Page 61 of 63

Fresh from the sea

 A drawing in ink and wash. I started out, planning this to be a painting, but somehow it ended up as a sketch with a wash. I chose the wrong day to do a painting…a bit low on energy that day. I used one of my photographs I took on my recent trip and it can clearly be seen in this sketch – it is lifeless and without feeling, without energy. I find that I cannot do a sketch from a photograph, somehow I don’t have the ability to give it …oomph..
Click on the image for a larger view ( hope it works this time, since I have been having problems with this clicking-thing.))
This sketch is pen and wash on Fabriano hotpressed paper.


Bonny said…
Ronelle, I think you’re being a bit too hard on yourself. This is a great sketch!
If you really, really think this is medioce (which I don’t agree with), think of it this way:
The sketch is a nice reminder of your trip and what you saw that particular day. When you look at this weeks and months down the road, you will be reminded of that day.
I like this. I can make a story from what I see in the sketch: what the fisherman is doing or thinking, what he might do next. It’s a wonderful sketch!
March 25, 2007 4:00 AM  
casey said…
From here, this looks active, vibrant, spontaneous – everything a sketch should be! I don’t see what you don’t like about it. This is beautiful work, Ronell.
March 25, 2007 5:38 PM  
Lin said…
March 25, 2007 8:02 PM  
Africantapestry said…
thanks for the comments…I do feel better about the sketch, Thanks!
March 26, 2007 8:24 AM  
mARTa said…
Ronelle….this is how I wish to paint! This is so lively and reminds me is many ways of a Singer-Sargent….really lovely
March 29, 2007 5:44 PM  
df said…
hi ronelle thanks for visiting my blog so that I could get to yours! I love this sketch. It’s very loose and energetic. Of course we have to work from photos every now and then. There’s no way I could ask everyone that I wanted to paint to hold the pose for twenty minutes. Can you imagine asking the fish guy to just hold it for a minute?
Plus, I love the self portrait that you have in your profile area. Very wonderful!

In the limelight

I finally finished this oilpainting. It took my some time though. I can’t say how long…too embarressing. I have been sidetracked by unimportant things for a while there, hopefully I’m back on track now. (Click on the image to enlarge)
I love working in oil and I enjoy using it “dramatically”. It is not a medium where I wish to be delicate and thoughtful and now I don’t mean being disrespectful to it either by being sloppy and messy. Since oil is such a wonderful medium to push around with your brush, or knife as in this case, I enjoy going for extremes, where the endresults aren’t always “pretty” or even pleasing to the eye, but where a lot of telling and emotion is conveyed to the viewer.
This was done from a series of photographs I took at a dance one evening.

oil with painting knives on canvas.

65 cm x 81 cm



Lindsay said…
You have a very expressive brush! Lovely drama and intemacy in this one.
March 24, 2007 2:35 PM  
Carole said…
I love this type of painting – lively, expressive, colourful and emotional. Sorry I can’t help on the blogger problem, as I gave up on blogger when the beta version gave me huge headaches!
March 24, 2007 6:14 PM  
Teri C said…
Gosh, it’s great and looks like it was fun to do.
March 24, 2007 7:17 PM  
E-J said…
I have dabbled in oils and find them very challenging. I like your use of the medium, and I don’t see this as being sloppy or messy.The couple have such sweet faces!
March 24, 2007 10:39 PM  
casey said…
Congratulations on getting this done! It looks great, Ronell!
March 25, 2007 5:41 PM  
Ujwala said…
I like your style and this painting very much!
March 26, 2007 5:56 AM  
Africantapestry said…
thanks for the nice comments, everyone…oil is very close to my heart and the good thoughts here are wonderful encouragements!

A doorknob is a thing of art

I love the doorknobs in my home. There are many. All the rooms have french doors that open onto a balcony. I counted all the doors – 12 of them. So I decided to draw them. I also enjoy hanging stuff on to the doors, as you’ll see and that changes with every whim.
In the guestroom, always a flower glass with something from the garden, in this case a daffodil.


In the bathroom, an old star made from recycled tin, which I bought from an old retired farmer, when we lived in South Carolina…I can still hear him say with a long, southern drawl: “Oh, lordiee, lordiee..” What a fun old man he was!


Then the market basket is always on the ready at the living room door.

