Wishing you all a happy, successful, creative and fulfilling year ahead! I must say that 2015 was an incredible year for me personally and I have no doubts that 2016 is going to be even more exciting. I have started this year off on a positive note, having entered the “light Space and Time” online art exhibition competition I am thrilled that both my entries have managed to place. Out of 890 entries from 33 different countries around the world , “Nonjabulo” placed 3rd in the painting category and 6th overall, “African Fish Eagle” received an honourable mention!
Oil on Canvas
605 mm x 405 mm
I just love this work; I am so passionate about it. The original photograph was taken by my father in-law ,Dave Salmond in the surrounds of Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal whilst observing a group of locals collecting thatching grass for a community housing project.
This woman was known as ‘the preacher’s wife’ and had been married to the local preacher for many years. There are so many things that capture my attention in this work, when I was presented with the original image I could not wait to put it onto canvas.
The typical miss-matched items of clothing (and the colour and texture of each) bring such originality and character to the work. The holes in her shoes which reveal the big toe on each foot always get a mention when people view this work- I had such fun attempting to capture the detail of the fraying fabric. The bundle of giant thatching grass hoisted so proudly over her shoulder is so typical to the Ladysmith area and wash such a joy to recreate in oils with its rich, warm colours and texture.
My favourite thing about this scene is the expression reflected in her face, the scene is one of simplicity and carefreeness. Each time I look at this painting I just feel happy.I have subsequently entitled the work ‘Nonjabulo’ which in Zulu simply means ‘happiness’.
‘African Fish Eagle’
Oil on linen
580mm x 900mm
This is such a special and unique image from Chris Martin Wildlife Photography, I just love the intensity captured in this image through both posture and light composition. The stance is refreshingly different from the typical images one usually sees of fish eagles in flight. Chris’s original image has a dark green background, I have painted a version using the original colouration and I have always loved the way the eagle stands out in front of a dark background. This particular piece was done as a commission in 2014 and I must say that the lighter background has its own charm and character. Background aside, the original image is in my opinion a beautiful representation of an African icon and it was a privilege to paint it.
2016 is going to be the year of exhibitions and competitions, lots of lessons to be learnt and huge amounts of fun to be had!