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Winter Workshop with Tony Durrheim

On Saturday 21 July we had a full studio at the Peter Clarke Art Centre, when Tony Durrheim shared his secrets with us in a one day workshop.






Mainly self-taught, Tony discovered a passion for painting in 2000, when he attended a painting demo, after leaving the police force. We were regaled with tales of his life in and leaving of “the force”, keeping us well entertained throughout the day.


Tony’s love of the sea grew from his experiences as a young surfer in the 70s and shows in the mood and movement of his many seascapes, for which he is most well known.






The workshop was very fast paced – we completed a seascape in oil and acrylic in just over three hours – exhilarating for some, nerve-wracking for others – as Tony gave us all sorts of tips and “cheats” that he uses to enhance the watery effects in his work.






Tony’s advice to would-be artists “….you’ve got to have your own studio and you’ve got to paint every day…..the more you paint, the easier it becomes.”

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Demo by Mel Elliot








At our members’ meeting on May 31, we were treated to a fascinating demo by Mel Elliot. He showed us his 10 step plan for “building” a landscape in oils, using acrylic paints for the under painting and first several layers.






It’s not until he gets to step 6 that he starts using oil paints and the contrast between the two media is remarkable. The acrylic looks flat and dull when juxtaposed with the singing colours and bright lights of the oils, but as Mel pointed out, the acrylics are good for mid tones and the contrast is effective.

Mel has a wonderfully relaxed and chatty manner, as he paints, which kept everyone entertained, while thoroughly absorbed in watching the painting develop.






Judging by the amount of note-taking that went on, this is one demo that our members do not want to forget… many tips and hints to take away with us and start trying out for ourselves.

Mel also shared some very valuable marketing points, such as the importance of a good frame, to make a painting more attractive and saleable.





Thanks Mel, for a most interesting and inspiring evening.

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March Meeting – Lesley Charnock Demo

At our March members’ meeting we were privileged to have Lesley Charnock demonstrating for us how to paint a portrait in oils with a very limited palette.








Neither weather nor long weekend could keep our members away from this one and we had a full hall, adding more chairs, as more people arrived….and they were not disappointed!





Lesley kept us enthralled and entertained for nearly two hours, which was more time than it took for her to pull this amazing portrait together.





She started her presentation by showing us some of the magic found in varying juxtaposition of colour – she’d brought with her three portraits, for which she’d used the same three colours she used in this demo, but in differing combinations and the difference was astonishing.

Armed with her enormous wooden palette of previously mixed colour and a selection of broad brushes, Lesley got to work. It was fascinating watching the painting grow – starting with a few brown brush-strokes on a blank canvas and working up to more and more positive colours, till this glowing face emerged.







There were cheers from the audience when she finally put her brushes down and pronounced her portrait “finished”. Thank you Lesley, for a truly inspiring demo.



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September Monthly Meeting

The SASA members’ meeting for September was held on Thursday the 28th, at the Athenaeum, when our members were educated and entertained by Yvonne Ankerman.

Yvonne demonstrated for us, her particular method of painting flowers in oils, using only a palette knife and sosatie stick.







On a ready-painted, coloured acrylic background, she showed us how she quickly and effectively, builds her composition – a field of wild-flowers this time – using a limited colour palette and relatively few strokes of her palette knife.

The very loose and completely “unprecious” composition came together very nicely at the end, with the addition of a few linear marks for extra interest and scratched lines produced by her sosatie stick.








Thank you, Yvonne, for presenting us with a lovely, light-hearted way of expressing ourselves in paint.

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Demo by Derric Van Rensburg

If you made it to the SASA Members’ meeting last night – the 29th of June – you had a real treat! OK, so there was a pile-up on the N2 and our main attraction got diverted back to Stellenbosch and eventually got here via Belville and Goodwood, but get here, he did!

We had a back-to-front meeting and did the tea thing first, so by the time Derric arrived, we were all relaxed and well-fed – thanks Mary, for being so flexible with your catering 🙂

Starting with a canvas board, coated in streaky yellow and a box-full of very big, blonde brushes, Derric showed us how it’s done with acrylics.

Interspersing each with light-hearted banter, he added layer upon glorious layer of brightly coloured paint, using every kind of tool, other than we’d have expected to see.

Apart from his hardware-store brushes, he had blades and cardboard for scraping off paint and adding texture and even a window washing implement for spreading paint. I think the only time he used an actual “proper” artist’s paintbrush, was for the white stripe on the road.

The end result was an impressionistic landscape, amazingly loose and vibrant from close-up, which came beautifully into focus as one stepped backwards.

Thanks Derric, for a wonderfully enlightening and entertaining evening.

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May SASA Members’ Meeting






We had a marvelously entertaining evening with Karin Davel at the Athenaeum, on Thursday 25 May.


She gave us a fun-filled demonstration of some of her unusual mixed-media methods.

Karin’s engaging personality and lightness of spirit are reflected in the light-hearted approach to her work. She believes making art should be a fun experience and makes it so, and in doing so, makes it fun for her audience as well. The hall rang with laughter and our members were quite reluctant to leave the joyful atmosphere behind, even for the wonderful tea provided by Mary.

The tools she uses are not always those made specifically for that purpose, but get the job done rather well – we learned a very interesting new way to use a credit card – and found objects such as feathers and pieces of string can make very interesting marks too.

A very big thank you, Karin, for a lovely demo and we look forward to seeing the finished painting when you’ve completed it to your satisfaction.

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March Members’ Meeting

On Thursday night 30 March, five of our fabulous fellows demonstrated just exactly what can be achieved in a mere ninety minutes.

We had Wyn Rossouw and her fascinating sketchbooks; Solly Gutman showing us his scraper-board secrets; Lyn Northam whipping up a seascape in oils; Veronica Reid and her perfect pastels and Laura Wenman turning a vase of flowers into a portrait.






Our annual fellows demo evening is fast becoming the most popular of our monthly gatherings and with very good reason.

These accomplished artists take the time to allow us to witness their creative process, sharing tips on techniques and utensils, giving us a chance to really pick their brains and gather a lot of very useful information, that we might otherwise never have stumbled upon.

I’m sure the many members who attended will be spending the next few days using the head-full of inspiration they acquired, trying out some new ideas and getting wonderfully creative in their studios.

Thank you fellows, for a fascinating evening.