Messing About with Paint

The Light in Between

Oil on Canvas 70cmx110cm

Available for Sale $1,500 excluding courier fees
The old ship bollard on the jetty at Thesen Island was the focus of my painting, ‘The Light in Between’. Yachts at anchor against stormy skies.
I used three main mixes for the painting. Permanent Magenta (Daler-Rowney) and Ultramarine Blue (Malmeri) Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue (Lucas) and Permanent Magenta. And, a mix of Indian Yellow (Gamblin) and Quinacridone Magenta (Windsor&Newton Artists Oils). For the highlights I used a mix of Indian Yellow and White, as well as Cerulean Blue and white. The white paint was Utrecht white, a mix of Titanium and Zinc white which has high opacity. 
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Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Isle Adventures

Surf breaking across the entrance to the heads. Sunrise and sunset beach walks. The wind chilly. Distant snow on the mountains.


A Moment in Time. Oil on Canvas 70cmx101cm. A painting of the Heads in Knysna. The cloud formations reminded me of a ship and in painting them, I decided I liked the idea of a sailing ship entering through the Heads. I have also done a small, 20cmx20cm canvas ‘Through the Heads’ of the sailing ship.
Along the main road through Knysna, they have set up planters each of which is sponsored. At the moment they are filled with marigolds and daisies. Vibrant in yellow and white.
Polly moulding into her ‘surfer dog’ image. Hair matted with saltwater and beach sand, whipped into dreadlocks by sticking her head out of the window of her mobi-kennel. She is less sure of the high tide, when the sand is soft and the waves that bit rougher, knocking out her back legs. The beach sand relocation program to inside the house is making rapid progress.
She is also becoming a Seattle Coffee groupie. Morning coffee with the cyclists at Hein’s one of her favourite stops.
Painting the small picture ‘Waiting to Play’ of a yacht on the Knysna Estuary, I was reminded of a scene from the movie about William Turner when he takes a dollop of red paint and splots it down on a canvas painted by Constable, eventually creating a buoy amongst the blue sea. I added my own red splot.
Dinner with Ronnie and Mimzie amongst the trees at the Phantom Eco Lodge, with its fabulous view out over the Knysna lagoon. Didn’t see any of the Phantom moths (Spring only?) that give name to the pass, and despite the ethereal mist, didn’t come across the ghost of the Italian women and her horse, struck by lightning, whilst trying to save the silk farmers from poverty.
A short, demanding walk along the circle route in the forest at Bibby’s Hoek. A fair amount of mud under the ancient canopy, with lichen, creating intriguing spots of colour amongst the green. No elephants, which wasn’t surprising given the noise being made by a bunch of kids enacting their own Survivor movie. Excellent venison pie at Molly’s Tea Garden, which is part of the small Millwood museum. With your own pot of coffee and attentive service, it makes a worthwhile stop.
The hills are covered in purple Erica. With the valleys full of morning mist, it’s little wonder that they call this the Garden Route.
Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Isle Adventures

A semblance of order has been achieved in the house on Leisure Island. The movers arrived. Off loaded, and left. With seemingly, the only broken bits in one of the boxes I packed. Apparently, martini glasses don’t like having vases packed on top of them, and then being squeezed under a ton of other stuff. As the box hadn’t been unpacked since our move to the vineyard a bunch of years ago, it’s difficult to know which move was responsible! The paintings all seem to be ok, and the piano and clock are still sleeping in their special crates.

We have a functioning kitchen. Cold bubbles and have set up a sitting area in the sunroom that looks out onto a bit of garden, with the gentle sound of a waterfall. Starlings are playing in the bird bath, and the wind is rustling the trees. Polly has found a spot in the garden, although for now she isn’t budging from where she can keep an eye on her ‘sheep’ in the house.
Steenberg Park, the afternoon dog playground on the edge of the lagoon. Cricket, kite flying, golf and simply watching the afternoon light on the marsh, interwoven between the chaos of all sorts of dogs. 
Plans for the studio apartment progressing. A few issues waiting to see how the aesthetics committee rule. The kitchen area a tad larger than expected. The deck smaller. All more than sufficient for two people and visitors to enjoy a glass of wine, mesmerized by the yachts in the lagoon.
The Heads are closed. A curtain of cloud locking us into the amphitheater of forests and mountains. Grey, wet skies our foretaste of the winter that lies ahead. The sunroom, a haven of lightness. 
The challenge of painting mist. Easel setup and painting bits unpacked. Neck and shoulder unhappy with the different exercise of painting.
Messing About with Paint

