Passion, thoughts and a sale..

My art is a passion that burns deep. I wake to each new day thinking what do I want to accomplish today. Working on a particular painting.. yet tempted to start something new and fresh is well, tempting. Occasionally I surf the web to see what is happening in the art world to get myself motivated to paint when my batteries are a bit low. I get distracted when something throws my mood, yet painting gets me into a singular mind-frame where the process shuts out the stuff of everyday life. There are times while rinsing a brush I’m taken aback when I glance at my watch to see that hours have passed. I reckon I’m not the only artist that experiences this. Not all days are productive. Sometimes I need to organise myself or get other chores sorted so I can concentrate on the work I plan to do. For me – getting lost in my work is therapeutic. I believe passion for our art is key for the work we produce and it should find us working..

A local art store holds an annual  sale of art equipment and today was the 50% off start to kick it off.. I ambled my way to the mall, knowing it would be busy but did not expect the huge queue that met me at the door. The sale was rather entertaining.. I selected several canvases and other goodies that will hopefully see me through a few months, joined the queue to the till to pay.. The manager was rather amusing. She taunted artists with sweets, give -aways and freebies.. One not so humoured lady looked at her sternly while trying to re-arrange the numerous wares she was trying to carry. The manager then proffered the sweetie bowl again and said – I know you want one – this ones whisky flavoured – I can see it in your eyes.. The waiting queue of artists cracked up. I should have taken some pics but my hands were full..

The everyday stuff we do and the experiences we have prompt reflection and impact on our  daily output. Today was a bit of time out for me. Yet this time allows us to think and nurture ideas and the way ahead in our work.

International Artist Mag Challenge No 92

We are currently experiencing a water shortage in South Africa. Water is an essential element in our lives and I’ve long enjoyed activities around water. It’s commonplace for people to enjoy their daily lives where the setting for what they’re doing is at a lakeside, river, dam or the ocean – all appealing for the obvious ambience water provides.

As a keen fly fisherman when I get the opportunity to get outdoors, I have begun to see water from a different perspective. In March this year I started a new series of paintings along the theme of water.. I think this will be an ongoing body of work that could take a lifetime. Water is so complex – The way it can reflect, mould itself around everything it comes into contact with and the creatures and plants it supports as well as being so life-giving. Water also enhances, complements and can alter the way things look. I’d decided to paint this subject because of these qualities.

The International Artist magazine have regular challenges for artists worldwide to compete and encourage the best talent working in the world today to enter work. I entered the first painting I’d done in the series “Orange Spoon”and was fortunate to be chosen as a finalist for the Landscape Challenge No 92! (Featured in Issue No 108 April / May 2016)
The Title was given after I had thought there were orange water lilies in front of one of the reeds, but on inspection of the images afterward, one of the “lilies” turned out to be an orange spoon.
In the working process of these paintings my aim is too seek out the patterns, shapes and accent the light and shade I find in the subject matter being depicted, also to explore the affect water has on it’s environment and generally water as one of lifes ‘alma maters’
I’ve since painted another 2 new works for the series which is ongoing, and incidentally learning from.. I’ll post further work on the series as they’re completed. Pics below are work on the series in the order completed.

Orange Spoon

Orange Spoon


Lily Matrix

Lily Matrix


Lillies of the Gloaming

Lillies of the Gloaming


It has been a while since my last post.. It’s been a period of personal growth.. –  disappointment and uncertainty have been a constant companion as I find my feet as an artist. I’m particular about my art, so being in a frame of mind where I’m unclear in my mind as to the next painting I want to undertake has hampered my progress somewhat. I’ve explored some new ideas and there is light at the end of tunnel. Some of the work I thought I’d start were canned a day or two into the process (several times..) What sometimes seemed a good concept one day became a thorn in the side the next, as I grappled with notions that it was not good enough.

It’s not easy to admit we’ve walked into a brick wall of sorts. It’s like having writers block, but not.. I’m confident in my ability as a painter, but I don’t want to paint a subject I don’t have an affinity with. The painting for me should elevate not only the viewers disposition toward the subject / painting but also gratify the artist.. Having looked at numerous artist’s work I revere, its apparent to me that they must have felt something similar – or at least that’s how it comes across to me. It shows in the work. Failure is important, as through that we learn.

In a previous post Influences / June 2015 – I talked about how eminent artists, influences can inspire. Whilst going through stumbling blocks and search for inspiration I’ve also been through a phase of intrigue for the photo-real, yet in this is also a process of change with wanting to convey neo-expressionistic sensibilities and abstraction. The style we work in can define our work, how and what we paint. I deduced that pattern and form play a huge role in what appeals visually, as it’s evident everywhere around us and comes into play irrefutably in painting. Deciding on a particular path can be daunting, and commitment to a particular style can stifle.. Exploration of paint and style are essential I think in awakening the aura of a work. These are some of the  transitions that play a role in an artists story of his paintings..


