Tuesday 22 August 2017

Blue, green and red

A dilapidated old table and chair, repurposed for outdoor duty. Such things are full of character and irresistibly paintable. Oil on board, 25 x 20 cm:

Monday 21 August 2017

Potted plants in a courtyard

Oil on board, 20 x 15 cm:

As I may or may not have noted in an earlier post, this theme of outdoors, but intimate spaces, currently appeals to me. Not too sure what one should call this sort of painting: it's neither landscape not still life, but something in between. I my just do a whole series.

Friday 18 August 2017

Does choosing to go on vacation mean you don't enjoy your work?

This question was asked on Quora :

Does choosing to go on vacation mean you don't enjoy your work?
It gave me an excuse for a bit of random philosophizing in my answer:

Not necessarily. We should really look at this from an evolutionary point of view. Early humans were hunter-gatherers. The very concept of work versus leisure did not really exist for them. They just lived. Some of the time they would do things necessary for survival, like hunting and gathering. Sometimes they would just sit around telling stories or singing and dancing, though those things were to some extent also important, forming part of religious rituals or serving as training for the young.
What is striking about their lifestyle though, is its variety. You never knew what the day would bring. Perhaps a good hunt? An attack by a neighboring tribe? Discovery of a bee nest full of honey? Sudden rain?
We tend to think of a life without TV, cell phones and internet connection as one of relentless boredom, but I suspect that “primitive” people actually enjoy more excitement than most of us, simply because there is no set, absolutely predictable routine. I further suspect that this partly accounts for the popularity and addictive nature of social media: it mimics this unpredictable environment. You never know what direction a discussion will take, or whom you will meet next.
Now people who enjoy their jobs are people who find their jobs as interesting as hunter-gatherers find their environment. There are new things happening and new challenges every day. Still, going on vacation makes for yet another bit of variety. Of course, for people who don’t like their job (very often because the job is boringly predictable) their occasional vacation is the only thing that keeps them going.
My uncle was an artist. He loved his job. But he too would have a vacation once or twice per year, during which time he would quite deliberately avoid drawing or painting, just to recharge the batteries, let ideas simmer a bit, and do something different. Now that I work mostly as artist myself, I find the same thing: I love it, but I also enjoy taking the weekend off and getting something else done. During such times I often cook up new ideas for pictures too, so it is not time wasted.

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Cat and Sansevieria

Oil on board, 25 x 20 cm:

A subject I have taken something of a liking to lately: this sort of not-quite still life, perhaps in a courtyard somewhere. I kind of prefer living plants to cut flowers in vases, and I may just get it into my head to do some more of this sort of thing.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

A few photos

I now and then indulge in pseudo-artsy photography with my humble point-and-shoot camera. Some of the latest ones:

The aloes are in bloom at the moment; makes for an attractive sight in our otherwise rather monotone winters:

There are nevertheless signs of spring in the air. These peach blossoms reminded me of Van Gogh's famous painting of the same subject:

Around here, because of a rather high rate of crime, people tend to live behind high walls and ugly electric fences. Thus, the only way to take a nice photo is to tilt the camera up a bit:

Sunday 6 August 2017

Landscape with Quiver Trees

Had a desperate struggle with all manner of administrative crises, notably trying to get service out of a bank. Hopefully that is in the past now, so on with a bit of painting. Oil on board, 20 x 25 cm:

Quiver trees are found in some of the drier areas of southern Africa, and are actually a species of aloe. They are so named because indigenous people used their bark to make quivers for arrows.