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Showing posts from December, 2008

Wine Farm Cottage

I was given a beautiful new box easel for my birthday! My first painting using it was done on the veranda of our home. (This was the recycled red roofed house by the way). It looks much better doesn't it? The inspiration was a photograph taken at Hillcrest Wine Estate during a recent visit. I kept it as originally painted and not tried to show too much detail. I rather like it as it is! What do you think?

Sculptures by Zimbabwean Artists Exhibited at Kirstenbosch Gardens

At the beginning of October Carol was exhibiting at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. We took the opportunity to take a walk around the gardens and I spent some time examining and photographing the work of a number of Zimbabwean stone sculptors. I find this work extraordinary and in everyway comparable with some of the best work produced anywhere in the world.

Although the work on display in the gardens is recent it has it roots in a tradition dating back many centuries. The stone carvings found at the Great Zimbabwe, an archaeological site dating back to about 1200 AD, are quite similar in character and style. Carving in stone began to experience a revival in the early sixties. Artists working from small workshops, with encouragement from the director of the National Art Gallery in Zimbabwe, began producing a substantial volume of work, much of which was sold to tourists by informal traders operating at places like the Victoria Falls, the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and at sites in an…

Another Disaster

This one will also be relegated to the recycle bin in the near future!

Paintings that just don't work!

Amazing how many paintings just never get off the ground. I have discovered that the best thing to do is simply scrape off as much of the paint as possible and move on. That is what happened to this one! It was painted en plein air and that in itself was a challenge. It is quite depressing when that happens but I think it is better to cut your losses than to keep struggling with a painting that is going nowhere.

Hillcrest Restaurant, Durbanville Wine Route

About a week ago we played hooky, call it our "staff Christmas outing", and visited the Hillcrest Restaurant on the Durbanville wine estate of the same name. The plan was to do some last minute shopping at the Tyger Valley Centre and then have a relaxing lunch before heading home.

Hillcrest Estate is located on the Durbanville wine route, about 20km northeast of Cape Town. It sits high in the Tygerberg Hills with a panoramic views taking in large stretches of Table Bay with Robben Island clearly visible on a clear day. The vineyards stretch in an arc across the hills around the restaurant providing a lush foreground and a delightful country ambience.

Hillcrest Restaurant is a popular lunch venue for Capetonians, particularly those living in the northern suburbs. It has a relaxed, informal character with a mix of Mediterranean and local styles. The small menu offers a selection of salads, meat and cheese platters, burgers, sandwiches, daily specials and a selection of des…

River Café – Constantia Uitsig

Constantia Uitsig is one of those very special places that are probably unique to the City of Cape Town. It's a wine estate producing world-class wines located just 20km from the city, centrally positioned on the peninsula and surrounded by the southern suburbs where we are lucky enough to live. It was originally part of the Groot Constantia Estate and the present homestead dates back to 1894.

The farm, now owned by the McCay's, is a favourite spot amongst locals as well as visitors to our wonderful city. It offers a luxury hotel, a spa, three world-class restaurants, stabling for horses, a private cricket oval and a rural atmosphere enhanced by breathtaking views of the vineyards stretching across a valley to the distant mountains in the middle of the bustling southern suburbs.

On a recent public holiday we took the short 15-minute drive from our home to the River Café,located on this magnificent estate, for a sumptuous breakfast. The River Café and adjacent wine shop have…

Slangkop Lighthouse - a different perspective

This painting was developed from a photograph in which the fence started at the bottom right and lead in to the picture toward the left. I started painting it this way but it felt wrong. My eye instinctively reads from left to right and so eventually flipped the photograph and repainted the picture. If anybody happens to take a walk along the Kommetjie coast toward the Slankop Lighthouse they will see what I mean.