If all else fails, try vegetables

I’ve seen a few people on EDM struggling with being in a slump. I guess it is my turn. I can’t seem to get a hold on inspiration.
There is a whole wide world out there to paint, to draw and I can’t find anything. I have the pencil and brush in my hand, like a knife and fork, waiting for the perfect meal to come from the kitchen. Unfortunately I am the “cook” in the kitchen….so I literally took my pencil and brush to the kitchen and tried to cook up something…I painted the first things my eyes fell on. Just earlier today I bought fresh produce which were on the table and so here are my carrots and aubergines…interestingly, the striped one is called a Graffiti. I struggled through 6 sketches, going from bad to worse. So I threw away the rest and kept the first attempts.
Both these sketches were done in WC on Fabriano HP.



alteredtome said…
I just love your painterly style! So direct and fresh.
June 27, 2007 5:39 PM  
Betty said…
aahhhhhhh! I am very envious of your slump 🙂 This is so lovely, as always.
June 27, 2007 5:46 PM  
hfm said…
And they are so fresh and natural!
June 27, 2007 6:36 PM  
martín said…
Wow! These are so well done. The combination of colours and the touches with the brush on the paper. Two masterpieces!
June 27, 2007 6:41 PM  
mARTa said…
Ronell my favorite is the second one. Upon close inspection (hehehe)I have found numerous ‘jewels’ in this lively watercolor. I have several ‘favorite’ areas…the white veggie has lovely colour in it and a great blend of hard and soft edges. The contrast between the deep purple and blue is electrifying and the splashes of colour in the shadow areas keep the watercolor from vibrating too much. This is by far a most successful painting and the slump is offically over. have a great kitchen and painting day!!!
June 27, 2007 6:41 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
These are just beautiful!
June 27, 2007 7:03 PM  
juj said…
I never get tired of your style Ronell. LOVE those carrots.
June 27, 2007 7:29 PM  
Robyn said…
What Marta said followed by what Casey said. And I bet you cooked them as beautifully as you painted them!
June 27, 2007 7:48 PM  
Lin said…
June 27, 2007 8:22 PM  
brian nelson said…
Very nice, indeed!
June 27, 2007 10:40 PM  
Dave said…
Wonderful; I love to see watercolours that look like watercolours! They are both lovely, the carrots are very striking, and the second one has some great touches, like the purple reflection in the blue one.
June 27, 2007 11:45 PM  
mARTa said…
Now my critic of the carrots. I do think this one was successful as well but i have one area that bothers me. The dark shadow under the leaves just stares at me. I think I am entranced by the subtle colour in the other shadow areas but don’t see any here. The variation of the red/orange color of the carrots has my eyes traveling and so it carries me throughout the sketch. Both of these are successful also in that you’ve allowed the colors to mix themselves on the paper and for me that is always so hard to do!
June 28, 2007 12:57 AM  
Teri C said…
These look good enough to eat. Except they are too beautifully colored-so fresh and bright.
June 28, 2007 1:41 AM  
Deborah said…
Ohhhh, these make me want to eat some veggies. Beautiful!
June 28, 2007 2:19 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the comments..I appreciate them.
Yes Marta, you’re spot on with the carrots. My shading is not at all successfull…under the leaves it looks like something standing on it’s own and it really does hurt the eye. I also threw in unnecessary shadings under the tips of the carrots, which does the same thing…and that v-shaped shadow which is supposed to follow the little tie around the carrots.. This is of course due to my uncontrollable habit of not leaving things alone! I had finished and then I thought I could maybe have them look a bit better and so the fiddling started! Thank you for noticing it and saying it…I really appreciate it….without positive critique I can’t grow!!
June 28, 2007 8:26 AM  
biteyourowntail said…
Lush aubergines Ronell – I’m in love with those colours.I actually like to draw and paint veg – they’re such satisfying shapes – not to mention colours.
June 28, 2007 10:46 AM  
Carole said…
Well done for clambering out of your slump and painting. I love both of these.Rather than throw away the ones you are less happy with, you could cut out the bits that do work (there are usually bits that do) and collage them, just for fun.
June 28, 2007 11:38 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
