Thursday, March 29, 2012


As promised, here are some more pics that I took during my recent breakaway to Rosendal.  If you'd like to know more about the area, how to get there, things to do, accommodation etc., click on this link  And if you're in South Africa - make a plan to go there sometime.  You'll be glad you did!

A place of creative inspiration

There’s a special place in the Free State (one of our South African provinces) where I go to recharge.  It is a place that gets my creative juices flowing.  A place where I go when I need silence to create and to write. A little village that just celebrated its centenary.  Surrounded by sandstone hills and with the majestic Maluti mountains as backdrop, moss green during summer and occasionally snow-clad in winter, this little town isn’t far from the Lesotho border and close to the only two ski resorts in Southern Africa.  A hamlet where each of the weekend cottages which are sporadically being built here, is a shining example of experimental, eco-friendly and non-mainstream architecture.  This is Rosendal.

It is a place where a small but growing congregation of artists live and create and thrive.  Where old wood, scrap metal, discarded books and unwanted furniture become art materials for creating beautiful and fresh artwork. I have just returned from a quick breakaway to the village after a long, long absence.  It was so good to be back there!  To go for long walks in the morning and early evening and watch the light change and see the sunset turn the sandstone cliffs into gold.  To listen to the silence and breathe the wide openness.  To be inspired by the work of the artists in residence.  I hope to be building my own little retreat there quite soon.

Is there a specific place that talks to your heart and fuels your creativity?  I’d love to hear about it!  Please drop me a few lines on your way out.

Here are a few pictures.  There's more to follow, so watch this space!

Goodnight Sweethearts!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My handiwork is en route to Sweden, USA & Australia!

Here's 2 of the 12 postcards that I completed for the annual DIY Postcard swap!

This morning, while I was working in my studio, I noticed that a considerable number of blue swallows were darting around in the air above our house and I was wondering if they weren’t getting ready for their annual migration.

Only later in the day did I realize that today, 19 March, is officially the last day of summer here in the southern hemisphere, and the last day of winter in the northern hemisphere. 

9 of the 10 addresses that I received in the postcard swap were in the northern hemisphere.  I thought how fitting it is that my postcards are on their way up north on a day like today.  

So, to the people receiving postcards from me – your cards are currently migrating up north with the blue swallows of the south and I hope that they bring you lots of warm sunshine and joy – from my sunny summer garden to yours! May your summer be as bright and beautiful as mine was!

Here’s a little bit of info on the making of my mixed media postcards:


We were visiting Cape Town a couple of weeks ago and we stayed in an apartment overlooking Muizenberg beach.  Early one morning our baby daughter peeped out from between the shutters in our bedroom just as the sun was rising over the Atlantic.  The light shone so vibrantly through the window that her little figure became a silhouette, together with the horizontal lines of the shutters and I grabbed my camera to capture the moment.  Since she became part of our lives I had wanted to create artwork in her honour, so I decided to use these photographs as a basis for the postcard swap. 


We have many birds and two rabbits that decided to make our garden their home, and she loves to go for long walks in our garden in the late afternoons to see what all the little creatures are up to.  So I decided to use antique garden illustrations as backdrop and continue the play of light behind her silhouette by printing the photographs on transparent paper so that the background can still shine through.  It brings a sense of mystery to the image – not unlike her future, which is still a beautiful, miraculous mystery to us at present.


I decided to add to the mystery by writing a short little story about Angeli and her garden across 3 photographic prints at a time.  So every recipient will receive a little piece of the “puzzle” – one third of the story.  And so here’s the full story:

I decided to add birds and rabbits to the postcard to illustrate the little story.  So I drew inspiration from Arthur Rackham, one of the world’s great children’s book illustrators, and created stencils in the form of silhouettes.  Arthur Rackham became well-known for his trademark silhouettes around 1905.  You can have a look at some of his beautiful work here.


To add a bit of interest to the image, I used Japanese washi tape that I received as a gift from my cousin in Tokyo.  Exactly one year since the tsunami hit Japan, this is a small token in honour of all those who suffered unspeakable loss.  It is my humble salute to an extremely gracious and resilient nation. 

Finally, I added stickers of vintage sweet brands, because as they say: "little girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice!"


