Oil on canvas 80cmx80cm
Oil on canvas 80cmx80cm
Acrylic on canvas 20cmx20cm
‘Princesses for a day’, oil on canvas 60cmx90cm in its new home.
The wonder of cortisone that enabled me to run at times that were maddingly quick. Scary. Blood sugars surging into the stratosphere. For now, sticking with the low insulation dosage, with copious amounts of water and exercise to bring them down into something mangeable.
A small study of a Springbok, the scale of the Etosha commission. If not quite the abstract effect I had in my head. Also managed to get the painting of Hana on Onrus beach finished, before head into Jozie to see my Mum.
Jenny did a delicious diabetic-friendly zucchini noodle and halloumi stroganoff, with a spicy cream sauce, cashews for that bit of crunch, and served with a green salad. A light Italian style wine ‘Bella Vino’ perfect on a warm evening.
Modderfontein hills run with the sunrise glinting off the hurtling Gautrain. A carpet of purple Jacaranda blossoms. My shoulder a tad unhappy with the effort of getting me up the hills to say nothing of my wobbly legs.
The ‘Cornerdeli’ in Modderfontein definitely worth a stop. You do have to get past the tempting pastries that showcase their Portuguese heritage to get to the mouthwatering cheese and charcuterie selection.
Learned that the wax bit of the Parmesan cheese should be included in the food dish and the wax falls a small lump that can be removed while the cheese melts into the dish.
Oil on canvas
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)
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
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.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion for 3 minutes or until softened.
Add capsicum, garlic and chilli, then cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes or until capsicum is softened.
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.
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.
A couple of small elephant paintings. The rough canvas, acting like ‘wag-‘n-bietjie’ (wait a moment) thorns, gripping my fingers as I tried to create the sketching lines of the painting, to resemble a charcoal drawing. An a usual grey mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber.
Wobbly legs after the trail run through the forest. Thrilled that despite the uneven footing, little additional shoulder discomfort. We did stick to open tracks, mindful that we are into snake and tick season.
Marlene Van Der Westhuizen’s beef stew synchronized with the approaching storm. The inclusion of the five different cuts of beef, marinaded overnight in red wine, olive oil and brandy, and then slow cooked was delicious. Egg plant baked with mozzarella and tomatoes were colourful and tasty. A tad surprising that the Pinot Noir from Newton Johnson Family Vineyards went better with the stew than the Cros Hermitage Shiraz.
‘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
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
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.
‘On the estuary’
A small painting of a yacht on the estuary. The reflections in the water the focus of the painting. However, the multiple folds of the sails, entrancing. I used an underpainting of Naples yellow, with an initial painting in acrylics, before finishing the painting in oil.
A different perspective walking through town at the start of the day to start my stint at the Old Jail for the Knysna Arts Society new exhibition ‘Woman’. I had one painting in the exhibition ‘Customs Market’, painted during my time in South Sudan.
A homeless man and his dog walking along the pavement, searching through dustbins for food scraps, an all to familiar sight in our town. What was remarkable was that he picking up litter along the way and placing it in the rubbish bins.
‘Saving Kandinsky’ by Mary Basson is a fabulous read into the world of Gabrielle Münter, Kandinsky’s partner for the years he transformed into abstraction. The notes accompanying her paintings are absorbing and inspirational
Freedom! Ortho happy with the healing progress of my collarbone. No sling required, although no cycling, lifting, or anything that requires power, from the shoulder for another couple of months. Physio not required either, which is fabulous. Sleep, still problematical, with sleep time discomfort, exponential.
Cobwebs dusted from my running shoes, an easy 7km jog through the islands to start the day. The first in eight weeks. Mindful of the one-to-three days between running sessions. My wildly fluctuating blood sugars, a complicating factor.
Chef Hirsh did an amazing Kingklip fish dinner, with bacon, chili, yogurt and lemon. The sauce, fabulous. Fingers sufficing in the absence of bread. A starter of labneh and Thai pesto, zucchini spirals with salmon. Terry did a diabetic-friendly almond ice-cream that was definitely moreish.
If bending trees weren’t enough of a warning, kite-surfers screaming across the Estuary were. Only hardened cyclists braved the roaring winds for the Oyster Festival races. The Ultimate Fitness Festival?.
Sling keeping my shoulder from moving, too crazily. The blessing of a Mungo, superb woven towel, easing the chaffing. Blood sugars back into their normal range after the trauma, and a couple of coffee walks easing bruised muscles.
Cable ties my new friend holding the canvas against the easel, as ‘wingless’ I can’t catch the canvas as it does it’s bit to escape the abuse of my fingers smearing paint about. The large number of straight lines a tad challenging for my painting of the Norval Foundation exhibition.
While we we had to eliminate the beans from the Pork and Cannellini Bean casserole recipe, the sauce of the dish was sensational. The pork a tad on the dry side, which was disappointing. However, the Eastern flavours worked fabulously with the seared Bok-Choy.
Harbour Town full of athletes as it’s Forest Marathon time. Studio busy with the registration traffic generating its own energy.
Bartinney wine dinner at the Turbine. The lamb bredie, paired with their Cabernet Sauvignon, scrumptious.