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Welcome to Africantapestry! I hope you see something you like...if not now, maybe next time!

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My favorite perfumes in aquarelle.

When life trips me, I head to the perfume shelves. To indulge and forget for a while about the hardships of life. And I never leave without a tiny bottle of perfume. That is my biggest sin in life and I will gladly carry my punishment one day, should there be. I use a spritz of perfume every day everywhere…to town and  to the opera, to do the washing to weed the garden, after my shower and before I drop my head on my pillow.

there is a secret to good spritzing. Do you remember the way Malan and Mamy used to dab their eau de cologne behind the ears, on the wrists…well, those were the old days. The French way to do it, is to spray a cloud of perfume in front of you in the air and then walk through it. No harsh , overwhelming, nose itching smells, but rather a gentle caress on the skin, interacting gently with the oils of the skin to bring forth the  subtle underlying notes of the perfume.

..l’eau d’Issey by Issey Miake – light and soft for summer..

perfume 1

 

..Intense, by Dolce & Ganbbana- for those times I feel passionate and ..intense….

perfume 2

 

..baiser volé by Cartier – reminds me of Arabian nights…

perfume 3

 

..Coco by Chanel -my favorite perfume which always make me feel elegant , and brings out my French side!

perfume 4

So, come on ladies, spritz your perfume, time is too short not to!

à bientôt

Ronelle

Six apples and a sucrine in aquarelle.

In summer we don’t eat apples. We munch on peaches and nectarines. Except the horses. They have their apples throughout the year. An apple is one of the most delicious subjects to draw and paint. For the experts it is a challenge to capture its real beauty and succulent appearance and for the beginner it is easy enough to start off with and be inspired to keep going.

…six apples…

pen and aquarelle on watercolor block

apples en aqua

..six apples close-up..

apples en aqua close up 3230x2669

Just for some lazy fun, I splashed some greens for a sucrine salad…using blues and yellows, purple and payes gray for darker shadows. Salad is always difficult to draw and paint, so many lines and squigles…definitely not a favorute subkect of mine. The greens are a great challenge though!

..sucrine salad..

pen and aquarelle on waterclor block

sucrine en aqua 3

..sucrine salad close-up..

sucrine en aqua 3 close-up 3452x3102

Espelette chillies in charcoal and sanguine.

Without planning it, these experiments have turned into a series. As it is raining constantly outside, I have to dine my subjects inside. I started off with clementines(see post here) and today I grabbed the bunch of dried Espelette chillies hanging next to the stove.

…Espelette chillies in charcoal and sanguine, 50x 65cm…

piment d'espelettes 2358x3075-001

I started off in light vine charcoal, rubbed over slightly  with my hand to erase most of the lines and then went in with the sanguine. piment d'espelettes 2917x3641

The completed drawing. Using white conté stick, I added the last highlights/ details.

piment d'espelettes 3097x4400

…Close- up 1…

piment d'espelettes 3219x3313

…close-up 2…piment d'espelettes 4164x2955

Radishes in charcoal and watercolor

Continuing my experimentation with large formats, different mediums and free strokes. Still sticking with charcoal, which is an unforgiving medium, but exactly that fact gives me the freedom to “play” freely. You can”t start over every time you make a mistake; so you  are forced  to work with the mistakes, which can either lead to great discoveries, or total mess ups  – not to be seen as a bad thing. I also prefer working with the dark charcoal, and one can see in the images below the really dark black it gives. I don’t use fixatives.. I have the impression it doesn’t work in any case..

…radishes in charcoal, watercolor and watercolor pencils, 42x60cm..

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3251x3976

I chose radishes, cut off most of the leaves  to expose mostly the stems, thew them out on the table and chose a composition with only a few radishes.

..the start – in charcoal lines and watercolor washes, using lot of water and allowing it to run…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3232x4683

After finishing, I stood back and the watercolor looked too washed out against the dark charcoal, so I added watercolor pencil, washed it to blend and give darker color, and here and there I left some pencil marks to echo the charcoal lines.

…radishes – close up 1..

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 4928x3264-001

Far from being a perfect piece and it won’t end up in an exhibition, this was another good exercise in getting rid of “fear”.

….radishes – close up 2…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 4928x3264

…radishes – close up 3…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3264x4928

Onto some some more work!!!

à bientôt

Ronelle

Clementines in charcoal.

Thankfully there is always an end to yesterday. And to whining. Once I got tired of my own whining about this not working and that not good enough(see the previous post), I had the clarity to see that the only way to change what I don’t like in my art, is to work at it.

..Clementines in charcoal on paper, 43X60cm..

Clementines in charcoal 3116x4317

So here is what I went for:

  1. I worked only charcoal and white conté sticks.
  2. Large format. I will go bigger still, bit for the time being 43x60cm is plenty.
  3. I put the drawing on my easel and work with the whole arm and not the wrist, standing back often to get distance.
  4. No details.
  5. Large and free strokes.
  6. No erasing.
  7. No planning ahead, trusting impulse.
  8. Still worked from life..whatever is around, but no photos.
  9. No direct copying, put marks and lines as I felt and wanted, whether it is correct or not.
  10. Stopped early enough, while I still had the urge to continue.

 I enjoyed this process todayeven though it still has my typical mark making, I feel happy about it. Will continue experimenting.

The paper is bending on the easel as I didn’t add a big enough support behind it, so the colour and focus are not perfect all over the paper.

Clementines in charcoal 2672x3629

Some close ups  below to see the marks and smudges.

Close up 1

Clementines in charcoal 4928x3264

Some of the close-ups actuall make for nice pieces on their own..so the piece of work can be torn or cut into sections and reworked..maybe collaged as part of another work…?

Close up 2

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928-002

Close up 3

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928-001

Close up 4

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928

Stay tuned for loads of work in the next few weeks..and if you feel like joining in..please do so.

à bientôt

Ronelle

A rough sketch of some painting tools.

I dug this sketch out of the bin. It ended there along with many others I’m lately not happy with. I feel in an awful slump and nothing seems to work..everything is either too “pretty”, or too perfect or it is just plain bad art. I struggle to find that exciting stroke, or that exciting subject, or even the right medium. I work on small tiny papers and do small tiny challenges. I am in need of freedom and uninhibited expression. I know what I want and what I don’t want..or do I?

I wonder if art can go through menopause…in which case, that is where I would say my art is right now. Going through menopause. I hope it passes soon.

the first one is just pencil contour lines and then of course I didn’t like it and thought colour and pen would make it look better…

painting tools-001…just to realize it doesn’t look better, nor worse.

watercolor, pencil and pen on watercolor block, HP, 18x26cm

painting tools 2-001So. The solution is probably just to carry on and maybe consider not throwing out the awful ones. They should stay with us strive for better, or different, ot both.

à bientôt

Ronelle

Three feathers in pen and aquarelle.

With this first post on Africantapestry, I wish you all a great year!

Yesterday I gave my art students some feathers to draw. They are beginners in drawing and I was highly impressed by the result. This afternoon I thought I should do a sketch of the same feathers. My geese and chickens aren’t shedding feathers at the moment and I dug into the chicken coop to find some decent ones..well, with some imagination they could come close to decent…But it actually made for an interesting challenge. We always think of a feather being perfect and pretty and soft..these were torn and scruffy and quite dirty and they smelled like chicken..

Voilà!

..Three feathers…

Pen and aquarelle in watercolour sketchbook, HP, 18x26cm

feathers

OK. Now that the ice is broken for 2014..let’s get out and (do) and see art, like my friend Theresa Andreas O’leary at Andreas art studio likes to say!

à bientôt

Ronelle

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