“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”
It was Nelson Mandela who spoke those words and I hear them loud and clear as I plot out my goals for the year ahead. What a beautiful, inspiring and accurate thing to say . To TRULY live your life to the fullest, to actually achieve to your highest potential, to experience entirely the full extent of your own capability- that’s the secret of life right there if you ask me. 2017 is well and truly upon us, and I can feel in my soul that it’s going to be an incredible year. It’s only natural to start the year off on a positivity overload, but, truth be told I ended off the last 6 months of 2016 feeling the very same way, and I can’t seem to shake the feeling that lovely and exciting things are going to happen this year, in abundance!
In the spirit of looking forward to the months ahead, and making the most of the opportunities that come my way in 2017, I think it is fitting to revisit the year past, to celebrate the triumphs and successes and learn from the challenges. I’ve always been thankful for any difficulty that’s come my way, for it is the difficulties that help us learn, help us grow and help us conquer- 2016, thanks for the lessons learnt, triumphs secured, goals accomplished and higher goals set to motivate and enthuse.
Just a few special memories from 2016…
A GREAT START TO THE YEAR!!
I entered two of my works into the “Light Space &Time” online art competition towards the end of 2015. The 1st of January 2016 delivered the results; Out of 890 entries from 33 different countries around the world I was absolutely thrilled that both of my pieces managed to place! 🙂
NONJABULO- 3rd in painting category, 6th overall
(“Nonjabulo” – a favourite of mine painted in 2012)
AFRICAN FISH EAGLE- honorable mention
(“African Fish Eagle” – a commission done in 2014, my version of original reference image by Chris Martin Wildlife Photography.)
Encouraged by the results of the LST “All women” art competition I decided to take the plunge and enter the Light Space and Time “solo artist” competition. I was absolutely elated to be selected as one of four artists to be given a solo art exhibition on the Light Space and Time online art gallery! The Solo Series took place within a competitive atmosphere and winning artists were to be juried into a series of one month, online solo art exhibitions. Each solo artist was promoted on a worldwide basis through the LST website, in email distributions, with 70+ individual international press releases and extensive social media marketing.The competitive process considered not only the quality and depth of the artist’s work but also an evaluation of the overall entry presentation, including the artist’s biography and artist’s statement so I was incredibly pleased to be selected. My exhibition ran from 15 March 2016 to the 15 April 2016! Exciting stuff!!
CHILLING WITH THE LEGENDARY LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
I am exceptionally passionate about music and so this experience was definitely a personal highlight for me. One of my very good friend’s is currently doing her masters in Music research , the main focus of her thesis being on Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Throughout the process the group has been extremely welcoming and accommodating to her and so, when I got the opportunity to tag along to one of their rehearsals, I jumped at the chance- although not in the literal sense of the word as I was unfortunately on crutches at the time!! Anyway , spending the morning in the company of such talented, humble, salt of the earth kind of gentlemen was one of those experiences in life where I found myslef thinking “how on earth did I get this right”?? . Unfortunately for me , fortunate for everyone else in the room (and beyond), the crutches inhibited my ability to partake in the invitation to get up and do some traditional dancing with the group. However, sitting there in the circle, as if with old friends, listening to the assemblage of rich voices, unified in soul-stirring harmonies, singing secret words of significance in the mother tongue of our home province – it was true goose-bump stuff, and an experience I shall never forget, one that I’ll be forever thankful to have had the privilege of experiencing… I will just add, as a side note, during rehearsal break we had a chance to chat a little bit more in depth with the group, discussing music, art etc and I’m beyond pleased to say that LBM approve of my artwork- score… which in turn sparked an idea in my brain- watch this space…
It does make me laugh to see how pleased I’m looking with myself here in this UNFORTUNATELY close shot.
WOMAN OF WORTH
This was another of those unexpected moments that had me asking “who? me”?? I’m truly honoured to have been featured as a “woman of worth”. see link below to view my feature and to learn more about this lovely campaign.