Slump? – if you say so… though the paintings surely don’t show it.
I love the second one, the colour of the aubergines is perfect (I’ve tried painting aubergines as well, didn’t really get the colour the way I wanted it….).
June 28, 2007 12:02 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Ronell I couldn’t agre more. These are brilliant brilliant brilliant.
June 28, 2007 1:57 PM  
Lindsay said…
Ronell, I’ve been there! Slumps can feel really aweful. The last time I was in one, I took myself on a date to and did some really relaxing and beautiful things. Sometimes, all you need are a few naps and a couple of low pressure outings for just yourself.
The carots are lovely!Take good care!
June 28, 2007 3:20 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Gorgeous, Ronell! I love the fresh, splashy look…
June 28, 2007 3:54 PM  
Irene said…
Very nice. Fresh and watery (is that a word?)
June 28, 2007 4:18 PM  
Sandy said…
Oh My God, there is nothing left to say – I love every bit of them!!! I may hate you 😉
June 28, 2007 4:50 PM  
Sandy said…
I like both of the pictures. So glad you updated. I come here almost every day just waiting, LOL..silently waiting…these are gorgeous Ronell.sandy
June 28, 2007 9:27 PM  
Emma Pod said…
Hi Ronell, these are beautiful vegetables! Great colors. I also like your frog from an earlier post!
June 28, 2007 9:49 PM  
Linda said…
bsolutely gorgeous! The carrots, especially, are just so ALIVE.
June 29, 2007 1:30 AM  
good with color said…
“sigh”Your paintings are so beautiful, it makes me feel happy and relaxed to look at them. especially those eggplants. I bought some today, to make ratatouille (sp?) but yours are so much nicer! Bunnies everywhere are longing for your carrots, I’ll bet.
June 29, 2007 6:57 AM  
laserone said…
Hey, that’s really good work for somebody who is uninspired! I especially love the aubergines, I just love blues and purples. 🙂
June 29, 2007 7:07 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks for the comments, they are all so inspiring.
I alos found Diahn’s article on Wet canvas, very inspiring – makes me want to just get back into doing “small things”, but things that give pleasure. See Diahn at http://artbydiahn.blogspot.com/
Thanks again to everybody.
June 29, 2007 9:14 AM  
platitudinal said…
Ronell, I love how you described holding the pencil and the brush in your hands like eating utensils, and you were waiting for the “perfect meal.”The vegetables looked so beautiful. I love the carrots (even though I don’t really like eating carrots). The orange and the yellow compliment each other so nicely, they’re such a delight to the eyes.
June 29, 2007 11:55 AM  
Claudia said…
W o n d e r f u l colours, Ronell! Keep up the good work! I always love to see more of it!
…And thank you for your nice words “whatever you chose to do, do it to the fullest!”
Kind regards from
June 29, 2007 8:09 PM  
Tonniece said…
I enjoy your art so much Ronell, whether in a slump or in perfect form, you always get it right.
June 29, 2007 8:26 PM  
Laureline said…
Wow!!!!!!!!Just amazingly gorgeous, Ronell!!! They’re so loose and colorful and watery—PERFECT!!
June 29, 2007 8:45 PM  
Anita said…
Ronell you turn everything into an uplifting rainbow, these are beautiful!!!
July 1, 2007 2:15 AM  
Sandy said…
just waving hello…looking for updates..no pressure…but looking for updates..LOL…gosh everytime I come here I get inspired…I love your stuff. By the way you have great links too…
July 1, 2007 6:26 PM  
Pequete said…
Well, if this is a slump… I just wish I had some of these myself! Both sketches are lovely, but I especially like the carrots one, so painterly and light.
July 2, 2007 11:32 AM  
wagonized said…
What a great approach. When i hit a drawing funk, even my favorite subjects are uninviting — that’s probably because i am less willing to “surprise” myself. These are gorgeous — just what you managed to do by pushing yourself into the kitchen is amazing. And i love the fact you chose to juxtapose the orange of the carrots with the purple underneath. Excellent.
July 5, 2007 8:23 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are great sketches. Sorry to hear about your slump. Just keep ‘doing’ and hopefully you won’t be slumping for long. Your work is beautiful and so loose and I love looking at it. Good thought for you!
July 7, 2007 9:36 PM  
Bill said…
hy an I always hungry after visiting your blog?Beautiful!
July 15, 2007 9:14 PM  
CrumpledPaperbirds said…
These are gorgeous!!!
Lovely colors, and love the two pics next to each other…food for eyes.
July 16, 2007 1:50 PM  

