Making Mistakes

Only the brave make mistakes

Trying and failing is not wrong.

I’ve failed many times in my life. I’ve failed as an artist, a mother, a friend, a human. My failures have to lead me to new unknown shores. It’s only when we fail, that we can look back and learn. We don’t always learn from succeeding. We learn more from ‘the dark night of the soul’. 

I have often doubted whether I should keep on painting. From being a 20 + year-old winner of the largest Fine Art competition in my country I descended in obscurity and depression. My life has not been easy.  (Read about my life journey here!)


I’ve been through many dark times. I’ve had years of painting and marketing and no sales. I’ve had to learn to paint because I want to tell my and your story. We are not survivers, we are victors. To survive is to overcome, to life is to be courageous!

Why do I need to paint?

I know what it is like to be in that dark place. A deep hole in the ground and all you can see is a little ray of sunshine, the size of a coin, in the middle of your hand. I know what it is like to have no hope, to desire death and oblivion, to feel like you are drowning in depression…but God…

So, keep on walking. Make new mistakes. Learn and adapt. It’s only when we learn that we can share our journey with others. 

Image result for quotes on seeking

We are lost until we are found. Keep walking. Keep seeking. You will be found

You might also be interested in my online courses:

What did they want?

Abstract landscape Cold Wax painting titled 'Light Shines in the Darkness' by artist Leonie E. Brown, depicting warm earth tones, reds, blues, and oranges with the sun rising over a dark landscape.

What they wanted the most

Abstract landscape Cold Wax painting titled 'Light Shines in the Darkness' by artist Leonie E. Brown, depicting warm earth tones, reds, blues, and oranges with the sun rising over a dark landscape.

Trevor and Laura are both ‘creative heart’ people in their own right. Trevor has been working in the clothing industry for many years and they both have a love for the arts, renovating and decorating.


Their stunning apartment shows their off their creative taste in style and also shows their support of local South African artists. 



The loft studio apartment with double volume windows shows off their collection of art to its best advantage. There is a Makiwa, a few Derric van Rensburg’s and of course, a previously purchased Leonie.e.Brown.



The previous painting was purchased via a local gallery and is proudly displayed above their fireplace. The vibrancy of the colours and movement immediately draws your attention. This work was part of Leonie’s earlier oeuvre and shows her love of colour and mark-making. the painting exudes a love for life in the use of vibrant reds and blues.


The couple lives and works locally and internationally. According to Laura, they have another Leonie.e.Brown painting at their house in Australia. 


Laura has been following Leonie’s artistic career for a few years and saw an opportunity to purchase another ‘heart‘ painting. 


Laura saw the painting advertised online by the artist and decided to purchase it. 

The painting is called ‘Light Shines in the Darkness’, and is part of the later encaustic inspired work by Leonie. 

What Is Encaustic?

Encaustic is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos). Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the wax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. Encaustic consists of natural wax and resin (crystallized tree sap). The medium can be used alone for its transparency or adhesive qualities or used pigmented. Pigments may be added to the medium or purchased coloured with traditional artist pigments. The medium is melted and applied with a brush or any tool the artist wishes to create from. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer.

This specific painting was done in mixed media and Cold wax

What is Cold Wax?

Cold Wax Painting is a style of oil painting in which the artist mixes a soft wax medium into the paint and uses the thickened body of paint to create a heavily textured surface. Leonie ads various amounts of cold wax to the paint, and mix them with the palette knife. The mixture will look and feel like frosting. Mixtures with greater ratios of cold wax to paint will create more texture and translucency. 

After application, the wax can again be heated to create a ‘melted’ look. 

Art Lovers Insights:

“True strength lies in accepting my responsibility in being truthful, honest and vulnerable. Truth is seeking for the light, searching for the glimpse on the water. The truth is that darkness does not overcome the light, but the light shines brightest when it is dark.” Leonie.e.Brown Artist

Read more about Leonie’s Life Journey. 

…’The coffee in my cup has gone cold, but the heat emanating from my hands is enough to trick my mind into thinking that it’s still hot enough to drink. It’s the sheer intensity of the story that causes my palms to feel hot and sweaty”…

a glimpse into the studio

The versatility and raw artistic talent of Leonie.e.Brown has been recognized and celebrated at a very early stage in this prolific painter’s career. At the tender age of twenty-two she has already won the prestigious 1986 Volkskas Atelier Fine Art Award, in addition to both the Schweicherd and Gregoire Boonzaaier Art Bursaries the year before.

Sneak Peak on Encaustics

The magic of Encaustic Wax

The surface of the painting is made up of layers of oils, inks and wax, which give the finished work a three dimensional quality. 

A sense of seeing through the top layer into hidden messages and layers below.

The layering give the work a softness and richness that invites the viewer to look closer and to experience the satin smooth surface through touch,. The wax layers get more and more translucent through the warmth emanating from the exploring human hand. The viewers becomes a part of the slow change and clarity of the painting…as if the message is rising from the depth of the hidden soul to the surface of the mind There is a strange ethereal beauty in these paintings, as if they were made from air.