According to  Instagram (my feed is @heidishedlock) this is my #2015bestofnine! All Paintings in the post images....and clearly the florals have been winners! 

As 2015 draws to a close, I want to wish you and your families a blessed 2016 and thank you all for your support, interest, encouragement, comments and love throughout the year! 2015 has had its challenges! After falling and breaking my leg and ankle, my dreams of completing 2 full years of daily painting were shattered....along with a couple of bones! But so many of you continued to follow my journey....and for that I am so grateful! I am looking forward to a productive 2016 and look forward to sharing it all with you....
Happy New Year!
All love Heidi 

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Jam crumble slice #629

Daily painting #629 5"x5" oil on primed canvas panel

For a family who has been eating sugar free since the beginning of October, coming on holiday to Pumula is a shock to the system! The food here is glorious and one seems to just spend the most part of the day eating! The food really is a treat and what is even more of a treat is that I don't have to cook it! These little jam crumble slices were on offer on the mid-afternoon tea table. I was still too full after a delicious lunch so I took a jam crumble slice to paint. I took one bite to make it look more interesting and I felt awful! It was just too sweet and I think my taste buds have altered too much to handle such an overdose of sugar. I did enjoy painting the yummy looking treat though!

25% off on checkout in my Tictail store until the end of the first week in January. Click on the below to view available daily paintings.

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The last of Christmas #628

Daily painting #628 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

It has taken me 2 days to tidy up and move furniture and put the house back to normal after all the Christmas festivities. We had a full house but a full house is always a happy house and so that brings me great joy! What was even more joyous was being able to open the door to my studio this morning and take time to paint again! Tomorrow we leave for our annual beach holiday at Pumula Beach Hotel...a magical place where my children have been going since babies and millions of special family memories have been made! The Christmas decorations will have to wait for the New Year to be packed away but Christmas is over for another year and 2016 is just around the corner....

Time to get out of my studio and pack my costume....the beach is calling!

My special people...my mum, husband and kids xxx
25% off on checkout in my Tictail store until the end of the first week in January! Click the link below to visit the store and see available daily paintings.

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Happy Christmas

The clock has just struck midnight on Christmas Eve and so we officially welcome in Christmas Day. The last of my guests have said their goodbyes and the kitchen is clean and ready for new Christmas feasts and celebrations for Christmas Day. This Christmas is the first Christmas in two years that I have not painted a daily painting on Christmas Eve and tomorrow I will not paint one on Christmas Day either! I will spend all my precious time with my family. I have however, been itching all day to close myself away in my studio to paint and I have had to fight off the desire to switch off from all the Christmas madness and settle down with my brushes and paint....a huge source of relaxation for me. The house is finally quiet now and everyone is asleep and although I have closed my studio door for Christmas, I couldn't let the day go by without wishing you all a very happy, blessed and peaceful Christmas! 

So no painting....but some Christmas lights and magic and a ton of blessings from me to you! 

Merry Christmas....all my love Heidi

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Almost the season #627

Daily painting #627 8"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

It's almost the season....the countdown begins. Christmas Day is only a few sleeps away and so as the madness begins in preparation for the celebrations (I have a household full of people on Christmas Day and on Christmas Eve), I stop, take a deep breath and remind myself of the reason for the season! So some beautiful deep red Christmassy blooms from my house to yours....
A time for family, blessings and gratitude! 

Last night we drove around our neighborhood taking in all the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations. Of course it was with my favourite people....my family....love these guys with my whole being! 

Remember 25% off on checkout in my Tictail store until the first week in January. Click on the link below to visit the store.
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Chinese teacup and plums #626

Daily painting #626 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

This little still life was set up in my studio yesterday. My studio was a happy, busy place yesterday! My daughter Amy (12 years old) likes to make home made gifts for everyone in the family for Christmas and she spends hours looking at Pinterest for interesting things to make. 
My son has been nagging for ages for us to get him a bulldog, he loves them! Well Amy solved my dilemma yesterday...this year he is getting his bulldog..all be it a painted one! She spent hours in my studio yesterday, painting a bulldog for her brother for Christmas and I think she did a darn fine job of it too! She also painted a little beagle puppy. I am secretly hoping that there will be a little painting from her under the tree for me too! And it looks like the painting bug has bit and I might need to share a corner of my studio. Thank goodness she has her own set of paints and brushes, now those I am not willing to share! I am quite possessive of my brushes....but my studio space I am happy to share! Having a little visitor in my daughter while I painted yesterday was an absolute treat! 

