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.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Painting the South African Veld

The abstract trees were one of my most enjoyable projects ever. But as I have been a landscape painter for most of my life, rendering one west coast scene after another, I decided to return to landscape. Plain air painting would be wonderful, but being past the stage where I can freely wander, I decided to work from all the images I have taken in bush veld. I also decided that although I would use my favourite purple liberally, I would try to copy the real colours of the South African veld.

Have you ever driven along hardly accessible little inroads? Have heard felt the dry saplings of many trees scratching your vehicle? I hope these paintings will recreate that particular sensation.

Greet the Morning

A Bright New Morning

Take me There

The Wild Yellow Orchids

A Sunny Winter's Afternoon at Kloof
(with Charlotte, the Cream Donkey)

Rocky Road at Tala

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Abstract Tree Paintings by South African Impressionist Artist Marie Theron

The palette knife, that I do not often use, played a great role in my abstracts as I slashed out the verticals of the forest with black paint. The black network provided the ideal shapes for filling in. First I used lots of skins of dry acrylic paint, pulled from paper palettes. I cut the recyclable paint with sharp scissors and used the palette knife to cover the backs with white or cerulean blue/white mix, then stuck them onto the canvas. All shapes were then blended into the painting with more paint until I have created the atmosphere that I wanted to portray, the atmosphere of a kind forest providing health and shelter and peace to men and animals.

"Forest Glade"
460mm x 350mm
18" x 14"
US$ 245

To view or buy: go HERE

"Secrets of the Forest"
300mm x 300mm
12" x 12"
Acrylic and Acrylic Collage on Canvas
US$ 163
R 1500

To view or buy, click HERE


Friday, April 17, 2015

"Forest Cathedral" an abstract painting by South African artist Marie Theron

Is it possible to paint an entirely non-representational work of art? Even the most abstract work is usually abstracted from nature, or maybe from ideas and emotions...there is something there. And like the eye that is forced to look upon a dirt wall, we start seeing some images. I remember in my knotty pine bedroom ceiling there was a little pigmy complete with  a sword that probably only I could see. Even Leonardo da Vinci recommended that artists do that. This is a quote from a Tate Gallery article called "The deliberate accident in art"

Ever since Leonardo da Vinci urged artists to search for inspiration in the dirt on walls or the streaked patterns in stones, they have found that the accidental blot, the chance mark, or the naturally occurring stain can be a starting point for some extraordinary art.

I have decided to do more paintings in the  same style as "Forest Rain". I once again started with an organic shape. You can see the tree-like image in the right side of the painting. I then created a dark green forest floor to lead the eye into the painting. Harmonizing and contrasting colours were placed and I followed a square grid to bring an order of an architectural nature into the work. Do you agree with me that the theme; "Forest Cathedral" is suitable?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mondrian, the Verticals and the Horizontals

A note by Mondrian: If the masculine is the vertical line, then a man will recognize this element in the rising line of a forest; in the horizontal lines of the sea he will see his complement. Woman, with the horizontal line as element, sees herself in the recumbent lines of the sea, and her complement in the vertical lines of the forest. (his remark on his two paintings ‘Sea’ and ‘Trees’, both made in 1912.

* source, famous Dutch people life quotes: note in his sketchbook; as quoted in “Mondrian, -The Art of Destruction”, Carel Blotkamp, Reaktion Books LTD. London 2001, p. 70.

I decided to use these thoughts of Mondrian as the base for my abstract tree paintings. As I slash and slash my canvas to get those sharp sword-like (masculine) lines, I like to think about the images of war. Soon, a little war of words (with lots of laughing) started at home. My beautiful very feminine daughter and two grand-daughters would have loved to be Joan of Arc. They believe they stand upright in life...forget about the docile, reclining, beach or forest floor feminine image......Oh, dear, am I rambling here and forgetting about the paintings?
In these paintings I kept both Mondrian's lines and Kandinsky's colour theories in mind. Here we have the advancing yellows and the receding blues to animate the picture surface. Though abstract, nothing appears to be only on one level. As I mentioned in the previous post, I always abstract from something, in this instance nature, so that my paintings will recall reality.

Tall Trees I

by South African Abstract Impressionistic Landscape Artist Marie Theron
12.5 x 17.5cm (5 x 7 inches)
Acrylic and recycled acrylic skins on canvas

View or Buy

Tall Trees II

by South African Abstract Impressionistic Landscape Artist Marie Theron
12.5 x 17.5cm (5 x 7 inches)
Acrylic on canvas

View or Buy

Tall Trees III

by South African Abstract Impressionistic Landscape Artist Marie Theron
12.5 x 17.5cm (5 x 7 inches)
Acrylic on canvas

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Forest Rain, an abstract image.

Now I am really into abstraction all of a sudden.  This is my painting "Forest Rain" done several years ago. To abstract something, you start with here. I will present these posts as lessons in abstraction, because many artists ask the question: How does one start an abstract painting?

"Forest Rain" by South African Impressionist Painter Marie Theron
200mm x 300mm
Watercolour and Acrylic paints on thick watercolour paper.
Remember, an artist goes from reality to abstraction. I first made definite organic type of lines representing plant life. In my past posts, I have painted many realistic trees. To view some of my realistic trees, go HERE or HERE. The image "tree" is therefore already somewhere in my mind, in a place where information is stored. 

I often visit galleries or go through newsletters and blogs to view abstract works...and there is one very common lack in many of them: there is no depth. To my mind Kandinsky was the King of Abstract Painting. But take note, he studied the value of colours. He knew which were advancing colours and which were receding, and so the surfaces of his abstract paintings were alive with depth and perspective and movement. An abstract need not be a series of forms and lines all on one plane. Go HERE to view Kandinsky's beautiful works.

