Going Digital with Flare

Featured

I’ve been really getting into drawing on my tablet recently. It’s great fun and a good way to be productive away from the confines of an office, studio or sitting behind a computer. I get creative sitting out in the garden or while I’m hanging ten with a cup of tea.

But is it cheating?

The Artist Debates

A lot of people in the artistic community feel that digital painting/drawing is basically cheating.

Well, yes and no.

I don’t think anything can replace the energy, vibrancy and feel of original art painted with real, genuine paint! But I do, as an acrylic and mixed media artist, feel a certain freedom on the tablet.

For one, there’s no mess. No mixing of paint or scrambling to find that sharpener for your blunt 3B pencil. I absolutely love that perk! But I also like the zoom and extensive texture features. You can experiment and really take details to new dizzying heights.

In saying that, I will never stop physically painting. I sometimes like the grotty side of it and getting to smeer paint onto canvas with my bare hands and play with metals and different materials.

However, digital painting is a great tool and can get you to explore and discover new techniques and avenues without expense or time constraints.

The Water Nymph

This  is my latest digital artwork, all drawn by hand, called, “The Water Nymph“(right).

Pop in at my online shop to see, “The Water Nymph“, on lots of cool and beguiling products – click HERE. I have listed a few of the product designs below too. Let me know what you think 😉

Good to Know

Did you know that RedBubble is a print on demand shop where products are made one at a time reducing over-production? They are carbon neutral, have safe working conditions and a small footprint. There are 70+ high-quality products that are made in the most responsible ways possible. Plus you are supporting a global community of artists.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, right?

Baboons: A Thrilling Tale of Chaos and the Art of Alchemy

Featured

Most of you may know, I live in South Africa where, of course, wildlife is abundant. Especially a particular type of mischievous (as well as dangerous) primate called a baboon.

You may even recall an incident I had many years back which involved me, a tub of butter and an alpha male baboon. You can recap on who won that particular battle here: The Baboon and the Butter — Part 1 .

I moved away from Welcome Glen in Cape Town, where baboons terrorized the locals, to start my sustainable living adventure here in Barrydale. Barrydale didn’t have the baboon problems of where I’d come from. Or so I thought.

Yes, I was insanely wrong about that.

Although we had a peaceful first four years, things started to change rapidly once I started a successful fruit and veg garden.

Utter Ruin

I got hit hard by a solid week of visitations by troops of baboons in December 2019, and the truth hit hard too.

I had beautiful crops of almost ripe onions (which take around 6 months to grow), potatoes, apricots, apples, almonds, peppers and Swiss chard. They didn’t stand a chance. The baboons ravaged my crops in minutes. I was devastated after putting in so much hard work, as you can well imagine.

To add insult to injury, they don’t even eat chard or peppers but they pulled it all out and left it on the ground. Pfft.

Problem vs Solution

Needless to say I was livid and despondent. I don’t wish any animal harm, so I would never hurt them but I  couldnt see a way out of this gigantic problem. Someone suggested I give up my dream of an edible garden. No way, Jose. I’m probably a sucker for punishment but I can’t do that either.

After an excessive period of feeling incredibly sorry for myself, I decided to try and find a way to alchemize this situation. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Baboons aren’t all bad. Yes, they’re smelly, destructive and deadly dangerous with massive fangs and no fear for women (known fact look it up. Utterly sexist little maruading bastards). However, they are very amusing amidst the mayhem. I’ve had many a giggle watching them frolick in their troops, play daredevil on the R62 with oncoming traffic and torment the tourists by grabbing their freshly acquired snacks in an ambush.
  • Their babies are incredibly cuuuuuuute. Ag vooitog (Afrikaans for ‘Oh bless’ or something like that).
  • I can’t think of a third plus but let’s just say the world wouldn’t be the same without a bumbling band of baboons!

After my above conclusions I decided to:

  • Concentrate on growing things they don’t eat like herbs, green spinach, beans, chili’s, peas, lettuce, etc. They seem to prefer root vegetables. They also didn’t touch my grenadillas or my gooseberries, which I found strange but somewhat comforting.
  • Make myself laugh rather than cry. After reminiscing on all the funny moments they have provided, I came up with ‘ZenBoon’.

