Abundance: Blombos

Title: Abundance: Blombos
Medium: Oil paint on stretched canvas
Size: 800x800mm
Year: 2021

Blombos, or Metalasia Muricata, flowers abundantly in the Autumn 2021. Every time I walk in the mountain to find inspiration from the fynbos plants for my artworks, I notice Blombos. They seem to grow everywhere! I notice how they change with the seasons and I love to find variants in shapes and colours.

In this painting, I wanted to pay tribute to ‘every day’ beauty – as the Blombos does when in brings forth flowers in pale grey, purple, yellow or orange. I tried to keep my colours subdued – as they appear in nature.

I began my new series of oil paintings during the hard lockdown of 2020.  With the use of strong, deep colours and exuberant brush strokes, I aimed to counterbalance the deep feelings of fear and uncertainty I experienced a year ago. I chose to call forth ‘overflow’ and ‘abundance’ in a time of need and want, and this is reflected in the titles and mood of the paintings. They stand in stark contrast to these uncertain times.

The motivation behind each piece was to bring pleasure, colour, beauty, and exuberance to our lives – and to speak hope to those viewing them. As always, I used fynbos as my inspiration, but deviated from the exact colours and shapes as I wanted to portray freedom in my mark making with vibrant colours and strong contrasts.

The title for this exhibition, ‘Shelter in the shadow’, refers to the deep palette I used in most of these artworks. When I walk in the fynbos-rich mountain paths, I find my best inspirational material on the shadow-side of the mountain. Here the light is more subdued and the colours of my subject, much deeper. The temperature is cooler, and I can walk slower and look closer. My eyes can focus better. I aim to portray this in my paintings.

On a spiritual level this has meaning for me too. During this past year, a deep truth has resonated within me: ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty’. I will take shelter in the shadow.