Friday, April 27, 2012

The art of life and farewells

In February I mentioned a family member was not doing well. His funeral was held Wednesday. It was a sad, joyous, weepy farewell. He would have approved of the vast amounts of wine and food consumed. He really would have enjoyed the big bunch of balloons his grandkids released as they shouted “Goodbye Oupa.” I wish I could have been there but I sent him bon voyage thoughts from many miles away. A memorable character who loved his family fiercely and gave us all happy memories and lots of good belly laughs. Hamba gahle!

Filling in colour with oil pastels 
I am all about whales and sharks at the moment. I’m doing painting # 5 in The Vukuzakhe Project called “Mkhomazi” which is the Zulu name for the river near the Amandawe region - it means “The place of the whale cow” because whales give birth in the shallows. Nearby is the world famous Aliwal Shoal, listed amoung the top 10 dive sites in the world by Jacques Cousteau. You can dive amoung the ragged tooth shark - or as the locals say “the raggies” - without too much anxiety because the raggies are vegetarian. However, you need to keep an eye out for the odd visiting tiger shark, great white and the like, and then things can get quite exciting. It is a completely different mindset painting an underwater scene. I hope to convey the tranquility and dreamy state of their domain.

It got me mulling over conservation and respect for the natural world and its inhabitants. And particularly how bloody awful we humans are proving to be as stewarts of this great earth. The mass destruction of rain forests, drilling for oil in pristine wilderness, killing off whole species willy nilly seems to the norm. Don’t even get me started on slaughtering magnificent animals like the rhino for their horn for Asian medicine - which doesn’t even heal the things they think it does - it is disgusting and sickening. Hunting is another soap box for me - going out and killing any beautiful creature for sport is just beyond me.

So I will go back to painting and try not to dwell on the negative… think positive and hope Ma Nature doesn’t get too too mad at us.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The art of the week

I got some nice publicity this week with a big feature piece in the Milford Beacon... thank you to Christine Miller the arts reporter! Here's a link if your haven't seen it...

I finally decided painting # 4 in The Vukuzakhe Project is finished - "It's hard on GoGo" has been a long time is the making but I think the final edition is very atmospheric and the colours work well. GoGo means Grandmother and in this collaboration with Jabu's fabric landscape, she is barely coping with raising children left behind but her family are with her in spirit which gives her strength.

For some reason these are not photographing very clearly and look more washed out than they are in real life. Probably the light I've been photographing them in but they'll have to do for now. I am starting painting # 5 - the landscape is on the panel and I am working out how to paint it. In fact I'm thinking of doing 5 & 6 at the same time.

I am grateful and honoured to be selected to participate in the newest and most fabulous gallery in Rohoboth Beach - Anita Peghini-Räber Gallery opened with just a load of fun and antics last Saturday. The standard of art is very high and I met the other artists at the opening - they were all very nice and I enjoyed chatting with them. The gallery is at 49 Baltimore Ave and here's the link to their website  - be sure to stop by when you're in the area and say hi to the lovely bubbly Anita and Denise.

The weather is so good right now all I really feel like doing is playing hookey and heading off on a road trip somewhere.... regret a look at my bank balance prevents this delightful course of action. Sigh

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Art of Spring

About this time of year everyone finds a new zest for life. Ma Nature puts on a glorious display, birds and critters set out doing the mating dance with the males doing some energetic strutting of their stuff and I feel I should go for long walks and just breathe in this fresh air. The dogwoods across the street from our apartment are a joy to behold  against their backdrop is the happily pink Victorian house now The Towers B&B.

Our morning coffee ritual watching the birds and bunnies in our side yard is more fun these days too. For a couple of weeks the holly tree was swirling with Cedar Waxwings as they raided the bright red berries - they did a good job, there's no berries left and the birds have gone on to other pastures. The fig tree beside the holly tree is glowing with little buds of sap green. The big old pecan tree isn't showing much yet, she's taking her time although I thought I detected a few newer bumps about to burst on her skeleton branches this morning.
And birds are braving the very interested felines watching over their feeder at the window - I thought they'd stay away but apparently the are made of stronger stuff and are not intimidated. You can see the still rather bare looking fig tree in the middle next to the boxwood bushes below the holly tree. We couldn't ask for a more wonderful view to enjoy in all the seasons.

My pansies in the entrance boxes have lasted happily since November and are partnering with the daffodils just peeking out. Soon I'll get out more colour and plant them at our entrance. My geraniums so loved spending the winter in the gallery I will leave them here. I'm taking cuttings to start new ones for the house entrance.
It's Easter weekend - time for a Greek style lamb with rosemary and garlic and fine wine. A time to rejoice in spring and all the critters who make it so much fun and so beautiful. What's not to like about all this glorious renewal?