Monday, February 29, 2016

Black-headed Oriole

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

The Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus) is a frequent visitor to my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) and I’m always thrilled to hear his liquid call, upon which I rush out to refill the oranges and apples, which seem to be his favourite fruit.

Swartkopwielewaal [Afrikaans]

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

Friday, February 26, 2016


Candle wax and W&N watercolour on Aqua 300gsm - 12" x 8" unframed

Autumn, oh autumn! How you enchant me with your wonderful colours and cool days! How you inspire with your falling leaves, your magical diversity of combining the best of all four seasons in just a few weeks! Your changing fall foliage never fails to surprise and delight me, getting us ready for winter in the most beautiful way!

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

Framing suggestion - Black frame with white matting

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Red Bishop

W&N watercolours on Visual 200gsm - unframed 8" x 12"

Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
Indigenous to Africa (south of equator)

My Red Bishops have just come into their breeding colours and some of the juveniles are a decidedly mottled lot! There’s a lot of fighting and chattering going on, trying to establish dominance and vying for the best spots in the garden.

This little chap obligingly sat for a session while I did a quick outline sketch and then hurriedly added some colour before he flitted off again on some serious business or another.

What a cunning mixture of sentiment, pity, tenderness, irony surrounds adolescence, what knowing watchfulness! Young birds on their first flight are hardly so hovered around!
- Georges Bernanos

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trees on a hill

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

Some Blue gum trees on our property (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa). The hill is a bit of artistic licence as our smallholding is as flat as a pancake, with deep, rich top soil and nary a stone in sight.

The bottom third of the property consists of a lovely blue gum bush which provides me with hours of sketching material. The rest of the property surrounding the house area is planted with Eragrostis grass (Love grass) which provides lots of nesting areas for the Fan-tailed Cisticolas in summer. I spend hours watching them doing their dipping flights over the grass while constantly chirping.

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

Framing suggestion

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Red-chested Cuckoo (Piet-My-Vrou)

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

30th October 2015, 8.04am, and I’ve just heard the Piet-My-Vrou (Red-chested Cuckoo – Cuculus solitarius) for the first time this season! It’s rather late, I normally hear them at the beginning of October, but it’s as if they’ve waited for the first rains before being heard! (We had 20mm of rain last night and 15mm the night before, so the world around here in Tarlton (Gauteng, South Africa) is looking and smelling sparkling clean!) They’re extremely shy and very hard to spot, but I managed to get a quick (not-so-good!) shot with my camera before he disappeared back into the thick foliage. Had to use my bird book to complete all the colours.

I have held most bird species in my hands at least once, but with the Red-chested Cuckoo I have not had that pleasure…

Piet-my-vrou [Afrikaans]

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Parsley in a pot

W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm mixed media paper – no preliminary sketching - unframed 8" x 12"

Some Parsley in a small terracotta pot on a shelf in my bathroom garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa).

Parsley is the world’s most popular herb. Derived from the Greek word meaning “rock celery” (it’s a relative to celery), parsley has been cultivated for 2,000 years, and was used medicinally long before that.

Parsley is also rich in vitamin A, well-known for its effects on vision, plus can mitigate risks of atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Parsley is one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body. It’s like an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form. It grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year.

So next time you get some parsley on your plate, eat up!

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

Monday, February 8, 2016

Guineas are winged wonders

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

After years of not seeing any guinea fowl around our property (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa), I was lucky enough to have a visit from them a couple of weeks ago and I was totally thrilled!

a guinea fowl
molting polka dot feathers—
I see
handmade earrings

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

Friday, February 5, 2016

Echeveria imbricata in terracotta pot

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - NOT FOR SALE

This popular and vigorous succulent has 4 to 8 inches wide, tight rosettes of flat grey-green leaves that, when mature, form offsets freely to form large solid clumps 4 to 6 inches tall. It has a branched arching inflorescence bearing clusters of red and yellow flowers in the spring and early summer. Plant in full sun, even in hotter inland gardens, to part sun/light shade in a well-drained soil and water regularly. Although it is is cold-tolerant, it does not do well in heavy frosts, therefore most of mine are planted in terracotta pots for easy winterizing.

This plant is often listed as a species or as E. x imbricata but is a hybrid cultivar created in the early 1870’s by Jean-Baptiste A. Deleuil of Marseilles (Rue Paradis) that resulted from crossing Echeveria secunda with E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ and was listed for the first time in his 1874 catalogue.

It has been argued by some that the correct pronunciation for the genus is ek-e-ve’-ri-a, though ech-e-ver’-i-a seems in more prevalent use in the US.

Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Echeveria x imbricata]
Parentage: (Echeveria glauca x E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Amethyst Sunbird female

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

Black Sunbird feeding on the Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) flowers in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa).

The Amethyst Sunbird, also called the Black Sunbird (Chalcomitra amethystine) mainly occurs in Africa south of the equator. Its natural habitat is dry savannah but it is extremely fond of gardens.
It goes out of its way to visit a large clump of nectar-bearing plants. Here in my garden, it feeds on nectar from the Aloe, Kniphofia, Halleria lucida (Tree fuchsia) and a nectar mix in one of my bird feeders. It’s diet is supplemented with insects and often hawks flying insects from the trees or bushes, also gleaning them from leaves and branches. Nectar is obtained either from flowers or from garden feeders, which it uses readily (note that in feeding experiments it was found to prefer sucrose rather than sugar).

This Sunbird is not threatened, in fact its range has increased recently due to the spread of wooded gardens.

Swartsuikerbekkie [Afrikaans]

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

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