Daily painting #751 New Year bunch

Daily painting #751 22cm silver circle, oil on primed surface

My last painting for 2016! 

A fun little bouquet on a silver circle. A bouquet of flowers from me to you to wish you a happy and healthy 2017! I look forward to all that 2017 has in store for me and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your interest in my work. I am looking forward to some exciting things in 2017 and can't wait to share them with you!

I am going away until the 5th January for some quality family time and for the first time in over 3 years, I am not packing my paintbox. I feel like I am leaving my right arm behind! But I think my family deserve some undivided attention from me and so no painting on this holiday...only family time (and maybe a good book). That means I will not be sharing paintings or work on my blog or any social media sites until I am back in my studio on the 6th January. I am going to be bursting to paint by then and will hopefully feel renewed, refreshed and energized for all that the new year has to offer!

So in 2017 may you be brave, be fierce, be grateful, be kind...may you find time to do something new or do something that challenges you...be excited, go out and make things happen...and most important of all may you be loved and give love abundantly! 

2017 is almost upon us...may it be gentle and peaceful and kind!

Happy New Year wishes from South Africa
Much love Heidi

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Daily painting #750 Christmas reds

Daily painting #750 8"x8" acrylic on primed panel

My house is full of beautiful blooms for Christmas and so I could not resist just one last little painting before I close my studio doors to enjoy Christmas with my family. Some red blooms from my home to yours...to wish you a wonderful and blessed Christmas. May you enjoy the time with those you love. 

Thank you so much for your interest in my work and Merry Christmas to you all!
lots of love, Christmas wishes and blessing... Heidi 

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December SALE

It is hard to believe that there are only 10 days left until the start of a New Year!!
2016 has been an awesome whirlwind of ups, a few downs and plenty of painting. It has been an awesome adventure and I look forward to lots of exciting things to come in 2017.

With only 10 days left of 2016, that means only 10 more days left of the Paintings in the post DECEMBER SALE, so pop on over to my Tictail store here, click on Daily paintings and see which ones are still available. A few of the ones shown above are part of the December sale....

10 days left of 2016....yikes...happy holidays!

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Daily painting 747 & 748 Pink on silver

Daily paintings 747 & 748 oil on primed silver board, 5" round

I have been finishing off my painting classes for the year, working on some larger pieces and working on ways to sell my larger work online too. At the moment only my little paintings which form part of Paintings in the post, can be purchased worldwide online. Other than sharing images of my larger work via various social media platforms, my larger work is not actually for sale online and one needs to contact me personally (or through a gallery if it is on show there) should you be interested in a particular work. Well I am trying to change that....and hopefully in the New Year I will have more exciting things to share. I will still show work at galleries and those pieces will still need to be purchased through the gallery, but hopefully one will be able to purchase some larger  pieces online too! Shew... for this technologically challenged girl, this is posing some major headaches...and eating into painting time!

Well enough of that....as I have shared with you on many occasions, when my headspace is chaotic, I need to paint. So everything else got put to one side this weekend and I went back to my little ritual of painting a little painting in one sitting in a short space of time. Actually I painted two in one sitting...my headspace must be really chaotic (I giggle and cringe simultaneously). This weekend I changed it up a bit though by experimenting on a different surface...a shiny silver round!

But enough rambling for today, I will share more about this new surface in another post. I have a few more little ones to add to my online store which will soon be having a DECEMBER SALE! Some great bargains on little paintings coming up...so keep your eyes peeled for Paintings in the post Tictail SALE announcement!

Here is a close up of each new 5" round on silver board which have both been added to the online store if you want to take a look!

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Daily painting #746 I see red

Daily painting #746 8"x8" oil and oil bar on primed panel (unframed)

There has been a whole lot of craziness in the world lately and scanning social media and, even worse, the news has been quite a painful affair! Don't worry I am not going to start my own political debates or share political opinions here...we have enough craziness going on in our own political arenas in South Africa for me to start ranting on other world affairs. I am in no way blinkered or one of those people that sit on fences or stick my head in the ground. But that being said, I have chosen to escape much of what has been going on lately and chosen to find solace in my studio instead. Perhaps that seems quite lame but maybe it is my way of adjusting or mulling things through and subconsciously working through my emotions. You will notice I haven't posted much lately...

So I have beavered away in my studio with my paintbrushes and paint and have attempted to find some beauty to sooth my soul. The thing that saddens me the most is that anger, hate and disregard seem to be so prevalent and when watching what is happening around, both here in South Africa and other parts of the world, I have to fight hard to not become angry and bitter and resentful myself. I have to fight to not respond in a way that encourages the worst in me too. So I paint away, subconsciously finding some light and beauty when I am not really seeing it or feeling it at all. I choose to make a difference by harnessing my emotions and encouraging love and compassion to be my guide. One simple change of mindset that will be encouraged in our family, for some things cannot be altered...but we can alter the way we react. How we respond is our choice...and we must make it count in every small way we can. 

