Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Boundless energy released in a spray of sea sand and water. The RAV, an instant sandbox. Legs hammered from the sudden increase in walking demanded to keep Prince from bouncing off the walls.

Not quite managing the ’30 paintings in 30 days’ September challenge, however I did get a few small paintings finished, with help of a puppy in the studio.

The ‘hose-clamp’, google fix for the Weber ash collector seems to have solved the problem. Achieved without blood, quite something. Under a full moon, with hardly any wind, we sat out on the patio for our braai, with a smidgen of delicious Crozes Hermitage.

Phantom cycle after early cappuccino walk, the mist coming off the water and the air full of jasmine scent. A stop at the newly opened Café du Bois (formally Throbb) in Grey Street.

There was a simplistic beauty and freshness to the new exhibition at Avo Pomme. Radically different from the vibrancy and energy of my paintings.

The new works are hints of green on small white canvases against the white walls of the gallery. Minimalist naivety? Bernice did a magnificent job of mirroring the simplicity, different shades of green and sculptural forms of the paintings in her canapés. Artistic brilliance.

Full studio for the Tuesday movie evening. Extra chairs squeezed into random spots that will need to be repeated for the next movie being held to support the Knysna Basin Project.

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

My stomach a tad unhappy with something, made for a slowish jog to East Head. Managed the burger much more easily!


On the easel, the ‘Colourful Story of Leaves’, a large 1,2×1,2 m canvas of the oak tree avenue at La Motte, in their spectacular autumn leaves. A cascade of gold, yellow and orange against blue skies. The crunch of leaves under my feet as I walked through Central Park a vivid reminder as I do an under-painting in blues and grays, with a smidgen of yellow and green left on the pallet.


Brothers Jan Vanessa.jpg

‘Brothers’ heading to its new home


A sunshine prison on Hugh and Clare’s patio that eased limbs frozen from being in the studio. One of those spots that could, with easy company and good music, become a wine consumption disaster.


A piece of glass slashed the front wheel of my bicycle, making for a slightly nervy cycle through some of the burnt sections of the town. We cycled through Belvedere with little sign of the flames that forced the residents to evacuate. The gardens are looking a tad sad with the drought taking its toll. My body struggling to keep turning the gears over up the hills.


Wind howling, with little of the promised rain. A splendid opportunity for Terry’s oxtail served with filled peppers and squash. The J9 cellar unearthed a 2007 Crozes-Hermitage. Definitely moreish. Fortunately the Black Rock was a worthy successor. Bread and Butter pudding, Liam Tomlin style, with the fire warding off the chilly night.



Liam Tomlin’s Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding

Serves 4

3  Croissants

50g  Unsalted butter

1   Vanilla pod

300ml   Cream

300ml Milk

8  Free-range eggs

175g Caster sugar

50g   Raisins

50g  Dark chocolate broken into small pieces and chocolate

25 g Apricot jam

15g  Toasted, sliced almonds


Cut croissants in 5cm thick slices and spread with butter. Split the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the cream and milk, slowly bring to the boil. While it is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl. Allow the cream mix to cool a little, and then strain it onto the egg yolk stirring all the time.


Arrange the sliced croissant in individual ramekins, sprinkling the raisins and chocolate between the layers leaving the top clear. Pour the warm custard over, lightly pressing the croissants to help it soak in. Leave the puddings to stand for 15 minutes before cooking.


Pre-heated the oven to 160°c. Place the ramekins into a roasting pan and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to come three-quarters the way up the side of the ramekins to create a bain-marie. Cook the bread and butter puddings for 25-30 minutes until the custard reaches setting point. If it appears too runny, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes before checking again. Carefully remove the bain-marie from the oven and allow the puddings to cool slightly in the bain marie.


Warm the apricot jam with a little water to thin it out slightly. Brush the apricot jam over the surface of the puddings and sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.


Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures


Seductive winter, well sort of, days. Knees that purplish tinge in my shorts, with the studio a tad cooler than being in the sun.

