Wednesday, 11 June 2008

plein air and other work.

On our Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog, I recently did a post about the group of artists I have joined, tho go out on Thursday mornings to paint en plein air. I am delighted to have found them, because I have tried it on my own, and did not feel at all safe. Crime in this country is at such a level that you really do take a chance sitting out in the open on your own. But I am fully aware that depending too much on photos for reference is not ideal. Everyone is so free with their knowledge, so it was great, and I know I am going to learn a huge amount from this generous bunch of talented people.

Here Evie sits at her easel while Bev starts to clear up. And this is the view, although the cows moved around maddeningly fast, so i had to rely on photos to add them in later!

The result of the first outing.... lots to learn but it was great fun!

Title: Dawson's Farm
Size: 400 x 300mm

Title: Treeline

Size 150x150mm

I also did a little canvas of a group of trees. I am not altogether happy with the colour of the sky, i think i will lighten it, but as a quick oil sketch, it was great fun.

And finally, this is a commissioned work of the delightful home where I was invited to take part in a recent exhibition.

Title: Hannalise's Haven

Size 600x300mm

Friday, 06 June 2008

2 more in Africa series

Title: The Food Drop has arrived 1 and 2
Size 400 x 400
These two were on the Unsigned, same size, same price exhibition at Cuyler Street Gallery, but I did not get a chance to photograph them before they went there. Luckily they had still not been collected by the buyer when I was there today, so I was able to get a record of them before they disappear!

Tuesday, 03 June 2008

feast or famine

Having had a nice rest after the last painting frenzy, I am fired up and on the go again.... so there are quite a few new paintings rolling off the easels in the new studio. It is a pleasure to work out there, the lighting and ambience are just right, and i have really enjoyed "nesting" in there, writing odd notes on the walls, splashing paint around and generally getting comfortable with it.

Although I know I have not finished with the Africa Series, and have many more ideas to explore, I had to change gears for two exhibitions that had set themes. Firstly there was one at a private home, and I was asked to do some of my historic buildings for that. It was in a recently built stunning house that really lends itself to being used as a gallery. The house is a modern farmhouse, built in contemporary African style. It has earthy textures and colours, but wonderful open uncluttered spaces, high ceilings, extra tall doors, and great lighting. The owner invited 5 painters and a ceramicist to exhibit, and I was delighted to be one of them, as I love the work of the others, and our work goes so well together. In addition, she has taken a musician under her wing, because he does not have enough money to continue his studies at University, but is really talented. So on Friday and Saturday evenings, she combined the art exhibition with a music recital, as a benefit concert for this young man. We had dinner by candlelight, next to a blazing log fire, and listened to him performing Classical Guitar works, with some of his fellow students. It was a magical evening. Sales were good, and I felt really privileged to be part of this stylish event!

Here are some of the new works I did for that exhibition:

Title: Provincial Fisheries, Walmer
Size: 400 x 300 mm
This is a historic landmark in PE, where you can get lovely fresh fish. It is for sale, and I really hope some developer is not going to trash this lovely old part of our heritage!


Title: Looking across the bay from Richmond Hill

Size 2000 x 500mm

One of the things I adore about living in the old historic Richmond Hill area is the panoramic views across the bay, usually with interesting little cottages in the foreground.

Title: 78 St Phillips St

Size 400 x 400 mm


I have painted this house before but it is one of my favourites so I did a bigger version of it.


Title: Cora Terrace 2

Size: 400 x 400 mm

Another one that I decided to do again on a larger canvas. (The curls at the bottom are from the holder at the exhibition)

Title: Rainy Day in Central

Size: 800 x 900 mm


Looking down Lawrence Street in Central, across Russell Road towards Richmond Hill, I was attracted by the reflections on the rainwashed streets.


Title: Looking across Russell Road

Size 700x950 mm

Another view from Central towards Richmond Hill, looking across the Russell road graveyard to the Dutch Reformed Church in Edward Street.

Then on Friday, an exhibition entitled "Beacons" opens at the Khune Boekkooi Gallery. It is a nice topic and I have had fun interpreting it in different ways. Some of the Africa series are for this one, (beacon of hope) and a couple of churches (beacon of light!) as well as the more obvious lighthouses, I have a thing for them anyway so I enjoyed doing a few of my favourite one at Seal Point and some straight from the recesses of my strange mind!

Title: Seal Point Lighthouse
Size 300 x 600 mm
Title: Seal Point Sunrise
Size 300 x 400 mm
Sometimes at Cape St Francis, when there is a very high tide accompanied by strong winds, the waves go much higher up the beach than usual. When this happens, they leave lagoons on the beach, and if the wind has dropped the following morning, these become amazing mirror like surfaces which reflect the dunes and the sunrise colours in the sky. I have seen this a few times over the years and it never fails to captivate me with the wonderful atmosphere it creates.
Title: Seal Point Sunrise 2
Size 400 x 300 mm
Title: Seal Point Sunrise 3
Size 150 x 200 mm
I started these two paintings while sitting on the beach at Cape St Francis one morning in March, at sunrise. I completed them yesterday.
Title: Beware of the rocks
Size 200mm x 700 mm
Pure fun and fantasy

Title: When you go down, I'll still be here

Size 700 x 950 mm


more fun and fantasy! A painting like this, which evolves from no pre-conceived idea is the perfect example of the words written by Sandy Carlson, that are on my side bar....

"Colors that bleed don't, actually,

But might if they were living things.

Rather, they go outside the lines

On purpose or by accident

Creating an effect you may not have hoped for

When you placed them there

Or when you showed up to watch:

Sharp clarity, a gentle blurring, a mess?

It is what it is.

Colors bleed."