A bouquet from me to you. This week I really had to find the beauty even if all I could see was red!

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Daily painting #745 Studio protea 2

Daily painting #745 6"x8" oil on primed panel

The second little studio demonstration from this week where my painting 'students' explored working with a palette knife.

Below are some of the interesting marks that I photographed in their work...after all when choosing to work with a palette knife the focus does turn to the beautiful mark making.

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Daily painting #744 Studio protea 1

Daily painting #744 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

This week two of my studio classes have been learning to work with a palette knife. Personally I find it quite limiting to work with just one tool. But it is important for them to explore this tool. I am a believer of using whatever it is that makes the mark that works for you. As a result I use and rely on many different tools from traditional brushes and palette knives to a variety of different treasures, many of them from the hardware store rather than my art supply store!

I completed two little VERY quick demonstrations for them, highlighting some points that might assist them. This is the first of the little demonstrations and tomorrow I will share the second. We painted some beautiful proteas...oh so typically South African!

Below is an example (incomplete) of just one of my 'students' little paintings...they were all SO different which is fabulous...and they were all GORGEOUS! Way to go ladies...happy teacher!

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Daily painting #743 Inky blooms

Works on paper. Ink, pastel crayon and watercolour

I have been working on larger oil paint floral pieces but took some time out for some 'play'. So some inky, watercolor and drawing fun....
It is a lovely rainy day today so sloshing around some inky puddles of water just felt right!
Have a fabulous Friday!

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Daily painting #742 For Amy...a ballerina's bouquet.

Daily painting #742 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I don't often paint the entire vase of flowers. In my larger paintings I never do! It is the flowers and the floral bouquet or arrangement and the sentiment of the flowers and the act of giving them, receiving them, having them in your home or picking them that interests me. The form and colour of the blooms that catch my eye. The vase holds little interest for me.

However this one is different. I want to capture not only the emotion but the entire arrangement as it stands, proud and tall. I want it to be visible long after the petals have fallen and the flowers, stems and leaves have decayed. I want it to be remembered long after the vase has been reused...or packed away in the glass cabinet in my kitchen that holds my large selection of vases. You see, we all need some things to be captured for eternity. We all need something that we can turn to as a reminder of just how strong we can be...

This weekend, as you would have known if you read my last blogpost, my daughter danced in a show. She had 5 performances over the weekend. She also did an audition for the New York American Academy of Ballet Summer school program just hours before her first show. Her dance teacher suggested she give the audition a try as it would be good experience for her as one of the younger girls auditioning. Most of the girls were much older than her, have more experience on ballet  point shoes and some have even been to New York before. She came out of the audition with eyes like saucers and cheeks bright pink, "It was SO DIFFICULT, Mommy!!" We didn't have time to think about it, the show was starting on the other side of town in an hour and we had to fight Friday evening traffic to get there! I gave her a kiss on the cheek, told her how proud I was of her for trying and experiencing it (the choice was hers I might add), handed her water as we dashed for the car and roared across town to get to the show. In all the post-show exhaustion and trying to focus on end of year school exams which are now looming, I hadn't even given the audition another thought...neither had she!

Well imagine my surprise when I opened my email to read that she has been accepted for a weeks intensive ballet program in New York at the American Academy of Ballet...my heart nearly stopped and as a Mommy would do, I burst into tears! We are supposed to be going to London next June/July so the logistics need to be looked at, but I am SO incredibly proud of the perseverance and determination of this girl! Sorry to sound like a boasting Mommy, but I really need to learn a thing or two from my daughter...and perhaps so can you. Always give something a try, you just never know. Don't let fear or insecurity stop you. Don't use the excuse of "I am too busy" (I really tried to convince her that on the weekend of a show we didn't need to do an audition too)...chances are there will always be an excuse not to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. You may not always feel good enough, but do something anyway, because you have a passion! If you show up and do the work and keep at something you are passionate about, you will be rewarded in some way. Always make your passion and sheer love for what it is you do, be your motivator! Love what you do...

I need to remind myself of all these truths and maybe one day my daughter might need reminding too! So this little bouquet for my little ballerina (every dancer deserves flowers after a show) is off to be framed with a special note on the back from her Mama...I hope it serves to remind her many times along her journey that she can do it...if she just tries!

Love you to the moon, my Amy-bee xxx
(Sorry it's a really soppy and sentimental post today...but I shared it with you anyway!)

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Daily painting #741 Last of the red

Daily painting #741 6"x6" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I have been out of my studio for a few days. Mama duties called! My daughter danced in a show and she needed my help backstage. So other than drawings of ballerinas and dancers in my sketchbook, I haven't picked up a paintbrush for a few days. If truth be told, when I walked back into my studio, I felt overwhelmed...creative mojo lost...

Walking back into my studio I felt like an impostor. Half finished paintings and dried up palettes of paint had been deserted. Forgotten brushes had been abandoned (and probably destroyed) in pots of turpentine or water. The beautiful fresh blooms that filled my studio had dried in their vases and dropped petals on the floor, leaving the studio with a musty smell of decay.... 

