Yesterday I blogged about 7 Things… one of which included being born in Zambia and today this post was promoted on Freshly Pressed! Fantastic photos – makes me feel quite homesick!

World Adventurers

Update 4/3/12:  Many thanks to WordPress for promoting this post to Freshly Pressed! And thanks to everyone stopping by to visit World Adventurers and say hello. You’re most welcome. There are more than 825 posts on travel and other topics for your reading enjoyment listed in the Category Cloud below. Enjoy!

Here’s a list of the top ten things you should do if you visit Zambia, a country in Southern Africa. Zambia lies southwest of Tanzania, which is featured in my book Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill. The two countries are similar in many ways, with plenty of opportunities to see amazing natural beauty, go on thrilling wildlife safaris, and experience Africa’s unique culture.

This list is based on my own experiences when I lived in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital and largest city. These activities and destinations will give you a taste of what this interesting country has…

View original post 1,541 more words

7 Things About Me.

Tags

, , , , ,

I’ve been inspired by Jean Marc to create a blogroll of all my faithful followers on my Home page as well as to post about 7 things you need to know about me – or you may not know about me. A very difficult assignment as mentioned on my About page – but here goes:

1. I am a keen numerologist and have studied this vast field of – dare I say “science”? for more than 7 years. 7 is actually an important number for me and is also the reason I’m not comfortable with talking about myself as one of the characteristics of 7 is a need for privacy.

2. I have lived in South Africa for most of my life, but was actually born in a little impoverished town called Ndola

Ndola

Zambia

on the copper mine belt of Zambia.

3. The reason why I really, really don’t like cold winters is that I was born in the tropics and my body’s thermostat got stuck at around 24 deg.C so anything under that is considered life threatening.

4. I have lived for 31 years in a mountain village at an altitude of roughly 1300m where the temperature drops below 24 deg.C regularly. This is called “living on the edge”.

The Edge is a holiday resort in Hogsback

5. I am a vegetarian mostly as I occasionally eat fish, but eat no other animal flesh – and have been one for 30 years. If you must eat meat then be responsible and make sure you get it from a source where good, kind, healthy animal husbandry is practised.

6. I have been married twice and am in a long term relationship with my ex-husband. This time it seems to be working!

7. I would love to go sailing around the world in a 40ft Maverick catamaran. They are beautifully built and are very expensive, so probably wont happen, but I can dream can I not!!

Maverick Yacht

“The Painting That Was There Then It Wasn’t”

Tags

, ,

In my last post I spoke about how happy and elated I was that my painting had been accepted by the Manageress of Kings Lodge to be hung in the foyer of the hotel.

My painting hanging in the foyer of the Kings Lodge hotel, Hogsback.

Once it was up and hung I decided to gift the painting to the owners of the hotel as they had helped me in a very generous way when I was in a tight spot financially.

THIS is when things got a little messy and THIS is what I learnt from that messiness:

  1. Giving a painting as a gift is not ALWAYS a good idea, but especially so if, in the case of this painting, it is meant for a particular place, i.e. the hotel foyer.
  2. Don’t assume, even after numerous discussions with folk that the painting is part of an exhibition featuring Kings Lodge in autumn that it is understood that the painting was meant to stay put.
  3. Do make a point of mentioning in writing that the painting is meant to stay in the foyer, even though I had gifted it to the owner of the hotel.
  4. Don’t ask questions of the Manageress in a friendly way how / why the painting ended up in East London at the hotel owner’s residence where there is no space for it to hang as they have a very expensive and expansive art collection.
  5. Do expect her to run off to the hotel owners with the friendly questions I’d directed at her and do expect to get very terse and cool replies, sort of, to my questions.
  6. Do expect the owners of the hotel to get upset with me for asking questions and  because the Manageress keeps running to them with my questions.
  7. And FINALLY – do expect the owners of the hotel to return the painting to me, because they are fed up with me!
  8. Actually no – FINALLY DO earnestly listen to my gut feeling when it says to stay the heck away.
(There is Oh! so much more to the above than meets the eye which I’m not going to go into as I have made enough of a mountain out of this particular bump in the road!)
Anyway –  as can be seen I’ve  learnt my lesson well and needless to say I have decided to take “Autumn’s Blaze” , an exhibition of paintings based on photos I took of Kings Lodge in autumn to our lovely local hangout – Butterflies Bistro instead where they should be on show by mid-April in time for autumn!
Here’s a taste of things to come!

