Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Lagoon full of sails, kite surfers cross the wake of ski boats. The waters a smidgen warmer as the wind settles into its summer pattern. Eerily still in the morning, before throwing an after lunch tantrum. The easel outside the studio anchored against the unpredictable tempests.

Holidays. Dirty fingers across windows. Dog land mines. The studio busy with artists, tourists and other interested types.

Terry delivered the painting at the airport, to its new owners for their trip home to the Netherlands. Safe arrival, without mishap.
A fair bit of blood as my bike handling skills and coordination didn’t quite meet the trail requirements. My stomach muscles suffering over the bumpy road up Phantom Pass. 

A couple of small paintings of sunbirds finished, as well as small elephant paintings. Finally completed the painting ‘Amongst the flowers’ from a photo of Hirsh, that captured the wonder of the flowers in Namaqualand.

I did a grey and green underpainting, which seemed to take ages to dry. Rapid strokes for the dashes of paint for the flowers.
Fabulous meal at KKB, with the trio of desserts the standout dish. The gurnard starter was excellent and there was nothing wrong with the lamb main course. Delicious, and interesting appetisers, with a bobotie filled vetkoek and Caprese polenta. The wine pairings from Creation did little to enhance the meal. While excellent, the smidgeon in the bottom of each glass didn’t allow for any sort of enjoyment or reflection. Glad we took a strategic stock with us so the evening wasn’t wrecked.
The patio garden, moving from concept to reality, as summer life on the patio takes shape. A visit to the stunning Prêt-à-Pot, at Old Nicks in Plet filled the RAV with the first pots. Fortunately, from the sale and discarded section. 
They are stunning glazed pots that balance the simplicity of the studio apartment, with the Japanese style garden I’m striving for, using the coral trees as a key feature. The pots are filled with a third crushed plastic bottles, to reduce the weight of the soil, while ensuring drainage.

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Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A couple of small paintings to increase stock levels after a spate of sales in the studio. Which has also seen new group visits, personalized tours and interest from those passing. Painting of ‘Narine Vase’, ‘Sunbird’, ‘Sunbird and protea’, and ‘Elephant at play’, sold.
Logistical hassles of getting the painting of the ‘Sunbird’ to Cape Town to be checked in on the flight to Amsterdam. Solved with help from friends and Terry willing to deliver it. 
Pancakes on a day full of rain that didn’t stop a visit to the Hakerville Market. I thought the rain and fewer people might bring the other market, full of pixies and forest fairies, more into the open. However, it only felt damp and forlorn. Even the pancakes felt rushed and sticky, rather than joyful.
Fortunately the sun came out for the ending of the Karoo-Coast cycle event and we could watch the winners in comfort. Even the pancakes were better!
Trail walk through coastal forest and dune fynbos alongside the Goukama River. The ferry, great fun of a tad tiring. The walking easy, if strenuous in the soft beach sand. A floral wonderland. Certainly a challenge for the troublesome Achilles. Pizza and a bit of wine at the River Deck a great way to finish.
My bum feeling the effects of riding Craig’s hardtail mountain bicycle up Phantom Pass. It’s racing pedigree exacerbating my poor handling skills over the bumps and through the twists. Unaccustomed muscles stiff from the abuse.
Adrenaline fueled cappuccino on the deck at ‘View’ overlooking the beach, a gazillion steps below our chairs. Paraglider’s unscrambling lines, before taking those first out-of-control steps out over the void. Heart stopping seconds, before the soaring wonder of flight.
Afternoon Walk

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

‘Anchored’

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Being on the down-slope side of a corner, which is also the edge of the mountain slope is not a good place to be. Especially with loose sand and stones! The cycle up Simola and along the contours a tad beyond my bicycle handling, and fitness ability.
I did weave across the road to get some king of momentum up the Simola climb. My time (840 best his year), an indication of my lousy cycling strength. 
At the soft sand on the edge of the mountain, I jumped off my bicycle, glad that at least I wasn’t negotiating those frightening clip-in peddles. When my peddle struck a rock in one of the forest trails I was equally glad that I could use my legs as stabilizers.
The forest track is a tough run, and no less (if quicker) cycling challenge.
The beach paintings of Joaquin Sorolla are full of movement and life, capturing the innocent pleasure of children in particular. This, my inspiration for the painting of the Boy and his dog on the beach. 
Kirsten here. Days of walking, food and bubbles planned. 
Fiddleheads curled in different directions. Ferns and Sesame street moss. Jubilee falls, an undemanding walk that follows the stream through the indigenous forests that were designed for a Fairy Tale. I managed not to fall in at the stream crossings and didn’t brave the freezing waters of the pool at the bottom of the waterfall.
Excellent chicken pie at Mother Holly’s before heading back for the Featherbed Nature Reserve walk. A ferry ride across the lagoon, before the tractor ride up the East Head and the start of the walk down. The views across the lagoon and out along the coast line are magnificent and the walk easy with a multitude of flowers along the way. Something special about walking along the old railway line route almost at sea level. My Achilles still a tad unhappy with the steps.
Morning food-handout to homeless, an opportunity to get photos for my next portraits. Disturbing eyes of hardship, suffering and hopelessness, interspersed with faces of character. Grateful for food in an empty day. 