In the end, I created 4 series of postcards, each series consisting of 3 postcards that together carry the story of Angeli’s Garden.  If you’d like to see each of the 12 postcards in detail, you can view them on my flickr page here

In one of my earlier blog posts, I mentioned that nothing brings out the muse as quickly as a deadline.  So very true, I realized again this week.  I wasn’t sure if I would have time available to make the required 10 mixed media postcards, but I decided to register anyway, to make the time and in the end it was such an enjoyable experience!  Handling work on a project-to-project basis with a deadline – whether it is preparing for a music show or making art – it just works for me and keeps me productive and inspired.

Goodnight sweethearts!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Showing up

It is just past midnight and once again I am amazed at how energized I become when I immerse myself in music and art.  I started with a collage on canvas around 21h00 and right now I have to force myself to go to sleep.  Like Eliza Doolitte…”I could have danced all night…..and still have begged for more”.  And once again I realize that all you have to do when it comes to creating, is to show up and make yourself available.  As creatives, we are called to edify, to uplift, to deliver a message, and if we don’t make ourselves available, those who were in need of that message will surely miss out. 
Goodnight sweethearts!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I'm taking part in DIY Postcard Swap 2012

DIY Postcard Swap 2012I just signed on for an international postcard swap on the blog of fellow artist Hanna Andersson (Sweden).  I will be completing 10 mixed media collages - all in postcard format - and sending them to other participants somewhere in the world.  In turn, I'll be receiving 10 artful postcards done by other artists from all over the world.  I am super excited to see the postcards of other artists! This is also a fantastic way to network with other likeminded individuals and I can't wait to see who I will meet during this exercise.  I'm thinking of doing 10 variations on a theme....  Perhaps use photographs of my baby girl as source material.

I host a visual journaling workshop every second Friday morning, and tomorrow is workshop day again. We work mainly in mixed media and collage.  A couple of us will be working on our postcards for the swap.  Can't wait!

A wonderfully extensive Artist's Date

With a 14 month old baby in tow, even 20 minutes of time-out can be absolute bliss! I was in Cape Town over the weekend and made plans to spend time at Design Indaba 2012 - South Africa's showcase for the latest and greatest in design - but I wasn't sure how I was going to do it without a babysitter.  Well, our baby girl decided to take a 2,5 hour nap just as we entered the exhibition hall, and so began my very extensive Artist's Date for this week! What a treat! I could drink it all in at leisure. Here's a collection of some of the exquisite paper design objects from the show.  If you'd like to see my show favourites, go to my pinterest page by clicking here.

Mixed media paper sculpture by Sharon Leilani Boonzaaier

Source: via Anel on Pinterest

Book Paper Sculptures by Kerri Muller

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Making the muse stay...

To live creatively means different things to different people.  For me it boils down to having an inquisitive and observant mindset that culminates in a lifestyle of experimenting with and expressing new ideas which result in behaviour that impacts your world positively.  Note that the end result should always be positive. It is a matter of recharging on a regular basis and then spending this energy again.  So you end up having a constant flow of fresh energy/ideas coming into your life, and flowing out through your relationships, your home and your community.  The secret is to keep it fresh!

When it comes to recharging, I firmly believe in artist's dates - weekly appointments with your inner artist - you can do anything that relaxes and energizes you - watching an art movie (2 hours) or a quick 20-30 minute coffee break while browsing through a book that inspires you might do the trick - I love spending time in bookshops that serve coffee for this very reason.

The creativity & energy that I gain from this is enough to last me 100 times longer than the time I actually spent!  To illustrate my point: late Sunday night, the muse arrived, and I got this idea for beautifying an empty curtain rod that has been installed above the patio entrance of our rented house (so I cannot remove it, and I refuse to hang a curtain that will close up the lovely view)....  See!  Creative energy in - creative energy out!

I found this piece about staying creative on today.  If you haven't checked out this site previously - do so asap - you'll experience tons of inspirational eye candy.  It is a virtual pinboard where you and others can freely show and share images from the web that inspire you. Sort of like a global scrapbook.  Love the typography of number 24....!  So what do you do to recharge and stay creative? I'd love to hear your comments.