Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Prince is thrilled with himself, having learned how to open the front door, by bashing the handle down with his paw and using his shoulder to open the door. It does make leaving him alone in the apartment that extra bit trickier



Across the Generations', a painting of Aunty Helen's and Kelly's hands. Rich Madder red with Ultramarine blue providing the anchor for the pallet. A delicate mix of Indian Yellow and Quinacridone Rose for Kelly’s hands, with Raw Sienna and a grey of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna as highlights. For Helen’s fingers, I used white with the darker purple to create contrast. My eyes, frustrating, if making for interesting painting!

Sunshine, if still chilly, and hardly a breeze, perfect for the beach. Prince not at all sure about the waves or the water, which were both far to scary.

Cut back the star jasmine in the patio garden to the metal ball support as it was starting to look a tad wild. Hopefully this will result in a mass of summer flowers.

Nose a shade of pink after a walk at Steenberg Park with Prince running crazy circuits through the water, slithering across the wet board walk and into the marsh. Happy dog days.

Managed a cycle up Phantom Pass and a spin out to Leisure. Nothing too crazy, but quick enough to elevate my heart rate so as to get reference points for my blood sugar levels. Dietitian happy with my insulin management and cleared up what is critical to stay alert for, as well as the eating before and after exercise issues that should help to stabilize my blood sugar. At least my BMI and other markers are where they should be!

Still no ice cream, and in another lifestyle whammy, nearly as serious as the no-wine, no bare-feet. Even on the beach. Crazy.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Wild restlessness. A hint of craziness in the portrait of the Guitar Man. Vibrant turquoise colour from Charvin, combining with the gentler raw sienna and rose madder to add life. Parts of the painting started to feel that they were overworked, so I stopped.

Held the first art movie evening, for the new season, at the Studio. Extra chairs needed, which with a bit of careful arranging has increased the number of people who can be accommodated. The weather cool enough that the blankets were welcome.

I have resurrected the painting, ‘Sundowner’, which I trashed when I fell out of the ceiling, as a limited edition print. The intensity of the print a tad disappointing. Will see what the reaction is to having something that can be easily rolled and transported.

An ‘effort jog’. Lots of effort with minimal momentum. Too much wine in my system after a summer of visitors? My bothersome Achilles behaving for the most part.

Two large, square format, canvases in the studio. The idea being to take the macro shots that Kirsten took of pincushion protea and turn them into dramatic paintings. I have a couple of small canvases that I will use as studies, with a light blue and turquoise underpainting.

A stay over in Wilderness to see Lesa and Alan. Her scarf, keeping her head from freezing in the unpleasantly cold wind, an art form. Carefully coordinated with her shoes, and clothing, screaming out her strength in those trying time.

For now, there are stars in the sky. The wind has worn itself ragged, and like my weary legs, is content to rest for a bit.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Time-lapse video of my ‘Finger Painting’ painting technique.
Pink face. Beach bar look without sunscreen. Turquoise waters sparkling in the sunshine. Idyllic summer days.

