Painted Canvas - The Website

Make sure to also visit Painted Canvas - the website - to view a collection of all my works, with info about availability. You will also find FREE downloads and interesting links to follow. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Caravan and Desert Dunes

This was painting that one of my friends asked me to do. She worked in the Middle East for a while and came back and she just couldn't get on without the desert. I can imagine that the desert and vast open spaces can grow on you. So she asked me to paint a desert scene. It is quite a large painting and took me a while to finish. I really enjoyed this challenge and I hope that I was able to capture something about the silence and peace and atmosphere of the desert. Maybe you can leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Overberg

This is an area in South Africa that is always most beautiful. In autumn to winter the wheat and canola fields are so green it is almost unreal, especially if they had good rains. In Spring to early summer when the canola starts flowering you have the most amazing yellow fields, green wheat fields with the backdrop of blue mountains and even bluer skies. Then the wheat turns golden and the whole area looks different and has another beauty to it. For painters and photographers this area is a "must" to visit. I have the privilege to drive through there when I visit my parents and I am always amazed at the awesomeness and beauty of the landscape.

Up to now I haven't done many paintings of the Overberg, but they are on my "to do" list. I wonder what was on Renoir's "to do" list???
This painting is a scene on a friend's farm. When I look at it, I can feel the quietness and peace? Do you also feel that?

FREE Download

If you are one of those people who, like me, always forget to buy a birthday or greeting card - this is for you. I have designed a couple of greeting cards with my paintings on that you can download for FREE. You are welcome to print these out as many times as you wish and to use them to send to friends and family.
Here is just one of the paintings I have used. This is one of my abstract paintings.
The link where you can download the pdf file is:

Link To Download

My official painting website

I have finally finished my website where you can view all of my paintings. Well not all, but all those that I have pictures of. There you will get information about which one's are available for sale and sizes and prices. My website also contains links to other sites and blogs that I own. The site is one that will constantly change with added paintings, links and information. So please bookmark my site and make sure to visit often. And let me know what you think and if you have any valuable suggestions I would appreciate it.

Here is the link:

Painted Canvas

Monday, May 28, 2012

One last visit to Arniston

Back in the nineties! This, I think, is my best painting so far of Arniston. I say "so far", because I would love to go back there and paint plein air. That means painting right there on the spot in the open. I would love to capture the moment, or many moments. Painting like that forces you to paint fast, because atmospheric conditions change every second. And that is even more true of coastal areas. So it will be a challenge, but I know it will be a great learning curve. I have never painted like that. I have painted straight from memory, from pencil scribbles and from photos.

Some people, when they visit you, drain the life out of you, others leave you unchanged. And then you get people that, when they leave, you feel enriched. I gave this painting to a couple who enriched me by their visit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Painting Classes

Adele helping Simonette
Since May 2011 my Tuesday evenings became the highlight of my week. That was when I have decided to join an art class. And that was the best thing I could do for my art career.  (And by the way, I know this post is not chronological. We will go back in time in the following posts, but I promised my friends at the art class I will put their pics on this post.)

This evening was a little different than other evenings - we had to drink coffee - we didn't have wine! Therefor we were also more quiet and only a few people were there tonight. But as always, it was good to be there, interact with people, paint and learn from each other.

Tonight I once again painted with a limited pallet using only Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and White and I made a small painting of myself when I was only about 3 years old. Adele had to help me with the face. I am very pleased with the painting.

Almost finished!

Lady in red!

Sue is making good progress!

Here I am trying to paint myself. I will definitely recommend to anybody who like painting and who want to learn more, to join a class like this. Here you are in an environment where people inspire each other. Not only have I seen progress in my own work, but also in the work of each and every person in the class. In this class there is a Rembrandt, a Cezanne, a Monet, a Vincent, a Leonardo and maybe, just maybe, also a Renoir!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Best advice ever!

The best advice I have ever received from a painter was this: "Draw everyday, it does not matter if you draw only a leaf, or an apple, but draw everyday." This advice I received from a well-established artist, AA Louw, when I was still just a child. This is also something you will read in almost every "How to-book" about art that you can find. To have a good painting, the underlying drawing must first be good, whether you draw with pencil, charcoal or brush and paint. The proportions should be correct, the perspective should be correct and the composition must draw the eye into the painting and keep it moving within the boundaries of the painting. That is when a painting is "eye-catching". A good composition will draw the eye to a focal point, and when the eye moves away, it will immediately be drawn back to that focal point.

