At the August monthly meeting of the Western Cape Watercolour Group I rashly offered to do a demo, if they needed someone. Cherry, our erstwhile chair, suggested this month would be good. And it was. This afternoon I rushed through the coming storm to the library hall to set up. I had prepared nothing. My idea was to encourage everyone there to go out and paint in the field. Earlier in the week I had taken some photos at the Pipe. I had got there just as the sun was going down so I actually missed the bright son on the mountains but I got enough for a demo. So I pretended we were at The Pipe and I set up my box and pretended the photo on my laptop was my ‘view’. And off we went.
Tonight was a beautiful moody rainy evening in our corner of False Bay. We had a nice strong wind last night so there was a large swell running on the high tide. Just right for a good surf. Only I have been battling with flu today and trying to finish my documentation from last week. I just wanted sea air so I took Calvin down for a surf with his bud. After he left I waited for a light rain to pass then took my stuff down the beach. The mountains changed by the minute, first dark under the clouds and then sparkling in the sunshine. It was magnificent. What a beautiful place to be. Read more of this article »
Whoosh – I have just finished my document from a workshop I have been running for a client here in Nairobi. Yesterday Kenyans went to the polls in a referendum to decide on whether to change their constitution or not. I spent much time documenting workshop stuff but managed to slip out in the afternoon to a central park. The locals were lounging around in the sun and the shade, and I sat in the sun and painted this watercolour. As I painted a bunch of teenagers came zooting past on the path, on roller-blades – very cute to hear the laughter.
This is on a half sheet of Arches 300gm Cold Pressed (560 x 380 mm)
This afternoon I had to be in the area again and came prepared to paint the same scene. I found a perspective which incorporated a view of the oak trees lining the main road. It was a bit close to the main road but I thought it would be worth it. As I set up I idly wondered whether the testosterone charged locals who roared down the road in the luxury german sedans and their streetsmart 4x4s also felt the magic of that short length of road in the shade of the gnarled oaks.
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”.
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.
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.