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.

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available daily paintings and for all purchase details)


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.

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art


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.


Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art


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.

Purchase paintings at Heidi Shedlock Fine Art
(Click on the highlighted writing to view gallery of available daily paintings and for all purchase details )
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