Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Thrilled that my portrait of the ’Fisherman’ received an Honourable Mention, for ’Art of Outstanding Quality’ at the online 10th Annual Light Space and Time Figurative Competition. Chosen from 623 entries, from 27 different countries.


The list of neglected jobs trimmed as the lock-down runs its the course. Pots of succulents on the patio table one of them.


A new recipe book from Terry’s birthday by Jan Hendrik, the opportunity for Sunday breakfast of eggs benedict. While his recipe called for rosti and trout, my diabetes doesn’t allow for rosti, and I couldn’t find trout. A courgette bellini and salmon the alternatives we used.


Also tried his avo terrine, which served with a salmon parcel made a scrumptious starter.


Action Ads newsprint over oil paint. Not sure if it will remain on the canvas as the paint dries? A touch of red in the underpainting. A selection of Kendtridge’s use of red, adding drama to the composition. I looked for aspects that highlighted the Coved-19, Knysna reality, while still capturing the essence of William Kentridge.


Think the canvas, at 150cmx100cm, is too small for the enormity of the situation?


For the woman, enraptured in the painting at the Zeitz MOCAA, I took inspiration from Kentridge depiction of figures in black and white. Outside. Yet, within the composition.


The ‘black’ mixture of Madder Lake and Ultramarine too purple for the charcoal look I wanted. Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue a better mix. Struggled with the proportions (kept getting a dirty grey colour) using a new tube of French Le Franc paint.

I used a pallet knife to carefully scrape away paint, so as not to damage the newsprint, from the sides of the jar that was out of proportion. Still a tad chubby for taking the eye up the composition, but it will have to do.

The apartment running loop has 210 corners and 112 stairs per Km!

Advertisements
Diary of an Adventure

Jozie Adventures


A few small paintings of Knysna seahorses, with the residue paint being applied to my canvas ’Palette Leftovers’.


Airport eerily quiet. No frantic queues through security, chairs available in the departure lounge and an absence of aircraft on the apron. The shrinking of SAA’s domestic routes culling planes, and the slowdown in international travel as the world deals with coronavirus. This before the first reported case in South Africa.
Sunrise, noticeably later and cooler, making for glorious running and cycling. Conscious of the lingering effects of my cold, as evident from my still whacky blood sugars, ensuring I don’t do anything crazy.

Buonissimo! For an age, Buonissimo was our our restaurant, coffee stop, fun stop, cheese cake and carrot cake stop, when visiting Mum and Dad in Modderfontein.


At some point, the small village centre was destroyed to provide space for another shopping centre, and Buonissimo was relegated to a hole-in-the-wall at the new service station. There were advantages, as you could get great coffee at 7 in the morning!


Fortunately, they have transitioned into the new Flamingo Vlei shopping centre, and while not the intimate village restaurant, there is still that something uniquely Italian. Great food, attentive service an an interesting wine list made for a relaxed, enjoyable evening. The ’Salto’ (beef strips with Parmigiano shavings and rocket) was tasty and the Scaloppini (beef cutlets with provolone cheese and white wine) was delicious. An unusual tasting sangiovese from Koelenhof added that element of mystery.

Knysna Seahorse

Acrylic on canvas 20cmx20cm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures


Small commissioned painting of a zebra and start made on the portrait of ’The Fisherman’. A painting to replace one of my paintings lost in a house fire.

The zebra still resembling a cart-horse, with none of the ’lightness’ I’m striving to attain. The rich grey, turning everything to a flat mush. Happier with the proportions of the head. Something, at least!

A tad apprehensive about the ride out to Buffels Neck. 70km, and four hours, being at the extreme end of what I can push myself to, while still retaining some control over my blood-sugars. To say nothing of how my shoulder will manage the constant bouncing through the Forest.

The Forest, green and sparkling after the recent rain, with enough overnight to keep the dust down from passing logging trucks. Overcast conditions meant we weren’t fighting the light-dark road surface that makes visibility, already hopeless through sweat-stained glasses, truly frightening when hurtling downhill!

Woolworths, carb-clever, seed-bars at the halfway stop. Not quiet the egg and bacon I had been imagining while out on the ride. Good enough to stop my blood sugars crashing further than the 4,5mmol/L level during the remaining 2 hours of cycling.
Move aside pork-belly. You have been superseded by delicious slow grilled pork shoulder. Simple and a sumptuous.

