Sometimes there are things that just make us happy, we often don’t know why, but they just do.

This painting by Matisse just makes me feel happy.


and then……………….


sometimes cats just want to have fun.

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Monday Morning Musings



I am not going to wax lyrical about how bad I am at blogging, but, seriously life does get in the way of the things we love doing.

Instead I am going to write about how much I love this time of year, the days are getting longer, the light has become a buttery yellow, the sky impossibly blue, the trees are all draped in the most glorious fresh green, the early morning birdsong too wonderful for words, and, best of all holiday time is around the corner.



This is by far my favourite time of year, everyone seems to be happier, the days are longer, and, it is the time friends and family all gather to celebrate another great year of adventures and to plan more for the new year., the time of year we spend most of our days out doors and the majority of our meals are eaten alfresco.


celebrations wine club

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Steve McCurry Painting

A year or two ago I came across this beautiful photograph by Steve McCurry and I knew I had to paint it.



I emailed Steve to ask permission to paint it and was so excited when he consented. The painting percolated in my head for over a year before I was ready to paint it.

I set out to do a portrait using only 6 tubes of colours and black and white. I had recently done a Colour Mixing Workshop with Dee Donaldson and was inspired to see if I could create a whole work using only, Cadmium Yellow (pale hue), Cadmium Lemon, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue, Permanent Rose and Cadmium Red with Titanium White and Ivory Black.  Well, the proof is in the pudding, it is possible.




Photos of my process follow, I hope you enjoy the emergence of the painting.


Drawing up


Activating the surface.


The painting process begins.





The completed painting


I hope you have enjoyed the emergence of the painting as much as I enjoyed painting it.



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Friday Favourites

I have a new obsession which grew from an old obsession, Lily Ponds.

I have always been entranced by Monet’s Lily Ponds and can quite understand his need to keep painting the water, the reflections, the textures and the continual changing light.

monet lilies

While away recently, I came across some beautiful lily ponds which triggered my desire to paint lily ponds.

So, as I get going on my paintings I am going to share some lily pond paintings.

The first series of works will be from  Alex Katz.

90 year old Alex Katz is well known for his large paintings, whose bold simplicity and heightened colours are now seen as precursors to Pop Art.  Katz’s paintings are divided almost equally into the genres of portraiture and landscape. Since the 1960s he has painted views of New York (especially his immediate surroundings in Soho), the landscapes of Maine, where he spends several months every year, as well as portraits of family members, artists, writers and New York society protagonists. His paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment. A key source of inspiration is the woodcuts produced by Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro.

I have selected Alex Katz’s “Homage to Monet”  Waterlily paintings from his extensive body of work.



alex katz3


I am so excited to start this series of paintings, I have a vague idea of what they should look like, but who knows where they will go.

There is so much in the way of inspiration, which I will share with you and then when I am done with my paintings I will share those as well

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Rainy days and Mondays…


I am a summer person, there is nothing I love better than long, hot sunny days.

Days that start early with buttery yellow light and birdsong.

We are heading into “Winter”, I put inverted commas because according to the rest of the country us Durbanites have no idea of what a real Winter feels like. Ok, so we don’t really get cold here and can still tan in mid winter, but, we still have those dark mornings and early evenings, horrid short days.

And, to really add to the misery this week, it is raining. If you know anyone who lives in Durban, we only leave home for emergencies when it is raining, the roads are quiet, the stores are blissfully empty.

So here I sit, after 4 days of consistent cold rain on day number 5 and it is still dark and cold and wet and I am dreaming of sunshine, long days, golden light, sticky skin and pool paddling.

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Monday Morning Musings

This is a rather special Monday, there will be a super Supermoon tonight.


Sure, there have been Supermoons before — this will be the second in a series of three this spring. But, the full moon that peaks  tonight will be closer to Earth than any other since 1948. The full moon won’t come this close again until 2034.


Photograph by Anthony Ayiomamitis/

When the moon is at it’s closest point to earth during it’s orbit is is called a  “perigee moon”. When a perigee moon coincides with the full moon, the extra-large, brightly lit moon is known as a Supermoon.

A cross atop of a local monastery stands in front of the moon in the settlement of Poschupovo in Ryazan regionPhoto by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Those looking at the moon as it hovers closer to the horizon are in for a treat. NASA reports that these observers will be able to see a “moon illusion,” which makes the moon look exceptionally big when viewed through foreground objects like tall buildings.


A supermoon rises next to the ancient Greek temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, some 65 kilometers south of Athens, on June 23, 2013.

It looks like we will miss the moon tonight as the forecast is for cloudy skies. So, if we miss this month’s Supermoon, we have one more chance on Dec. 14, when the last Supermoon of 2016 will rise in the sky. However, it won’t be quite as close as November’s, which NASA says will be a “showstopper.”


This photograph from the 2012 perigee moon represents what would be my ultimate viewing of the moon rising.

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Monday Morning Musings



It’s Monday and it has followed a rather dark and drizzly weekend, the kind that keeps you indoors and totally unproductive.

I have a confession, we binge watched a series, never done it before, but felt not a shred of guilt, after all it was a awful Saturday, cold and raining, and, all the chores that were to be done were outdoors.

What an amazing series  –  “The Fall” a BBC series. I must say nobody quite comes up to their standard of classy, believable thrillers. Season one done and dusted now to start on season 2 and there is a season 3, so excited.

But, TV Series binge watching aside, on days when it drizzles on and off and the sun teases with furtive little peekings and everything is soggy and there are piles of laundry lurking all over the house and the animals have cabin fever, I daydream of ……..tropical islands and sun and beaches and gentle warm breezes.

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