Blog Archives

  • Shetching Buffalo

    The Buffalo Visit.

    How fortunate to find two Buffalo wandering on our farm, a perfect opportunity to capture them in photographs and in paint !

    read more
  • Farm Gate, karoo landscape.

    Karoo farm gate

    A little karoo farm landscape with an old gate.

    read more
  • Burgersdorp Exhibition of Barbara Philip

    The October 2016 Exhibition in Burgersdorp.

    My first month-long Painting Exhibition took place in Burgersdorp’s new House of Art Gallery in October 2016.

    read more
  • Karoo road

    The Road Ahead

    “The Road Ahead” is always worth recording as a memory of the adventure of wonderful road trips of discovery through our beautiful country.

    read more
  • Donkey Cart and salt bush.

    Van Wyk’s Vlei Donkey Cart.

    Passing through Van Wyk’s Vlei in 2015, we saw this delightful donkey cart, that I just had to paint !

    read more
  • Tranquil misty farm view.

    EDM 2016, The Everyday in May Challenge.

    This is my second EDM ( Everyday in May challenge ) that is 31 paintings in 31 days ! I enjoyed the journey last year, and managed to finish them all this year too. It is a great way to get going with watercolour sketching or journalling. Lots of disciplined practice.

    read more
  • Karoo landscape, Grootevallei


    This view of the wide Grootevallei that neighbours onto our farm, Silvermere, was my first order for 2016.

    read more
  • Aloe Ferox

    Aloes, colour in the winter.

    I have always loved the brilliant reds and oranges of the flowering Aloe Ferox in winter.

    read more
  • Gravel road

    Our July 2015 Trans-Karoo trip. -Paintings, part one.

    The first collection of a series of watercolours, inspired by our July 2015 trans-karoo trip.

    read more
  • Springer Bay Seascape

    Just for something quite different, – A seascape.

    Contemplating the sea is soothing , as this drought drags on.

    read more
  • Windmill view over Dreunberg

    Windmills of the Karoo

    When windmills propel gently through the breezes in lazy rotations, or spin frenetically facing into the strong winds that sweep across the karoo plains, I am often mesmerized by them. They knit together the vast…

    read more
  • The Every-Day-In-May Challenge, 2015

    The discipline of sketching a new picture every day re-ignited my love of painting. This EDM was much more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be.

    read more
  • Meercats on the Ash-heap.

    Silvermere Meercats.

    Our little family of meercats that live nearby, were seen recently on an old ash-heap. These two paintings were inspired by them.

    read more
  • Map of South Africa. Illustrated. 1986

    An Old Illustrated Map

    An old illustrated map of South Africa has been resurrected. Prints are now available !

    read more
  • Blue Cranes & Karoo Landscape

    Blue Cranes

    A pair of Blue Cranes have settled on Silvermere, and inspired this trio of studies. There are 2 sketches and one full watercolour landscape with a flock of cranes.

    read more
  • Hogsback Forest, watercolour painting.

    Hogsback Holiday

    In April we visited the delightful forested jewel that is Hogsback in the Eastern Cape. It was a real feast for the senses, and these two forest scenes were particularly inspiring.

    read more
  • Bar-tailed Godwit

    The Amazing Bar-Tailed Godwit

    The epic journey of the extraordinary Bar-tailed Godwit is celebrated in this little series of 3 paintings.

    read more
  • The Spotted Dikkop

    The Spotted Dikkop

    A pair of wide-eyed Spotted Dikkops live near by, and their plaintive call can be heard at night quite often.

    read more
  • Three Lambs

    Salted Lambs

    A little experiment with salt to achieve a different texture, on this sketch of 3 lambs.  

    read more
  • Greater Striped Swallow

    Our favourite Swallows

    A little study of our Red Cap swallows that come and nest under the verandah roof every summer.

    read more
  • Ullapool boats on Loch Broom

    Our Fabulous Scotland Holiday

    Our recent trip to Scotland has inspired this little batch of watercolours and sketches. It was so hard to choose from all the photos of stunning scenery that we enjoyed during the holiday.

    read more
  • Zambezi Valley Buffalo

    An Assortment of Requests

    Four recent commissions, – a real assortment !

    read more
  • 3 Nguni cattle and thorn trees

    Ngunis among Acacia Karroo

    The striking white thorns on the Acacia Karroo are a striking contrast to the patterns on the Nguni Cattle. This series explores that relationship.

    read more
  • The Christmas 2012 Painting Challenge.

