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.
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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!
Diary of an Adventure

Gallery Adventure

Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings to Work’, the William Kentridge exhibitions At the Zeitz MOCAA
Of particular significance for me, the inclusion of his studio practice within the exhibition was fascinating and how the video’s of his works have been developed into the stories that, while profoundly disturbing, capture his whirling mind within the environment that directs his creative process. 
‘The studio is central. It is the space in which we discover who we are, through the process of making.’
William Kentridge
Senses overloaded by the visuals that if not dramatic enough in black and white, with streaks of red, screamed at you through the large megaphones. Both those depicted visually and those blasting sound within the installations. Ramming his message home in a ‘deaf’ world?
I was glad to come out into the sunshine and a glass of wine! 
Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture, at the Norval Foundation. 
Clever. Bizarre. Disturbing. Fantastical. Noise. His signature megaphones, less of ‘His Master’s Voice’ but rather those used to cower through blasted propaganda.
I do wonder how the new propaganda tool, social media that seeks to manipulate messaging that ferments division and hatred will be depicted in the art of the future? 
If nothing, a headache is certain.
The sculptures in Rebus are playful and intriguing as they transform from a simple edge into different shapes depending on how they are viewed. Guess much like the truth of anything. Light playing it’s own role in resolving the puzzle of the logical and illogical.
I couldn’t connect the massive sculptures in the main gallery to the vista through the windows to the mountains. It seems unlikely that the sculptures were randomly placed, without taking the movement of sunlight and the backdrop into account. 
Senses beaten into submission?
Silhouette figures in cut out steel, Solid Shadows at the entrance evoke the same feelings I experienced walking through an abandoned steel mill, or mine. Casting shadows of past glory, they remain hunks of black steel, against blue skies.
Diary of an Adventure

Gallery Adventure

Why Should I Hesitate: Putting Drawings to Work’, the William Kentridge exhibitions At the Zeitz MOCAA
Of particular significance for me, the inclusion of his studio practice within the exhibition was fascinating and how the video’s of his works have been developed into the stories that, while profoundly disturbing, capture his whirling mind within the environment that directs his creative process. 
‘The studio is central. It is the space in which we discover who we are, through the process of making.’
William Kentridge
Senses overloaded by the visuals that if not dramatic enough in black and white, with streaks of red, screamed at you through the large megaphones. Both those depicted visually and those blasting sound within the installations. Ramming his message home in a ‘deaf’ world?
I was glad to come out into the sunshine and a glass of wine! 
Why Should I Hesitate: Sculpture, at the Norval Foundation. 
Clever. Bizarre. Disturbing. Fantastical. Noise. His signature megaphones, less of ‘His Master’s Voice’ but rather those used to cower through blasted propaganda.
I do wonder how the new propaganda tool, social media that seeks to manipulate messaging that ferments division and hatred will be depicted in the art of the future? 
If nothing, a headache is certain.
The sculptures in Rebus are playful and intriguing as they transform from a simple edge into different shapes depending on how they are viewed. Guess much like the truth of anything. Light playing it’s own role in resolving the puzzle of the logical and illogical.
I couldn’t connect the massive sculptures in the main gallery to the vista through the windows to the mountains. It seems unlikely that the sculptures were randomly placed, without taking the movement of sunlight and the backdrop into account. 
Senses beaten into submission?
Silhouette figures in cut out steel, Solid Shadows at the entrance evoke the same feelings I experienced walking through an abandoned steel mill, or mine. Casting shadows of past glory, they remain hunks of black steel, against blue skies.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Small Cape-sugarbird painting and two new scarf designs based on the Irises and Foxgloves and the abstract seascape from Pringle Bay. Hours grappling with the enforced software changes as Apple eliminate third party software.

Buffel’s dune walk, beach and graffiti. Calf muscles a tad unhappy with the soft sand and steps. Not nearly as unhappy as my bum muscles after their first ride back on my mountain bike! Clavicle complaining at the abuse of the short Red-bridge, White-bridge loop through old Belvedere. 
Studio worked well for an intimate dinner at the long-table. Great weather helped.
Howling winds, and patches of rain. Perfect weather for a Boeuf bourguignon. That Julia Child favourite, but using the recipe from Plate that has the beef marinaded overnight and cooked on the bone. Not the prettiest of dishes, it was delicious. Served with a rich sweet-potato gratin and green beans, not forgetting the compulsory crusty bread for the sauce. 221 Cuve from Alvis Drift worked fabulously.
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Studio busy with tourists and a new banner up against the black of the building site next door giving some visibility for the studio. 

A small painting of Cape Sugarbird, and two canvases prepared for the Greyton Art Walk next month. I will be painting there for a couple of days and need the canvases dry enough to travel. 

Resupply of paint a tad extreme. Cyan, an unknown ‘primary’ colour. Both in acrylic and oil paint. 

