Route 62 is a beautiful alternative journey through the Klein Karoo that is becoming more and more popular. Each rise in the road offers stunning vistas and each little town is picturesque. The artists are moving into these towns filling them with the idiosyncratic. Very funky! On the way back from George on Friday we had to pass through Montague and so took route 62. There was not a lot of time for dawdling but we stopped at Smitswinkel (Smit’s shop) 10kms short of Ladismith, for pancakes and apple pie. It was so cool sitting on the stoep watching a few passing cars and the distant rainclouds on the mountains. So I stole 5 minutes to do this painting. I sketched the tree and added it in later.
On Monday night I did a talk to a group of people in Hout Bay about workshop facilitation. A fun event. Hout Bay is over the other side of the peninsula. Friends invited me to stay over in their guest cottage, to save me the trip back to Somerset West late at night. I thought how great it would be to have some time that side so I took them up on the idea. I painted a watercolour at Hout Bay beach the next morning. Painting on the beach was great and I had a nice chat with a sweet British lady who spends a few months of the year in Cape Town (we call them ‘swallows’). I was also accosted by swarms of vagrants who tried to sell me garish flowers made of glass beads and knotted leather keyrings. Fortunately the tide came in as I painted and the peddlers didn’t want to get their feet wet. Though one guy stood for ages watching me before moving off .
This painting is 260 x 380 mm on 300gm Arches Cold Pressed
I am sitting at Bloemfontein airport waiting for my flight to Cape Town. I have just done some work for a most delightful client in Lesotho and left Maseru early this morning to avoid the expected congestion at the Maseru bridge border post. For the last few days I have been living in the middle of the most stunning scenery in the Lesotho Highlands but have been so focussed on the work I was doing that I have not been able to paint. Well, I set that record straight on the way back to the airport.
Tenniskop – 190x280mm on 185gm arches cold pressed.
Last week I went up the Garden Route on a consulting outing and had a short time to catch up on watercolours. The first was yesterday morning in Wilderness where I had a short time at sunrise on the beach below the town before shooting into George for a meeting.
Mmm this is very yellow. The sun came up to the left of the painting as a big red ball in the mist and went behind the dark clouds. There were massive swells rolling from the South and the sea mist hung over the headland at the end of the beach. All too soon it was time to pack and rush off…
I did not not take my watercolour box but had small cut-sheets in my sketchbook. It was interesting going small again. This is 190 x 280mm on 185gm Arches Cold Pressed.
This weekend Aura and I were invited to celebrate the 70th birthday of a great friend of mine at the Leipzig Country House in the Nuy valley near Worcester in the Little Karoo. What a great occasion. The sort of event at which Hercule Poirot would have felt right at home – though fortunately there were no intrigues.
Tonight I had a surf on the way home from seeing a client. I was very pre-occupied but the waves were OK and I had a couple of great rides. I chatted with my bud Leith, on the waves, who I had not seen for a while. I was keen to paint so I went out and changed.
This is 760x560mm on 300gm Fabriano
This is one of my favourite places. There is a walk through the coastal fynbos, over a little stream and down a rocky slope to get Caves Beach. Each step along the way seems to open new beautiful views. The sea here is usually clear and blue, maybe it is because there are no big rivers flowing into this part of False Bay. And the waves are bigger and somehow less constrained. From the top of the rocky walk down you can see the beach, the rocky points and far in the distance, table mountain. I have painted this view a few times and will find the referrence.
Caves Beach – 300gm Arches 560x760mm
Well it has been a beautiful calm sunny day – high light clouds. I took some time for a quick surf just before midday and noted the beautiful cloud patterns above the Gordon’s Bay mountains. And I decided it was time to go BIG. A full sheet. This afternoon I took Ethan to his surf class and did not take my board or a wetsuit – so as not to be distracted from my course. I also took a big board and luscious sheet of Fabriano 600gm rough (NB 600gm – its thick!) I have been keeping it for ages for a suitable subject or occasion. Well tonight was it.
Ethan and I went down to the pipe this morning after church. He had a surf and I had a chance to stand in the sun and paint. There is not a breath of wind. The guys coming out of the water said the waves were fun although they were smaller than yesterday. People stopped to chat as usual. All in all a great morning.
Anyway I am tired now and have a big day tomorrow.