    John and I decided to try the Christmas Painting Challenge again when he came home for the holidays. It was something we initiated last Christmas (2011). We spent 15 enjoyable days of sketching-sessions, that were mostly chosen from scenes around the farmyard.

    read more
  • Nguni cattle.

    Karoo landscape with Ngunis.

    A recent visit to the nearby Nguni farm, ‘Gelykfontein’, was the inspiration behind this new karoo landscape with Nguni cattle .

    read more
  • African Hoopoes

    Sketching the African Hoopoes.

    A little sketching opportunity inspired by our beautiful African Hoopoes.

    read more
  • Fieldmoor farm Composite

    Farewell to the Fields of Fieldmoor

    We are sad to see our good friends, Kenny & Margie leave Knapdaar, so I took the opportunity to paint this farm composite as a farewell gift.

    read more
  • Farm Road.

    A few plein-air sketches with John

    John came to visit us on the farm, so we did a few plein-air studies, without the pressure of the Challenge at Christmas 2011.

    read more
  • Karoo Landscape

    Chelsea Flower Show 2012

    How exciting it was to be asked to contribute a backdrop painting to one of the floral displays, on this year’s Chelsea Flower Exhibit from South Africa !

    read more
  • Nguni Herd & Herdsman.

    Nguni Herd Returning Home

    This painting has been a long process since the scene first inspired me, one evening exactly 5 years ago, not far from Pofadder.

    read more
  • Kalahari Leopard

    Kalahari Leopard

    I came across the photo of this leopard on red Kalahari sand, and felt inspired to paint her.

    read more
  • Amy's Book, cover

    The completion of Amy’s Book

    A twenty year project of writing a page of poetry each Birthday for my God-daughter, Amy, has been completed.All the pages are now bound in a book for her 21st.

    read more
  • Kruger's Kop with 3 Eland

    Eland Antelope Study.

    It was an enjoyable exercise, getting familiar with eland antelope again, before the watercolour study for a recent order.

    read more
  • Artist Trading Cards

    ATC’s. – Artist Trading Cards.

    ATC’s , or Artist Trading Cards are a popular trend of miniature artworks and collages. This batch was my latest Sunday play session, to see if I could make some too,

    read more
  • Day 13. Agaves on the Dam wall.

    The Christmas 2011 Painting-a-Day Challenge.

    During the holidays around Christmas 2011 & New Year 2012, John and I made a 13-day Painting-a-Day challenge, to test our ability to cope with plein-air painting conditions on a regular basis. It was great fun !!

    read more
  • Nguni cattle herd

    The Big Mondplaas Nguni Oil, – Revisited

    November dawned with a new challenge and a big order with a deadline; even if it was a repeat of the 2009 Nguni oil painting. Some small changes were made and Makatini and his family were completed in time.

    read more
  • Africanpainting stall, Burgersdorp Somerfees 2011

    Burgersdorp’s Spring Somerfees.

    Our exhibition at the annual Burgersdorp Spring Festival was an enjoyable and worthwhile in the end, despite the disastrous weather on the first day.

    read more
  • Mopane Trees.

    Road through the Mopanes

    The beautiful woodland trees of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) bring back wonderful nostalgic memories; and this Mopane forest is so reminiscent of those travels during my youth.

    read more
  • Cape Hare Study 4

    A little Study of the Cape Hare

    The Cape Hare has been a regular garden visitor lately, so it was an enjoyable task studying him through these sketches.

    read more
  • Karoo hills & windmill.

    Karoo Interlude

    Despite my love for the tropical Bushveld of my youth, these vast reaches of the Karoo have become an enduring inspiration in my search for new landscape to paint.

    read more
  • 2 rock pigeons

    Rock Pigeons over the Sunflower Fields of the Freestate.

