After sitting in the traffic for half an hour to do 4 kms I had a chance to sit at The Pipe and do this painting. The South Easter was blowing and I am still getting rid of crunchies in my mouth and eyes.
There is a pole fence just sticking out of the dune and what is left of a boardwalk. Also someone pulled out one of the poles I usually paint and there it lies.
I had just started this when I realised I was not painting on Arches – it is probably Saunders W or something.
Here is a painting I did in Muizenberg at the end of last week when I drove through to pick up my board which had been fixed by the guys at the Lifestyle Surf Shop.
It felt really good to have it with me again but I could not surf as they had just sighted another Great White.
You can see the cottage from the last time I painted here as well as the power cables for the False Bay line.
This afternoon I took a drive out to Muizenberg to pick up my board having confirmed with the good people at Lifestyle Surf Shop that it was all done. They brought out the board and the bag and said they were only charging me for the repairs to the bag. Thanks guys.
When I arrived in town the sirens were going and the shark flags were up. And there was no-one in the water. Later they put up a red flag which is an all clear of sorts and the surfers went in again. I had not brought a wetsuit so I sat down and did what I really came to do… heh heh – guess what that was???
Here is how it started:
Well not really – actually it started with me trying to tape a sheet of Arches twice this size to my book. Then I just thought “this watercolour business is hard enough as it is…why am I trying to make life so much more difficult?????” and then taping a smaller sheet on. It was quite windy and I sat with my legs over a low wall above the sand.
Here is the next stage:
That is the same cottage I painted in the last post. And there are pylons next to the railway. Here is the next bit or work:
The light was changing all the time as the clouds blew over. Now and again someone would stop and chat. All very pleasant really. I met a young guy who was selling his own paintings on the beach who stopped by. I also watched a lady teaching her daughter (I think) how to fly a kite. ”put yourself between the kite and the water – keep the tension…” Here is the next phase:
At this point I thought it was pretty much done. Then I decided to add a few more darks. Then Ed came up and chatted for a while after his swim. He spoke of his idea of setting up a blog with video clips of hikes in the mountains about Muizenberg which I think is quite a cool idea. I put in a plug for WordPress at this point, so we shall see… I forgot to take a photo of the last stage and packed up and left.
Here is the final version of the watercolour – photographed here in my studio.
I was keen to have another go at the smitswinkels scene but am bushed.
This morning I went through to Muizenberg and took the walk through to Kalk Bay – as I did the other day. I sat on the way to do this watercolour of the view:
And now the explanation:
I have decided to re-energise my other blog at WordPress. It is such a cool community and I have felt the need for somewhere more loose than this website since I started. So I have re-opened my very first blog at www.sjqwatercolour.wordpress.com. I had closed this first watercolour blog and started deg34south because my business profile was different from my art profile. This is still an issue and I will see what I need to do about it. At the end of last year I opened this website. Well I hope this is the end of the chopping and changing but I am afraid I cannot guarantee this. (o:
Anyway – you can check out the story behind this watercolour at the other site – just click on that site. S
This morning I went through to Muizenberg to pick up my board. The boys at LifeStyle surf shop had called me to say it is all ready (even though it wasn’t – but that is a whole other story). I got there early enough to take a walk through to Kalk Bay – as I did the other day. What I didn’t say then is that on Monday I did not have enough money on me to pay for my Chococcino and I owed the waitress. On the way I sat with on the walk and did this watercolour of the view towards Cape Point. There is a little house right down on the rocks which must be such a cool place to live – I suppose they are used to the trains which pass within10m of their back door. Here is the first part:
There was a crowd of fishermen below me on the rocks who were chatting and laughing raucously. Laughter is such a beautiful sound. Here is how the next part of the painting looked:
The train passed within a metre of where I sat. I had my back to the pillar for the powerlines. And a cop strolled past whistling. A happy chap. I did the next part of the watercolour once the water reflection in the middleground had dried:
And then I walked and trotted along the line to Kalk Bay. When I sat down at the Tribeca Bakery in Kalk Bay I saw that I had not put in the concrete post on the rocks. So I licked my brush and picked up some colour and completed the painting:
The waitress who had taken my bill the other day had been so friendly about the whole thing that I gave her the painting. So if you ever pass through Kalk Bay drop in at Tribeca Bakery. They make a great cuppa as well awesome choc chip cookies. (o:
I was looking forward to a short surf at Muizenberg when I got back although I was in two minds about it. A few days ago a shark took a guy who was chest deep in the surf at Fishhoek beach. Bit off his legs and ate them and then came back for the rest. All they found were his goggles. Ai. In the end the board was not ready so the decision was made for me.
Here is a picture, below, I did of Ethan doing an Ollie on his skateboard:
I liked the dark background as it gave definition to his upper body and arms, which were light. But I found the tree trunk offputting. So I did the picture again:
the background is more suggested than described and I liked the figure better. Any comments on the comparison? For information, here are the stages in the development of the first picture:
Subsequent note: I did this work a year ago but in moving across to this blog I got this to repost – I am not sure how that happened. (However I drew a great crit from Keith so it is well)
Here is my studio take on the trek-fishermen at Smitswinkelbaai. Most of the artists in “The watercolor Landscape Techniques of 23 International Artists” recommend doing a value sketch before starting a new painting. My value sketch is usually my first full scale attempt. So I decided to try doing this. Here is the value sketch:
Actually it is really two but anyway.
