Diary of an Adventure

Greyton Adventures

Oak trees, lavender, roses, birds. Mist, sunshine and butterflies. Horses, aimlessly wondering along the main road in the early morning.

A surreal world beneath the mountain. Immaculate and cared for.

‘Linda’s Breasts’, not on the menu. Definitely worth asking for at Via’s. A hint of warmth in the spices used on the chicken breast, transformative. While the chips looked impossibly tempting, there was nothing wrong with my roast veggies. Except, they were veggies! The aromas from the coffee roaster, intoxicating.

I did a morning painting demonstration. A floral painting of a lily, orchid sort of flower in my Mums garden. White flowers adding that touch of mystery as to the approach. The painting was influenced by the ‘Wearable Art’ range of silk scarves I’m focusing on, which influenced the colours. The influence of Van Gogh’s almond blossoms in the turquoise background.

“My work was going well,” he informed his brother, “the last canvas of branches in blossom – you will see that it is perhaps the best, the most patiently worked thing I had done, painted with calm and with greater firmness of touch. And the next day, down like a brute.”

Interesting to have artists painting their own pictures during the demonstration. I did get tied down a tad by the delicate fingers of the flowers.

Prince still struggling with the effects of ‘salt poisoning’ from our play on the beach, chasing stones into the surf and ingesting too much salt water. Will need to carry grease water to hydrate him and keep his playing along the sand, rather than in the water.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Streets full of athletes as the Oyster festival gets underway. Days of sunshine between the storms ensuring challenging conditions without mayhem. Magnificent beach run for the Featherbed trail run. My bum a tad unhappy after the hills.

World peace must contain a distillation of good friends, laughter, the aroma of 3-day ox-tail dinner in the apartment, with a healthy jolt of good jazz and a smidgen of fabulous 3-Graces and Radford-Dale, simmered over the fire and tempered by the rain. Terry’s magic.

‘Angel Shadows and Sunbeams’. Oil on canvas 1,5mx1,0m. Nieu-Bethesda. Shadows from the ‘Owl House’ sculpture garden and the sun motive from the windows in the house woven into a typical street scene of a typical small Karoo town.

An underpainting of Naples Yellow. Peach tones, a mixture of Indian yellow and Quinacridone Rose. Permanent Magenta and Ultramarine Blue, the purple shades with the grey, a mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. Lemon Yellow and Cobalt Blue for the green. Cadmium Yellow medium and Turquoise with a splashes of Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue.

Hopefully, collectors who receive my paintings from the couriers are as thrilled as I was to get the book I ordered, wrapped in brown paper. ‘84 Charring Cross Road’ special.

Reading the list of Van Gogh’s colour demands from his brother, Theo, a tad intimidating as I wind down my paint supplies. Some of which I have had far too long and I become increasingly concerned that they will become hard and useless. Fabulous Provençal colours that haven’t been used. Scandalous!

‘My dear Theo,

Am obliged to write to you as I’m sending you an order for colours which, if you place it with Tasset & Lhote, rue Fontaine,1 you’ll do well — since they know me — to tell them that I expect a discount at least equivalent to the cost of carriage’


Urgent

10 Silver white large tubes

6 Veronese Green double tubes

3 Lemon chrome yellow

3 No2 chrome yellow double tubes

1 No3 chrome yellow

1 Vermilion double tube

3 Geranium lake, small tube

6 Ordinary lake

3 Prussian Blue

4 Emerald green

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Schools Out’

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

A small study of the adventures that lie beyond the wall at Kuilfontein Farm in the Karoo.

Afternoon sunshine, a civilised time to be out cycling through the Forest. Particularly civilised as after the ride, it’s possible to stop for a beer. Or rather a glass of white wine. Actually, a glass of chilled red wine. What was I thinking?

Not concentrating.

One of those silly things, not concentrating while out food shopping. A special. Seemed like a good idea. Dinner. Blood sugars sky high. The contents of the sausage an unknown. Despite being from our favourite butcher, no idea what he used.

If there isn’t a nutritional information breakdown, I should know not to buy.

Border Collies turning the apartment upside down. Prince, with his leg in a plaster to sort out a ‘hot-spot’, thrilled to have his friend Ricco visiting.

A touch of rain. Puddles to stomp through.

Looking at where we need to sort gaps in the Vietnam recipe book, I have gone back, and reread parts of Colour: Travels through a Paintbox by Victoria Finlay, intriguing stories on the pigments in Artists colours.

The yellow of Hoi An Old Town, is revered in the culture of Vietnam. It is a symbol of luck, splendor, wealth and respect. A color that is identified with imagination and enlightenment, glowing with the intensity of sunlight itself. Most Vietnamese families have an ancestral altar decorated with flowers and yellow objects.

In all likelihood, the yellow pigment has its origins in Gamboge yellow, also known as Rattan or Wisteria Yellow, Gummi Gutta and Drop Gum, is an organic pigment. Well know for its transparency, the warm golden pigment derives its name from its country of origin: Cambodia, itself named after the Latin word for pigment gambogium.

Made from the resin of the Garcinia evergreen tree, found across South East Asia, trees need to be at least 10 years old before the trunks can be lacerated or the branches broken to collect the tree’s milky yellow resin. The poisonous resin is collected in empty bamboo shoots, and roasted over fire to evaporate moisture, after which the bamboo shoots are broken to reveal dull yellow resin cylinders. Only when this resin is pulverised does it become a brilliant yellow.

Excerpts on Yellow from Colour: Travels through the Paintbox:

Dipping a paintbrush in water and waved it lightly over the unappetizingly brownish rock, he released a miraculous drop of the brightest yellow imaginable, almost fluorescent.

