Arty update

While I may not have been blogging much, I have continued to paint.  Here are a few of my recent works.

These wet pebbles were for our “Going Coastal” assignment on Free your Art.

and an enamel bowl and jug – this was an exercise on white on white – I really enjoyed it.

I also painted two wall murals at two under-privileged schools for a charity which does really great work with the schools on raising awareness of our ecology and ecosystems and also running food gardens at the schools

Cartoon art challenge – final pictures

Our “Artful Cartoon” challenge finished after the first week in August and I have been remiss in blogging about it.  You can read the details of the challenge here.

Although cartoons are really not my thing when it comes to painting, this challenge tested our creativity more than any of our previous challenges.  The test was to reproduce a cartoon in your own style and medium – creating a work of art.

Here is my attempt – I called it “the little mermaid grows up” and I painted it in acrylic on board.

As you can see from the picture below we got so many unusual and creative entries. From wall clocks to skateboards, paint shopped images to Popeye and Picasso.

A collage of the other entries

The piece of art that won the popular vote was a painting of Spiderman’s hand on a skateboard done by Jamey Richards.

Excellent detail.  Congratulations Jamey!

To join our art challenges or to just follow along (although we love everyone to join in – no matter what level) please join our Facebook group – Free your Art  

Art challenge – day 2

Well day one was a complete disaster with both artists procrastinating  – seems this is standard before starting a picture.  Dogs got washed and banking and budgets took preference and even getting a lawn cut came first.  A good way to get those disliked chores out of the way.

Guilt ridden and worried about time, both ladies got going quite early on their paintings on day 2.  Much discussion via Blackberry messenger took place and by the end of the day they should have had something to show for it.

Here are their results.

This artist drew her picture

and then promptly painted over it to rid herself of the white canvas

so now she has left it to dry and will start drawing all over again – tomorrow hopefully. Time is short.

Our other artist didn’t even bother to draw anything but just started with splodges of colour.

and gave up by midday.

Interesting to note the two different techniques and also that they have chosen different orientations (landscape vs portrait) to depict the same picture.

Lets hope they get themselves into gear and have something more to show soon!

The Challenge

I have this friend, who I have known for about 10 years, but have really only connected with over the past year or so.  We used to live in the same town, and never spent much time together and now we live about 9 hours apart and spend hours together on Facebook and Blackberry messenger.  I often ask myself why we didn’t connect well before, but I guess it is just that we find ourselves in the same space at the moment. She is a mother and a wife, fellow planet-hugger, an artist and philosopher. So extremely confident and outspoken in some ways and yet shy and retreating in others. One of the things she is shy and retreating about is her art, and oh boy can she paint!  I have found myself being led gently through the world of art by her, learning words like ‘plein air’ , ‘hyper-realism‘ and ‘alla prima’, and walking through a virtual gallery of artists to look at how they do it.

Meet Vanessa

In the past I was never really interested in the world of art – I just liked painting and drawing.  My vocabulary consisted of paint, brush, and canvas, so this is all very new and exciting to me.

So anyhow, a few days ago I found a picture I wanted to paint and I had a few questions about how to approach it so I sent it to Vanessa to have a look at and advise me. She fell in love with the picture too and then I got to thinking about how different our paintings would be if we painted from the same reference picture, and so an idea was born.

Vanessa took a little convincing and now we will both be painting a picture using the same reference over the next seven days.

Here is a note from Vanessa on the subject:

A late night chat on my Blackberry with yours truly lead to a painting challenge, that to be quite honest I am rather nervous about. It’s such a beautiful image and we both share a love of art, I could not refuse her coaxing.
Jackie oddly seems to think I am a pro at painting. Snigger! To put the record straight – I am not a professional, I have never painted this type of subject matter in my entire life, … and oh Jackie’s natural ease with her talent intimidates me.
I take months to complete paintings, and we have 7 days (and she calls herself the Slowvelder??).
By the way, the medium I am using is Water mixable Oils on stretched canvas –  hooo boy I just hope I can get this done in time?!

I thought it would be interesting to journal about the process here on my blog, so Vanessa will be checking in here with me, leaving a few notes and also commenting and answering questions in the comments section of the various posts.  I believe she may even blog about it herself, and if she does, I will also link to her blog. (Click here to see V’s Blog and take a look at her paintings)

I hope you will enjoy following the process with us.  We have decided that we will only show you the reference picture after our paintings are complete, and we will NOT be telling you which picture belongs to each of us until the end.  If you have followed my art posts before, you will probably be able to tell,  you are welcome to guess 🙂 . I will be painting in acrylic and oil on stretched canvas.

