Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A bouquet of blue irises and maroon fox gloves to commemorate the life of my sister, the subject of a small painting. Didn’t quite get the blue-purple of the irises correct, but pleased with the movement in the still-life painting ‘The lines remind me of Kandinsky without becoming completely abstract.’ Kirsten

The Kammado Jan out of hibernation. A hunk of pork loin on the bone, from Chelmsford Farm, simply grilled for three hours with fresh rosemary and blue-organic salt. Crispy skin, tender meat and mouthfuls of yumminess.

Inspired by the paintings of Thomas Baines and his travel sketchbook’s, an elephant in the shelter ‘(protection?) of a large iron wood tree. The trees In the Tuli Block, Botswana – particularly next to the Limpopo River – are magnificent.

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Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

The sample silk scarves of my ‘Wearable Art’ have arrived. Quality much better than expected and the colour saturation extraordinary. Perhaps a tad too much.

Not sure where the ‘edge’ is between a cycle that allows one to enjoy the waves, sunshine and incredible privilege of being in this part of paradise, and the blood-pumping, muscle straining, ambition to go that slight bit faster that has sweat streaming into eyes. An oblivious focus on numbers. A bit of both??

Sautéed foie-gras. Generally, I find foie gras too rich, however this slightly seared way of serving slices was delicious. As was our dinner at Le Marquis. The calamari tube starter was stunning. I might even get to like the stuff! The house speciality, duck confit lived up to its reputation, even if the cranberry sauce was too much for my diabetic constraints. Remy brought the table a duck breast in Lagrange that I hope finds its way into the menu, as it was outstanding.

Nothing Impressionistic about the top 40 Sanlam Portrait Award exhibition. I actually preferred the other portraits in the gallery to those of the competition. The quality, particularly of the draughtsmanship in the charcoal works was outstanding, and in general the exhibition wasn’t morbid or soul stealing, but rather well executed portraits. I didn’t come away inspired or with new techniques, or radical insights into composition. Grateful that the exhibition has been in Knysna, uplifting portrait painting.

Long narrow canvas (200cmx70cm) for a painting of irises based in a couple of the iris paintings I have done and the wild irises that are flowering along the route we walk Prince. Acrylics, for a minimalist, sketch style that I’m also hoping will work well as a silk scarf painting.

Hot off the easel

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Sautéed Foie Gras Recipie

Sautéeing duck foie gras is not hard to do, but be careful; otherwise, you’ll end up with a puddle of very expensive melted fat.

INGREDIENTS

• 1/2 lb piece raw Grade A duck foie gras at room temperature, cleaned and deveined

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 2 tsp canola oil

• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

. Special Equipment

• a 10-inch heavy skillet

PREPARATION

. After deveining, cut the foie gras crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, then season with salt and pepper.

. Heat 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.

. Sauté half the foie gras until golden, 45 to 60 seconds on each side (it will be pink inside). Quickly transfer to a paper towel to drain and discard fat in skillet.

. Sauté the rest of the foie gras the same way, then discard all all but 1 tablespoon of remaining fat in skillet. Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Serve foie gras with sauce.

. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/v

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.

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

Sunrise, seagulls and bicycles. Polly awake early for the last day of the GR300 MTB race that came past the studio at the start and finish.

With a couple of the small paintings sold, I need to get disciplined about doing a bunch more.

Met a few interesting characters around town for possible portraits. Anton, the pirate, who caretakers a small school that is run from one of the buildings in the middle of town. A radar technician, he has been in the road for five years when his family moved to Australia. The Preacher, who has Indian and Malay parents, is one of nine children and works his way up and down the coast doing painting contract work after a lifetime in the Navy and as a preacher. Bleze, with his table of herbs and scary looking stuff (Knysna’s finest, I’m sure), whose herbal remedies are as frightening as he is welcoming. Dreads, piled under a knitted cap, in rastafari yellow, red and green colours he is weathered and engaging.

Trying time-lapse photo sequence of my latest portrait on the easel ‘The Pirate’. To capture the technique I use. Particularly, for the eyes of the portrait, as I field a zillion questions about them. Worked out how to do the shutter interval bit, with the effective Yongnuo remote release. Not sure how my shadows, and the studio lighting will impact the photos?

Hair gone for the annual cancer challenge.

‘Lomp’ a small painting, from a picture taken at the elephant sanctuary in Nairobi, Kenya. There is something comical about baby elephants trying to understand how their feet work.

‘At Play’

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm   
Wine attacked my clean, new, going-out shorts! Fab evening at Freshline. The genius who served us, a tad disappointing. Food, excellent, with bunches of laughter.

New meds to try and make Polly comfortable after her restless nights. Lungs a bit of a worry. Her early days of smoking behind the cowshed on the farm, catching up with her?

Edith and Fredy here from Switzerland. Sunset braai on the patio. T-bone steaks cooked Coreta style, with the bone down towards the fire, turning end over end, to render the fat, with a last quick singe of the meat over the coals. Delicious. We cut the meat from the bones, and put the bones back over the fire to crisp. One sort of caught alight, which isn’t quiet what was intended! The sunset from the patio, perfect.

A new morning jog route up towards the school playing fields. The long uphill a good tester, and I was glad that Craig’s stiff legs kept the pace down. For some reason, I managed to chafe badly, making my cycle ride over the red bridge a tad uncomfortable. 

Payment received for the portrait of Sinni, and he will be heading to his new home. He has been a great attraction in the studio and will be missed.