Two and a half hours at a low heat (140) with the meat, skin side up and rubbed with salt, in a roasting pan with a bottle of white wine (I added a bunch of fresh herbs from the herb pot). It needs to be checked after an hour and a half and add stock/water as needed. Heat the grill to 240 and put the roast, skin side up, under the grill until it’s crisp and golden. (about 35min). Sieve the remaining liquid and serve with the roast.

https://www.recipetineats.com/pork-shoulder-roast-with-crispy-crackling/

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

’Morning Mist’

Acrylic on canvas 120cmx40cm
From a photo by Craig Smith, the ethereal beauty of the estuary covered in mist. I used grey’s of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue and Burnt Siena to create warm, cold tension. Permanent Magenta and a hint of Lemon Yellow and Cyan for effect.
World turned upside-down. Thunderstorms driving Prince demented. Sleep deprived. Garage flooded. Fortunately, no damage to the stored paintings.
The wet world, an opportunity for something scrumptious. Lamb shank moussaka. Deliciousness in spades. The sauce, another masterful combination of flavours from Marlene van der Westhuizen. Even on an ultra-thin wafer of week-old rye bread! De Grendel Merlot, perfect. As was the rich Bergsig chardonnay.
Different sort of day, sculpting from a live model. Particularly, as I have a portrait commission to paint. It was a great experience working from the live model, and I focused on ’looking’ at the model to determine volume. Realised that I had the proportions incorrect as the model was seated and I was standing, so looking ’down’ at him. Something that could have been adjusted with time, however, I was happy with the interpretation. I kept the sculpture rough, using only my hands, as I do with my painting. Might look at doing a life-size rhino head as a focal point outside the studio.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

’Women in the Waves’

Acrylic on Canvas 200cmx70cm

Too many conflicting ideas messing about with my painting of the ’Women in the Waves’. Decided to stop smearing paint in the canvas. Happy with areas of the painting, while other bits are a tad overworked.
Summer. Visitors fleeing to confront the start of the new job year. Weather  switched to glorious. If a tad stifling. Early Steenbok walk to get Prince wet enough to manage the hot weather.
Super yacht Katherine heading out to its next adventures. It’s stay at Thesen Harbour Town attracting a more of visitors.
Otto Lingi Simple. Nothing about Ottolenghi is ’Simple’! Preparation. Shopping. Chopping. Cooking. Exhausting. Delicious! Terry did a cauli-rice, infused with mint and parsley. Perfect with the slow-cooked lamb ribs. French-inspired slow-roasted tomatoes (with the jalapenos magic ingredient) and spinach dish, with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Looked  amazing and packed with flavour.
Homtini Pass ride, with fabulous sightings of Knysna Louries. Even more amazing give the sweat stained glasses, and heavy breathing as I laboured up the pass. Senses overpowered by the ’honey’ scent. Sage wood plant? 

SOLD

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Chubby Unicorn’

Oil on canvas 80cmx80cm

Submission for the David Shepard Wildlife Artist of the Year finished. A dramatic gold background that contrasts with the turquoise in the painting. Will be interesting to see how the jury reacts.
Year end. Holiday season. Delish food. Great company. Laughter. Rest demanded of my abused body. A tad too much wine, probably not helping.
On the easel. Riotous friendship. A sea-scape of ‘Ladies in the waves’ on the beach at Sedgfield. Trying hard not to go down the path of the successful painting of the ‘Wild Oyster Collectors’, or the more abstract Pringle Bay sea-scape. Rather letting the painting dictate its own path.
The ’creative theater’ of the studio, part of the holiday business, with holiday browsers, returning collectors and fellow artists.
“As per your wonderful sense/insight of humanity Jan, you have captured emotive images of the human spirit; universally speaking your mind by way of canvas, paint, & fingers. Many of us could learn to not just “look”, but to “see” as well, by taking notice of the message you have implored here within these works.”

Robyn Heenan

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

’Chubby Unicorn’s’ (Thank you Kirsten), the commission and Wild Life Artists of the Year submission, on the easels in the studio. The fiery, Indian Yellow background to the paintings generating a host of comments. Particularly as it relates to the – ongoing – destruction of rhino’s, and their extinction, which the paintings signify.  

Delicious chevre and Proscuitto. For out 36th Wedding Anniversary, Terry made her ’Terrine de Campagne’, which, with a salmon main made for a scrumptious dinner. Phillepe Mallet, Cuvee prestige brut champagne and Crozes-Hermitage, balanced with Black Rock and a delicious Cederberg Blanc de Blancs MCC.
Happy, family holidays with sticky fingers across the studio windows. The thunder of powerful engines for the inevitable drag racing between speed humps. Early morning revealers driving Prince crazy. Cyclists and runners everywhere, and – fortunately – sales from the Studio.
My father’s Olympic athletic career was ended by a combination of a broken foot from running on a cinder track, and being declared a ’professional’ for accepting payment for transport to the Olympic trials. Certainly, I have no Olympic career, and sponsorship is the cornerstone of successful athletes, yet – while I have struggled with a trashed Achilles interrupting my running enjoyment – I’m facing my fathers foot weakness. In my case, arthritis. At least it’s not in my hands, so it doesn’t impact my painting!
For now, it’s summer. Endless days, of beach, forest, sea, wine, food and laughter.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

