Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Carefully, the composition takes shape on the canvas. First lines. Dabs. Smears. Paint starting to give the painting form. Composition too far left!


Grateful for the support of clients in the studio. Particularly at this time of turmoil. Studio, quiet. In sharp contrast to the chaos unfolding at supermarkets. And we have free wine! The world has gone crazy.


Yet we have our emergency insulin, dog food, Nespresso and wine.


Mountain bike magic. Fabulous ride through Homtini Pass. Mist banks, cuddling the trees in the early morning. River, gurgling with glee as the sun probes it’s mysterious coloured depths.


Chef Hirsch outdid himself with a dinner that had delicious steak tartare, stuffed aubergine rolls with Labneh and chorizo hummus, followed by a baked sea bass main dish.

All this after slashing his thumb and dealing with an errand recipe book that kept flipping between pages, creating Disneyesque mayhem.


Seems like our Viennese Regulator has the virus. No amount of adjusting will keep its pendulum moving. While its chiming will not be missed by some, the absence of its rhythmical beat feels like the heart of the apartment has stopped.

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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

‘Poppies and olives’
Oil on board 220cmx92cm

Painted in 2002, a client resale in the studio

Something magical about a road-trip in the early morning, as the sun begins it’s journey. Even without coffee to start the day, as load-shedding impacts our lives.


Driving three hours for a dinner may seem a tad excessive. However, the dining experience at La Sosta in Swellendam is unbelievable and should be at the top of on any foodies list.


We also had a great dog-friendly farm-stay at Heritage Huisies, a five-minute drive from the restaurant.


Uncomplicated. Clean. Honest flavours. The philosophy of the cooking at La Sosta. With seasonal ingredients, paying homage to their Italian heritage.


The 5 course menu has three eating experiences; Sea, Land and Garden, and as you are allowed to choose dishes from any of the menu’s, the choice is fabulous. Particularly for my diabetic restrictions.
The wine list has recommendations for each menu and offers great value.


Hermitage Huisies cottages are unpretentious, comfortable and everything you could want, with thoughtful touches. Like an Honesty Bar, with Olivedale wines in case you didn’t bring your own. Or simply want to try the superb regional wines. A bag of fresh veg from the garden and a spekboom for you to take home and plant, are part of their drive for organic, sustainability. The swimming pool, fabulous on a hot summer day. Not freezing. Refreshing, and close to the cottage to pop into for a midnight dip under the stars.

A tad disappointed that I’m not one of the 48 BP Award finalists. While still thrilled to be in the top 10% semi-finalists, I had high expectations. Hopefully my painting of the Pudgy Unicorn will do better at the Wildlife Artists of the Year.


Alfresco. Terry’s fabulous ‘Picnic in a jar’. Quirky, practical, delicious and loads of fun.

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

’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

’Iris and Foxgloves’, the latest addition to our wearable art range has arrived in time for Christmas. It’s a high quality, square 90cmx90cm, silk twill scarf with hand-rolled edges, available in limited numbers.
Endless cleaning and sorting of accumulated clutter, I came across a couple of bowls from my days in Afghanistan. Made from Herat blue-glass, they are available as that unique gift from the studio.
Doctor visit to check on my diabetes control. A bunch of blood tests needed to confirm the daily readings, however, it looks like my daily exercise regime and careful eating choices are such that I may be able to reduce my insulin dosage further for a three month trial period. Also hoping that this will reduce the number of times I suffer from the ultra-low blood sugar effects of frozen fingers, headaches and grumpiness. 
The zebra’s in my painting ’Etosha’, (oil on canvas 160cmx80cm) have the lightness that I was looking for, rather than the heavy black and white carthorse they were initially. I mixed Raw Sienna with the Cobalt Blue – Burnt Sienna grey mixture for the zebra stripes, with touches of white so the light moves across the painting.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Etosha Study’, painted as a demonstration at the Greyton Art Walk, on a wet summers day. Thrilled with the ostriches that are full of movement and simplicity.
Boulilli de boeuf. A variation on the beef short-rub, served with a spoonful of sauce vert. Despite being packed with flavour and impossibly rich, a tad underwhelming. Strawberry Fields from Graceland, mouth watering.
The aubergine tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil and ricotta stack that Clare made, delicious.
Tourists. Sunshine. Sparkling water. Yachts, paddle steamer and ferries. Blazing sunsets. Owls chicks, yelling. Seagulls screeching. Summer days hurtling towards the holiday season.
With the underpainting dry, and the composition on the canvas, the painting of ‘Etosha’ is in its initial steps. Not sure that the lower part of the canvas isn’t too neglected in terms of where the animals are positioned.  However, I’m pleased with the rough texture that contrasts with the paired-back sky. 
Running legs working hard and as my average pace has moved beyond the 5:30/km I have transitioned from shuffler into the jogger, runner zone. The 5:00/km being the next transition from jogger to runner. At least, in my head! This while staying injury free and managing the mountain biking within the pain threshold of my recovering collar bone. 
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Beach walk at Sedgefield before a quick stop at the market for blue skies organic salt. Studio busy with holiday tourists and the canvas for the Etosha commission on the easel. An underpainting of two blue-grey mixtures. Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber, as well as Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. Dashes of Cerulean Blue adding depth.

Fabulous dinner. J9. Chef Coreta. Amuse-bouche of Chev, melon, Parma ham and dill served with Ghost Corner Bowline. Grilled halloumi, roast tomatoes, on a bed of butter lettuce served with ‘Courageous’, dry land barrel fermented Chenin as the starter and a main of Kingklip, pancetta, Parmesan, dill in a Champagne and cream sauce. a selection of wine that included Colmont MCC, Miss Lucy, Radford Dale Chardonnay,  Driehoek, Oak Valley and Newton Johnson Family Vineyard Pinot Noir. Tarte au Chocolate as a dessert served with Doran Vineyard Shiraz. 

Via’s are hosting my art and painting demonstration as part of the Greyton Art Walk. I have a collection of my small paintings, as well as a few of the silk scarf wearable art range for something different.

‘The Walk the Experience’ gives access to various artists studios and homes, providing insight into working methods, techniques and inspiration.
My early run took me out onto the trails through the hills outside the Village. Taxing in the extreme!