Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rock Pool 2

Rock Pool 2
Acrylic 45 x 122cm
This painting is the second in a series of rock pool paintings. I love the way light is reflected on the surface of the water in some areas of our rock pools, creating a milky reflective surface. Where the rock pool is in shadow, the water becomes transparent, allowing a clear view of the stones and shells below.

I have used very subtle tones of colour here, I am experimenting with colour mixing at the moment, trying to create very subtle tones from my very vibrant acrylic tubes!

Pots of Paint

I mix up my favourite shades and tones in these little plastic pots, adding a bit of acrylic medium and a few drops of retarder, the paint stays lovely and smooth indefinitely. I now have found pots with clear lids, making identification much easier. I love to have all my mixing done before I start painting, I have built up enough mixes to be able to paint spontaneously - even though I will plan an initial colour scheme just to get started.

Kim at Creative Influences always leaves the most thought-provoking comments here, she seems to be able to create such interesting discussions, she always makes me think. There is so much of what we do as artists that is instinctual and only when we are urged to write down our thoughts to explain ourselves to others, do we have to analyze and verbalize what we do.
Thanks, Kim!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rock Pool 1

Rock Pool 1
Acrylic 90 x 60 cm

The sea and the coastline become deep-rooted in one's psyche when living on a peninsula at the tip of Africa. The Atlantic and Indian oceans merge along our southern coastline, when we look south, there is nothing but sea between here and Antarctica.

I love to spend time gazing into rock pools, there is a whole microcosm of life being played out before me. The sounds and smells of the sea, the brilliant colours and shapes of the stones, shells and shell-fish with tiny fish darting about appeals to all my senses. I was struck one day, looking down, directly into the pool, by the amazing abstract-like quality of the shapes and colours and I have tried to recreate this in my painting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Acrylic 45 x 120cm
Arum lilies grow wild in profusion here in the Western Cape during the later part of the winter. I love the winter here in Cape Town and this Arum seems to represent this special time of the year.
I mixed up some muted grays and browns, not having any subject in mind, I just played with the paint using large brushes. I am fascinated how the shades of paint mix on the canvas - I wet the canvas with medium and painted into this wet surface. Over the weeks that this painting lived in my studio, an Arum lily poked its head out and then the leaves appeared.

This is my first posting after a long break. I sometimes need to go "into" myself where my thoughts need to be consolidated. I have been trying to analyze how I can sometimes create powerfully emotive images and at other times I feel as if I am in a creative vacuum, unable to paint. I have come to realize that when I am fired up with feeling, I can paint in an emotive way, but when I am bumbling happily along, my muse dries up! The trouble is, who wants to live on an emotional roller-coaster? No wonder some artists turn to drink or drugs! I have been trying to find my own way of accessing my quieter inner self over these last few months.