My love of art journaling
Jill Emslie, pilot and artist extraordinaire

The artist's open houses

I came across the concept of artist's open houses 6 or 7  years ago,  soon after I came to live in England. At that time I was still "painting by numbers" and experimenting with postcard size watercolors. It was at that time that I had the chance to meet a wellknown South African opera singer and painter. It seems like a lifetime ago and, to be honest, I have forgotten many things  about that trip other than ... our charismatic hostess, her passion for opera, her stories about the concerts she had been in and her passion for art.

To me, her painting room was  a sanctuary  ....... canvases on the floor, some finished, others just started, acrylic paints, watercolors, pastels in a rainbow of tones, textures and smells. At the time she was painting shells, not a surprise given the beautiful beaches of Cape Town. She was also passionate about roses ........ blue roses. I am the proud owner of one of her blue roses paintings. 


 Whenever I look at it I think about her, South Africa, the people, the passion, the dark red soil one wants to see again and again. Now, when  I am about to exhibit in my first group exhibition I remember how impressed I was back then, in 2004, when Virginia was talking about exhibitions .. she was actually preparing her next one and I remember thinking oh boy, will I ever be in this position? Will I? It seemed a bizarre and surreal dream at the time!

You can find out more about Virginia Oosthuizen if you click on

Back to  the concept of artist's open houses ...... this was another source of enormous pleasure and inspiration in 2004. Meeting artists in their own environment  makes the whole experience so much richer. An artist's home is a magical place, a place where inspiration meets courage, courage meets love, love meets colors, colors meet the brushes and together they are joined by the emotions and start a dance which is always different, always a mystery.

Four  years ago, while visiting artist's houses in Eastbourne, I fell in love, so to speak, with the artist Jill Emslie and in time I was lucky enough to know her.  I was mesmerized by the confident strokes of the brush, the delicate touch of abstract that speaks volumes to me.

But this is a story for tomorrow! Bye for now!


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