Welcome! Hope you see some artwork that pleases you, if not now, maybe next time…


September 26: Three chickens.

It is very very hot and humid. Everybody is moving around like limp fish. The horses are in permanent rest under the apple tree, the cats don’t lift an eyebrow when I walk past the them and even the chickens lay motionless in the shade of the hibiscus bush. I was busy, or trying to be. I took down washing, hung the next basket full, every time walking past the chickens. When they didn’t move when by the third pass, I thought they might just keep that pose for another 30 minutes. Et voilà, indeed they did, or almost. This was fun.

..Three chickens..

oil on board, 30x30cm

three chickens 25-09-2013 17-06-57 2964x2979

.à demain..


September 24 & 25: Houses in the hills en plein air.

When I drive on the narrow country roads, I love staring at all the country houses…their gardens, their latest activity, the latest changes, their potagers (vegetable gardens).  Life is never quiet and static at a country home. Sometimes the houses are nestled on top of the grass hills, entouré (surrounded) by trees for shade and coolness during hot summers.  Sometimes they are sunken deep in the valleys and their presence is betrayed only by their roofs or a trail of smoke in winter. How I love the country side!

..the house on the hill..

oil on linen, 38×46 cm

The house on the hill 24-09-2013 15-41-04 2791x2296 24-09-2013 15-41-04 2791x2296


The opainting below was done earlier today and I spent only about 20-25 minutes on it before I packed up. Today is very humid and hot and the clouds are moving in and pretty soon the thunder will be rolling. I worked almost carelessly, tired and not really wanting to put in the effort. But it is actually starting to grow on me and is not as bad as I initially thought. Maybe I should do more 15 minute plein air paintings.

..three roofs..

oil on linen,

Three roofs. 24-09-2013 15-42-59 3974x2859..à demain..



September 22 & 23: Plein air paintings.

Two plein air paintings for these two days. With the wonderful weather we are having this week, it would be shameful not to paint out.

..the old ruin..

oil on linen, 33×46 cm

the old ruin 22-09-2013 16-55-22 3355x2361

With the past rains we had, the fields have exploded into greens and wildflowers, especially wild pink heather. It is not for nothing that fall is called second spring. There are also beautiful patches of lilac crocus all over. Of course, everybody is out hunting for mushrooms and a couple was doing just that while I painted “Pink heather”. The tree next to the little “cabane” is an old oak and home to the ever popular bolet, or cèpe and the hunting couple was all around the tree, all around the cabane, to and fro, while Madame lifted the bottom seam of her dress to carry their treasure. Fortunately I was far enough to avoid seeing the detail.

..Pink heather..

oil on linen, 27×40 cm

pink heather 22-09-2013 17-33-54 3950x2596

..à demain..


September art 2: Sous l’arbre.

Under the tree, the apple tree stand an old wagon that we inherited with the farm. Sometimes it serves as a table when we have many guests, sometimes it serves as a support for cutting wood and sometimes it serves as a ladder for our young faul, Dumêla, so she can reach the higher apples.

..Sous l’arbre..

Oil on linen, 27X40cm

Sous l'arbre 01-09-2013 16-40-59 3502x2300

à demain


Two new plein air paintings

So two new plein air paintings are almost dry.

I started off with doing paintings just around the house..familiar ground..juts to get my confidence back. I can’t start off new with concentrating on all the aspects of plein air techniques, as well as handling people watching. The most difficult part of getting back into it, was staying with large shapes and not moving into picky painting. To help me with that, I had a limited palette of 6 colours and only two large flat brushes – a large one for getting down the main shapes and a slightly smaller one towards the end, getting down the impressionistic strokes.

…four à pain..

oil on linen, 24X33cm

Four à pain 27-07-2013 12-13-08 2699x3252

I almost gave up halfway through the first painting(seen below), since I couldn’t recognize any thing on the canvas at that stage, but I knew I would sulk for the rest of the month, so I had no choice but finish it. I am fairly happy and I know the process will just get better from now on… given that I continue painting of course!

..la route..

oil on board, 33X42cm

La route 27-07-2013 12-14-54 2535x3509

I just realized once again…it isn’t the completed painting that gives me the biggest kick, but the process that leads up to the end result. Now that I have some two or four paintings finished, busy drying, my biggest excitement is not seeing them in completion on the easels, but feeling the itch to start a new canvas.

Oil painting – white corner

My first plein air painting in two years..and I chose a rainy and snowy day to do it! Not the best composition ever and with very finicky brushwork (but with a nice stroke here and there!), I succeed in finishing it. And most importantly, I enjoyed it so, so much!!!

