Lorraine Loots

365 Postcards for Ants by Lorraine Loots

365 Paintings for Ants


Last year, we met Lorraine Loots just starting off her ‘365 Paintings for Ants’ project. Over the year, she has completed her goal, exhibited the works and distributed the teeny paintings to their owners. Her paintings which are smaller than a thumb nail display the amount of focus and time that she spends on the intricate details, and the works at her exhibition were viewed through a magnifying glass.


This year, Lorraine has decided to re-do the 365 day challenge in celebration of Cape Town being the World Design Capital of 2014. Her project re-titled ‘365 Postcards for Ants’ will illustrate the natural beauty, landscapes and people that live in Cape Town. In addition to the original painting, there will also be a chance to purchase a limited range of 5 postcards.


Here, Lorraine elaborates on her project:


How have the 365 day projects changed your life since you started at the beginning of 2013?


The projects have really changed my life in every way. What started out as a part-time endeavour quickly became a full-time job – so much so that I’m actually struggling to keep up with all the admin and work surrounding the project. I never expected any of this!


What do you enjoy most when painting and what is your motivation?


I love the way you get lost in a piece. Just zooming in on the detail and doing whatever you need to do to achieve a certain result – it’s very meditative. My motivation is the commitment I’ve made to painting something every day, and of course the desire to create something that someone will love.


How has the project challenged you?


I think the hardest part is the fact that I have to create something special every single day. There’s something very psychologically challenging about never having a day off. Oh, and the mountains of admin.


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Day 34 : The Jameson Hall, located on the University of Cape Town’s upper campus.


Do you have any routine when working?


I’m gradually getting into more of a routine. Up until very recently I’ve just been in a kind of flat spin, dealing with whatever presents itself and then moving on to the next thing without taking a moment. The paintings used to happen at the end of the day, when most other things have been put to rest. I’ve now realized that the paintings need to be the priority – everything else must wait.


Is there any specific theme you paint and draw around? Why?


This year, the themes are all connected to Cape Town. With it being selected as the World Design Capital for 2014, and with Table Mountain becoming one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, there’s been a lot of good energy around the city lately. I just felt like it was Cape Town’s time, and I wanted to embrace that somehow.



Day 57 : Table Mountain – side view.


What advice do you live/paint by?


“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London


How is the ‘365 Postcards For Ants’ project going? Do you have any favourites yet?


The year was off to a rough start, but I’m really getting into it and enjoying the project now. The apple I painted on the 8th of February has to be my favourite so far. I like the simplicity of it.


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Day 39 : Abalimi (Harvest of Hope) and the Ethical Co-op are just two of many organic veggie box schemes operating in Cape Town. These companies typically support micro-farmers and small community initiatives, as well as ethical and/or biodynamic farming.


Where do you see yourself – and the project taking you – in the future?


I’ve always wanted it to become a traveling project somehow – but at the moment I’m just looking forward to taking a bit of a break after this.


Keep up to date daily at:



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Day 1 : Cape Town’s Coat of Arms.

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Day 7 : The steep slopes of the Cape Peninsula are home to more than 100 caves. (From www.capetown.travel; reference photo by James Gradwell).

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Day 19 : Hout Bay.

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Day 20 : Killer whales (also known as orca whales or blackfish) can be seen off the coast of Cape Town at any time of the year. – Wikipedia.

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Day 32 : The Prince of Wales gate at the magnificent Mount Nelson Hotel. The grandfather clock in the Hotel Lounge dates back to the early 1800s. It is said to have chimed so loudly that an irate guest hammered two six-inch nails into the chimes, and for 20 years it remained silent. It still chimes today, but not nearly so loudly.

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Day 33 : A favourite Cape Town pastime : a movie at The Labia theatre with cold beer and popcorn in a brown paper bag. (The Theatre is the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in the country. The original building was once an Italian Embassy ballroom and was opened by Princess Labia in May 1949 as a theatre for the staging of live performances – Wikipedia).

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Day 40 : The Jolly Roger Pirate Boat, Cape Town.

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Day 41 : Sea Point Promenade in the Sixties.

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Day 42 : The Secret Love Project.

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Day 47 : Bakoven beach. The very best.

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Day 61 : Kalk Bay Lighthouse.

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Day 66 : The Company’s Garden was formally established in 1652 by Dutch settlers.

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Day 68 : The Cape Argus cycle tour was started in 1978 to raise awareness about the lack of bike paths in South Africa. The 109 km tour now attracts over 35 000 cyclists every year.

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Day 69 : The Southern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus), is a small passerine bird which breeds in southern South Africa.


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