Today after a finishing a workshop near Worcester I stopped off to paint the mountains at Theewaters Kloof Dam. The higher mountains were covered in snow and there was an icy wind blowing. I found a place to sit in the heather near the car and did this painting. I thought of David Bellamy who does these beautiful watercolours crouched behind rocks in the most awful weather. I was warmly dressed so it was a lot of fun. There is the remnant of a pine forest at the edge of the dam.
I must get a better brush, my pallette is full of hair. I use a horse-hair brush with a sawn-off bamboo handle (to fit in my handy travel kit). While I paint I have to keep pulling stray bristles out of the brush.
Tonight after a surf I sat on the pavement and did these two watercolours of the beach at strand. The sun was setting through a bank of clouds creating beautiful colours. I have been in up-country in Gauteng this week for my other life and it is just so good to be back at the ocean. This is the first painting:
That is Devils Peak and Table Mountain on the horizon. In the cold evening the paint just did not dry.
Then I did a painting looking up the beach in the other direction. The colours in the mountains changed all the time.
I wanted to put more detail on the left of the painting but again – the paper just did not dry. Half way through this watercolour I saw a couple taking photos of each other and I offered to take one of both of them. Then I asked if they wanted to be in a painting. They were OK with that so I took some photos which I will paint as soon as I get a chance. So…
Watch this space…
I have just noticed that I did not even try to paint people here, even though they were walking up and down the beach all the time. I all peopled out this week…
I am afraid I cannot resist the opportunity when people sit still for longer than a few minutes. This morning I did this sketch of the couple sitting in front of me in church. I would love to haul out my watercolour sketch kit but that would be too disruptive. Actually, maybe not – NO – desist!!! (o:
here are some of the sketches I have done in the past. This is Peter Makapela preaching:
and here is someone else:
here is a sketch I did of my son Calvin looking wild and wooly:
And here is a chap who sat in front of me the other day:
And finally, another sketch looking down from the gallery at the people sitting below:
Here are three watercolours of the beach at Noordhoek, looking across to Kommetjie. I have spent the last three days on a workshop at Monkey Valley which is a great place to work with a group. A few of us stayed in rooms way up the hill overlooking the beach. I had to focus on the work but when it was over I sat on the deck and did these three paintings. The weather changed from sunny to stormy over the last couple of days and everynow and again the rain came pouring down. The beach changes continuously. It would be great to spend a whole day sitting doing watercolours of the same scene. I would have taken some photos but my camera batteries were pap. Anyway – the priviledge of painting is that I get to really see what is there. There are such beautiful patterns in the sand on the beach. Here is the first:
Halfway through the painting the wind blew the paper of my board and it landed upside-down in a puddle. Some of the paint washed off and it was all to wet to rectify so I just completed what I wanted to do and stuck it to the floor next to me.
The second watercolour is of the same scene:
Towards the end of the painting, the wind blew some rain, making some blotches on the paper, which is always quite fun.
The last watercolour is the scene looking up the valley towards Fishhook. That is Elsies Peak in the distance where I once spent a night to get over my fear of the dark (long ago). The bushes were reflected on the wet deck.
On the way home I stopped off in Muizenberg for a surf. I wasn’t going to because I was feeling exhausted after the session. But the sea looked so inviting. Sitting waiting for the waves I looked at Elsies peak. That view would be really beautiful, especially with the mountains above St James and Kalk Bay. One calm day I am definitely going to try sitting on a board to do a painting. Next summer maybe. Right now we are preparing ourselves in Cape Town for a massive storm. The weather chart made the front page of the news.