Don't forget to click on the link below to visit my online store to view all available daily paintings. My online store is part of  the Tictail season sale so you can get 25% off on checkout until the first week in January!

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Same protea, different day #625

Daily painting #625 8"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

I just can't resist painting a protea when I have them in my house. This is the same protea I painted a few days ago, but today I used a slightly different size square. This painting is 8"x8" (20cm x 20cm)...bigger than I normally use for my daily paintings. I am working on some LARGE florals at the moment and going from BIG to small is quite a challenge, as is processing and working an image as opposed to completing the painting in one quick (max 45 min) session. But I'm not complaining...it is fabulous to have time in my studio again! 

Remember to make used of the 25% off on checkout....the special offer is part of Tictail's Seasons specials and runs until the first week of January. Visit my online store to see all available daily paintings (click on the link below).

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Three small plums #624

Daily painting #624 5"x7"  oil on price,d canvas panel

Like bright red Christmas baubles.....
Three small rich red plums from my organic farmers fruit and veggie bounty that I picked up on Friday. Delicious...and very festive looking!

25% off on checkout on the Tictail Season sale so visit my online store to see all available daily paintings (click on the link below to browse)

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Protea #623

Daily painting #623 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

The protea, South Africa's national flower is without doubt my favourite bloom! They make me feel happy....and there is lots to be happy about (the declining value of the South African Rand against the Dollar and the Pound not being one of them!). It's holidays...we have glorious weather....we have had a little rain (we need more) ....and it's that time of year when family time is in abundance! Last night we sat outside as a family enjoying evening swims, red evening skies and a gentle breeze on a warm summers evening. My husband and I shared a delicious chilled bottle of South African wine and we ate our evening meal outdoors. It was a magnificent South African summers evening and before we realized it, it was 10pm and we were still enjoying being outdoors. This is the juice that delicious summer holidays are made of....simple things make me happy!

Don't forget my Tictail store is part of the Season's sales so get 25% off your purchases at checkout! Visit my online store (click on the link below) to view all available daily paintings! 

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Red with a dash of gold #622

Daily painting #622 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel 

Today I deck the halls with a little red, gold and silver! I am rather late this year in hanging all my Christmas decorations....but today is the day! The house will be full of red, gold and silver and lots of Christmas cheer. I do love Christmas time.

As most of you know, my online store is hosted by Tictail and I have decided this year to join in the worldwide online Tictail Christmas special. This means that there will be a 25% discount deducted from your purchase on any online shopping in my store through to the first week of January. So head over to my Tictail store and start shopping.... http://paintingsinthepost.tictail.com

It's starting to feel like Christmas!

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No more school shoes #621

Daily painting #621 5"x5" oil on primed canvas panel

My son only finishes his school year next week and is currently away on a school adventure camp. But my daughter finishes her school year today....and so do I! Our summer holidays begin today and it is an awesome feeling! My classroom days are over for a season in my life and I can't wait to have more time in my studio. My daughter has just finished off her Grade 6 year and next year will start her final year of primary school. My son has just 4 more years left of school....how can that be possible? In South Africa our children finish school at 18 years old. That means he will be able to drive a car, cast his vote at election time and be able to leave home to go to university. Gosh I am jumping away with myself here but time really does seem to march along a little too fast for me and I can't keep up! But for today I will be glad that summer holidays have arrived...goodbye school days....and hello summer.
And just for the record....goodbye school shoes! They are battered, worn and falling apart but have served Amy well this year! I officially retire you!

P.S. Our children in South Africa wear strict school uniforms and this type of black shoe commonly known as Bata Toughies (yes they are tough, uncomfortable, hard leather instruments of foot torture) are standard school shoe requirements!

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Exams #620

Daily painting #620 5"x5" oil on primed canvas panel

The last two weeks have been a crazy time in our house. Both of my children have been writing their end of year exams (in South Africa our school year ends in December and starts in January), and I have been marking practical work and Visual Art exam papers. It's been busy to say the least and like any exam period although you try to keep stress levels to a minimum, it's always a tense time of year!

