lens for my camera, to catch some better shots in future. In the meantime I present Mr and Mrs Vole eating their purple ragwort breakfast.

I also paint these purple flowers to celebrate my brand-new purple blogspot : French Belles by Marie Theron. ( Be sure to visit this blog and see me having fun with small paintings and fashion!