Touches of yellow

I have nothing yellow in my garden. But I have white flowers with touches of yellow.
Two vignettes from the garden done in their setting, in bright sunlight.
A white Hemerocallis, the only one in flower.
Done in WC in moleskine.


I also have Feverfew(Chrysantemum parthenium), a small camomile-like white daisy with bright yellow centre. They make a wonderful display in the herb garden, and work wonders on a migraine, they self sow profusely and look beautiful picked by the armsful.

My goal with both these paintings was to keep them light and fresh by incorporating the white paper as part of the composition. With the feverfew, I used more “dabbing” of color, since that is how I perceive them in the garden.


Done in WC in moleskine.

Sharon said…
These are gorgeous! I really love the loose, simple style and colors mixed on the paper.
June 20, 2007 7:20 PM  
Kunya said…
Wow, what abeautiful work. I just bought some books about the work of Charles Reid. This paintings, especialy the first one, reminds me of the book. Great work.
June 20, 2007 7:21 PM  
Lynn said…
Oh my, these are lovely! I really like the fresh, spontaneous feel of these paintings. The feverfew are gorgeous.
June 20, 2007 8:21 PM  
Teri C said…
Definitly spontaneous, definitly loose and defintly WONDERFUL!!!
June 20, 2007 9:01 PM  
Jenny said…
My favorite is the first one though both a lovely, loose, and colorful.
June 20, 2007 10:11 PM  
Dave said…
Superb. The colours are lovely!
June 20, 2007 10:46 PM  
Lin said…
Ronnell — fresh, lively, colorful, glorious — all of this and more!! Your daylily is absolutely breathtaking!! I AM IN LOVE with the various hues within it — and I too grow feverfew — but never again — I find it takes over too MUCH of the garden! GRAND JOB!!!!!!
June 21, 2007 2:23 AM  
bec said…
oooh! I love these drawings…. I have lilies and feverfew also. I’ve got big bouquets all over the house. Question: how do you USE the feverfew for a migraine? make a tea and drink it? sniff the leaves? I’m interested in knowing…Thanks!
June 21, 2007 4:11 AM  
biteyourowntail said…
Lovely – I particularly like the way that blue makes the yellow sing in the second painting – makes me think of late summer, and lazy afternoons in the shade.
June 21, 2007 10:18 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
These are just wonderful – fresh and lively and full of color. I definitely see a resemblance to the lovely, loose florals of Charles Reid, although they are your own personal style. How do you find the time to et all this done? You’ve been so productive lately.
June 21, 2007 11:23 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
lovely loose dreamy vibrant lively fresh…
June 21, 2007 12:30 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Oh my gosh!!! These are BEAUTIFUL Ronell.
June 21, 2007 3:08 PM  
Robyn said…
Beautiful dancing lines, sparkling white and a fairytale touch with the colours, Ronell. I long to paint so instinctively.
June 21, 2007 5:20 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the inpspiring comments..
Bec – I take infusions. Normally it is advised to dry the leaves, but I forget, so I just take two or three leaves and let them infuse for a thirty minutes. It is best to take the infusion regularly. You can chew the leaves, but apparently they easily cause mouth sores, so I have never tried that…
Robyn – you are a poet.
June 21, 2007 5:35 PM  
Deborah said…
Ohh, these are so fresh and light! I love the techniques you used here. You must have a great garden.
June 21, 2007 7:31 PM  
Serena said…
Both are beautiful in their own right, Ronell. I love the loose, airy feel you have achieved and the splashes of colour are divine!
June 21, 2007 10:29 PM  
Lindsay said…
These last few sketches are so beau;tiful and fresh. They truley capture summer!
June 22, 2007 2:37 AM  
Sandy said…
I looked at them enlarged and they are so free flowing. So gorgeous. I would love to walk through your garden some day.wow.. Ronell, thanks for all your comments…they are appreciated… I just love coming here to see what you’ve been up to, when I’m out sweating in the dirt in my garden. haha. I keep thinking I want to go outside and paint but somehow it never works. How do you do it??
June 22, 2007 5:15 AM  
Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said…
Just lovely! Sure wish I had your talent.tea
June 22, 2007 10:38 AM  
Pequete said…
These are lovely, Africantapestry! I love your loose style and I wish I could paint as freely as you.
June 22, 2007 11:58 AM  
hfm said…
June 22, 2007 11:20 PM  
Tonniece said…
beautifully done Ronell. Light and fresh, very summery
June 23, 2007 3:03 AM  
phthaloblu said…
Simply gorgeous! All those colors and shadows and details. Well done!
June 23, 2007 11:19 PM  
Laureline said…
Happy, happy, loose and lively work! I LOVE them! You’re so in your element!
June 23, 2007 11:46 PM  
Carole said…
Lovely colours, Ronell, particularly in the feverfew. I have tried chewing the leaves for a headache, but they tasted so rotten I think I preferred the headache.
June 24, 2007 1:45 PM  
janey said…
These are lovely sketches. So colorful and full of summer.
June 25, 2007 6:48 PM  
Fanta said…
Lovely, cheerful and extremely fresh! So well done.
June 26, 2007 10:29 PM  
luci said…
The flowers are lovely, Ronell. Chrysanthemum is my favorite flower. The florist wasn’t too happy when I insisted on chrysanthemums only bouquet for my wedding. It bothered his artistic taste, I think. I remembered he used variety of chrysanthemums, and feverfew was one of them. I’m happy to see the beautiful feverfew you painted.

Unknown faces on the train

Some faces on the train to Paris. All done in pen in moleskine and given a wash later at home.