Women of Worth
Inspired by South African Women…
their strength, their courage,
their unique originality,
their creativity and imagination…
their humble enduring spirit!
Celebrating South African Women…
by sharing their stories,
supporting their achievements,
applauding their success,
showcasing their talents…
embracing their differences,
and honouring their heritage.
ART IN THE PARK
2016 was my second “Art in the Park” experience. Despite the weather, and a few other organizational challenges , it’s always a good personal challenge, preparing for and seeing through an exhibition. For me, the best part of exhibiting is meeting other artists, and seeing works that inspire and encourage you. 5 days spent exhibiting outdoors is a rather sturdy challenge in itself, and when the weather decides it’s not going to play nicely, well that can be down right life choice questioning stuff (not to be overly dramatic). I was very pleased that a few of my pieces managed to find happy new homes… but new strategies have definitely been put in place about how and where I should like to exhibit in the future.
I definitely wasn’t expecting to see myself on the front page of ‘The Witness’ , but there I am, posing with the Msunduzi tourism director
A GIANT Accomplishment
I loved painting this piece, it definitely came with its own set of challenges but I had so much fun putting it all together. I came across this photo the other day and it really made me smile! It’s the perfect example of the “enormity of it all”. I may not be the tallest person, but this was definitely not the smallest painting. Completing the piece was an accomplishment in itself, selling it and sending it of to a beautiful happy home in Botswana was a wonderful bonus.
Of course no year in the life of me would be complete (or deemed personally successful) if It didn’t include wilderness adventures. I was fortunate enough to spend many wonderful hours in Kruger throughout the duration of 2016, sometimes with loved ones, sometimes alone, all individually special and enjoyable.Looking back at 2016’s collection of photographs, I am actually pretty blown away by all the incredible things I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in the short space of a year- and once again I find myself in awe of Africa, and the incredible and truly unique wilderness areas it boasts- our natural heritage…and now I’m itching to get back into the bush, of course!!!
A More recent highlight this, once again to say a heart-felt thank you to Andrea Abbot and the entire crest team for the beautiful feature on my work, sincerely appreciated and thankful for a fabulous end to a wonderful year, and great momentum to propel forth into 2017
THE ‘GIFT’ OF ART
On of the biggest privileges that comes with being able to live my passion, Is the ability to bring joy to others, and the significance that comes with the opportunity to share a very personal part of myself through my work. This is especially true when it comes to those I’m closest to. My Gran has one of the very first oil paintings I ever “produced” back in 2005. Interesting fact alert*- In painting a picture of a lion as a gift for my Gran, doubling up as my term project in high school, I was actually led to making my first sale… A teacher, noticing the painting as I carried it back and forth from the art room, took a liking to the piece and asked if she could purchase it. Of course I declined her offer to buy the original piece, as it has been painted for my Gran, but I offered to paint her another, similar piece… little did I know that I would be doing that for a living at a later stage in my life.
Never the less, selling artwork is of course a pleasure and there is a wonderful sense of accomplishment that comes with it, but, gifting people with artwork, well that’s an entirely different kind of experience, a pleasure and a privilege really. My grandparent’s immigrated to Canada almost 15 years ago now but my Gran comes out to visit us twice a year , and we absolutely cherish the time we get to spend with her. We were thrilled to have her with us for this Christmas this year and I decided to give her a small piece of artwork to take back home, to join the lion painting and all the rest that reside alongside it. I came across this picture and it made me smile… I just love to paint, and I’m indescribably grateful that I get to do it on a daily basis, sharing my passion with those I love.
Yes, 2016 was a good year, for many different reasons, I don’ t think there is any reason why every single one of us shouldn’t be planning big and exciting things for 2017. As always, I look forward to sharing my art with you in the months ahead, as well as everything else that comes along with it.
Here’s to the year ahead- what a privilege it is to be able to live it.
“Create the highest, grandest vision
possible for your life
because you become
what you believe”