A collection of sketches to start 2020.

This little collection is just a few sketches to start off 2020. I needed to take a break from the Italy challenge till after chemo. Hopefully they will resume later in the year.

New Year's Eve 2019 sketch
Garden sketching. New Year’s Eve, 2019
shell study
Seaweed and shells.
Warthogs under Besembos
Warthog family under the Besembos.
Big Cats, portrait
Leopard for my Grandson’s Birthday.
Bird on the fence.
African Pipit on the Fence.
Greater Padloper Tortoise.
Journal page. 17 Jan 2020
Red sore-eye plant.
Ammocharis coranica. ( Sore-eye)
Korhaan calling on anthill.
Northern Black Korhaan, ( Afrotis Afraoides )
Crow's nest.
Windmill Crow’s nest’.
Three sheep in the veld.

Our trip to Italy, 2019. Part 3.

The third part of our trip was through Tuscany, but as there was so much to inspire me,  hopefully it will continue into part 4, at a later time. From Tuscany we went on to Rome, and after a couple of days returned home. So number 4 will be the last. 

Tuscany cypresses

Cypress Avenue, Tuscany.

Italy Inspiration no. 21. Cypress Avenue, Tuscany. Beside the road between Firenzuola and Pratolino, suddenly we felt that we had arrived in Tuscany. The gorgeous spring fields of bright green and yellow, and the defining rows of cypresses made me feel as though we had arrived at last, in this iconic jewel of Italy.

Il Gigante dell'Appennino

The Colossus of the Appenines, Pratolino.

Italy Inspiration no. 22. “Il Gigante dell’Appennino”, The Colossus of the Appenines, made by Giambologna in 1580, is in the Medici Park in Pratolino, just north of Florence. I painted this many years ago and was keen to actually see it. Unfortunately the lilies/lotuses in the pond were dormant since it was early spring, but it was a thrill to see the massive statue.

David statue copy, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo, copy of David statue. Florence.

Italy Inspiration no. 23. Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, that we saw on a windy, rainy day.These are bronze copies of the David and other Michelangelo allegories from the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. It was build in 1873.

Farm chickens near Florence.

Chickens crossing the road. Rignano sull Arno.

Italy Inspiration no 24. Chickens crossing the road on our way to the farm, Il Moro, at Rignano sull’Arno, where we stayed, and caught the train in to Florence / Firenze, to avoid driving in the city.

Firenze view from Piazzale Michelangelo

View of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo.

Italy Inspiration no. 25. View of Florence / Firenze, from the Piazzale Michelangelo, with the River Arno and Ponte Vecchio.

Neptune statue, detail. piazza della Signoria, Florence.

The marble Seahorses of the Neptune statue & fountain. Florence.

Italy Inspiration no. 26. The marble Seahorses of the Neptune statue & fountain in the piazza della Signoria, in Florence.

Duomo. Il Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Florence.

Italy Inspiration no 27. Street scene, as we walked around Florence and came across the magnificent  Duomo.
Il Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.
A challenging picture but well worth adding to this collection of memorable sights in Italy.

Tuscany, plein-air sketching.

Plein-air sketch from the lawn in front of Locanda Vessuna. Tuscany.

Italy Inspiration no. 28. Plein-air sketch from the lawn in front of Locanda Vessuna, a farm where we stayed near Pienza in Tuscany. I did very few sketches as there was so much to see & photograph. It was a cold and windy day, but the view was still breathtaking. The staff even brought us coffee and cookies while we sat there.

Sketching at Locanda Vessuna, near Pienza. Tuscany.

Coffee and cookies while I sketched.

Tuscany landscape, Pienza.

View of Pienza, Tuscany.

Italy Inspiration no. 29. Pienza.
We went to our lovely Tuscany accommodation just outside Pienza, and spent a couple of wonderful days traveling around that gorgeous countryside.

Tuscany cypresses and cross.

The cross and cypresses. Tuscany.

Italy Inspiration no. 30. The cross and cypresses, Tuscany. Sadly this is my last painting for now. I would like to do more of Tuscany and our final bit in Rome, but have to take some time off. I have a breast cancer op on Monday 28th Oct. ( Mastectomy) . I would appreciate all your prayers for healing and being able to get back to painting before too long. Thank you !



