31.3.15

Seagull #549


Daily painting #549 pen and watercolour from my sketchbook NFS

We have arrived in beautiful Cape Town! Without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa. We took my daughter straight down to the waterfront after we landed. She was amazed at how many seagulls there were...she has never been to Cape Town before. She kept taking photos of the seagulls! By the end of the week she will be sick of them!
I have left my oil paints behind at home and plan to do more sketching and little documents in my private journal. I will share one of them each day as my daily painting. I sat drawing on the plane yesterday and every time I looked up the lady across the aisle was smiling in my direction. I clearly provided her with 2 hours of entertainment for the duration of the flight. There is nothing more unnerving than a stranger peering at you while you draw. I could see she was dying to ask me if she could take a look but I was trying as hard as I could to ignore her and concentrate. While waiting for our luggage after arrival I saw her pointing in my direction in an animated conversation with her (I assume) husband. She must have been telling him about the crazy lady on the plane!
So a little share from my daily recordings today....I feel lost without my oil paints but it's good to get back to working in a little sketchbook again.



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30.3.15

Plum and a half #548


Daily painting #548 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

Making good use of the plums that were still sitting in my studio from yesterday and enjoying every minute of working with my oils. I am off to Cape Town tomorrow and have decided to not travel by air with wet oil paintings, so my oil paints and brushes are staying behind....I already feel a little lost at the thought! I will still be daily painting but will share pen, ink and watercolour images from my personal journal instead. So my last little oil painting until the 9th April.....Cape Town here I come!
I will share photos from my trip via my Instagram account. You can follow along too and will find me under the username heidishedlock....

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29.3.15

Three plums #547


Daily painting #547 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

Blue and crimson ...one of my favourite paint combinations! The rich, almost royal tones of the plum always catch my attention. Sadly though I have found them to be rather tasteless this season which is disappointing but they never disappoint with their vibrant colour!
We are counting the days until our trip to Cape Town! Not long now! I am taking my daughter to the One Direction concert while we are there so she is beside herself with excitement. It will be her first big concert experience. I can't say I am as excited to be amongst a bunch of screaming teenage girls but I am looking forward to the look on my daughter's face when they come on stage!

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Left over mushrooms #546


Daily painting #546 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

A quick late night study....

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28.3.15

Evening sky - heavy with rain #545


Daily painting #545 from my sketchbook NFS

I am leaving for Cape Town on Tuesday and have decided not to take my oil paints with me so I will be sharing little images from my personal sketchbook instead. I will be in Cape Town for 8 days and don't feel like traveling by air with wet oil paintings! So I have been gathering all my drawing tools and inks and watercolours and getting them packed and ready! I am struggling however to replace my old moleskin sketchbook which had thick enough paper to hold copious amounts of water when playing with washes of ink or watercolour. Every other sketchbook I own is good for drawing but as soon as I start swishing water into the drawing the paper simply is not think enough to cope! Slightly wrinkled paper is fine if it is just me looking at the images in the book (although I do get frustrated that the water is absorbed too quickly) but it's not fine if I want to photograph the image to share with you! I simply cannot find a decent watercolour sketchbook in Durban other than buying a pad of watercolour paper which I don't want. I am going to be heading off to those Cape Town art supply stores and stocking up on sketchbooks with good quality paper....

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27.3.15

Button mushrooms #544


Daily painting #544 6"x6. Oil on primed canvas panel

Mushrooms always have to be cooked separately in our house. There are very few things my family don't eat but for some reason my daughter cannot stomach mushrooms. It doesn't matter how finely you chop them she figures out purely on taste that there are mushrooms in the dish and simply cannot eat another mouthful! My son and husband on the other hand LOVE mushrooms! So mushrooms are always cooked on the side in our house. These plump button mushrooms are going to be used in a garlic and herb mushroom sauce...yum! My daughter doesn't know what she is missing! She, on the other hand, will have to settle for something more philistine like tomato sauce (ketchup).

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26.3.15

Time out #543


Daily painting #543 4"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

Today is my last day of teaching before the Easter holidays. It's always good to have a change in routine although I don't have any set routine, everyday brings with it something different. Perhaps the change of pace is what I enjoy more. Teaching is a way of sharing what is in your 'bucket' but that 'bucket' also needs to be constantly topped up in order to have anything to share....
So I am off to Cape Town next week and I can't think of any city in South Africa that is better than beautiful Cape Town to get those creative juices flowing again! I will share plenty of photos via Instagram so if you want to follow along my user name is heidishedlock.....