The Zenboon Revelation

I’ve decided to put pen to paper, brush to canvas, digipen to screen and I’m drawing my cheeky little friends in an attempt to shed a more humorous light on the whole ordeal. The idea of a Zen baboon is ludicrous and certainly dichotomous (A word that irrelevantly rhymes with hipopotamous). However, these monkeys have gained mastery over mischief. Aka ZenBoon is born, my way of alchemizing my low-lying mood.

So, my lesson in all this is don’t let it (insert your problem here 😉) get you down, let it get you thinking ANEW. You always have a choice.

Here are two designs I have already come up with below, I hope you like them ☺🐒 These crazy fella’s are available on all sorts of products from posters to shower curtains (see below). You can see the full shop scope here and here.

   

Other blogs you may like:

It’s Colour Therapy Time! Download your FREE Pic Today

Going Large: The Start-to-Finish Photo’s of Painting ‘Woodland Stream Gathering’

 

Proudly Flaunting the Indigenous Protea!

King ProteaAs many of you may know, I’m South African. And, what you may also know is, our national flower is the beautiful Protea.

I’ve been dabbling in painting (see painting on your right) these magnificent flowers and decided to start the new year off with a Designer Protea Product Line (below) — I hope you like it 🙂

There will be more to come in the future as I set out to infuse your living space and wardrobe with some fine and funky paraphernalia.

You can view all the products and pricing HERE.

Protea Designer Products by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Which is your favourite product? I’d love to hear from you.

Quirky New Designs: Putting Pets to Good Use

Kitty Header.JPG

Fur and Feathers

My hubby and I recently adopted a new kitty, Tilly. She had 24 hours before she was going to be put down (yikes!).

We never looked back.

She’s adorable, playful and just a breath of fresh (albeit energetic) air. She looks like she could be our other cats (Purdy) sister as they are both tortoiseshells. Adorbs!!! I find a wealth of inspiration watching these two interact.

Then there are our wild birds…we live out in the sticks of the klein Karoo, South Africa, and we have Cat Christmas Card 1a huge garden full of flocks of different birds demanding feeding morning and night.

We love animals and the great outdoors, so this is all just peachy keen for us. But tuna and sunflower seeds don’t come cheap…

I recently acquired a tablet (with digipen) for my birthday and have come up with some funky designs. I’ve just launched some fabulous products (just in time for some early Christmas shopping too! lol). Let me start off by showing you my Cat Christmas Cards (to the right and below)…Cat Xmas Card

 

I had great fun designing these, as you can imagine.

I’ve got loads of other super products with both these designs (you can browse for yourself HERE and HERE).

What’s your favourite product? I’ve got to go for the coffee mugs, I think those look great 🙂

I’m also partial to the tote bags — imagine doing your last minute Christmas shopping sporting one of those on your arm.

Here are some of my favourite picks for Christmas 2017. The items below make for great stocking fillers and are priced to suit every pocket:

Bird cushions

Bird Design

And, this is one was SUCH FUN to design 🙂 — I call it ‘Balancing Act’:

Balancing Act

 

0003

My collection is growing every day as I’m having a ball designing these images and bringing them to life by adding them to products. Below are a taste of some of the other designs I have at my RedBubble store that were inspired by my feathered and furry family:

0004

00050006

Thanks for looking and sharing! 🙂 I’d welcome any feedback on these designs.

The Most Insanely Creative Gifts You Can Give Anyone! And Saves on Therapy Bills Too…

Colour in clothing range

There is a wave of creative stress relief hitting the globe in the form of colour therapy — have you caught the surf yet?

I’ve got 2 of these colour therapy drawings to give YOU now, download them for free HERE (Watery Wonder World) and HERE (Fairy Garden).

So what’s this insane gift idea?

Finished AD 2I’m trying to take creativity to new heights with this latest range of colour therapy products. You will never want for lack of ideas of what to give people for presents in the future when I unleash this bombshell.

How about giving someone a gift that they can colour themselves — adding their own brand of uniqueness to their present?

Not only do you solve the ‘what to give’ dilemma but you give the gift of self-expression! Something they’ll treasure forever (and, who knows, get a little ‘relax’/therapy time too)!

Presenting Presents for Present Moment Awareness

Right, now let’s take this concept to its new whimsical heights of boundary pushing…first up is the ‘colour me in’ pencil skirt for that difficult teen girl. Give her this with a set of fabric pens and she’ll be expressing her inner artist for days!

skirts

There’s also the t-shirt to gift that special lady in your life:

www t shirt

What about giving a bag? Imagine flaunting your fabulous colouring-in talents whilst out shopping or at school?

tote bag

Colour in your own home décor! For goodness sakes —now here’s an idea to get that budding decorator a chance to shine:

www cushion

Give a birthday card that needs some colour magic (and why not make the present some crayons or khoki pens?):

www ard

This last one is just pure genius! Ever wondered what to do with the family on those long summer vacations when everyone is yelling that they are bored? Why not get together as a team and colour this poster in then get it framed for a prime spot in your home — the piece de resistance!

www poster

Here are some other fantastic products that are available in the ‘Watery Wonder World’ design:

products www

And here are the products in my ‘Fairy Garden’ design that are available:

products fg

subscribe button

Fun with Fruit and Vegetables!

As promised, I am continuing with the unveiling of my Vege-Tate Gallery in today’s Art Blog.

If you missed out on last weeks blog — here is a recap:  How many carrots does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Here are the last of the designs (for now — I see this as an ever-growing project!):

For all the Steve Jobs Fans

Even lettuce can be corny!

Yeah, we’ve all heard this one before!

Another one for the well-endowed lady…

Juicy, very juicy…

No orchestra is complete without one!

Is your Grandmother sheepish?

Enough is enough…a special thanks to Templeton for coming up with this one!

The sorrows of love (and the pining that ensues)

If coconuts had udders, coconut milk wouldn’t be so readily available

To check out the store in its entirety, please CLICK HERE.

I have another store dedicated to these amorous fruit and vegetables, where you can find a host of products such as key-chains, aprons, mugs, iPhone skins, magnets, cards, mouse-pads, bags and a whole lot more…ENTER STORE HERE

   

How Many Carrots does it take to Screw in a Light Bulb?

I’m not too sure what the answer to the joke is…perhaps none as they were all rooted to the spot?

The Vege-Tate Gallery — Beginnings…

My idea for a Vege-Tate Gallery grew into full blossom when my husband and I decided to try and plant a vegetable garden around the back of our house.

This was no easy task as we have vegetable guzzling baboons to contend with on a regular basis — so strong fencing and locks were needed for this venture to succeed.

I am happy to report that my actual vegetable patch is doing very well and is starting to bear the fruit of our hard-earned labour.  Well, except for the poor runner beans that never made it to the finishing line due to a critter biting them off at the base of the stem, which consequentially led me to create the ‘Has Bean‘ design.  You have to work with this!

Whilst planting the seeds of the garden, my mind started pondering all these crazy ideas for a vegetable joke shop with lots of corny but fruity ‘green’ humour.

The designs started to take shape as I sketched out the ideas as they came to me, with a little help from the hubby.

The Next Step

When I had a good 20 designs to work with, I began the digital journey of drawing them onto the computer (yes, using my mouse!  I am still using that old archaic rodent until I get my digital pen) and loading them as t-shirt designs.

I am officially launching my new gallery entitled ‘The Vege-Tate Gallery’ — I do hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

The link to the store is here.

Below are my personal favourites.  Next week I will showcase the rest of the store along with some other fun merchandise from this range.

Literally for the man who has everything!

This one is for the ladies — especially the ones that can make a grown man cry!

For The Beatles fan

For the humble…

For the melon appreciation club

For the overworked!

For the political activist

Keeping abreast of things

Please let me know what your favourite design is!