And here comes a little cheating as well…a door yes, but not really a doorknob, only a huge, beautiful old key. I used an old door I found at the back in one of our caves and made a bulletin board out of it, on which I hung this key and a wooden “Bonheur” heart, which really does give “Happiness” above my desk.


OK, so maybe they aren’t all doorknobs, but purely for my enjoyment here, I depict them as such


…a pretty porcelain handle to the bathroom and last but not least, the heavy brass handle from the large green painted wooden gates. It is always tarnished but looks glorious once it is cleaned. Which happens only when I need to get rid of bad energy. Then I’m stuck with a tennis elbow for the next 6 weeks.

There are still more doorknobs and handles and levers and keys, but I’m done now with doorknobs being a thing of art.

Sue said…
I agree with you about the door knobs. How wonderful you get to have all different doorknobs! Great drawings. Nice touch including the things hanging on the doorknobs.
March 22, 2007 5:51 PM  
Teri C said…
What a MARVELOUS collection of door knobs and accessories! I loved reading about your experiences with them and the drawings. Just wonderful!
March 22, 2007 5:55 PM  
rful post, Ronell. Your watercolors are really good – and I had fun trying to recognize each doorknob.
March 22, 2007 6:47 PM  
Susan Cornelis said…
I enjoyed the tour of your doorknobs. What a wonderful home ful of art you’ve created!
March 22, 2007 9:45 PM  
Carole said…
Oh my goodness, you have been busy! I love how you’ve done this as a series of doorknobs. Beautiful lively illustrations – I love the way you’ve used the watercolour wash so loosely.
March 22, 2007 9:53 PM  
Dave said…
What a great house you must have! I love these.
March 22, 2007 10:50 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody, for the kind comments…they are much appreciated, like always.
March 22, 2007 11:18 PM  
Shirley said…
What a wonderful collection and fabulous watercolor paintings of them. Thanks for sharing your house with us.
March 22, 2007 11:49 PM  
Lin said…
What a WONDERFUL doorknob study — to say NOTHING about your FANTASTIC rendering of them!!! WONDERFULLY DONE …exquisite execution!
March 23, 2007 12:18 AM  
Anita said…
Such an enjoyable collection of sketches!
March 23, 2007 1:29 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Wow, what wonderful doorknobs. We once lived in an old house (a run down leaky monster that had been condemned, when we were poor) but it had really neat antique glass doorknobs. The doorknobs you drew are awesome, I really like them! 🙂
March 23, 2007 5:35 AM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Ok these are good – very good. A fabulous collection of doorknobs. Your style works so well with the subject. Great colour. Lovely work.
March 23, 2007 10:39 AM  
Laura said…
Ronelle, these are AMAZING!! I love seeing all the variations and plays on form and color. The green door is my favorite, though I like every single one of them. You and Casey must have such fun together–I’d love to come and sketch with you! Maybe on one of my next trips to France…
March 23, 2007 12:23 PM  
Laura said…
Oops, sorry I added that extra ‘e’ to your name, Ronell. Old spelling habits die hard ;D.
March 23, 2007 12:24 PM  
🙂 Silvia said…
I just don’t know what I like better, your watercolor paintings of your door knobs or your ideas how to decorate and style them. Both of them wonderful!
March 23, 2007 2:16 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks so much for the beautiful praise on what I’ve done here, it is so encouraging!
March 23, 2007 5:33 PM  
Christeen said…
These are SO COOL! Each painting is unique, and beautiful, and kudos to you for deciding to do a series about the humble doorknob. Love them!
March 23, 2007 7:31 PM  
“Maggie” said…
What a lovely door handle series! What a lovely home you must have and the door handles are so unique. What year was the home built?
March 24, 2007 2:46 PM  
E-J said…
They’re all wonderful, especially the last one with its gorgeous colours.
March 24, 2007 10:41 PM  
phthaloblu said…
How cool! These are beautiful paintings and such interesting subjects.
March 26, 2007 2:41 PM  
nik said…
Ronell, this is wonderful. I love the watercolors. They are so bright and brilliant.
March 30, 2007 6:39 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for the great encouragement and praise..I appreciate it!
March 30, 2007 9:13 AM  
Sandy said…
wow wow wow

A bowl is a bowl…is a bowl

According to most dictionaries a bowl is a round container, wider than it is deep and holds foods or fluids….That is apart from all the other meanings…shapes, sports, etc. So I took to searching my house for bowls. There are many. But then I also found other “containers” which I find have no boundaries in terms of their function.
I often use this big platter for meat dishes, salads, but I have also used it as a bowl, since it is just deep enough to prevent sauces from dripping over the sides…platter…or bowl?


