Entries in my painting (15)


My tree paintings in the reception areas of Reddam House Umhlanga

Since leaving university I struggled to focus on any particular subject matter. My focus at university was violent dogs, perhaps a reflection of the times in which we were living. (The 80's in South Africa) I started painting trees at the studio of Pascale Chandler and in particular the Natal Fig tree and for years this was a focus of my work. My school, Reddam House Umhlanga, has displayed a few of my tree paintings in the reception areas of the school. You can read more about my tree paintigs here and here. 



Painting as a Refuge

Since our last exhibition at Fat Tuesday in May this year, Lara and I have submitted a proposal for an exhibition at KZNSA that has been accepted by the selection committee. We have started making assemblages and more sculptural pieces for this show as well as our better-known two-dimensional pieces. I am not going to blog about these new pieces until after the opening of the exhibition. One of the pieces intended for this show has gone public already & is hanging outside the entrance of our new staff room, so I decided to share it.

 I started working on this painting in December 2011 and have worked on it sporadically throughout this year.

This artwork ended up at school as a result of my frustration during the September break. The IEB (Independent Examinations Board) don't place any restrictions on the time allocated to making the Grade 12 final Practical piece. However, the artwork is not allowed to leave the school & the art teacher has to supervise the making of these artworks. Grade 12 students leave everything to the last minute, so as a result we normally spend the September break in the art studios - them finishing off their pieces while I spend my days distributing equipment from store rooms, trying to work out solutions to disasters (because they didn't do enough experimentation prior to making the artwork) and reassuring everyone that it will all work out.

After one particularly tiring day I decided to take my big tree painting (150x100cm) to school & have some "time out" in my own classroom.  I dragged an easel into the middle of the room, set up the painting on this easel, plugged in my iPod & announced that I was going to turn murderous if I didn't paint. I managed to get in a few undisturbed hours of painting.  

Not every day was as idyllic - as the date of the exhibition drew near the girls needed me more so I only found time to paint after they had left to write their final examinations. 

Our bursar was looking for some artwork for display in & outside the staff room - she came up to the studios one day & asked me if she could use my painting until the opening of our exhibition at KZNSA.

This particular tree represents my favourite tree the fig tree - an obsession that I have had for many years. I love the muscular structure of these trees and their intertwining branches. I only recently found out that the tree I have been painting is a strangler fig. I did some research on these trees & found this article by David Tng quite interesting.

The following images show the progress of this painting:

The final painting is at the top of this post.  


Painting donated to Starfish

I made an oil painting of one of my students, Kwanda, in these last December school holidays. This painting has been donated to Starfish and will be auctioned at a dinner in New York on Thursday, March 10th, 2011 at 6.30pm.

"Starfish brings life, hope and opportunity to children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in South Africa by identifying the very best community-based organizations and partnering with them to ensure the highest quality care."


Candace's Kitchen Tea

I went to Candace's kitchen tea yesterday, she is my friend's (Melanie) daughter. I took some pics before the "bride to be" arrived. I gave Melanie a painting of a necklace she wears as a gift a year ago. she has it hanging near her entrance. The arrangement of objects on the wall really complements the artwork. 
Melanie, oil on canvas and mixed media, 20cmx15cm, 2008
    The sign below was at the entrance of the house

 The cupcakes were not only delicious but looked like little artworks (I just love the textured surface the stand is on): 

Even the tea tray makes a beautiful photograph: 
See more pics here



Arnheim, oil on canvas, 60X100cm
This painting makes reference to Magritte's painting Le Domaine D'Arnheim. He paints a mountain that also forms an eagle.

If you look closely at my painting you will see a bird near the top middle of the canvas. He also paints a nest of eggs into the bottom of his artwork - which inspired my nest of eggs. Sam, my cat, is painted in the bottom left corner.