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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