    Rock Pigeons and fields of sunflowers posed some considerable challenges with this commission.

    read more
  • Sheep. 'Ewe with twins, cold winter morning'.

    Sheep Study Two

    The ease and convenience of digital photography has made it possible to capture our sheep, in every quirky and entertaining pose. I doubt that I will ever lack inspiration.

    read more
  • Portrait of Jon Bon Jovi. 1998

    Remembering the 90’s, & Bon Jovi

    As an avid fan of Bon Jovi during the 1990’s I painted a couple of portraits in oil that have been gathering dust in the corner of the studio until recently when a friend asked to see them.

    read more
  • Bokmakierie

    Beautiful Bokmakierie

    Beautiful and lemon-bright Bokmakieries in our winter garden are a delight to see and sketch !

    read more
  • Rueppell's Griffon & Whitebacked Vulture

    Old World Vulture – visions

    The recent commission to paint Whitebacked vultures in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, inspired me to make some extra sketches.

    read more
  • Serengeti cheetah & kill

    Serengeti Cats

    Wild Cats of the Serengeti and the grassveld were the challenges of this recent set of commissioned paintings.

    read more
  • 'Country road' painting

    A quiet country road after the rain.

    This captivating little road scene inspired me after a recent trip to Johannesburg.

    read more
  • 'Sheep resting',- oil painting.

    Sheep study one. Resting against the workshop wall.

    Photographing our sheep through all the seasons & years of living on a sheep farm continually inspires me to paint them.

    read more
  • Portraits. – Being captivated by Faces.

    I have always been inspired to draw and paint faces, despite the challenges. But the vision of one face in particular has captivated of my life.

    read more
  • two Nguni cattle. watercolour

    Nguni Study Revisited

    A recent Nguni painting inquiry rekindled my enthusiasm in tackling a new big oil. These are some of the preliminary studies.

    read more
  • Painting of Violets

    Spring has sprung on Silvermere.

    New willow leaves, and the spring, have arrived, and the garden blossoms while we wait for the rain!

    read more
  • Painting of Cape White-eyes eating Grapes

    The Feathered Fruit-eaters in our Garden

    The Fruit-eating birds are delightful distraction on the bird table outside my studio window, and all around our garden.

    read more
  • Painitng of a farm road

    A Pastoral Study of Winter Colours

    A recent trip around our district inspired this set of winter landscapes.

    read more
  • Plein-Air Painting versus Studio-Studies

    Painting plein-air is extremely enjoyable especially when accompanied by others. Silvermere has many lovely views for such excursions.

    read more
  • A Trio of Orders

    Three very varied and challenging paintings made up my latest commissions.

    read more
  • Sheep May Safely Graze

    ‘Sheep may safely graze’, is the theme, and though we may rest safely in the care of our precious Lord Jesus, the sheep depicted here, on the farms in our district are never safe from the threat of predators.

    read more
  • Freestate landscape painting

    Mother Patrick, St Patrick’s Blue, & a trio of Blue Studies.

    Considering Blues and Greens in 3 watercolour landscapes & reflections on Mother Patrick & St Patrick, on St Patrick’s Day.

    read more
  • An Architectural Study.

    In commemoration of the Burgersdorp Gereformeerde Kerk’s 150th Anniversary, I have undertaken a study of this beautiful church.

    read more
  • Chestnut Grove painting

    Gardens of Delight at the Bedford Festival

    A tour through 7 beautiful gardens at the Bedford Garden Festival in October, inspired me to paint this Series of 6 pen & wash sketches; and 20 garden quotes complete this post.

    read more
  • Black & White in Art and Africa

    A retrospective review of Black & White in my art, and associated thoughts in the process of paying tribute to our former President, Nelson Mandela.

    read more
  • Meercat painting

    The First Study of our Silvermere Meerkat Family

    On Silvermere we have our own entertaining Meerkat Family, like my favourite Soapie, ‘Meerkat Manor’. I have secretly photographed them through a broken window in the shed, and started painting them in this first group of studies.

    read more
  • Donkey Cart painting

    G.K.Chesterton and the Donkey

    My Love of Donkeys and the gifted writings of G.K.Chesterton inspired this post. In recent years Donkey Carts have become popular in paintings, and I am constantly challenged by a need to keep them authentic.

    read more
  • Lion painting

    The Lion, the Lamb, and the Exhibition.

