Monday, 24 October 2016

Home away from Home

For the last few weeks I have been house sitting, looking after a cat (a special cat, a dog (a lovable Boxer who thinks he's a lap dog) and the house too, of course. On Friday I moved back home and it's as though I've been on a long relaxing holiday, even though I've been commuting back to my studio to teach.

The large block next door to my home is in the process of being developed. A number of town houses are to be built. In the process, I am devastated to say, many trees have been felled. The mornings are so much quieter now with the many birds having fled. Fortunately, my garden has grown well in the years that I have been here and with a few new additions, I should be able to screen my new neighbours effectively.

                                                       Proteas - oil on canvas 

I've now been in Australia for almost six years. Today, Monday the 24th October, I will take the final step in my relocation which began in February 2009 when I applied for a visa to move to Australia. I will be taking the pledge to become an Australian citizen.

I will be keeping my South African citizenship as well since both countries allow dual citizenship. My roots and my heart will always remain in the country of my birth. It's been hard to be so far from family and friends, however this has been made easier by the many ways of keeping in touch that we have today. I am so fortunate that I have been made so welcome here in Australia. 

So I truly am, as the title says 'Home away from home' 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Aleksandar's portrait

If you're a regular reader you will know that I have been painting and drawing portraits using the Sktchy app for some time. It's quite addictive and the community of artists is encouraging and supportive. And it's really inspiring because there is so much excellent work so there's always a new technique to learn. 

Recently a sale button has been added where artists were able to make their work for sale. I was invited to add some of my work there as well. And then, yesterday, I opened up the app and discovered that my portrait of Aleksander Prokic had a 'Sold' button. 

Aleksander Prokic - ink 8.25" x 10"

The portrait is in ink - for #Inktober* on 170gsm  Hahnemule paper. I used my Platinum Carbon pen which has the finest nib - essential to create the fine lines for that impressive beard. 

#Inktober* is a drawing initiative started by Jake Parker. 

This is what he says on his website:

"Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.
I created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve my inking skills and         develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year."

Please note: The paper is more off-white/cream rather than this slightly pink shade...

Friday, 7 October 2016

Botanique Bazaar

Botanique Bazaar will open tomorrow 8th October at 10.00 am in the Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Brisbane. The exhibition will run for a week, closing Saturday 15th October at 1.00pm. 
I will be there on Monday afternoon from 12.00pm until 3.00pm if you'd like to visit while I am there.

I have a selection of small watercolours, a small oil and some little fridge magnets - Mushrooms and garlic painted in oils.

In addition there will be a selection of cards printed with images of my paintings that have a botanical theme

Garlic - watercolour on paper

Portobello Mushrooms - watercolour on paper

Garlic II - watercolour on paper 

Lavender - watercolour on paper

Artichoke - watercolour on paper

Poppies in a Blue Vase - watercolour on paper

Sweet Peas - watercolour on paper

FRIDGE MAGNETS - oil on canvas board

And of course you will notice that I completely forgot to take any photographs before the paintings were framed....