Studio update….

Art portfolio- my work

Soon I won’t need to take orders anymore. I won’t be waitressing in the evenings because we will be relocating to another city mid April – that is if we find a decent house to rent. My husband found work at a construction company.  We will be moving away from the Klein Karoo, closer to the Coast.  Looking forward to unpack all my ‘stuff’ and start a new adventure.

Talking about orders, I am currently busy finishing the ‘orde’ series:

orde phthiraptera

Orde Phthiraptera: luise/lice

“Wyfieluise is meer volop as mannetjies en as mannetjies skaars word, kan die wyfies eiers lê wat uitbroei sonder dat hulle gepaar het.  Die eiers (of nete) word aan die vere of hare vasgeplak.  Die luise van seerobbe is so aangepas dat hulle net eiers op die robbe lê in die tyd van die jaar wanneer die robbe op land bly om self geboorte te gee en kleintjies groot te maak.” from the book “Ons eie insekte”

10 down 5 to go.  They must be finished in time to be exhibited at ArtKaroo gallery during the KKNK.

I am also in the process to create my own website.  I finally realized that a blog can not possibly function as a website and that the two is very different.  I am taking my time with it, but hopefully I will be able to launch it soon.

On my bedside table is the “Ultimate building book” by Steven Cane. I really enjoy it, but my boys are too small to do some of the projects yet, so I will make some notes so that we can build some amazing stuff when they are bigger.  In the meantime I am inspired to become a ‘sidewalk superintendant’.


“Even with insects- a novel” by Barbara Erasmus is another book beside my bed.  I love the following quote on page 119:

“He said that Eliot was wrong.  Home isn’t where you start from.  It is where you go back to.”

Connecting the dots

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

Since I was small I loved activity books…like the Hardy boys and Nancy drew.

I still adore them as well as more recent ones like The scribble diary and Wreck this journal.

I remember fondly the pages where one must connect the dots in some of the older books-

I liked it so much that I want to connect dots in real life.

You probably have noticed that I adore fairy tales and even though the recent book (Eating animals) I’m reading (see previous post) aint no fairy-tale, it contained the following sentence:

“Once upon a time there was a person whose life was so good there was no story to tell about it”

Jonathan Safran Foer

So why do we tell stories or why do we want to listen to them?

Last week we as a family went on a short road trip.  My son (aged 4) used to love tractors, but on this trip he wanted to search for dragons! Believe it or not, dragons are so much harder to find than tractors!  At some point we did find dragons at the Fairy-sanctuary, which were made of clay, much to his disappointment because they were not alive!

We ended up spending one night in the magical town: Baardskeerdersbos.

“The name ‘Baardskeerdersbos’ in Afrikaans literally means “Beard Shaver’s Forest”.  The accepted explanation of this name is that a species of solifuge inhabits the area, and that this arachnid is referred to as a ‘beard shaver” because it cuts hair to use for nest-building.”


(My son was very pleased when I told him this)

There I met a very interesting artist and photographer: Kali (yes, named after the goddess of creation and destruction).   Her work reminds me of mythology.

“Autogenous” by Kali

What I like about it is that she says on her site that she is the one in front of and behind the camera.  And she doesn’t manipulate the photos with photoshop etc.

“Shadowing” by Kali

Some of her work also reminds me of  ‘fairytales’

“The fight is always with the self” by Kali

Visit here for more beautiful images.

Even our silkworms went on the trip with us- and survived.

While still fascinated with fairytales I also started to explore the realm of insects!  (seems that insects didn’t inspire a lot of fairy-tales, but rather stories about aliens.)

My (2year old) son cannot pass a rock without lifting it in search of centipedes.  His older brother love searching for spiders.  He is so intrigued by these arachnids that he decided he wants to make paintings of them.

(He says he made this one brown since I told him not to touch the black ones. – They are usually very poisonous (eg: the black widow)

So  this mom decided to visit the library to get some books focusing on insects.  Being inspired I decided to do start with a  series: Orde

Using found doilies and embroidered cloth (women used to name the patterns of doilies as well), and rubber- and to embroider one insect from each order I am reading about, in this book (Ons Eie insekte), onto it.

Orde: Hemiptera


ʼn Samelewing wat net uit wyfies bestaan en nogtans gelukkig saamleef en teen ʼn verbasende tempo voortplant deur kleintjies lewend in die wereld te bring.  Plantluise se lewensiklus is baie kort en hulle kan in ʼn week of twee van geboorte tot volwassenes ontwikkel.  Die volwasse wyfie begin dan dadelik voortplant teen ʼn koers van verskeie kleintjies per dag en kan tot 200 kleintjies in haar lewe voortbring, wat elk weer na ʼn week of twee begin voortplant.  Inderdaad het hulle reeds ongebore kleintjies binne-in hul liggame nog voordat hulle self gebore is, sodat ʼn wyfie werklik haar dogters en kleindogers gelyktydig in haar liggaam kan dra”

In Afrikaans there is a saying: ‘sy wil orde skep” meaning she wants to create a sense of order around her.

Since it is Spring in our hemisphere I got to think about women who yearn for a sense of order in the home but then destroy other homes (those of insects).   Does an insect free house mean a cleaner and safer home?

I don’t like to use insecticides, but the only insects I really don’t mind killing is Fleas.  What I do find fascinating as well is my children’s relationship with these creatures and why they find some interesting and others not.  The relationship of the female insects with their young also makes me think.

Orde Coleoptera

Orde: Coleoptera


By die Egiptenare van ouds was die miskruier ʼn heilige dier.    Waarom juis ʼn miskruier?  Vir die egiptenare was die son die hoofgod, en die miskruier wat uit die grond kom, sy bal (die aarde) rol en weer in die grond verdwyn, was vir hulle die gelykenis en simbool van die son en van opstanding uit die dode.  Verder is die totale aantal voetlitte, naamlik dertig, as die dae van die maand beskou.

Elke miskruier wat daarin slaag om ʼn misbal te kry, begin hom nou in trurat wegrol.    Wanneer ʼn lid van die teenoorgestelde geslag egter opdaag, vorm hulle ʼn paartjie.  Dan neem die mannetjie die rollery oor en die wyfie loop saam of ry op die bal.  Nadat die mannetjie die bal sowat 10 tree gerol het, begrawe hy dit ongeveer 200mm diep, en dan sit die paartjie rustig onder die  grond en voed op die mis.

How romantic!

As ʼn wyfie egter reg is om eiers te le, sal sy self die misbal begrawe.  Die mannetjie verloor dan alle belangstelling en vertrek.

Thats sad.

. I am very excited about learning more about insects.

Cant wait to see how the dots connect

Orde: Hymenoptera

Art portfolio- my work


embroidery on rubber with found cloth


“Alle miere leef in sosiale kolonies, met een of meer koninginne wat eiers le en sodoende die nageslag produseer, en groot getalle werkers wat in werklikheid wyfies is, maar nie eiers kan le nie.  Mannetjies word net geproduseer vir die paringsvlug, wanneer verskillende neste se gevleuelde mannetjies en wyfies uitvlieg om te paar.

Die wyfie byt na paring haar vlerke af en begin n nuwe nes as koningin, waar sy tot 20 jaaar oud kan word.  Die mannetjie gaan kort na paring dood, en die koningin word dus n weduwee net na haar bruilofsvlug.”

p102 Uit: Ons eie Insekte deur E. Holm en W.M de Villiers