Anita said…
They are all wonderful Ronell but I especially like the 2nd with the woman facing away, adds a sense of mystery and gets the imagination pumping!
June 17, 2007 3:58 PM  
Lin said…
BEAUTIFUL!! The softness of the wash is outstanding!
June 17, 2007 4:29 PM  
Meinhild Selbach said…
Great work! I really like your style.
Greetings from the Lyons area 😉
Meinhild (inselfan54)
June 17, 2007 4:37 PM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
These are beautiful. Was it ink or watercolor you used for a wash? Your portrait sketches are so well done.
June 17, 2007 5:18 PM  
Nina Johansson said…
Great with those grey washes, I love these drawings!
June 17, 2007 5:19 PM  
mARTa said…
love these too! I did my daughter on the train into Los Angeles on friday….she was right in front of me so I could see her!!! I love how these don’t have color…the washes are beautiful.
June 17, 2007 11:31 PM  
Jenny said…
Enjoyed your train sketches. Ink and wash is perfect for these.
June 18, 2007 1:19 AM  
Arty Velarde said…
These are nice, I like the washes for the gray scale.
It looks cool!
June 18, 2007 3:12 AM  
juj said…
These are fabulous Ronnell – Your linework is so free and easy, and the washes are the perfect touch. I love the sleeping man at the top and the one at the bottom. And there is something so compelling about the posture of the girl with the pony tail. Sly girl – capturing the people who wouldn’t notice what you were doing!
June 18, 2007 4:19 AM  
Sandy said…
Gosh how do you do this!!! I would love to learn watercolor wash like this…just beautiful and delicate. sandy
June 18, 2007 7:35 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you to verybody for the kind comments…I really appreciate your encouragement.
Nancy – I just used some black watercolor.
Marta – will have alook at your daughter’s sketch today. I think someone right opposite me is a bit intimidating(a stranger)…I expect them to bite me any minute!
Judi – Yip, that is exacty how I caught Hartman…!
Sandy – I feel like I’m is actually cheating; really good sketching can stand on its own with only the lines, but I feel mine needs that extra bit of “oomph”..
June 18, 2007 8:28 AM  
biteyourowntail said…
Sneaky drawings of people – love them. And what better way to spend a train journey? Lovely work
June 18, 2007 11:01 AM  
Dave said…
These are lovely. So expressive and the wash adds a lot to the line work.
June 18, 2007 3:21 PM  
Robyn said…
Wonderful people! I too love the girl with the pony tail but they are a delightful lot. I think the sketches would stand up very well without it, but the wash is a lovely touch. Paris! Sigh! The last time I saw Paris….
June 18, 2007 5:47 PM  
Tonniece said…
A real wow factor here Ronell.
Great sketches
June 18, 2007 10:17 PM  
hfm said…
Great work! Don’t know how you can draw on the train! I’ve tried but I can’t
June 18, 2007 11:25 PM  
Ujwala said…
the ink and wash portraits are beautiful ronnel! now i need me some trains to ride in 😀 actually i’d be too shy to pull out my sketchpad at such close proximity to the subject! 😀
June 19, 2007 12:59 PM  
Claudia said…
Oh, Ronell, you did so nice paintings and drawing while i was away on my hiking tours! I nearly can’t decide which I like the best! Your glass bells are so wonderful! But your garden sketches turned out so good as well!!! I like the colours you use!
And your train sketches are very nice, too! I want to see more!!!
June 19, 2007 1:03 PM  
Carole said…
You are so talented, Ronell. You’ve captured a lot of character with these simple lines.You are brave, sketching people. I always feel too self conscious to attempt it, which is a shame as it would be a good way to spend the time on the train.
June 19, 2007 2:35 PM  
Anonymous said…
June 19, 2007 6:17 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
I somehow missed this post – it’s wonderful, Ronell! These are so full of character, so individual – I really love them. This seems like a new departure for you (?)

Bells in watercolor


A glass bell in the garden

Watercolor on Fabriano HP


A glass bell in the kitchen.

Watercolor on Fabriano HP


caseytoussaint said…
These are just gorgeous, Ronell, sparkling with light and color. I wish real life were like your paintings…
June 17, 2007 3:33 PM  
alteredtome said…
I so enjoy the way you place your color on the paper. Your work is so fresh and inspiring.Chris
June 17, 2007 4:15 PM  
Lin said…
June 17, 2007 4:30 PM  
Teri C said…
Your use of color and reflections is just spectacular! Love them both.
June 17, 2007 4:57 PM  
Karen Winters said…
Great transparency in this Ronell
June 17, 2007 5:10 PM  
Anita said…
You have such a unique and wonderful way with colour Ronell. Fabulous!
June 17, 2007 5:39 PM  
mrana said…
I love your style, such great loose strokes and colour!
June 17, 2007 6:37 PM  
Joan Yoshioka said…
Oh wow! I love the colors in your paintings! It’s a freedom in painting that I really envy. Thanks for sharing and for giving me something to aspire to.
June 17, 2007 8:56 PM  
mARTa said…
the one in the garden does it for me! Beautiful!
June 17, 2007 11:29 PM  
Christeen said…
This is just perfectly fresh and zingy- great freshness and life to these 🙂
June 18, 2007 1:06 AM  
juj said…
Beautiful bells – such gorgeous loose drippy color. and those cantelope are the epitome of summer.
June 18, 2007 4:21 AM  
Sandy said…
What a great subject and beautiful work! I get so inspired when I come here. Thanks for sharing Ronell. sandy
June 18, 2007 7:36 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks for all your comments…it is inspiring and it encourages me to continue, experiment AND enjoy it!
June 18, 2007 8:32 AM  
Dave said…
These are stunning. The colours are wonderful.
June 18, 2007 3:20 PM  
Sandy said…
Oh WOW Ronell these are simply STUNNING!!!!!
June 18, 2007 3:59 PM  
Robyn said…
Beautiful transparency, colour and style, Ronell. I can’t choose between them.
June 18, 2007 5:40 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
Yummmy colors …these are wonderful….
June 18, 2007 6:38 PM  
Tonniece said…
I really enjoy you watercolors, they are so animated even in your still lifes.
June 18, 2007 10:19 PM  
Carole said…
GORGEOUS, Ronell! I love the idea, and the colourful execution of it.
June 19, 2007 2:33 PM  
phthaloblu said…
Just gorgeous! Those loose washes that you do so well really being out the sparkle of the glass. Very well done.
June 19, 2007 5:22 PM  
🙂 Silvia said…
How did you do those terrific washes? Especially the melons, they just look so good, so yummy :))

Summer guests

Every summer our Bed and Breakfast is fully booked. Mostly by regulars who visit year after year, finding our meals unsurpassed, our hospitality most gracious and our facilities nothing but quality; in short, five star accommodation at a reasonable price.
Mr Frog arrived later than usual this year and is still awaiting the lady of this affair to arrive. Every evening he protests his discontentment at her not being here yet, in his distinguished baritone voice. I hope she arrives soon, I don’t like seeing my guests unhappy.