Conquering the corrugations. Speed definitely helping to reduce the wrist, and bum, jarring. Especially after that extra bottle of red wine! Soft sand, strategically positioned to ensure heart stopping, out of control, panic, with only empty space beyond the trail edge. Perhaps, a tad melodramatic? Certainly enjoyable. A fabulous morning ride along Highway-West.
A calming, picnic, cruise up the Keurbooms river into the gorge where majestic Outeniqua yellowood trees festooned with Usnea lichen, also known as Old Man’s beard, stand proud. The river, almost black with its tanin infused waters draws you into its quite contemplation, before a welcome swim. Refreshing pockets of cold current.
Sunflowers, agapanthus and the dignified old man on his bicycle outside Delish, the subject of my painting. This in between putting together the time-lapse video of the portrait ‘Life’s a bitch’. I increased the number of shots taken during the painting leaving me with a mountain to edit.
fullsizerender-48Inspiration. Frequently I’m asked where does the inspiration come from for my paintings. While staying in paradise, surrounded by beauty and the ever changing dynamic that is South Africa, there are sources, such as The Writing Map. Devised and written by Shaun Levin with illustrations by Stefania Manzi, the maps are easy to carry and fun.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A couple of small paintings to increase stock levels after a spate of sales in the studio. Which has also seen new group visits, personalized tours and interest from those passing. Painting of ‘Narine Vase’, ‘Sunbird’, ‘Sunbird and protea’, and ‘Elephant at play’, sold.
Logistical hassles of getting the painting of the ‘Sunbird’ to Cape Town to be checked in on the flight to Amsterdam. Solved with help from friends and Terry willing to deliver it. 
Pancakes on a day full of rain that didn’t stop a visit to the Hakerville Market. I thought the rain and fewer people might bring the other market, full of pixies and forest fairies, more into the open. However, it only felt damp and forlorn. Even the pancakes felt rushed and sticky, rather than joyful.
Fortunately the sun came out for the ending of the Karoo-Coast cycle event and we could watch the winners in comfort. Even the pancakes were better!
Trail walk through coastal forest and dune fynbos alongside the Goukama River. The ferry, great fun of a tad tiring. The walking easy, if strenuous in the soft beach sand. A floral wonderland. Certainly a challenge for the troublesome Achilles. Pizza and a bit of wine at the River Deck a great way to finish.
My bum feeling the effects of riding Craig’s hardtail mountain bicycle up Phantom Pass. It’s racing pedigree exacerbating my poor handling skills over the bumps and through the twists. Unaccustomed muscles stiff from the abuse.
Adrenaline fueled cappuccino on the deck at ‘View’ overlooking the beach, a gazillion steps below our chairs. Paraglider’s unscrambling lines, before taking those first out-of-control steps out over the void. Heart stopping seconds, before the soaring wonder of flight.
Afternoon Walk

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm


Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Captivating story telling by Rob Caskie on the race to the South Pole at the Knysna Literary Festival.

Wind buffeting the studio. Waters of the lagoon, seething. Perfect for Boeuf Bourguignon, made with oxtail. A tasty starter of Turkish figs with Gorgonzola wrapped in Parma ham. 

With sweat coated glasses, I could not distinguish where the holes were on the decent down Phantom Pass. My fingers chilled by the wind. Brake pads near red hot as they tried to slow my momentum. Surprisingly, after the strain they took going up the pass, my legs had the bicycle moving so fast that I almost overshot the track that turns off the road to Red Bridge. Amazing what a howling wind from behind does!

Lesa and Alan arrived for their holiday at Wilderness, where we stayed for a night in their house amongst the dunes. Wooden walkways through the tree tops an adventure playground. With my strained groin muscle I didn’t do the gazillion steps down to the beach. Not that the rain made a beach walk attractive.

‘Knysna’s Finest’, portrait of the herbalist who has a table on the odd occasion amongst the fruit and vegetable vendors near the taxi rank. His dreads piled up under a beanie in the traditional Rasta colours. The angles of his hair, and how the planes of his face were at odds with his smile gave me a hard time composing a portrait that was true to his character and still looked visually correct.

I started with the background, using the symbolic colours in Rastafari beliefs and then worked through his dark eyes to the rest of the portrait. Given the Rasta philosophy of wholeness and the body as a temple, I looked to create a flow of harmony and peace through the portrait.

Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna as the base colours of his face, with a dark mix of ultramarine blue and madder deep. Naples Yellow and touches of Sap Green in his eyes, with burnt umber for the irises. 

Shoes (the polished leather sort) socks and a jacket for the Cat Simoni show. Great entertainment and while the food wasn’t brilliant, it was a great evening.

Dashes of paint across the canvas for my painting ‘A Wild Day’. Splotches without detail, allowing imagination to interpret figures, sea and the dogs running on the beach. A restful painting that carriers one along the endless beach walks.

The three small elephant paintings are sold and two of the sold portraits have been couriered to their new homes.