The goal of this post is not to teach about drawing and composition, there are enough books written about it. The aim is just to stress how important it is, and to encourage other, and maybe younger artists to draw everyday. Take a notebook and pencil, and draw everything you see. I will post some of my drawings at a later stage.

Here is a painting that, I think, draws the eye into the painting by the directional lines of the road and trees and the viewer's eye tends to go back to the focal point, which is the figure. A friend of mine bought this painting and it is a scene from the most beautiful town in South Africa, Greyton in the Western Cape. By the way, people and animals give life to any painting. You almost always find figures in the paintings of people like Renoir! I think he had some eye-catching abilities.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

First art exhibition

There is always a first for everything: first painting, first still life, first landscape, first portrait (still to come!) and first exhibition. Firsts are normally not the best, and fortunately for us, most of the time we get second and third chances as well. Is it not true of everything in life?

For an artist it is even more important to persevere, to never give up, your big break might be just around the next corner. And none of us wants to experience rejection, but if you exhibit your work and nothing get sold, it is very human to experience rejection. But we are overcomers. We know that especially in difficult economic conditions, art works are not at the top of the list of needs, it is a luxury. I think Vincent experienced that more than any other artist!

I was fortunate. Two friends and I organised an exhibition of our art works. We held it at my house, we made posters and we spread the word. It was not just another winter's day - it was a cold one. We made it warm and cosy inside, we had cherry and snacks for everybody. Quite a number of people came. It was a huge success and I was fortunate because I sold two paintings! OK you guessed right, my mother bought them! And she still has them. My mother knows a lot about good investments! My friends also sold a few works. It was an awesome first experience!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The joy of stretched canvas

I still remember this day like it was yesterday. The first day that I painted on stretched canvas. What a joy! I know some people probably prefer canvas panel. That is good, but to me, stretched canvas gives a certain bounce when you paint on it that you do not get from panel. It was another lovely autumn day. I had set up outside on my veranda overlooking my beautiful garden.

I painted the "Volkskombuis" - a restaurant in Stellenbosch. It was from a photo I took when I was there. It was not autumn when I took the picture, but I turned it into an autumn day. It is not a large painting, but I was very pleased with the outcome, especially the sky and trees. That day I have decided to always paint on stretched or boxed canvas whenever I can afford it. Looking back I can see how my style started to develop. I know I am not yet there - I will never be "THERE", but as long as I can improve along the way, I will be happy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Deep in the forest...there is a light

A few years have gone by. During that time I was always drawing and painting. I gave many paintings away, also sold a few. By now my paintings were well over R100 per piece. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of them all. Wish I had. While I was working in Potchefstroom as a meteorologist, I only had weekends to paint. This forest scene was done on one of those weekends.

Even though some might think that it is a very "dark" scene, depicting some dark or evil, I do not look at it that way. I rather look at it as saying that in the middle of this dark and lonely forest, there still is light and peace. And I believe that in the middle of our deepest troubles, if we look at the whole, we will see light and we will find peace.

I still have this painting in my house and it is available if you want to buy it. Although it is framed, I will not include the frame in the price.

Painting the sea

I was still working from my book "how to paint landscapes". Actually it included seascapes. I tried this one. I think it is not so easy to paint waves, because you have to give the impression of the light going through the water. But then I consider myself an impressionist, so I must be able to give impressions. That is the job of an impressionist. Not always an easy job. I haven't done many seascapes after this one, where it is only the sea. Most paintings I do with the sea as part of it, the sea is more of a background, and not so close-up. But I will attempt that in future again.

This painting I sold to my oldest brother and made R7 profit. In those years R7 was a lot of money. I could buy my next canvas with that and maybe one or two tubes of paint. My mother was glad that I was finally starting to make some money. I hope that one day I will also be able to say like Renoir: "I think I am beginning to get a hang of this."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Autumn Again...

It is that time of year again...when the trees turn to golden yellow, and raw sienna, and deep red. That time when the sky looks more blue than usual and there is that something in the air. Here in Cape Town, autumn is the most beautiful time of year. The days are more colourful, it is not cold and also not too warm. Most days there are just a light breeze. Whenever you plan to visit Cape Town, come in the autumn. You will not be sorry!