So, after all sorts of difficulties, I think this is what they call “breaking the ice”, so now I should start settling back into the process…and the joy plein air painting  gives me.

..White corner..

Oil on gessoed board, 41x33cm

le coin blanc-huile

Free expression on large format.

Busy with my people’s project, I just wanted  to do something different. Something completely free and unrestrained. Taking large formats of paper and canvas, I put down the brushes and used only my hands and rolled towel paper. even though it feels a bit like first grade finger painting, there is a liberating feeling that results from “playful” and experimenting occasions like these.

1.Tilleul tree in gouache on paper.  For the first tree, I shaped the thick trunk with a large brush and for the leaves, added gouache pigment with my fingers, sometimes very wet so the color runs and sometimes I dotted only dry splotches. Not a very significant result, but it did loosen me up, like all these free, expressive exercises always do. this one really looks like a first grader “picture”!

1…tilleul tree in gouache on paper, 65x50cm…


2. Prune tree in oil on canvas. For the second tree, I used a large canvas, primed it with a layer of thin gesso,  “shaped” the tree trunks and branches with modelling paste and painting knifes, and finished off with a last coat of thinned gesso. After leaving it to dry overnight, I built up the tree trunk with layers of  oil pigment, using a rag to wipe and build up up the layers. The leaves were all added with crumpled toweling paper and lastly spatters of oil pigment with a large brush.

2…prune tree in oil on linen, 92x73cm…


3. Apple tree in charcoal: Again on large format and loose application of pressed charcoal, I only made marks and got in there with the fingers to suggest the folage loosely.

3…apple tree in charcoal on paper, 65x50cml…


To do excercises like this:

  • Use large sheets of paper or canvas or cartons. Off cuts from boxes can work as well
  • Wear old clothes.
  • Work where you have enough room/space…even outside on the lawn, or go to the park.
  • Choose something around you like large shrubs, trees, flowerbeds.
  • Use only big tools…big brushes, pieces of rag, knifes, twigs, and of course, hands(You can treat them afterwards with some good creams!)
  • Work on the WHOLE paper, even if you run off the page.
  • Stand back, up often and look at your creation from a distance. Don’t consider right or wrong or any painting rules.
  • Consider only marks, color, texture, shapes.
  • When finished with one, put it aside and immediately start another…with another bush another scene.. don’t go back to a previous painting, rather start another one.
  • Don’t think, just do.

Two and a half pomegranates in oil.

Now that I have the gallery, I have to do more studio painting, since I can’t lock up every day and go painting plein air. I’m having a hard time though, adapting to studio work  “in public”. I’ve always preferred working privately in my atelier at home. Now I’m very self conscious and I worry about every stroke when there are eyes on me. I get distracted easily by what is going on outside and by people wandering in and out. I initially thought it wouldn’t bother me too much, but it does. Maybe down the road it will change.

…Two and half pomegranates…

oil on board, 40x40cm (15.7×15.7)

I’ve fallen into the habit of starting something in the atelier/gallery and then get completely distracted,  leave it, bring it home and finish it here at night. Like this painting. And it results in not being me. I  find the light very different, the atmosphere is different and even my mood is different. Working on the same still life in two different places just doesn’t sit right with me.

This is a very careful little painting, with no interest. If I look at it, I see a painting done by someone who was afraid to PAINT! Which was exactly the case. There is still this fear and uncertainty that has crept into my oil painting, as I’ve mentioned before.

I was never very fascinated by still life before and I still don’t get very excited about it. But there is a certain kind of meditation that creeps into doing a still life. I experienced it here in the barn at night, when I’m alone and painting on the still life…I sort of like the quietude that a still life conveys. Being someone who doesn’t have a “calm” personalty, I discovered that doing a still life is quite therapeutic for me. I think that is what will make a still life work for me…reaching that moment when I can feel my painting’s quietness, but without having it look and feel static. I will post some more still lifes later.

Two oil paintings and a gouache.

My last post on Painting in Provence. Two oils and one gouache.All three were halfway done in the field and completed afterwards. they were all done at about three in the afternoon on hot days with the cigales singing in my ears, which was typical and I have no complaints about that. But the ants are at their most active at three in the afternoon too! Or so it felt! I got bitten the  second I dare stand still and at some point I started feeling like I was knee deep in the movie “The Mummy”!

..red sandstone cliff…

oil on canvas paper

…afternoon vinyeards and broom…

oil on canvas paper…

…mont ventoux on a cloudy afternoon…

…gouache on paper…

And some images from my four days…for more photos,  see “Provence” under Beauty of la France at Myfrenchkitchen.

Koi studies and painting in oil.

