Children’s art for a celebration.

I am off to Toulouse for the weekend to celebrate 2 important occasions. Our eldest daugter’s birthday and the end of her architecture studies….well, not completely, but the most important project was presented today.

I am excited for her, stepping into a whole new adventure. No more the little girl, running barefoot, but a  soon to be working young woman(who promised to build our retirement home on the rocks, overlooking the ocean!). These  are some of the drawings from both girls’ barefoot years.

…This collage hangs in our home and I hung it years ago, when, as young parents, we had very little money. I bought a second hand frame for a few cents and fixed it at home.  It was our first “original painting”. And it still looks the same. These drawings are of their first recognizable drawings, don’t ask me when, I can’t remember…

…The next few drawings were done over the years..

…Liandri painted the fish when she was 14 years and we lived in Clemson, South Carolina…

…These last two were done by Marinell when she was 16 in SC…


To take a break or not…

I’ve been away from sketching and drawing and painting for almost 4 weeks. Our Flying Pictures Project got me back into it. And I struggled. My hand felt dumb, my mind was foggy, my imagination was glum and even my committment and desire were flimsy. And that brought the question to my mind: “Is it good to take a break?”

…digging deep…

Watercolour, pencil and rotring pen on Fabriano artistico  HP, 23×30,5 cm.

It will probably be different for everybody.

As for myself and some people I’ve spoken to lately: ….to take a break, is fine. To take a long break, is disasterous. Whether it is a break from art, or work, or excercise or singing, design, or studies, or whatever. Routine sounds like a dull, boring, unartistic word. But it is in fact routine that gets us to be committed and effective, creative and original, inspired and determined. To break the routine for a definite period, is good for the body and soul. It is replenishing. But taking a break for an indefintite period can be dangerous.

Being away from art for 4 weeks, had me shying away more and more from the paper and brush. It felt too hard find the committment, the inspiration and the creativity. My excuses showed up more frequently and they got more creative in fact! I would promise myself that I would sit down for some painting an afternoon, just to quickly find that my afternoon was taken up by “a-lot-of-other-things-that-need-to-be-done-first”. Or I would blame lack of inspiration. Or even the weather.

It got easier to replace the joy of painting with other things I do enjoy. Photography and cooking. And writing. I also love gardening and designing.  But then there is my conscience. I have a terrible conscience. One that keeps me from sleeping and drives me to eating. My conscience stirred my guilt. For neglecting something that I truly love and enjoy. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that to take a break is almost like planning a vaction:

  • There is a beginning and an end in taking a break, which has to be decided on in your planning beforehand.
  • There is a “destination”; where is this break taking me? Do I want to spend more time on excercising or do I want to spend time with my loved ones..
  • “Not feeling inspired” is one of the most futile reasons for taking a break, which was part of my reason.
  • There is also a “budget” that must be adhered to. What will this break cost me? Will I not lose the new techniques that I’ve just starting working with?
  • And then there is the decision to fully enjoy the short break, knowing well when you’ll be back so as to not have your conscience breathing down your neck the whole time.

I now have to work on reestablishing my commitment,(which needs time to settle in) digging deep for my creativity(which must be excercised to surface), practice the new techniques I left hanging loose, and just start doing again without thinking…art wise that is!

Glimpses of the first two pages

Not to spoil her surprise, I present a glimpse into the first two pages of my sketchbook which is off to Lindsay. She’ll probably post the whole picture as well as the cover, on which we’ve all worked very hard and stressed about a lot on our different books.., when she receives the book and I’ll then update here as well as on Flying Pictures Project.


…first edition…

My sketchbook has taken to flight.

My sketchbook has taken off on its long journey to Lindsay in the US. This is how it looked just before I pushed it out of the nest to test its wings.

I baptised my little creation “Rainbow moments”, thinking that instead of chasing the “pot of gold” that is always somewhere else, we should look closer at home to find the beauty of the “small moments of rainbow”, right here in front of us and the bigger the mixture, the greater the beauty.

…cover…or wrapping…or dummy….or clue…?

This is my handmade sketchbook, going off to be something of a Phileas Fogg… which there are seven of involved in this voyage which we called the Flying Pictures Project; started off by Lindsay in the US, who acted on her wishful thinking and gathered us together from around the globe to act along with her. So, there is Robyn in Italy, Nina in Sweden, Vivien in the UK, and Glen in the UK and Caseyand I, in France. We decided to make our own books, accordion style, each one choosing what she wants to do with her book and starting off the journey with 2 and 1/2 pages of art. The person receiving it, will add her own paper and continue with her 2 and 1/2 pages of art. And so the journey continues until the books finally arrive back home after 6 stops. 

To be continued…

A breather in spring.

I have been taking a long break. I’m doing things I have been neglecting for some time, I’m enjoying spring and everything that goes along with it. I have been waiting a long time for summer to show up and now that it is here, I have to make every minute count, for it passes quickly. I’m basking in the fruits of the season. I have had an attack of fatigue and I am paying attention to my health. And I’m playing around on Myfrenchkitchen, which I’ve allowed to slip from me over the last few months. I’m stopping by here at Africantapestry just for a quick breather before I continue on my road of indulgence. And pretty soon I’ll be back here with full gusto.

Enjoy the season!

Watercolour and pen in sketchbook

…mangoes for spring…