From childhood I have always loved autumn. That is why I tried this painting. It was also in the book. But even with all the step by step instructions, I couldn't get the trees quite right. But don't forget, I was still in school, if I can use that as an excuse! But trees are difficult. When you are a beginner, you try to paint each and every leaf, instead of masses of colour. My mother liked this painting, it is still hanging in her house, but then again, she likes all my paintings. She has to, she is my mother and she has invested a lot of money into my painting career.

I hope I will one day be able to paint trees like Renoir!
I would like to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Arniston

I was determined. I just had to get these fisherman's cottages in Arniston right. The problem is you won't get a book on "how to paint the fisherman's cottages in Arniston". Maybe I should write that book one day! I had a few photos I took when we were there on holiday and a few pictures of other people's paintings. But I didn't want to just copy those, I wanted to do my own original paintings.

It was the year 1983 that I did these two paintings of Arniston. I did many more but I never took any photos of them. I will try to get a photo of my best one, I know who has it. These ones, I think, are better than my first attempt. The houses are more in proportion. By the way, (and you don't have to believe me, go see it for yourself) the colour of the sea is always that exact colour that is on this one painting, ALWAYS! It does not matter if it is overcast or raining or sunshine. It is the most amazing thing.

I heard this morning that Mohammad Ali once said: "If you want to dance in the light, you have to run in the dark." For me that means, if I want to achieve Renoir status, I still need to learn A LOT and paint A LOT. What does it mean for you?

Monday, May 14, 2012

So you cannot wait?

So I am not the only one who is impatient? You say you want to see my more recent paintings. I want to keep my blog more or less chronological, you know, so it makes more sense. But OK, I will give you a link where you can go to see some of my more recent work. Not all of them, I want to keep some as a surprise. I like surprises, and I want you to come back to my blog every day.
Here is the link: Paintings I Love
Some of those paintings are already sold, but if you are interested in any of them, let me know and I will tell you if it is available or not. You can also read the comments to see what other artists think of my work.
Hey, and don't be so impatient - that is only allowed for impressionist painters!

Arniston / Waenhuiskrans

There are so many small towns in South Africa with LEKKER names. (I don't know of any word in any other language that means lekker - in English it would be "nice", but "nice" does not quite mean the same). These lekker names, roll from the tongue, it has a certain nostalgy to it, like Waenhuiskrans (also known as Arniston), Paternoster, Napier,Wuppertal, Dwarskersbos and many more. Most of these towns also have a substantial artist community. I don't think there are many South African artists who have not painted the famous fisherman's cottages in Waenhuiskrans. I am sure Renoir would have painted it also had he visited South Africa!
Since Waenhuiskrans is one of my favourite towns, I have attempted to paint these houses many times - not always very successful I might add! My first attempt that I will show you here is still in my mother's house. She likes it, but then again, she is my mother! In my next blog I will show you more Waenhuiskrans attempts. And remember if you ever visit South Africa, you just have to visit this beautiful small town.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First sold painting

Vincent and I have a few things in common. Lets see, we both love painting, we both love starry nights and ....I think that is it. I still have both my ears and I have already sold more than one painting in my lifetime. Vincent has sold only one painting in his lifetime. It was his The Red Vineyard, November 1888, Pushkin Museum, Moscow). He sold it to Anna Boch, 1890. Van Gogh's work, together with those of Pablo Picasso, are among the world's most expensive paintings ever sold, as estimated from auctions and private sales. Some works are sold for over $100 million (today's equivalent). Do you now understand why I say you should invest in my work now, while I am still alive!!

I have always thought my family feel sorry for me and that is why they buy my paintings. But now, all of a sudden, I realise they are actually very clever! My one brother was the first to buy a painting from me. I made 43% profit. I sold it for R20. Great investment brother!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Moving on to landscapes

By now my mother also realised that I needed to move on to landscapes. We went shopping again. We bought a book on "how to paint landscapes". That was a great investment. Really, I'm not joking, I learned a lot about landscapes. First I just read through the book, and looked at all the beautiful paintings, and wondered if I would ever be able to paint as well - and we're not even talking about Renoir here!

Well, time to try! I decided to make a very special painting. I wanted to give this painting to my art teacher as a birthday present and to thank her for discovering the next Renoir. I chose the painting in the book that I liked the most. I remember it was in the middle of the book, spread over two pages. I really enjoyed doing this one, maybe because I knew it would belong to someone who will appreciate it.