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25.3.15

Cockroach #542


Daily painting #542 4"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

For those of you who cringe when I paint bugs, today I empathize with you. Cockroaches have to be, along with snakes, my most irrational of all fears! In Durban we get a large flying variety that somehow have this honing mechanism that sends them flying straight for you! When they do eventually settle, their feelers have a way of tantalizing you like radar sensors looking for the next possible pathway straight in your direction! So if you want to clear me out of a room with great speed show me a cockroach! My cat however thought he was so generous in leaving his prize catch right at my easel! Horror of all horrors.....until I realized it was no longer alive! It took all my will power to paint it without bolting for the door!

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23.3.15

Protea and pattern #541


Daily painting #541 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel 

I love colour and I love patterns and textures! I am one of those crazy people that can walk into a fabric shop and come out with bundles of fabric, lace and trimmings with no idea what I am going to do with them....I don't even sew (not unless I have to, I would rather paint!). A while ago I developed a body of work where I incorporated some of my favourite patterns and fabrics into the surface I painted on. I find I am always drawn back to that body of work and I know there is something else I want to develop and work on but I need more time to 'play' in order to find out what it is I want to do....but for now I just keep stashing away my beautiful fabrics....
Below is one of my favourite pieces from that exhibition. It is called "Time out with Rosie" and it hangs in my entrance hall (the little girl is my daughter). The size of the work is 1m by 1m.



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22.3.15

Bunch of proteas #540


Daily painting #540 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

I have had a beautiful big bunch of proteas in my studio this weekend to play with. I have been working on some protea paintings on some much larger canvases so when I came to work on this little 6"x6" I really struggled to find some rhythm and spontaneity in such a small space. Talk about extremes from LARGE to tiny!! A struggle indeed!

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Two plums two raspberries #539


Daily painting #539 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel 

I joined the South Coast Art Group at their monthly meeting today to speak about Paintings in the post and do a painting demonstration for them. It is always heartwarming to see a group of people coming together to share their passions and their knowledge. What I had to share was less about fancy painting techniques or trying to teach them something new and more about sharing my passion. I wanted to tell them that it doesn't matter what stage of your art career you are at, there is always that element of self doubt that one has to face when starting a new painting. Even the most accomplished artists should feel a struggle at some point and have to push through and this is what makes you constantly grow as an artist. Painting should be less about 'getting it right' and more about painting because it's what you love to do! The relationship you have with that paint and the connection you feel when you are moving it around on the canvas should be your focus. 'Getting it right' should never be your goal....if we only do that which we think we can get 'right' we would never do! Daily painting has taught me so much about being comfortable with making mistakes....being comfortable with the times when images just don't work and most importantly it has taught me to dig deep and triumph when the creature of self doubt sits on your shoulder! While I had no exciting materials or new techniques to share (what I do is really quite traditional)  I hope I inspired just a few to go home and paint....for no reason other than the joy it gives them!
Thank you South Coast Art Group for inviting me to join you. Today I share my demonstration painting. Just for the record the creature of self doubt really taps on your shoulder when you volunteer to start and complete a daily painting in front of an audience of people you don't know, talking while you paint (which I never do I am normally SO focused) but I think I did it! We all can if only we try.....