Messing About with Paint

Boy and his dog

Oil on Canvas 90cmx60cm

The beach paintings of Joaquin Sorolla are full of movement and life, capturing the innocent pleasure of children in particular. This, my inspiration for the painting of the Boy and his dog.
Bold strokes, on an underpainting of Naples Yellow that pushed into the abstract expressionism boundaries for the painting. For the shadows in the painting, I used Purple Madder (Van Dyk 38) with Cadmium Yellow Deep as a contrasting colour. A mixture of Raw Sienna and Rose Quinacridone contrasted with Cobalt Blue for the water. Touches of grey made from Indian Red and Cobalt Blue were used to add sparkle to the white. Flashes of Magenta to ensure the unpredictability of the beach.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

 

The sky dumping large volumes of water with the first leak in the garage a result. Not surprising. Still a nuisance. With the spring high tides and the swollen rivers, flooding is happening around us that makes our localized wet patch a triviality.
Gastronomic delights. The carefree summer of the Mediterranean blended with French culinary skill. Chef’s immersed in their ingredients, searching for that perfect match of flavour, uniqueness, visual feast, complexity and simplicity. Wine pairing, not inconsequential in the menu choice, tempered by seasonal (or what can be found in Knysna’s sometimes limited choices) food availability.
Hirsh spoilt us with a caramalised onion and tomato tart tatin followed by seared calamari, green and black olives and chorizo type sausage with soya and balsamic glazed green beans.
Terry cooked a sugar-cured Chateaubriand, based on the recipe from Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek, cooked on the Weber, with rich ‘demi-glace’ sauce. Specifically chosen to pair with my birthday Crozes-Hermitage. Roasted peppers stuffed with anchovies and tomatoes. A spoon of goats cheese flavour twist.
Beach walk on a sunny morning between the rain. Spring blossoms in the maze an unexpected joy.
‘Station 12’ my painting from a photo by Berend, of the NSRI boat waiting to pass through the Heads. To highlight the bravery of the NSRI crew, and the enormity of passing into unknown seas and storms, the waters of the lagoon are an unsettled platform. The clouds and seas a maelstrom.
Blossoms.jpgThe days already longer, allowing for earlier walks and late afternoon rides. My bum still settling into the unfamiliar saddle. My coordination tested over storm washed roads. That bothersome Achilles still a limiting factor.
Full house for the Tuesday art movie, with the next screening already booked. Will continue to run them into the Summer and may increase the frequency to weekly if the demand continues.
After the brooding painting of Station 12, a bright, vibrant, fresh painting of a boy and his dog on the beach. Almost abstract in style, it’s a loose energetic painting that feels like it should have been painted on a massive canvas.
Messing About with Paint

Station 12

Oil on Canvas 90cmx60cm

 

From a photo by Berend, of the NSRI boat waiting to pass through the Heads.

To highlight the bravery of the NSRI crew, and the enormity of passing into unknown seas and storms, the waters of the lagoon are an unsettled platform. The clouds and seas a maelstrom.

I used an under-painting of Cobalt Blue, Venice Red and Permanent Magenta, which as a tad magenta heavy. For the seas, the grey of Cobalt Blue and Venice red was supplemented with Mediterranean green, and a hint of Phthalo Blue. For the sky, I used zink white with turquoise, cobalt blue and the grey mix. I ended up with spots of Indian Yellow as my finger brushed it while being charged with the blue mix. It added a bit of mystery to the painting which I left.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Birthday wake up, closing my thumb in the coffee cup drawer! Cheesecake at Sedgfield market, a better way to start the day.

With Dad here, a joint birthday outing on the Paddle Cruiser which we see daily from the patio of the studio apartment. As Dad couldn’t manage the stairs, we sat outside downstairs, at the front of the cruiser, which although chilly in the breeze, allowed us to enjoy the passing yachts, all dressed in their finery for the opening of the sailing season. The paddle cruiser is a tad tacky, which is disappointing and certainly is best enjoyed from the shore.
From the paddle cruiser we stopped at Drydock for an afternoon of Blues, looking out over the Harbour. That they organized for the sail past to take place on my birthday was very decent of them, and although the craft beer wasn’t my best, the burgers were scrumptious and there was more than enough wine to turn us rowdy.
The number of empty wine bottles did justice to the sunset and balmy evening on the patio at the studio apartment.
Boatshowposter Ver1.jpgPainting for the Knysna Antique Wooden Boat and Art Festival poster finished, with the yacht club building changed to reflect the Vintage poster feel. An interesting, if demanding, challenge.
An eventful afternoon cycle. The wind sounded like a freight train through the girders of the Red Bridge. Branches flying through the dust in the short section along the forest road. My knees complaining after the trek up Phantom Pass. Wind pushing me home.
Spring exhibition in the Studio. ‘Fresh Flowers’
Surround yourself in colours full of the energy of a new season.
Flora, the Roman goddess of flowering plants, was depicted wearing light spring clothing, holding small bouquets of flowers, sometimes crowned with blossoms. Ovid identifies Her with the Greek flower-nymph Chloris, whose name means “yellow or pale green”, the colour of Spring.

Step into a magical wonderland of Impressionist flowers, one of the great joys of spring.

Painting of Harry has gone to its new home, and I was finally able to get Sinni’s portrait to him in his cabin boat home.
Sinni home.jpg
Messing About with Paint

Spring Exhibition

For Spring 2016, surround yourself in colours full of the energy of a new season.
Flora, the Roman goddess of flowering plants, was depicted wearing light spring clothing, holding small bouquets of flowers, sometimes crowned with blossoms. Ovid identifies Her with the Greek flower-nymph Chloris, whose name means “yellow or pale green”, the colour of Spring.
Step into a magical wonderland of Impressionist flowers, one of the great joys of spring.