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 !

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.

Tree of Life tattoo design and other unique tattoo designs, and copyright laws

Tree of Life tattoo design and other unique tattoo designs, and copyright laws

I have been doing a lot of tattoo designs over the last two years, as outlined in a previous post. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I have opened up an Etsy store selling my own original tattoo designs.

red owl tattoo design with flowers

Red owl tattoo design

It is a work in progress, so I am hoping to create an add more this year. It takes a lot of time to create a tattoo design, and often people don’t understand the level of work involved in drawing up a unique image, whether it is for a custom tattoo, or an original drawing, painting, logo design, all artists invest a huge amount of time, energy and skill into creating original artwork.

 

fairy gothic tattoo design on mushroom

Fairy tattoo design

My original Tree of Life drawing has been used numerous times as a tattoo design. This is a great honour for me when someone loves my art so much as to place it permanently onto their bodies. However, it is very disheartening when my image has been taken off the internet without my permission, and has been used as a tattoo or any other reproduction. All artist’s original work is protected by copyright laws, and to use an artist’s original image in any way without their permission is illegal.

 

tree of life tattoo drawing liza paizis

Tree of Life tattoo design

The Tree of Life drawing is a very unique image I created; Trees are for me one of the most beautiful of Nature’s creations to draw – you can see a woman in this tree, and the sun and moon on either side of her with little creatures in the branches. She is this tree’s soul…….This image is available as a print here,  or you can buy it as a tattoo design here.

Often artists who have their work on the internet protect it by using low resolutions and/or copyright text over their images. Again, purchasing artwork from an artist does not mean the buyer has the copyrights to use that image except what the artists has expressly allowed them.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to add any comments you may have !

Owl jewelry design : wax carving for lost wax metal casting in silver and pewter

As mentioned in my previous post  I love creating unique pewter jewellery items by casting them from my original wax carvings, using the lost wax process. Here, I’m going to outline the basic process I use for carving a wax piece, in this case, an owl. I have already made an owl for my jewellery range, but that was an experiment in using precious metal silver clay for the first time, and the result was not exactly what I was looking for, though a sweet design, I wanted something more precise which is what jeweller’s carving wax is perfect for.

wax carving 1

The wax I use is the green modeler’s’s wax which can be bought online through any metal casting & jewelry supply store. It is extremely hard, and gives very fine detail; it can be sanded, melted, scraped and even machine worked with a hand tool / Drummel. First, I draw the design – I trace over the lines with a ball point pen in order to transfer the impressions of these lines onto the wax underneath.

wax carving 2

 Then, I cut this out and glue it over a piece of the green wax with normal school type stick glue. I then cut around the wax to get the basic shape of the design – initially I use a little hand saw, then linocut or woodcarving tools to do this. Now it is basically a process of copying my drawn design on the wax using sculpture techniques – more relief than actual 3-D sculpture.

wax carving 3

It’s important to work in layers, and not to make the wax too thin or else when it comes to casting the metal it may not work well. The techniques I use depend on what I am creating. I love to just use a basic craft or surgical knife to slowly scrape and sculpt the form as well as different grades of sandpaper to smooth and sculpt the model further.

wax carving 4

I have not melted any wax for this design, as I did for my Tree of Life design, where for the fruit I melted blobs of the green wax, which is fun to do – best to do with with a very hot flame as you would get from a little hand-held butane torch.

wax carving 5

Wax carving is a technique which is best learned with at least one session taught by a professional, as one needs to understand how to fuse wax together if something breaks, how to avoid air bubbles so that the metal casting does not get ruined, and other techniques that are quirks of the trade. I am by no means a skilled wax carver, but I was lucky enough to spend a few hours learning from one so that I do understand the basics and I kind of just follow my creative intuition and feel for the lovely wax medium.

wax carving 6

It is also important that the wax model has been smoothly sanded and cleaned before it is sent to be cast. I sand the model as I work in conjunction with the sculpting knife. Sometimes it can be hard to imagine what the finished piece will look like cast in shiny metal, with a lovely dark patina applied to pick out the details….

wax carving 7

I am actually going to try to cast this at home, not with the lost wax method, but I am going to make a silicone mold from the wax carving, and then gravity cast with pewter just to see how it turns out. Eventually, I will send this wax carving to a professional investment casting company that specialises in lost wax casting in silver. After I have the silver master copy,I can further touch it up until I’m completely happy with the design, then get it cast in lead-free pewter in multiple molds using spin / centrifugal casting, again with a professional who specialises in this method of casting.

owl wax carvingThanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed reading about this wonderful process – please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have !

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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Leda and the Swan : a new watercolor painting

I have finally completed this painting, which I’ve been working on over the year. You can see its progress here. It is based upon Leda and the Swan , the ancient Greek myth of Zeus disguised as a swan who seduces the innocent mortal Leda.

Leda and the Swan

I wanted an African nuance, but ethereal too, with allusions to flight and feathers; the dreaminess of Leda’s imagination as she ponders Zeus’s love…This painting was done in watercolor on my favourite Stonehenge paper, with touches of gold paint, coloured pencil and ink.

Swan Maiden painting

I have gorgeous art prints for sale in my online shop, and the original is also for sale here.

Leda and the Swan watercolour painting progress

I am nearing the end of completing this little painting, which I have really enjoyed doing. As mentioned in a previous post, the concept is based on an ancient Greek myth of Zeus disguised as a swan who seduces the innocent Leda.

I wanted a kind of African nuance, but ethereal too, with allusions to flight and feathers; the dreaminess of Leda’s imagination as she ponders Zeus’s love…

leda and swan

Leda Swan

The Painter’s Journey ~ Part III : Putting the paint brush down….

This last part of my process of painting posts deals with bringing the composition together towards its conclusion. This can be the hardest part for me. Often it is at the stage when I feel like abandoning my creation because it is not quite what my inner vision had conjured up: I get a little impatient; frustrated with the paint, or the colours, or just my own hyper-critical sense of perfection.

It is normally at this point when the all-knowing Muse leans on my shoulder and gently but firmly encourages me to keep going, even if I don’t know what I am doing. It’s often a good time to step back for a few days if you are feeling like this, too, and watch an inspiring movie or start a new book. What always helps me, without fail, is taking long walks – through tree-lined streets, in a park or wherever there is a bit of Nature to guide the creative instinct and clear the mind of clutter.

time2sketch

I rely mostly on my creative instinct when finishing a painting. When I consciously choose to open up to this intuitive aspect, it does seem to flow towards the resolution of the work. Holding the painting from a distance upside down gives a really interesting perspective, too, on design and composition elements that can be enhanced. I love also at this point to just quietly meditate on the process of filling in small details: hidden faces, creatures, patterns and spirits that inhabit this world that unfolds before me…

time goddess painting 2

time goddess painting

“Time Goddess”

sun-moon-3  sun and moon lover art
“The Sun and the Moon”

sun-moon painting 3

As many painters (and probably all artists) would agree: you have to know when to finally stop painting, and just put the paint brush down, and let it go. This moment is the sweetest, and the most troubling of the whole process: what if I just added a bit more detail there? Or some intenser colouring there? I’m not happy with her hand, should I try to change it? But inevitably, with me, something just clicks and I know that my creative journey is over with this painting. Perhaps the Muse calmly puts my hand down for me, and lets me sit back, but I know this moment is also sacred, for a new creation has been completed, and I have that inner satisfaction and peace that tells me so….