Here is my drawing which was supposed to be more detailed than usual but actually wasnt:
The cactus in the background is my Christmas gift from Ethan. One well armed dude!
And here is where the painting is right now. I have tried to do the rocks in one go – without glazing and glazing. However my first go was last night when I was tired and not daring enough. You can see the result of that one in the rock on the far right – I have done the others again. These are quartzite boulders from the Table Mountain Sandstone mountains surrounding the beach. The outcrops are granites (Cape Granite I think – I should know but was not listening much in these lectures in my first year of Geology – long long ago)…
I am hoping the sea will take life when I put in the surrounding darks. I have also defined the detail a little more carefully. I painted the rocks to the music of Donna Summer – yeh – a blast from the past – heh heh – could it be magic – and I posted this to the music of the Doobie Brothers…
Here is how it looks at the dinner break, with the beach in place:
I thought I would do a few studio projects this holiday but this is the first time I have felt I have had the energy. But there we are – this feels so good. Oh and yesterday the gallery phoned to say there were people who wanted my rock pool paintings but were quibbling about the price – my first reaction was to suggest they go and look at the local furniture mart where they have huge poster stands full of chocolate box posters. But I didn’t and I sold them. I am keen to make space for new work now.
Well here is the next piece – I did this listening to Paul Harrison – All things must pass:
Time for bed and here is how it looks:
I must review the values. But it is time to give this a break and see how it looks in the morning.
Here is a painting from Smitswinkelbaai, just outside of the Cape Point Nature Reserve. There is a bit of a hike down to the beach which keeps it fairly uncrowded. There must be a story behind the name (‘Smit’ – a surname, ‘winkel’ = a shop and ‘baai’ = bay) the official looking site has a description. Anyway, the trek fishermen were lounging on the beach when I arrived. As I stepped onto the sand they got a signal from their lookout up the hill that a shoal of fish (I guess) was coming into the bay. They all leapt up and pushed the boat, on a trailer down to the water line – then sat back. While they waited I did this watercolour of the boat and the rocks. The unfinished foreground is a testament to the immiscibility of watercolour painting and family outings.
This calls for another visit…
This morning I had a wander around the Helderberg Reserve. There was a light breeze but it was baking hot. I sat under the Keurboom (what is that in English? - Kigelaria Africana) and sat contemplating the mountain. There was a terrapin the size of a matchbox sunning itself on a lily pad but it scooted off before I could take a picture (or a sketch heh heh). I was attracted by the lilies which are all flowering. So I painted the lilies rather than the whole scene. mmm – what do you think?
This is how they looked:
You can see the reflection of the sky and the mountain. When the water is still I could see all the detail and colour of the mountain in the reflection. And the reflection is much darker than the lilies. Look at all the yellows and greens! Definitely something for the studio. While I was painting a group of people came to see the painting and chat. They were speaking an Eastern language and I learned that the father of the wife of one of the couples had come out from Taiwan to visit his daughter and – well – I just felt it would be good for him to have this painting so I caught up to the couple and asked her to give it to her father.
When I sat down again I did this painting:
Still not what I want to achieve but there it is. While I was painting I chatted with another local couple to whom I gave another painting and also to a lady who also paints in watercolours. So – a nice friendly morning – very lekker.
Later I wandered up to the forest (where the wedding had taken place last year) where I painted this watercolour:
Also another place I would like to paint again. Pine forests are so therapeutic. There was a raptor flying at the edge of the forest calling with a plaintive cry and the wind blew through through the trees with a rushing sound. I remembered the nights when I used to sleep in Newlands Forest when I studied at the University of Cape Town. A little bit of magic.
On new-year’s eve eve I dropped a painting off with my friends Mark and Rae. We have a long and colourful history together which included the development of a personal mastery programme together – phew! Anyway they bought one my paintings of the surf competition at Misty Cliffs and I gave Rae the other one for her birthday. They have both been so supportive of my painting.
Rae had a pounding migraine but offered me a fruit juice, then Mark offered an espresso and we agreed that the occasion warranted a shot or ouzo too. And then they hauled out all this cheese and biscuits. So we sat on the verandah and shot the breeze and had bid our farewell to 2009. I had realised that I was totally burnt out from the year and it was just so good to sit with these two supportive people. So I wanted to capture something of the moment. I had to leave so we had a weekend’s conversation in a couple of hours and I took a photo from which I painted this watercolour. mmm mmmmmm – well there it is.
I spent a good part of New Year’s Eve clearing a blocked sewerage drain before joining friends to see in the new decade. I am not one for omens but I had a sense that clearing the blocked drain had something to do with letting go of all the negative build-up – yes I have thought of the more graphic metaphors. It crossed my mind too that this should not be a harbinger of what I will be doing in 2010. Ai! – well – we shall see. My task now is to rest and recover.