Once again we had the honor of assisting in the arrival of Mr and Mr Swallow’s young ones. What a lovely couple they are, so caring and loving and protective of the live they have created. the happy event happened only 5 days ago and it was a grand event here. We opened up a bottle of bubbly and all the guests attended to celebrate the wonder of new life and admire the 5 adorable infants.


 Miss White butterfly brought many more of her friends along this year and I really had to be inventive to accommodate all these teenagers. But I love every minute of their delightful company! We have come into the habit of sharing an hour or so together every afternoon, where I learn from them all about being a delicate and beautiful and delightful adolescent again. Along with the ever roaming dark and handsome bees, they enjoy energetic parties until late night, Fortunately the neighbors haven’t complained yet. I suspect they know and understand all about the habits of these young people.


 We are also very honored to accommodate very well-known international models in our B&B every year, miss Dragonfly and company. They keep mostly to themselves, are very discreet and love their privacy. But when the moment shows itself, I’ll stare at them shamelessly, wishing I had their elegance and beauty Soon they will all be moving on to make room for the next half of the summer guests, leaving me just enough time to tidy up, restock the pantry and put out fresh flowers. The arrival of our summer guests, is a highlight in the season, something we look forward to year after year.
All these sketches were done in pen and WC in moleskine.



Tonniece said…
It sounds so super there, with all the guests, the night sounds, and the beginnings of new life.
Wonderful wc’s depicting all that activity.
June 13, 2007 11:17 PM  
Jenny said…
You have such beautiful, interesting guests! Seems they give you infinite pleasure in return for your excellent accommodations. You are wise to appreciate your exciting life.
June 13, 2007 11:30 PM  
Lin said…
June 13, 2007 11:34 PM  
Andrew said…
too much fun…couldnt wait to see what you were terming your summer guests…lol
June 14, 2007 12:00 AM  
Anonymous said…
Love this B&B!hfm
June 14, 2007 12:48 AM  
juj said…
Your sketches are – as always – simply wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the story. I have a much nicer perspective on the wildlife in my yard now. Thanks for the much needed break in my day.
June 14, 2007 12:54 AM  
Brenda Y said…
You had me going!! I was thinking, “hmm, I didn’t know Ronell ran a B & B,” only to discover very shortly the true identity of your “guests!” Outstanding story and FABULOUS sketches!! Loved every word and brush stroke.
June 14, 2007 1:21 AM  
bec said…
you had me going too! so cool, I thought….she runs a b&b! HA! You’ve brought your guests to life for me with your beautiful watercolors! Thank you!
June 14, 2007 2:22 AM  
mARTa said…
Well, it’s not going to take much more than this to convince me that I MUST come for a night and see what all this magic is about! I’ll have to email you soon so we can work out some dates! Will the dragonfly models be gone by October…so sad that I might miss them! What a midsummer night’s dream you live!
June 14, 2007 4:01 AM  
Nancy said…
I love it when I click on my digest e-mail and find that you have posted new sketches. It makes my day!
June 14, 2007 4:03 AM  
good with color said…
These are some of the nicet summer drawings/paintings I have seen in a long time. They will be great to look back to when cold weather returns with its different visitors. Your accompanying notes are a joy to read.
June 14, 2007 5:48 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a treat! These are just delightful, Ronell. It’s so much fun to see all your ‘guests’ close up. I feel honored to have heard Mr. Frog complaining in person. You’ve brightened up this grey day for me – thank you!
June 14, 2007 11:32 AM  
Ujwala said…
i love all of them! very very nice. i hope mr frog finds his companion soon.
June 14, 2007 1:18 PM  
Lindsay said…
Ronell! I did not know you ran a B and B for such elegant visitors. I’m very impressed. My compliments to the gardner!This post is the essance of summer!
June 14, 2007 3:17 PM  
Sandy said…
Love your B&B post with the description of its’ guests. This was so fun Ronell. Paintings are beautiful and delicate as usual. Don’t let those teenagers wear ya out okay…I’m having the same problem with mine…very energetic and raucous…I must subscribe to your emails..I always come late to the party.sandy
June 14, 2007 5:07 PM  
Christeen said…
What a charming narrative- I felt like I was there, marveling at your guests in person 🙂
Your paintings are beautiful!
June 14, 2007 5:14 PM  
Sandy said…
Ronell, you are just a blast – Lovely work as always! What a treat to be your Guest!!
June 14, 2007 5:15 PM  
Diahn said…
How lovely! If you ever start accepting human guests, I believe I’ll have to make a flight over and stay a while – such fabulous and interesting company it would be!!
June 14, 2007 6:02 PM  
Carole said…
Your blog is just a delight to read and look at! You’ve managed to make me smile on a cold, wet day here – thank you.
June 14, 2007 6:19 PM  
Robyn said…
They are beautiful guests, Ronell, the very best kind, I think. I would adore to have Swallows born in my garden and a cloud of butterflies in the lavender was one of my most magical early memories of a European summer.
Now I’m going to subscribe to your blog so I don’t arrive last with my praise!
June 14, 2007 7:40 PM  
Lynn said…
What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I love your sketches.
June 14, 2007 9:47 PM  
Dave said…
You make it look and sound idyllic! Wonderful post.
June 15, 2007 12:03 AM  
martha said…
Wonderful nature sketches – so loose and colorful!
June 15, 2007 12:54 AM  
phthaloblu said…
What wonderful sketches and I just love the way you write! It’s what makes your blog so interesting.
June 15, 2007 1:40 AM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
Ok Ronell, here’s the deal. You have a contest offering the winner a weeks all expenses paid vacation to your b & b, then you pretend to honestly pick the winner… but all along it will be me that gets to come. Oh what fun it will be.Oh the other hand…. have you ever given thought of writing an illistrated book of a summer or fall etc in the life of Ronell? I think it would be wonderful to read and look at. You have such a way with words and paints…….. Give it some thought, for us, your fans.
June 15, 2007 5:16 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the kind comments.
You made an interesting point there, Sandy and Robyn…subscribing to a blog? I don’t know how that works and thought that was for “professional bloggers”…I would also like to subscribe to some work, because I also arrive late with comments…tell me too how to do it!
June 15, 2007 6:28 PM  
Desiree said…
OH what fun you are! I loved the story and was ready to sign up to visit your B&B, maybe you should think about writing ads for peoples business’! Great work.
June 15, 2007 7:21 PM  
Sandy said…
oh boy…how to have a subscribe button..I would go to the dashboard and read up from there. Maybe it will talk about it. If not just google how to put email subscription on blog, that ought to do it..but I would definitely sign up. I wanna be in line FIRST…its’ all about me, don’t ya know..hahaha.
June 16, 2007 7:30 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
This was such a delight to read and see. I’m awed by your creativeness, sense of humor and talent. A little butterfly landed on my knee the other day in my backyard and I got to study it for a quite awhile. It reminded me of how my mother used to give me “butterfly kisses” with her eyelashes as it was so delicate and gentle.
June 17, 2007 8:08 AM  
luci said…
Love, *love*, the story, Ronell. And of course the beautiful pictures that illustrate it all. Your garden is as magical as the one in Secret Garden. 🙂

