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Monday, 9 November 2020

FROG RESCUE

Today I rescued a frog.  What a way to start the day. At the bottom of the window well in our cellar was a little brown frog.  He had almost lost his identity because he was the same colour as the pebbles.  How he managed to fall into the hole is a mystery.   Being round and tubby makes it somewhat difficult to fall through the bars on the surface.  Oh well, we shall just call him Houdini.
 
My husband called the Rescue Squad which consisted of one person,  'Me'! I lifted the frog gently into my hands.  He wiggled a little than settled down quietly.  There is a small stream that runs along the bottom of the garden.  I decided to put him on the bank.  He sat there for a while looking somewhat bemused and forlorn.  I tickled him on his little bottom with a blade of grass.  He hopped into the water.  With a prayer for his well being and survival, I watched him swim rather sluggishly away.
 
However, there was one thing that really disappointed me.  He did not turn into a Prince ... or a least my idea of one..... 
 
Nearly one-third of the world's population of ampibians (i.e frogs, toads and salamanders) are either threatened or extinct.
 
What can we do to help?  Do not use pesticides and chemical fertilisers. These kill frogs and the insects they eat. 
 
Leave a pile of leaves and damp wood in a corner of the garden.  Frogs love to shelter beneath nice moist ground cover. 
 
Teach your kids to value the essential part that frogs play in our environment. 
 
And for those of you looking for a Prince or a Princess....Oh! well who knows?!!
 
 
 
We had these little tree frogs in Natal in South Africa. Noisy but cute.


Sunday, 1 November 2020

UNLOCK - NOT LOCKDOWN

LOCKDOWN has to be one of the worst words we are hearing at the moment. It is a tough time for everybody.  One is faced with isolation and little social interaction.  

As an artist, I am used to spending many hours alone in my studio. However, exhibitions are not possible at this present time.  How do we, as artists handle that?  For many of us , selling a painting means having the money to buy new supplies of paints, brushes etc. Of course, there is always the internet.  This means of selling is almost impossible for folk who are not computer literate. Craft and Christmas Markets are now out of bounds. 

 I have no solution and can only hope and pray that this very invasive Covid 19 virus plays itself out and life can return to normal.

 I do encourage my artist friends to perhaps do a big clean up of their work spaces and art 'cupboards'.  Haul out those coloured pencils, oil pastels or charcoal sticks that have been hibernating for months or even years.  Try a new medium completely away from your comfort zone. You might be UNLOCKING a new talent, you never knew you had.  

 I have been lucky enough to have been given a new commission. It is a very challenging one and involves a painting depicting all four seasons in an unusual format. Fortunately my client does not have a time restriction.  I can play around with composition, colours and imagination.  I will post it when it is completed.  

Wishing all artists creativity and courage to continue exploring despite the difficulties.  Getting really involved in a painting, sculpture, drawing filling up a sketch book or journalling can be very therapeutic .

Thinking especially with comforting thoughts of all those who have been so adversely and sadly affected by the virus. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

TIME TO EXPERIMENT

 Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with acrylic pours and jewellery making.  What a lot of fun it has been. Suddenly , it all made sense and I started producing something that did not look as if it had been painted by a demented elephant.  

I am not sure if the breakthrough was good for me.  The playful attitude and acceptance of less than perfect art slowly disappeared.  My quest for perfection reared its stressful head.  

Of course I am enjoying myself but not quite in the initial uninhibited way I did as I started a new journey in my artistic life.  Colours are my 'thing' and the jewellery is beautiful but I am always looking to add to it.

Perhaps it is time to start another experiment.  

I will be posting some photos of my jewellery soon.

To anyone reading this, I wish you and your family and friends a safe journey through this strange time in our history.  I often wonder what my parents would think if they came back into this world and saw masked people everywhere.  They would think they had been transported to a foreign planet.

Oh, well , here I go, off to try something new. Here are  few of the items I have been busy with.

Nature's Greens

Volcano series in earrings and pendants.

Colours of the sea.


Sunday, 25 October 2020

CORONA YOU HAVE NOT KILLED MY MUSE

 We spent some time in South Africa this year.  Beautiful Hermanus is always a special place for me.  I avoid going to Cape Town.  Like any other large over-populated city in the world, it is loud, dirty and the traffic is horrendous. We were fortunate enough to board one of the last flights to Germany. Corona hit the world with a bang and life changed overnight.  Restrictions, lockdowns, fear and death chased my painting muse away. There was a sense of complete helplessness in the face of a virus of which I had never heard.  Our small town in Bavaria is a lovely farming district so walks in the fresh air were part of our rather isolated lives.

In a strange way one is almost immune to the new wave of Covid 19. You put on your mask to go shopping without thinking too much about it. You keep your distance wherever possible and continue to sterilise everything that could possibly contain a virus or two.... shopping carts, public toilets, etc. 

My muse had a serious chat to me. She told me it was time to show this darned virus that it is not going to take away your creativity. A client had given me a commission and I just could get down to painting something that had a lot to do with memory and imagination.  Suddenly, I felt a burst of enthusiasm and started the process. What a joy it was.  There was a tinge of sadness as the scene was one of the South African Veld and I was overcome with home-sickness.  Tomorrow I will be handing the work to its new owner with a tinge of regret for things that were so beautiful in my country of birth.  So here it is ACACEAS FOR DOROTHEA.

 



Saturday, 16 November 2019

COPING WITH BAD NEWS


Being part of a world which has become so visible through social media and the constant bombardment of news, is sometimes so depressing.  We open our newspapers, turn on the TV check our cell phones and listen to our radios. Our minds are filled with the horror of violence, corruption, crime and of course the mutterings and utterings of unpleasant world leaders!!

How do we counteract this to make our daily lives more pleasant and relaxed? We cannot hide our heads in the sand or put blinkers on.  We can however, look at the happy, funny and good things that we have in our lives.  Simple activities like a walk in the park where tall trees stand that have survived for many years, where birds twitter and a stream gurgles over smooth stones.  One cannot be sad or disturbed when a small dog wags its tail happily or a cuddly cat rubs itself affectionately against one's legs.  There is the joy of a warm plate of food on the table and a comfortable bed at night.  There is also nothing like a good book with a happy ending to make one smile.  Oh, the list is endless and it negates all the bad things.

My joy is being able to sketch and paint.  I turn on some soothing or foot-tapping music and either do a little dance in my studio or settle down quietly in front of my easel or with my sketch book on my desk.  I also spend a lot of time sketching whenever I am out in the open or on holiday.

These are from my sketch book and reflect the joy I have in sketching birds. Their cheerful voices and freedom as they fly from tree to tree or float on the water do my soul good.