SOLD

’Oyster Pickers,

Acrylic on canvas 200cmx70cm

Bum and legs, stiff after a Buffs beach walk, between rain showers. Of more probably, from all the bending down to find stones for Prince to chase through the surf. Shoulder screaming at the abuse.
Stellakya wine dinner evening, with large quantities of red wine to replace the blood I lost from the scratch on my arm. The lamb main dish was a tad disappointing and the dessert out of the question. However, the Springbok carpaccio was delicious and the snoek spring rolls tasty.
I have started a small rhino painting, based on my painting ’Unicorn’ in preparation for the large commission work. The last tube of Ferrario Turquoise Blue (No 80), from my magic paint ox, is almost finished, adding uniqueness to the works. Certainly giving my shoulder a workout, covering the large areas of the big canvas

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Etosha Study’

Oil on canvas 45cmx25cm

Greenish, white clay of the ‘Great White Place’. Pale-golden colour of the grasslands against blue skies. The green-grey from Cobalt Blue and burnt Seinna, mixed with Cerulean Blue. The white-grey a mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber. Also the grey mixture I used for the elephant.

Chef Hirsch crafted (another) fabulous dinner. Avo, pea, mint with smoked salmon, blue cheese crème fraîche and capers. Followed by ‘moqueca’, a Brazilian fish stew, served with spinach-cauli noodles and crusty bread for the delicious ‘soup’. Which I did manage to mess down my shirt and trousers. Something I couldn’t even blame on diabetic ‘shakes’, as my sugar levels weren’t totally crazy. Fryers Cove Pinot Noir served with the moqueca.

Owls hooting before dawn. Seagulls screeching in alarm. Gentle rain for my morning jog up the Welbedaght hills. Coucal’s calling encouragement from the bushes

Rump skewers with Smokey béarnaise sauce. Simple. Deliciousness. A green salad of gem-lettuce, avo, parmesan shavings and pine nuts. Added crunchiness. Perfect.

Orthopedic Surgeon happy with how the bones in my clavicle are healing. A complication with a bursa on my elbow that needed draining and is now trapped in a compression sock for three weeks. The cortisone injection a tad painful. Messing with my blood sugars.


Moqueca (Brazilian fish stew)


INGREDIENTS

1kg skinless firm white fish fillet (such as snapper), pin-boned, cut into 3cm cubes

1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice

1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 green capsicum, thinly sliced

1 red capsicum, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 short red chillies, finely chopped

2 cups (500ml) fish stock

400g can chopped tomatoes

270ml can coconut milk

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (see note)

6 large green prawns, peeled (tails intact), deveined

Coriander leaves, to serve

Spinach-cauli noodles, to serve

METHOD

Step 1
Place fish in a large ceramic dish and toss with 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Chill for 30 minutes to marinate.

Step 2
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion for 3 minutes or until softened.

Step 3
Add capsicum, garlic and chilli, then cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes or until capsicum is softened.

Step 4
Stir in stock, tomatoes, coconut milk and coconut oil. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes until slightly reduced.

Step 5
Add prawns, fish and marinating juices, then cook for a further 8-10 minutes until the seafood is just cooked. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and season to taste.

https://www.taste.c

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘View to the Heads’ 20cmx20cm

It’s been awhile since I did the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Normally a calendar month thing, a middle of the month start doesn’t seem to be too out of place. The focus, the popular 20cmx20cm canvases, which have my fingers in weird contortions. However, I’m happy to let each day dictate what gets painted.

While my visit to Mossel Bay, and the gardens of Protea and Cape Sugarbirds provided the initial inspiration, I’m going to try to produce a series of black and white paintings that mimic charcoal sketches, with hints of colour. The works of Michèle Nigrini my reference point.

Fun movie outing that included a surprisingly good salad lunch at Mugg&Bean, of all places. The glass of wine was generous, and the helping enormous. The movie, ‘Fiela se Kind’, slow and achingly beautiful.

Spinach and Ricotta gnocchi. Diabetic-friendly, and tasty on their own, Scrumptious with a bolognaise sauce. If not what a traditional Italian would associate with gnocchi.

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

Ingredients

2 cups Spinach cooked

1 cup Ricotta cheese

2 Egg yolks beaten

6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F degrees.

Cut the stems off the spinach and cook in a large pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and plunge into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Drain the spinach leaves well, and squeeze out any excess water. Chop the leaves very fine.

Put the spinach, Ricotta,Parmesan cheese, egg yolks and seasoning into a bowl. Mix well.

Shape the mixture into balls about the size of walnuts. Or make them gnocchi shaped.

Lightly butter a casserole dish and place the gnocchi in it.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve with your sauce of choice.