Wednesday, 9 April 2014

NEW BLOG

Thank you for visiting my Blog here at Blogger, your interest is greatly appreciated.

I have started a new Blog on WordPress and here is the link http://artofmow.info/ .  I have been running both blogs, here and on WordPress, with the same information, however Google is not in favor of duplicate content and thus I have decided to only continue with the one on WordPress.

I hope to see you over there and please follow my new blog via email to prevent disappointment for missing future posts.

Regards
Leana

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

TWITTER ART EXHIBIT FOLLOW-UP

I am absolutely ecstatic - My "Karoo Farm Cottage" painting sold on the opening night of the Twitter Art Exhibition to Nat George, Los Angeles-based visual artist, independent curator and #TwitterArtExhibit board member. Thank you Nat for purchasing my painting 

It truly was a great privilege being part of such a great and well-organized event.

http://twitterartexhibit.org/post/66283225894/thanks-cj-de-villiers-leana-artofmow-for


Saturday, 25 January 2014

TRANQUILLITY

The following painting is part of a Series called Protection. I painted this from a photograph I took some time ago.  The feeling I got looking at this photograph was perfection and tranquillity. Some sea shells are very delicate and can break easily, therefore they need to be handled with care.  Life is full of ups and downs, sometimes there is a small stone on our life path, other times a massive rock.  Sometimes you go through very difficult times and perhaps feel hollow and fragile, just like this shell.  This is the time to nurture and be kind to yourself.  You need to protect yourself emotionally, mentally and physically and go to a place in your dreams, prayer or meditation where you can experience tranquillity. You are strong and you will get through these trying times.  There is always a way to get around those big rocks or boulders in your path…find a way around, over or under and continue with strength and determination to live your life to its fullest potential.


CAUTIOUS CURIOSITY

Cautious Curiosity Oil Painting by Leana de Villiers, pseudonym Mow.  Cautious Curiosity is an oil painting of our cat Patches. 

The story of Patches started in April 2009.  It was a very stormy and extremely windy evening.  My husband heard a cat meowing and opened the front door, but could not see anything.  Both our cats, Smokey and Joey were inside all snuggled up.  When my husband heard the cat once again, he opened the front door and said that there is a cat outside and wondered to whom it may belong.  I asked if the cat is okay, but he said he is not sure.  I immediately went outside in the stormy weather to see where the cat was and if it was okay.  I saw this little black and white kitty, but did not want to scare her away, so I knelt down and put my hand out for her to smell.  She was very cautious, but slowly came closer.  As she got close enough for me to pick her up, a gust of wind came and literally blew her a few meters away from me.  I went after her, picked her up and took her inside.  She was as light as a feather and was only skin and bones.  We made a bed for her in the bathroom, because we had to keep her separate from our other two cats to prevent a possible fight.  We placed some food, water and a sandbox nearby.  My husband and I then sat down on the bathroom floor with her.  We picked her up to check if she was not hurt.  She had no injuries, but was covered in ticks.  We sat with her, picking off the ticks with a tweezer for a couple of hours.  We then sat there watching her settling in and eating as if she has not seen food for a very long time.

The next day we got some tablets from the vet to kill off any remaining ticks.  She was very quiet and although she ate and drank some water, she slept most of the time.  On the third day she vomited and all that came out was bits of plastic dustbin bags.  So this little kitty had been living in the drains of the housing complex and had gone scavenging in the dustbins for food.  We asked around, but nobody had lost a cat and as a result we decided to keep her and named her Patches.

After about a week, we slowly started introducing Patches to our other two cats.  In the beginning it was hair-raising, but they started getting used to one another slowly.  Once she settled into the household, she became a little more daring.  She tried to jump onto the couch to join the other two cats, but because she was so weak, she had no strength in her hind legs and could not get onto the couch.  We had to pick her up every time and put her on the couch.

We took her to the vet for a check-up, yearly injections, deworming and wanted to make an appointment to have her spayed as well.  The vet said that she was far too weak and would not survive anesthetic. Therefore we were not able to have her spayed her until she had gained more strength.  So after about 2 months she gained enough strength and we had her spayed.

Patches was a very scared cat from the beginning and did not like wind, barking dogs or loud noises.  When she was outside and the wind started blowing, she would run inside immediately and take cover.  She also does not like people (besides us) and when we get visitors, she will hide under the bed until they had left.