Fear, doubt and insecurity were sitting on my shoulder like unwanted guests and my instinct was to close the door. Where do I start? How is it possible to summon up that illusive creative spirit that fuels my energy and draws me to this sacred space, which today felt so foreign. 

So I took a deep breath and started deep within the safe and comfortable arms of familiarity. I squeezed out some rich, creamy oil paint. Wiped off my trusty favorite brush while I cursed myself profusely for abandoning it dirty in a pot of turps. I grabbed a little familiar Paintings in the post  primed board and the only flower in my studio that looked vaguely alive...a drooping red rose that really was on its last.

And then I painted...and the world, my little world, just felt like all will be well after all.
Painting isn't a job or a chore or even a pleasure, it is a necessity! 

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Daily painting #740 Two pinks

Daily painting 740 mixed media, 20 x15 cm oval

There are SO many proteas around at the moment. I have 3 varieties in my home...one variety in the kitchen...one variety in the entrance of my home and one variety on my desk in my studio. 
They are all so beautiful...

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Daily painting #739 Just one pink rose

Mixed media on paper, 16cm circle

There is so much floral inspiration around in Spring! My studio and my home are full of blooms. I am working on larger floral canvases in my studio too, so I seem to be surrounded with flowers...HAPPY ME!!!

With all the flowers around me, I decided to concentrate on just one...a little pink rose. Very classic and quite calming after my more energetic larger floral oil paintings! Another work on paper to add to the new section in my online store called "Work on Paper". You can pop in to my Tictail store to take a look by clicking here.

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Daily painting #738 Protea on paper

Daily painting 738 mixed media on paper

I am wanting to open a new section of my online store called "Work on paper". It will not only include little works on paper, but larger ones too. So today I thought I would do a little work on paper as my quick little daily painting. 

Sending larger work to overseas clients on paper is way easier than shipping out a huge canvas (although I am always happy to organize the shipment of larger stretched canvases too!). Besides that, I have been spending lots of time lately working on large format drawings as a way of processing ideas for larger paintings. I have been enjoying the freedom of drawing and working on a different surface again. I'm always one for experimenting and changing things up and balancing  the changes with what you feel most comfortable doing (so NO...I haven't given up on little detailed still life paintings). So for today a little work on paper....soon to be added to my online store. Please pop on over to my Tictail store 'Heidi Shedlock Fine Art' and take a look!

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Daily painting 737 Dying...and beautiful.

Daily painting #737 8"x10" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I think the title of this little painting says it all...

I have some large beautiful fresh proteas that my husband bought for me last week. I was about to paint them (I still will as they will last for a while still), when I noticed how beautiful an old, dying protea was that had been sitting in my studio for a while now. It is starting to dry. The leaves and petals have shriveled and the colors are deep but fading....it is beautiful! 

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Daily painting #736 Still white

Daily painting #736 6"x6" ink and acrylic on primed panel (unframed)

I have had a week of no painting forced on me. Sometimes it is only when we are forced to slow down that we do just that! Last week while browning off sausages in a pan for an oven casserole, a sausage exploded as I turned it over and the hot fat splashed in to my eye! I would forgive you for laughing even though it was no laughing matter....the story sounds so absurd! My immediate response of course was to close my eye and put my hand to it which only served to spread the hot fat under the eyelid and further along the eye. A crazy accident! An artist with no eyesight would be the worst form of torture possible!

I saw an ophthalmologist and thank goodness the burn did not go on the pupil of my eye but I have had a very sore, raw and tender eye (rather ugly looking too). I also had to avoid putting any strain on the eye so no painting, reading or too much screen time. Without painting or reading life is kind of unbearable! So I have not been very happy. I still have supposedly 3 of the 10 days of rest left, but I am going crazy so I snuck in a quick ink and acrylic painting. These beautiful roses from last week are drooping and on their way out so I had to capture them just one last time. Now ssssshhhh.....don't tell the doctor I'm posting a painting.....our secret!

Hope to be back to full speed in the studio again soon!

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Daily painting #735 White

Daily painting #735 6"x6" ink and acrylic on primed panel (unframed)

My son had cricket games scheduled for all day Saturday and Sunday so I had resigned myself to the fact that I would get no studio time this weekend. However the weather had different plans and after an hour of play yesterday, the heavens opened and the rain has not stopped since. Cricket was obviously cancelled for the rest of the weekend. I am not complaining (my son on the other hand is bleak) as we so desperately need the rain at the moment and I don't seem to have enough hours to spend in my studio! 

I have been working on larger pieces again this weekend but started off with some fun little ink and acrylic washes and a beautiful (gorgeous smelling) white rose from Kate's garden. I tried desperately to load this one yesterday but our internet connection was not going to have it! The line was so weak that loading anything was wasting so much time and causing so much frustration that I eventually gave up...thanks Telkom! Today everything seems back to normal and I am finally back online!