A little Plein-Air sketching with John, August 2019. Silvermere.

Trees & roots
Spring water flows down through the dense thicket of Acacia Karoo thorn trees. Silvermere. Plein-air sketching out with John.
Karoo landscape
Lovely view, plein-air sketching with John and Carole. Looking towards Spitskop and the Freestate hills in the distance.
Old farmyard chicken coop
Plein-air sketching with John, Silvermere. The old fowl run next-door.
Farm road with puddles.
Plein-air sketching with John in the road at the fountain, Spring water flowing across the road despite the lack of rain on Silvermere.
Sheep running
Silvermere. The bringing-in and feeding of two big flocks of ewes and lambs in the evening, is a regular evening ritual, to keep the lambs safe from predators like Jackals and Lynx.

Our trip to Italy, 2019. Part 2. Verona, Como & Imola.

Our memorable trip through Italy continues with the next 10 paintings. First Verona and then on to Como via Peschiera del Garda. Then we traveled down to stay with a penpal near Imola. After this we moved on to Tuscany.

Verona bridge statue
This statue made by the Veronese sculptor, Mario Salazzari. is one of 4 beautiful statues on the ends of the famous bridge. ‘Il Ponte della Vittoria’, just outside our B&B, Lady Verona. In Verona Italy.
Verona landscape
Verona view from Il Ponte della Vittoria, on the Adige River.
Giardino Giusti Entrata
the exquisite “Giardino Giusti”, a classic Renaissance style garden, hidden behind a simple door in the wall of a street in Verona. This is the view as seen from the entrance.
Giardino Giusti. Verona
Giardino Giusti Gardens, Verona. A magnificent sea of green, so exquisite, so peaceful !! Have always wanted to visit a classic Renaissance garden, so I felt that it was just my personal piece of heaven… Then to complete the picture, a cute kitty appeared and all was right with the world.
Madonna wall shrine, Verona.
This Madonna wall shrine is called, “L’Immacolata capitello “. I may not be a Catholic but having been educated in a Catholic Convent in Rhodesia, these ‘shrines’ have a nostalgic quality. We saw so many throughout our trip around Italy, but this is by far the most beautiful.
Lago di Garda view.
Peschiera del Garda. It is on the southern tip of Lago di Garda. We passed by here and stopped briefly for breakfast, on our way from Verona to Lecco, on Lago di Como.
Swans. Lecco, Lake Como. Italy
Swans at sunset, – Lecco. Lake Como. After we had arrived at Lecco and booked into our accommodation, we took an evening stroll along the promenade beside the lake with the swans. So beautiful !!
Varenna, Lago di Como.
Varenna, Lago di Como. We drove around Lake Como, and though there were several wonderful views, this is the one I loved the most.
View from Autostrada, near Parma. Italy
Roadside scene near Parma, Emilia-Romagna. Italy.
Old farmhouse, near Imola, Italy
Old farmhouse near Imola. Emilia Romagna. Italy. Springtime.

Our trip to Italy, 2019. Part 1. Venice, Grado & Udine.

Our Memorable once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy took place over 15 days in April/May. We arrived in Venice and departed from Rome. I hope to be able to do a few paintings to celebrate each part of the wonderful holiday, in groups. This is the first group of 10.

Gondolas on a Venitian canal. italy.

Venice Canal with Gondolas. Italy.

Venice gondolier, Diego. Italy.

Diego the Gondolier. Venice. Italy.

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. Venezia. Italia. View from San Marco.

View from the Piazza San Marco, looking towards Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. Venezia. Italia.

Masks of Venice

Venetian Masks

Venice. Italy. Palazzo Cendon, Cannaregio Canal,

Palazzo Cendon, Cannaregio Canal, Venice. Italy.

Venezia, Italia, Le Grande Canal.

The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Rock Eagle Owl, 'Yukon'. Remanzacco. Italy

‘Yukon’, the Rock Eagle Owl. Remanzacco, Italy.

Storm and sea and promenade walk. Grado. Italy

Willy, Lucy and John. Walking beside the sea, Grado. Italy.

Grado Alley with Bicycles. Italy

Bicycles in an alley in Grado. Italy.

Chapel and Cypresses, Udine, Italy.

Cypress Chapel, outside Udine, Italy.