I finally completed one koi painting in oil. But before that, I did some more studies in different mediums. I didn’t really enjoy these koi studies as I should have. I felt a bit like ” eating strawberries in the mid winter” and so I feel out of season with the koi paintings and it influenced the “taste”. But I’m happy that I stuck to it and completed at least one painting. I definitely plan to go to the koi farm in summer, where I can seat myself for a day and really get to work on some series.

..koi, oil on linen, 61x37cm

In  step 1, using terpentineI put down thin washes of burnt sienna for the fish shapes and a thin wash of paynes gray and french ultramarine for the background/water.

.…step 1…

In step 2 I added some colour to the fish, cadmium red and yellow to the fish in the foreground and prussian blue to the back fish, to form the shadows. I started using liquin as a medium to have the oi dry quicker, but still have  an oil shine.

…step 2…

In step 3 I darkened the water with a mixture of paynes gray and french ultramarine and softened the shadow marks I made on the yellow fish. this was my first mistake, because I made mud. I left it to dry completely, so I could rework it…the oil was still thin enough to redo without removing the paint.

…step 3…

the last stages was all about adding colour and depth to the fish bodies and depth to the water , while using the same colours I’ve used in the previous steps, with the addition of ochre, raw umber and white.

…koi completed…

When doing the studies for this koi project, I worked mostly from photographs, using about 20 different photos, building my own scenes. I really found it difficult to render the koi in an interesting way. I feel I can do better, which is why I will patiently wait for the koi season to open and I can go and study them in real life.

I also felt that they ask for something a little more abstract or expressive than mere realistic rendering. In the following studies I tried to present them on the page in a little more interesting way. I found it quite exciting and I think I can even push the envelope even further in the expressive domain, which makes me more excited about the series of koi than I was when I started out.

In the meantime, I have a lobster and crab and mussels and oysters and several other shellfish in my freezer, waiting to be sketched and painted and studied. Maybe a new series of sea creatures? So hang around if you’re interested in seeing what will surface – it will be a surprise for me too.

…koi study in charcoal on paper, 22x15cm…

…koi study in graphite on paper, 22x15cm…

…koi study in oil pastel on paper, 22x15cm…

Also posted on Watermarks.

..à bientôt…


Plein air painting – A red roof.

We had terrible winds when I painted this painting. Everything tumbled over every now and then. So I feel quite proud that I’ve completed it.

… red roof…


oil on linen, 46x38cm (18″x15″)

…red roof: close-up…

And here is my preparation stage, the very first washes.

I have so much to learn when it comes to plein air painting. My biggest problem is usually finding the best viewpoint.  Sometimes I impiulsively like a spot, just to realize after a while that the paintings doesn’t have any strong focus point, or the basics are weak(the shapes) or there is no interest, or it is too static. In this case I find that I have no real interest, no excitement, no strong focal point to hold the viewer captive, not enough strong movement to lead the viewer around the painting. So. Off to a next effort!

Oil painting – plein air – a quiet path.

Yesterday I did a plein air(sur le motif) painting…on my birthday. It was great. I’m quite happy with it in the sense that I really didn’t fiddle..I gave a first wash, then a second layer thin paint and then the final layer and lastly added fine details and I’m happy it turned out OK.

And THANK you to everybody who sent me good wishes for my birthday…I loved each one!!

…a quiet path…

oil on canvas, 38x46cm

…preparation for plein air, quiet path…

Oil painting- sunflowers.

Sunflowers look so easy to paint, but it is everything but easy! One can either paint it too stiff and controlled, depleting it of all character, or it can be painted sloppy, in which case it looks as if you didn’t know what you were doing. I think I fall in the second category. But it sure is fun to paint! Robyn made the remark that sunflowers remind her of happy people. While  painting these, even when scraping off and starting over, even when throwing sunflowers 2 out the barn door and picked it up afterwards and finally completed it… I was happy. The colours, the shapes, the smell of the oils, the touch of the sunflowers, the buzzing bee around the paints and flowers, the leaves wilting and drying and taking on shapes of their own….I was happy. Still am.

…sunflowers 2…

oil on canvas, 41x33cm (16,1″x12,9″)

I did struggle a bit with sunflowers 1…he composition gave me trouble and I overworked it completely. It actually had a stage where it was perfect…sort of undone, half finished, a slight background with an attractive unfinished look. And I just had to add a touch here and there, which eventually turned into a completely different painting and I lost that “unfinished” stage forever. Fortunately , there is always the next one.

