-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Washington DC Adventures

Unsurprisingly, given my excellent sense of direction, my twenty minute walk to the Philips Collection turned into a two hour afternoon walk through the park that is Massachusetts Ave. Dazzling white azaleas, with a sprinkling of pink blooms. White legs (mine are almost tanned in comparison) with shorts hauled out of bottom draws. Pent up energy, exploding from dogs. Street side tables packed with conversation. Relaxed and clean.

I found the work by John Martin at the Phillips (Directions obtained from a couple of helpful concierges) compelling. There was an amazing painting by Marsden Hartely that I went back to look at a dozen times. Its a tiny work painted in strident primary colours that obliterates the concept of soft neutral times to add vibrancy. The American Exhibition had seascapes to inspire my work when we get to Knysna. A subject I have fought with on every canvas of sea I have painted.

My feet almost in the distance chewing, pavement pounding gait. A few blisters still a nuisance, initial steps a lurching shuffle.

Birds to wake me through the open balcony door of the hotel room. Traffic still quiet as day breaks. Starbucks fix, the sound of a women’s painted nails clicking on her laptop keyboard. Almost as fast as Kirsten!

The Institute for Peace has the most incredible building as its home. The design is breathtaking and the quality of the finishes staggering. One aspect looks out through the trees to the Washington Memorial as a reminder of what happens when peace fails. The translucent domed roof links two buildings, emphasizing the fragility of bridging hardened attitudes. Transparency and inclusion highlighted through the open glass ends of the domed section.

From the picture window at the Pret on K Street, I have the constantly changing amusement of the work commute. The 100% environmental guy, who has a plastic container on the back of his bicycle divided into recycle zones and a rolled up yoga mat on his back. The homeless women with her life in the dozen carrier bags around her, standing at the Starbucks counter drinking coffee and eating sandwiches purchased for her by those grabbing the all important take-away coffee that you have to carry with you like a magic wand. The oblivious, text messaging walk that still manages to negotiate the grid on the pavement.

Dinner with Sheena. Excellent salmon and muscles, with a Finger Lakes, Pinot Noir from New York. A shower before the short walk up the hill to the hotel. The sky that stunning twilight blue.

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.


  • Alyson Davies

    Sounds like you had a great trip Xxxxx

    Alyson Davies 16, avenue de l’Europe, St Egreve, 38120 France Cell: +33 7 86 29 12 83 Home: +33 4 76 97 84 03


    May 17, 2014

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