Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

Sweltering. Trees, gasping at the warm air. Clouds full of mischief.

Finished fighting with my painting of the forest, Forest Phantoms. An evening spent looking for the elephants in the painting. Those intended, and those created by our imagination.
A bunch of visitors from the vineyards, popping into Knysna from their various holiday destinations. Hesta and William, the roar from the Harley, almost drowned by our ceaseless chatter. Polly happy to have extra ‘sheep’ for her walks.
Beach sand under our feet at Fresh Line with Ninty.
Basquiat, a movie about Jean-Michel Basquiat, a young American painter in the 80’s. His brief life, fueled by drugs, from obscurity into the world of the New York City famous. i didn’t understand the art, and Terry did better linking the words, taken from his beginnings as a graffiti artist, into his paintings into abstract meanings. The ‘Tyre of Babel’, being one. The rendition of Hallelujah by John Cale at the end was amazing.
A painting of the sea at Springer on the easel. A place to let your imagination ride on the endless swells. Calm. Serene. 

Haven’t sorted the setup for taking high quality pictures of my paintings. Getting everything absolutely square still a bother, which results in smudgy areas on the end points. Colour accuracy has been improved with the lighting, although the White Balance still doesn’t feel correct. 
Blue skies muddled by clouds that threaten to add rain to the morning chill. For now, the walk in the forest was dry. Polly intrigued by the unexpected presence of a cow, focused on the smell of baboon. The climbs tough on her wonky legs

Springer Detail


Messing About with Paint


Oil on Canvas 100cmx30cm


A place to let your imagination ride on the endless swells. Calm. Serene.

Placing the horizon line a tad more complicated than I thought. Particularly as the aloes were the focal point of the painting, which would suggest a higher horizon with more foreground. However, this made for a heavy painting with insignificant sea. By increasing the amount of water, I was left with a painting that felt like a sandwich. Keeping it all into the bottom third felt about right.


Springer detail

Messing About with Paint

Phantoms in the Forest

Oil on Canvas 77cmx101cm

Finished fighting with my painting of the forest. A bunch of colours used in the painting that haven’t been part of my pallet for awhile. A forest floor of Yellow Ochre, Mineral Violet Light, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Naples Yellow Light, Cobalt Blue, and Magenta. Trees of Permanent Red Orange, Cinnabar Green, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cerulean Blue, Yellow Ochre, Indian Yellow, Magenta, Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Madder Deep. Rose Madder, Magenta Quinacridone, and Naples Yellow for highlights. 
A fun evening searching for the elephants hidden in the painting of the forest in Knysna.

Messing About with Paint

Leisure Island Adventures

Stunning sunset walk. Polly looking for mischief.

Lines on canvas. The forest. With elephants trashing loggers equipment, it seemed appropriate to have an elephant in my painting. Or rather, the semblance of one. A bit of a struggle with what appeared to be a lifeless mass of paint on the canvas.
As it has for hundreds of years, on the main road through Knysna, the smell of pine – heavy in the air – from freshly logged trees, being hauled on somewhat roadworthy trucks to the sawmills.
Terry spoilt us with her scrumptious terrine, before a decadent chocolate moose dessert. A fair amount of wine ensured we didn’t waste the end of week recycling bag.
Design-wise, a furniture manufacturer in Knysna that specialises in meticulously crafted solid wood furniture. The workshop, a bit like Geppetto’s, infused with the magic of the forests. Special that this will be part of the apartment as they will build the kitchen cabinetry.  
The stairway from the beach at Brenton, winds up the dune, with a couple of breather breaks on the way to heaven. Impressive that Polly was able to manage the stairs after her beach walk. 
Stopped in at the Knysna School of Arts & Design, in a revitalised building that was once the studio for Malachi Smith. The Leon Ver Meulen canvas was particularly striking.

Diary of an Adventure

Jozie Adventure

A sky of orange, sun setting, darkness punctuated with fires. The other world, as the plane touched down, people frenetic to reach the next action item. My shorts in sharp contrast to the smartly dressed important people.

Bird calls. Early morning. Still. Burble of chatter and the sound of running shoes striking the road. Breath vapours in the cool air. Cold hands. Aching legs on unaccustomed hills.
Oakes Coffee Roastery. Brilliantly coloured umbrellas decorate the ceiling of the bathroom in this gem which is set amongst the trees in the historical part of Modderfontein. The coffee is smooth and strong, without a hint of burnt, bitterness. The service is friendly and the menu has interesting twists that are perfect for the relaxed environment.
Mum continuing her strong recovery. The walker a thing of the past, her stick now more of an accessory, than a crutch.
Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Isle Adventures

The salt water marshes of the Knysna estuary, constantly changing with the tides, and light levels. Shifting colours and textures of water and grasses, which we pass daily. An irresistible challenge for my painting of mushed colours. Bright. Vibrant. Malmeri Mediterraneo Capri Blu and Blu Eroclano providing coarsely ground colours with a high translucency for the water. A bit like having sea sand in the paint.

