Posted in Art, My Art Work, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Paint the Town Red – Painting

I have been drawing and painting quite a bit lately and love it.  One of my friends requested a large painting for her lounge, saying she wanted a city scape.

I got all excited and downloaded a few pictures to see what she liked and thankfully we had similar ideas.  We both like the same two, one quite abstract and one quite a bit more realistic.  I suggested that I try to combine the two and change the colours a bit to suit her room.  She was game.

This is the result and I am very happy with it.  (So is she, which is probably more important)

Paint the Town Red
Paint the Town Red


Her lounge wall is red so this works very well.  Here is a photo of it in place.

Paint the Town Red - in place
Paint the Town Red – in place

This one also gives you more of an idea of the size.

It is acrylic paint on canvas.  Each canvas is 50cm by 100cm, meaning that the entire painting is 150cm (wide) x 100cm (tall)

Posted in Art, Charcoal Drawings, Crafts, My Art Work, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Paintings

My voice

On all these reality TV shows, whether it is cooking, singing, dancing or home decorating, you always hear the judges saying the contestants need to “find their voice”.  At first I did not really understand what they meant, but as I watch more (purely research purposes of course) I got what they meant.  The contestant had to find the style that suited them.

I feel like I need to do that with art.  I am not talking restrict myself to one thing like only paint, or only draw.  I will always be trying new things and techniques but I need to discover my style.  I will still bake, sew, make cards, do various crafts, spray paint chairs, renovate and upcycle etc. but I am talking specifically about my artwork.  I see fantastic works of art that people are creating and think – wow, I’d love to paint like that or draw in that style or whatever.  But I know, I would never or could never do that.  It is not my style!

But what is my style?  That is the problem.  I feel that I need to define it, to “own” it.  I don’t know if I am making any sense??  But I feel that I need to concentrate on what works for me and I know that this should be easy and perfectly clear but I am finding it hard.

There are a few things that I know for sure.  I love drawing!  But I need a reference. I can’t draw “out my head”.  I love people and portraits.  I like paining in oils, but also love pencil, ink and charcoal.  I am better at realistic than fanciful.  But that is probably just because I have no confidence in my creative abilities.  So taking these as starting points I am going to try and work on defining my style.  I know it will change over time and I will improve.  For now I am going to draw more, as I mentioned in my post “Making a Plan” I want to try and draw something every day.  Not a masterpiece or even a full sketch.  I am happy if it is only a doodle, but I want to pick up a pencil or pen and draw.

Do you know your voice?  Are you trying to find it?

If you look at the tabs at the top of my page there is one labled “Art Work”.  I have some of my pictures and paintings there.



Posted in Art, Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Latest painting

Here is a photo of my latest painting.  I have been really slack about painting lately and think I have only completed this one this year.  It is oil on stretch canvas.

I think when you paint a picture of your own child you are super critical as there are a few things I would like to change. For one the area around her nose is too dark.  However, I have signed it so it is finished.  I am always worried that if I go back to “fix” something I will muck it up even more.  Generally though I am quite proud of it.


Little OL – Oil on canvas
Posted in Art, Baking, Cookies, Food, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Something new

So I decided to try something different with my iced sugar cookies – to paint them!  I have seen it around and thought I would give it a try.  We have our art class end of year party this weekend – our theme was Berthe Morisot.

I did not enjoy it and they did not come out the way I wanted. 

I believe that this is because of a few reasons, firstly I don’t usually paint with water colours and this would be done in that style.  Also this artist used oils so it was difficult to copy.  Secondly I found that the colour bled into the icing.

The other thing I think is that the taste of the food colouring would be too strong if you ate them (which I have not done yet).

I think I will stick to the more conventional way of decorating sugar cookies, line and flood with royal icing.  I really enjoy that. 

Here are pictures of the three I tried next to a copy of the painting I was trying to copy.  I think the one of the little girl with the red hair came out the best – the others are shocking! 

Painted iced cookie


Painted Iced Cookie


Painted Iced Cookie
Posted in Art, My Art Work, Ordinarylife


I went back to my art classes last night – what fun.  I really enjoyed it and can’t believe I waited a year to go back.

It was as if I had not been away though. Everyone still sits in the same place – the wine tastes the same and the place still smells like paint (odd that)…. and I am still working on the same picture.  Yes, that is right, one year later and I am still on the picture I was working on before Baby OL was born.

It was really nice getting into it again.  The picture is actually a pencil drawing that I am doing from one of Firefly’s photos of the “Wrecked Walkway” (click to see the photo).  Yes, I did ask him if I could copy it and he very kindly said yes.  As soon as I am finished it, I will post a picture.  It is quite near to being done –but then it was quite near to being done a year ago too.

Posted in Art, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Port Elizabeth

If you have nothing nice to say….

rather say nothing at all – or did you mom not teach you that????

You know there are just some people that you like right away and then there are the others…. The ones that you know, you will NEVER like. 

I encountered one on Sunday!  And she was standing in my house.  

Her boyfriend had come to help Mr OL out with some rewiring (we are having a kitchen done – yes I agree, fantastic timing being 9 months pregnant and all).  Anyway, they walk in while I am busy painting the last of my frogs – and feeling rather proud of them.  She asks if she can see what I am doing so I said by all means. She walks over, looks at them and asks if she can make a suggestion. – WTF!!! Me, in my dumbfounded state say yes. She says I should do something with the background, not just have it white.  This is the first time I have met this girl, and this is the first thing that she has to say to me… After I recovered from my shock I said, no I left it white on purpose and decide to show her the nursery so she can see the contrast.  Dumb move on my part!  She said she quite liked it, but then asked about the tree I painted and did I come up with it, and she supposes it does lift the room otherwise the brown would be rather flat.  Why the hell did she think I painted it???? 

