Frantic & Barbara
Frantic & Barbara

SILVERMERE, a peaceful retreat at the end of a dusty farm road, is my haven and home. As a Rhodesian by birth and a Christian, I became a Karoo girl 30 years ago. I love the life of solitude and wide open spaces, of bird song and a shady garden outside my door. Being a farmer’s wife and mother of three grown children has been the brimming cup of my life, and still I drink from the saucer in all my creative pursuits. As an Illustrator of everything and a passionate Journal-keeper I savour the treasures around me with camera, pencil, pen and paint. For 35 years painting has been my life and career, and the creative process has manifested itself in many varied ways with each passing year.

My talented children have kept me up-to-date with computer creativity, and communication. Our sparse social life led me into penpalling a long time ago; and as handwritten letters have given way to emailing and Facebook, the idea of a blog evolved as a natural progression from website to journaling online. So, here I am, Barbara Philip, your new friend from a farm far away. Join me, as often as you may, on this journey, down this dusty old farm road, and enjoy the adventure along with me.


17 responses to “About this Blog”

  1. Tammy Sprinkle Avatar

    It’s lovely to make your acquaintance, Barbara. What a fabulous artist you are! I cannot wait to get to know you better through your blog.


    1. Barbara Avatar

      Thanks Tammy, great to meet you too! Looking forward to keeping in touch from time to time :)

  2. Melanie Bromley Avatar
    Melanie Bromley

    I saw you on Pam’s Bishop’s page. I LOVE your painting. I do envy you living as a farmers wife ( my dream) and living an artisitic life in the Karoo. I am also a Christian working as a nurse here in England, having only been in this country for the pas t 2 a nd a half years. How can I learn to paint? I mean, can a leopard change it’s spots? So nice to meet up with you.Melanie

    1. Barbara Avatar

      Thanks for visiting my blog, Melanie ! Yes you can learn to paint, the only requisite is a love and enthusiasm for doing it. It is just like learning to play the piano, you have to have some help, but it is just a matter of practice, practice and more practice. That is only possible if it becomes a priority! Come and visit next time you are in SA, and I will get you started :) God bless you !

  3. Carolyn Avatar

    Thank you for these lovely paintings, I too am a South African, and I now live in Cape Town, but was a farmer a few years ago in Shongweni in Natal. I love the open spaces.
    I also love art, and at the moment am doing digital art with some of my photos I have taken.
    Keep up the good work it is really appreciated.

    1. Barbara Avatar

      Thanks Carolyn ! Good luck with your digital art. It certainly is a flourishing new art medium with all the modern apps that can digitally enhance photos into stunning artwork !

  4. EdenClare Avatar

    Greetings Barbara…
    I wanted to let you know…
    that I have completed my
    “vintage collection” of papers
    after going through all my
    drawers, armoires, boxes
    and every other area where
    I keep such treasures.
    Will be mailing out this week
    to you! It was really a lot of
    fun gathering all your papers
    and I too hope you enjoy
    what I have sent! xoxo Eden

    PS i love this page and your
    picture and those sheep!!!

    1. Barbara Avatar

      thanks EdenClare, it was fun swapping with you.

  5. Stretch Merrington Avatar
    Stretch Merrington

    Like yourself, I to am an ex-Rhodesian, but not fortunate enough to live where you do. However, from a cold and wet Scotland, thank you for displaying your wonderful art work and allowing me the few brief moments to return home to Africa.

  6. Freddy Ward Avatar
    Freddy Ward

    Hi Barbara

    Your paintings truly move us! My wife Ronelle and I grew up in Steytlerville (close to Klipplaat) and there is no landscape on earth that stirs our souls quite like those Karoo “vlaktes”. Day or night, cloud or sunshine, drought or flood, scorching heat or freezing cold, the living painting of the Karoo never stops engaging the soul. Your paintings perfectly express our longing for the simple solitude of Karoo farm life.

    We’ll be back here soon.