…sunflowers 1

oil on cotton, 38x46cm (14,9″x18,1″)

Plein air painting at Coin Perdu

I picked up my plein air painting again and even though the wrist is stiff and unwilling to be free and spontaneous,  AND my eye is out, my perspective and composition is askew and the little apple tree stands right smack in the middle where the hill ends…a very bad meeting point and I might just go,out there and redo it tomorrow. But it is STILL wonderful! I realize again how much I love it…and how much I’ve neglected it.

The scene below is beautiful in real life, but doesn’t really work as a painting. As I’ve said before..sometimes a beautiful scene is there to enjoy with the eyes and sometimes an ordinary scene makes for a stunning painting. But it is worth it to go out and paint it all…it helps in deciding on a paintable scene, getting your eye focused for plein air. Painting plein air is SO different than painting from a photograph, in terms of “seeing. and of course, MUCH more gratifying, even if it doesn’t turn out the way one planned…which in fact it never does. Sometimes, the scene changes a bit too. like the scene below. In the painting it looks like there is a large hill to the right of the tree, which in fact, there isn’t. But it looks much better this way than it would without the “hill”. and I am not after realism, so seeing a hille on my painting which doesn’t exist in real life, gives me quite a kick. Makes me feel like I’m very original!

Our area is very green at the moment after the rains. The trees and forests are green, the fields and hills are beautifully green and lush, , there aren’t many colorful wildflowers around, so the world tends to be green, green green.  Having all this green in a painting can make one feel a little woozy…

Maybe I’ll do the same scene again, but in some different colors than that which I see in front of me..

…Apple tree…

Plein air painting in oil on linen, 41x33cm (16,10″x12, 10″)

Now isn’t that special..

This writing is all about ME. So, if you can’t stand self-indulgence, then you should move on immediately.

I was used to intense birthday celebrations since childhood.  Making a fuss of a birthday was a milieu I grew up in. My mom went to a lot of trouble to make it special, to make the birthday boy/girl feel special, whoever it was. She also made her friends feel special. Somehow she felt special too by seeing everybody else  feel special. She had a good friend from childhood. They both got married at different stages, had their families and ended up living far away from each other, which resulted in less contact. But they religiously called each other every year on their birthdays until my mother died at 84 years old.  And on these birthday calls they chatted away, catching up on the year’s news, and time and distance fell away. Isn’t that special...

…l’orage approche…

oil on canvas, 30x30cm

l'orage approche

After leaving home, my birthday celebration years continued. With my family. With a small but close circle of friends. And a few traditions. I have a friend celebrating the same day as mine. Every year on our birthday, Naomi baked(and still does) this incredible black forest cake. Only this one time a year. And it was tradition that I would go over to her house  for a quick coffee(before all the visits started) and the two of us would feast on a slice each. With another friend I shared another kind of tradition; I baked her a cake on her birthday and she bake me one on my birthday…I once got a  sticky marsh-mellow cake from her and on her birthday she got a giant pink and white cake smothered in rose petals from me. We laughed. This very same friend, Colette, booked an airoplane ticket  a few years later to share  my 40th  birthday with me in South Carolina, US. Isn’t that special…

I had a surprise one year, organized by Mariaan, one crazy, deliciously fun friend. Nobody called me on my birthday that year. It was a strange phenomena.  It just didn’t happen. I was always spoiled with phone calls and drop-ins and cards from very early morning on every birthday. That year…nothing! Nada! Except of course for my family living far away. By the evening I was in such a bad state of depression that I decided to leave town the next day, never to return. I would go live with the animals in the bush. On our way out to “dinner” that evening(my last meal in civilization, I decided…), I opened the door and stared into the laughing faces of my whole circle of friends.  Each with a huge dish of food and drinks and coloured gifts with huge bows and even huger smiles. We ate and drank and danced, they washed dishes and we kept the neighbourhood up until early hours. Isn’t that special…

Then we left South Africa. Celebrating birthdays changed face very suddenly. The next birthday was only the four of us and our good friends Cecily and family in Felixstowe, who were there for one year.  I tried very hard to be original, making us a meal in grandiose style..so many courses, wearing  evening attire with french perfumes, sat down to a pristine set table…just to have an over the top, overcooked meal with the dessert literally running off the meringue! But the memory of laughter and jokes and joy of sharing with family and two good friends in a foreign country stays firmly on the plate. Isn’t that special…

Since then, birthdays have been quiet and I’ve been spoiled by my family with love,  gifts early morning in bed, breakfasts, and intimate dinners in chateaux, dinners by die fire and a far away call here and there. Isn’t that special…

...le forêt…

oil on canvas, 24x33cm

le forêt

This week I was surprised with facebook wishes from all over the planet, with Marta being the leader of the pack..starting it off already a day early! I was bowled over by the wishes from people I have just recently met, or never met yet , or only seen photos of, or only exchanged emails with and even people I never thought would care to send me wishes! I received a mail from a friend who is away on holiday in Corsica, who cared enough to take some time from precious sunny days to send me good wishes. I received an international  mobile phone call from a good friend in SA who couldn’t reach me at home in Montlouis, who will have a horrendously expensive bill to pay very soon!! There is a gift waiting for me in the mail and by opening it, my house will be strewn with glitter stars and I will find a star on the floor somewhere until next year when her next gift will show up, decorated with glittery stars! After all the quiet years with only my small family here in France and  a call here and there from my family and friends far away. Now isn’t that special…!

