Second layer of oil, focusing on putting skin on her face..she is kind of scary, witchy....The only upside to the current heatwave is that the paint is drying fairly quickly..maybe too quickly. How hot is it out there?!
My work process seems to be continuously interrupted at the moment with annoying but important issues. Yesterday was hijacked entirely with a last minute visit to Home Affairs in Lehurutse, over the border in South Africa. Its that time again when permits and passports need to be renewed, but working between two governments has its frustrations, neither have the same concerns or the timing of the other, plus lost applications etc. There are those of you who will know what I'm talking about!
Oh, and our baby has now reached the age where he needs grown up documents...I must confess to a sense of humor failure, never a good idea in a government office....I blame the 40 degree heat, the inability of the photographer to take a photograph of a white face that was acceptable (the camera set with harsh flash in blinding sun light) ...and the fact that it has, so far required 3 visits, grrr.
ANYWAY...back to my purple lady...A progress update image with a reminder of the poem that lead to this piece (at least, the first half of the poem) .
So nice to move on to oil paint, much creamier and delicate to work with. The glaze coat layer has dried to a lovely finish to work on...long way to go however and patience required with letting the oils dry!
So one way or another, getting back into the groove of the new year, new school term, preparing for trips and travels; I had a week where I just could not get back into the studio.
Its funny how a wide range of thinking and musing can suddenly come together and say, this is what it is, DO THIS.
Last year I began thinking about colour, wondering how I could make a range of works about colour in a figurative format. I couldn't clarify the thought though; I mean the WHY, WHAT of it all. I started here and then put it all aside: I have been calling it "Yellow Girl"
At the same time I made a new friend online, an artist based in the UK, making historical works, mostly battle scenes and the like. Initially our conversations were based on the technical aspects of oil painting, something I am learning about. Then one day in a conversation about the kind of subject matter we would like to paint, he said to me, "My customers tend not to be in touch with their 2nd Chakra" Hmm I thought. Interesting problem.
Many weeks later I stumbled upon an article on the 7 Chakras and learnt that there are colours associated with each: 1 to 7, root to crown. That was a bit of an ah ha moment. A potential hook to hang these images from. I also stumbled upon a poem that made it clear, my next painting will be Purple!
My last set of "works in progress"seemed to be enjoyed, so I will do the same with this painting, here's hoping it turns out well!
Happy New Year to one all! I know! its already 8 days old but my New Year begins now.
I would have to say that 2014 was a challenging year to say the least, chock a block with extreme highs and lows. As you all know, that kind of year, while not easy, is bound to lead to growth; and it has! Ending the year with an online course to sort out my understanding of the business end of my artistic practice, has at the very least left me with a to-do-list of impressive proportions and I LOVE me a to-do-list!
I'm absolutely longing to get back into my studio, having spent allot of time on my computer with this course and tackling the biggies on my list, like this website. Check! (pats own back) ending the year with a week long yoga course that was both excruciating and fantastic. This in preparation for my next adventure (more on that in a moment)
Spring cleaning my studio, people, summer in Botswana means I have mud caked implements thanks to wasps, ten different kinds of scary spiders and gecko poop everywhere! A clean slate is required.
Some immediate highlights of the year to look forward to will be kicked off with a Solo Exhibition of our fabulous Ann Gollifer's work. Be sure to NOTE: Opening event on the 12th Feb and open to public from the 13th. Sophie lalonde Art Gallery, itower, CBD, Gaborone..... I know its going to be wonderful.
YAY! I'm so excited! I'm off to India with a dear friend (yep, sorry for that lovely Husband) for a week in Bangalore! I have not been off the African continent for 20 years people! On the agenda is yoga, heeaavy breathing, delicious
Ayurvedic treatments and (obviously) I have high expectations of the shopping!
And thus beggineth 2015. Lets do it!
PS: The world is going mad..yes...Lets not go to the dogs ourselves, lets be mindful about doing things that make ourselves happy in order to spread some joy. The timing of assaulting our peace of mind with events like the Paris shootings yesterday, at the BEGINNING of our year, is not by accident. Chins up people!
I have come believe that growing your career is like driving a car. The car will go where you eyes are focused. If you are distracted by the side of the road, you might just end up there!
It was so interesting and inspiring to meet some of our local artists at the ART ATTACK this weekend. The Humans of Gaborone page has several great photos and quotes from a few of them:
Image: Velias, painter.
Sold! and Sold! Thank you so much to those who came to the ART ATTACK this weekend, it was great catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I'm delighted to have sold 2 out of 4 pieces, not a bad result. Thank you Ann Gollifer and Sanitas for hosting the event, I look forward to the next pop up in the new year.
I will be offering a 60% + discount on the following paintings this weekend, at the Sanitas @Linnaeus Art Attack. Crisimoose Special! 2 days only. Besides myself, there will be a bunch of local artists there, so do pop in and catch a bargain. On sale: Tree: Look up, About the hair 1 & 2 and The good shepherd hair Saloon.
