Excuse me whilst I go into {further} overdraft and buy a painting ….

I stumbled across this exhibition that is running at the Bellville Library Art Gallery.

My understanding is that these are part of the entry for the SPI National Portrait Awards which has been hosted by SANLAM


Sanlam Private Investments, in collaboration with Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery, Durbanville, has initiated South Africa’s first National Portrait Award.

A significant single prize of R100,000 will be awarded for the best portrait. In addition to the prize, the winning portrait along with a selection of approximately 40 entrant works will be exhibited at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville, after which the exhibition will tour to venues around South Africa in collaboration with the Sanlam Art Collection and VISI magazine.

Artists are challenged to enter works which exemplify their ability in the medium of their choice, excluding lens-based media (photography, video, etc).

A panel of three judges will identify the winning portrait, and select additional works for the national touring exhibition.

All works will be judged anonymously as artists are requested not to sign the work. The panel convened by Stefan Hundt, head of the Sanlam Private Investments Art Advisory Service, and Curator of the Sanlam Art Collection.
I believe – and any incorrect information here can be exclusively blamed on me and my inability to remember information, because I did not write it down – that there is limited space and these portraits were not displayed, so the Bellville Library Art Gallery asked  for artists who had entered, whose work was not displayed in the final 40 were then asked to display at the Bellville Art Gallery.
I am not sure I have words to describe how incredible the work is that I saw.
These are taken with my camera phone, any lighting issues, any variations from the work on display is due to me and my inability to hold my phone still whilst I am drooling and trying to do mental calculations as to how long it would take me to purchase one of these.
Here are a few images – I took photographs of the little cards next to each piece so you can see who the artists are.
Incredible.  Incredible work.  {falls on the floor in admiration}
There were so much of these that I loved – stood with mouth opened loved.
But this one by  Carien Jordaan made me stop and stare and come back and stand in front of it for a long time – not sure why. I tried to google her to see more of her work, I could not find her.
Do you know how Carien Jordaan is – let me know — please.
After looking at these pieces do you not find that something inside you has shifted?  Just a little?

Christiaan Conradie – no one does old ladies like you!!

The Bellville Library has an art exhibit area, and I pop in there from time to time and take a walk around.

The gallery often has interesting work, and artists I might never see, just because our paths don’t cross.  It is free, so if you are in the area, stop by.

Today I saw this piece by Christiaan Conradie and if I had a cheque book I would have written out a cheque right there.

(And the cheque would have bounced, and the Sherriff of the court would arrive to repossess my furniture as I hid in the wendy house with this painting, because no one is going to take this away from me … my precious)

I did not take the picture of the picture featured below – I “borrowed” it off the website – so it unfortunately does not really give you a clear idea of how fantastic this artist’s work is.  I plan to go and look again on Thursday.  Yes I can visit a piece of art if I like, I am grown up like that.


I got home today and googled Christiaan Conradie, and oh my word, how brilliant is his work?  I love the piece I saw today.  Do you think I could buy it, put it on my wall and when Kennith goes: “What the fuck is that?”

I can just go: “What, that ….. I’ve had that for ages …. you’ve just never noticed…” and then I can pick a fight with him about how he never notices anything I do, and so the fight can begin.

Anything to draw attention away from the painting on the wall.

Here are some examples of his work:-





I really am beside myself with his work.

Trying to figure out the cost of the painting I saw today, divide it by 54 months and find out if he has a buy-now-and-keep-and-pay-me-with-really-small-installment plan, and really where would I put it just so I could sit and just stare at it all day.

More on this artist.

I love books, and have just discovered the Library!

I prefer to buy my own books.  I browse bookstores for hours, I can hang around kalahari.net like a troll for hours and choose books.  I love reading almost as much as I love finding and purchasing books.

Having a birthday or other festival and hoping for a gift – expect a book if I have anything to do with it??

I have tried libraries. I have found, in the past, that libraries do not like me.  I can read a book in a day, but the moment you apply pressure to me that I must read a book by a particular date/time then it is like the kiss of death.  Then I develop reader’s block and I miss the 2 week deadline, and next thing I am receiving window envelopes from the library reminding me of the cost of replacing the clutch of books I have been holding for 4 months and change.

I have been “expelled” from too many libraries to count, and that is fine as I love buying books, so have just had to rethink grocery shopping to allow the bulk of the money for bread and snacks to go towards books. Easy enough.  So now I buy books, and then I buy groceries with the money that is left.

Sorry kids, no horse riding lessons or braces this year, Mommy needs to buy books.

I went along to Bellville Library and was AMAZED by how large and well stocked the library was.  I stood on the blue industrial carpet and clapped and squeaked like a demented seal amazed.

The real prize for me, was that they have Audio Books. I love Audio Books, and if you have ever tried to buy any you will realise it is cheaper just to pay someone R60.00 an hour to read the book to you, slowly!

Audio book are ridiculously expensive.  And Bellville library have a ton of them.  I joined the library and was so proud when they handed my little laminated card over to me. It was like keys to the chocolate factory.

I have been wanting to read “Company of Liars” by Karen Maitland – it is a real block of a book and every time I pick it up for some reason I just cannot get started on it.

It is set around the 1348 Plague in England.  Excellent book, but a reading commitment.  But no more – I picked up the Audio Book – 16 CD set of unabridged version, and I have been listening to it in the car for the last two weeks.  Brilliant, brilliant – well read, enthralling story, and I get to listen to this instead of listening to the radio.

And the “hidden benefit” is that the kids go quiet when they get in car so they can listen to it — no screaming, no fighting, we all sit in silence listening to an audio book.  It has made me look at collecting the kids from school with an entirely new enthusiasm, and especially if you add the fact that I run the car heater on MAXIMUM.

Warm car + a person reading you a book.  Heaven freaking heaven!!  With my library card, I get to take out books, audio books, movies and CDs – I am so delighted with this find.  Well done City of Cape Town for a rocking Library system.

{above image with actual book title “When Did Wild Poodles Roam the Earth?” by David Feldman ……. I am so hooked, so expect me to drop pearls of wisdom quite soon}