Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘On the estuary’

50cmx60cm

A small painting of a yacht on the estuary. The reflections in the water the focus of the painting. However, the multiple folds of the sails, entrancing. I used an underpainting of Naples yellow, with an initial painting in acrylics, before finishing the painting in oil.

A different perspective walking through town at the start of the day to start my stint at the Old Jail for the Knysna Arts Society new exhibition ‘Woman’. I had one painting in the exhibition ‘Customs Market’, painted during my time in South Sudan.

A homeless man and his dog walking along the pavement, searching through dustbins for food scraps, an all to familiar sight in our town. What was remarkable was that he picking up litter along the way and placing it in the rubbish bins.

‘Saving Kandinsky’ by Mary Basson is a fabulous read into the world of Gabrielle Münter, Kandinsky’s partner for the years he transformed into abstraction. The notes accompanying her paintings are absorbing and inspirational

Freedom! Ortho happy with the healing progress of my collarbone. No sling required, although no cycling, lifting, or anything that requires power, from the shoulder for another couple of months. Physio not required either, which is fabulous. Sleep, still problematical, with sleep time discomfort, exponential.

Cobwebs dusted from my running shoes, an easy 7km jog through the islands to start the day. The first in eight weeks. Mindful of the one-to-three days between running sessions. My wildly fluctuating blood sugars, a complicating factor.

Chef Hirsh did an amazing Kingklip fish dinner, with bacon, chili, yogurt and lemon. The sauce, fabulous. Fingers sufficing in the absence of bread. A starter of labneh and Thai pesto, zucchini spirals with salmon. Terry did a diabetic-friendly almond ice-cream that was definitely moreish.

Advertisements
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘From my bed’

Acrylic on canvas 20cmx30cm

A small painting of a magical view. Where dreams become entwined with your soul. That moment. A breath. A heart-beat. Perhaps?

Incredible sunny weather, with that hint of chill in the wind, a reminder that winter isn’t finished with us yet. First time in seven weeks that with my shattered collar-bone recovering, I was able to put a T-shirt on! However, any ideas I had that I will soon be back running and cycling, rapidly disappearing over the horizon. Shoulder pain. The reality of longer term recovery.

Transported to new worlds. Aromatic star-anise, Illiciim verum, infused broth. Terry’s Navarin of lamb (navarin d’agneau, a French rich lamb stew) with thick slices of aubergine and quickly fried tomato skins. Forget alchemy, this is magical. The cream infused sauce, scrumptious. Forcing that slice of rye-bread, spiraling my crazy blood sugars.

While Julia Child recommended a Bordeaux, or Beaujolais to accompany Navarin, the 2012 Black Rock, and Grace Land from Craig’s cellar, magnificent.

Amongst the under appreciated gems in our small town are the specialist Hardware stores who cling to survival amidst the onslaught of the maga-shops. That they offer fabulous service, don’t sell you anything extra you don’t need and are far less expensive, should mean they thrive. I certainly appreciated being able to buy two stainless steel bolts and penny washers from Tool and Trade in Queen Street.

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.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A Precious Life

Oil on canvas 50cmx50cm

In the stormy, chilly weather. My smashed clavicle aches. As do my diabetic toes. Yet, this seems trivial. Compared, to the unfathomable, concept. Reality. That my sister Is gone. From, this world. Impossible.

The paintings from Pringle Bay are back after being put onto stretchers. Grouped together, they create a wall of tumbling energy. Radiating heat from sun warmed beach sand. Hip, knees and elbows employed in holding the canvases against the wall easels for one handed securing.

East Head Cafe, on a stunning day the best spot imaginable to reflect on the privilege of having had an angle amongst us, even if she has gone too soon. Sunset champagne to celebrate her life.

Ortho still not thrilled with the healing of my shoulder. Antibiotics for the infection and more time for the bones to knit. Blood sugars adding complexity.

‘Where Travel and Trade Meet’. A frenetic, 6 minute, speed collision. The challenge, ‘I’m not done yet!’. The opportunity to engage with tour operators and destinations in, this, our part of paradise.

