The Owlings portrait of two sisters in watercolor : Magical Realism painting

This is my new painting, titled “The Owlings”

sister owls painting

This lovely whimsical painting was inspired by a folk-style portrait of two girls I saw from the 1800’s.

It was a tradtion in former times for parents to place a coral necklaces on children as coral was thought to protect the wearer from ill health and harm.

sisters owls art

I love the style of Magical Realism painting, where is the subject matter is often blurred between realism and a strong nuance of the quirky or magical.

sister owls picture

This painting is primarily done in watercolours, with touches of gold, silver and coloured pigment ink.

I particularly enjoyed painting the two sisters, as it is a dedication to my own sister and the beautiful spirit of sisterhood…

sister owls art print

….who knows what they, and their little totem owls within their arms are thinking?

Paintings like this one are so very special that I only release a small amount of print reproductions of them. The edition of this size print of the painting is only 50 prints and is available for sale here.

The original painting is also for sale – please contact me for more information. Thanks for visiting !

Sumi-e dragonfly original brush paintings to go!

I’ve created some new paintings featuring beautiful Dragonflies, done in Sumi-e  Japanese / Chinese brush style on acid-free handmade mulberry bark paper which has a lovely silky surface texture.

These original one-off watercolour paintings are all available for $30 or under in my Esty Shop

dragonfly sumi-e painting

dragonfly chinese sumi-e



I love creating anything to do with dragonflies : they have a unique meaning across many cultures, symbolising transformation, ressurrection and enlightenment as they are born wriggling in the water, and transmute into stunning winged creatures of the air…..


dragonfly bamboo painting

dragonfly brush painting

You can see more of my original Dragonfly Artwork and Jewelry design here.

Thank you for stopping by – I’ll soon be posting more new paintings in an Owl extravaganza !

Whimsical Mermaid painting : Ulysses Muse !

My latest painting springs from the imagining of a wonderful and epic story of a voyage in Ancient times. Ulysses – known as Odysseus in his Greek persona –  is a mythological sea-faring hero and warrior who managed to hear the seductive song of the devastatingly beautiful but deadly Sirens whilst avoiding being drowned by them.

mermaid whimsical art

He was on his way back home to his Grecian island kingdom of Ithaca in the Ionian sea after fighting in the Trojan War, and his incredible adventures have become legendary. My interest in this story, which may have very well been based on factual events in prehistory, stems from the fact that my Greek ancestry goes back just two generations to this beautiful little Greek island. It was from there that my grandparents immigrated to South Africa in the 1930’s, and my great-great grandfather sailed the surrounding Mediterranean seas right up into the Black sea as a merchant sailor, captaining his very own ship.

mermaid whimsical picture

In this watercolor and pigment colored pencil and wax resist painting, I’ve depicted one of the Sirens as a mermaid, who has Ulysses’ soul in her heart as she sings her exquisite song to him ~ perhaps she is in love with him…perhaps it is she who inspires him to keep going on his voyage home despite all the trials he endures. I imagine her as being almost doll-like, as a marionette mermaid…

mermaid whimsical print

As always in my paintings, there is much expressive movement, along with little details hidden away for the viewer to discover. For the colour palette I enjoyed using corals, salmon pinks, tones of blue grey for the stormy sky and highlights of creamy yellow. These colors are very inspired by my own visit to the Greek islands, where everything is imbued by a mystical, magical hue that is timeless.

mermaid whimsical painting

I wanted to keep the feeling of this magic, with a whimsy that always surrounds mythological tales, especially ones about mermaids, the sea, heros and the longing of love….

The original painting is for sale here.

Stunning archival art prints are for sale here.

Dachshund Painting, and other Animal Portraits

dachshund painting“Simon”

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I love to do portrait commissions.

I am currently working on this little painting of a Dachshund, done in a whimsical Folk art style, for an upcoming exhibition at my local art gallery. It is based on a wonderful dog my family owned called Simon, who loved to run outside and chase all sorts of creatures in his path. He was a very special pet, and this is my tribute to him.

I have done a few animal portraits in the past, and am always inspired to capture its spirit in a style that reflects its uniqueness. Here are some of them – and I do have a penchant for owls and cats! I do custom commissions for any kind of portrait, painting, tattoo design etc – please contact me if you are interested.


Watercolor portrait painting completed…

Spring Queen painting

My portrait of Maggie is finished !  As described in my previous two posts, after sketching the initial outlines in pencil, I free-formed the rest of the composition, continuing to layer the watercolours, working around the dired pressed flowers,  adding more detail to the peony fairy and the hair, more flowers, and brushstrokes reminiscent of those of Vincent Van Gogh, whose artwork Maggie loves.

Below is a detailed excerpt of the painting – please click on it for a larger view – it is a blend of watercolor, dried flowers and s mall touch of Caran d’Ache colored pigment pencil for highlights. The paper is Stonehenge smooth textured paper. I mostly use Rembrandt or Van Gogh watercolors, with touches of Chinese white for highlights. I am looking forward to my next painting – please keep an eye on my blog for my next project. You can purchase a beautiful print of this painting from my shop here.

Thanks for visiting!

Spring Queen picture

Portrait Painting Progress….

portrait painting progress

This is the painting of Maggie so far – in my previous post I described the beginnings of this work.

Here, I have layered the watercolour on Stonehenge ivory paper, and filled in more details, like the fairy by the peony top right, and the cats. I have begun to blend the dried flowers in with painted flowers, too. I will be doing more of this, as well as filling out her hair, adding more small details and subtle highlights. What I love to do is basically free-form the painting; I have an idea of colours and composition, but mostly it’s a process of playing with the paint, with the flow and feel of the painting….you can click on it to view it closer up.

A new portrait commission, and other portrait pieces…

I am always honoured to be able to paint someone’s portrait. To me, capturing the essence of a person within a painting is not only a wonderful creative expression, but also an intimate journey into their soul…

maggie portrait 1

This is the beginnings of a portrait of Maggie, a wonderful customer who was inspired by my Flora Fairy painting and loves flowers and her two cats, so asked if I could blend all of these together and create a portrait of her. As with the Flora painting, I am using dried pressed flowers I have gathered on my journeys around the world, and overlaying them with watercolours. The overall feel is ethereal, whimsical and delicate. You can click on it for a closer view.

Here are a few examples of portrait styles I have done over the years :

I love doing almost any kind of commissioned artwork, especially portraits. I prefer not to be too attached to defining the realism of the person ~ rather, I draw from my style which uses a quality of magical realism to enhance the uniqueness I see in my subject matter.

If you are interested in having your portrait painted, please contact me for further information on the process, prices etc. I would be very happy to hear from you!

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