 My daughter finished exams a few days earlier and my son has finally written his last paper. I have managed to get all my pupil's marks correlated and am about to retire my red marking pens! I have marked my last Visual Art theory exam for a while I hope. Next year I will no longer be teaching Visual Art in a school environment and will only teach 3 morning painting classes from a studio at home. The rest of the time I plan to spend more time in my own studio painting and hopefully doing more daily painting too. This year has been a hectically busy year and it took falling down a flight of stairs in April and breaking my ankle and leg to realize that I needed to slow down. There really is no such thing as part time teaching....it consumes 150% of my energy...it's just what I do! But in order to give, its important to keep replenishing ones own 'stock' or else you end up having very little to give. My creative cup is almost running on empty and so it's time to refocus and replenish in order to be able to give again. I will certainly miss my interaction with the girls I have taught this year, it has been so rewarding. When a pre-teen arrives on a Monday to show you a drawing they worked on all weekend, you know you have given someone a gift they will cherish forever and more importantly you have made them believe that they could do something they never thought they could. I know I have inspired a few little souls to a lifetime of new experiences, joy and soul searching through art....and that gives me great pleasure! I hate goodbyes and so I choose to see this not as a 'goodbye' to classroom teaching but a new season of renewal in my own studio....and the journey can begin now that exams are finally over!

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Two figs #619

Daily painting #619 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Figs in Durban are just ridiculously expensive and so I don't buy them often, but more as a treat! I bought a small pack of four and the first two didn't last very long! The last two weren't going to sit around for long either so I took them into my studio to paint first....might as well get my money's worth out of them and I do love the deep purple tones and the contrasting blue lights....and just for the record they tasted delicious too! 

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Buds #618

Daily painting #618 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Plump little buds waiting to burst open and flourish....full of potential beauty. 
It's Monday...the week is full of potential beauty....
Have a fabulous week!

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Mulberries #617

Daily painting #617 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel 

Once a week I get a box of organic fruit and vegetables from a local certified organic farm. I like to support our local farmers who quite frankly are having a hard time at the moment with drought. We have had so little rain that our province has been declared a state of emergency due to the massive water shortage and low dam levels. I have such respect for our local farmers and wish more people would support local....anyway....enough preaching (hehehe)!

This week I was delighted to find a little container of mulberries tucked into my bounty. Mulberries brought back childhood memories of raiding mulberry trees to feed silkworms...of sweet juicy berries that popped in your mouth or squished under your feet....of bright pink stained fingers and sticky pink juice stains that patterned your hands. I haven't seen or tasted mulberries in ages! They have taken pride of place this week on top of dollops of creamy Greek yoghurt, the bright pinky purple juice trickling into the white yoghurt to create patterns almost too pretty to eat. They have also been mixed into smoothies, creating a purple delicious mixture of goodness. I can't quite decide whether it's been the juicy little berries or their black/purple/pink colours that have intrigued me most, but I do hope there will be more next week!

Today is the last day for the FREE POSTAGE birthday offer, so place your order before midnight 31st October. Click on the link below to view available paintings.

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Sketchbooks, exploring and a little inspiration. #616

Daily painting #616 pen, watercolour on card

This little rose took me literally 5 minutes! It was painted as a little demonstration in my painting class. This week I have been inspiring the ladies to draw more and spend more time working, playing, messing and exploring in their sketchbooks or journals. 

We have a long December holiday coming up soon and very often with the Christmas and New Year rush many of my art students don't find much time to paint. As many of them work in oils, one needs not only the space to work but the time to get organized and clean up if you do not have a studio space at home. Working in your sketchbooks means little to clean up and if you organize your materials well, you can be exploring and 'making' within minutes and it's easy and quick to pack away. The materials are also easy to take away on holiday with you! I shared not only my tips for packing up a little traveling kit but I also shared some of my favourite sketchbook artists with them. These artists work in a variety of styles and mediums, using varied techniques. Many of the ladies had not explored with watercolours so I introduced them to the medium and a number of ways that one can 'play' with them in your sketchbook. Draw....draw....draw....is my mantra! One can never draw enough, so if you are reading this I hope you will be inspired to spend some time 'playing' in a sketchbook!