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20.3.15

Afternoon light changing #538


Daily painting #538 4"x6" oil on primed canvas panel 

A beautiful evening, although I spent the evening in agony with my foot up and unable to move! Rushing around the house this morning getting ready to teach, I slipped on a Persian carpet (don't ask me how!!!) and felt my ankle crunch! I sat weeping in a bundle on the floor calling my husband on my mobile, which was still in my hand, to come and help me! Fortunately he knew exactly what to do and sprayed it with some awful smelling spray that sportsman use on injuries (thank goodness I am not a sportsman if I can do such damage on a carpet of all things!) and strapped it up in a brace. He wanted to take me to have it x-rayed but I was determined to get to my Grade 7 class that I was teaching at a local girls school as it would be the last time I see them before the Easter holidays. I knew they were eagerly awaiting their results from an Art theory paper they have just written for me. So I hauled myself off to school hobbling along with my ankle all strapped up and remained seated throughout my class....surviving on serious pain medication and all the TLC from the girls! I must admit a few did look at me sideways when I told them I had hurt myself slipping on a carpet, now they really think their art teacher is a nutter! What a disaster! Anyway, I have just pulled ligaments and seriously bruised the area and thank goodness nothing was broken. But I am so frustrated not being as mobile and active (manic running around is probably the correct phrase) as I normally am. Tomorrow I am driving down the South Coast to speak about Paintings in the post and do a painting demonstration for the South Coast Art group. I really have no time for sore ankles....darn it!

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19.3.15

Trio of lemons #537


Daily painting #537 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

Back to my trusty oils again today and a little bit of dramatic light added for a bit of mood!
We have an abundance of lemons in the house at the moment. My daughter has had a market day at school this week and one of the things we made besides the decorated sweetie jars was pink lemonade! It seemed to be a real hit but my kitchen still seems full of  lemons! I guess it will be lemon and herb chicken, lemon meringue pie, lemon and garlic butter (used for something) ...oh and definitely a gin and tonic with a slice of lemon on the menu this coming weekend!

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18.3.15

Girl with flowers #536


Daily painting #536 watercolour from my sketchbook NFS

Another little share from my sketchbook. I am so comfortable with pushing and pulling and manipulating my oil paint around the canvas that working with watercolour is a huge challenge for me! It is so very unforgiving! What you put down is there to stay and accidents can either be joyful because they result in something interesting or they are totally destructive because one cannot paint over them like one would with oils! So way out of my comfort zone today....as you can probably see but that is always a good thing to push yourself beyond what you feel comfortable with! I was so happy to read so many people responding to my "10 minutes a day" drawing yesterday and I hope you are finding just 10 minutes in your day....remember the drawing doesn't have to be complete. Sometimes the unfinished is more interesting....so just draw (or doodle) ....for the sake of drawing! It's good for the soul!

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17.3.15

10 minutes a day #535


Daily painting #535. Pen and watercolour from sketchbook NFS

We have been packing sweets into decorated jars for my daughter's market day at school....I just can't resist Liquorice Allsorts!
I have been trying to encourage those in my classes to draw for just 10 minutes a day! So I decided to put myself to the test as I have been told 10 minutes is not long enough. We are all pressed for time in our busy days and so my feeling is that if 10 minutes is all you have then make it work for you! So I put my oil brushes and paints aside today and worked in my sketchbook. I realized how much I enjoy working in my sketch book and how, since I started Paintings in the post, I don't spend enough time 'playing' or journaling in my sketchbooks as I did before. I also realized that I found it quite difficult to get something I was happy with and that maybe I need to 'play' a bit more! Drawing is fundamental  in developing your ability to 'see' and the better you draw, the better you paint .....my personal opinion. I have been doing LOTS of painting and not enough drawing. I am off to Cape Town at the end of the month with my daughter and my Mum ....10 days of  'girly fun' and I think I will take my sketchbook and watercolours for my daily paintings. Traveling by air with oil paints and wet paintings is always such an issue so I think it will be a good excuse to 'play' for a few days in my sketchbook! It will be a break in routine in more ways than one!

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16.3.15

Pearl Earrings #534


Daily painting #534 4"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

These were lost....and now they are found! I am one very happy lady!
Painting small is always a challenge....painting small little earrings and getting them to look like what they are is an even greater challenge. Today my patience and resolve was tested! This canvas is only 4" x 6" so these little earrings are tiny.



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15.3.15

Kingfisher #533


Daily painting #533 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel 

Today I worked from a photo that I took during the week of a beautiful Kingfisher that regularly visits our garden. During the night a swarm of flying ants had moved through our garden and many of them had landed in our swimming pool and were floating on the surface of the water, having lost their wings. What a feast for the birds! This shy Kingfisher sat on our wooden fence and on nearby branches, swooping down to skim the swimming pool surface and catch his breakfast. What a breakfast he had...a feast for him and a feast for our eyes! Hope he visits again soon!

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Protea #532


Daily painting #532 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

On reflection .....it's been quite a floral week!