Next I thought of, was my mother’s silver sugar container, I now use as a spoonholder. Since I grew up never asking :” Please pass the sugarpot/caddy/bowl”, but simply: “Pass the sugar”, I still don’t know what it really is, and should I now maybe ask to be passed the spoonbowl?


The third find in my home was the bird bath. Although it is frequented now by the birds for bathing and our cats for drinking, it did in its newly bought years serve us humans of the house well as a fruit bowl al fresco style.


Birdbath, spoonholder, platter, bowl…it is all in the eye of the beholder.


karen said…
Very nice line and wash, Ronell!
March 19, 2007 10:10 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are really nice! Great job!
March 19, 2007 10:15 PM  
Teri C said…
Really nice bowls! You did a great on all the bowls.
March 19, 2007 11:04 PM  
Linda said…
Great, great, and great! Wonderful highlights, which makes them just zing! 🙂
March 20, 2007 1:02 AM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
osh these are good but I especially love the top one. It’s funny how you can see the skill involved more clearly in the most simple of images. Gorgeous. What medium did you use?
March 20, 2007 2:30 AM  
SCquiltaddict said…
Very nice work…love the wash
March 20, 2007 3:00 AM  
Christeen said…
These are so beautiful- nice work!
March 20, 2007 5:07 AM  
Sydney Harper said…
Nicely done! They are all lovely but my favorite is the third one.
March 20, 2007 5:32 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the wonderful comments..
Andrea, my mediums were pen and just plain old black watercolor.
March 20, 2007 8:33 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
wow, you’ve been busy! I love these ink and wash drawings you’ve been doing – I agree with Andrea – they’re all really good, but the first one is a stunner!
March 20, 2007 8:58 AM  
Emma Pod said…
These are all beautiful! It’s amazing what can be done with variations of just one color.
March 20, 2007 7:43 PM  
Lin said…
GORGEOUS! Those washes are just scrumptiously done!! BRAVA!
March 20, 2007 9:52 PM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Beautiful Bowls! There’s just something about the first one, the simple one, that I really like. 🙂
March 20, 2007 10:30 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks again for the encouraging comments…they really inspire me to keep working at it!
March 20, 2007 11:08 PM  
Deb Salter said…
Your use of wash is just magical!
March 21, 2007 5:28 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you, Deb…”magical” does make my heart go completely wild!
March 21, 2007 8:36 PM  
“Maggie” said…
I just love this sketch of the spoon bowl-beautiful. I have one too sitting on my table filled with silver spoons we use every day.

Mood in a flame

After having glorious days last week, the rain settled back in yesterday, with a daring chill after the warmth of those perfect days. That drove me to a long, luxurious bath last night. As I watched my candle’s flame flickering mysterious images against the wall, I thought I’d post a drawing of this mood in a candle…

Ink and wash on Arches water color paper.

I made so many mistakes in this one – once again misjudged the size of my paper, tried to correct an off-centre line by putting in more line, thus accentuating the problem(left side above), keep on fiddling with the flame so it became completely without ambiance, and left too few “lost edges” by continuing coming back and doing more lines. The learning process is an uphill journey all the time….


SCquiltaddict said…
LOVELY JOB …sweet candlestick…
March 18, 2007 6:53 PM  
Sandy said…
Maybe you had problems with is flame but I love the cherub and the overall structure and depth you achieved (yes we are all on the same journey uphill 😉
March 18, 2007 7:20 PM  
phthaloblu said…
So beautiful! And I think the flame just adds a mysterious prescence to the overall piece. I love it!
March 19, 2007 2:41 AM  
Emma Pod said…
The cherub candlestick is exquisite! Great job. And all of your vine drawings/paintings are beautiful. This is my first visit to your blog – lovely! Thanks for visiting mine.
March 19, 2007 3:16 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
This is realy beautiful. 🙂
March 19, 2007 8:22 AM  
Lin said…
This is incredibly beautiful! Such wonderful shading!
March 19, 2007 12:00 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody for visiting, I appreciate all your comments!