Maybe you receive a lot of special attention on your  special day in the year and might think this is peanuts to the attention you receive! It is possible. Maybe you’re reading here and thinking peeved how lucky I am for you don’t even receive a single note or call! It is possible. Which makes this writing then not so selfindulgent any more. Because at some stage or another, we all have the need to feel special. To have  a memory of one day in a year that belonged only to you, a day that you can look back onto and say: “Now wasn’t that special..!”

Oil painting

A few days ago I painted this corner of the Loire in oil.  Unfortunately I fiddled with it afterwards while it was standing on the easel in the atelier to dry, resulting in losing some great first strokes and giving the water this almost “swimming pool” colour. Knowing well I have this addiction, I normally hang a painting immediately on the wall when done and then I don’t touch it…on the easel however, I always see something that needs fixing!

…ombre et lumiére..

ombre-et-lumiere1oil on canvas, 30×30 cm (11.8×11.8 in)

I am leaving for Coin Perdu in Correze for about three weeks, which will be sort of a solitary retreat. And since I’m leaning towards oil painting for now, I’ve decided to pack all my oil stuff for some plein air painting for which the opportunities and subjects there are boundless. So I had a stack of boards, in different sizes, cut at my hardware store, and prepared them at home with  first  a coat of acrylic primer, then a coat of mixed gesso and modeling paste and lastly a coat of gesso. (after the method by David Curtis).

Some years ago I played around with modeling paste on canvases and several other surfaces, as can be seen in the next two paintings. Given a coat of gesso or acrylic primer, it provides a nice textured surface for some expressive work in oil  and other mixed media.

…urn 1, mixed media on canvas…


…detail of texture(with modeling paste)..


…urn 2, mixed media on paper…


…detail of texture(with modeling paste)




oil on canvas, 30×30 cm.

…detail of texture(with modeling paste)…



Encouraged by Jana and Robyn, I took up the oil brush again. Not to do paintings, but oil sketches. Went to my cute little art store, solved the world’s problems along with the owner, got a lovely compliment from a french guy buying paper and walked out with more brushes and some oil paper in blocks, which I’ve never used before. They worked out perfectly for the oil sketches! Another alternative would be to prime drawing paper with acrylic paint as an undercoat. I prefer the blocked canvas paper which is sturdy. I really enjoyed getting back to oils… missed the smell and sensuality and drama of oil paint. Now that my tubes have been opened again, I hope to do much more oil work again, sketching as well as painting. I used clementines as subject for both watercolour and oil sketches.

The watercolour was done in molekine, using a .25 rotring(which I love for the brilliance of the ink and its fine point), watercolours and a petit gris brush, no 0.


For this oil sketch, I started by laying a thin wash(oil and turpentine) roughly over an area, let it dry and directly sketched the clementines with brush and oil and a drop of Venetian turpentine as medium.


I had some oil paint left on my palette and attempted a second clementine sketch, changed the composition and lay a contrasting colour background which is once again a thinned wash, using plenty of turpentine with a big brush.


Urns and tennis

I have a passion for urns…Medici, cast iron, soapstone, old stone…I love their shape and touch and smell, their poise and nobility. While I watched the tennis today, my hands looked for something to do. Since I’ve been longing to do a few urns for some time now, I thought I should start right away with the first one, an old French cast iron urn. The first painting is oil on linen which I did a few years ago.It is close to my heart.



This next one is one of three watercolors I did while watching the ladies final at Roland Garos this afternoon. I wanted to go for the same composition as the oil just for comparison. This was the last of my attempts and probably the one closest to what I intended. Maybe because by this time the tennis result was a clear cut thing, no doubt who the winner would be, so my attention was mostly on the paper.The shape is awkward though, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I’m never too fixed on realism. My watercolors are a bit sloppy lately, but my goal is to bring more expressionism into them, to accentuate color more and the big one …to fiddle less


This sketch comes in second. I’m not happy with it, although there is something that makes me look at it again. It is very wild and uncontrolled, dark a with lot of confusing leaves….that actually sounds very much like my mind…. or it could be the tennis. By this stage in the match, it was a very one-sided gameAnd finally, my first attempt right at the beginning of the match, when I still thought it was going to be a tough battle and my attention was eagerly turned more to the game.