Axe Hill Machado, the Portuguese word for ‘axe’. 35% Souzão, 30% Touriga Nacional plus dashes of Shiraz and Tinta Barocca from Carlitzdorp is big, generous and chewy. Not quite the wine I would have chosen for a hot summer afternoon. However, it pushed the sun into the shadows and with a rich gorgonzola couldn’t be faulted.
Mountain bike back from its service With new cycling shorts to add that extra layer of bum-protection, I’m hoping that my collar-bone won’t protest too much.
Great to see the paddle steamer back at its mooring, after almost submerging earlier in the year. Summer sunsets wouldn’t be the same without the paddle steamer crossing in front of the apartment.
Blood sugars settling back to less scary levels. 
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘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.

‘Springbok’

Oil on canvas

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Builders, and my shoulder being out of action, turned the patio garden into a sad, neglected, forlorn bunch of pots. Water pond cleaned out. Jasmine balls pruned into shape. Old plants replaced with new herbs. Transformed.

Rowing Boat

Acrylic on canvas 20cmx20cm

In the studio, a canvas for the larger painting of irises and foxgloves. A peach colour underpainting of Indian Yellow and Quinacrine Rose, with touches of Permanent Carmine, in bold sweeps. The blue of the Iris flowers seemingly beyond grasp. In my box of magic paints, Indigo Blue. (Van Dyk Ferrario No. 57) and Mineral Violet Deep (No 47) that touch of inspiration. For the foxgloves, I used a mixture of Alizarin Crimson (Winsor&Newton Artists) and Violet Rose Madder (Ferrario No 48)

Some dishes are surprisingly tasty. Certainly, the Yotam Ottolenghi Eggplant, Lamb and Yogurt Casserole is one such meal. ‘ … noisy yet peaceful, lip-smacking yet warm, simple yet daring.’ The flavours, definitely moreish. Particularly on a chilly evening, with the wind still howling. The heavily wooded Chardonnay from Constantia Uitsig a much better food companion than the young red I had.

With the sunrise, first 10km run after the collar-bone surgery. Nothing too crazy.

Yotam Ottolenghi Eggplant, Lamb and Yogurt Casserole

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 2 hours

For the eggplant and lamb mixture:

2 or 3 eggplants (aubergines) (about 1 1/2 pounds/680 grams), cut into 1-inch/3-centimeter cubes

1 pound/450 grams ground lamb (lamb mince)

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup/15 grams fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped

1/3 cup/80 milliliters olive oil

1/4 cup/65 grams tomato paste

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 (14-ounce/400-gram) can whole, peeled plum tomatoes with their juices

3 cups/700 milliliters chicken stock

1/3 cup/20 grams roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the topping:

2 cups/450 grams plain Greek yogurt

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 lightly packed cups/70 grams finely grated Parmesan

1 cup/100 grams roughly crumbled feta

Scant 1/3 cup/40 grams pine nuts

2 packed tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/240 degrees Celsius.

2. Add the eggplant, lamb, onion, oregano, oil, tomato paste, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, red-pepper flakes, 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and a good grind of pepper to a 10-by-13-inch/26-by-34-centimeter (or similar) roasting pan (tin) and mix well to combine. Bake until the mixture is well browned, stirring twice throughout and breaking apart the meat with a spoon, 30 to 35 minutes.

3. Remove from the oven and continue to break apart the meat very well (don’t worry if you break apart some of the eggplant, too). Add the canned tomatoes with their juices, lightly crushing the tomatoes by hand. Stir in the chicken stock and parsley then return to the oven and bake for another 35 minutes, stirring twice throughout, until the sauce is thick and rich and the eggplant is very soft. Remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit/250 degrees Celsius.

4. While the casserole is in the oven, prepare the topping: Whisk together the yogurt, yolks, flour, garlic and half the Parmesan with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Once ready, spoon the yogurt mixture over the lamb and eggplant, gently spreading to cover. Top evenly with the remaining Parmesan, feta, pine nuts, parsley and red-pepper flakes.

5. Bake until golden and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

And to Drink …

This variation on moussaka calls for a lively red wine that won’t be drowned out by the dish’s assertive flavors. Why not a Greek red, like a xinomavro, if it’s not made in too oaky and tannic a style? Limniona is a rare red grape that’s been resurrected; from a producer like Zafeirakis, it would be ideal. You could try a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from the Adriatic coast of Italy, or a frappato or Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Sicily. If you happen to have an older Château Musar around, from the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, this may be an ideal time to serve it. Or, if you want to be bold, why not try one of the new wave of retsinas, Greece’s traditional white infused with pine resin?

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A bouquet of blue irises and maroon fox gloves to commemorate the life of my sister, the subject of a small painting. Didn’t quite get the blue-purple of the irises correct, but pleased with the movement in the still-life painting ‘The lines remind me of Kandinsky without becoming completely abstract.’ Kirsten

The Kammado Jan out of hibernation. A hunk of pork loin on the bone, from Chelmsford Farm, simply grilled for three hours with fresh rosemary and blue-organic salt. Crispy skin, tender meat and mouthfuls of yumminess.

Inspired by the paintings of Thomas Baines and his travel sketchbook’s, an elephant in the shelter ‘(protection?) of a large iron wood tree. The trees In the Tuli Block, Botswana – particularly next to the Limpopo River – are magnificent.