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14.3.15

What a start #531


Daily painting #531 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

A bright, crisp, clear start to a hot day.

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12.3.15

Thursday roses #530


Daily painting #530 8"x10" oil on primed canvas panel

I knew that when I posted the daily painting yesterday of the rose demonstration I would be setting myself up for trouble with my other classes! My Thursday painting class weren't missing out and wanted a rose demonstration too! So ....another daily painting...another demonstration of my roses for the Thursday class!

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11.3.15

Wednesday roses #529


Daily painting #529 8"x8" oil on primed canvas panel 

A couple of weeks ago I demonstrated on a board in my painting class a couple of inky techniques which one could use as an interesting undercoat for a painting or as the base for a more abstract piece of work. It had been left lying on a shelf and so yesterday when a few of the ladies in my painting class asked me to demonstrate painting roses in a more 'loose' technique using a palette knife or other materials to apply the paint, I reached for the same board and proceeded to paint. I quite like the way the hint of yellow ink shows through and how the ink in the lower left hand corner gives a lace like feel to the surface area. I decided to let it show through. It was a fun, quick demonstration....my daily painting...painted in front of a live audience....my ever faithful and complimentary art students!

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Orchid from a friend #528


Daily painting #528 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel 

A generous friend gave me this beautiful orchid this week. It is beautiful, delicate and full of flowers and buds! Thank you Paula! 

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9.3.15

Birthday cake #527


Daily painting #527 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

It's my husband Andrew's birthday! I couldn't wish for a more loving and supportive companion! He is an amazing Dad and my best friend....we love and cherish him and wish him a bucket load of blessings for the year ahead! Happy birthday to you! X

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8.3.15

Protea family #526


Daily painting #526 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel 

The Leucadendron belongs to the same family as the protea. Sadly large areas of the southern Cape were destroyed by massive fires last week that took almost 5 days to get under control. Vast areas of natural vegetation were burned and homes were lost. It was a tragedy to watch as flames engulfed these areas. Much of the natural vegetation though is often regenerated by fires and the fynbos grows back with renewed vigor. The tragedy is always in the homes that have been lost and the animals that have been affected by the fire and some of the images I saw last week were heartbreaking! I am off to Cape Town at the end of the month and I have a feeling I am going to be shocked. I love the fynbos and the natural vegetation that grows there and proteas or anything from the protea family are my favourite flowers!

I read a beautiful message from a Paintings in the  post follower late the other night and I have tried desperately to access the message again to reply but google + would not allow me to! The message warmed my heart! The lady having been forced to slow down due to ill health had decided after being inspired by my sky paintings to pick up a paintbrush and paint the sky. She spoke of taking time out to relax and breath in the beauty of that special time of day when the sky is changing. It is one of my most soulful times of day and taking time out to appreciate this beauty is one sure way of feeding my soul tank and replenishing my energy! So I hope and pray that you are reading this message and that you will know that I am sending this to you.....I thank you for your message! If I can inspire just one person out there then I am filled with great joy! Thank you and sending you wishes for renewed health! Blessings x Heidi 


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Time out #525


Daily painting #525 4"x6" oil on primed canvas panel 

Taking time out this morning to enjoy some quiet time....my soulful way to start the day!

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7.3.15

Found #524


Daily painting #524 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

Found in my studio. I have no doubt it is an offering from one of my cats who were sleeping in close proximity to his prize catch!

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5.3.15

From my kitchen #523


Daily painting #523 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

Thanks for all the messages yesterday! We were unharmed and safe and really very fortunate that all the necessary security systems in place kept our home and ourselves safe and secure! I was asked by someone why I published my experience as they felt it put South Africa in a bad light and we really didn't need any more bad publicity or foreigners reading negative things about South Africa. My intention was not to be negative. I share snippets of my daily life...the good and the bad. Just like I share my daily painting (my little visual records of daily life) ....and again I share the good and the bad images! Although, I like to think I share more good than bad! Our experience the other night was not pleasant but it is a reality and in life we have to learn to take the good and deal with the bad! The world over has problems, just in varying degrees and  different problems! Hiding from any problem or unpleasant situation is just crazy! Being realistic and facing a challenge or unpleasant situation is far more productive and burying my head in sand has never been an option for me! We have challenges in South Africa but for those of us that choose to stay, we do so because this is home, warts and all! So we secure our homes, learn to accept things that others find obscure, deal with the challenges and grow an amazing appreciation for the beauty and positives that South Africa does have to offer. It is our choice, it is hard yet there is no place like it....it is home! A mixture of good, bad and little reality, there still really is no place like home!