There is really no interest in this one, very flat and floating with no excitement. After these attempts I had enough of this urn, however much I love it. I’ll try some others for next time




Dave said…
Interesting exercise to paint the same thing three times. I like all of them, but I think I agree with your order of preference. The oil is outstanding!
June 9, 2007 7:43 PM  
Renate said…
I’m in love with the oil painting. There is something very intriguing in it. Maybe the way you get the light … Don’t know. But it’s great!
June 9, 2007 7:59 PM  
Sandy said…
Love the oil painting too and of the three, my favorite is the bottom one…just gorgeous. But…I’m still thinking about that outdoor kithen and alfresco cooking…yum…I’m hungry..
June 9, 2007 9:35 PM  
:) Silvia said…
All of the paintings are great, but the first one is really outstanding :)!! It’s understandable that you are very fond of it.
June 9, 2007 11:18 PM  
Robyn said…
The urn was the winner on the day. Beautiful all ways. I love the oil – awesome, but my favourite of your ‘tennis’ paintings is the first one. Smashing!
June 9, 2007 11:18 PM  
janey said…
Yes the oil is excellent but actually my favorite is the last one. I like the freedom and the colors.
June 10, 2007 12:43 AM  
Jenny said…
I like them all, and there’s no reason for me to pick one over the others. :)Sports on television cannot hold my attention and something else to do must me found. Needlework is my usual choice if it’s at an uncomplicated point.
June 10, 2007 2:07 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Ronell, whenever I stop paying attention I miss another fabulous post! this is great, I’ve always loved that oil, and it looks wonderful here – I think my favorite of the watercolors is the last one – it looks like you’re sure of your subject and know where you wanted to go with it, maybe because the composition is a bit simpler. Delightful.
June 10, 2007 4:56 PM  
Lindsay said…
Wow! You have an amazing eye for detail! Great wc sketches too.
June 10, 2007 4:58 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
hese are all amazing and I’m so envious of your oil technique. I think my favorite images of the urn though are the first one (the oil) and the last one. The surface of the urn in the oil is perfect and it looks so weighty and substantial. The values in the last watercolor image are just right and it really stands out.
June 11, 2007 6:45 AM  
hfm said…
Love your persistency… and for me they are good and transparent as I like them.
June 11, 2007 10:40 AM  
Anita said…
Oh Ronell, we share a passion. I can’t pass an urn or a column or ballistrade without running my hands along it’s curves…Which can be rather embarassing for those who are with me at times. LOL!
Your paintings are beautiful. The oil is exceptional and the watercolours show your personality, knowledge of subject and love of colour.
Truly gorgeous!
June 11, 2007 12:40 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for your commenst…I rellay apprecieate it.
June 11, 2007 4:09 PM  
Bonny said…
Fabulous, Ronell! To me, all the urn sketches are interesting for their own sake. I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated on drawing one thing several times to compare the results. Neat idea!
June 11, 2007 4:21 PM  
Laureline said…
Hey, I love that last one—so what am I, chopped liver?? The whole group is such fun to see and, as always, your narrative is charming and compelling, too.
June 11, 2007 8:10 PM  
Sandy said…
Each rendition is wonderful in it’s own – I cannot sit still to do the same subject repeatedly but this shows how much variety can be achieved – Great work as always.
June 11, 2007 8:17 PM  
wagonized said…
Such an intricate shape to draw / paint. The first one blows me away, quite simply. I think oil is very appropriate for the weight of the urn.
June 12, 2007 5:22 AM  
Carole said…
How do you find the patience to paint the same thing three times! You must learn a lot from doing so. I love the differences in these three paintings, and they all have characteristics that I like. I like the loose expressive style and think you’ve achieved it well. My favourite is, of course, the oil painting. It’s simply stunning.
June 12, 2007 6:31 PM  
Tonniece said…
As always lovely pieces. The oil painting is wonderful Ronell.
June 13, 2007 11:13 PM  
Andrew said…
wowoowwww these are just awesome…so did you watch much of the match:>
June 14, 2007 12:01 AM  
Serena said…
WOW! I’m flat out painting something once let alone four times. The oil is my absolute favourite but the other’s are vibrant with colour and flair. Well done, Ronell ~
June 20, 2007 6:20 AM  
platitudinal said…
I love how your paintings give us hints of your self, Ronell. Today we learn that you have a passion for urns and the reason behind it.Your talent never ceases to amaze me.