Loving listening to the rain as I sit in my studio....a slow cooking roast is filling the house with heavenly, delicious aromas and I am about to close the studio door for some family time, delicious food and a good bottle of red wine! I hope you too are having a happy weekend.

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Daily painting 734 Pharmacy bottle and strawberries

Daily painting #734 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

My father-in-law was a pharmacist and we have a beautiful old collection of pharmacy bottles that used to contain many different potions for medicine making. Some of them still have slight traces of colour or stains inside which hint at the possible contents. Some of them still have the old faded labels or remnants thereof. We have all had sniffles, colds and blocked noses this week. Had he still been with us, he would have arrived at the door with some potion or other that was sure to cure us. He was still of the 'old school' where the best remedies were the ones you made yourself. Sadly he is no longer with us, so I rely on my own home made potions which includes plenty of rest and good doses of wholesome, fresh food. Plenty of green veggies and vitamin rich berries and fruit to give your body a good boost! We are all on the mend and I have been painting up a storm this weekend trying to play catch up for the studio hours lost.

I have been working on larger florals this weekend, you may have seen hints of them on my Facebook page Paintings in the post. They are large and painted in a far more suggestive manner. I rely on painting with emotive mark making and try to free myself up and make the mark count in a more organic way. These little still life paintings can be quite a contrast but they are so beneficial for my confidence and visual accuracy. They train my eye to see and my brain to translate in a way that makes me confident with my mark making and frees me up to be more confident when I am using a more suggestive mark. These little still life paintings are like the exercises that keep my muscles in good working order! So a little study to start the day....now I am off to tackle some more 'pretty' and some LARGER brushes. Then time to close the studio and enjoy the afternoon with my family!

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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Daily painting 733 Day Lilies

Daily painting 733 5"x7" oil on primed panel (unframed)

My garden is full of budding day lilies. Signs of spring. But along with Spring has come blocked sinuses and a bout of flu. I have been feeling under the weather this week and I have had sick kids home from school too. This doesn't make for very productive studio time, but perhaps it's natures way of forcing me to slow down a little. The flip side is that despite spending most of Saturday away in Pietermaritzburg to watch my son play cricket, the rest of the weekend will be spent playing catch up.  A working weekend it will have to be....at least there is lots of 'pretty' around to keep me inspired! Spring is a floral painters delight!

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Daily painting 732 Pink Monday

Daily painting #732 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

It's pink, pretty (probably too pretty) and oh so 'girly'. Actually there has been a lot of pink lately...my Art lecturers would love me right now with all this 'pretty' (definitely not!!). It's a pink Monday, but hey, it could be worse! It could be a blue Monday...and it's not.
Have a happy week!

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Daily painting 731 Pink ice-cream lolly

Daily painting #731 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

Spring seems to have skipped on by and got lost in the wave of early Summer. We have had such beautiful warm weather that it feels like sunscreen, bikinis (ok...maybe not) and ice-cream kind of days! It just feels like time to dust off the lolly moulds and make refreshing cooling ice-cream lollies for hot days. 

I have an easy-peasy sugar-free solution to ice-cream lolly cravings. I blitz frozen berries (whatever I have) in my blender with either yoghurt or some coconut cream and a few drops of stevia (if the berries are really tart, a frozen banana added is also good for sweetness) and pour the mixture into my mould. I pop them in the freezer for a while and just before they are properly set I push some wooden sticks into them. I never can find all the original plastic sticks that come with the moulds. I think they disappear in the pockets of the same creature that steels just one sock or the one shoe that your children are always determined were put back in their cupboard (i.e. not left at friends). 

It was a real challenge in the heat to paint a slowly melting lolly. As you know my little daily paintings are always painted from life because I believe the value in them is in forcing me to observe and translate what I see immediately and accurately. It's a challenge when what you see (the lolly) gets smaller and the messy melted puddle bigger...so QUICK painting today. A good thing because there is no time to fiddle or fuss...I had to make a mark confidently and leave it! Shew...I think I need a lolly after all that....

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Daily painting 730 Spring bloom and a bud

Daily painting #730 6"x6" oil on primed panel (unframed)

It is the first day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. A day of flowers, new beginnings and budding gardens. It also means the start of the humidity in Durban and quite frankly the weather in Durban this week seems to have been confused...it's like we missed Spring and hit Summer all in one week! 

For a floral loving artist, today is wonderful. I get to have a good excuse (not that I ever need one) to full my world (both online and offline) with a whole lot of pretty!

HAPPY SPRING....(or maybe happy Fall depending on where you live)...hope YOUR day too, is full of a whole lot of 'beautiful'!