This little rose was the result of a very quick demonstration. I hope to see full sketchbooks soon!

Only 2 more days to make use of my 2nd birthday offer of FREE POSTAGE WORLDWIDE.
The offer ends at 12pm (South African time) on the 31st October (Saturday) ....visit my Tictail store to view all available daily paintings (click on the link below)

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Farm strawberries #615

Daily painting #615 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Amy and I planted some strawberry plants in the garden in the school holidays. We love all berries in our house and they aren't the cheapest fruits to buy in South Africa so we decided it was time to cultivate some of our own. The odds however, are against us! We are currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in many years in South Africa and our coast is particularly hard hit with one of our local dams (which supplies most of the surrounding areas with water) being just under 20% full at the moment....quiet alarming! So the troop of Vervet Monkeys living in the trees surrounding our house are in the garden (braving my dogs) to scrounge for food because no rain means no food for them! Not only that but my one dog, George, has decided that strawberries taste quite delicious and being part of the family he intends to have his full share too!

So for now we keep buying strawberries! These little red gems are from a local organic farm up the North Coast. They are odd shaped and different sizes and not nearly as beautiful looking as the big plump (uniform size and shape) type found in the shops. But they are delicious, sweet, juicy and just the thing I hope we will be picking in the garden soon.....if the monkeys and George leave any for us! 
Oh and some rain.....yes some rain would just be the cherry (strawberry) on the top! 

Celebrate Paintings in the post 2nd birthday with FREE POSTAGE worldwide for the remainder of the month! So visit the online store by clicking on the link below to view all available daily paintings.

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Pink #614

Daily painting #614 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

While I was having a break from my studio, Paintings in the post celebrated its 2nd birthday! Yes...it was 2 years ago that my cousin Candice (who lives in Chicago) helped me launch Paintings in the post...and what an AMAZING journey it has been! I couldn't decide what I missed more when I closed my studio for a short break (see last blog post). Was it the ritualistic and hugely satisfying process of completing a little daily painting in a short space of time or was it the interaction with all the friends I have made through my blog? I definitely think it was a combination of both and it has been wonderful to read all the messages, on all the different social media platforms that the blog shares to, just how much you all enjoyed seeing a little painting again....thank you!

What would a birthday celebration be without a gift of some sort! So I have decided to offer FREE POSTAGE to anywhere in the world for the remainder of the month on any purchase made through my online store or direct purchases (SA only). If you are based in South Africa and would prefer to purchase directly please contact me via my email at heidishedlock@gmail.com or click on the link below to view my daily painting online store.


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Lollipops and NO SUGAR! #613

Daily painting #613 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Lollipop ....remnants of a kitchen clean up! 
At the beginning of the month I decided to put my passion for 'Paintings in the post' on hold and completely submerge my full attention into a bit of 'Kindness in the kitchen' instead, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while (hope you missed me... ha!). I deserted my paintbrushes and closed my studio door. If you will bare with me I will tell you why...

At birth my daughter developed a lung infection and was given only 24 hours to survive. Thanks to a much prayed for miracle, she is still with us today and is a beautiful 12 year old! However over the years she has often needed cortisone treatment to open her lungs. Cortisone (I have recently found out) can play havoc with your blood sugar and insulin levels over time and after blood tests we discovered that Amy's insulin levels were way too high and she was probably on the road to diabetes! My grandfather was a serious diabetic and I have so many childhood memories of him in and out of hospital, wounds that wouldn't heal, amputations and the constant fight with him over what he should or shouldn't be eating. It scared me to relive those memories! I tried hard to cut out as much sugar as I could from Amy's diet but after a week of reading food labels and being conscious of sugar (and all the hidden names it goes by), I began to realize that although I love to cook and we eat what I would call a healthy diet, sugar is in EVERTHING...and it is frightening just how much hidden sugar we consume (and I am not talking about sweets, biscuits (cookies), cakes or treats!). When my children are putting tomato sauce(ketchup) on their egg  at breakfast, they can be putting up to 3 teaspoons of sugar just on their egg! ALARMING if one wants to cut out sugar.....and I felt overwhelmed!