Urns and tennis

I have a passion for urns…Medici, cast iron, soapstone, old stone…I love their shape and touch and smell, their poise and nobility. While I watched the tennis today, my hands looked for something to do. Since I’ve been longing to do a few urns for some time now, I thought I should start right away with the first one, an old French cast iron urn. The first painting is oil on linen which I did a few years ago.It is close to my heart.



This next one is one of three watercolors I did while watching the ladies final at Roland Garos this afternoon. I wanted to go for the same composition as the oil just for comparison. This was the last of my attempts and probably the one closest to what I intended. Maybe because by this time the tennis result was a clear cut thing, no doubt who the winner would be, so my attention was mostly on the paper.The shape is awkward though, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I’m never too fixed on realism. My watercolors are a bit sloppy lately, but my goal is to bring more expressionism into them, to accentuate color more and the big one …to fiddle less


This sketch comes in second. I’m not happy with it, although there is something that makes me look at it again. It is very wild and uncontrolled, dark a with lot of confusing leaves….that actually sounds very much like my mind…. or it could be the tennis. By this stage in the match, it was a very one-sided gameAnd finally, my first attempt right at the beginning of the match, when I still thought it was going to be a tough battle and my attention was eagerly turned more to the game.


There is really no interest in this one, very flat and floating with no excitement. After these attempts I had enough of this urn, however much I love it. I’ll try some others for next time