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Daily painting #729 Spring figs

Daily painting #729 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

August is almost over (this year is flying by) and I can feel Spring in the air. It is a wonderful feeling. The mornings are getting lighter earlier and we are waking to birds chirping and the sun starting to show itself over the ocean. There is a faint hint of Durban humidity in the air, warning us that Summer is coming. But best of all the evenings are getting warmer and longer and nothing beats sitting outside with a crisp, chilled white wine or a glass of chilled rosé on a warm summers evening. Figs, cheese and my homemade marinated olives are the perfect marriage with the wine, summer breeze and warm evenings. That and wonderful company of course!

It's almost Summer....

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Daily painting #728 King protea

Daily painting #728 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

The King Protea seems an incongruous name for a flower so beautiful and feminine. But as bold and brave as kings us woman can be, so why not I suppose. The King Protea is one of the larger protea specimens and its soft grey blue and pink tones always appeal to me! It is bold, yet soft and gentle...inspiring characteristics. Speaking (or writing that would be) of inspiring....

HUGE thank you to everyone who joined in the creative sharing on Paintings in the post Facebook page yesterday! To inspire someone else to do something is the greatest of compliments....so thank YOU for all your inspiration!💛BIG love! If you wanted to join in the fun but never got around to it, I hope you will join in next time we do a #DoSomethingCreativeToday share. It's a great way to connect with others and hold yourself accountable for doing something a little more creative...besides its good for the soul and the world needs more creative thinkers! To share is a wonderful thing...
I randomly (names out a hat style) selected HILDA NIEMAN to receive a little painting as a way of saying 'Thank you' for sharing with us all yesterday. This little painting will be heading off in the post to Hilda....

I wish I could send each one of you a painting to say thank you! We had our first kitchen 'foodie' inspiration share and I am still waiting for our first writer to share something they have been up to....(hint hint if you are a writer)...and we are yet to have a garden share....(hint hint).
Lovely to meet so many of you yesterday....and do stay in touch!

Much love (and creative energy of course) 💛Heidi

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It's time to do some creative sharing today! If you have been up to something creative today at home, at the office, in the garden, kitchen, studio....wherever, head on over to my Facebook page here and tell us about it. It doesn't have to be something art related....it can even be a creative decision you have made! Let's inspire one another to be a little more creative, to change things up a bit and even try something you have never done before! By sharing with one another we might just inspire someone else to try be a little more creative too!

Today I will be giving away one little painting to someone who shares what they have been up to. You can share on my Paintings in the post Facebook page or you can share in the comments below if you would prefer. The recipient will be drawn randomly and announced tomorrow afternoon (Friday) both here on the blog and on the Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing what YOU have all been up to for a change.

Sending lots of creative energy your way... Heidi

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Daily painting 727 Fresh

Daily painting #727 6"x8" oil on primed panel

It is so incredibly difficult to photograph a painting with a dark background in the correct light to ensure true colours and not get a slight reflection on the dark background. I have taken millions of photos of this painting and if there isn't a reflection then the strawberries are the wrong colour and if the colour is correct then there is a slight reflection....grrrrr!!! I don't like to use photo editing on the images unless it is to tweak exposure as I always try to aim for an image that is as close to the original. On days like today taking an image of the painting can take me longer than painting the painting...CRAZY!!! 

Tomorrow I will be doing another #DoSomethingCreativeToday share. This is where YOU get to share something creative you have been up to and hopefully inspire someone else to do something a little more creative too. So please join in the fun! I will be giving away a little painting to someone who shares on my Facebook page something creative they have been up to (it can be a creative decision...doesn't have to be art related). The recipient will be drawn randomly and will be announced on Friday afternoon to give overseas friends a chance to join in. If you would like to participate make sure you have liked my Facebook page here so that you don't miss out on the fun. It is so inspiring to read what others have been up to and you never know.... someone's share might just inspire you to try something you have never done before! 

See you tomorrow for some creative sharing....

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Daily painting #726 Umzumbe sea

Daily painting #726 5"x7" oil on primed canvas panel

We are home from our wonderful weekend away. This was painted just before we left...the sunshine had finally made an appearance and we got to spend some time swimming, walking on the beach and around the pool. I love little weekend family get-aways that force you to take things slowly for a bit and even switch off for a while. I have come home feeling as refreshed as if I had enjoyed a week long vacation! Time to head on back to my studio with renewed energy...but not before I do a grocery shop (yuck yuck yuck!)....can I just return to this beach for a little longer please?

Have a fabulous week...see you soon with more little paintings (after I find some delicious fresh produce in the shops to paint...oh and to eat of course).

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Daily painting #725 Pumula skies

Daily painting #725 4"x6" oil on primed panel

We have had rain, thunderstorms and sunshine and blue skies all in one weekend. But most importantly we have had rest, relaxation and fabulous quality family time, which I am always grateful for. I have shared a couple of little videos on my Paintings in the post Facebook page which you can view here. I had the best little studio companion yesterday and the best studio ever...the outdoors! 

My beautiful painting partner for the morning...my daughter Amy.

This painting is really little, it is 4 inches by 6 inches. This makes it really difficult to photograph and crop it without getting some distortion. Especially with a sky, which often looks quite abstracted when something so small has been cropped. So I took another image with one of my brushes which puts it into better perspective.

