Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dandelion Botanical illustration - Taraxacum officionale

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - unframed - 8" x 12"

Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion (often simply called “dandelion”), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae.

It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind called “blowballs” or “clocks” (in both British and American English).

During summer, when the Dandelions are in full flower, I mostly halt mowing the lawn, enjoying the spectacle of yellow flowers and then the beautiful blow-balls. And, like a child, I often pick them and blow them into the wind, revelling in the little umbrellas as they take off to start a new generation of Dandelions.

Dandelions are a Eurasian species now entrenched almost world-wide because of their excellent seed dispersal mechanism and ease of germination. Their crowded head of ray flowers produces numerous seeds, their low, wide basal leaves crowd-out competing plants, and thus the plant is often found in huge colonies.

ITEM ID : DandelionBotanical
PRICE : R350.00 including postage in South Africa

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gum leaves - Botanical illustration

W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm - unframed - 8" x 12"

Bluegum leaves (Eucalyptus)
Dedicated to all Eucalypt and Bee-lovers!

A recent study by the SA National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) in South Africa has found that gum trees provide nectar and pollen for swarms of commercial bees – and bees in turn pollinate about 50 food crops in the country. This “service” bees provide is worth about R10.3 billion a year.

Gum trees are not only important food for bees, but so are many roadside wildflowers, crops, suburban flowering plants and those that many regard as weeds. A major reason for the decline of honey bees around the world is a lack of good forage plants to provide nectar, which is the carbohydrate in the bees’ diet, and pollen the protein. Bees collect nectar from Blue Gum tree blossoms from spring to late summer.

A lack of good quality and variety of forage plants can lead to unhealthy honey bee colonies that are more vulnerable to pests and diseases.

This in turn can lead to insufficient pollination of our important agricultural crop flowers, leading to a decreased yield or quality of the food crop, Insect pollinators are needed for 35 percent of all food production globally – or one of every three bites you eat.

Although most Bluegums have been declared as an invasive species in South Africa, Beekeepers are highly dependent on eucalyptus and if they are all removed because they are aliens it would mean a serious shortage of food for bees – with a knock-on effect on crop pollination.

Because of this, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ legislation on alien and invasive species, updated in 2014, is “nuanced” for eucalyptus trees, not requiring all of them to come under the axe or chainsaw.

ITEM ID : GumLeavesBotanical
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The beauties of Nature

Tasmanian bluegum (Eucalyptus globulus) - Acrylic on Art board canvas - unframed - 8" x 10*

This large, straight-trunked tree grows to about 70m tall in open forests in south-eastern Tasmania, on Bass Strait islands and in parts of southern Victoria. Its common name comes from the waxy blue-green colour of its juvenile leaves. The plant’s cream-coloured flowers are a good source of nectar for bees and the resultant honey is dense and strongly flavoured. Here in South Africa, this bluegum is widely planted as forage for our honey bee populations.

ITEM ID : BeautiesOfNatureAncrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa



Early-morning Bluegums

Acrylic on Bockingford 300gsm - unframed 12" x 8"

The first light of day sweeps across some bluegums (Eucalyptus trees) in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa.

Bluegums play in important part in South Africa's economy as they provide forage for our threatened honey bee population. 

ITEM ID : EarlyMorningBluegumsAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa


Friday, May 26, 2017

Evening Bluegums

W&N watercolour on Arches 300gsm 8" x 12" unframed

Dedicated to all those who love early-evenings.

As the last of the sun’s rays filter through the Bluegum bush on our property, the forest floor turns into a play of light and shadow. I feel at peace here in nature…

ITEM ID : EveningBluegums
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Magaliesberg cliffs


Acrylic painting on un-stretched canvas sheet -- 12" x 9" unframed

A view of the Magaliesberg cliffs (NorthWest Province, South Africa), one of the few places where the White-backed Vulture still roams freely.