She looked at some of my other paintings around the house, only to criticize them as well. She asked if I use oil or acrylic paint and when I said I use mostly oils, she says have I ever thought of mixing my paints with boiled linseed oil because my colours are dull.  Excuse me????  I told her I paint for fun, and no I have not thought about it and no I won’t be doing that in the future either.   I am quite proud of my paintings.  The she looks at a set of 3 that I did and asked if I was trying to copy Andy Warhol, but completed the sentence with, Oh, you probably don’t know who Andy Warhol is.  The little $##$%!@#$$!!!!!  I said, I know exactly who he is and these painting are nothing like his style, I have done a few in his style before, but I sold them, as I have done with a number of my pieces.  I was getting slightly irritated at this stage. 

She then had the nerve to comment on my garden, asked if I had thought of covering the patio and made a few other…. suggestions.  I think by this stage I was in too much shock to say anything back to her. And  if I had thought of something to say it might not have been very pleasant.  But my mom raised me better than that.  If you have nothing nice to say rather say nothing at all – her mom should have taught her that. 

The second she left I turned to Mr OL and said – “I intensely dislike that girl!”

Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Quilting, Running, Training

Me, obsessed? Never!

Mr OL thinks I get a bit obsessive about some things – like Ironman training or what ever it is that I have going on at that moment.  Although I was a bit upset when he said it, I realised that he is quite right. 

I get all passionate about “it” (whatever “it” may be), I obsess about “it” for a while, Google and research as much as I can about “it” – then finish, complete or do “it”, once it is over I hit a bit of a depression until I find the next “it”.  

This is not good – especially not for career choices.  It means that I have yet to find what it is that I enjoy doing and will continue to enjoy doing in the future.  How it is good though is that it means I have a broad range of interests and know quite a bit about quite a few subjects.  What is that saying “Jack (Jill) of all trades, Master of none” I think that describes me pretty well.  I can do lots of stuff reasonably well, but am not exceptionally talented in any.  Once I have figured out how to do it I will move on to the next thing.  Some things do endure though.  I have done TWO Ironman races and I have painted for over 10 years and I have been blogging for over 3 years.  

However – I do have a latest (passing) obsession – quilting!!! Go figure?? I can’t stop Googling it, looking at material and researching different styles and stuff.  I blame that b#@%@#% playmate.  I really enjoyed making it, but realised that as far as quilts go it was not quite up to standard or done in the correct way.  Hmmmm, I am NOT going to start quilting –NOT, NOT, NOT!!!! 

I will also give you a heads up to what my next obsession is going to be, unless of course ALL my priorities change once the baby is born.  It is going to be run training!  I need a goal, something to get me out of bed, onto the road and back into shape, and yes something to obsesses about and to research.  I need a training program!!! So, me being me I have figured it out.  I want to do the Comrades Ultra Marathon in 2011!  I have thought about it A LOT, it is something I have always wanted to do and would have done this year if I had not fallen pregnant.  I have discussed it with Mr OL (he is hoping once the baby is born I will change my mind but is ok with it if I don’t) and have uhmmm, researched it.  Unfortunately it is an “up” run that year but I don’t want to wait till 2012 (baby #2 might get in the way). 

So, over the next year and a bit please be prepared to be bored with this blog focusing on 2 main topics – the first being Baby OL and the second being running.  In preparation I have bought a running stroller…..  I could not get the one I wanted DRAT!  They don’t sell BOB strollers in South Africa – they would not even ship me one!!!  In fact they would not even ship one to my sister in the UK.  So I have had to make do with a local stroller.  Not what I wanted but the only reasonable one I could get, it does say on the website not for professional jogging though?  Not really sure what that means – but do you think training for the Comrades would be classed as “professional jogging”????  

Don’t say I did not warn you!

Posted in Art, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Paintings

Art classes!! Woo hoo.

My art classes start again today and I am very excited.  I think I am being rather optimistic taking in a painting I want to finish as I doubt we will actually pick up a paint brush.  The last class we had was in August so there will be lots of catching up to do and wine to be drunk – unfortunately I will have to give that part a skip.  But it will be fun to catch up with the girls.  Our classes are always more social than anything else. 

I probably will only be able to make the next 3 or 4 before this baby comes so maybe it is best that I do actually try and do some paintings.  I have 3 paintings for the nursery that I would like to finish before the baby actually gets here.  Maybe I’ll start them next week…..

Posted in Chocolate, Nursery Decor, Ordinarylife, Pregnancy

Weekend Project

Look what I got up to this weekend.



Stage 1
Stage 1


And finally!
And finally!



I found a picture of a similar tree on the internet and decided to try and paint it on our wall.  I thought it came out pretty well.

I drew it free hand, then did the lighter shade in 2 coats and then the dark brown around that (and around the rest of the room). 

I love the colour, and with the white in the rest of the room I think it will look great.  We are not going to be buying the furniture for another 2 months or so, so it will be a while before I see the final product, but I am happy so far.

Posted in Art, My Art Work, Ordinarylife, Paintings

My latest Painting

Here is a photo of my latest completed painting!

I can claim no credit for the composition as I copied it from a photo taken by Jeanette.  I saw this photo on her blog and emailed her for permission to copy it.  She got permission from both the mom’s – so thanks to all of you.

I really enjoyed painting this picture!  It took me quite a while, but I think it was worth it.  It is done with oils on canvas.