Thunder and lightning over the distant mountains. Tempranillo from Baleia Estate excellent with the bolognese sauce, which I managed to keep off my shirt!
Portrait of Johannes completed with a few touches of pure white to catch the light. The burnt sienna colour from Charvin giving the painting a rich luster. The contours of his face responding well to the cooler grey of ultramarine blue and burnt umber. The portrait is defined by his red hat which I did with an underpainting of French yellow. The rose and raw Sienna mix balanced the face with the yellow tones of the red hat.
Hugh and Clare cooked a Walnut and mushroom, with a hint of lemon zest, crusted chicken in the Weber. A recipe from Taste that was delicious. Butternut and goats milk cheese salad sprinkled with pomegranate seeds looked great and for a salad was pretty good.
Even the wind seemed to settle and enjoy the jazz, with the blue neon lighting of the turbine creating a perfect backdrop. The wine certainly seemed to flow easily.
Struggled through the soft sand and rocky sections of the forest. The bicycle, my legs and my bum all going in different directions. This after the climb up Simola turned my legs to pulp.
Sunshine Coast. Leg and bum muscles complaining their abusive treatment as we make the most of the pristine beaches that stretch to the end of the world. The sea gentle and cool enough to bring relief to sweating bodies. Even my skin has a sort of golden, beach holiday, sheen to it.
It was the moons fault. Evaporating my wine. The bright light ensuring that sleep wasn’t an option. The view from the deck mesmerizing.
Gourmet meals with wines selected by each of the four chefs. A mouth full of bones the result of my smuching my whole grilled sardine. A tad challenging The spanakopita and slow grilled lamb much easier to manage. Kourabiedes and date balls to accompany that last glass of wine.
The House Kitchen, a magical find. Fabulous for browsing, or merely surrendering to the view. I did find that I needed a double shot of coffee in the cappuccino. A few bits of interesting art, with the dramatic forms of the giant quiver trees, aloes and euphorbia the most interesting subjects.
A trip out to the oldest licensed pub in South Africa, the Pig and Whistle in Bathurst. It’s an old style English pub which even has ancient me ready with a story about anything as you wait for your drink. The 40 degree temperatures made beer attractive. Taking the back roads, we passed Southwell, where a cricket match was in progress. The whites of the players amongst the bush as incongruous now as it was when this was the Frontier.
An ancient guitarist almost managed to stay upright as he strummed his tuneless melody outside the Wharf Street Brew Pub in Port Alfred. I managed to get a few photo’s as a reference for a painting before he was gently escorted into the back of a police van for his trip home before the storm arrived. The food was delicious, the beer (brewed next door) could have enticed us to become regulars.
Evening sky, a seething mass of clouds, flecked with thunder charging the air. One of those ‘Turner’ type skies, both brilliant and ethereal. Spots of rain bringing some relief to a super-heated day.
For now, the lights are reflecting across the still waters of the estuary, and I have a glass of wine.
Marilyn’s Diner, in Storms River Village must be one of the best road trip breaks imaginable. Situated under the canopies of the Tsitsikamma Forest, a world of Cadillacs, rock and roll, neon, jukeboxes, chrome and mirrors. Somehow, despite its out-of-reality craziness, it’s sits comfortably in this alternative universe where Elvis may be alive. The burgers are ordinary, by today’s gourmet-burger revolution, and the coffee unremarkable. Pure fun.
Demonstrations in the studio filling the days between admin chores, keeping the studio windows cleaned after rain days and the crating of paintings heading to their new homes.
The small paintings of sunbirds and protea have been sold and I will need to think of a new series to do. Perhaps I will revisit the seahorses?
For the portrait of Johan, I used a palette of Quinacridone Rose and Raw Sienna for the skin tones, with Burnt umber and ultramarine for the Cool dark tones, and burnt sienna and ultramarine for the Warm dark tones. Both colours, with white were used for the mid-tonesa me highlights. I added dabs of Alizarin Crimson as contrasts.
Not sure how I managed to get an arm covered in blood on my jog? The mornings decidedly darker as summer starts it’s slow retreat. The cooler mornings making for perfect cycling conditions. Not that it seems to get any easier!
Slow roasted pork belly mostly disintegrated with far too much fat that needed to be turfed. The dishwasher has decided to join the striking worker class. Perfectly timed for the arrival of Edith and Fredy and Tim and Sarah’s visit.
After a couple of gentle cycles, I headed out on Hirsh’s route. Simola as a starter with the Gouna Pass as desert and a nasty climb towards Kom se Pad in between. Exhausting. A tad much for my fitness levels. Made enjoyable by the beautiful forest after the rain. That the last bit is downhill certainly helps.
Ashton, outside the Route 62 Station where we stopped to peruse the Robertson wine selection (Balthazar Wild Yeast Chardonnay bubbles – outstanding, Du Von old vine Chenin – excellent value, and Lord’s Pinot Noir). Our car-gaurd, John Terblanche, unflinching in the searing temperatures, toughened in the diamond soils of Kimberly. He was happy to pose for his portrait, which I hope to have on the easel soon.
Early walk in the mountains behind Montagu. The cloud cover keeping the heat from broiling us as we made our way along the contour path to Piet se Pad. Fires have destroyed much of the vegetation, which also cleared the views across the valley.
Schoone Oordt Country House with a cup of tea after an earlyish swim. It’s one of those grand old Georgian houses that has an annex of new rooms that are carefully designed and cater for every comfort. The white everything a tad uncomfortable for my ability to get blood and red wine on things! The duo of lamb, scruptious.
Ile de Pain has braai wood bundles with proportions of different wood types for that perfect braai fire. The fire roared, which brought the security guards running thinking I was burning down the apartment. However, it settled down into red coals that not only did our fillet but could have been used for a dozen braai’s.