I realized a few things VERY fast.... 
  • I love to cook, but clearly needed to change some things in my kitchen. 
  • This type of eating would benefit my whole family not just Amy. 
  • I needed to familiarize myself with new ingredients (many of them I had never heard of before) 
  • I needed to have a big kitchen clean-up to get rid of all the sugar laden products sitting in my grocery cupboard and fridge (many of them I had never realized contained so much sugar)
  • trying to eat as sugar free as possible depended on ME....MOM...WIFE...COOK...it all started with the food that I bought and prepared for my family and I really needed to educate them
  • And lastly if I was ever going to survive and make this happen I had to have some reliable recipes and regulars under my belt so that this did not all seem too daunting( I was feeling overwhelmed to say the least)
So before I could educate my family or do any of the above, I had to educate myself and I had to do it fast...with nothing to distract me. I reluctantly closed my studio door and focussed on bringing some sugar free kindness into my kitchen instead of paintings in the post. For the first few days I felt resentful and desperate to paint, but cooking has always been another creative outlet for me...if you follow Paintings in the post you will know that what is in my kitchen will often end up on my canvas!
I soon settled into testing new recipes, finding awesome blogs and web pages to follow and educating myself on how this was going to be a sustainable way of living. My family were bombarded with new things to try and taste and maybe I will eventually share a few recipes with you. I am finally finding the confidence to 'play' with new ingredients and making up my own sugar free interesting meals. I cannot stress enough the changes we have all noticed from sleeping better, improved energy, clear glowing skin, weight loss and just generally feeling so much better! Lollipops, like the one above, are definitely not going to be in my treat box any more!

Each day I am learning new things and I am so grateful I took time out to do this. I knew it was the only way our lifestyle was going to change. The irony is that when I returned to my studio this weekend to dust, clean up and gather myself again....I was TERRIFIED to paint! Doing a little painting everyday has really been such a beneficial studio practice and here I was terrified to pick up that brush. But as soon as I squeezed out the paint, my senses prickled and 40 minutes later....I had a little daily painting, painting #613. I guess much of life is about the habits we form, be it at work, in the studio, in our kitchens or just in our daily approach to life in general! 

It's good to be back!

My Beautiful Amy Rebecca.....love this girl!

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Storm #612

Daily painting #612 4" x4" oil on primed canvas panel

On the East Coast we experienced a magnificent electrical thunder storm last night. We have not had one of these in while! The lightening was blinding and the cracks of thunder which came simultaneously pierced through to your very core. My teenage children ended up sharing the bed in my daughters room, my dogs refused to come out from their hiding place, my cat climbed on top of me and meowed in chorus to the deafening storm and the world seemed to momentarily be coming to an end....but the morning is fresh and calm and quiet. The sky however is gloomy and dark, captured here quickly on a little mini 4"x4" panel.
I think it's a good day for staying at home.

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Beach walks #611

Daily painting #611 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Anyone who has ever been to Durban (where I live on the East Coast of South Africa), will recognize the iconic Umhlanga Beach lighthouse. I have been trying to build up some strength in my ankle and loose the slight limp which is starting to play havoc on my hip and lower back. Yes I sound like I am way past retirement age rather than in my 40's but it is amazing how an injury can take so long to heal! I am frustrated to say the least! (I fell down a flight of stairs in April and broke my ankle) So I have been taking long walks along our beautiful Umhlanga Beach promenade to try build up a little strength and this week my daughter has been able to join me. She is already on school holiday and having time to walk along the beach, chatting, inhaling the warm sea breeze and the beautiful morning is a good dose of soul food!
I can't think of a better way to start the day.....

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Celebrations of life #610

Daily painting #610 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Last week I celebrated my birthday and my home is still full of beautiful flowers given to me by family and friends in celebration of my birthday. This weekend I received an early morning call to tell me my Granny had passed away in the early hours of the morning. So this week we will be celebrating her life. Two lots of celebrations of life...one a birthday and one a death. That sounds quite morbid but it is not my intention to be so. Granny Coutts died at the age of 98, a wonderful age and a full life indeed! She was a feisty lady who took no trouble and had a wicked sense of humour. I probably owe much of my own strength of character to her and my Mum, although she was my paternal grandmother. So RIP Granny Coutts and I bet you are sorting everyone out and giving them a run for their money up in heaven....'till we meet again....with love your Poppet x

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A selection of little paintings for the post!