We start today and will show you our final paintings next Sunday.  I will try to get up as many intermediate posts as possible showing you our progress.

We would love to get some lively debate going in the comments so please feel free to have your say and invite your friends to join in. (Beg plead! As I would just hate to end up having only one or two comments :))

Let the challenge begin……

It’s all about food…..

Everything I have been doing lately is all about food and it has been so much fun.  My first batch of vegetables are finally planted. This has been two years in the planning so it’s a big thing for me.  They are all safe and sound, away from browsing animals and the baking sun in their little cool cloth house.  I made raised beds using recycled broken vegetable crates with shade cloth liners.

Functional but not very pretty. I will be cutting off all the excess cloth to neaten things up a bit.

My whole food healthy eating plan is continuing well and I am feeling a difference already.  yesterday we had this super fritata for breakfast

and made some homemade cold drink using rosella flowers and lemon grass.  It turns bright red once it has been in the fridge for an hour or two, sweetened with a touch of honey and absolutely delicious.

so much food on my mind, I even painted a cabbage 🙂

This painting is one of six macro paintings I am doing to hang as a group in my kitchen. They are on stretched canvas so will not need to be framed.  I have also completed one of a slice of lemon but I am not happy with it.

I wonder how many other people have ever painted a cabbage 🙂

Painting progress

I am back home from the mad, crazy city. As we drove back over the mountain after 5 and a half hours in the car we all felt the atmosphere change and my muscles in my neck began to relax.

My son’s wedding was wonderful and it was extra special being able to see my family again but I must say that there is no place like home.

Before I left I did some more work on my current painting and thought you may like to see the progress.  Tomorrow I must get back into gear and get working again.

Fun painting – a wrong long cow.

We were supposed to paint half the picture in negative but I got a little carried away and just continued painting normally. My cow ended up a little longer than he should have and I forgot to convert one side to the negative.  I tend to zone out when I paint and when I came to I saw that I had done it all wrong.  It was super fun to paint though and that’s what it’s all about.

This cow is a Nguni – my favorite breed. If you want to see some real ones take a look at my post I wrote about them.



Jack of all trades?

I think what makes the difference between someone who is an expert at something and someone who is not, is the ability of that person to face repetition.  That’s why I am a jack of all trades and master of none.

I do not like repetition and reworking anything. I rarely read a book twice or watch a movie for a second time. Once I have learned to make something, unless each item is totally different with its own challenges, I will probably not make it again, unless I can eat it 🙂

This issue in itself presents a problem for me when it comes to my art and painting.  When I choose a picture to paint, I need it to be a little challenging, however, once I have spent some hours on it and feel I have stood up to the challenges, I get a little irritated if it is not finished and sometimes walk away from it and do not finish it for quite some time.

Last week I decided to paint a picture that I have painted before which is very unusual for me.  The reason for this is that I painted it originally using digital media (ie on a computer program with virtual paint and brushes using a mouse).  I liked the picture quite a bit and decided that I would like a real live painting to hang or sell, so I attempted it in acrylic.

By the end of my painting session I was quite tired of the picture again and my brushes were shedding hairs for some strange reason so it is not finished yet and needs some further work.  I think I will give it a few weeks though before I come back to it. My mind is already on my next picture…..

Art group activities

This week the group learned how to paint on foil. Although I didn’t participate in the group activity I found it very interesting to watch the pictures develop. Again, I was very surprised at the results. The foil gives the paint a metallic touch. I was surprised that acrylic paint would even stick to foil.  Here are a few examples of the results.





I did a small amount of work on my hornbill with oil paints.  After working with quick drying acrylic it’s rather frustrating to have to wait a week every time I need to add a new layer, however, it’s a slow life I have chosen so I must learn to be patient.

I don’t think I have too much more to do other than some white feathery layers on his head and chest. After doing all I could do on the hornbill for the evening I started a new acrylic just for fun.

I did not draw at all and just started with paint at the top of the canvas and worked my way down.  All I need to do on it now is add a tree or two and some finer detail in the foreground.  Quick and easy.

A few other acrylic paintings were worked on too. Both Mark and Wendy are busy with interesting subjects (see below)



After class as I was carrying both my wet paintings I tripped over a rock in the pitch dark and fell flat on my face. Now I have some sand detail on the paintings to deal with next week.

Barter and trade seem to be working their way into the group.  A few weeks ago, Thelma bartered for one of my paintings – and I got a foot massage and pedicure voucher for my efforts – a fair trade indeed.  This week, Angela traded a bottle of wine for Thelma’s foil artwork.