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4.3.15

Pizza #522


Daily painting #522 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

It was take-away pizza for supper tonight! I walked in the door at 6.45pm having trawled through the day on about 2 hours sleep! The last thing I still had energy for was cooking supper! My kids still had mountains of homework to complete, I had work to do and we were all exhausted! The opportunist who broke into our outside room on the weekend decided to take his chances once again only this time he tried to come into my house! At about midnight we were woken by our dogs whose barking was more growl and a 'I am going to eat you' kind of bark rather than a 'hello to the dogs up the road' kind of bark! We were already up and checking when our garden beams and veranda alarm were activated. Our veranda is enclosed so he had already managed to get into the veranda! As our private security company arrived I watched him casually walk off of our veranda and saunter across the garden...that is until my dogs who had rushed off to meet the security men came bolting across the garden at high speed and on full attack! My one rescue pup has a lot of wolf/German shepherd in him and quite frankly this man can count his lucky stars that he managed to get his backside over the neighbours wall just as my dogs lunged for the fence! He might have been missing a limb or two had they got to him! It is quite something to see your normally meek and mild furry babies in such a rage! Then again I can't describe the rage I felt at the cheek of it! It makes me furious that we are subjected to such crime and I was angry at myself for thinking "well thank goodness it was just one man and other than a crowbar (he was obviously using it to open doors) he was unarmed!" Well it looked like he was unarmed but you never know! At least we know that all our security is not paid for in vain and that it kept us from being woken in the night with someone inside our house. But the biggest heroes are my furry babies who immediately put their life on the line to protect and alert. I hate to think, if they had managed to attack him what he might have done with the crowbar in his hand. A blow from that could have been fatal for one of my pups! But hopefully he will leave us well alone now....between alarms and dogs he hopefully got the message that he is not welcome here! On the flip side I can't imagine the desperation of having to resort to theft and crime to feed your family ....life can be hard! Tonight I am grateful for my safe home, my warm welcoming bed, my work which I am passionate about .....and pizza so I don't have to cook! It's been a long and emotional day!

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3.3.15

Strawberries without the yoghurt #521


Daily painting #521 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Thick Greek yoghurt and fresh strawberries....it's like dessert for breakfast!

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2.3.15

Naartjie segment #520


Daily painting #520 4"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

A naartjie is a South African name for a citrus fruit similar to a satsuma. It is like an easy peel clementine, juicy, sweet and so much easier to eat in a hurry than an orange! I saved just one little segment from my breakfast to paint on this little 4inch by 6inch ....

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1.3.15

Crimson #519


Daily painting #519 6"x6" oil on primed canvas panel

It has been so good to spend more time at home this weekend. Sadly though one of our outside rooms was broken into this weekend which put a dampener on the weekend and sent me into a frenzy as we have been home most of the weekend. This means that someone came into our property while we were here, possibly while we were asleep. The entire door frame was knocked out of the wall from the plaster (exposing the brickwork) and was just pushed aside. They didn't even try to break the lock! Nothing much was stolen thank goodness so they must have been disturbed or our dogs realized someone was there and scared them off. It is the one little section of our outdoors which is not covered by alarmed beams at night! Our private security company was here within seconds of us calling them but the police who we called first only arrived 2 hours later! So this is how our relaxing weekend at home ended ....such is life in South Africa at the moment. One really has to live with rose tinted glasses on sometimes to try remain positive! It makes me so very sad as we have such a beautiful country with so much to offer but so many challenges to overcome too! 

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Purple weed #518


Daily painting #518 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel 

Well the rain eventually did come (briefly) only long enough for the cricket game to be cancelled. Which means we got to spend a day at home. I have so many chores around the house that need attention that the list seems overwhelming enough to scare one into an absolute state of procrastination! Lately our weekends have been consumed with school sport and catching up on work, so it is a treat to have a day off at home....I think I will leave those chores for another day. We all need a day off!

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