Researching history as the starting point to my current *big* project keeps sending me down rabbit holes that can take me days to emerge from. What to do with all this information!? I keep reminding myself, at the core of it all is people; my primary obsession. How hard can it be? RIGHT? On that note, have you checked out my side project? (sadly neglected when hermit working) Based on the "Humans of New York" phenomena. PS: I'm always happy to share any great Gaborone moments you catch yourself, share your pics to this page and I will gladly feature them:https://www.facebook.com/humans.of.gaborone
I have spoken about this before, the subject of receiving feedback on your work as an artist. It comes in many forms and flavors and can a result in a myriad of feelings about your self and your own work. I have been confused, devastated, irritated, pleased, flattered, amused and more, of course, from all of those moments the best result is some sort of growth and the worst a wound needing licking for way too long.
But every now and then someone takes the time to have a whole conversation about how they see your work, why and what they feel about it; be it good or bad, that guarantees the outcome of growth and the experience of gratitude, one of the best feelings in the world.
Yesterday I received this message, of the best feedback I have ever been given. I hope they don't mind my sharing it.
I admire your work. Your technique is mature and sure and you capture a message in every face and in this case, in the pose and drape of the body.
Your water colours set a professional standard and some of the works we have seen on many exhibitions in Botswana cannot compare. This remains a very illusive technique and many paintings are lost because of overwork. Yours are "clean" and the beautiful harmony of painted and unpainted surface, used to emphasize the mood or expression, is never compromised.
I know this is acrylic and I thoroughly enjoy the pose of his lanky body and the contrast between this well clothed body, the rich texture of his suit, and the sparse setting of the room and him sitting on a building block. It does not matter that he is a celebrity as the picture is more than the person.
I write this as I have the perception that artists, like in all arts, appreciate why people enjoy their work. It will be sad if they buy it just because they can. I travel every year just to visit one or other exhibition. I love it. Realism and portraits are making a huge come back in Europe except perhaps in Germany. But with some tweaks, or what will be the point of growth.
Hopefully, we will in time acquire one of your water colours. We will take good care of Juju boy.
I'm so pleased and delighted to have sold Juju Boy to a local company, that decided to use their budget on a local artist. So encouraging! Thank you and well done Regent!
ANON: "We are the chosen. My feeling is that in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again. To tell the family story and to feel that somehow those who went before know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called as if it were in our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us; tell our story! So, we do.
In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told my ancestors, “You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us” How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.
I go beyond just documenting the facts. It goes to who I am, and why I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference, and saying - "I can't let this happen". The bones, here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life to their family. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us, that we might be born who we are, that we might remember. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation, to answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers. That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those, young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones."
Four years after arriving in the Cape, Hercules and Cecilia were allocated a farm in Paarl (1692). They called it De Zoete Inval. A literal translation is "a sweet falling in" but that's a bit nonsensical. "Inval" can also mean things like"thought" "incidence" "foray" all of which makes more sense considering they would be the first human beings to make a permanent home there, the first to stick a hoe into the soil. It must have been an intimidating "foray" into the unknown . I'm happy to report its still there! I plan to visit when next in the Cape.
Hercules died not long after, around 1695, leaving Cecilia to fulfill the obligations to the "Company", being the creation and maintenance of a road over the Bergriver and handing over a 10th of her crops. "Cecilias road" existed for generations. She remarried in 1700, already in her 50's.
Cecilia's and her Daughters: On arrival in 1688, Cecilia had three daughters; Elisabeth, Marie Jeanne and Jaquemine. From the Four women, three of them are "Stam moeders" or Maternal ancestors for countless hundreds of thousands of South Africans. Cecilia herself for the Des Prez /s line (Dupre, Du Preez etc) Marie Jeanne for the Theron line. Jaquemine for the Vivier line. Imagine what Cecilia would think of that!
A sad little story about Jaquemine's daughter and her daughter:
Jacquemine was only about 35 years old when she died in 1715. By that time her husband and his two unmarried brothers were already deceased. She inherited from all three of them.
Her children were cared for by her sister, Marie Jeanne. Great scandal transpired when Jacquemine’s daughter, Elisabeth, in 1717 gave birth to an illegitimate child fathered by Charl du Plessis. Charl was the husband of Cecilia van Marseveen , who happened to be Elisabeth’s cousin.
With the kind of Calvinistic “piety” of that time, Elisabeth was forced to give the name of the father while she was in labour. (She probably at first refused to say who he was and by doing so hoped to spare her cousin the embarrassment.)
"On 31 January 1717 on page 46 of the Drakenstein baptism register it was recorded in thick black ink so as to warn future sinners who might contemplate similar deeds and with the brand of Calvinism of that time: “Elisabeth, daughter of Elisabeth Vivier and Charl du Plessis, who is a married man and on account of this, a child of fornication and adultery”
The name of this unfortunate girl (the baby) brought up by the Du Plessis family, ended up on her mother’s death notice as “du Plaisir” — from pleasure — instead of Du Plessis. (Would it be possible that someone’s vindictiveness extended to punishing Elisabeth Vivier even in death?)