A selection of 6"x6" and 6"x8" little paintings

These 4 little paintings are packed and ready for their journey in the post to the UK. They are a selection of holiday memories and hopefully will be a beautiful reminder of special times!

I have had a lot of little commissioned paintings to complete....all destined for the post...and heading in different directions around the world! How exciting! I took a week or so off of daily painting to get them all completed and the trip to the post office is going to be a big one! I always feel like a mother hen sending her chicks off into the pasture when those little envelopes holding little paintings get handed over the post office counter. I always say a little silent prayer that they have safe journeys to their new homes! I once told my children this and they screamed with laughter. What am I going to be like when my own children really do leave home....a wreck I am sure!

So off to the post office on Monday morning with my little treasures destined for their journeys to far off places. Hopefully some happy people will be receiving their paintings in the post and hopefully now I can resume a little bit of daily painting! 
Watch this space....

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A little East Coast sunshine #609

Daily painting #609 4"x4" oil on primed canvas panel 

An early morning start this morning with this little 4"x4" record of a beautiful East Coast morning! Spring is in full swing and Summer is definitely on the way. It is getting light early and the mornings are golden and warm. What a soulful way to start a Monday! Have a good one .....

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Friday protea #608

Daily painting #608 6" x8" oil on primed canvas panel

For those of you who may be new to Paintings in the post and not necessarily from South Africa, I live  in a coastal city called Durban on the East Coast of South Africa. Durban has just been named as the host city for the Common Wealth games in 7 years time which is very exciting and this will hopefully bring many people to experience our beautiful city! The protea is our South African national flower and there are thousands of different varieties of this beautiful flower. I never tire of painting them.....as many of you already know!  
So a little protea for a rather unusually chilly, gloomy day here in Durban...hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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Strawberries and cream #607

Daily painting #607 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel 

On the weekend it was my Mum's birthday and I made a delicious strawberries and cream cake to celebrate. I used store bought strawberries to decorate the cake and came across this strawberry with an unusually long stem, not often found in a container of store bought fruit. I put it aside to paint...of course....as one would do! I had to rescue it a couple of times from the thieving fingers of children who believe strawberries are to eat rather than paint! As fast as the strawberries were going onto the cake, they were also disappearing into the mouths of my children (definitely not me) so thank goodness I bought way more than I thought I would need!

The cake was made with a simple Victoria sponge recipe from Mary Berry's 'Baking Bible'. I then layered it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries....yum! I placed a very thin layer of strawberry jam (preserve) to seal the cake so that the cream and strawberries did not make the cake soggy.

Victoria Sponge cake

  • 225g softened butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 level tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 180C/Fan 160C. Grease 2 sandwich tins and line base with baking parchment.
Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly blended. Divide equally between the 2 tins and level mixture out.
Bake for about 25 minutes then cool in the tins for a few minutes on a wire rack then turn out, remove baking parchment and cool completely before layering with strawberries and cream.

I use this simple sponge cake for a variety of different things so thought I would share it with you....and you can get creative! I would love to hear your ideas for glamming up the simple sponge cake!

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Spring #606

Daily painting #606 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

"A pinch and a punch, it's the first of the month...." And just like that Spring has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere, although if truth be told we have hardly had a winter here in Durban. I am hoping that with Spring will come some much needed rain. We are experiencing a record drought at the moment and many areas are under strict daily water restrictions. 

I too have had a bit of a 'daily painting' drought! I have been sick and then my children took it in turns to fall ill. I have a load of painting commissions that I am busy working my way through too so I have not dedicated any time to daily painting for just over a week. I miss it so much and it is quite possibly one of my favourite things to do. I love the rush of completing something in one sitting and the roller coaster ride of 'this won't work...maybe it can...it's not too bad...I've messed up...okay back on track...is it finished...' And all the other immediate emotions that go with pushing through completing something in one go! So I am back on track again...we are all restored to good health and my daily painting box is back in its rightful spot in my studio! This makes me happy...a good way to start Spring!

Happy Spring Southern Hemisphere friends!

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Kitchen protea #605

Daily painting #605 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

A share from my kitchen today....and for a change it is not food! 
A little bit of pretty from my house to yours...have a beautiful day!

