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 !

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  • Farm Gate, karoo landscape.

    Karoo farm gate

    A little karoo farm landscape with an old gate.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 !

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  • 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.

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  • Karoo landscape, Grootevallei

    Grootevallei

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

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  • Aloe Ferox

    Aloes, colour in the winter.

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

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  • 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.

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  • Springer Bay Seascape

    Just for something quite different, – A seascape.

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

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  • 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…

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Map of South Africa. Illustrated. 1986

    An Old Illustrated Map

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Three Lambs

    Salted Lambs

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

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  • Greater Striped Swallow

    Our favourite Swallows

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

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  • 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.

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  • Zambezi Valley Buffalo

    An Assortment of Requests

    Four recent commissions, – a real assortment !

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 .

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  • African Hoopoes

    Sketching the African Hoopoes.

    A little sketching opportunity inspired by our beautiful African Hoopoes.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 !

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  • 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.

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  • Kalahari Leopard

    Kalahari Leopard

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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,

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  • 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 !!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Bokmakierie

    Beautiful Bokmakierie

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

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  • 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.

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  • Serengeti cheetah & kill

    Serengeti Cats

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

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  • 'Country road' painting

    A quiet country road after the rain.

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

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  • '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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • Painitng of a farm road

    A Pastoral Study of Winter Colours

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

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  • 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.

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  • A Trio of Orders

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • An Architectural Study.

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • ‘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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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