All in a Row

Oil on Canvas 40cmx50cm

This will be our view from the studio apartment in Knysna.
I didn’t want to paint the predictable ‘pretty’ yachts. There are enough of those sort of paintings around this place.
The line of yachts reminded me of elephants crossing the Chobe River in Botswana.
A hint of turquoise and a spot of Van Gogh red
Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

Note to self. Leaving the plug in the basin with the tap not fully close and going out for dinner is not a great idea.

Selling bits and pieces that we won’t need in Knysna through Gumtree has been quite successful. Although, I did end up caught up in a police investigation into a syndicate selling stolen cell phones. We met the person who was interested in buying my phone at the gate to the Estate, only to find out that it was undercover police, accompanied by one of the people whose phone had been stolen. All very professional, as were the detectives in another vehicle who came across. 
Stellies market on a blustery day, with the mandatory Easter rain marking the official end of summer. It’s been a regular spot for the years we have been at the cottage and something we will miss in Knysna. Bubbles, roses, and biltong for Polly.
A bunch of paintings to new homes. It was wonderful to see how the painting of the elephants too command of the room. Providing different aspects depending on where you sat, and how the light caught the painting. The Cart Horse Protection Association with their paintings creating a buzz of excitement. A gentle coffee with the small doorway painting. Very special.
Last, of last, packed. The cottage of boxes silent. The clock stopped. This adventure, over.
It’s National Poetry Month, and with a box of paintings from Afghanistan, the painting ‘Shattered Dreams’ of a guy with his kite caught in the tree came to mind.

Shattered Dreams

A tree

A boy stands

Dust swirls

Fists clenched

Branches whip

Tears stream

Wind whistles

Upturned face

Fabric tears

Shattered dreams

A kite, caught, tattered

Messing About with Paint

Shattered Dreams

It’s National Poetry Month, and with a box of paintings from Afghanistan, the painting ‘Shattered Dreams’ of a guy with his kite caught in the tree came to mind.

Shattered Dreams

A tree

A boy stands

Dust swirls

Fists clenched

Branches whip

Tears stream

Wind whistles

Upturned face

Fabric tears

Shattered dreams

A kite, caught, tattered

Kabul 2004

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

In the cottage garden, the sage are in full flower. Their purple spikes above the patio wall, a magnet for sunbirds. The fuchsias have their last late summer burst of flowers. Pink lanterns in the afternoon sunlight. Double yellow hibiscus creating a corner of brilliance.

A charcoal illustration of fuchsia flowers in the garden. Simple lines with my left hand. My body contorting itself to try and get it be the right hand!
Managed the Manor House jogging route. My legs finding the hills impossible. My shoulder managing. Polly not sure of the break in her daily schedule.
Packing in the cottage is into its last week, the throwing about becoming more ruthless and our lives move inwards to only the few essentials. With the walls bare of paintings, it’s interesting to see how the sofa has become the focal point. The sweeping flow of the sofa throwing shadows like a sculpture. Something to remember for the studio apartment.
It’s olive harvesting season. Nets spread beneath the trees that are stripped by acrobatic, rake wielding, workers. The upper branches needing ladders, while the lower branches are stripped by hand. The squirrels have ensured we have no olives in our trees!
There are new sculptures on the streets of Stellenbosch. While they provide an interesting walk through the streets, it needs a misty, grey, sort of day to transform the sculptures into life. Mist moving through, and around the works. Wet, polished surfaces, light sources. Touching, irresistible.
With my concentration on the sculptures and keeping my shoulder from being trashed by Polly’s sudden movements for that ‘must stop smell’, I managed to walk into a head height broken tree branch.