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Monday's berries #604

Daily painting #604 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

It's been a busy weekend with away cricket matches in Hilton (about an hour inland from Durban) and what felt like a million teenagers in the house all weekend working on school assignments and partying a bit on Saturday night. You know you are getting old when you don't recognize any of the music they play and half of it sounds like noise! Oh my! So I have spent more time in my kitchen than my studio this weekend, cooking up a storm. I sound like I am moaning but actually I loved it....and I love having a full, busy house...and I love seeing people (and kids) enjoying the food I make! Preparing and giving delicious food is definitely one of my love languages...it's my way of saying "I love you...I love having you in my house"...ok my husband thinks I am crazy...but hopefully some of you know what I mean!

So Monday morning feels very quiet with everyone back at school and finally making it into my studio feels like heaven! Breakfast was a simple bowl of chopped strawberries, Greek yoghurt and a handful of chopped almonds.....NO cooking required! Yum!

I did get to have some 'camera time' in Hilton while we sat watching cricket. I got to explore with a new lens I have just purchased. It means I get to sneak up on my children and take really close up photos from far away. I love taking photos of them when they don't know I am doing it! Sneaky Mom! I can't wait to play with my new lens some more, I think I NEED a trip to the bush (wishful thinking).

My son Ross 

Ross had just gone out...very grumpy with himself and definitely not a time he wants Mom pointing her camera at him...but today he didn't know!

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Too many apples #603

Daily painting #603 NFS

Last week in painting class I used one of Carol Marine's painting exercises to force all the ladies out of their comfort zone (instill fear!!) and force them to re-evaluate how they approach their painting. I insisted on them using a limited palette of 3 primary colours and a white only. Overcoming the fear of doing something that removes you from your comfort zone is crucial in being creative. After lots of resistance, sweaty brows and palpitating hearts they all agreed that the blood, sweat and tears had all been worth it and that they really felt they had learnt a lot, not only about their painting, but also about themselves and overcoming the 'fear factor'! This little painting is a 7 minute demonstration that I did for the ladies to explain the activity. At this stage they were all ready to throw the apples at me, grab their bags and head for the studio door and the safety of their cars before I could hand them a paintbrush!

The problem with having enough apples for everyone to paint (above shows only half of them) is that by the end of the week I had a bounty of apples that had been handled (sometimes mishandled) and I didn't want them to go to waste. I have had quite a few messages asking why I haven't shared a recipe from my kitchen lately....as many of you know I love to cook and much of what I have in my kitchen ends up in my studio to paint first! I have even had one Paintings in the post friend comment that as much as she loves getting her 'painting in the post' (i.e. her email inbox), she is missing a recipe in the post too! So I thought I would share my glut of apples which ended up as a delicious Apple Cinnamon cake for family lunch....

The recipe is an old family favorite and I cannot credit where it comes from...other than Granny!

Apple Cinnamon Cake
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (sorry all the NO SUGAR followers...close your eyes now)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 apples peeled and chopped
Preheat your oven to 170 C and line and grease a 22 cm round or square cake tin. 
In a large bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and oil. Peel chop and add the apples, coating them well with the mixture. Sieve the flour and baking powder together and add them to the mixture stirring gently to combine all the ingredients (I find it helps to fold the mixture over until all is combined so that the apples do not start to break). Pour into your cake tin and cook for approximately 50 min. Allow it to cool and then drizzle with a bit of lemon icing (icing sugar and lemon juice)...the lemon cuts through the sweetness of the cake. 
It is delicious on its own or served warm with a dollop of ice-cream or homemade custard.

Happy baking....and painting
from my studio...and my kitchen!

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Women's Day #602

Daily painting #602 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

In South Africa we celebrate Women's Day today. It is a public holiday (it's Sunday which means tomorrow will be a holiday) and today we pay homage to all the grandmothers, mothers, wives, sisters and  daughters of our nation....and what they have contributed not only to our nation but also to our lives. So 'Happy Women's Day' to all my Paintings in the post friends! May your lives continue to be blessed by the women that surround you and may you continue to grown and love in all the many roles you fulfill as women of our nation. If you are not in South Africa....Happy Women's  Day to you anyway....we don't only need a special day to know we are loved and important! 

Happy Women's Day....

