At our members’ meeting on Thursday the of 27th February , we will be holding the SASA AGM and drawing competition at the Athenaeum. The theme for this year’s competition is “Urban”. For more details, please see the latest newsletter.
On Thursday 28 January, our first members’ meeting for 2020, we will have our very popular “demo with a difference”, where the prize-winners from last year’s Annual Exhibition show us how they create their award winning works. Three of our SASA Fellows will also be joining them. For more info, please see the latest newsletter.
On Thursday 28 November, we held our final members’ meeting for 2019 at the Athenaeum. As is our tradition, this is also when we award the Eleanor Palmer Trophy, for the work voted “best” by the members present on the evening. The entries are the artists’ own choice – any medium, any subject – the only stipulation being that you have to be there to win the prize.
It was a lovely, happy gathering, with drinks and snacks in abundance – thanks to all those who brought a plateful – and we all enjoyed socialising with fellow SASA members, while perusing the beautiful works of art entered in the competition.
While the “officials” counted the votes, the rest of us were entertained by a “quiz-with-a-twist” – a game of bingo, with answers to art-related questions instead of numbers being required to populate our cards.
There were some very close scores, but the final winners were…..in third place, Sonja Frenz, second was Laura Wenman and in first place and winner of the trophy, was Elize Bezuidenhout, with her beautiful portrait “Vyfster”. Well done to all of you.
One more event on our calendar – