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Showing posts from January, 2009

Exhibition Closes Tomorrow

Two weeks of exhibition have come and gone. We close tomorrow afternoon. What a very busy time! In these really bad economic times I think we did very well. Liz sold two paintings and I sold one. Yes, Jessie is now sold. My husband was getting very fond of her sitting in our passage, but that's the way it goes.

Experimenting with Media and Techniques

I went to a fascinating demo by Cherry Nichol at the Constantia Art Society monthly meeting. She uses watercolours but adds splotches of a medium called ATP Clear. This absorbs the watercolour and you can move it around like oils. It dries leaving a texture. She also uses pastels in the wet watercolour for highlighting stems etc, and Progresso Aquarell woodless coloured sticks which she sanded into the watercolour. This created little flecks which partially disolved.

I have decided that this is the year of workshops and Plein Air painting!!! Cherry Nichol will be holding a workshop which I definitely want to attend.

I am not yet confident enough to use oils outdoors and so have been using charcoal and water. The sketch below was done in this medium.
I then took some very old fat crayons that my daughter was given when she was a child to paint on faces. Using these I started adding a bit of colour.


The sketches above were done at Kirstenbosch and are very rough.

I then bought myse…

Winefarm Cottage

This is now finished! I have added some highlights and thickened paint here and there but I don't think it needs much more. I think this will just be one of my freer paintings!

Invitation to Exhibition

A Stay at The Tops and a visit to the Knysna Waterfront

To continue the story of our recent short holiday in Wilderness this is a photograph of The Tops Guesthouse where we stayed and which we used as a base. It is located on the hillside above the village of Wilderness and has magnificent views over the village to the beach and the sea beyond. This was our second stay and we can highly recommend it. The rooms are attractively furnished and comfortable, the view is amazing and it is literally 5 to 10 minutes walk from the centre of the village.

The photograph shows Carol sketching the view from our breakfast table on the deck. Our room opened onto this same deck near the tree in the background. Beyond the tree are the beach and the sea, not really visible in this picture, which was taken on a misty morning.


The day after we arrived we took a leisurely drive from Wilderness to Knysna. Knysna is a very picturesque town stretching around an magnificent lagoon, which opens to the Indian Ocean. It is a water sports paradise very popular wi…

The Kingfisher Trail, Wilderness

A favourite walk of ours in Wilderness is the Kingfisher trail, which meanders along the banks of the Touws River ending at two picturesque waterfalls cascading into a series of pools. These are perfect for a refreshing swim.

The trail is around 8km, there and back, through shady forested countryside. National Parks have constructed wooden walkways and stairways through the "difficult" bits to prevent erosion and make the going easy for even us "old" folk. The original pathway, which we first walked several years ago, was washed away in the recent floods and a remarkable job has been done in re-establishing this very popular route.

The photographs below show the two waterfalls. They were taken on a beautiful, if rather hot day. In the second photograph I was experimenting with a slow shutter speed to add a sense of movement to the water. Without a tripod I was a little restricted but in the full resolution image it worked reasonably well. Unfortunately down s…

Wilderness Beach

A recent holiday stay in Wilderness provided an opportunity to take some new photographs of this magnificent part of South Africa. I hope to be posting several of them over the next few weeks. Although we frequently visit this area, it's one of our favourite places, changing weather, light, tides and floods (more of that later) provide new photographic opportunities on every visit. This picture was taken on the beach in the early evening of the day we arrrived. It was a cloudy, misty day and I loved the moody feel of the beach

The Art of Fine Dining - Cargills Restaurant, Rondebosch

A family celebration shortly before Christmas gave us the excuse to sample a highly acclaimed local restaurant.Roussouw’s restaurant guide describes it as, “a neighbourhood gem.” Cargills, located in Station Road opposite the Rondebosch Metrorail Station, is a small and intimate restaurant catering to those seeking a superior dining experience.The décor is simple, uncluttered and elegant.A selection of artworks, many for sale, decks the walls.The lighting and colours are soft, creating a relaxed ambience.Its size and popularity with local residents makes reservations essential. The way in which you are welcomed and shown to your table on arrival and the very professional service immediately tells you that this is not an ordinary restaurant but one that takes pride in providing a special experience in the art of fine dining.The menu is small but with enough variety to satisfy most discerning diners.Three of us selected the recommended Camembert in Phyllo pastry starter and one of us cho…

Playing in My Digital Darkroom

I first started to take photographs when black and white film was mainstream, built in exposure meters were unheard of and most amateur photographers relied on the piece of paper in the film box for guidance in setting aperture and shutter speed. By today's standards the technology was very restrictive and quite costly but its very limitations taught us a lot about the art of photography. Working in black and white you had to learn to "see" tonal range and visualise your end product in shades of grey although the image in your camera viewfinder was in full colour. You needed to develop a feel for the average luminance of your scene so that you could select appropriate camera exposure settings. Film was costly as was processing and printing the pictures; make too many mistakes and an exciting hobby became a costly burden.

Later, as sophisticated cameras became more affordable due to a combination of Japanese competition in the market place and a rising income I was abl…