‘Brothers’, painting of the returning boys Odyssey team. A loose approach to the ‘Impressionistic Smearing’, building tension within the painting, keeping the details to a minimum to reinforce that these are boys in their formative years, as well as the collective ‘Band of Brothers’, where there aren’t individuals. Thrilled that its also sold!
Jog around the new 5km loop on Thesen Island that Craig has put on strava. A few tricky turns, with the bridges a tad slippery from the wet mist. The sound of the sea breaking at the Heads quite amazing.
A new exhibition of paintings, ‘The City and Flowers’, up in the studio. With our Tuesday movie, ‘Georgia O’Keeffe flowers and the city dominated her oeuvre, with colour the link to my paintings. “Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know.”


‘Sundowners’, Artist Print and oil on canvas. Transforming an emotionless print into an original, and unique, art work. Paint colours behaving differently on the printed canvas. Defining areas, while maintains simplicity. Particularly important, as I will be using acrylics for the trip to Vietnam and finishing the paintings with oils when I’m back in the studio.

Staggered at the price of artist grade acrylic paints, which I expected to be much less than artist grade oil paints. Fortunately Aly is happy to bring my Charvin paints from France.

AvoPommeThe Creative Hub have opened a new gallery space. It’s a great venue in that it allows one to approach the art from a distance, which isn’t possible here in the studio. An intimate space, within the larger building. Looking forward to seeing how my paintings look there.

Don’t seem to getting any quicker on the hills. Still have that ‘wounded buffalo’ sound, fighting the bicycle to keep moving forward. Only made bearable by the fabulous ride through the Gouna Forest. Breathtaking.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

That spot in the afternoon sunshine at FSC. Cats, or the impression of cats, wonder through the house turning themselves inside-out, before curling up in the shafts of sunlight. Champagne dancing. 

Franschhoek, for the Literary Festival. A lunch stop at the Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. Tapas, those tiny excuses for food that leave you hunting for a pizza delivery. That said, the variety of Mexican inspired flavours with their various beers, or wines, was delicious and interesting. 

The De Villiers Chocolate Café should, as all WMD, carry a warning of global destruction. Making a choice, being the first impossible task, before the taste of pure deliciousness forces you back for that next, something.

Amazing they had the statue of the lady on a bench that I had used in a painting, ‘Kim Sit’, when it was in Stellenbosch. This was a bronze work, while the one in Stellies was white. For my painting, I used the installation, together with one of the street men who roam around the city.

The inclusive, connecting people of the couple in the installation reinforcing the superficial nature of racial integration, with the black figure only present in silhouette. The street walker. Excluded. Discarded.

I overnighted with Lesa and Alan after spending a day running about Cape Town for chores. Saturday ParkRun with Alan. The course, while not along the coast was challenging and fun. 

Terry managed to get us into the last seating at The Vine bistro at Glenelly, where our favourite Chef, Christophe Dehosse, is creating magic. It’s an Estate we hadn’t been too, with a contemporary building amidst the historic Cape Dutch homesteads.

With a French owner of the Estate, May de Lencquesaing, his French-inspired dishes are perfectly settled and delicious. That extra crust of crispy bread to mop up the last of the Filet Mignon wine sauce. This despite the over generous portions.

Our wine choice may not have been the best for the variety of dishes. The 2015 Cab Franc, and the 2016 Chardonnay a tad young. However, the light freshness perfect for the warm autumn day looking out over the vineyards.

The new gallery space at Ebony-curated in Franschhoek is spectacular. While the art needs to be carefully chosen to benefit from the space, light, simplicity and perspective, I doubt if any artist wouldn’t be thrilled to have their work in the gallery. 

It’s probably even worth a ‘Damien Hurst stunt’ where a buyer walked in and bought all his work to effect a ‘Sell Out’, even though he was buying (predictive text ‘burying’) his own work.

It’s been ages since I jogged up hills, and certainly the steep undulations Craig decided to add into the jog along the estuary had me short-breathed, with my legs complaining.