    1. Barbara Avatar

      Dear Freddy and Ronelle, I am so sorry to have missed your February comment on my blog. Lovely that you come from the beautiful town of Steytlerville! Glad you love the Karoo vlaktes as we do! Good to meet fellow karoo-lovers !! Kind regards, Barbara Philip ( )

  7. Fen Moore-Gordon Avatar
    Fen Moore-Gordon

    Hi Barbara. Long lost cousin from Zimbabwe.! Jock and Gwynneth stayed with us in Zim when you got married. Was it really 40 years ago. I have loved looking at your art. You are truly talented. I would love to get in touch and hear about the family. X Fen

  8. Elizabeth Michel Avatar
    Elizabeth Michel

    I live in the city and it is so wonderful to see beautiful paintings of the country. I love seeing paintings of trees and wildlife because I am surrounded by buildings, cars, concrete, asphalt. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful artwork.. It is very inspiring.

    1. Barbara Avatar

      Thanks for your message and compliments, Elizabeth. Hope you have a chance to visit the country sometimes !

  9. Kath Anderson Avatar
    Kath Anderson

    Hi Barbara – it’s been many, many years since we last saw or had contact with you and John. Stan Anderson passed away last week and I’ve been thinking about the Anderson family so much. Dennis and I have been living in Bangkok for the last 5 years and we brought all our beautiful paintings which you painted in specially made individual crates to have in our home in Bangkok. You painted beautiful portraits of Kim and Paul when we visited your farm back in 1993 which we still treasure. Paul turned 30 at the end of February and got engaged to his girlfriend of 7 years the night before his 30th birthday. Kim is 27 and has been living in Banff, Canada for the last three years, but is about to move to Australia with her Australian boyfriend, Bubbles!! They arrive here in Bangkok next Tuesday and will spend almost a month with us before flying to Australia. Our time in Bangkok is drawing to a close – we return to South Africa at the end of September. It has been a memorable, unforgettable and very privileged experience for us to live in South East Asia and experience the culture and beauty of the Asian countries. We sold our home in Joburg when we left for Bangkok and have bought a house in a complex in Blouberg in Cape Town. We have a three minute walk to the beach from our house and we cannot wait to get home and breathe fresh air and savor all things South African. Looking into SA from the outside has been fascinating for us – we are well aware of the multitude of problems the country faces, but we yearn to go home and we have, interestingly, learned to love all that is good about our beautiful country and we’ve learned to appreciate it so much more in the time we have been away. Dennis and I are looking forward to doing some road trips thought the country once we are settled and it would be wonderful to stop off and say hello to you and John if we’re in your neck of the woods. None of us have ever forgotten your beautiful farm. Your paintings which hang on our walls here in Bangkok give both of us an endless source of joy and they are without doubt some of our most treasured possessions. I hope you and John are both well – my email address is – it would be very special to get back in touch with you again and hopefully see you again sometime. In the words of a rather inebriated expat when we were out one night a couple of years ago here in Bangkok ‘We’ll see you when the sun touches the morning’! Fond regards to you and John. Kath

  10. Desiree Gray Avatar
    Desiree Gray

    Hi Barbara, I love your paintings!. I too love the Karoo landscape, nothing nicer than spending time in Karoo National Park or Mountain Zebra. Although I live in Durbanville, Cape Town, we visit my sister annually in PE and drive via R62 so I can get close to the! We’ll be doing the journey again any day now. I love the pic of you and Frantic, how blessed you are to be living in such a peaceful environment…God is good!

    1. Barbara Avatar

      Thank you, Desiree, for comment. Glad to hear that you love the Karoo too. Once you spend time in it, it certainly grows on you. Truly, we are blessed to live here. Thanks for visiting my webpage :) I am currently doing an EDM. It is an annual challenge where I paint a new painting every day of the month of May. If you are on Facebook, our page is :
      so you can go along there to see my daily entries. Alternatively, you can wait till the challenge is over, and I will post them on the website. God Bless !

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