Dentist visit to do a temporary patching job on my broken tooth. A few sessions ahead to get it sorted. A nuisance.
Under blue skies, a superb braai at J9. Rather more wine consumed than recommended. Coreta’s creamed spinach, amazing. Tantalising menus on the Weber with grilled whisky soaked salmon and roasted artichoke. Brandy infused duck breast with an orange and Gorgonzola salad.
An expedition around the various builders shops in Knysna, with coffee shop stops for chats and laughter, to look at tiles, bathroom fittings and flooring options for the apartment. A pleasant surprise with stock availability and attentive, knowledgable staff.
Low tide. Pools of sea life. Mud splattered, soaked Border Collie mayhem, with the boys visiting Polly.
Stopped in at the old jail in Knysna which is used as an art centre. The exhibition of paintings had a few works of interest. All very pretty, soft paintings that had me wondering whether my paintings would stand out. There was a group painting in one of the inner rooms that had the feel of cloistered monks creating beautiful works, totally insulated from reality. Not a wine glass, or bottle in sight!
Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Isle Adventures

Polly, oblivious to the rain, is officially a Swamp Brat. The mud at low tide a new playground of smells and rotten bits to eat. Discarded fishing tackle and hooks, a menace.
Colour, attitude and a hint of daring exhibitionism in the annual Pink Lourie parade along the main street. There was a touch of dazzling, to go with the bravado, and the rain lifted to ensure that it was done in style. Polly barked at the marching band. Ignored the silly pink yapping dogs, and found a spot from which she could be admired by the passing throng.
The moon lighting the sky, waves breaking across the sandbars, as the tide moves into the lagoon. Not a breath of wind to disturb the tranquility. I’m glaring at my painting of the forest, in the half light, to see if it glows with hidden wonder.
Forest Walk, a painting from the forest above Knysna. A palette based on the coloured lichen that grows on the forest floor. I focused on shadows and light, rather than on individual aspects within the green world of the forest.
From my magic box of paint, Van Dyk Zink Yellow, Cinnabar Green Light (No63) and Cadmium Orange (no16) for the highlights. A mix of Cadmium Yellow Deep (LeFranc) and Ultramarine Blue (Lucas 1862) for the dark green, with Permanent Magenta (Daler-Rowney) added for the grey tones. Chrome Yellow light (Daler-Rowney) and Cobalt Blue
The wine delivery guy has found the house, which means we have a strategic stock in case we get flooded in. In an emergency I’m sure I can get it upstairs.
Polly feeling poorly with little enthusiasm for her walks. Fortunately, she seems to be getting stronger again.
On the side of the street, a boy sits at a table selling potted seedlings focused at the passing dog walking fraternity, to raise funds for a new Lego set. Feels like being part of a film set.
The fire that raised the Boat Shed on Thesen a bit too close to the studio apartment for comfort.
Lighting options for the studio, with high CRI LED globes the recommendation. The light spectrum given by the globes cuts the yellowing effect and produces the most natural light, with low energy consumption and minimal heat output. Finding suppliers, a tad more difficult.
 Freshline the perfect lunch spot with the sun out. Scrumptious fish that only seems possible with your feet in beach sand, the sound of a ships horn and the air vibrant with sea spray.
Messing About with Paint

Forest Walk

Oil on Canvas 122cmx92cm

The forest above Knysna. 

A palette based on the coloured lichen that grows on the forest floor. 

I focused on shadows and light, rather than on individual aspects within the green world of the forest.
From my magic box of paint, Van Dyk Zink Yellow, Cinnabar Green Light (No63) and Cadmium Orange (no16) for the highlights.

Messing About with Paint

Leisure Isle Adventures

Plans for the changes to the studio and apartment have been approved by the building aesthetics committee. Structural details next to sort and ideas for the kitchen being discussed with wine fired inspiration.

A clearing in the forest. Saturday market, perhaps not all it seems. At first glance, the stalls well laid out, with a section for crafts that entice one to look, even if only out of curiosity. There is a second section for organic produce. Dogs and children weave between peoples legs, the music is gentle and the announcer makes it feel like a country bazaar.
However, every now and then, amongst the obvious tourists, a forest dweller appears. Allowing you a brief glimpse into another market. The real market? Where potions are sold, and the innocuous women sitting on a stool, is actually an infamous spell weaver. The music from the pipes of elves and the gentle mist the veil between worlds.
No bubbles. I’m not convinced that there wasn’t something a whole lot stronger available from the coffee stall, as the long queue couldn’t have been for the dreadful coffee!
The old ship bollard on the jetty at Thesen Island was the focus of my painting, ‘The Light in Between’ Oil on Canvas 70cmx110cm. Yachts at anchor against stormy skies. A couple of small paintings kept me out of mischief.
Chatters for our weekly pizza fix. Sadly, the salads are so good that they are the first choice, meaning I never get to try the desserts, as a pizza is a must. Even if it’s shared. Haven’t managed to sort the correct red wine to accompany a pizza. The Merlot didn’t work with my bacon, blue cheese and avo pizza. I did try a second glass as a check!
Early walk with Polly at Buffels beach. The extra kilometer on our usual walk, a bit far on her wobbly legs.
Planted a Rosemary pot outside the kitchen of the house. One of the first things that seems to happen in any of the places where we stay. With winter approaching, rosemary a must, for the casseroles that will take us through the wet months.
An evening of adventure to the dark-side of Knysna. Yup, the bit above the main road. Raasoie, an Indian Restaurant (great food, lousy service), before a brief stop at quirky Bloo.