The Magaliesberg are among the oldest mountains in the world, almost 100 times older than Everest. They stretch for 120km from Bronkhorstspruit Dam east of Pretoria to Rustenburg in the west and separate the highveld grasslands to the south from the bushveld savannah in the north.

Sheer quartzite cliffs face south, overlooking a wide valley and a smaller ridge similar in shape and structure to the Magaliesberg.

ITEM ID : MagaliesbergCliffsAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The voice of the sea

Acrylic painting on Giverny 240gsm acrylic multi-medium paper – 12″ × 8″ unframed

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.
- Kate Chopin, ‘The Awakening’

Some of our most stunning beaches and wild seas are to be found in Ballito, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Unlike the beaches further North, the Dolphin Coast has the most wonderful rocks and boulders on the beaches, extending into the sea for some distance during low tide. Whenever I visit the area, I can spend hours on the rocks, just watching the motion of the sea.

To me it speaks of the mysteries of its depths, the countless lives that have been lost traversing its great expanse, lost treasure and the rich diversity of its animal life, sometimes evident in shells and strange bits and pieces washing ashore. What an awesome piece of our planet!

ITEM ID : VoiceOfTheSeaAcrylic
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tarlton landscape

Acrylic painting on Giverny 240gsm acrylic paper - 12" x 9" unframed - done on location in Tarlton (Gauteng, South Africa)

Not far from us a friend has a dam on his smallholding. When we visited, it gave me a chance to try my hand at some Acrylics, no sketching beforehand.

ITEM ID : TarltonLandscapeAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Moonlit beach




Done from memory – Acrylic painting on primed un-stretched Canvas sheet - 12" x 9" unframed

The beaches at St. Lucia way up on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa) are some of the most beautiful in our country and I was lucky enough to be there one moonlit night to witness the spectacular rising of the moon in the East.

ITEM ID : MoonlitBeachAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fantasy Arums

--> Acrylic painting on Gesso primed un-stretched acid-free canvas sheet  8" x 12" unframed
--> Definitely a first for me, doing a subject that is not true to life. I mean, really, Orange Arums?! What next?! Normally for me, as here, once I apply a back-ground, that normally sets the tone for the rest of the colour palette. And it seemed a natural progression of incorporating orange as the contrast to the yellow back-ground.
ITEM ID : FantasyArumsAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa 


 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Cockadoodledoooo! Good morning!

Acrylic painting on Gesso primed acid free acrylic un-stretched canvas – 12″ × 9″  unframed

This chap was amongst all Solly’s chickens as they strolled through my garden, picking up tit-bits here and there, but he was smaller than all the other roosters and kept to  one side, keeping an eye on the big Black Pirate, who seemed to be in charge of the barnyard. But every now and then he did let it be known that he was around!

ITEM ID : GoodMorningRoosterAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dark reaction

Acrylic painting on un-stretched canvas sheet 12" x 9" unframed

The dark within awakes.
My very breath it takes.

Bloody black feelings stir
growing shadowy black fur.
A drop of hate -
A torrent of anger -
A sheet of darkness -
A shard of light-

I lost track.
~ Mau Rose


ITEM ID : DarkReactionAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Awakening

 W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - 8" x 12" unframed
 
Like a flash of lightening on a dark quiet night
Creativity erupts.
It overflows the senses,
Spilling out like liquid inspiration.

Living our Authentic Power means listening to the voice within, regardless of the pressure of social conditioning or any authority or peer group belief systems.  You are a unique individual and have your own path to traverse.  Your path is not necessarily the path of others. 

It is the voice within that knows best for us and will always guide us in the right direction for our soul evolution.  Honouring this inner wisdom means that we are aligning our human selves with our souls, for the purpose of spiritual growth.  It means that we are being who we truly are - a magnificent spark of the Creative Force.  Anything less than this is a chaining of the soul, and will create pain.

