I have mentioned in my post that I use to draw. I started art from an early age and discovered my knack for pencil drawing in my early teens. Although I was taught still life drawing while attending art lessons, drawing animals (mainly portraits) have always been my comfort and specialty.
The owl I roughly drew with pen is currently in our shop, not on display but it is visible to our clients. Today a client approached me and commented on the drawing. She said that she wondered how much it will cost to have that exact drawing done. Little does she know that I am the owner of it. I told her that there isn’t a price attached to the pen drawing as it is really just a draft so to speak. She went on saying how much value her mother-in-law place on owls as it is her Iwi’s crescent. She said that she would love to give her that drawing as a Mother’s Day gift. I hesitated and mentioned that I drew it and that it will take several hours to properly re-create the drawing. She was willing to pay for my time and seeing as we are saving for a family holiday (more info on that at a later time) I accepted.
I had 4 incomplete days before she collects the drawing. I was very happy with the drawing for the first 2 hours. Some aspects of the face was near perfect, but then I fumbled with the proportion of the cheeks and one side is smaller than the other. I didn’t have time to start over again and I don’t believe in using erasers when drawing. I informed the client but she was still very happy for me to continue. It took me roughly 5 hours to finish. I worked approximately an hour and a half per day. Self-doubt was constantly gnawing at me, making me want to tear the paper up and throw my pencils away. I find that the essence of therapy doesn’t occur until long after the drawing is complete. When I can stand back and look at the finished product as any other person would. When I am no longer the artist but an admirer.
The client informed me afterwards that her mother-in-law cried when she received the gift and that makes it all worth my while.
My husband and I were invited to his work mates wife’s 40th birthday party. The theme: 70’s and yes it’s a dress-up.
I don’t mind dressing up. It is the preparations that I don’t often have time for that bothers me. I certainly didn’t want to unnecessarily spend money on buying our outfits as these dress-up kits can easily cost $20 plus per outfit. I decided to instead purchase 2 white t-shirts from The Warehouse and 1 packet of tie-dye and create do-it-yourself tie-dye shirts. The dye cost me $4 and the shirts were $5 each.
I had some time to spare during dinner the previous night to quickly tie-dye the shirts. I strategically tied elastic bands around selected sections of the shirts. The dye powder was dissolved in 3.75L of steaming hot water, the shirts inserted and stirred for a short while before leaving it to soak for approximately 45 minutes. Afterwards I rinsed them thoroughly with cold water and put them in the washing machine on a rinse only cycle. I removed the elastic bands and hanged the shirts to dry overnight. We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome and would most likely be wearing the shirts on a casual basis.
The night itself was pleasant. We didn’t really know anyone there but we made the most of our time. My husband even went into a photo booth with me and we have 4 fun and funky photos to show for it!
The finished product of my post pen on paper, with a filter adjustment. I forgot how impatient I am towards the end of a sketch…it feels like it will never be completed. I know the sketch has several mistakes but my slightly munted owl looks so cute though. I friend of mine recently suggested that I should consider selling my drawings at our shop, seeing as my focus is on wildlife. I thanked her for her compliment in thinking that my drawings are good enough to sell, but I certainly do not have the confidence to have my work showcased and open to people’s critiques.
When I was younger I didn’t mind showing people my work, as back then for a young teenager what I drew was considered talented. I drew my first owl, which was also one of my first freehand pencil sketches, back in 1997. I remember that I didn’t really use lines to sculpt the drawing, but instead rubbed and smeared the pencil to ‘colour’ the more exposed areas. But even then I had several positive comments on my ability to take a small photograph and turn it into a large drawing.
I have learned a lot since then, and continue to expand my artistic flair. But with age came self-doubt and a lack in self-confidence. Hence I keep my drawings to limited viewers.
I have both my children at work with me today, which in itself is going to make it a very long day for us all. I asked my daughter to bring her Animal Kingdom colouring book from the talented Millie Marotta with to keep herself busy. She wasn’t much interested in colouring in, so during a quiet period at the shop I looked through the book and found this simplistic yet majestic dragonfly. I sharpened all her colouring pencils and started colouring in. How much fun was that! It honestly had a calming and mesmerizing effect, and I struggled to put it down. I had to complete it and I’m glad I did.
While I was colouring in I couldn’t help but think about my ouma and oupa.
As a child I use to spend most of my school holidays with them in Pretoria. Both my parents worked and I don’t think there were any holiday programs available back in the day, so they would send us (my sister and I) off to stay with them. My ouma had the ability to keep us occupied from the minute we woke up. She was involved with community programs, volunteer work and church events. We often spend time with her while she was volunteering, meeting people from all walks of life and even lending a helping hand when needed.
My ouma and oupa were both creative people in their own way. My oupa painted, sculpted and made brass objects, while my ouma sewed, knitted, cross stitched and was an amazing baker. They encouraged both my sister and I to be creative. I would spend hours on end drawing birds in my scrapbook and then paint them. I would retreat to my ouma’s work room, listen to the radio while cross stitching a new pattern. And when I was older I learned fabric painting and made several cushions, one which I kept.
They have both passed on, but the memories of them are alive. Today I miss being a kid, but more so I miss them dearly.