Messing About with Paint

Jandreart

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Isis
Oil on Linen 50cmx40cm

At the cottage in the vineyards, I changed the painting above the fireplace to the portrait of the girl in Lakes, South Sudan. Although, much smaller than any of the previous paintings we have had in that spot, the space around her adds to the air of mystery.

I have updated, my website with the paintings from France. As always, a few issues that I missed that need to get sorted

http://www.jandreart.com

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Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

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Tea Time, Oil on Canvas 40cmx30cm
Waxbills and Red Bishop birds are companions on my jog around Juba3. Seeing Alison’s great photo of waxbills I decided to do a painting. Not that I have ever painted birds before! After a massive fight, with feathers everywhere, a painting asserted itself.

In the north of the country, there are fears of the impact that the Quela Quela flocks will have on the harvest. There has been no spraying for a number of years, and the flocks have reached humongous proportions.

In Juba Town, our Chinese contractors celebrated the Mid-Autumn festival, sometimes called the Harvest Moon. The full moon that rises on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese calandar, is traditionally celebrated with mooncakes, which unfortunately, I didn’t get to try.

The lurking rain did not materialise to spoil the braai, which Sher and Yoga sorted for the UNOPS team. Excellent goat kebabs in Sher’s famous Afghan marinade, meat skewered between green peppers and tomatoes. A visual delight. Manoel did his best to ensure that his Brazilian jungle juice cocktail (An evil mix of granadilla, condensed milk and vodka) put soul into the evening.

Shooting close to the office first thing in the morning. Cops and Robbers stuff, or cops and cops stuff, with one person killed. They have closed the roads making life a tad more difficult with the resulting traffic chaos.

A bunch of evening functions have messed up my jogging schedule, and although its possible at night under the security lights, Im weary of snakes.

Awake at 2am listening to the rain on the metal roof. No frogs this early. An interesting observation while driving through Juba Town to the office, dodging motorcycle riders who weave aimlessly across the road, without any regard for where motorcars are, is that all their mirrors are angled so they can watch what they look like while they are riding.

Messing About with Paint

Tea Time

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Tea Time
Oil on Canvas 40cmx30cm (Available)

Waxbills and Red Bishop birds are companions on my jog around Juba3.

Seeing Alison’s great photo of waxbills I decided to do a painting. Not that I have ever painted birds before!

After a massive fight, with feathers everywhere, a painting asserted itself.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

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Delphiniums
Oil on Canvas 60cmx50cm

A wonderful early evening at Juba Bridge next to the Nile, with the team. We managed to secure a spot next to the water, which is in flood after the rains. It didn’t seem to phase a fishermen, who stood nonchalantly in his dugout, casting his net. Almost a cliche with the setting sun throwing the cloud formations into billowing colours.

On the easel, the view of Vivier from the harbour in the afternoon sunshine. Being in France, in summer, with the sunflowers out was extra special, in this part of the world where so many of the Impressionists created their masterpieces.

I was going to add more detail to the sunflower field, but decided I liked its vague suggestion, that didn’t distract from the buildings. Will need to do something about straightening the tower as the problem with painting with my left hand is that the lines tend to curve to the right.

On my jog around the UN House circuit, the cloud formation above Rock City hills, displayed the limitations of the sky I painted. In a friendly sort of, this is the creator, sort of way.

At the Bishops residence in Viviers, beds of delphs in harmony with the pale stone walls. I had to finish my painting under lights which was a new challenge. A bit like painting without my glasses.

Started the day by locking my keys in the house, after a disturbed evening with rain hammering on the roof, thunder crashing and frogs in full croak. The storm left the patio flooded and the skies are still dark and heavy with more rain potential.

Ethiopian version of espresso doing its best to burn a whole through my feet, sitting next to the Nile river waiting for the meeting to start. The wind, on a stormy day, almost cool!