Having been part of our family for a good couple of years now, Patches started budding like a beautiful flower from all the love, affection and attention.  She has become a kitty full of confidence.  To this day she is not fond of other people and will go to our bedroom when we have visitors.  She is probably the most affectionate kitty I have come across. She sleeps on the bed every night with the other two and in winter time she loves to get under the blankets where it is cozy and warm. 


She is very curious, but remains cautious and always very lovable.

http://leana-de-villiers.artistwebsites.com/featured/cautious-curiosity-leana-de-villiers.html

Sunday, 20 October 2013

PAINTING - TWITTER ART EXHIBITION

What a great feeling it was yesterday morning when I went to the Post Office to send off my contribution to the Twitter Art Exhibition 2014 in Orlando, Florica, U.S.A

It is a great privilege to be able to represent my country, South Africa in this exhibition.


It took me quite a while to decide what to paint for the Twitter Art Exhibition and after I have gone through quite a few photographs I have taken over the years, I decided on a landscape from the area I grew up in.

When you are used to painting on bigger canvases, it can be quite scary in a way to paint on a post card size substrate. Working on this 10 x 12cm painting took me completely out of my comfort zone. Besides some really small brushes, I used one of my adapted brushes in this painting. When I say adapted, I mean a nr 3 size soft synthetic brush which got a big taste of my scissors. Only about 5 hairs remained on the brush and it came in handy in the really small areas.

A visit back 'home' to the Karoo is long overdue. While working on this painting, it most certainly touched my senses, even though I haven't been back to the Karoo for about 7 years. I could smell the plants indigenous to the area, feel the heat of the Karoo sun baking on my skin, see the landscape in my mind, and hear the Sonbesies (Cicada - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicada ) sing. Sonbesies or Cicada is a flying insect and when it is really hot, they can make quite a 'noise' which we call singing.

Having spend half my life in the Little Karoo, situated in the Western Cape of South Africa, I can say for certain that I know and understand the landscape, extreme temperatures of the area, the people, flora and wildlife, as well as insects.

Further information about the Karoo for your interest. The Karoo is an arid/semi-desert region and the Little Karoo is in the South section of the Karoo. In the summer it is hot and dry and can easily reach temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (sometimes higher) during the day time. Winter time it gets very cold with mostly frost on ground level and snow on some of the mountains in the area.

The town or village I grew up in is seen as the gateway to Route 62, which is the longest wine route in the world and the doorway to the Karoo.

I can remember, as a child, in winter time that the grass was as white as snow from the frost. I loved to 'ski' on the grass at home before I get on my way to school and looking back seeing the marks on the grass my shoes left from the skiing.

Summertime was a different story though. I used to love being bare feet and remember walking to my best friend or to the swimming pool would sometimes end up with me having 'blisters' on my feet.

All in all this painting has a very special place in my heart, because it is my first Karoo painting and many more to come in the future.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my walk down memory lane while working on this painting.

Greetings to you from Cape Town.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

TWITTER ART EXHIBIT

5/9/2013

Twitter Art Exhibit was founded by the Norwegian Artist David Sandhum on Twitter.  The next and fourth exhibition will be taking place in Orlando, Florida in the USA and the show will be running from 20 March 2014 to 11 April 2014.  Artists from all over the world partake in this Exhibition and submit  postcard size artworks which will be sold.  The income generated from the sale of the artworks will go towards a good cause.  The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Classes, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to dance education and outreach will be the benefactor from the 2014 exhibition.

Twitrartexhibit on Twitter

The project I am busy with at the moment is for the above mentioned Exhibition.  The size of the work is 10 x 14cm on 300 gms acid free watercolour paper, which I have triple primed with Gesso.

I have never in my life painted such a small painting, so this is quite new to me.  It was quite a decision to decide on what to paint for this Exhibition.  First of all I know that an abstract painting looks best on bigger size canvases, so for me personally an abstract would be out of the question.

I went through a lot of the photographs that I have taken over the years in search for the right subject matter.   I did not just want to paint anything just to get it done and posted.  A lot of thought and feelings went into this.  Some people might say, I make too much out of this...but you see, I wanted to get the feeling of 'this is it'! I eventually decided on a small Karoo Landscape.  The photograph was taken about 8 years ago on a farm in a small town in the Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa where I grew up.

I feel content with my choice and know that the person purchasing this artwork will have a piece of me and my history in their house.

So in the meantime, you will have to be a little patient until I can post a photograph of the completed work of art here for you to see.  Small painting, small brushes, details.... off I go to paint.

Friday, 23 August 2013