Durbanville, where I do quite a bit of work is right on the edge of ‘town’. You drive between houses and scho0ls and next thing you are in between vineyards and wheatfields. I had some time this evening and remembered a place called Pampoenkraal where I have often wanted to stop and paint. I guess that roughly translates to “Pumpkin Paddock”.
This is more or less what I want to do – from a photo.
It has been a very strange day in the Cape Flats. It was bright and sunny at dawn but low cloud moved in and hung around all day. I had a meeting in Cape Town and had time for a 20 minute surf at the Pipe which was brilliant. The waves had this beautiful shape and the sea was glassy. And in the thick mist I could not see the shore at all. A bit disorientating really. All too soon I had to rush up the beach wash my hair in the cold shower (I usually rinse off with my wetsuit ON in winter) and roar off through the traffic completing my dressing process.
Yesterday I had business in Paarl and went up the N1 north into Du Toits Kloof pass to paint a scene I have wanted to do for ages. I parked at the hotel and crossed the highway and walked up the hill a short way to set up. I used a full sheet of Arches (560 x 760mm) which was a new experience. It was so nice to stand there with a big squirrel hair mop, splashing the colour on. Man! it felt good.
Eventually I had leave the painting half done because the paper would not dry and I had to get back. This is how it looked when I left:
and this afternoon it looks like this:
On reflection I reckon I would like to have achieved something like this with the first wash. Bold! I need to go more bold with those first washes.
And I want to do something about how I carry stuff. I carried these ungainly boards and sheets of paper with my art box slipping off my shoulder. mmmf – time to get organised.
I plan to complete this painting here in the studio as I am not sure when I will get out there again.
Last week after hiking up to view the snow in the mountains above Franschoek we went down to the town for a coffee before driving home. I was frustrated at going up with palette and paper but no brushes so I sat and sketched the people at our table. In the end I only had time to paint fair Sinead before everyone jumped up and headed home:
At first I was not going to post it but have decided to put all work up – so
It is not too bad I suppose.
Here is a photo of our lunch spot. It was all too vast to capture on film:
The Pipe was flat as a pancake this afternoon – well there were some tiny waves. I took my watercolour stuff down to the beach as two guys went down with surfboards. I asked them if they knew something I didn’t. Well
they said they were really desperate – and I can understand that. As it happened they seemed to have a lot of fun as I heard them whooping and cheering as I got down to much more serious business. ahem!!!
The night before we hiked up to Spout Cave last weekend we spent the night at Uitkyk cottage with friends. It was Jacqui’s birthday the next day and I had time to sit at the stream below the house and paint this water colour, just before it became to dark (and cold). So this is her birthday gift. I forgot to take a photo of the watercolour and have only just managed to get that done – which is why it is a little dated here.
It was great sitting on the edge of the stream hearing the water splash down the rocks and watching the colours change. As I sat down the last ray of sunshine shone out through a crack in the crags in the background.
On Wednesday, as prepared to return to Somerset West from George I took some time to wander up the Half Collared Kingfisher trail to do a painting. Actually I would have been happy to sit in the Winter sunshine and watch the cormorants working up and down the river. But I found a pleasant view looking downstream from the lookout on the river-bank. The forest glistened as the sun rose above the hills overlooking the river. I took a video of the watercolour as I worked. I am getting used to working around the camcorder. So here we go:
The painting it 280x190mm on Arches Cold Pressed (300gm).
I am reading Nita Engle on how she creates forest and river reflections. Soon I want to give her technique a whirl.
Still not what I wanted but – another step in the journey…
phew – long day – time to kip