Dave said…
Interesting exercise to paint the same thing three times. I like all of them, but I think I agree with your order of preference. The oil is outstanding!
June 9, 2007 7:43 PM  
Renate said…
I’m in love with the oil painting. There is something very intriguing in it. Maybe the way you get the light … Don’t know. But it’s great!
June 9, 2007 7:59 PM  
Sandy said…
Love the oil painting too and of the three, my favorite is the bottom one…just gorgeous. But…I’m still thinking about that outdoor kithen and alfresco cooking…yum…I’m hungry..
June 9, 2007 9:35 PM  
🙂 Silvia said…
All of the paintings are great, but the first one is really outstanding :)!! It’s understandable that you are very fond of it.
June 9, 2007 11:18 PM  
Robyn said…
The urn was the winner on the day. Beautiful all ways. I love the oil – awesome, but my favourite of your ‘tennis’ paintings is the first one. Smashing!
June 9, 2007 11:18 PM  
janey said…
Yes the oil is excellent but actually my favorite is the last one. I like the freedom and the colors.
June 10, 2007 12:43 AM  
Jenny said…
I like them all, and there’s no reason for me to pick one over the others. :)Sports on television cannot hold my attention and something else to do must me found. Needlework is my usual choice if it’s at an uncomplicated point.
June 10, 2007 2:07 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Ronell, whenever I stop paying attention I miss another fabulous post! this is great, I’ve always loved that oil, and it looks wonderful here – I think my favorite of the watercolors is the last one – it looks like you’re sure of your subject and know where you wanted to go with it, maybe because the composition is a bit simpler. Delightful.
June 10, 2007 4:56 PM  
Lindsay said…
Wow! You have an amazing eye for detail! Great wc sketches too.
June 10, 2007 4:58 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
hese are all amazing and I’m so envious of your oil technique. I think my favorite images of the urn though are the first one (the oil) and the last one. The surface of the urn in the oil is perfect and it looks so weighty and substantial. The values in the last watercolor image are just right and it really stands out.
June 11, 2007 6:45 AM  
hfm said…
Love your persistency… and for me they are good and transparent as I like them.
June 11, 2007 10:40 AM  
Anita said…
Oh Ronell, we share a passion. I can’t pass an urn or a column or ballistrade without running my hands along it’s curves…Which can be rather embarassing for those who are with me at times. LOL!
Your paintings are beautiful. The oil is exceptional and the watercolours show your personality, knowledge of subject and love of colour.
Truly gorgeous!
June 11, 2007 12:40 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for your commenst…I rellay apprecieate it.
June 11, 2007 4:09 PM  
Bonny said…
Fabulous, Ronell! To me, all the urn sketches are interesting for their own sake. I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated on drawing one thing several times to compare the results. Neat idea!
June 11, 2007 4:21 PM  
Laureline said…
Hey, I love that last one—so what am I, chopped liver?? The whole group is such fun to see and, as always, your narrative is charming and compelling, too.
June 11, 2007 8:10 PM  
Sandy said…
Each rendition is wonderful in it’s own – I cannot sit still to do the same subject repeatedly but this shows how much variety can be achieved – Great work as always.
June 11, 2007 8:17 PM  
wagonized said…
Such an intricate shape to draw / paint. The first one blows me away, quite simply. I think oil is very appropriate for the weight of the urn.
June 12, 2007 5:22 AM  
Carole said…
How do you find the patience to paint the same thing three times! You must learn a lot from doing so. I love the differences in these three paintings, and they all have characteristics that I like. I like the loose expressive style and think you’ve achieved it well. My favourite is, of course, the oil painting. It’s simply stunning.
June 12, 2007 6:31 PM  
Tonniece said…
As always lovely pieces. The oil painting is wonderful Ronell.
June 13, 2007 11:13 PM  
Andrew said…
wowoowwww these are just awesome…so did you watch much of the match:>
June 14, 2007 12:01 AM  
Serena said…
WOW! I’m flat out painting something once let alone four times. The oil is my absolute favourite but the other’s are vibrant with colour and flair. Well done, Ronell ~
June 20, 2007 6:20 AM  
platitudinal said…
I love how your paintings give us hints of your self, Ronell. Today we learn that you have a passion for urns and the reason behind it.Your talent never ceases to amaze me.

From shade to shade in summer

In summer we travel from shade to shade.

Early mornings, cup of coffee in hand, are spent on the terrace, sitting on a rock at the entrance to one of our caves and contemplating. The shade of the huge cliff at your back is a welcome relief after a hot night’s suffering. These stairs, leading up to the terrace, were done in pen and watercolor, on Fabriano WC paperHP(extra white).


After all that meditating and musing, while watching the sun brightening the skies, it is time to move out of the shade and into the working shoes, which are ready on the go at the kitchen door. These are actually the working boots of Hartman, mine wasn’t to be found, but they aren’t as characterful as his anyway. But, pretending they are mine, they will prune and dig and weed and water, while the sun still has a gentle caress. This was done in pen and watercolor on Fabriano CP paper.


All the prunings and snippings of early morning will go into some vase somewhere in the house as well as an empty container in the garden in a shady spot, like the mint in this old kettle on a crooked, rusty chair. This corner was sketched in pen and watercolor on Fabriano HP(extra white)


Finally the day will end in the welcoming shade of our summer kitchen right at the back of the garden, where we enjoy the most wonderful alfresco meals, prepared by Hartman. (The door right at the back goes into a cave, which accounts for the wonderful coolness in summer)This is his kingdom, where he cooks and fries and experiments and flips and flops, with me in the role of sous-chef and lighting candles and lanterns, picking herbs, fiddling here and meddling there. We play guitar and sing and eat and while away the beautiful summer evenings, ending it all with some more contemplating and musing. Tomorrow we’ll start the day again, moving from shade tot shade. This was done in watercolor on Fabriano HP.