In the studio, the painting of the group of boys on their Odyssey adventure in taking space. A bunch of elements on a smallish canvas (90cmx60cm). Keeping the details to a minimum to reinforce that these are boys in their formative years, as well as the collective ‘Band of Brothers’, where there aren’t individuals. 
Knysna-Plett Herald article


Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Harbour Town vibrating under the pounding of running shoes. Marathon day, calm and sunny. My legs happy to be out walking after a gentle run out to Leisure with Craig and Daz, finishing with a swim and breakfast at East Head.

David and Heather visiting for the week bringing new energy and questions into the studio, as they have started to use oils for their paintings.
I’m fighting with my painting of the Dry Mill, with pincushion protea, based on the painting of Argenteuil by Monet.
Polly not well, giving us more than a moment of concern. Her age deeply etched into the furrows between her big eyes. Diet change to reduce the demand on her liver, with a bunch of treatment for intestine problems. For now, her eyes are brighter and she is looking for mischief. As long as they don’t involve too much exercise!
Emily Moon, everything that Zanzibar is supposed to be and isn’t. That the legend of Emily Moon has it origins at Emerson’s in Stone Town, is probably why we felt as though we were greeting an old friend (my painting ‘Zanzibar Maple’, is outside Emerson’s). While the Bitou River coils its way through the valley and fish eagles are etched against the sky, menu decisions, required with desert, unknown, a consideration.
Zanzibar Maple
As befitting the celebrations for Coreta’s birthday, there were surprises and abundant quantities of wine that I’m still feeling in my legs as I pound my way around my jogging route.
Diary of an Adventure

Thesen Harbour Town Adventures

Kite surfers dance in the wind. The yellow in the studio banner, perfect against the sea of yellow daisies, behind which the water of the lagoon, a silver mirror in the sunlight.

The Lotus Grill had it’s first outing on the patio. Not quite as smokeless as the blurb would have it, and it takes more that ten minutes to reach cooking temperature. I didn’t manage to get it hot enough for seared steak and will need a bit of practice to know here the limits are.
In the studio, paintings are up. I did manage, after careful measuring. To put holes in the incorrect place. Wine time!
Warmer days mean we need to be out earlier for Polly’s walk before the sun turns her black coat into a furnace. The route gentle along the edge of the lagoon, past the yacht club. Green grasses, sandwiched between blue skies and water.
First painting in the studio. The pavement my morning spot, with its view out across the lagoon. Afternoon heat driving me inside. I’m doing as many of the small paintings I can manage in expectation of a high demand during the holiday period.
The view across the lagoon reminds me of the Italian lakes, with the green forests and reflections of the building beyond the railway bridge. Kept the composition low to give room for the sky.
However, this did restrict space of the reflections, which is a bother on a landscape orientation. To counter this, I pushed the railway embankment across to the left of the painting to allow for increased reflections.
Morning shuffle rather than a jog across the railway bridge. Decided that if I was going to paint it, I had better at least visit it!
Foot traffic through the studio this week, a mixture of tourists browsing, local people passing, fellow artists and a group from a painting class. An option taken on one painting, and one sold to a collector in Switzerland. The studio is now also on the courier route of galleries as the painting of the Farmer has gone to its new home.
Latest Paintings
Boat Cluster
Boat Cluster
Oil on Canvas 20cmx20cm
Oil on Canvas 20cmx20cm
A Spot of Blue
A Spot of Blue
Oil on Canvas 20cmx20cm SOLD
 Time Trial
Time Trial
Oil on Canvas 20cmx20cm
Messing About with Paint

All in a Row

Oil on Canvas 40cmx50cm

This will be our view from the studio apartment in Knysna.
I didn’t want to paint the predictable ‘pretty’ yachts. There are enough of those sort of paintings around this place.
The line of yachts reminded me of elephants crossing the Chobe River in Botswana.
A hint of turquoise and a spot of Van Gogh red
Messing About with Paint

Tea Time


Tea Time
Oil on Canvas 40cmx30cm (Available)

Waxbills and Red Bishop birds are companions on my jog around Juba3.

Seeing Alison’s great photo of waxbills I decided to do a painting. Not that I have ever painted birds before!

After a massive fight, with feathers everywhere, a painting asserted itself.