During the horrific Khmer Rouge regime in the 1980s, and then earlier in the Vietnam War, the color was almost impossible to find. This pretty paint can be dangerous in other ways. Winsor & Newton have been receiving small parcels of gamboge from their Southeast Asian suppliers since before anyone can remember, and probably since the company started in the mid-nineteenth century. When it arrives at the factory they grind it up carefully and sell it in tubes or pans as one of their more expensive watercolors. But some of the packages that arrived in the 1970s and 1980s from Cambodia and possibly Vietnam were different: the gamboge contained exploded bullets. The company’s technical director, Ian Garrett has five of them displayed in his office now. A reminder that some of the colours that are taken for granted, come from places where people have lived through unimaginable suffering.

Knysna fires

https://youtu.be/z9vDoPJX7Xg

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

First dinner out as a diabetic, gently managed by Clare and Terry. Tablets and insulin injection packed with the mineral water. A tasty starter of salmon with a spot of grapefruit and crème fraîche (designed for pairing with Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc) on segments of cucumber to accommodate my carbohydrate intolerance, with a fillet on the braai and salad. A handful of blueberries my desert allowance.

Wind, blowing off the snow covered mountains, unpleasantly cold for the walks required by a Border Collie ball of energy. Our days defined by his needs. Morning walks at first light, with an afternoon stint in the dog run on Thesen. The RAV, again a mobi-kennel, his safe haven

Without wine to drink, there are suddenly a gazillion tea bags in our lives, which I'm tearing up and using as a soli supplement for the patio garden pot plants. This no wine life is going to take a bit of getting used to.

Lesa and Alan visiting for a few days, forcing me out of the studio, where I have become a tad hermit like. 'Phantom Ride'. the approach to Phantom Pass at first light, named for the exquisite brown and grey moths which appear again and again each year in spring.

Knysna artists exhibition at the Mall for a couple of days. Quality, artistic interpretation, and relative value part of the endless questions by the knowledgeable elderly who spent time engaging with the various artists works.

Sugar levels responding to the care Terry is taking in searching out the hidden sugars in many of the standrad foodstuffs we eat. Tolerant of me bouncing off the walls of restrictions.

Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

The house, suffused in the rich smell of oxtail in its three day stock that has everyone passing the house salivating. Craig and I, the lucky ones to enjoy Terry’s stunning dinner. Polly, didn’t miss out, and after her beach play, is groaning in dream-world.
Beach Party, a painting of girls on the beach. School is out and with the weather remaining sunny, if chilly, there are kids everywhere. The reflections in the water creating interesting pictures.

  
Polly, sympathy vote for her elbow. The pink sock she is wearing to keep it clean, ensuring that she gets extra attention from passers by. Becoming infamous in Knysna she is!
An unexpected, traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Sunday lunch at The Bell Tavern, Belvedere. A cozy space, reminiscent of an English Pub, built into the old farmhouse. The floor of Ironwood blocks, with its window into the cellar can’t be missed as the low doorway has you bending your back so as not to bash your head. The welcome from the staff was enthusiastic and warm, with their recommendations leaving little room to argue. Polly was allowed to sit with us in the garden with its views to the Estuary. We should have spent the afternoon, ensuring we booked some of the fresh scones for afternoon tea.
At the apartment, the bashing out of walls continues. The floor flooded by a damaged pipe. Neighbours, and tenants downstairs not impressed by the noise. Wardrobes for the bedroom sorted. If costly. Endless round of discussions for bathroom mosaics as we listen to horror stories of moulding grout.
Red Bench, a painting of the sea boiling through the entrance to the Heads. The painting flows, with the hypnotic motion of the sea, as you sit watching the light dance on the wave tops to the cliffs of the East Head.
The streets ok Knysna teaming with cyclists and runners. Streets, normally sedate, a flurry of activity as the ‘Ten Best Days of Winter’ start. The Annual Oyster Festival, with its food and sports action.

Diary of an Adventure

Leisure Island Adventures

Candle light. Dancing flames. Window reflections. Mirror smooth waters. Wine glasses, full of mystery. Taste miraculously altered with food combinations. Alchemy under star filled skies. Moon edged against ultramarine blue skies. Morning mist, soothing wine monsters.

The restaurant at the Turbine did a fabulous meal, paired with wines selected with a magicians art. While the lamb was disappointing, and the beef cheeks cried out for one of Terry’s 3-day stock’s, the food was tasty and rewarding, on a cold evening in Knysna. The highlight, the tomato and red pepper soup, paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. A combination, smiled on by the Gods. 
On the easel. Lines of fire in my painting Jesters Hat. Inspired by curved aloe leaves, and primary coloured flowers.
Polly tangled in Jesus thorn bush. Vicious spikes ensnaring her in a prison of fear. Fortunately, she kept calm until she could be cut from the bush. The T-bone streak bone easing her bruised ego.
Glazed doughnut look. Head full of cold. Not my best.
Calm morning, coucal’s calling out their warning of the bad weather coming our way. Winds roaring their wrath, before calm again settles across the lagoon.
At the apartment, the roof over the patio has gone. The foundations for the new garage section are done and we continue the finalization of tiles and other bathroom bits. 

Messing About with Paint

Jesters Hat

Oil on Canvas 40cmx50cm

Lines of fire in my painting, inspired by curved aloe leaves, and primary coloured flowers. 

Cerulean Blue and Chrome Oxide (Richardson Shiva), with Venice Red and Ultramarine Blue (Lucas 1862) mixed for the grey in the background. Indian yellow deep, and Chrome Yellow (Windsor and Newton Artist), with Red light and Permanent Red Orange (Maimerie) for the flowers. Cadmium Yellow Light, Cobalt Blue Utrecht) and Permanent Magenta the other colours used in the painting.