This month has flown by very fast, especially for all the Easter ceremonies, which are very solemn in the Catholic church. In between attending all the ceremonies, I squeezed some time in to do some painting. I have tackled a picture which I have called, “Cookie”, because it her portrait which I am painting. Cookie has beautiful sensitive features and is wearing a magnificent Sari which has delicate embroidered patterns as well as some sort of buttons in the shape of pearls. Her Sari is a magnificent blue, which with her soft golden skin colour, makes me think of the sea. A blue Sari softly lands onto the beach of Cookie’s skin!
I have been wondering what to do with the background of the painting, because I do not want to detract the portrait of Cookie with too lively a background. Perhaps with the sea and sand image, I could paint stars as the background.
The other portrait painting which I am doing is that of my helper, Susan. I feel that this has been influenced by Dorothy Kay who painted her helper, Cookie in 1956. The work is called, Annie Mavata.
I feel exactly the same as the comment Marion Arnold said in her book, “Women and Art in South Africa”, 1996, David Philip Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Claremont (pg. 99), “It was Kay’s intention to paint a particular person, Annie Mavata, the person with whom she had been closely associated for over twenty years and whose assistance had enabled her to further her own artistic career.”
I want to paint Susan who has become part of our household, the skin and bones of who we are as she drifts between the two worlds of the townships and the suburbs.