5. Going to art class.


Since I could not paint at all until that day, you may wonder how I managed to actually do the cat. The process is called ‘textile painting’.  In other words, it is done on an ordinary piece of textile/cotton material using paints that are easily washed from your hands, but once on the material, it stays there.   It is meant to stay there.  It is called textile painting because you can paint on any textile, preferably cotton, that you use for cushion covers, tray cloths, curtains, dresses, jackets, table cloths, hats, handbags, even sneakers.  And you can wash it over and over and it will stay pretty.  And what makes the process so easy, is that some people that like to do design work, created line drawings, enlarged it to become a ‘paper pattern’ and with a layer of carbon paper you simply copied the picture onto the piece of cloth and then ‘paint by numbers’ according to the accompanying color picture.
That was crazy wonderful.  I could paint!  Never mind by what means, I could produce my very own painting!  Of course, guess who attended the next workshop?  Yep.  But whilst I had all afternoon to finish my first painting, in class we were only allowed 2 hours for two paintings.   I can remember vividly how stressful that was.  And can you belief it, another cat.  This time a blue one.  The guy who presented the class must have been crazy about cats.  Odd colored cats.  And then some flowers.

First flowers.
First flowers.
Blue cat.
Blue cat.

Check out the pink toenails!

Is this animal part cat
and part snail?

And by the way, these flowers are called poppy’s  (just in
case you wondered….)

Please do not ask me how I managed to position the text and the paintings above, I promise its purely accidental.   Would have helped if I KNEW how to do it.  But I am learning.

Learning to BLOG!

After three paintings,  surely I know how to paint…………


4. My first ever painting!

I have this friend that I’ve known for over 40 years.  Her drawings are magnificent and I always told her how I wish I could paint (or draw for that matter).  So one sunny day in the middle of winter she called and said: “Hey, I found a way that even you will be able to paint.  Come over and I’ll show you how.”  That was way back in 1992.  Without wasting another minute I was in my car and 30 min later I sat at her garden table looking at brushes, paint and a piece of cloth stuck to cardboard with a few clothes pegs.  “Oh my………..” was all that went through my mind at that moment.  Is THIS how an artist starts out?

All excited she showed me what she did the previous day at a painting workshop and seeing the disbelief on my face that I would ever be able to do something similar, she said: “No man, don’t stress, this is easy!  I’ll show you how.”   Anyway, I can tell you the whole story ‘colored’ in the full spectrum of the rainbow, but it will suffice to say that I did manage to paint something.

A pink cat..........
A pink cat……….

      This, my first painting!

I still have it to this day and plan on  keeping it for ever and ever.
We must always be able to return to our roots.

When I open my new studio
(currently under construction),
I will frame it and put it in the number 1 spot.

BUT A PINK CAT?!    (Don’t ask me, I just did what the teacher told me to do.)


3. My first (effort at) creating a picture.

As long as I can remember, I always wanted to paint. Since we are all born with that ability, I did my share of painting as a toddler. I had a huge palette;  walls, floors, mirrors or where ever crayons or lipstick would work. Later in school, the art class was the highlight of my day, but oh, it was so very restricted. So one day I decided to (secretly) do my own thing and drew a HUGE face on the inside of my cupboard door. (Yes, my parents did find out about it eventually, but nothing was said or done about it at the time. I will tell you later more about it.)
That was my very first effort at ‘creating a picture’. No photo reference, no nothing to work from or copy.  Just what was inside of me at the time was poured out onto that door. The face was about 50cm diameter, a lady with plaits, huge eyes, full mouth.  Every feature drawn to perfection.  Looking straight at you.  No emotion. Or as I would later learn – no poetry and no music.

Cameras were not ‘things that children play with’ at the time, so unfortunately I only have a mental picture of what I belief was the very foundation of my art career.

Portraits are still my passion.
But that was the one and only drawing of a face I did.  I don’t draw, I paint.

2. A little bit of background.

I was born many moons ago and spent my childhood in the North Western part of Southern Africa.  A very small town, half-desert, big open barren pieces of land due to extremely hot weather and hardly any rain.  Tough life.  Computers and television were not even ‘words’ at the time let alone being ‘part of life’.  I can still remember how hesitant my father was to have a land line telephone installed.  “No need for conversation other than eye to eye” he used to say.  Eventually we got a telephone.   And yes, we did have a radio.  One of those that you turned a knob to switch it on, only to hear a cracking noise as you turned the knob, till suddenly you hear music and……wah lah, you  ‘hit the station’!   Yea, I told you I was born many moons ago.
So being here today, trying to start a blog on the world wide web, is a far cry from that small-town way of living.  Now I am faced with information technology at its highest level and I am kind of lost and kind of scared.  But with perseverance and curiosity second to none, I find myself facing all the wonderful possibilities out there, wanting to conquer at least some of them.   And to start a blog,  is one.
My goal is to share a bit of my passion with who ever wants to enjoy it with me, one way or the other. Just by looking at it; or maybe learning how to do it.  My passion, of course, is art.  Visual art.  Or shall I say, ‘painting pictures’.   To experience the true feeling of creating your very own piece of art, scribbling your name in the corner, putting it up on the wall and standing back to look at what you created, oh man, that is a feeling I cannot describe in words.  (That’s why I paint!).

But it took some time to get here.  And it started way back in primary school.

(That is if memory serves me right.)

1. My very first Blog.

Today,  Friday 17 July 2015,  is the date that I started this:  my first Blog. This is also the date, according to the bible, that  Noah’s ark came to rest on Mount Ararat.  Yes, you will find it in Genesis 8:4.  So this is a very special day in my life.

The purpose for this blog is to (eventually) teach art.

I do not have a University degree in art.  I do however have a God-given talent which became my passion;  a passion I would like to share with who ever wants to learn from me.

But before I start teaching art, I invite you to share my art journey with me leading up to where I am now.  In my next post, I will start telling you all about it.

(Before I forget.  English is not my mother tongue – Afrikaans is.  So please bear with me if you do not see ‘Cambridge English’.  It will be ‘Country’  English!’). But remember…..

“Art is like a smile;  everybody understands it in his own language.”