Cabinet cards…my latest obsession

Artcrush, Studio news/blog

We visited my Mother-in-law in celebration of her birthday this past weekend- and here she is with her grandchildren:

At her birthday party one of her friends Tienie Potgieter asked me about my art and current intrests. I told her about my recent work and then she offered me a box full of vintage photographs including Cabinet cards!!

I could not believe my luck!

CABINET CARDS: A style of photograph first introduced in 1863 by Windsor & Bridge in London, the cabinet card is a photographic print mounted on card stock. The Cabinet card got its name from its suitability for display in parlors — especially in cabinets — and was a popular medium for family portraits.

So while I am in the process of working through each and every one….finding inspiration, I am also scanning them to create a virtual file- and while I’m at it , I thought I will share a couple with you!

I even love the back of these cards!

Work in progress

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog
work in progress 2021

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Dr. Howard Thurman

Studio musings

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

I don’t know about you, but the more the real world freaks me out, the more I escape to a fantasy one, equipped with fantasy characters of my own making. So at the end of 2020 I started working on a series of altered photos once again. I say once again because I’ve been altering vintage photos since 2014 – for example:

Title: It’s contagious Medium: Vintage photograph, cotton thread and rubber 59 x 44 cm 2014/2015

So while I was waiting for the big reprints of vintage photos which I am currently working with (looking forward to share that journey with you soon). I also did smaller ones, some inspired by my mother-in-law whom we visited in December. I took a walk down in memory lane with her one evening going through a drawer full of photos. Some of the photographs were slightly damaged which she gifted to me, for example the one below.

I am happy to announce that this series found a home in Phoenix Arizona and will hopefully reach their destination soon with the help of Jetlog Logistics.

In other news: our eldest son is turning 13 on the 23rd of January. I asked him how does it feel to be a teenager. He said it feels okay except for some “symptoms” he is currently experiencing 😉

What a joy to be the mother of this child o’ mine.

Etienne photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald

Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Ooh, oh, where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Oh, where do we go now?
Where do we go? (Sweet child)
Where do we go now?
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Where do we go now?
Ah, ah

Last but not least….The group exhibition: “No holds barred” at RK Contemporary gallery is coming to an end on the 31st of January. Feel free to check it out if you get a chance.

Over-rated, You can’t touch this, Aim higher, Inflation, Do/Don’t (Embroidered rubber)

On that note….

Please keep safe – mentally and physically until next month. ❤

meet the artist – inspiration and method to the madness…

Art portfolio- my work, Studio news/blog

the artist at work photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald 2020

A FAQ: “Where do you get inspiration from?

I believe inspiration/ideas are everywhere. I once read that the muse can be found anywhere/everywhere, he/she/it must just find you working.

I work in series and on individual pieces.  I usually have more than one piece I am working on at a time.  Much of my work involves my own artistic freedom even when i work from a brief for a group exhibition, since those briefs are usually very open to interpretation.

I also have been keeping visual diaries/sketchbooks since 1998 and i revisit them from time to tome which will sport more ideas ore even a different take on previous ideas.

sketchbook collage

I have only one favourite needle that I prefer working with, but i don’t know the brand or even where I bought it.  Sigh.

artist at work Hannalie Taute photographed by Kleinjan Groenewald 2019

I rarely use DCM floss – only for small pieces.  For bigger pieces I use a variety of thread/yarn, ranging from Elle, Nikkim 100% cotton yarn to Kartopu organica (Egyptian cotton) or whatever I get my hands on.

There are times when I combine paper (as in found pages or vintage photographs) with rubber and thread.  I also experiment with fabric, which I applique onto the rubber.

I mainly use one type of stitch since the rubber don’t really allow for fancy stitches.  My stitching are intentionally imperfect or even messy. 😉

I wish you a happy productive week ahead.

“nothing to gain and nothing to lose”

Studio news/blog

The play-pretend queen found a story about a ‘flute player”, and she would like to share it with you….


“A new flute was invented in China.  A Japanese master musician discovered the subtle beauties of its tone and brought it back home, where he gave concerts all around the country.  One evening he played with a community of musicians and music lovers who lived in a certain town.  At the end of the concert, his name was called.  He took out the new flute and played one piece.  When he was finished, there was silence in the room for a long moment.  There the voice of the oldest man was heard from the back of the room:  “Like a god!” 

Sketchbook page. Mixed media

The next day, as this master was packing to leave, the musicians approached him and asked how long it would take a skilled player to learn the new flute.  “Years,” he said.  They asked if he would take a pupil, and he agreed.  After he left, they decided among themselves to send a young man, a brilliantly talented flutist, sensitive to beauty, diligent and trustworthy.  They gave him money for the living expenses and for the master’s tuition, and sent him on his way to the capital, where the master lived.

The student arrived and was accepted by his teacher, who assigned him a single, simple tune.  At first he received systematic instruction, but he easily mastered all the technical problems.  Now he arrived for his daily lesson, sat down, and played his tune – and all the master could say was, “Something lacking.” The student exerted himself in every possible way,  he practiced for endless hours, yet day after day, week after week, all the master said was, “something lacking.” He begged the master to change the tune, but the master said no.  The daily playing , the daily “something lacking” continued for months on end.  The student’s hope of success and fear of failure became ever magnified, and he swung from agitation to despondency.

Finally the frustration became too much for him.  One night he packed his bag and slinked out.  He continued to live in the capital city for some time, longer, until his money ran dry.  He began drinking.  Finally, impoverished, he drifted back to his own part of the country.  Ashamed to show his face to his former colleagues, he found a bat far out in the countryside.  He still possessed his flutes, still played, but found no new inspiration in music.  Passing farmers heard him play and send their children to him for beginners’s lessons.  He lived this way for years.

One morning there was a knock at  his door.  It was the oldest past-master from his town, along with the youngest student.  They told him that tonight they were going to have a concert, and they had all decided it would not take place without him.  With some effort they overcame his feelings of fear and shame, and almost in a trance he picked up a flute and went with them. The concert began.  As he waited behind the stage, no one intruded on his inner silence.  Finally, at the end of the concert, his name was called.  He stepped out the stage in his rags.  He looked down at his hands, and realised that he had chosen the new flute.

Now he realized that he had nothing to gain and nothing to lose.  He sat down and played the same tune he had played so many times for his teacher in the past.  When he finished, there was silence for a long moment.  Then the voice of the oldest man was heard speaking softly from the back of the room:  ” Like a god!” 

quoted from a book I received as a gift recently called: “Free Play” by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Sketchbook page. Mixed media

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter-weekend! Take care…xxx

Rabbit! where did you hide those eggs, girl? (detail of a work which I will tell you more about later)