Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Irises and Foxgloves 2’

Oil on canvas 72cmx72cm

Thrilled to be part of the Winter One Fly Anti Rhino Poaching Charity event held in Dullstroom, where my painting of the rhino ‘Unicorn’ was part of the auction. The auction alone, raised R390,000.00 for anti-poaching support. Based out of Skakuza, in the Kruger Park.

I have finished fiddling with the second of the ‘Irises and Foxgloves’ paintings. Abstract swirls through colour spaces, that captivate. Although it felt like I had done a tad too much, it retains the delicate, simplicity of the composition I was striving for.

Interesting to read that Van Gough’s painting of Irises, which now looks like blue Irises, was originally purple. The red pigment in the paint having faded, leaving us with the blue we now see. Hopefully, the Artists Oil colours I have used for the purple won’t do the same over time! The key colour was Mineral Violet Deep (Van Dyk Ferrario No47) from my magic paint box.

One of those fantabulous sunrises. Perfection, for the run out to the Leisure Island loop. While none of the graceful movement in my mind, I did try to limit the jarring of my still delicate shoulder. Limited by my ‘wounded buffalo’ heaving. A shoulder, seemingly frozen in time.

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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

First ‘Wearable Art’ 100% silk scarves with my paintings sold and heading to new homes. Orders for the next batch received with a few adjustments made to the art work. ‘Irises’ design painting finished, adding an additional option to the range. Working on an elephant painting that is also designed to be used as a scarf painting. The link to the website sorted and the international purchase pricing adjusted to include free shipping.

https://janraats.com/wearable-art/

Running with my shadow in the early morning before the storm made being in front of the fire the more sensible option. Getting Prince out that much more challenging, as he didn’t see the need to move from his warm bed before the birds were awake.

The painting of ‘Irises’, a simple, abstract approach. Colours clean and vibrant. The long rectangular format, challenging. Working in acrylics allowing for a fast application of paint. The course canvas trashing a couple of layers of skin on my fingers.

Bicycle cleaned, ready for the 3 day Karoo Tour in Calitzdorp. First, birthday weekend lies ahead. One of those life milestones.

Diary of an Adventure

Kyoto Adventure

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Kyoto Adventure
The shinkansen (bullet train) whizzed us across from Yokohama, although no one told us that there isn’t any space for luggage, which you need to tuck under your legs somewhere. Very polite assistants offer ice cream, including the green tea option, which you have to judge carefully to make sure it’s eaten and the rubbish deposed of before you exit the train during its two second station stop.

Yakisoba noodles, tempura bits and a spicy beef onion dish in the Nishiki market. The place chosen for its cold beer advert, which after five hours of shrine stomping was a priority. Fortunately they brought Terry’s LV bag we left behind to us, and Terry found the 5,000 Yen note that I dropped on my way out.

The golden temple (Kinkakuji) was regal, its pond setting majestic. A bit ‘over the top’ sort of ostentatious, as apposed to the beautiful water lilies, bridges and pagoda at the Ryoanji Temple. Renowned for its stone garden, its a world of wonder. Dragons on screens, waiting to be woken. Gold fish shimmering in a patch of sunlight slanting through the delicate maple leaves, and water lilies inspiring Monet paintings.

We have found the secret to choosing the local supermarket. Find the spot that has a zillion bicycles outside, with their very own policeman to direct the flow. If you can get past the scary little old ladies who will kill you in a heartbeat if you are in their way, there is an Aladdin’s cave of options. Salmon and tuna sashimi, as well as prawn tempura, was where we stopped for our dinner.

Ladies in kimonos are, as promised in the guide books, seen on the streets, and although the drink looking over the river Kamo can be skipped (Supposedly one of the unforgettable things in Kayoto) the walk along the street leading to the famous area of Kiyamachi Dori Street is special.

Heian Jingu Shrine, are “Vermillion lacquered buildings that flourish from season to season”. A complex of buildings, surrounded by gardens and ponds with irises and water lilies creating multiple reflections. The pathways are swept in a herringbone pattern and at each turning there is another view through to a stone lantern, maple tree or building. A covered wooden bridge crosses the main pond, which has islands strategically positioned to give scale to the view. Amazing and well worth getting lost for. I missed the stop and we needed an additional 20 minute walk.

In vain, we searched for the fabled roaring dragons of Kayoto. A taxi ride across to one of the five great Zen temples in Kyoto, Shokoku-Ji, where the dragon has its lair, came to nothing. The building is closed for renovations, leaving us stranded with only a bad poster rendition of the dragon. Lunch alongside a pretty stream, some consolation.