Right...painting loaded...enough chatting...I am off to the beach now to join my family and enjoy the last few hours of this beautiful place! I have shared the beach and a few more images on Instagram's new 'stories' post if you follow along there too. If not and you want a peek find me heidishedlock here.

Off to the beach now...cheers from Pumula x

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Daily painting #724 Crimson protea

Daily painting #724 6"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

The colour of this protea is so rich and deep. There seems to be quite a lot of cloud cover today (although Durban is rather warm) and so the studio light is rather dim. The crimson colour seems more intense and deep in the low light. Rich colour for a cloudy day!

I hope some of the cloud cover disappears, even though it is feeling decidedly spring-like in Durban. There is a hint of the humidity to come....which I can't say excites me too much. We are on our way to my favourite little beach destination, Pumula in Umzube on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal (hence the reason I am willing the clouds away). It is only about an hours drive from home but it is like our little piece of heaven. My husband and I have been going there since before we were married (nearly 18 years ago) and our children have grown up there. It is a place that holds a special place in my heart and my memory bank and quite frankly simply being there, fills my soul tank! We are leaving as soon as the children have finished school today and we will return on Sunday evening. A little family quality time before the start of the cricket season and my husbands busiest time of year. He is a professional coach. So enough time spent in my studio this morning. It is time to wash brushes, clean up and pack the paint box, brushes, painting panels, my good book, camera.....oh and maybe some clothes would be good too!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Perhaps I will share some Pumula* with you this weekend!

See you next from the beach.... Heidi
*pumula in Zulu means to relax, pause or chill out (I don't think I am going to have a problem with that!)

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Daily painting #723 Porcelain and a fig

Daily painting #723 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

I love the colour blue. There are very few shades or tones of blue that don't appeal to me. I found this little porcelain pot in a local shop and of course the little blue floral motif caught my eye immediately. When I picked it up I just knew that I had to have it to add to my studio collection of pots, trinkets, vases, plates and bits n bobs that clutter my shelves and regularly find their way into my little daily paintings. I picked up the little pot and it was so fragile, the porcelain as thin as paper. I felt like  the  pressure of merely holding it in my hands might crack the cold, brittle, almost transparent surface. It was so delicate. So another fragile little everyday object has joined my collection of the delicate, chipped, broken or discarded 'things' that make up the little stories I paint...and in their own right the little stories that sit on my shelves and make my studio feel like my story...my haven.

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Daily painting #722 A rose for Kate

Daily painting #721 8"x8" oil on primed panel

If you have been following Paintings in the post for a while, you might immediately know who Kate is...

If you haven't, then Kate is a special lady who attends one of my painting classes. Kate has a beautiful rose garden. I love roses (of course you know that even if you haven't been around for a while). Kate brings me a beautiful rose from her garden every week (I know...lucky me!!). There is nothing better than a garden rose to paint. It has a completely different shape to the roses bought from the shop which just never seem to open up properly. Garden roses on the other hand smell beautiful, have interesting beautiful petals that open fully and the colors are usually more vibrant. No one rose ever looks the same. I can jump for joy at the sight of beautiful fresh picked garden roses! 

Lucky for me Kate's roses have been pruned a little later than usual so I have been lucky enough to still get roses for a little longer...I paint them, photograph them and they sit on my desk for me to enjoy all week. I am so grateful for her generosity and that she is so willing to share the bounty of her beautiful rose garden with me. So while her roses get stronger and ready to flourish after a good pruning, I will give her a rose, for a change. One that she can continue to enjoy long after her beautiful garden starts flourishing again. Yes...this little rose will be going to Kate. But not before I share it with all of you too! Thank you Kate!

Sending love, thanks and roses your way...

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Daily painting #721 Wicked donuts

Daily painting #721 6"x8" oil on primed canvas panel

A Wicked Donuts shop has opened in our area. Aaargh!!!

For a wanna-be-sugar-free-eater this is an absolute disaster! Kids are lining up after school in the afternoon to get their next sugar fix and it is the trendy place to hang out, take your latest Instagram snap from (i.e. look where I am...lucky me) or post your most recent Snapchat story from! I have two teenage kids...are you getting the picture? (It sucks right?) So I finally gave in to all my will power and good sense, not to mention fabulous parenting skills (peer pressure sucker) and took my kids...

They have every possible flavour, colour or type of donut you could possibly imagine and it is a feast for the eyes if not for the taste buds! I found myself thinking "Ooooo, I want to paint that!" as my eye tripped from one temptation to the next. My kids got to choose a donut and so did I. They went for flavour, I went for what looked best. They ate theirs, I painted mine. Yes, I managed to resist the temptation of eating the "Strawberry and cream Donut". My kids on the other hand ate the "Peanut Butter and Jam Donut" and the "Double Chocolate Delight Donut". They felt SICK. Very sick! I think I may just have cured them of donut cravings for life (wishful)...they might thank me one day! 

