Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Great strides made by Mum as she moved from ICU to the general ward and the out of hospital. A bit of a road ahead before she will be mobile.

Small painting finished of an aloe with snow covered mountains. ‘The Preacher’, on the easel. A portrait in the ‘Homeless of Knysna’ series. Wracked by the monsters of war, he is one of the many veterans that wonder on the fringe of society. Broken by mankind’s lust for violence.  

Movie evening in the studio for the screening of ‘Pollock’. A vibrant group that had us squeezing in extra chairs. 

“If people would just look at the paintings, I don’t think they would have any trouble enjoying them. It’s like looking at a bed of flowers, you don’t tear your hair out over what it means.” Jackson Pollock.

Therina here for a few days. Terry did one of her scrumptious oxtail dishes, with rich sticky sauce. Rain hammering at the window trying to join the merriment. Graceland wine, pure silkiness.

Terblans Walk, a 6,5km – 2hours walk through the indigenous Knysna forest. A test for my Achilles, which is still sporting its magic blue tape, as the walk takes you a long way down to the river before climbing back to the service road. It’s on crossing the road that you are surrounded by a fern forest which is spectacular. Steps slow to try and imbibe the serene energy of the forest.

We took the drive back along Kom-se-pad, to the R339 between Uniondale and Knysna and stopped at the Diepwalle tea garden at the Big Tree for extra strong coffee and compulsory carrot cake!

Messing About with Paint

Morning Walk

Oil on Canvas 75cmx110cm

A large, demanding canvas of the Cedeberg.

The painting changing in the light, as do the mountains. Vibrant, surreal colours that transform into moody, somber shadow.

While the rock formations were central to the painting, it was the tonal aspects that were the most challenging.

The hiker, almost immaterial. Somehow dominant.

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Morning Walk detail

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

Jumping through all the hoops for compliance for the cottage. Worse than a medical as they check gas, electricity, water, beetles, structure and whether it should actually even be here!

An overcast, moody sort of start to the day. Excellent weather for an early walk in the vineyards. Legs a tad heavy after the full moon hike up the mountain at Delvera. One of those things that we have spoken about doing for ages.

Opted for the longer route, which meant a 50 minute walk from the Estate through the vineyards and up a single-track path to the start of the climb. The route is well market, however the cross-crossing network of mountain bike trails can be confusing. The step hights are on the giant side that soon had my legs in a jellyish state.

The highlight was the last section through the old Yellow Wood forest. Quite incredible. Of concern was that we were amongst the minority who didn’t have wine or beer to celebrate the walk. The sunset. The moonrise. Or, whatever! Water being our responsible choice. The cloud obscured the moon for a good bit of the trip back down the mountain, and we found the route back challenging as there seemed to be lights from different walking groups going all over the place. Fortunately Terry had a good sense of where we needed to go. And with the moon brilliant, we managed the last incline, to find that we were also prize winners of a new pair of hiking boots!

The Chef’s dinner table at the Wild Peacock. They aren’t known for the quality of their chef, who focuses on cafe style meals, but for the quality of their food deli. They provide speciality deli foods to most of the top restaurants, and have a cellar of select wineries.

The evening weather was beautiful and we were able to sit outside, with the breeze carrying a faint chill to keep you awake. Visually the food was stunning. The pistachio nuts in the terrine, a diagonal line of green on the plate that picked up the green of the rocket leaves, contrasted with the pale yellow-green of the apple compote. A necessary flavour balance to the rich duck Pâté. The candied tomato was this brilliant spot of red, softened by the red pepper essence mash and Sea Bass. The Parmesan crisp a neutral balance that tasted yummy. A morsel of ancient cheese with fresh figs and a sprinkling of honey. The candle light creating a seamless flow of golden colours through the shimmering honey and muscadel wine. A dessert of white panna cotta across which the red berry coulis danced.

The wine selection was equally good and they made each serving size small enough that you weren’t overwhelmed. Instead excited by what was still to come. Excellent stuff.

Hydrangea’s and Day Lilies, a painting from the summer garden at Le Petit. Clever planting created the contrasting colours. The larger canvas, after a month of painting small paintings giving me more freedom. Although I did find that I needed to get back away from the canvas to the other side of the cottage to see how the various tonal aspects were working together.

Secured a lease on the house on Leisure Island for the nine months until January. Will see what we can sort with the studio in that time.

It meant a trip to the far side of the world at Hout Bay. Visited a couple of galleries with great pieces. Much larger than I have been painting, and they certainly need big spaces to be appreciated. The seascapes in particular were intriguing and pose a challenge to my approach.

Diary of an Adventure

Cedeberg Adventures

A spot of blood to start the year. Acting like 12 year olds, jumping from the rocks above the ‘maalgat’ into the pool of unfathomable depth. The water, amazingly warm.

Managed to get a tad lost on our drive to Dwarsriver, taking the scenic drive out of Citrusdal after stopping to hunt down lemons, for a salad, of all things. The valley of Cederberg vineyards a surprise after the dramatic, but beautiful landscape through the mountains. The house (Dollie se Huise) Hesta has organized, comfortable and ideally positioned away from the campsite, to envelope us in the seclusion of the mountains.

The wind stirring mischief. Oilli bollen from Jan for New Year, under the setting sun, the mountains glowing red. The fire keeping us warm as the evening chill settles into our bones after the days heat.

A painting full of hidden mystery and stories. The first in the 30 day challenge that will take me through January. The focus on 15cmx15cm canvases, however while we are in the mountains, charcoal and acrylic will be my medium.

Wolfberg towering above us as first light pushed its way into the mountains. An 8km walk up the side of the mountain to the Wolfberg Cracks. Great boulders, left over from a giants game of marbles, requiring mountain goat style to clamber over, and ‘bum-slide’ down them. Inside the wide crack, between the sheer rock walls, an unexpected Eden of myrtle and small flowering plants.

I didn’t disappoint and managed to miss the path on the way down. Following the small rock cairns that some kind soul had placed at strategic points for others who wanted to take this unconventional route. Eventually we found ourselves back on the path, a bit of blood to keep it all real.

Lines, shapes and shadows. Demanding far better drafting skills than mine, to capture the grandure of the rock formations that are constantly changing as the light moves. The turquoise house of my Dwarsriver painting once again finding its way onto the canvas.

Muscles complaining from the exertion, eased with a spot of wine under a full moon, we chatted aimlessly. Ed Sheeran a new discovery.

The antics of two four year old girls on their plastic push scooters the wisdom for the year ahead. Having tried unsuccessfully to get any momentum on the scooters over the sand road, the one turned to her friend: ‘you know Sarah, fuck this!’