Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and good health and happiness in 2014.
Kloof, Kwa Zulu Natal is an area known for frequent misty conditions - it makes driving difficult but it's so beautiful I had to share this image.
A day later, and the evening light was equally beautiful.
Appearances are often deceptive you can see from the blurred roses, the wind was blowing strongly.
A couple of months ago I made a flippant remark to my sister about holding a workshop while visiting family and friends in South Africa. She had lamented the fact that Australia was a bit too far for her to attend when I had advertised a recent workshop.
Before I knew what was happening she had booked the hall and had a full complement of 20 participants signed up! Whew....
So my packing list for the trip had to include pens, ink and watercolours.
The workshop was a variation on a similar one I had held in Brisbane. I knew some of the people but a lot were new to me so trying to set a level for the class was a challenge. I decided on some fun to break the ice and get everyone out of their comfort zones..... A blind contour portrait of their neighbour - and to add a twist - using only a twig pen and ink!! The twig pens, were again my sister's hard work - she collected them and cleaned off the bark; sharpened the ends - she deserves a medal...(and this is in addition to doing all the admin for the day - maybe I need her in Brisbane?)
I had a wonderful group - enthusiastic, talented and prepared to experiment with some wonderful results. Here are some examples of the work done taken during the day.
A special thank you to my sister and her sister-in-law (she helped with the catering) and all the lovely artists who helped make the day so enjoyable.
The experience of the day reinforced the realisation that my decision to make painting and teaching the focus of my life was absolutely the right one - I do so love what I do!
Some images of this beautiful country...
These were taken last Friday soon after my arrival in South Africa on the drive from the airport to Potchefstroom in North West Province. Love seeing this familiar countryside again.
During the night the sad news came that the people of South Africa and indeed the world have been expecting for some time - the passing of our hero Nelson Mandela - Madiba - Tata - father. It is especially poignant for this to happen while I am visiting from Australia.
As I move around the country visiting family, and as I experience the bustle, the crowds, the chaotic traffic, the warmth of the people it's as though I haven't been away.
As the country mourns the loss of a special man, a man without equal, our thoughts and prayers go to his family. May his legacy of love for all people and his enduring wish for peace be a lasting gift to the country and the world.
Rest in Peace Madiba.