My Artist Odyssey – A Challenge I Have Set For Myself!

Yes! I may be crazy! I have set a challenge which could be extremely tough – but something has to change! Something has to give! I cannot carry on with the way my life is going right now – it’s mundane and so frustrating! I dream of doing other things and for a while now I have decided to get off my backside and make a daring move!

The dream is alive – but although I have to go it alone – I do invite you to come along with me in spirit.

Like the author of the book “Eat, Pray, Love,” I have a dream to pursue a journey on my own for a year or so – but one which would include Art, and where I Teach, I Learn and I Work. But I shall be traveling in one country only – France.

I have sold over a hundred paintings over the years, but they were mainly through the Guesthouse, which I partnered with my sister. When we were hit by the recession in the middle of last year, we were forced to close the business, and walk away from our investment. It was tough, but instead of seeing it as a desperate loss, I have instead decided to use it as an opportunity to focus on my Art career.

Having painted many scenes and portraits of the people in South Africa these past 15 years, I would now like to travel around France and I’d like you to come with me! Yes! Please join me in spirit and in heart by keeping abreast with my every step and experience, which I will share with you in my Blog posts and on Facebook and Twitter, along this long and eventful or adventurous journey! Which starts now – as I first have the challenge of raising enough money to go! I have thought of placing a campaign on Indiegogo to try and raise some funds, but I am too shy to do that after the disastrous results of the last one I did! I am positive that with lots of hard work and a dollop of luck, I will succeed to raise the money…

Driving-on-a-tree-lined-r-001The Objective: Capturing Moments in Time in France: Landscapes & Portraits

Yes, I want to travel – but it won’t be a vacation! I want to Learn, I want to Work and I want to Teach.

My mission is to paint interesting landscapes and portraits of people, in France – typical to their regions, each having an individual story, which I would portray in each painting.

I want to share my work and ideas with you along the road, where I invite you to collaborate with me and share your input and ideas –so we would travel the journey together. What a creative joyride it’s going to be! Formidable non! You’re going to love the food and wine too!

As I was married to a Frenchman, I speak French, which is an advantage for the French students who would attend my workshops and would also be valuable in my own studies with French Artists too, not to mention getting around the country. So you don’t have to worry about the language barrier – I’ll speak for us all!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA St-Paul-de-Vence-l'Esprit_de_StPaul

The Project  – A Creative Joyride – One Epic Painting Expedition!

I intend to travel around France, from North to South, and inbetween! I want to immerse myself in French culture for a year if possible, and seek out interesting places and people to render on canvas along the way, capturing the very heart and soul of this country and immortalising them in paint. I shall capture ‘moments’ in time, like the Impressionist masters did, and portray scenes of everyday life, at work or play.

These paintings shall be spontaneous and fresh, again like the Impressionists I admire so much, with vibrant colour and loose brushstrokes. I will be giving painted postcards and paintings of the work I do there to those who participate with me! So you see, you shall also be on my mind whilst I’m there and it will be great for me to give back to my supporters! My vagabond shoes are already aching to stray, my hand is longing to press a loaded brush to a canvas and my nose yearns to breathe in the heady smell of the oils – all this on French soil bathed in that incomparable iridescent light.

The Three Aspects in Brief

As I said, I intend to Learn, Work and Teach, which shall not necessarily be in that order, but as I go, as follows:


  • I shall participate in workshops with other French Artists to learn new techniques and skills – I am already hoping to still be accepted in la Sologne, with a well known Artist I have admired for 2 decades, where I would undergo his masterful instruction on using a palette knife.

There are many other prestigious Artist’s workshops I would like to attend, but it all depends on the funds I’d have at my disposal.


  • I shall paint and sell my works as I go, as well as collect some for an exhibition.
  • I would like to possibly attend an Artist in Residency program for a month, where I would work, learn from other artists, meet curators and art reviewers. I would hold open-studio to sell works directly off the easel, teach workshops as well as participate in an exhibition at the end of the internship. One month or 6 weeks, would be great, but again, it all depends on the financial situation.


  • Teach Art Workshops at established Painting Holiday Venues – Week-long tuition stages during various dates until October 2014. I have already begun liaising with a few establishments and shall market these very soon. Some are where I would teach at existing establishments and others would be created from scratch. I am currently co-ordinating one in provence where the painters who join me would also chase the Impressionists!

Coastal_View_Nice_FranceAs Henri Matisse said “Creativity is another word for courage.” I believe my creativity will supply me with all the courage to make this venture a success and an unforgettable experience. And like “Eat, Pray and Love”, my Work, Learn and Teach, program could be life-changing!

So … do you think I’m up for the challenge?

Are you ready to follow me to see if I can?



2 Replies to “My Artist Odyssey – A Challenge I Have Set For Myself!”

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