Monday, November 21, 2011


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Sylvia White shares her list of the 10 things artists should be thankful for. I have pinned the list on my noticeboard!

1. I am thankful that I am not one of the majority of people in this world that
wakes up every morning, goes to a job they hate, just to come home and do it all
over again.

2. I am thankful that when I am away from my studio, my ideas come with me, they
keep me company everywhere I go.

3. I am thankful for this passion that gives me so much joy (and angst) but mostly

4. I am thankful that when I have left this earth, I will leave something meaningful

5. I am thankful that I have a mind that can not sleep, I will never be bored.

6. I am thankful that there is a part of my life that nobody can control, except

7. I am thankful that no one in the world can ever take this gift from me.

8. I am thankful that I am brave, it takes courage to pursue my gift.

9. I am thankful that I am never satisfied, it forces me to move forward and grow.

10. I am thankful I discovered this list!

Paint brushes on browndresswithwhitedots Tumblr Blog, here.

Hats off to those artists who have to juggle their day jobs with their art .

Studio of Jimmy Rix. See Jimmy's work here.

Read articles by Sylvia White, the founder and director of Contemporary Artists' Services, here.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I've been collecting inspiring quotations since my school days, often scribbling them down on scraps of paper and later writing them out neatly into my quote journal. There's something very empowering about the words of others especially when they mirror one's own thoughts. So often I just can't put into words what I am feeling and when I find a quotation that expresses these thoughts clearly, it's very satisfying.
Emerson began writing a journal at about 15 and in it he wrote his thoughts, experiences and quotes from the books that impressed him.

"Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”
__ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have found beautiful handmade journals and artist books on the web, all of which would make wonderful quote "bibles".

Miniature Journal by Teo Studio

If you feel like sharing your favourite quotes I would love to read them.

One of my many favourite quotes is by Nigerian writer, Ben Okri ......

"We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It's just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn't have expected."

Journal by Bridgette Guerzon Mills. See more at amonobooks here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

HAPPINESS IS .............

Bouquets of old spoons from the scrap yard,

Containers filled with pencils...
I LOVE pencils!

Art books... particularly African Art books,

Piles of sketchbooks filled with ideas,

Monkeys that peep .....

Sundays on the The Midlands Meander (an art route through KwaZulu Natal) .....

Browsing through country shops,

Being amazed by creatures made from wire and beads,

Stopping somewhere for tea .... lunch ..... and tea again

Beautiful scenery.... snow ..... fresh air in rural Natal

Happiness is spending time with my family (yep, that's my brother in the top right corner above ...... Lets see if he reads my blog :-)

All photos are mine except for The Dlaminis above from Zulu-Lulu Trading on the Midlands Meander.

SO MUCH HAPPINESS by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do
with so
much happiness.
With sadness there is something
to rub

A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.

When the world falls in around you,
have pieces to pick up,

Something to hold in your hands,

ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.

It doesn't need you to hold it down.

It doesn't need anything.

Happiness lands on the roof
of the next
And disappears when it wants to.

You are happy either way.

Even the fact that you once lived
in a

And now live over a quarry of noise
Cannot make you unhappy.

Everything has a life of its own,

It too could wake up filled with possibilities

Of coffee cake and ripe peaches,

And love even the floor
which needs to
be swept,

The soiled linens and scratched records…..

Since there is no place large enough

To contain so much happiness,

You shrug, you raise your hands,
and it
flows out of

Into everything you touch.
You are not
You take no credit,
as the night sky
takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it,

and to share it,

And in that way, be known.

- Naomi Shihab Nye