Diary of an Adventure, Messing About with Paint

Harbour Town Adventures

Portrait of ‘The Fisherman’ finished. Tossed on the sea of life. His hoody, a halo of protection, insulating him. Retreating into the anonymity of its darkness. Within which his eyes stare unwaveringly at the hostile environment within which the homeless exist.

Raw Sienna mixed with rose and a touch of Naples yellow gold as the base colour for the portrait, with shades of Indian Red and Cobalt Blue grey.

My elbow complaining at the contortions.

Early summer days. Beach walk at first light. Paddling, with blue herons watching, in pure stillness. Feet pounding the brick paving alongside the lagoon. Braai fire creating a glow, adding to the fiery sunsets across the water. Owl hooting its greeting to those who pause long enough to listen. Pin-tail Whydah’s filling the air with attitude.
osbloodLimited edition, hand-crafted wines from Osbloed winery in Somerset West. Each with its unique story, and intriguingly different to those we normally drink.
The Knysna River glowing in the sunset. Red-bridge a shadow. A question, as to how would Jackson Pollack paint such a scene? Did his paintings have any compositional strategy (He famously said: “I don’t paint from nature, I am nature.”), or were they a random splattering of paint, without an underlying concept? “When I paint, I have a general notion.” Jackson Pollack 51. Colour as shape.
Can his ‘action technique’, as manifested in ‘drip painting’, be applied to my style, which is neat and compact (His were none of those things!)? Ever mindful of the person who came through the studio exclaiming ‘Thank goodness, not another #¥@! landscape!’.
The river, the flow between past, present and future. ‘The River does not flow, but the bridge does.’
Terry’s dinner menu full of Mediterranean flavours. An instant transportation that made one want to head off to Greece, Turkey or Morocco. Salmon ceviche starter (lime, orange, chilli and red onion), followed by grilled leg of lamb with roasted bringel and a yogurt sauce infused with turmeric, paprika, and mint.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

JANDRE RAATS ART STUDIOHis work is expressionistic, inspired by impressionism he sees in the surroundings he’s in.
A different meal, ‘Township eating’ at Usatsho. Melvin prepared a three course lunch for 12 of us with the most basic of facilities. The roosterkoek with his homemade chakalaka was excellent and the chicken fillet moist. We were entertained by a kids group doing traditional dances. A great afternoon.

Commissioned piece of a couple and their dog walking on the beach. The small canvas demanding. In the end, I did a couple of versions striving for the tranquility only found on beach walks.
Slow jog after an evening with too little sleep and too much wine. My bothersome Achilles behaving for once. Perhaps it was still anesthetized?? 
Moon out with the owl hooting encouragement as I did my best not to trash dinner. Chicken breast stuffed with smoked salmon, goats cheese, pesto and spinach. Served with grilled aubergine, cooked on the Weber with the cooking sheet, and a huge salad that Coreta made. I cooked the aubergine for the additional ten minutes the chicken took to cook on an indirect fire. While a tad soft, they were not bitter and had a caramalised topping. Ataraxia Pinot Noir, stunning. The full bodied Grangehurst Cabernet the perfect dessert. 
‘Fisherman’, the portrait that I started as a demo during the Knysna Arts Festival taking shape, with the wildness and tranquility of the seas competing. 

Full house for the movie evening, with the light as the summer days get longer days starting to become a bother. Perhaps blinds are going to be needed if we continue into the summer.
Chicken breast stuffed with smoked salmon and goats cheese


2 (10 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts.

salt and pepper, to taste.

1⁄2 cup chopped fresh spinach.

1⁄2 cup chopped smoked salmon.

1⁄4 cup basil pesto.

1⁄4 cup crumbled goat cheese.

1 tablespoon cajun seasoning.

1 teaspoon black pepper.

Chop the spinach and salmon into small pieces.

Combine spinach, salmon, pesto, goat cheese, Cajun spice blend, black pepper

Cut pockets into the thick side of the chicken breast.

Divide mixture between chicken, placing mixture in center of chicken.

Secure each with wooden toothpicks.

Cook for five to ten minutes on a medium fire

Let rest 5 minutes.
Grilled Eggplant


3 eggplants

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat grill to medium.

2. Cut tip from eggplants and halve lengthwise. With a sharp knife, make cross hatch marks by scoring one way then the opposite way on the cut side of each eggplant.

3. Spread olive oil on the cut side of the eggplants and grill cut side down for 5 minutes. 

4. Gently turn and cook for ten minutes on the skin side until they are cooked through but not mushy soft. (I cooked the aubergine for the additional ten minutes the chicken took to cook on an indirect fire)

5. Top with grated cheese and serve immediately.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Held the last demonstration of the Knysna Arts Festival week, putting the finishing touches to the painting of ‘Feeling the B’, before showing the technique I use for painting the eyes of portraits.
The hands of the guitarist in the painting proving a challenge that may be a tad beyond my skills. A few deft strokes to finish the face, before looking at where highlights need to be added.
Spectacular setting for dinner cooked by Gordon. Alkira guesthouse, High on Brenton hill with views to the wild side and all the way around the lagoon. Garden full of early summer fynbos flowers dancing on shimmering waters. Such a view seemed to absorb a great deal of wine. 

Feeling the B

Oil on canvas 102cmx96cm

Fantabulous sunset. Turner couldn’t comprehend how stunning.
Phantom Pass road busy, forcing me down onto the inside of the turns, full of corrugations that bounced me off the saddle. Even standing was crazy, trying to stay upright at stall speed as my feet lost their grip on the peddles. Somehow, no blood.
More small paintings heading to new homes and I’ve almost caught up with the commission pieces. A fun painting of an elephant at sunset. It’s a small (50cmx25cm) painting on an odd canvas I had lying about. ‘Home time’.

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm


Oil on Canvas 20cmx20cm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Harbour Town Adventures
A hole in the palm of my hand from falling over the gabion as my cycle trashed legs didn’t quite coordinate with my brain. An out-of-proportion amount of blood.
Thrilled that the painting of ‘Joseph Jazz’ was selected as a Special Merit Award Winner and ‘Sinni’ was a winner of an Honourable Mention at the 2016 LST Open Art Exhibition, Florida USA, for art of ‘outstanding quality’. Chosen from 654 entries from 20 different countries and 40 different states, it’s the 4th consecutive year that one of my paintings has received an Honourable Mention, and the 9th international award.

In the studio, an exhibition of paintings that focus on ‘Painting with light’ for the movie screening of Turner. Paintings, that dance in sunsets over the lagoon.

‘Feeling the B’, a painting of the ‘Perpetual Blues’ band we watch on a Saturday at Dry Dock. As one of the band members wasn’t playing on the day I took the pictures that formed the reference for the painting, I took the opportunity to do a painting that had a strong positive and negative space, with the temporary singer as a silhouette. The fingers of the guitarist, the focal point. Strong charcoal type lines adding movement and strength.
It’s also the painting I worked on as a demonstration piece in the studio during the Knysna Arts Festival week. Turning the painting upside down during the demonstration wasn’t strictly necessary but good fun. Lively discussions about approach, interpretation and technique. 
The patio garden taking shape with a trough of nandina screening the heat-pump. A standard hibiscus that will hopefully allow the birds to nest in its branches, and a bowl for the reflecting pond, water feature.