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A bit of orange #601

Daily painting #601 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

It can't possibly be the weekend already? Have I blinked and the week has passed me by perhaps? Although I am not complaining about welcoming in a long weekend! Sunday is a public holiday in South Africa and so Monday is a holiday....a 3 day weekend...I could get used to this! 
Sunday we celebrate Woman's Day. A whole day devoted to the power and importance of woman in our society .....so gents treat your ladies well on Sunday! Make them feel special! And from me....a vase of bright pincushions and a little bit of 'pretty' for all the ladies to kickstart the start of a long weekend! 
Have a good one....

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Mini pincushion #600

Daily painting #600 4"x4" oil on primed canvas panel

A little mini pincushion ....I have a beautiful big bunch of them in my entrance hall. 
Happy, bright, sunny Sunday...and 600 daily paintings!!!! Whooopppeee 

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For the ladies... #599

Daily painting #599 4"x4" oil on primed panel

This little rose is sitting in a vase on my kitchen table. It is taking a long time to open up in the cooler weather, but that just means I get to enjoy it for longer! 

There has been lots of cake, celebrations and birthdays in my painting classes this week. I teach 3 morning painting classes to mostly ladies from an outside studio at home. After a week of celebrations I am reminded of how grateful I am to be able to share in the creative journey of these  special ladies. They really do bless and enrich my life and many times I am reminded of how much I learn from sharing with them. Teaching for me is about giving and sharing that which you hold in your own 'tank' ....in order to full or replenish your 'tank' you need to be giving. "Give and they shalt receive". In order to grow in your own knowledge, you need to share! Teaching does that for me and I am so glad I get to spend time each week with these special ladies who really have become my friends. 
So Happy Birthday blessings to those who celebrated this week and healing prayers to a special lady who is recovering from a broken arm....we really miss all the laughs you bring to our class Merryl!

 I can't believe it is almost another weekend (not that I am complaining) but August is upon us and we enter the second half of the year....WOW....2015 you need to slooooowww down a little for me please!

Almost on 600 daily paintings....WHOOPEE... I guess I will have something more to celebrate!

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Apricot jam #598

Daily painting #598 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

My Aunty Pat makes the best jams, preserves, chutneys, pickles, marmalades....mmmm my mouth starts to water just thinking about her pantry piled high with interesting recycled jars of yumminess (that's not a real word.....but you get the picture!) 
When I was last in Cape Town we visited her on the West Coast and we spent ages talking about the delicious things she used to make for us as kids. We shared recipes ...and memories ....and I got to raid her pantry. Best treat ever! But I did fly home with overweight luggage, carrying jars of preserves, jams, pickles and chutneys hidden in my underwear! Thank goodness none of them broke....
But a delicious jar of her homemade apricot jam (maybe you call it preserve) is about to come to an end....and I am almost in mourning! How I wish I could go raid Aunty Pat's pantry again. Why do you have to live so darn far away? I love you Aunty Pat....and all your jars of delicious homemade yumminess! (Yes I know ...not a real word ...but you get the picture!)

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Last week.....

Daily painting at The Gallery in Westville

This week will be the last week to view a selection of daily paintings from Paintings in the post at The Gallery in Westville. The exhibition comes down over the weekend! It is always interesting to view a selection of little paintings on show together and always nice to see them 'in the flesh' rather than on the computer screen! The Gallery also has a wonderful selection of household accessories, jewelry and interesting things on show too. So take a friend, meet for coffee and make a morning of it! The Gallery has so many interesting things to see...you won't be disappointed!

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Roses (for cats) #597

Daily painting #597 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

I popped in at one of our local garden shops and plant nursery this week to look for something and was delighted to find that their beautiful show rose garden is being put to good use. Not only is it a visual treat but they are selling cut roses by the stem and all the proceeds go towards supporting a local cat rescue organization. You choose your roses, they are cut for you and you pay R10 per stem. The roses are gorgeous....some as large as side plates and the scent from the garden was heavenly! Garden roses are always far more interesting to paint than store bought roses as they usually open up beautifully and besides the perfume is always a treat! So next time you are looking for some roses to paint or to enjoy in your home please go to Spade Garden shop and nursery and pick your own....it's for a good cause and they will definitely last longer having been freshly picked! The garden was being given its seasonal pruning this week so there won't be any roses just yet but by Spring the garden is sure to be magnificent again. I love roses....(and cats!)

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
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