The Grand Opening of iNyoka Gallery

On Friday the 19th of September a long awaited dream became reality when our artists co-operative gallery was officially opened in Hoedspruit.

After years of planning and months of really hard work and renovations done by the steering committee, the artists themselves, their partners and sometimes even their children, we were finally ready.

There was a strong feeling of anticipation within the group and folk worked hard at getting invitations out and a couple of the steering committee worked night and day putting the final touches to the incredible space we had created.  All participating artists were asked to donate one piece for an art auction to raise funds for phase 2 and phase 3 of our project.

I was quite edgy about the auction and worried about the turnout. What if no one bid on my art? What if there was a poor turn-out for the grand opening?

I need not have worried.

The Grand Opening of iNyoka Gallery was the event of the year in this small town with over 300 people attending and our auction raised just under R140 000! What a buzz the evening was!

A HUGE thank you to all who attended.

(If you look carefully at the second picture, you can see my painting of a lions head hanging on the center pillar)

Special thanks to Kerry Simpson for the photos.


My apologies for disappearing again.  I have had a short glitch in getting internet sorted out at Tiny House.  Hopefully I am up and running now.

Tomorrow I am off to Hoedspruit again for the grand opening of the iNyoka Gallery. One of the few glitzy affairs I will have attended in the last 5 years (maybe the only one even 🙂 )  I will take lots of pictures to show those of you who are not attending.  I am so excited to be involved in this project.

I will be back blogging on Monday 22 Sept.

I will leave you with two more pictures of the farm where Tiny House is located.

Welcome to iNoyka Gallery

For the past year, I, along with a few other Hoedspruit artists, have been busy setting up an artists co-operative and gallery in Hoedspruit. It has been a labour of love with everyone pitching in to paint, drill, weld, wash and waterproof an old building – converting it into an art gallery.



Finally after months and months of preparation we are ready for our grand opening on the 19th September.  Art by member artists from the whole region will be displayed for sale and there will also be an art auction to raise funds for the gallery.  We are proud to have some well known local artists exhibiting in this amazing space.

Please make every effort to join us on the 19th just outside Hoedspruit for a wonderful evening of art, wine-tasting, live music and delicious snacks.

If you are a local artist who would be interested in joining our co-op, please contact us on  



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  

Free Your Art – Challenge 3

Click on the picture below to join our Facebook page to participate in this challenge.  It runs from 6 July to the 6th of August 2012.

(written by Vanessa Marais)

The Artful Cartoon

Our third online assignment will test your creativity in your chosen medium and encourage you to think outside the box

Gavin Marais won the vote in the Tree Challenge and he has chosen the next topic to be ‘Simple Toons to works of Art’.

He had this to say,” Sounds silly as a topic, but it could be anything from disney to cartoon network, print-based cartoon or comic book characters to a block buster 3d animated movie character. In essence, I’d like people to have fun interpreting a typically ‘childlike’ genre into an artwork worthy of any wall.”

Choose any cartoon character you like, but make it your own. Who’d expect to see Garfield in Charcoal, the Simpson’s in Pastels, or Goofy in Oils? Bake a cake, embroider, make a mosaic, form a sculpture. Go mad and have FUN!



  • ·         Cartoons are the theme.
  • ·         They must be a personal expression in your style and chosen medium
  • ·         Reference material is to be sourced individually
  • ·         Medium: Open
  • ·         Size: Open


  • The assignment runs from 6th July to the 6th Aug 2012.
  • Final photographs must be uploaded to the appropriate album by 6pm GMT 6th Aug 2012.
  • There will be no time extensions, so don’t procrastinate 🙂
  • Please upload progress and reference pictures to the appropriate  albums. We want to hear from you and see who is taking part. So keep in touch

This challenge may sound confusing to you as it did to me at first so Vanessa has put together some examples so that you can see what we are looking for

We are looking for as many participants as possible. Beginners to  experienced artists are all welcome.  I hope you will join us for this challenge.

A lazy painting day

Sundays on the farm are my best days.  All the housework is done, and I get to do as I please.  I normally take it slow and fiddle in my veggie patch and take Cleo for long walks or I paint.  Today, I have been lucky enough to do all three.  Our weather is beautiful, with the temperatures around 26-28 deg C (not bad for mid winter).

On the painting front, I have been working on painting a collection of fruit and veg for my kitchen wall.  Today I was able to paint two more to complete the collection of four, but now I think I am going to keep going and paint a whole pile of them as it seems they will sell off rather fast judging from reactions I have had so far.

I was really not sure which to paint for this collection but I think my choices have worked reasonably well,

What do you do on your lazy days?

Free your Art – Assignment 2

Heather Leigh Wagner won the vote in our previous challenge, so we thought it appropriate to give her the subject choice as a prize. We also wanted to make this a little more informal and open to personal interpretation, so when she suggested “A tree or trees – and maybe not from a ‘print’ or ‘master copy’ but each person could find their favourite tree in the garden or find a picture to copy…. that way everyone’s will be unique but with the same theme?” – We thought it a great idea! This is our second online assignment, less of a challenge and more of showcase of personal style and taste.

Guidelines: · A Tree/Trees are the main theme. It can be fantasy; macro of a bonsai; a sunset with a tree silhouette, or a perhaps a forest, just stick to the topic · The reference material* is to be sourced individually, either from a photo, or life. ·

Medium: Open ·

Size: Open

Timeline: The assignment runs from 30th May to the 25th June 2012. Final paintings must be uploaded to the appropriate album by 6pm GMT 25th June 2012.

Please upload progress and reference pictures to the appropriate albums on our Facebook page or email them to me on

*This image is not the reference image, please source your own

Please let me know if you will be taking part.  We only had one international entry in our last challenge which was Peter from Belgium. Thank you so much for participating Peter.  We are really hoping for a few more international entries this time.

Why don’t you give it a try? Remember that your entry can be in any type of medium, so clay modelling, photography, any type of painting medium, pencil, scratch board, are all welcome.  Let’s get creative!

End of the “Still life with eggs” challenge

Our first group art challenge is now over.  Thank you to everyone who participated. We had great fun.  Heather who I wrote about in a previous post was voted as the favorite.

My personal favorite painting was the one done by Vanessa.

Isn’t it beautiful!

We are now talking about our next challenge on our Facebook page.  If any of you who do not have facebook would like to put in some suggestions as to what we should all be painting next please leave a comment on this post.  Suggestions should just be whether you are interested in painting a landscape, still life, portrait, wildlife etc.  Once we have finalised this we will be looking for specific pictures.  Please post your suggestions.


When we started talking about our idea of setting up our art challenge, I had about thirty people say to me that they would be so keen to join in and paint with us.  Once the challenge was launched, due to timing and various real world pressures many came back to me with apologies about not being able to join us this time.  Although I understand these pressures and time restraints only too well, I have been a little disappointed that we only have about 8 people participating so far.  So today I though I would post a picture of our latest participant, Heather.  Heather has been an active participant on our Facebook page so far – egging (pun intended) us on and encouraging all the participants. She only started her picture yesterday. Like me she likes to leave things till the pressure is on.

Here she is about 1 and a half hours into her sketch

Heather you inspire me – and I hope that those reading this post will also be inspired to pick up their pencils and brushes, appreciate what they have and get cracking on their pictures!

Heather you are a star!  Thank you for all your support and encouragement on our Facebook page. It would not be the same without you.