Picking grapes

These are my last sketches on the vineyards and grape picking in Stellenbsoch. They were done in pen and wash. I plan on using all these sketches to put together a series of paintings…hopefully it will move beyond planning!
This was much more difficult than sketching the “pickers” when they were taking a break. They really picked so fast and their heads were constantly bobbing up and down in the vineyard. Just as I thought I could capture one, he would disappear. In the end I stood further back to only capture glimpses of color in the vineyards.
The first sketch is of one of the many women pickers. This woman had such a presence about her and after a few hopeless attempts to sketch her picking, I asked her if she would keep still for maybe just one minute? The minute turned out to be much shorter than I know a minute to be, but I did manage to get her down.

The last sketch of the pressing machine was very boring for me to draw. I don’t like machines of any kind, except of course my coffee machine…I didn’t succeed in capturing it’s function, so it is hard to see what happens where, but at least you have an where the grapes fall into the shaft…








caseytoussaint said…
Wow, Ronell, these are incredible. They tell so much – travel journaling at it’s best. I hope there are more to come!
March 16, 2007 6:41 PM  
Lin said…
These are STUNNING!!! Fresh, VIBRANT! GREAT USE of ink and wash — lovely lovely lovely!! DITTO!! MORE !!!
March 16, 2007 10:33 PM  
gabi campanario said…
ronell, i can blog-travel to these vineyards thanks to these moments you captured so well with your pen and washes! i really like them. the first one is my favorite. look forward to more!
March 17, 2007 4:33 AM  
Ujwala said…
the whole series of them are fabulous! and i hope that you do get around to making paintings from them.
March 17, 2007 8:15 AM  
Jana Bouc said…
Wonderful work! All that’s missing is the glass of wine! You really captured all the steps along the way and your drawings of people are really excellent! I love the colors.
March 17, 2007 5:21 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you all, for the encouraging comments..
March 17, 2007 9:07 PM  
Anonymous said…
Hi Ronell This looks cool.
March 18, 2007 3:00 PM  
phthaloblu said…
What can I say except that these are just beautiful!
March 19, 2007 2:39 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Oh my gosh, these are just beautiful. Really nice work!!! …by the way, “Peeps” are little marshmallow candies coated in colored sugar. I just did a second Peep drawing on my art blog and also wrote a bit about peeps and provided pictures and links. Heheheh. 🙂
March 19, 2007 8:22 AM  
“Maggie” said…
Ronell,I love your loose sketches and colors of the vineyards and that capture moments of time. Wonderful!I want to say thank you for visiting my blog and glad you liked my blind contour. I love drawing them!

March 19, 2007 1:14 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you everybody for the nice comments, I really appraciate your visiting!

Napping in the shade of the vines

Here is the second batch of sketches of my trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The first two sketches – pencil and watercolor on hotpressed Fabriano paper.

The last three – ink and wash on rough Canson paper, which I am quite happy with – it gives a feel of the roughness of the day and the job…grape picking isn’t so romantic when the heat comes down on your shoulders at about 35 degrees C.

I did the sketching on the spot and the washes later that afternoon. I was mostly interested in catching their actions and gestures and since they were clothed in all the colors of the rainbow, I could only run through my whole color palette afterwards to depict that.

As for the light – it was in the middle of the day and far too white to be spectacular.

I really enjoyed this day of drawing. The Cape folk are so easy to get along with – they take life in their stride, aren’t afraid to laugh, to joke, to talk, to differ and their wit has no equal! They were on lunch break and didn’t mind at all that I sketched them while they were taking naps. In fact, they ganged up behind me, looking to see who the next one was to be sketched, making suggestions, made jokes, even gave advice. I shared in their lunches and drinks, but unfortunately couldn’t share in the napping…would’ve liked to though!!

I had such fun.

I hope I did capture some romance in these napping in the shade of the vines….







Susan Cornelis said…
THanks for sharing all this wonderful sun and relaxation. I really get it from this post, pictures and text!
March 14, 2007 6:06 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
I just love these Ronell – thanks for sharing a little bit of your vacation with us! The colors are beautiful – well done!
March 14, 2007 9:17 PM  
Christeen said…
These just carried me away- what a great job with the colors, and the people’s positions are really believable- well done!
March 15, 2007 6:44 PM  
Jana Bouc said…
These are great. From your colors it looks like it was really hot–no wonder everyone was taking siestas.
March 17, 2007 5:19 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for the nice comments…much appreciated.
March 17, 2007 9:10 PM  
phthaloblu said…
Your sketches are so beautiful! You really got the postures of the people down so well that you can actually feel them napping.