Oak trees in Kings Lodge's grounds - still busy working on it.

“Ce la vie” said the old folks, “You know you never can tell!”

It’s Up and another painting finished!

Tags

, , , ,

As mentioned in my previous post I was going to let you know if the manager – or is that manageress as she is a woman? – was going to accept my painting of Kings Lodge as good enough to hang on the wall in the foyer of the hotel. Well it is and here’s a picture of it up!

My painting hanging in the foyer of the hotel.

A BIG thank you to all the people who popped in to have a look at my latest artworks and paid me wonderful compliments, especially my beautiful daughter Grace who is so encouraging. Getting negative feedback would not, I hope, stop me from painting, but getting positive feedback means I’m on the right track at least! Constructive criticism is ALWAYS welcomed.

I was not aware of how tired I was after the last painting.

I very cheerfully told Monique, Kings Lodge’s manageress, that the next painting would be finished by the end of the  week. It’s the end of the week and there is a painting completed, but it’s not one of the big ones. I decided I’d had enough for now of the autumn colours and instead settled for painting a smaller painting, 51 cm wide x 40.5cm high with lots of blue in it.

Cold front over the Hogsback Mountains

Side view of the canvas with wraparound image.

It turned out to have some autumn colours in it after all! Ironic that I am surrounded by the exuberant greens of summer and instead am painting autumn colours – or is that maybe why?

This painting – Cold front over the Hogsback Mountains – is inspired by a photo I bought from a local photographer, John McKinnel. I altered the foreground and the clouds quite substantially.

Of interest, I only used THREE colours + white to paint it! That’s right! Three colours  – and they are Phthalo Blue, Scarlet Red, and Lemon Yellow! It was a challenge I’d set myself and it was not because those were the only colours I had to paint with!!!

Next up may well be another autumn study!

In the Zone!

Tags

, , ,

I’m in the ZONE and painting fast and furiousLY. No time for blogging much at all!

Okay – not strictly true, but after putting in 7 – 10 hours of work a day painting landscapes, I’m tired at the end of the day. I’ve aimed at completing 10 paintings this month, but looks like I’ll be off by 2. Still not too shabby though!

Here’s what some of them look like:

Autumn's Flight, Arboretum, Hogsback

Arboretum Dreaming, Abstract

Autumn on the Main, Hogsback
GIFTED

Signs of Spring I & II

Study of Upper Thyume Waterfalls in flood.
SOLD

Today I decided to ease up a little and give my body a break and do a quick catch up with correspondence. It’s Sunday on the mountain and the sun is shining! What could be more blissful!?

First off – 2 of my paintings got SOLD!!! A lovely Canadian woman and her South African hubby bought the Arboretum Walkways set

SOLD

SOLD

and by now they may already be hanging up in Canada. I was fortunate enough to meet with the buyers and am very happy my paintings are going to be appreciated and enjoyed. Hopefully I’ll receive a photo of them in their home sometime!

Secondly, I am working on a 5 piece set for our local Hotel, Kings Lodge where I was employed on a temporary basis for a few months. While working there I noticed lots of spaces on the walls and have asked if I can hang some of my paintings in them. The Hotel manager has to approve my artworks first and so far I’ve just completed this one of the set  – the entrance to Kings Lodge bedecked with autumn colors.

Kings Lodge, Autumn, Driveway
GIFTED

It’s one of the largest paintings I’ve done so far, height 71cm x width 91cm!

The next in the series is a painting of the same size as the one above from a photo I took of an avenue of oak trees on Kings Lodge’s grounds in autumn.

King's Lodge Oak Avenue

I’ll keep you posted about how it goes and hold thumbs for me that the manager of Kings Lodge likes my paintings, okay!!

Quotes and I’m Back!

Tags

, ,

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

George Bernard Shaw

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new.

Albert Einstein

As mentioned in my last post, which is almost 2 months ago(!) I’ve taken time out to think about being an artist and have found, even though it is a demanding business and there are many, many talented artists out there producing many more beautiful paintings and artwork than I can, it is still what I enjoy doing the most.

The effort of getting over this stretch of making mistakes, of painting duds, of learning is tough and that is why, in the absence of going to lessons with teachers – none around here in my village or neighbouring towns – I have resorted to reading about different artists like Vincent van Gogh (of course!) and as mentioned my local favourite Irma Stern as well as contemporary artists who are on the internet. A friend of mine introduced me to the works of a phenomenal USA artist Marla Baggeta who is a prodigious producer of beautiful mixed media artworks – mostly pastels – and ALSO finds time to blog almost on a daily basis in an engaging, witty and intelligent manner!!