It’s Iris time of the year, and although I can’t manage the large canvas I have in my head for a painting, I’ve settled for a manageable size. A touch of inspiration from the magnificent Irises from our trip to Japan. The purple-blue petal colours, elusive.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Soli’

acrylic on canvas 50cmx50cm

‘Take a deep breath, and settle yourself down.’

With grateful thanks to Soli and the many hours of companionship on our daily journeys to Worcester when Mum Sterley was ill.

The comment on the recipe (Plate) ‘the best osso bucco of my life’, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We tried to emulate the conditions, with a night of storms and a fire warming the apartment, as well as aromas wafting down the staircase into the street. While the dish was delicious, the sauce was simply sensational. (The French part of Marlene van Der Westhuizen?) Organic rye, from Il de Pain French, an attempt not to trash my blood sugars too much!

Prince disturbed by the wind hammering the windows. A tad surprised that we didn’t wake to swamped boats in the Estuary. Storms giving way to sunshine fun.

A tad clumsy about the place with my one arm. Fortunately only messing things rather than breaking them. Left handed editing cumbersome and frustratingly slow. Must be wine time.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

If bending trees weren’t enough of a warning, kite-surfers screaming across the Estuary were. Only hardened cyclists braved the roaring winds for the Oyster Festival races. The Ultimate Fitness Festival?.

Sling keeping my shoulder from moving, too crazily. The blessing of a Mungo, superb woven towel, easing the chaffing. Blood sugars back into their normal range after the trauma, and a couple of coffee walks easing bruised muscles.

Cable ties my new friend holding the canvas against the easel, as ‘wingless’ I can’t catch the canvas as it does it’s bit to escape the abuse of my fingers smearing paint about. The large number of straight lines a tad challenging for my painting of the Norval Foundation exhibition.

While we we had to eliminate the beans from the Pork and Cannellini Bean casserole recipe, the sauce of the dish was sensational. The pork a tad on the dry side, which was disappointing. However, the Eastern flavours worked fabulously with the seared Bok-Choy.

Harbour Town full of athletes as it’s Forest Marathon time. Studio busy with the registration traffic generating its own energy.

Bartinney wine dinner at the Turbine. The lamb bredie, paired with their Cabernet Sauvignon, scrumptious.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Radically changed exercise routine. Standing up. Getting dressed. That, one handed button fastening. Pulling on socks. A shirt. Shoes. Bathroom contortions. Exhausting.

No surprise that my body, under stress after surgery, has my blood sugars dancing on the ceiling. Medication adding its own complexity.

‘Let me tell you about a man I knew’, by Susan Fletcher is a delightful book about Vincent Van Gogh’s time at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum. Words are brush strokes, woven through some of his well known paintings, framed within the factual accounts from his letters to his brother Theo.

Rich and indulgent. Beef fillet steak with Roquefort and port sauce, a recipe from the French countryside. With both Coreta and my shoulders trashed, Craig stepped in as Terry’s Sous-Chef de cuisine.

‘Luncheon at the Boating Party’, by Renoir, at the Phillips Collection, in Washington DC, is magnificent. My first visit, I was acutely aware of a woman standing entranced. Captivated by the power of the painting. My painting of ‘Collector’s Focus: Nudes in the Sanlam Art Collection’ at the Norval Foundation, captures a moment of captivation. The deep blue walls, a foil for her yellow dress.

Harbour Town buzzing with cyclists for the start of the Oyster Festival. Senses tuned to the vibrations of the approaching storm.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Unicorn 2’

Oil on canvas 1,5mx1,5m

A few tweaks, and a couple of significant changes to the composition of the Rhino.

I decided to leave the tempestuous background, with its rough texture alone, as a contrast the smoother dust in the foreground.

Grateful for the collector who commissioned the painting. Loved the opportunity to work at that scale.

I. Remarkably, no blood! Hugh walked my bike out to where Clare could collect me home before Terry could get me casualty and the operation to fix my ‘properly broken’ clavicle. Fortunately, no complications, and while my blood sugars have gone crazy, they have sent me home after overnight observation. Six weeks, or so, my penance.