    Our First Exhibition in almost two years, was a great success! It was preceded by a flurry of activity and two quick paintings that inspired the inclusion of this meaningful verse; “The lion and the Lamb”

    read more
  • Oil painting of Roses

    For the Love of Fragrant Roses

    The Warthogs that visited our garden recently, were frustrated by the electric fence that protects my precious roses. I am passionate about old fashioned fragrant roses, and they have inspired not only this big painting in my kitchen, but a new one that has just been completed for the September Exhibition.

    read more
  • Painting. warthogs.

    ‘Tails Up’ & The Silvermere Warthogs

    This story is about living with Optimism, the optimistic demeanour of Warthogs, and my patient wait to capture them running with their tails up. I was finally rewarded when John Oliver captured the perfect photos, here on Silvermere, that inspired this set of Warthog paintings.

    read more
  • Travel Notebook & High Speed Sketching.

    As a passenger on long trips across South Africa, it is good to have something absorbing to do. Taking photographs and sketching the passing scenery is both challenging and enjoyable for me. Through this, my love of pen and wash has been revived, after many years of neglect.

    read more
  • red-wing-starling. painting

    The Genet and the Starling

    Living on a farm means that encounters with wildlife are quite a normal occurrence. This incident happened just outside our living room late one evening, while we were watching television.

    read more
  • Guinea Fowl and Weavers. painting

    Feeding The Birds

    The daily ritual of feeding our guinea fowl and all the other birds that arrive for the feast, inspired not only these sketches and paintings, but a reflection on how the birds can teach us to have faith in our Heavenly Father.

    read more
  • A Study of Nguni Cattle

    Nguni cattle have been painted skilfully by many artists, but I never considered that it might become my own challenge too. In 2007 I received a commission to paint them, and so began a long journey that culminated, just recently, in the completion of this BIG oil painting of Ngunis.

    read more
  • Kings and Castles

    There was a feeling of exhilaration as my latest commissions came to an end. The possibilities of what to paint next, were quite exciting, particularly since the painting of these two portraits and the home of a friend on a farm near Steynsburg.

    read more
  • Kudu painting. Baviaanskloof. watercolour

    Bundu-bashing through The Baviaanskloof, Exploring more Backroads of the Boundless Karoo

    We have had a long-standing ambition to see the legendary Baviaanskloof. So, in May, after a brief visit with family in PE, we took the adventure trail through the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Reserve, and on homeward through our Beloved Karoo.

    read more
  • Zerendipity Zebras (Serendipity Zebras)

    It is not often that a coincidence like this happens in painting; when I receive two separate commissions containing zebras, both destined for America. “Serendipity” seemed like an appropriate word to describe this chance occurrence.

    read more
  • ‘Frantic’, ‘Baby’ & Fragrant Roses (red & blue )

    Here is a visual introduction to me and my favourite sheep, a bunch of fragrant roses from my garden and a wonderful quote by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    read more
  • Porcupines & Aloes

    A colony of beautiful Aloe Broomii on Silvermere have been almost completely destroyed by Porcupines. But alongside the cruelty in nature, there is a stunning variety of intricate patterns colours and form. It’s a feast for the eyes, especially if you’re a painter.

    read more
  • All the Way My Saviour Leads Me

    This lovely old hymn, written in calligraphy for my God-daughter, Amy, is the focus of my thoughts today as we welcome on 2009. John Piper’s own blog and his marvellous lists shed inspirational light on the way we can keep our eyes on Jesus throughout the year ahead.

    read more
  • Hello all, and Welcome to my Blog!

    As an avid journal-keeper and illustrator, I have decided to share with you all, the peace and the passions that inspire me everyday.
    In this first post, a brief introduction is followed by a glimpse of how I sketch from the computer monitor, with my sketchpad propped up by the keyboard.

    read more