Annelea Blignaut

She Rises Up – the painting

She Rises Up – the painting

“She Rises Up” was my first painting this year after a hiatus of more than 2 years.

I went back to school at the age of 50 to pursue my Global Executive MBA and it ate up my life. For two years all I did was work and school.  We completed our MBA just before COVID-19 stopped everybody in their tracks with our last module in Johannesburg and Dubai.

I could not wait to get back to my art after such a long absence but found that it was not that easy.  By the end of summer 2020 I knew I had to do something to kick my own ass into gear again.  I declared a Friend Challenge and asked my friends to send me photos of themselves or somebody they would like for me to sketch and from mid August till end of January I completed 74 portraiture sketches: 32 of friends and the rest through taking part in 30-day challenges on Sktchy.

(Pencil Sketch January 2021)

She Rises Up was first a pencil sketch and I just loved this reference. Something in the pose just attracted me to her and I knew I wanted to paint her.

Sometimes when I paint, I get lucky, and it is easy.  She just rose up from my canvas without much effort and was painted Alla Prima.  In Italian, the term alla prima means “at first attempt”. Paintings created in this approach are usually completed within a single session.


After months of pencil and ink sketches, I was hungry for colour.  I did not start out with an end result in mind.  Most of the time painting for me is chasing light and shadow and applying colour, layer upon layer. It is problem solving and it is almost always explorative.  I paint until I am done and do not have anything more to give to the painting.

She sold straight of my easel, but a limited edition of prints are available.  If you are interested in buying a print, click here 

(Initial Painting WIP)

(Completed Painting – January 2021)









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