So at the slightest mention of Wicked Donuts they both turn a shade of green. When you haven't had much sugar in your system for almost a year, your taste buds alter and your body seems to refuse what it used to crave. As wonderful as the idea of eating donuts may be, it seems their body just couldn't take it. Interesting...

At least we won't have to do another trip to the donut shop and just for the record what I thought was seriously weak parenting skills turned out to be the best decision I have made in a while! You just never know and sometimes going with your gut is the best parenting decision you can make!

As for painting....well there is something delicious in painting sugary, sticky, gooey, colourful things. Perhaps it is sensory like the gooey, sticky, colourful paint. But I don't eat paint...and I won't be eating donuts!

from one Wicked Mama (Heidi) 

P.S. Thanks for all the awesome creative sharing on my Facebook personal profile and Paintings in the post page yesterday! You all rock for overcoming the fear of sharing and hopefully we all inspired someone to do something a little more creative! THANK YOU xxx

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#DoSomethingCreativeToday - Creative Fear

Completing almost 600 consecutive daily paintings without missing a day, really taught me a lot about myself and FEAR. I had to learn to overcome many fears...maybe today was going to be the day I just couldn't do this little painting, what if I couldn't find anything to paint, what if people didn't like what I painted, what were people thinking or saying about what I was doing, who the heck was I to be sharing my paintings online, what if the painting wasn't good enough in my eyes and I still shared it regardless (oh the fear!!!!), if I was going away how was I going to paint, would I have enough time....THE LIST OF FEARS IS ENDLESS!!!!

But I overcame them and shared my little paintings with the world regardless. Now I have started a project where I encourage others to share something creative that they have done at home, school, in the garden, office, studio, kitchen...wherever and it doesn't have to be art related. Just do something creative or make a creative decision...you won't regret it. The world needs people to be more creative daily...it's how we grow, change and get better.

The project has been most successful on my Facebook page Paintings in the post which you can find here and you can also find the posts using #DoSomethingCreativeToday on Facebook search. I would also love you to share something in the comments below if you would prefer...lets share something creative we have been up to with the world and hopefully inspire others to be more creative too.

Now don't let your FEAR stop you from sharing! I faced my fear of the camera to send you a little creative loving and hopefully some inspiration....

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Daily painting #720 Women's Day Protea

Daily painting #720 8"x8" oil on primed panel (unframed)

Today in South Africa we celebrate Women's Day. It is a Public Holiday and a day to celebrate all the brave, fiercely courageous, beautiful, compassionate, hardworking and loving woman that make a difference every day in South Africa. A celebration of mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and all those special women in our lives that we call friends. I am blessed with many of these special beings and I am forever grateful for all your influences and love. Thank you...

So today one of South Africa's most beautiful blooms...from me to all of the beautiful women in South Africa and beyond...

Lots of lady loving...Heidi

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Daily painting #719 Beautifully boring

Daily painting #719 5"x7" oil on primed panel (unframed)

I didn't have much time to do a daily painting. I have been working on some much larger surfaces which is much more physical and time consuming and I was keen to get started. I don't have painting classes for a few days (its a long weekend in SA) so I have been able to move the larger canvases back into my outdoor studio which I normally just teach from. The space is much larger than my studio space in the house. I like to keep my own work separate from my teaching studio and so I usually do most of my work from my smaller studio space inside. But this space, being much bigger, gives me a better perspective when working on much larger surfaces. I am going to do a share on Instagram stories comparing the canvas sizes...it is amazing to see the contrast so if you want to see too you can find me on Instagram here. I love the freedom of having so much space to move around in....just for me! It is such a luxury. But back to my daily painting...

I was desperate to get back to the larger paintings but the benefit of engaging in these little paintings is great and it does wonders for my 'painting mood'. I didn't have time to fuss about what I was going to paint so as always flowers are my go-to. The roses sitting on my entrance hall table where grabbed on route to my studio. A boring and safe choice perhaps, given how often I paint flowers, but I can't help but be drawn to the beauty, the colour, the form...the beautifully boring!

Now I'm off to closet myself away outdoors, blast out some 'happy tunes' and grab some BIG brushes for a few hours before locking the studio doors for the day and indulging in some quality family time around the fire with a good glass of red. Can a day be planned any better?

I hope you are having a good Sunday too... Sunday love...Heidi

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Daily painting #718 Voting Day

Daily painting #718 5"x7" oil on primed panel (unframed)

Today 3rd August 2016 is VOTING DAY. It's time for all South Africans to have their say and make a difference. GO VOTE!!

Today I share with you a Zulu Love Letter brooch...and in turn my own love letter for our beautiful country, South Africa.

