Old selfie, old portrait

beautiful self portrait (Minnette Vari) cannot go un-noticed

beautiful self-portrait (Minnette Vari) cannot go un-noticed

I was lucky yesterday. I managed to get away from my desk for an hour and went on a guided walk-about of a new art exhibition! Again I was blown away by the beautiful art works and the knowledge of the curator in this gallery. How do people remember all these dates, names and history facts? I kept telling myself that I better start reading some of the art books I have collected over the years…there is so much to learn, so much I don’t know.

Maquette for statue of Jan Smuts

Maquette for statue of Jan Smuts

This exhibition entitled from “From Sitting to Selfie” is absolutely the most ingenious exhibition I have seen, it’s divided into four periods for this display. Now you can’t divide years of art into four or any other number and you can’t put so many years of art in one exhibition even if the title is portraits there is just tooo much. But this was very cleverly put together into four sections/periods in art history.

Go back to 1600s before cameras – Baroque and Romanticism. They sat for hours or days for a portrait. Only royalty or the very rich had portraits done. Masters left us with Realistic and Truthful and Accurate paintings perfectly capturing the resemblance on the portrait.


something to admire...these were painted in 1617

something to admire…these were painted in 1617

And then cameras were invented, late 1800s or early 1900s and paintings changed a bit. From the realistic portrait to beautiful modernism and impressionism and cubism – art works that for me offer a bit more thought…these are the pieces that you need to admire from a distance. My favorites are these, all the art eras of the ism’s.  Food for thought and little more character and personality. The portraits had their own disposition, some were odd and eccentric. Makes me think that artists in this time were all rebellious and a bit nutty. But I love that about them….


Portrait of Annie Mavata, you have to see this real life, she is almost ready to talk to you. Love this painting, it is incredibly beautiful

Portrait of Annie Mavata, you have to see this in real life, she is almost ready to talk to you. Love this painting, it is incredibly beautiful.  I you look away and then back at her quickly it looks like she has moved her hand, just amazing

Jan Smuts - reminder of history class when I was in school and paid little attention, only now I'm interested in history. This is one of my favorite paintings there...

Jan Smuts – reminder of history class when I was in school and paid little attention, only now I’m interested in history. This is one of my favorite paintings there…

And then postmodernism was born…in the 20th century, interesting but not my favourite time in art. This is like the one chapter in the school book that I would skip and just look at the pretty pictures.  Maybe one day I will change my mind about this and understand it a little better. Still I found some really beautiful pieces, that had me staring for a while.

Reshada Crouse painting (1994) so much to talk about in this painting, so many stories to tell...

Reshada Crouse painting (1994) so much to talk about in this painting, so many stories to tell…

Enter the selfie and digital era, the era where we snap and happily share and print every moment of our lives. Internet changed the world for ever and changed the way we do things. A lot of our private moments have become quite public. It is fast and quick and it has moved from a gallery and photo frame to cyber space. Everything is different, it’s lifelike or totally unrealistic. Experimentation, revelation and exposure.

smoke portraits (2005) painting with smoke, unbelievable

smoke portraits (2005) painting with smoke, unbelievable

I’m not sure this is the best era, and I’m not sure I like this one either.  I want to go back to the 1900s and admire Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cassatt, Morisot, Degas, Van Gogh and Gauguin….


"Queen of Hearts" oil and gold leaf (1860) photo does not do it justice

“Queen of Hearts” oil and gold leaf (1860) my photo does not do it justice

…that is where I draw my inspiration from 😉


Purple Inspiration

Where does inspiration come from? I say anywhere and everywhere. Purple is a different kind of inspiration!

I visited an exhibition recently, something very different and purple. That’s one colour or shade that I only like on a Jacaranda tree. Visiting the “The Purple Shall Govern” I was just blown away with the story behind this artist.

Mary came from a family of domestic workers; grandmother and mother. Mary is the lady with an Honours Degree in Fine Art, and winner of Young Artist Award 2013 (South Africa). Mary’s story and art is incredible and her attention to detail is just mind-blowing.

