Art, design and creativity is what makes my life whole.
I was born in Johannesburg , South Africa in 1954 and was blessed with a wonderfully colourful childhood. We lived in Saxonwold, close to the zoo (not in the zoo) and used to hear lions roaring during the night.
A standard bio would probably regale my educational achievements. I will be brief because, I think that "real education" starts in the real world but it's handy to know that France is in Europe and not South America. And I am sure that most of us do not want to be reminded of our teachers unless we excelled at school. Here is my very brief educational bio:
Nursery School: with Aunty Dorothy at the church Hall (no one really knew her surname) and that church hall was haunted!
Primary School: St Catherines in Westcliffe and moved to St Marys in Std 1
Primary & High School: St Marys School for Girls in Waverley
Passed matric, much to the amazement of my parents!
I always loved ceramics classes and painting and drawing.
Post school education: Wits University, a brief encounter!
(so I ploughed on to the one thing that I had always wanted to do)
Diploma of Nursing at Johannesburg Hospital
passed that, and on to (and passed)
Diploma of Midwifery at the Queen Victoria
This was to be the last official place where certificates are handed out for passing!
After that, I married, had two children and changed jobs and life became very busy with children, schooling and life in general. ( they should hand out certificates for this part of life!)
We moved to Cape Town in 1994 in order to try to lead more healthy and fun lives. Yet again, work engulfed me to such an extent that I needed to relax. I started ceramics classes with an exceptional teacher in Constantia called, Maxie Heyman. Her aim was to teach us how to create objects with form & design in mind. Form and design was paramount. She also taught us how to develop a concept and how to develop this.
I was now on a roll...so I signed up for an art course called the "ABC of Drawing" and then progressed to the "ABC of Painting" in acrylics led by Alex Downes at the Frank Joubert School in Rondebosch, Cape Town. I think that this was the first form of Sip and Paint in Cape Town and I thank Alex often for the priceless gift she gave me at a time when life was in overdrive. She helped me to draw and paint without fear and forget about the daily stresses. I even sold several paintings and a sculpture at an exhibition at the School. Sipping and painting does give you the ability to paint masterpieces from ;). I was now into a total "pamper me please" mode. I signed up for ceramics with Ian Pells at Frank Joubert. I developed my skills further.
I then went on to learn oil painting with Anne Foale at the same school. This was also a fantastic part of my artistic journey but there was no wine! We were allowed 4 tubes of paint, namely, red, yellow, blue and white paint. In the acrylics class we were encouraged to bring whatever colours we liked but we were given a list of essentials. Being creative means you should have every colour! So, I had naturally purchased the entire shop! SO, being restricted 4 little tubes was an eyeopener. Colour mixing became a challenge and I loved that sense of pride when I managed to get the colour just right. Colour mixing can be fun... One painting took me 8 months to paint! I was exceptionally proud of what I managed to achieve within the bounds of 4 tubes of paint. I did a short course of decorative painting on china. This was not for me.
I then moved on to Sherri Haupt in Constantia. Sherri was delightful and I learnt so much from her too. I even finished a painting in one session. Sherri also allowed us to add more colours to the limited palette. I was in colour heaven!
I joined Constantiaberg Art Society (& managed their website while I was in S Africa) and SASA, South African Society for Artists. These art societies were wonderful and I have made lifelong friends along the way.
I took a few workshops with Lesley Charnock and Karen Burns and loved everything that I learned from them as well.
Each and every teacher has helped me in a new and different way. I will never stop taking courses and workshops because, each time I do one, I sense that I grow a better understanding of different aspects of painting.
In 2015, our family moved to the United Kingdom and started sketching. I started with a Meet Up group in Central London. Anyone can go along and paint with them at the various venues posted on Meet Up under Cafe Sketchers. I now a numerous sketchbooks filled with some good and some awful sketches (usually with a splash of colour!) I also joined the Plein Air Painters of Surrey Hills.
I have exhibited at various exhibitions in South Africa and in the UK but I had never held an exhibition in a gallery until 2018. I, very bravely, held my first gallery exhibition at the Fountain Gallery in Bridge Road. The exhibition was called BLOOMS & BUSTS. My daughter, Kate Haslewood exhibited alongside me at the gallery. I worked for 6 months on the exhibition pieces. During this time, I learned what to do for an exhibition and what not to do.
I plan to hold further exhibitions from time to time at my home studio. I hope to become an exhibitor on the Surrey Artists Open Studios SAOS & Kingston Artists Open Studios KAOS in 2020.
PRESENT/ RECENT COURSES WORKSHOPS
Online courses that I have signed up for are Easel Insight run by Phil Starke and Gabor Svagrik. This is when I realised that I knew very little about painting design, tonal values, composition brushwork, and many other things. It was a good course but I felt rather overwhelmed by everything.
I, once again met numerous friends on Facebook, with a common interest and we have continued remain friends across the world and started a couple of other study groups.
I took several courses with Dennis Perrin and learnt his method of painting. His method helps makes sense of values with his split warm and cool palette. He also uses water mixable oils! So I just had to get some of them to try out.
My current course that I am doing is with Kelli Folsom. I signed up for it after witnessing a change in work being produced by a friend. I love her style of teaching and her detailed explanation of what she is doing and why, whilst painting.
If you have managed to wade through all of the info above....well done!
Just a bit more...
I have travelled far and wide and because of my ultra friendly disposition and ability to chat to anyone at the drop of a hat, I have made art buddies in various continents.
I started a page on Facebook & Instagram called PLACES TO PAINT. You will also be able to find a page on this website called PLACES TO PAINT. In this blog you will find tips on where to go, what to take and what to expect when you arrive there.
Happy Painting, happy viewing and thanks for visiting my website.