The Alliance Francaise of Johannesburg is pleased to host the celebration week of Ekupholeny's 20 years of healing, combining exhibitions, live music, documentary screenings and book reading to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of Healing of EKUPHOLENI.
The art exhibition was opened yesterday night. Amazing pieces of artwork of a group of 5 artists and talented internationally recognised musicians performing a live jazz show ( Ann Masina, Dan Selsick, Tlale Makhene ) !! The Exhibition will stay up until the 21st August !! 25 % of the sold artwork will be directed to support Ekupholeni Mental Health and Trauma Center activities !
He was born in 1983, in the Democratic Republic of Congo,he actualy lives and works between Congo and south Africa. He is finalist from the Fine Art Institute of Lubumbashi, Painter, Sculptor, he also does installation, art performance.
In this series I got interested in focusing on portraits and much exactly the look that brings these children, the Look of memories, the look of hope and the desire to live, looks that point you in this challenge society, what future?
He was born in 1971 on the farm Makriel in the Ghanzi District of Botswana. He joined the Kuru Art Project in 1992. Together with the Kuru Art Project Thamae's work has been exhibited worldwide and has been reproduced in the Kuru Art Calender and other publications.
She is a South African, resident of Botswana. She has lived and worked in Gaborone since 2000.
She is a permanent resident of Botswana. She has lived and worked in Gaborone since 1985.
Ann Gollifer is represented by the Everard read Gallery, Johannesburg.
He is an African artist born in South Africa as an artist. First recipient of the Reinhold Cassirer Award (2011) supported by Nadine Gordimer at the Bag Factory Artists Studio, South Africa. Recipient of the Robert Sterling Clark Fellowship Award (2013).
Other activities will celebrate the 20 years of Ekupholeni: check the program:http://www.alliance.org.za/Branches/Johannesburg/LiveFrench.aspx
A great opening last night, the Botswana collective was very warmly received. Met so many interesting artists and gallery owners. What a fantastic venue, well worth the visit, the fair continues on to Sunday afternoon.
CLOUDS GATHER ART-BOTSWANA 2014, a collective of artists will be showing selected works at the TURBINE ART FAIR.
Stand: B1 Turbine Art Fair, 17-20/7/14
Turbine Hall, 65 Ntembi Piliso Street, Newtown, Johannesburg
Every now and then I get absolutely side tracked into community activities. Its Poster for Tomorrow time in Gaborone again. Brushes and paint are put aside and I look forward a week of hearing from our people, what gender issues are at play in our city and what our young designers will come up with in answer to them.
from the students brief, for the Balancing Genders workshop starting on Monday at Limkokwing Botswana:
"In order to assist you with the design thinking process, you will have the opportunity to hear from a number of speakers, from Botswana, who will be introducing you to a variety of gender related issues. The speakers will be talking to you as professionals, as well as from personal experience.
In order for this process to be beneficial to you and your design output, you are advised to approach the insight from the variety of speakers with sympathy and empathy.
# Sympathy means that you may not understand or feel what they feel, but you have compassion for them. For example, you may not have experienced divorce in your personal life, but based on what the speaker explains to you, you are able to feel for them.
# Empathy, on the other hand, means that you may have experienced something similar, and are able to relate. For example, you may be from a single parent family and relate to the experiences that another single parent relates, regarding their own experiences.
The insight you will gain from the speakers is not meant to define the direction that you will focus your poster design, but rather to expose you to a variety of informed opinions about gender related issues in Botswana (that you may or may not know about, or necessarily agree with). This insight, as well as the creative direction from the workshop Facilitator, should go a long way in informing your final design output.
The overall goals of this workshop are therefore to:
• Promote democratic values and human rights awareness
• Create a bridge between designers in developed and developing countries
• Transform every participant into an ambassador for human rights"
My Botswana portraits can now be viewed @Linnaeus at Sanitas. Access through the tea garden. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 8am to 4.30pm. https://www.facebook.com/Sanitas.Nursery.and.Garden.Centre
If you have ever met a woman, you will know, its ALWAYS about the hair. What can be done with it is fascinating to me particularly for African women, who continuously explore the myriad of options of what to do with the stuff. Like walking artworks, I am continuously in awe. While I have one hairstyle, always, with my limp, straight, fine hair, these ladies can change overnight, suddenly appearing with long or short, braided or sculpted confections.
The perfect antidote to all those portraits as an exercise, this new painting is an approx 2m square "window". Sometimes you just have to look up
Wow! What a night! A HUGE Thanks to all whom came to the opening, it was a phenomenal gathering, a warm and fuzzy reminder of what a great community we have. MOM! thank you for driving all the way to be there. Sharon Dutton, you spoke brilliantly just as I knew you would. Aldo, thanks for the flowers! SOPHIE! you outdid yourself and have added a whole new dimension to the art world, a big congratulations to you. Am so happy to report that 7 pieces found the perfect homes. Opening night sales? quite a feat. The chalk wall is something to see, wow...and wow...
Painter and Sculptor