Last week this time I was working with a most interesting and energetic team at Malalea Lodge in Lesotho. I had my smallest watercolour set with me, as well as some sheets of paper, but did not have a chance to sit and paint at the Lodge. We worked really hard. It was wonderful. But I suffer from interaction fatigue and I was thankful that I had a few hours to relax the next day.
I left Maseru early on Sunday morning to return to Cape Town and had a morning to take it easy before my flight to from Bloemfontein. Although it was raining when I crossed the border, I took a dirt road of the main route and drifted slowly through the undulating farmlands. The road took me back to the river I had crossed to leave Lesotho. The drizzle slowly let up and I found a field sloping down the river where I could sit and appreciate the view. The farmers in the area use the lenticular blocks of Cave Sandstone (from the Clarins Formation) to create the corner fence posts and gate posts for their fields. So I decided to paint this one.
As I sat and painted the Sunday Morning sounds from Maseru drifted across the valley, snatches of music, women ululating and a marching band. Distant and an unobtrusive. A farmer cruised past in his bakkie. We waved a greeting. What a pleasant morning. Just a little everyday magic.
The painting is on Arches 300gm paper and is 190x280mm. the blotches on the paper are from the light rain that fell as I sat on rock to paint. (When I finished the painting I put the rock back where I found it – which I think is the polite thing to do.)
You can see exactly where I sat on Google Maps at 29°14’59.47″S and 27°31’16.63″E – which I think is quite cool.
When I had finished I cruised ever so lazily to Ladybrand and on to the N8 to Bloem.
I stopped near Botshabelo to change and pack my stuff for flying. I had a very short time so I did this little painting of the plains. I was a bit pre-occupied about getting on the flight which shows I think.
I will try another from the photo I took. The veld was so full of subtle colours. This is on the same paper as the first.
And then I tootled off to Bloem and flew home to my dear wife and kids.
Last week Carol sent me an e-mail in which she made it quite clear that no painting since 01 January was just not good enough!!! She completed the note by saying “Don’t make me come over there!” Now just to understand, it would be wonderful to show her and her husband around this side. But I could tell this was a more serious business. heh heh (o:
Well that got me going.
At the same time I decided it was time to market my “life in light and colour” presentation. So I designed a short YouTube video to talk about what I was trying to achieve with the presentation. While I was working I lost my camera in an absent-minded moment. So I had to make a plan. This is the rig I created. I was going to use bubble-gum to complete the jury-rigness but that could have been messy for my android:
Here is the video I created – eventually:
And here are the paintings. Each of these had to fit into a 10 minute video so they were done fast.
Well I decided to get the year off to a good start. We had seen the new year in on the beach at Betty’s which was very pleasant though I was not feeling so well and started off slowly the 1st of Jan. I went down for a surf later but it was really messy. But great to be in the water. There was a stiff North West blowing and the beach was no place to be. So I went up to Bass Lake again sat on the tailgate of my bakkie and painted this:
Families were picnicing on the grass and again there was mellow laughter and fun all around.
We came through to stay with friends in Bety’s Bay for new year. It seemed like a good idea to finish the year on a high note. Which called for a watercolour. So I had a magic surf, then I swam across Bass Lake. And then I sat on the roof of my bakkie and painted it.
While I sat painting, there was a hectic game of volley ball going on on the grass below with shouts of encouragement and peels of laughter. A beautiful sound.