Christeen said…
Wow- what a great entry! Thanks for sharing this illustrated peek into a summer day for you and Hartman… gorgeous stuff!
June 7, 2007 6:13 PM  
Sandy said…
So lovely Ronell and restful and light – makes me yearn to get out into my garden.
June 7, 2007 6:22 PM  
Dave said…
Lovely to hear about your summer days and to see your illustrations of it!
June 7, 2007 7:56 PM  
Robyn said…
I love them all but the mint in the kettle is my favourite. Delightful post as usual, Ronell and I learn for the first time that Hartman likes to cook. We are so lucky to have such men! Your garden, with all its special nooks, looks like paradise
June 7, 2007 8:03 PM  
Claudia said…
I enjoyed v e r y much reading your blog entry and seeing the wonderful, loose sketches!!! Keep up the good work!!!
June 7, 2007 9:15 PM  
Bonny said…
Ronell, you have been busy doing these lovely paintings! They are all fabulous! My favourite one is of the teapot and the mint growing in it. The ‘cave’ is fascinating because of the perspective and the story behind it.
Thanks for sharing!
June 7, 2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous said…
Gorgeous work! I love the shoes.hfm
June 7, 2007 10:50 PM  
mARTa said…
oh, I am envious of you as well! These are all so lovely and inviting! I am already in a mental travel mode and anticipating my trip this fall. I am so excited about meeting you, Casey and Robyn! My day was spent having my nails done, a pedicure and out for sushi with my husband and then an art show this evening. Maybe tomorrow I should play in the garden!
June 8, 2007 12:23 AM  
Susan Hosken said…
Yours is the first shade challenge response I’ve seen. I can’t think of what to do so was pleased to see your response.
Lots of love from Susan in Australia
June 8, 2007 12:46 AM  
Lin said…
WOWOW!!! What a way to live a life .. what spectacular sketching and painting!! I am awed!
June 8, 2007 1:16 AM  
Brenda Y said…
If there were “best blog entry” awards–you would get it!! What a fascinating narative of a day in the life of. . . The drawings and loose watercolor technique is absolutely FANTASTIC! My favorite is your summer kitchen/cave entrance–OHMYGOSH I would absolutely LOVE to cook in that kitchen!!! What a wonderful life and so happy you share it with us-THANKS!!
June 8, 2007 2:11 AM  
Lindsay said…
I love your “day in the life of”.
Lovely sketches. The stairs are so lyrical!! Thanks for sharing a slice of your day.
June 8, 2007 2:56 AM  
Ujwala said…
sketches are lovely and the post well written. i especially like the first one because you’ve tackled perspective which is one of my stumbling blocks.
June 8, 2007 5:44 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
What a beautiful, poetic rendering of you private world, there behind the big old wooden gate. Those cars buzzing past have no idea what a paradise you’re hiding!
June 8, 2007 9:00 AM  
Stacy said…
Lovely story, beautiful paintings and the perfect way to spend a summer day! Thanks for sharing!
June 8, 2007 2:58 PM  
Carole said…
What an idyllic way to spend the day – thanks for sharing! Beautiful paintings, as always. I don’t know how you manage to keep them so loose and casual looking, and yet have such accuracy in things like the chair, steps and perspective. You talented lady!
June 8, 2007 4:32 PM  
Nancy Van Blaricom said…
What a wonderful story teller… I could read a whole book with you as the author … bravo!I can’t pick a favorite of your watercolors….. I want them all. Beautiful colors depicting a summer day.
June 8, 2007 4:43 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
lovely as usual…what time is dinner???:> and whats hartmann cooking?!
June 8, 2007 5:31 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hi RonellI frequently visit you block to check on latest post and commentaries. Normally I refrain from commenting but this time around I can not resist. Maybe I was compelled by the fact that I was implicated so much this time around.Being true to your philosophy of telling stories with painting I could read much more in your carefully constricted associated text. Of course I have an additional advantage above your normal critiques by the fact that I know these place so well myself. But what the heck something must compensate for my lack of artistic expertise.For instance I could feel the shade and almost smell the associated odor of the moss on the wall while looking at the painting of the stairs. I could sense the relive of the end of the days work in the garden associated in the pair of shoes hinting to fact that they have been taken off only moments ago. The mint in the cattle spoke of you and the combination of your love for the garden and antiques. I could not help to immediately visualize many moments of joy in the garden or “brocante” after an unusual find.However what struck me most was the emotions and many memories of good times that were evoked by looking at the painting of summer kitchen.I believe that artist are feeling good if the can touch people and their emotions with their art. If they can get people to act or react they are in euphoria. Well…. This time around you can reach euphoria because looking at all of this it moves me to stop working immediately……. make may my way home…… to our summer kitchen…. to start a fire …… so I can be KING..Well done RonellHartman
June 8, 2007 5:32 PM  
Teri C said…
STUNNING!!! The art and the commentary!! As the paintings downloaded I loved the next one and then the next one. Just stunning!!!
June 8, 2007 6:01 PM  
Robyn said…
Okay – that’s done it! Now I’m in love with Hartman!
June 8, 2007 7:28 PM  
Sandy said…
I’m ready to move.. Can I catch a plane tomorrow. Will you meet me at the airport. Can I eat with you. Can I sit in the shade with Hartman. Wonderful wonderful post and paintings…sandy
June 8, 2007 7:59 PM  
Lynn said…
Absolutely wonderful! What a fabulous life you live. You are an inspiration.
June 8, 2007 10:21 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you so much for all your kind and encouraging comments and a special thanks to Hartman for his appreciation…for having had me sitting and crying here…because I’m happy.
Hie hie Robyn, you make me laugh…you and your husband should hop on the plane and come visit…them men can cook and we can…well..do what we do best?
And that goes for you too Sandy, come and cook and eat!
Thanks everybody!
June 8, 2007 11:18 PM  
bec said…
wish I had a summer kitchen… is it really in a cave? lovely paintings!
June 8, 2007 11:19 PM  
mARTa said…
ah ronelle…is that invite still open to me next fall? LOL…I’m in love with Hartman now too!
June 9, 2007 6:43 AM  
Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said…
What wonderful art and words!tea
June 9, 2007 5:01 PM  
Robyn said…
Oh Ronell, we’d so love to come but our dogs have shocking table manners!
June 9, 2007 11:23 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are beautiful paintings and great commentary.