Hospital is not without its humorous side. The care I received was of the highest standard and professionalism.

A shared ward with a Dutch tourist who tore a knee ligament, and not only was a heavy smoker but had an absolute phobia about needles. Getting him prepped was a lesson in physiological counseling and slight of hand that was the envy of many magicians.

A nonagenarian woman, cranky in the extreme wanted go for walk outside, throwing he walking frame across the corridor as she doesn’t need assistance. Despite her recent knee surgery. She also decided on her midnight stroll, after insisting on coming into the wrong ward that I was occupying her bed and should be removed immediately.

An early morning tussle with e grumpy man who tried to leave the hospital to go home despite not being able to move unassisted and nobody at home to take care of him. Apparently he couldn’t get the USPGA on his TV screen.

I slept a bunch.

Norval Foundation

Brief shafts of sunshine through low clouds, natural spotlights highlighting the colours of ‘Wind Scuplture lll’ in the sculpture garden. Definitely best viewed from the warm comfort of the Skotnes restaurant.

Enjoyed the Collector’s Focus exhibition and wondering through the David Goldblatt exhibition, was transported back to my brief, terrifying, stint working at Grootvlei gold mine. While intrigued by the Yinka Shonibare CBE exhibition, Tradewinds’, I struggled to be engaged.

Scrumptious lunch. Beef bone marrow and sumac salsa, followed by beef flat iron with tomato Brodie and green beans. A glass of Skotnes red blend.

Rowing boats in a clients house

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘At the Norval’ Oil on Canvas 90cmx60cm. A moment at the Collector’s Focus: Nudes in the Sanlam Art Collection’ at the Norval Foundation.

‘….a refined elegant woman appreciating the gallery’s exhibition on the eastern wall. She must have looked at the main frame ….and asked if she was in that scene somehow….. somewhere.. lost in motion for a moment …’

The depiction of the work taken from Irma Stern’s ‘Sleeping Nude’, wasn’t part of the collection. However, I wanted the simplicity, and lines of the painting to increase the focus on the woman in her yellow dress. Didn’t manage the lighter, sketching style of painting I had in my head, making it a tad busy in places.

Marathon day. Harbour Town crazy busy with the registration of over 7000 athletes. Studio, amongst the building site, it’s own chaos.

Sensational flavours from the kitchen of Chef Hirsh. A chorizo and fish soup starter, before grilled lamb ribs with sliced cucumber and a yogurt and mint sauce. Grilled lamb with sweet potatoes done two ways and a green salad. Terry made her chocolate mouse. A cheese board with that last glass of wine. A magnum of ‘06 De Toren Fusion V from Craig’s cellar, scrumptious.

Bruised ribs and back muscles eased to the point that I was able to get down on the floor to finish the last bits on the Rhino Commission, which was greatly admired by the large numbers of people here for the Knysna Oyster Festival.

Wasn’t expecting the Orthopods diagnosis of another six weeks of my arm immobilized and three months for recovery. Properly smashed collar bone and almost ancient bones needIng time to settle

https://www.foodsunearthed.co.uk/recipe/fish-soup-chorizo/

SOLD

‘Storm Tossed’

Acrylic on canvas 20cmx20cm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Great live music, seafood platter, a free glass of wine in the sunshine at Dry Dock. Incredible value.

A couple of rapid runs that were probably not the most sensible given my Achilles weakness. Still, it was great to be out in the beautiful winter sunshine.

Long stints in the studio on the rhino commission taking its toll on hands and elbows. Something magical as it starts to gather its own force. Will see if the comments about the too ‘human’ eye needs correction. For now, the painting is at that point where I need to decide to step-away, and let it breath, it’s own life, or mess it-up, by doing too much.

Winter is not a bad time to have a diabetic in the house as they seek out dish washing opportunities as the hot water relieves cold fingers (peripheral neuropathy).

Rain against the windows. Fire heating the apartment, aromas of slow cooked garlic infused lamb, with that magical ingredient of laughter from friends who are happy to experiment with taste, texture and the unknown.