I give you… Christeen

A fun exchange in emails between Christeen and me a while ago, turned into work in the end! Not that this wasn’t fun. Too much, I would say…I actually attempted three paintings! But it sure was difficult…I was very worried about not doing justice to her beauty and wonderful character. She assured me though it is about the process, and not the end result(for this time, I’ll believe it, although I would normally believe that the result does carry quite a bit of weight too!)
She also sent me a picture of her and her brother at four years, which I’ll attempt a bit later. By her own words, she now once again has the playfulness, enthusiasm and humor she had when she was four and that was what I tried to capture. I can see it so obviously in her face, but capturing it, is another thing. She has these amazingly long eyelashes behind which she carries the sparkles of mischief, a mouth full and round with humor, and hair, wild like a free roaming lioness. See Christeen’s excellent take on this!!…. as well as the original image here
So, here I give you Christeen…..in graphite on paper; then watercolor on Arches and last, oil on linen.






shirley said…
All absolutely wonderful! What a huge project….
May 6, 2007 4:21 PM  
Christeen said…
Ronell, you are one amazingly talented woman!! Holy smokes! These are awesome!
May 6, 2007 4:22 PM  
Dave said…
Ooh, these are all good. I think the graphite one is my favourite. No, perhaps it’s the oil. Although now I come to look at the watercolour again…
May 6, 2007 4:29 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
Wow, Ronell, these are great! My favorite is the oil – it ‘s so full of life.
May 6, 2007 5:09 PM  
Lin said…
May 6, 2007 5:35 PM  
Claudia said…
I like the watercolour one the most! Wonderful work, all three are superb!
May 6, 2007 5:44 PM  
Nina Johansson said…
hese are just lovely! Incredibly good, you captured Christeen perfectly!
May 6, 2007 7:01 PM  
martín said…
Ronell, I absolutely agree with Christeen, you´re amanzingly talented!!! I can’t say I have a favourite, I can’t decide since I like the three of them very much. Each one has its own character. GREAT JOB!!!
May 6, 2007 7:45 PM  
Sarah said…
Amazing paintings – isn’t it interesting how the different media seem to emphasise different aspects – they’re all alive and vital, but the watercolour shows a more reflective person, the oil brings that hint of mischief out more and in the charcoal drawing she looks more curious, almost about to challenge someone (I should say – that’s how they look to me anyway)
May 6, 2007 8:45 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
Ronell THese are just super…they got better and better as i scrolled down the page…cant decide WHICH is my favorite…they are all MAGNIFICIENT!!
May 6, 2007 9:19 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Oh, Ronell, your charcoal is GORGEOUS, and so is Christeen!
May 6, 2007 9:21 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Ooops, graphite! You did such a rich, deep job with it I just assumed it was charcoal!Read ALL the words, Kate…*G*
May 6, 2007 9:23 PM  
Silvia said…
All of the portraits are wonderful :), but I think I like the second one even best :))!
May 6, 2007 9:58 PM  
Kristin Saegaert said…
Wow! I think I like the graphite the best, but with your amazing talent it’s really hard to commit to that!!! Thanks for sharing your art with us!
May 7, 2007 12:42 AM  
Shelly McC said…
Stunning painting!
May 7, 2007 1:49 AM  
Kay Cox said…
Ronell, these are just beautiful. I aspire to be able to paint like you someday. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely work. Lucky Christeen!
May 7, 2007 2:23 AM  
bec said…
What a fun project! My favorite is the watercolor… nice play of light on the subject. Did Christeen draw you?
May 7, 2007 2:35 AM  
Robin Neudorfer said…
I love the graphite drawing. So spontaneous. What a fun project
May 7, 2007 2:49 AM  
Nancy said…
I love the graphite drawing and keep gong back to it (your model is beautiful by the way). I love to look at your site – I leave feeling inspired.
May 7, 2007 4:12 AM  
Serena said…
These are awesome! I think my favourite is the graphite. :)
May 7, 2007 9:08 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the comments -Sarah…thank you for being so observant..you’re spot on! I’m so glad you did see a littel of what I tried to do…see down below.Nancy: Yes I had a beautiful model to work with!Bec: and Christeen does have a snapshot of me, so when she has time, she’ll do one too.note: This was a very intimidating experience for me….doing a painting of someone you don’t know or haven’t met face to face, and in a weird sense is actually a friend(like you all would agree, I’m sure) and all you have to work with is a photograph – you haven’t seen some personal mannerisms, like how her mouth moves when she smiles, how she crinkles her nose, how she plays with a string of hair, how the light in her eye changes…anything that can give you an idea of something more than physical…. Normally I would’ve preferred to have Christeen’s face say something more than just displaying rendition, tell more of a story, but I didn’t feel confident enough to do that. Who knows, maybe our paths might cross and then I’ll redo these.