I started this site in order to showcase my paintings and share my views on fine art, what inspires me to paint and where possible to contribute, learn more, and also to utilise the site as a platform for my fine art in general. I have worked as a freelance commercial artist for just over thirty years, servicing the advertising industry – having worked on many different projects, encompassing various disciplines to create the artwork required. This has given me a good base as an artist.

Originally when I started out as a freelancer, much of the artwork was done the traditional way – using media like acrylics, inks (particularly for airbrushing), watercolours and various other media. occasionally I’d receive a commission to paint a subject for a client or ad agency that would involve painting in Oils or acrylics. Most projects were commercial and briefing was frequently ‘tight’ – always with the clients objectives in mind.

Once the digital ushered in, the advertising industry transitioned to the computer for creation of artwork and desktop publishing was born. I resisted at first, but a few years later had little choice but to join the digital community. The world-wide web also came into being and e-mails were replacing fax as a means to communicate. The rise of software applications like Adobe Photoshop also impacted hugely on editing of artwork and even the creation thereof.. 3D applications also came to the fore and subsequently the nature of artwork creation changed for me. As a freelancer – one had to be a ‘jack of all trades’ because I’d have to create artwork in so many forms. Examples would be digital illustration, vector art, graphic design in its various forms and also finished art. 3D modelling and rendering were also a huge part of my everyday workflow – having taken years to learn and become proficient in, was essential to the working pipeline.
My online commercial art portfolio

Now, many years down the line I’ve re-discovered my roots and being somewhat disenchanted with the industry due to being restricted by briefs from creatives at ad agencies, chasing after payments and the innate commercialism that comes with the advertising industry as a whole. I find painting therapeutic and creatively I can explore. The possibilities with paint and it’s challenges will be a lifelong pursuit to master.

As a realist painter, my work is moving toward the narrative genre. I’ve always loved work that explored the obscure undercurrents of the subject – what ‘draws’ the viewer in.. and thereby the viewer have an affinity with a work. I intend to show work that is original and inspired, always seeking to perfect the oeuvre..

– Updated 19 June ’15 –


This is my very first post on my new Fine Art site, and being a total newby to WordPress I’m having to find my way around – so bear with me.. Artist’s – particularly myself, am heavily influenced by other eminent artists. I guess it’s the benchmark for the level of creativity and competence they’ve attained. Painting is a natural thing for me, however I’m aware that it is an ongoing process to evolve and become better at it. Being a painter is more than the ability to paint, as the process requires the faculty to interpret visually what one sees. The power of seeing is an essential ingredient to the art of painting. This is acquired through knowledge of the subject matter. Paintings are ‘made’ through a cognitive and physical process. The power of influence can’t be understated as it can be a real factor for inspiration..

For me, the creation of an artwork is about capturing the essence of a subject, to explore the visual undertones.. The dedication and commitment and understanding of a subject is evident in the work of these ‘masters’ that inspire. There are several past masters and quite a few contemporary’s that have made an indelible impression on how and why I paint.

Past Masters:
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres | 1780 – 1867
Master of graceful line and painter of note.

Johannes Vermeer | 1632 – 1675
Master painter – particularly of light.

Diego Velazquez | 1599 – 1660
Master painter.

Giovanni Antonio Canal (called Canaletto) | 1697 – 1768
Master painter of city scenes – particularly scenes in Venice.

Pablo Picasso | 1881 – 1973
Master of abstraction.


Ray Harris~Ching
Master painter of wildlife.
Ray Harris~Ching on

Link to Rountree Tryon Galleries page for 'After the deluge'

‘After the deluge’ by Ray Harris~Ching. Pic from Rountree Tryon Galleries


John Meyer | 1942 –
Master of the ‘narrative genre’
John Meyer website

Link to

‘Late afternoon, Cambedoo’ by John Meyer. Pic from


Neil Rodger | 1941 – 2013
Master portraitist.
Neil Rodger – Everard Read Gallery | CT

Link to Everard Read Galleries page

‘Seated woman looking at the sea’ by Neil Rodger. Pic by Everard Read Gallery.


Daan Vermeulen | 1934 –
Master painter of landscapes.
Daan Vermeulen – Johans Borman site

Link to  Johans Borman Fine Art page for 'Near Mc Gregor'

‘Near Mc Gregor’ by Neil Rodger. Pic from Johans Borman Fine Art


Jeremy Lipking | 1975 –
Master painter.
Jeremy Lipking website

Link to for 'Danielle in kimono'

‘Danielle in Komono’ by Jeremy Lipking. Pic from


– Updated 19 June ’15 –

Artwork featured on this site is © Clive Kirk and respective contributors.