-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Harbour Town Adventures

Captivating story telling by Rob Caskie on the race to the South Pole at the Knysna Literary Festival.

Wind buffeting the studio. Waters of the lagoon, seething. Perfect for Boeuf Bourguignon, made with oxtail. A tasty starter of Turkish figs with Gorgonzola wrapped in Parma ham. 

With sweat coated glasses, I could not distinguish where the holes were on the decent down Phantom Pass. My fingers chilled by the wind. Brake pads near red hot as they tried to slow my momentum. Surprisingly, after the strain they took going up the pass, my legs had the bicycle moving so fast that I almost overshot the track that turns off the road to Red Bridge. Amazing what a howling wind from behind does!

Lesa and Alan arrived for their holiday at Wilderness, where we stayed for a night in their house amongst the dunes. Wooden walkways through the tree tops an adventure playground. With my strained groin muscle I didn’t do the gazillion steps down to the beach. Not that the rain made a beach walk attractive.

‘Knysna’s Finest’, portrait of the herbalist who has a table on the odd occasion amongst the fruit and vegetable vendors near the taxi rank. His dreads piled up under a beanie in the traditional Rasta colours. The angles of his hair, and how the planes of his face were at odds with his smile gave me a hard time composing a portrait that was true to his character and still looked visually correct.

I started with the background, using the symbolic colours in Rastafari beliefs and then worked through his dark eyes to the rest of the portrait. Given the Rasta philosophy of wholeness and the body as a temple, I looked to create a flow of harmony and peace through the portrait.

Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna as the base colours of his face, with a dark mix of ultramarine blue and madder deep. Naples Yellow and touches of Sap Green in his eyes, with burnt umber for the irises. 

Shoes (the polished leather sort) socks and a jacket for the Cat Simoni show. Great entertainment and while the food wasn’t brilliant, it was a great evening.

Dashes of paint across the canvas for my painting ‘A Wild Day’. Splotches without detail, allowing imagination to interpret figures, sea and the dogs running on the beach. A restful painting that carriers one along the endless beach walks.

The three small elephant paintings are sold and two of the sold portraits have been couriered to their new homes.


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.


  • Ann Raats

    Congrats with the continued sale of your paintings. I think it’s wonderful. Love and blessings Mom

    March 25, 2016
  • March 26, 2016
  • I really love your portraits. I am abit afraid of painting people because I tend to overthink and overpaint, reworking a piece of art to death. I’ve tried to learn from your style via your videos n am really happy with the results. 🙂

    March 26, 2016
    • I wrote a blog piece about your work and showcased my paintings of my 2 boys in my blog:

      March 26, 2016
    • Tks a ton. Please let me know how I can improve the videos. All a bit new for me

      March 26, 2016

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