It hasn’t been all resting on my laurels and contemplating the pros and cons of being an artist these last 2 months. I stashed my water color pencils and dragged out some canvasses and 20 year old tubes of oil paint and am happy to report I now have a clutch of 7 paintings completed!

In fact I am off to hang them in a local restaurant called “Enchanted” after this post – hoping to catch some of the tourist trade.

Autumn, Upper Nutwoods Drive, Hogsback

Autumn, Nutwoods Drive, Hogsback

Autumn Arboretum Walks 1

Here’s lookin at you kid!

From the Movie “Casablanca”

Misty Sunday morning musings.

After Tenzing I’m taking time to take stock and pause to consider where I’m going as an artist and what makes me want to be an artist.

It’s a bit daunting, this being an artist trip.

I don’t believe it is by accident that within the last few days I’ve come across a number of excellent and active artists spouting forth, ever so eloquently about the why’s and wherefore’s of them being / doing / creating art.

David Sandum on his facebook page says it this way:

David SandumartWhat is your art style? a person asked me on my personal wall. Here is my answer: I often consider this quote by Paul Klee: “He has found his style, when he cannot do otherwise.”

As far as inspiration I am inspired by the colorists, such as Van Gogh, Gauguin etc. The psychological effects of color along with the motif, was taken to greater heights with Matisse and that school later on. I study this a lot (complimentary colors etc). Along with the Matisse school came the German expressionists, that had been greatly inspired by Munch.The idea here was to paint your life and not just what you see – or scenes of nature such as the impressionists. The expressionists wanted to paint not only the pretty, and strong us of color was natural (Kandinsky, Kirchener, Macke, Marc etc).

I usually paint landscapes or people that many would say are pretty, but always wish to transmit emotion. David Sanumart ArtLately my motifs have blended more and more with nature and people – Now I am interested in the emotions and dialogue between people (said and unsaid), and how we each individually interpret these.

Another artist, Chris Carter as this to say on his Gravatar:

Chris CarterThe organic shapes of the figure are forever changing as a body moves through space catching and reflecting light as it transforms through the shadows of its environment. Even at rest, the figure inspires variations of form and color as it moves slowly with each inhalation of breath.

I am driven by my attempt to capture the energy of movement in pencil and paint. Watercolor allows me to explore unknown territory from which I extract the suggestion of one or more figures interacting with the surrounding space. Oil paints challenge my ability to stay focused on a moment of action prolonged over a long period of execution. Pencil and ink are simply a delight, dancing across the paper as swiftly as the figure before me moves to the rhythm of the music that fills the air.Chris Carter

Though my work is diverse, ranging from detailed landscapes to totally abstract fields of color and juxtapositions of lines and shapes, I return to the figure to regain my sense of balance and to renew my spirit.

These two artists have given me much to think about.

I know like Irma Stern I strive for “life-affirming and uplifting” artistic expression.Irma Stern I also feel there is a tendency for us to live our lives as if we know what life is. This robs us of experiencing life as a mystery, as magical. If I can, through my art, uncover or offer a glimpse of the magic in the so-called mundane, causing the viewer to miss their stride, to falter and be arrested by the ineffable – I would have achieved my goal as an artist.

From that point of view, a fairy painting can be more than just another fairy painting and a cat portrait  more than just another cat portrait.

Tenzing more-or-less.

Tags

, , ,

I’m not entirely happy with how Tenzing‘s turned out.

I was working on him early this morning because I had a double shift at the hotel today and was keen to finish before leaving for work. The most glaring fault is that I painted his eyes too big. However, I’m happy with the basketry and the patterns of the shadows around him. I especially like how I turned the light patterns of the surrounding wicker work into cat’s eyes – not intentional, but appropriate anyway!

Here’s a closeup of those damned eyes!

 

Tenzing: Leaving the best for last!

Tags

, , , , ,

Tenzing Norgay the Sherpa would have appreciated the monumental struggle I had today, not with scaling the Himalayan heights, but with capturing a bit of basketry in my painting. Well, actually maybe not – but it did take some doing and at some point I think I would have preferred to be mountain climbing than painting today.

This is how far I got – not complete, but I am leaving the nicest bit for last – filling in Tenzing and breathing life into that bare patch in the painting where he is going to be living for as long as the painting survives.

And this is how the painting has been progressing over the last few days: