Welcome to my Studio Blog

Take a peek into my studio and See what inspires me to create my paintings and what’s been happening in my studio and on my travels.

I love to travel, see new places and meet new people. I love to create bold colourful paintings, many of them based on my wonderful travels.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Our Safari Trip to Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Hi everyone, Okay here are the pics from the safari we took in Pilanesberg Game Reserve this past weekend. The Palace hotel in Sun City is located right near the game reserve. Basically 10 min ride away, so you know there are so many animals nearby. Was such a great experience. We saw all the big 5 except for the Leopards. The Elephants were my favourite along with the Giraffe.

We left for our safari excursion at about 4:30 pm. We all got on these big safari trucks. And riding in the big safari truck thru the African savanna bush and on those red soil roads was really an experience... I just loved it. Seeing the beautiful landscape and being out in the African savanna like that. Our guide was a wonderful, very tall South African man from the area named Philaneous. He was also a great guide and very knowledgeable and funny too. He really loves his job and it showed. Not even about 20 minutes into our ride, we started to see so many animals. First spotting was all around the big watering hole. It was so exciting and then we saw more animals all close by to the path as well. Some even crossed the path right in front of the truck. Everyone was excited. Some were so close to us. One big elephant was coming so close to the truck..my heart was racing.

We also saw Lots of beautiful Rhinos, mostly white rhinos and that was a big highlight as there are not many around to see. They were right there on the path and crossing next to our truck. They are huge and beautiful. They were with their young and it was so wonderful to see them. We also saw tons and tons of Springbok, Impala, Gemsbok, gazelle, Antelelopes, Wildebeest, and also some Buffalo and hippos by the water and then close up some Zebras and giraffes. Then we saw a Lion and Lioness in the deep grass mating. Saw another family of elephants and the baby's. The huge female protecting the heard and we saw them walk to the water and drink and then they headed to the open plains where the lions were; and we saw the big Female of the herd chase the lions away. The male lion ran away and the female too. It was something out of National Geographic . Everyone was so excited to see all of this on the trip. It was a real bonus. Unfortunately, we did not see the leopards as they are very hard to spot and see. The guide told us that on many safari trips they are difficult to see, and they tend to be higher up in the cliffs and mountains. He said that sometimes they will come close to the camps if they smell the grill and fire. They have to have fences along so you see them sometimes at night going along the fences at the camps.

Then the sun was setting and the amazing sunset was spectacular over the African savanna landscape and bush. Many beautiful mountains around the area. And the red soil and long grass and beautiful trees and plains of gold for miles and miles. The landscape is truly majestic and beautiful and with the sun setting, lighting up all the grounds looked like a beautiful orange and gold. Then it got dark and we started heading back and on our way back we could see the hyenas out with their eyes shining in the light from the trucks lighting and then we saw a group of lioness again hunting. There was a springbok in the water and she was stuck there and you could see the 3 female lioness staking it out. Was a real adventure. Your heart is racing and I have to say it is something else to see. The landscape was breath taking and we just loved the safari seeing all the animals in their natural habitat like that. We will definitely do another one and stay at a lodge and have a bush dinner and several safari tours for morning and night rides. It was really an incredible experience. It was also very hot up north in the Pilanesburg area. We did not even need our sweater at night on the ride We had temps of 38 in the day

On the Safari truck and heading off to Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Our Wonderful Guide

Saw some baboons on the road, before heading to the reserve, much bigger and more menacing then I imagined.

Beautiful landscape, and we animals by the water right away on our trip

Beautiful White Rhinos crossing the road

Some Wildabeest with their young crossing our path
Beautiful Majestic Girafe and zebras along the way

Baby Impala, so curious they are
Lone Bull Elephant..such a wonderful sight to see

 He came so close to us
Beautiful elephant and babies
All sticking together in the herd, my fav picture I captured on my safari, Inspiring me to a painting of this

Such Beautiful Landscape

Coming back form the watering hole...so cute the little ones

Lion and Lioness in the deep grass

Beautiful Sunsets

 That's it for now..wishing you all a great week ahead and weekend. Hope you enjoy the pics! 

Wonderful trip to the Majestic Palace Hotel in Sun City & A Safari at Pilanesberg

Hi Everyone,
My husband and I just got back from a fabulous trip to Sun City.  (North Western province here in South Africa about 2.5 hours away from our home).  We stayed at the beautiful opulent African Hotel, The Palace Hotel of the Lost City.  There are also several other hotels in the area, as well as a casino, valley of the waves water park, entertainment centre, and also family bungalows, etc.   Pilanesberg game reserve is about 10 minutes away so we also did an early evening safari which was amazing. 
It was just a marvelous trip. I took so many great photos that I thought I would share some with you.  The hotel is such a splendor in design, décor and architecture that I had to take so many pictures to capture the opulent African décor!  It took my breath away.  Everywhere they had beautiful chairs, light fixtures carpets and tapestries all depicting the African wild life.  The grand court room was just spectacular to see with the beautiful elephant water fountain.  I loved the art deco style and African design.  The high ceilings and their painted mosaics and the beautiful windows really was something majestic to see.  The hotel is so well maintained and just spectacular in beauty along with the stunning grounds.  A designers dream.   This wonderful trip has certainly given me so much inspiration for new paintings.  We really loved our getaway.
The Amazing Entrance to the Palace Hotel, such a grandiose hotel
 Beautiful grand entrance and cheetah and Gazelle fountain
The stunning lobby

 Just loved the painted come!  Gorgeous design and colours

Close up of the beautiful motif

 Everywhere you looked, there was such beautiful décor. Loved the tapestries and the ornate Zebra chairs. 

The Stunning Court Room Hall Restaurant. I just loved this art deco opulent African room, with the majestic windows, elephant fountain and all the work on the cielings.  The stair case and the gorgeous carpet. Such a gorgeous room, it took my breath away

The Gorgeous Elephant Water Fountain is just amazing

 They were serving high tea when we arrived.  They have a beautiful breakfast buffet, high tea in the afternoon and an amazing dinner buffet as well. You just felt like Royalty being in this room.

The beautiful grounds of the hotel..such grandeur. I loved the lily pond

 The beautiful Tusk bar.  Such beautiful décor and all our the colour schemes fit so well.

Beautiful Life Size elephant statue in the court yard

 A view to the front side of the Grand Court Room Patio.  Such opulence

The Beautiful Swimming pool and cabanas.  Love the painted design on the canvas

Amazing views of the area and Sun city from the Tower at the hotel

The pathway from the hotel heading to the rest of the resort

Valley of wave pool in sun city

The beautiful entertainment centre and the lost city bridge that would shake and smoke every hour.  Loved all the elephant statues and the carvings in the rock
A beautiful farewell dinner at the Plume Restaurant in the hotel. Such a beautiful restaurant and
wonderful ambiance and lighting

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Finally some Updates to My Studio Blog

Hi Everyone,

Well I realize its been some time since I updated my studio blog.  It was a very busy time this past summer moving into our new home in South Africa.  The big container from Canada arrived in early July and I think spent over 2 months unpacking and settling in.  Was a really big move and I think one of the hardest moves for me.  Must  be the age...lol.  My husband was travelling quite a bit and I was pretty much alone to do it all.  Anyways, the house is done and I finally got my studio furniture and its done.  Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to really do any painting. 

In September, I was travelling with my husband to Durban and we stayed in Zimbali.  We had a wonderful vacation.  I just loved the drive from Johannesbug to Durban. 

In October I was back in Canada visiting family for about 1.5 months and sadly my beautiful Aunt Lorraine passed away.  Was a very hard time for all of us. She will always be in my heart.   On a happier note, I really enjoyed spending time with my little God Daughters Morgan and Margaux who are really growing up so fast!  They are just so wonderful.

December was a busy month and then there was Christmas and New Years.  Was so nice to have our first Christmas in South Africa with no snow.  I have to say I am not missing those long hard Canadian Winters one bit.   It is summer here in South Africa and the weather is amazing.

In early January we had our good friends from Denmark come for a visit. They really enjoyed their time here in South Africa and also went on a safari which they loved. 

After our guests left, we took a long weekend and went to Sun City and stayed at the Very Opulent African Hotel, The Palace of the Lost City. It was just gorgeous. A designers dream.  As Pilanesberg Game Reserve is right nearby, we went on a lovely early evening Safari. It was truly an amazing experience.  I will post some pics of our trip.

So now back home, I am feeling so inspired from that wonderful getaway and pretty ready to start some paintings.  Wishing you all a wonderful week. 

I have went back and added pics and posts to my blog for the past few months.

My Trip to Canada, with my wonderful little Nieces at Halloween!

Halloween, Margaux as Belle and little Morgan as Tinker Belle!

Lunch out with my girly, always giggling and having fun

Morgans 2nd Birthday party

With my Boo at Dinner, she loves to colour and draw

Look at me Sasa!  Such a happy girl with a great big loving character, she makes us laugh so much

A very Proud Margaux with all her art work from school. I think she will be an artist

Painting with my Boo, she loves it so much and I have to say for only 4 and half she is really great

A beautiful early Christmas Brunch with my mom and dad

My friends from Denmark visiting us in Johannesburg, Having an arrival lunch at our home.
It was so great to see them again since 5 years