Friday, 27 May 2016

Get inspiration from Nature

As an artist, inspiration is sometimes hard to come by. I do a lot of painting and sketching from memory and from my imagination, but sometimes my Muse just doesn't want to play along. that's when I turn to nature for inspiration. 

Taking your sketch book outside or setting up your easel in the garden is a great way to stimulate inspiration - from the simple curve of a leaf to grasses gently blowing in the breeze, the topics are endless - the neighbour's rickety fence, a lonely sunflower, the puppy stretched out on the lawn, the sheen of the rooster's feathers as he struts by - all it takes is some imagination and seeing the beauty around you.

The sea and coast holds a great fascination for most of us, and walking the beach can unearth the most wonderful treasures, from smooth glass to round pebbles, pieces of driftwood and, of course, the most collectible, shells. Unfortunately for these wondrous living creatures, this spells doom, as people will go to great lengths and pay hefty prices, for these little creatures, which results in the harvesting of a living infrastructure which will not last forever.

And living proof of this is the fact that, walking the beach does not often turn up many shells, and in some areas, none at all. I have sketched some of my beach finds (from many years ago!), but nothing can portray the beauty of some of these as well as the living specimen.

The beautiful "Stepped Plough Shell" - a truly lucky find!

Watching the seagulls drifting on the breeze, ever keeping an eye open for a possible tit-bit, is one of my greatest joys. They effortlessly hover on elegant wings, alert eyes not missing a single move of anything on the beach or edge of the water. One such gull was hovering over me on my last visit to the coast, his beady eye a black pin-hole, staring straight at me, evaluating the possibility of another piece of bread being tossed up into the air.

A simple fisherman's boat, brightly coloured on a calm stretch of misty water, can offer a startling contrast, one which caught my eye at Hartebeespoort Dam in the North-West Province (South Africa), not too far from where we live. It was early evening after the main rush of tourists and visitors had calmed down and the guy was gently drifting with the slow current, trailing his fishing rod. I asked my husband to stop the car and hurriedly did a quick sketch, noting the colours of the boat in the border of the sketch for later reference.

Taking a walk in your garden or a nearby park can reveal real treasures of inspiration - I came upon this tree in a friend's garden and the play of light and shadow was fascinating. I had a bit more time to sketch this and could capture more detail.

Take time for yourself - Women's Chiffon top

All these images are available printed on various products like framed prints, greeting cards, postcards, men's and women's T-shirts, chiffon tops, skirts and scarves, leggings, phone, tablet and laptop skins and covers, throw pillows, duvet covers, mugs, tote bags, studio pouches, drawstring bags, stickers, spiral notebooks and hard cover journals.

Thank you for the visit and enjoy your day!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Do what you love

This might sound somewhat corny, but I believe with all my heart and soul that each one of us is born with a talent, and a destiny that will unfold in the most miraculous way when we honour and use that talent. Some might call it "finding their calling" or "discovering their purpose in life." I call it, "doing what you love to do and following your passion." Actually, they are all the same thing. Your calling and destiny are hidden within the precious desires of your heart. What an ingenious place to put it! All that is required is for you to look within and discover what gives you the greatest joy. 

A valuable question to assist you in this process is, "What would I do with my life if money were not an issue?" I’m not asking what would you buy for yourself, or what luxury trips you would take, but rather what would you "do" with your life. The key word is "do." What practices or activities bring you the most pleasure? Do you know why they bring you such pleasure?

This might surprise you, but they bring you pleasure because the Universe/the Source wants you to do them. They bring us pleasure because nature wants us to use them. When we use them we gift many. How simple and yet revolutionary: your purpose in life, your destiny, your reason for living, your ultimate happiness, all come from following and trusting what you love to do. Quite ingenious.

A couple of years ago I started setting up websites for myself - 2 for business and a few just for the love of it. I had no other motive than simply indulging myself in what had become my passion. There certainly was going to be no financial benefit in it, or so I thought. Little did I realize at the time that, by following this path, I would become a very successful web designer, writer of articles on many subjects and selling my art online. It was my destiny to do this, and I only discovered it by chance because I followed and trusted what gave me the greatest pleasure.

Not only is "Doing What You Love" a key to personal fulfilment, it is more often than not the key to financial success as well. While I was writing articles and posting them to my various blogs and websites, I decided to send each of my financially successful friends (those with assets over a million) a notification of my doings so I could get their feedback. As I finished my list and was reading over the names, I suddenly realized that every single one of them had achieved their success in areas they enjoyed working in – one was in the security business, another was in air conditioning, one in law, still another in home renovating – and so it went. They had found their passion, devoted themselves to it, and had prospered. Every single one of them was doing what they loved doing.

It got me thinking. Has anybody ever been tremendously successful doing what he or she dislikes? Sure you can make a living doing what you don’t enjoy, and many people do, but can you be tremendously successful? I thought about it for a while and you know what? I couldn’t think of anyone that I either knew or had read about in newspapers who was tremendously successful at doing something they did not enjoy doing. Not one. Something to ponder as we make our life choices.
- Maree Clarkson

"Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The new iPhone Wallets are here!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the long-awaited iPhone wallets are now available for purchase in my RedBubble shop. Available for iPhones 6, 6 Plus, 6S, and 6S Plus. The iPhone Wallet is a wrap-around case that holds cards, cash, secrets, and iPhones in one handy package. The art is printed on a faux leather finish (so cows won’t hate you!) and it’ll make so many pockets the happiest pants accessories in town!

So head on over to my portfolio to view the full range. Thanks for stopping by! 💕

Friday, 13 May 2016

For the bird-lover

Studio pouches for the bird-lover - carry anything from you bird book, binoculars, make-up, found birds' nests and eggs, little rescued fledglings and a small medicine kit to treat an injured bird!
  • Made from 100% Polyester
  • YKK zip with metal teeth
  • Full printed design on both front and back
  • Simply clean with a damp cloth. Do not machine wash, dry clean, tumble dry or iron.
  • Available in Small 9.5" x 6" and Large 12.5" x 8.5"

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Collectible Botanical Prints

Recently a renaissance has been occurring in botanical art and illustration. The reasons for this resurgence are many. In addition to the need for clear scientific illustration, botanical depictions continue to be one of the most popular forms of "wall art".

There is an increasing interest in the changes occurring in the natural world and the central role plants play in maintaining healthy ecosystems. A sense of urgency has developed in recording today's changing plant life for future generations. With their exquisite detail and gorgeous depictions of flowers and plants, botanical prints offer a chance to collect something lovely and also beautify your home.

Although depictions of beautiful flowers are what many people think of when they hear about botanical illustrations, these works of art actually cover a wide variety of plant types. You'll see botanical art showing vegetables, fruits, leaves of various plants, ferns and grasses, herbs with medicinal properties, cacti, trees and shrubs, moss and lichen and fungi, often with cross-sections.

There are so many options out there that many collectors choose to focus on a specific type of plant, a dominant colour, a favourite artist, or a certain folio. This allows you to display your collection as a cohesive group and gives you a goal when you're hunting for new items.

Organisations devoted to furthering the art form are found in the US (American Society of Botanical Artists), UK (Society of Botanical Artists), Australia (Botanical Art Society of Australia), and South Africa (Botanical Artists Association of South Africa), among others.

For more botanical prints, you can visit my portfolio ART : Botanical and for more flowers here and here. Thank you for stopping by!