It came out very well (I thought), and my mother even paid for a frame. I remember the day I took it to my art teacher's house. She was stunned! She very sadly passed away at a young age only a few years later. I don't know what happened to the painting after that. Maybe it is still somewhere out there. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Still on still life's

So I had this book on "how to paint still life's". My mother said I must first finish this book, before I can get a book on "how to paint landscapes". She knew me so well. So I continued with the still life's. I also tried making it more abstract, as you can see from these two paintings. These two were actually in the book, but mine doesn't look anything like the originals. I discovered something about myself. It is something only my parents and closest family and closest friends know. But we're friends right? So I'm going to tell you. I discovered that (no, it is actually two things) I discovered that I am VERY lazy and VERY impatient.

These are not good characteristics for the normal person, but I am not a normal person, I am an artist, a painter! These two characteristics caused me to develop a certain style of painting, and it actually has a name - impressionism - impressive! I will also tell you what Impressionism mean - it means you are too lazy and impatient to paint something realistic, so you paint so fast and loose that you only make brush marks that give the impression of something. You will probably find better definitions elsewhere! And guess what Renoir was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. I wonder if Renoir was also lazy and impatient?

Hooked forever

I was hooked forever. I discovered I was an artist - not the type that wear their pajamas when they go shopping, and never wash their hair. But to my shame I am sometimes very moody and have the blues. Don't we all have our faults? My brother decided in grade 2 he wanted to become an actuary and he did. I became a painter. Only difference is in the amount of money we make. But one day when I reach my Renoir status, I will be the one laughing all the way to the bank.

We went shopping again, my mother and I. The "how to paint"-book said I needed Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Blue and Sap Green. My mother didn't know one can actually mix those colours from the ones I already had. Neither did I.

For a while I just worked on hard board, but as you can see from the picture of my next still life, I didn't know it has to be primed before you painted on it. So it didn't work so well. I attempted many paintings. Many of them got thrown away, uncompleted. I got discouraged, frustrated, but the artist in me never disappeared.

One of my attempts on hard board.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On my way to fame

My mother was convinced! After just two paintings! She knows talent when she sees it! Hey I am still humble, I hope. Maybe she just couldn't handle my constant nagging for more colours anymore. We went to the art shop and bought more paint AND a book on "how to paint still life's". My father was also convinced - he made me an easel. I felt on top of the world. I started my first still life. When I look at this painting today, I am pretty amazed at what I did there. I know it is from the book, and I followed the instructions, but still I feel good about it. Here it is still on the easel my father made. Once again the picture is not good quality. I know I gave this painting to the neighbours. Whether they still have it in their family I don't know. We lost contact over the years, I can't even find them on facebook!

Second Painting

With still only my first 4 colours available, I started on my second painting. I was very economical while doing this one, I used only 3 colours, yellow, white and black. My mother was not yet convinced that I would become a painter, so she didn't want to buy more colours. She first needed some proof that I was serious. This second painting is hanging in her house and is not available at this stage. I think we'll keep it in the family untill I reach Renoir status. There is not much to say about this painting, I can't remember any specific story, but I did realise later that the 2 birds are perhaps a little bit too large in relation to the boat. Did you notice the year? 1978. The horizon was really skew that year. You are welcome to voice your opinion! Here is my second painting.

Humble Beginnings

Lets start at the very beginning,
a very good place to start!
My painting "career" began in standard 4 which these days are called grade 6, when my art teacher thought she saw some talent in me. She encouraged me to enter a painting competition. The school did not supply the materials, so I had to beg my mother to buy some paint, a brush and a canvas. I wanted to try my hand at oil painting. My mother and I went shopping, and she was shocked at the price of oil paint (about R0.50 per tube!). She said I can choose 4 colours, that's it. OK I didn't know anything about colours!

Had I known then what I know now, my obvious choice would have been White, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow, because then I could have mixed all the colours of the rainbow and more. I almost got it right, but instead of the blue I chose black. So I had white, yellow, red and black. I still could have done more with it colourwise, had I known that black and yellow makes green. Did you know that? Well now you do. 
But hey, it was my first painting and I'm proud of it. And best of all, I won the competition! Not often that that happens.

Fortunately I took a picture because I have NO idea what happened to the painting, but I still have the picture. So if you ever come across the painting, keep it, it might be worth millions when I reach my Renoir status.You might have to live very long! Ok, here it is, my very first oil painting. (Remember it is an old picture, quality is not good.)