Messing About with Paint

Walled City

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Walled City
Oil on Canvas 60cmx30cm (Available)

The old city of Viviers, the pale walls iridescent in the early evening of summer.

On my jog around the UN House circuit, the cloud formation above Rock City hills, displayed the limitations of the sky I painted. In a friendly sort of, this is the creator, sort of way.

Being in France, in summer, with the sunflowers out was extra special, in this world where so many of the Impressionists created their masterpieces.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

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Sunrise over Juba Town

Driving in Tanzania and Botswana has been good training for the roads in Juba following the rains, as potholes have multiplied. In some areas its tough to find a stretch of road that isn’t potholed, with some of them already over a meter deep. It does slow the traffic down, and the motorcycle drivers think they are all Evil Knievel clones.

At the office, wire baskets are being filled with sand. The noise staggering. Wonder if there is a direct link between the volume of voices and productivity?

Sitting out, with a glass of wine, watching the storm over Juba 3, after another sweltering day. The car said 36, and this is the cool season! At least the evenings are cooler, and the aircon is working. Of course, it also means that every mossie in the world is hovering to sample my blood and I’m hoping the window screens and repellent will keep them at bay. Particularly after a day sorting staff with typhoid and malaria.

Music from the community that has built around the camp drifts in waves on the wind, together with the hammering of generators.

An amazing, if surreal time. Particularly as the paintings on my easel are from our time in France. No wonder settling down this week has been a tad crazy.

Summer flowers
Oil on Canvas 50cmx40cm Available

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Managed my jog, with a flying Rwanda bunch leaving me trailing in the dust, while I did my best to focus on the horizon (good posture exercise, according to the gospel of Men’s Health) and not watch my shoes stumble over the stones.

My more adventurous self has been sampling local dishes, cooked for our lunches in the office. “Basico” is a mix of fresh pounded simsim (sesame) with cow peace leaves (black-eyed peas) which in local Arabic is called “Nyete”, eaten with “asida”, maize flower. I also had a fiery hot, lentil and beef mix, called ‘kudurah’ in Arabic. Traditionally served with “kisrah”, a flat bread from maize flower which is cooked in goat fat. Traditional cooking oil isn’t suitable, which makes the dish too expensive, and hence chapati is substituted.

Messing About with Paint

Summer Flowers

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Summer flowers
Oil on Canvas 50cmx40cm (Available for sale)

The traffic circles in Saint-Égrève, on the edge of Grenoble, are exquisitely planted in hot yellows, reds and oranges. Leaves in tonal greens providing respite from the intensity of the flowers, while delicate white-pink flower sprays, are like fountains, cooling the scorching summer heat.

I kept the background simple, with a single shuttered window to provide context.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

The house is hot after being closed up for the month. I have made the bed with clean linen (still need another flat sheet and pillow case), kicked my toe on the corner of the cupboard (no blood) and unpacked. I haven’t managed to get the Internet to work which is a bother.

Alarm to wake me into the day. A bit rude after the late holiday mornings.

The roads in Juba Town are quiet as the traffic police are having a blitz on boda-boda (motorbikes) and taxi drivers. Fresh food, veggies in short supply, and prices are more crazy than usual, with the road to Uganda still underwater after the heavy rains of the past month. Fortunately, wine is still available.

I stared at my running shoes for a long while, before deciding to head out the door for my jog. A sky filled with storm clouds at sunset. The odd flash of lightning for that nonchalant, creators touch. Take that Michelangelo!

I pretended that the sweat pouring off me was from extreme exertion in the humid afternoon, rather than the effect of weeks of holiday drinking wine and eating nougat. And that I should concentrate on form and style rather than reckless speed would make it appear effortless. Didn’t work.

Back from my opening, closing, handshaking, workshop duties. Good to be able to do it next to the Nile River, which is full with the promise of more rain to come.

The flooding across the country may be giving us a hard time in implementing our projects, but for many in South Sudan, the fish that the flooding brings is a major source of food.

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An Afternoon at the Nile