What I really enjoy about exhibitions is that it’s great to go on your own and take your time with art pieces. I like and dislike many things and fast-forward when I come across something that I think is awful and don’t understand. I shake my head at the ‘craziness’ of artists and how bold they are in expressing themselves, they make stuff that no one will hang in their lounge and yet everyone loves or admires. And I stare at these weird pieces and think…ok maybe I will only be famous if I go crazy and produce some really provoking pieces. My paintings are too boring for the 20th century.

But then I take a ‘guided’ tour with the curator that knows the artist and all of a sudden the art pieces are not weird or crazy, they make perfect sense. She gives me some really insightful little details about those strange ones. I learn things like ‘alter ego’ and ‘emancipation’. That your personal growth and rebirth influence your art. That social concerns, democracy and protests can be put into art! I learn a bit more about Installation Art.

The three-dimensional art work has me walking around a piece, from far and near, contemplating it or totally immersing myself in the space of the art work…and I love every minute and every piece

Have a look at some of Mary’s beautiful art work –

totally immersing myself

totally immersing myself





look at the hand print

look at the hand print


Mary's face (alter ego Sophie)

Mary’s face (alter ego Sophie)

Coming Soon! Save the Date!

In October 2011 we raised something like R43 000.00 for two charities with a supper awesome art exhibition. Artists from The Art Centre (Johannesburg, Alberton) donated one, two or how ever many paintings they wanted to an art exhibition. Paintings were marked with minimum bid and guests placed secret bids for the art pieces they were interested in. The paintings found a happy home and went to the highest bidder. All proceeds went to the two charities we had chosen that year.

It’s October 2013 and it’s time to invite friends to the Perfect Moments Charity Exhibition 2013!!

Same process, guests will be bidding for donated art works. We are expecting a bigger crowd this year. The charities are the EPIC Foundation – founded by Alta McMaster at the beginning of 2013. Having experienced various traumas in her own life, Alta decided to establish the EPIC Foundation to serve the Gauteng community and victims of rape, abuse and poverty. They do amazing work for rape survivors and abused women.

The other very deserving charity is for Hospice Alberton – they offer home based care to terminally ill people, especially cancer patients, they provide trained caregivers that support and teach families how to care for loved ones. We didn’t have our own Hospice in this area, and the brave lady behind this is Tersia Burger, they started or opened their doors on 1st of January 2013 –Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services

Aren’t these just the most amazing charities ever? I’m so proud to be part of this project, and I have three paintings to donate. Might actually add more now that I have been reading up on the charities.

So anyway this is my invite to you. If you are in SA please come out to Alberton on Thursday the 24th of October @ 18h30. You can bid and take home a beautiful painting (donated by great artists, awesome, awesome work) and if nothing really grabs your attention, that’s ok. You can make a cash donation to the charities, we will have a special box for that. Your support will be greatly appreciated and will touch so many needy people. Just come!!


Painting on a flag

In Nepal and Tibet prayer flags are seen flapping in the wind, both in the city and country side. The flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom, they do not carry prayers to gods. It is believed the energy of prayers or mantras are blown in the wind and will bring joy, happiness and good health to all who see them as well as their families, loved ones, neighbors, and all people throughout the world. In Tibet they believe the prayers are blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion bringing benefits to all.

The best time to put up new prayer flags are in the mornings on sunny, windy days. Old prayer flags are replaced with new ones annually.

Prayer Flags come in sets of five colors – representing the five elements and are arranged from left to right in a specific order, starting with the blue on the left.

Blue symbolizes sky/space, white symbolizes air/wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. 

The sight of the flags seem to uplift the environment they are in and bring joy to those that see them. They really have a beautiful effect on the surroundings.


I think that was the inspiration behind the idea of EveryOneCounts and the latest Art Exhibition against Human Trafficking. I have participated with this organization before in 2010 and I’m glad to have completed two little flags for this year’s exhibition. It sounded strange at first when I read the artist brief but the more I look at pictures of these prayer flags in Tibet or Nepal and the significance they have in their country of origin the more I like the idea of paintings on prayer flags.


Imagine these could be flapping in the wind, and the prayer flags we are painting will bring about lots beauty, smiles, joy, funds and much-needed AWARENESS for Human Trafficking.

If you can’t paint something, or embroider then go on to the website and buy a flag. Its only R400.00 or 45 USD or 35 EURO. Your contribution could possibly save someone’s life.

Grand Opening of the exhibition is August 2013!

Come on buy a flag!