ITEM ID : TheAwakening
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Magaliesburg landscape

Acrylic on Gesso primed Acrylic Canvas sheet – 12"×9” unframed – Done on location in Magaliesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

ITEM ID : MagaliesburgLandscapeAcrylic
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Superwoman

W&N Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - 8" x 12" unframed
 

What will the superwoman be, of whom we sing -
She who is coming over the dim border
Of Far To-morrow, after earths disorder
Is tidied up by Time? What will she bring
To make life better on tempestuous earth?
How will her worth
Be greater than her forbears? What new power
Within her being will burst into flower?

She will bring virtue; but it will not be
The pale, white blossom of cold chastity
Which hides a barren heart. She will be human -
Not saint or angel, but the superwoman -
Mother and mate and friend of superman.
- Extract from "The Superwoman" by Ella Wheeler Willcox

ITEM ID : TheSuperwoman
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Midnight in town square

Oil painting on un-stretched canvas sheet 12" x 9" (30cm x 23cm) unframed

An imaginary scene of midnight in a Town Square after a down-pour. 

ITEM ID : MidnightTownsquareOil
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

Friday, September 23, 2016

A handful of Southerly wind

A handful of Southerly wind - Black waterproof Pilot Calligraphy Lettering Pen sketch, candle wax and W&N ‘Sepia’ watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm -- 8" x 12" unframed

The historic mining village of Kaapsehoop is situated about 25 kilometers from the town of Nelspruit in the South African province of Mpumalanga. It is within this paradise-like setting that the legendary wild horses of Kaapsehoop roam freely. Kaapschehoop has the only wild herds in South Africa, whilst the other nearest known wild horse occurrence is in Namibia.

ITEM ID : AHandfulOfSoutherlyWind
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Light after the storm


Acrylic on Giverny 240gsm acrylic paper - 12" x 8" unframed

Cape Langklip Lighthouse – This lighthouse gets its name from the nearby mountain with a “hanging” shape. It is situated at the entrance to False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa. A 23 meter reinforced concrete tower, it was commissioned on 25 November 1960.

This beacon was built by means of the moving form shuttering principle and is powered by a triple diesel mutual alternator. This shining optic shoots a revolving electric light across the Atlantic Ocean every 10 seconds visible for 25 nautical miles at a focal plane of 34 meters. This cylindrical tower of reinforced concrete emits a candle power of 800 000 CD across the waters yet looks like nothing more than a white candle sunk into the sand to create a romantic glow in the breeding ground of the Southern Right Whale.

An unmanned lighthouse guarding a picturesque coastline reminds those at sea that they are not alone.
Built in only 6 days this 22 meter lighthouse tower has been keeping sailors, seafarers and fisherman safe since 1960. In 1986 a telemetry system was installed allowing the lighthouse to be monitored from Cape Point.

ITEM ID : LightAfterStorm
PRICE : R650.00 postage included in South Africa

Monday, September 19, 2016

A woman's friendship

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - 8" x 12" unframed

Flowers for a friend in need.

ITEM ID : AWomansFriendship
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Seagulls at Durban Harbour

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - 12" x 8" unframed
Grey-headed Gull (Larus cirrocephalus)

The Port of Durban, commonly called Durban Harbour, is the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. It handles up to 31.4 million tons of cargo each year and is the fourth largest container terminal in the Southern Hemisphere.

When visiting my daughter in Ballito on the North Coast, I always make a special trip to Durban just to go and see the Seagulls. For some unknown reason, there are no seagulls in the Ballito area.

The closest two breeding colonies of the Grey-headed gull to Durban are the large nesting concentrations at Lake St Lucia up the North Coast and in Gauteng Province (believe it or not!). The total southern African population of this species has been estimated at about 2000 pairs. Durban Bay, where up to 920 individuals were counted during one study, therefore seasonally supports a highly significant proportion of the total southern African population during the non-breeding season.

ITEM ID : SeagullsDurbanHarbour
PRICE : R350.00 postage included in South Africa

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