May 7, 2007 9:15 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
So I’m going to chime in and say how much I admire your work and your courage as well… I couldn’t say which one I like the most, since they all have a different feeling to them, like showing different aspects of Christeen’s personality? – Would be interesting to know which one she thinks portrays her best?
May 7, 2007 9:29 AM  
Ujwala said…
all three are wonderful but the oil is my favourite :P sounds like a fun project and i hope we can see christeen’s work too.
May 7, 2007 12:14 PM  
Tonniece said…
May 7, 2007 12:35 PM  
Sandy said…
WOW – big WOW you are a master (bowing down before you)
May 7, 2007 3:52 PM  
Robyn said…
I love the graphite one, Ronell. it looks so spontaneous and very much from life. That, I find, is terribly difficult to achieve from a photo which usually lends itself to a more formal portrait. You are very clever – I’m so in awe of the oil too!
May 7, 2007 6:30 PM  
Fanta said…
I like the first one best, maybe because I love graphite, maybe because you truly did capture the child in her expression.
The last one truly looks like a lioness, even the twirls in the background resemble the presence of a lioness! Awesome!
May 7, 2007 9:49 PM  
platitudinal said…
Truly amazing work. You’re not only attempting a likeness of her, but also her essence. That’s very difficult to capture, and yet you did. I think each medium emphasize more of certain characteristic, but all and all they’re all there. Superb job, Ronell.
May 7, 2007 10:02 PM  
Carole said…
Well done – these are stunning! It’s so interesting seeing them done in three different media, and noticing how each gives a different feel. My favourite has to be the oil painting because I am such a huge fan of your luscious way with oils. Oh, to be able to paint like that!
May 7, 2007 11:16 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hello I cant tell you how much your work has inspired me to practice daily and hope that someday I also will be able to turn out wonderful works of art. You are a wonderful artist and I thank-you for letting us see your work hear.
May 8, 2007 12:49 AM  
mARTa said…
wow! how different they all are yet how smashing! Your blog is always a joy to the viewer!
May 8, 2007 2:13 AM  
Renate said…
Wonderful. They all have there own charm. I love the eyes from the graphite one, but my favorite is the one in oil.
May 8, 2007 8:50 AM  
wagonized said…
It is hard to tell which one strikes me the most — as each of them stresses something different about Christeen. Love her hair in the graphite one.
Thank you, Ronell, for your comments on my funk of the past few days. Your words, which i found on Suzanne’s blog, have stuck in my head ever since i read them. Yesterday, i just showed up at the page… :-)
May 8, 2007 4:03 PM  
Christeen said…
I keep coming back to marvel at these. I’ve never seen a drawing or painting of myself before, and I enjoy them SO much!Your graphite drawing really captures how my hair feels to me- men have lost watches in it! It can be incridibly difficult to coerce into submission!I love the loose, fresh approach in the watercolor. You’ve made the light SO beautiful- I feel like I’m outside, just looking at it. I am also impressed with how you kept the line of my nosering thin and delicate in the midst of those wonderful washes of color. You’ve got my squint wonderfully.And the oil- wow. The brushstrokes are really lively. Thje background supports your lionine take on my hair, and suggests wind tossing it around (and it was VERY windy the day I took that shot). The colors are luscious. The colors you’ve used for my skin are particularly impressive to me.So, all that said, thank you SO much for applying your creative talents to this swap of photos! You’ve inspired and impressed me, and I’m so glad we gave it a try.

May 8, 2007 7:56 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Great work Ronell – not just this post throughout your blog. These are great, I think I like the pencil one the best.
May 9, 2007 1:10 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
These are really fantastic! You’re so talented. :D
May 9, 2007 6:37 AM  
E-J said…
You’ve been so busy! You and Christeen have really taken this challenge by the horns. I think the oil is especially good.
ay 9, 2007 1:52 PM  
Linda said…
These are all great! Christeen’s painting of you is wonderful, too — you two are cooking up some fun stuff! :-)
May 11, 2007 4:18 AM  
Anonymous said…
Come across to your blog and loved it. I will return.http://tcores.blogspot.com
May 11, 2007 2:40 PM  
janey said…
These are great, I love the color and texture in the last one.
May 11, 2007 6:15 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the generous comments!
May 12, 2007 8:26 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What a grand project! I love the graphite the best, but that’s just me. All of them are simply superb.


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