Thursday, June 27, 2019


The landscapes of Namibia, to me, feel like the backdrop to my life. I grew up there. Whenever I get out in nature, I still search for the wide, open spaces, where you can travel vast distance without seeing signs of development, except, of course, the road you are travelling on. It truly feels like one can breathe there.

So, I've started painting small landscapes of the beautiful country I remember...

Thorn trees: my favorite trees.

Study no 2: Watercolour on Fabriano 300gsm.
180 x 110mm

Study no 3.
Tree in open landscape. 
Watercolour, pen and ink on Fabriano 300gsm.
190 x 145mm

The next three studies I did from a photograph I took out of the car window while traveling in Namibia in 2011, the last time I was there. This is a very typical landscape between Gobabis and, Windhoek: vast thornveld with mountains in the distance. 

Study no 4: Weavers' nests. 
Watercolour, pen and ink on Fabriano 300gsm.
190 x 145mm 

I was reading the other day that an artist who teaches watercolour courses, lets her students do several repititions/versions of each scene. (And, sorry, I can't remember who it was!!! :- ( Will edit it is when I remember...  ) 
I decided to give it a try, and can already see the value of the exercise. 
One actually learns something every time! And they don't look the same! Each one becomes an individual artwork. Each time some new possibilities present themselves! 

Study no 5
Weavers' Nests. 
Watercolour, pen and ink on Fabriano 300gsm.
220 x 145mm

The next one I did in acrylic. I quite enjoyed how the colours came out.

Study no 6. Weavers' Nests. 
Acrylic, gouache, pen and ink on Fabriano 300gsm.
220 x 145mm

Study no 7 will be a small oil painting. Watch this space!

Monday, June 24, 2019


Did a bit of general tidying up in my studio over the weekend, and decided to decorate two small trays which I use to organize art materials. The one came with a Christmas gift - could have had bath goodies in; can't remember. The other one is a "blank" that I bought at a hardware store.

I collaged the bottoms of the trays with collage papers I created (plus some old book pages), and then painted the rims in all the yummie, bright colors I like! What fun!

This one was a pale, insipid, mauve. 
Love how it came out; talk about "spark joy"! 


After. So much better! 

A bit more colour in the studio can only get the creative juices flowing! Maybe I can paint a few more things; who knows what's next?!

Friday, June 21, 2019


I stood in a shop by the art supplies last week, looking for a warm, yellowish red. What caught my eye, was a flourescent orange red! YUM!!  ☺ My first reaction was, 

"I'm not allowed to use that colour in serious artworks." 

What??!! Who said that???  I bought it!! 

Later that day, in a gallery, I saw abstract works by a very well-known South African artist, using...fluorescent colours!!!  Yeah!!

And today I got to try mine out!

Art Journal Entry. 21 June 2019.
Acrylic, permanent marker, pencil, collage. 

For my artwork today, I finished a commission I started last week. It's the view from a friend's back garden. Sort of. Enhanced. 

"View from a Zululand garden". Acrylic on panel. 
450 x 275mm.

I used mostly a palette knife for the painting. For the palm leaves I used a little flat nylon brush. It works very well. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019


There is a belief that artists go into their studio, whip out their paints and brushes, and create a masterpiece. Every day. This is a myth. Artists' skill is developed by practice. Years and years of it. There is discipline involved. Tenacity. Perseverance.  This is not always easy. That is why I read a lot about art and art practice to stay inspired.

Recently it has eventually dawned on me that I will have to paint EVERY DAY, or as close to that as possible, if I want to achieve the goals in art that I want to achieve. I also have to experiment a lot more. So I have embarked on a journey of exploration in art.

My goals:

  • Experiment every day
  • Create a painting every day (or as close to that as I can)
Today my challenge in my art experiment was to use a colour combination that I am not fond of: light blue and brown. I chose Ceruleun Blue and Raw Umber. And, of course, black (Paynes Grey) and white (gesso).

I started by mixing some of the colours to see what new colour combinations result in. I liked the blue/brown/white combination, which yielded a warm grey. So I started with a circular application of this colour with a palette knife. Then softened the one edge with a brush and water. It developed from there. 

Art Journal Entry: 20 June 2019

Next, I thought I could try a landscape, and chose a desert scene that I'm busy sketching from. But kept the limited palette. Having used cold colours, the resulting scene, was, of course, cold! Even looks like snow, much by chance! (I'm not accustomed to seeing snowy landscapes;  I've only seen snow once near Queenstown, years ago.) 

"Is it Snow?" Acrylic on Board. 300x155mm.

Then I redid the landscape, this time adding Cad Orange and Naples Yellow to the palette, for the dunes and grasses:

"Memories of a Beautiful Desert" Acrylic on Board. 305x155mm

I grow up in Namibia and love the contrasts, colours and textures of the landscapes of Namibia. I'm quite pleased with how this one came out. 

My assessment of today's exercises:  I loved the combination of the different neutrals in the Art Journal entry. And I really enjoy the textures which result from using a palette knife.

I post my Abstract explorations on Instagram
I often auction some of my work on Facebook
Some of my previous (and larger) artwork can be seen on my website.

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