Once I have a framework drawing, it is time to start creating. First I do some automatic painting: I cover the format with patches of colour and get rid of the white surface. I love a real mess without sense at first. Chaos! After that, I go into "flow". I think of the theme, in this instance it was a forest during a shower. Some edges are dull and some objects just a blur! There are smells and sounds and so much to see and there is depth in a forest. I enjoy the process of trying to create that feeling.

I do hope that you can feel the atmosphere in this painting. In the weeks to come, I will create abstracts where I begin with tree outlines and then abstracting them from there. I will try to describe the process of creating them and hope it can help others to experiment.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Back to Bokkoms

Every time I open my blog, I notice that certain West Coast topics remain the most popular of my posts, even if new visitors pop in. These are the most-visited themes: Paternoster, Langebaan, Saldanha Bay, waterblommetjies, sutherlandia plant, and bokkoms. I have moved away from the West Coast, but I kept my home there and try to return there often. It is also available for holiday accommodation.
188 Sanderling....from our  "long beach" you can see the beautiful Table Mountain.

Since I am no longer living there and travelling the west coast regularly, I have started on many new painting themes, working in sets of 15 to 25 paintings. There were the bunnies, the stitch cartoons, the impressionistic ladies and the children. And now to honour the West  Coast once again, I painted a series of bokkoms.

The full history, process and use of bokkoms were explained in earlier posts which contained these images:

Bokkoms, read about them at this link and here

I thought I would present the Berg River at Velddrif by using a clear blue for the background? Here you can see the resulting paintings.
The three makes a good set for a narrow wall!

I am just endlessly living by the slogan (first heard from one of my lecturers long ago):  NEVER BORE THE EYE.

Thus the next step was for little fish to go all modernistic and Delauney-like, this time to reflect the colours of the little boats (bakkies, we call them) which bring in the fish for drying.

There is a tradition on the river: anybody, even a child, who needs food may collect a fresh harder or two for supper from the brimful boatloads.  In this way the community is supported. “Harders” is what they are called before they are salted and dried. I love the dish and nowhere is there a better place to eat them, than correctly prepared at a Bokkom Lane restaurant on the Berg River’s banks. These are a very fast acrylic sketch and some ink sketches on canvas, depicting my favourite meal.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Girl with Balloons II by South African Impressionist Marie Theron

This is my all-time favourite among the child paintings I have done.

Girl with Balloons II by South African Impressionist Marie Theron

Acrylic on Canvas
W: 200mm x H: 200mm x D: 15mm
W: 8" x H: 8" x D: 1"
This work is unframed
Price R1,333  or US$131 SOLD

Contact me by e-mail (hover over my portrait)
or visit this page
if you want to order a similar painting

Thursday, February 5, 2015

More Children Painted on Blue Canvas by South African Impressionist Marie Theron

I continued with this set of tiny canvasses in which I tried to capture the gentle nature of children. Their feet, hands and body language are the things that make up a child for me. I would therefore never portray facial features as it would distract attention from the child's action. Once again, my grandchildren around the age of three made the perfect models. #impressionist #southafricanimpressionist

Sea, Sun and Sand
Acrylic on Canvas by South African Impressionist Marie Theron
W: 100mm x H: 100mm x D: 5mm
6" x 6"
This work is unframed
R709 or US$69

May I Touch You?
Acrylic on Canvas by South African Impressionist Marie Theron
W: 100mm x H: 100mm x D: 15mm
6" x 6"
This work is unframed
R709 or US$69
View or Buy or read my CV HERE

Girl with a Cat I
Acrylic on Canvas by South African Impressionist Marie Theron
W: 100mm x H: 100mm x D: 15mm
6" x 6"
This work is unframed
R709 or US$69
It can be purchased HERE

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sugar and Spice, (little girls) painted by South African Impressionist Artist Marie Theron

I had fun doing eight little child paintings, where I tried to capture them in some gentle activity. Of, course, I have stored images over the years, and these darlings are based on photos of my grandchildren when they were young and sometimes the child of a friend. My subjects never pose for my and I like to capture them when they are unaware.

I first painted the canvasses bright blue. This blue colour had an influence on all the colours I used, softening the colours and contributing to the delicate nature of my subject. Due to a much smaller gallery space, I paint in acrylics, which I love. I will show more of my kids next time.

'Every Drop Helps"
100mm x 100mm
6' x 6'
View or Buy
'Girl with a Cat" 2
100mm x 100mm
6' x 6'
Buy or view

"Dreaming by the Stream"
100mm x 100mm
6' x 6'

Monday, January 19, 2015

Into the New Year and Pondering Some Quotes

We always enter a new year with that strange mix of joy and trepidation. 

I speed-read a book last night, which were full of ideas for people marketing art on the Internet. (New year's resolutions, you see?) The author was quite adamant that people loved good slogans. "Quotes are killer", he said. I decided to open my eyes and observe some slogans. We all know the success of the Avis "We try harder" campaign. But there should be a prize for worst slogans, I thought when I opened my first e-mail this morning and it showed a bright orange banner and the words: "You CAN buy happiness". An airline I often support was trying very hard!

GIRL in a RED TOP by South African Impressionist painter
200mm x 200mm / 8 x 8 Acrylic on wrapped canvas
ZAR 1333 / US$ 131


This painting was made from an image I had in my file of my  granddaughter taking flowers to a lady who allowed the kids to visit her farm and animals.

Here, to go with the post, are some quotes and New Year's resolutions by famous authors:
John BurroughsOne resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. 
  Oprah WinfreyCheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. 
Mark Twain:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

These quotes are truly inspirational. Have a happy new year reading, painting, blogging and following blogs.

Click here for the book I mentioned on Selling Art Online.