I live in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) where the Zulu culture is most prolific. Our children are given the option of learning Zulu as a second additional language and while I am not Zulu, anyone who lives in KZN is familiar with many Zulu traditions and crafts. I own many beautiful Zulu beaded necklaces, brooches and belts, ornaments etc. I have this beaded brooch which I painted today and wanted to share it with you. It is fondly known of as a Zulu Love Letter. Zulu love-tokens (Incwadi) are woven in beads by Zulu maidens and were said to be sent to their lovers as a means of communication. Each colour, or combination of colours has a specific meaning. Many of these have changed over the years, but the basic and most commonly used colors were...

White - Purity, vision, true love
Red - Intensive love "my heart bleeds for you"
Blue - Loneliness "If I were a dove, I would fly the endless skies to see you"
Green - "I have become as thin as blade of grass, from pining for you"
Yellow - Jealousy
Pink - Poverty - she feels he is wasting his money and not making enough money to pay her Lobola (bride price)
Brown - My love is like the earth which gives rise to new life
Black - Anger, hurt, jealousy. "My heart has become as black as the rafters of the hut as I hear you have taken another maiden"
(Taken from a zulu kingdom sa brochure which came with my brooch)

But today I have my own love letter for our country and if I could make a brooch it would say...

Black beads for all the anger and hurt that the past has evoked and white beads for purity, vision and true love. Love beyond measure, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation or beliefs, can heal anything. If only we all could love unconditionally...love could heal the anger and the hurt. Blue beads for the loneliness that the lack of love can bring and green beads for the pining of a better future where peace and love can conquer all. Pink beads in recognition of all those that live in extreme poverty and brown beads for the dry African earth that can give rise to new life and new beginnings which can bring hope to so many South Africans. Finally my love letter would be dominated by red beads...intensive love. "My heart bleeds for you". My heart bleeds for the poverty, crime and government corruption that has been allowed to rot away at the South Africa Mandela envisioned for ALL South Africans. It is only through intensive love that we can all make a difference every day, in small ways and on days like today, in BIG ways. By voting we all show our intensive love for our country.

As idealistic as my sentiments may be, one message remains. If you went to vote today, you could make a difference. I pray that today will see a brighter future for all South Africans...my love letter to you.

all my LOVE Heidi #proudlySouthAfrican

If you voted today, I would love to hear about it. Keep politics out of it, but if you have some South African love to share...I would love to hear about it in the comments xxx

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Daily painting #717 Abundant beauty

Daily painting #717 5"x7" oil on primed panel

Every year I am blessed with a wonderful show of beautiful orchids on my back veranda. I have pots of orchids sitting there and to be honest with you for the most part of the year I forget that they exist. They provide a sea of greenery which is lovely but they are really quite neglected...I couldn't tell you when last I even gave them water (guilty) but they clearly thrive on neglect. The only kind thing I have done is find just the right spot in the house for them, but even that was by accident.

So it is with a little bit of guilt but a good dose of gratitude that I enjoy this abundant beauty each year. 

My supply of little canvas boards that I use to oil paint on (for daily paintings) has run out and I have not managed to prime a new batch. I usually spend an entire day just priming and prepping boards and I have not had the luxury of a whole day to do just that. So today I used one of the extra smooth primed panels that I keep for ink and acrylic. It was so different painting on such a completely smooth surface with oil paint. I would imagine it would be wonderful if you are working up soft layers of glazed oils but daily painting is quick, alla prima with no time for glazing. Things got a little slippery and I found I had to make much more bold marks....but I quite enjoyed it and will be experimenting a little more I think. So much to do ( and experiment with and learn) ...so little time! 

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Daily painting #716 Red carnation

Daily painting #716 6"x6" oil on primed panel

Thank you to everyone who joined in the creative sharing yesterday. My Facebook feed was abuzz with sharing and that makes my heart happy. Thank you too for the number of private messages I received from total strangers saying how they felt inspired and more motivated after listening to my message. It made the anxiety and nerves of doing a silly little recording all worth while! I just have to figure out how to get a better quality next time, although I think I will stick to blogging...vlogging every day (keyboard over camera any day) would send me over the edge!

I have beautiful carnations all over the house. I needed a little floral inspiration around (some girls like shoes...I love flowers...and books). The reason why I bought so many bunches is purely because they were SO cheap. I have to be honest I never buy carnations. Don't ask me why because they are actually quite beautiful - the frilly flower, the tight little buds and the long shapely leaves. For some unknown reason though they don't normally catch my eye. The price however caught my eye because lets face it, fresh flowers are expensive and when Durban is hot (which it's not for a change) they don't last long either. So I got to walk out the shop with a couple (actually quite a few) bunches of carnations. I felt like I had hit the floral jackpot and now that I have them all around my home and have spent time painting them (and observing so closely) I cannot fathom why I have never painted them or enjoyed them before. The formation of the petals, although smaller, is so similar to a peony - my favorite flower of all!

A friend and fellow Durban blogger at The bright side of life uses a wonderful catchy phrase... "the same but different" and I love this term. Its a wonderful way to grow with confidence and form new habits. So today in my studio it is floral all the way only its... THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT!
You are never too old to change habits. I think I like carnations....
PS What is your favourite flower?

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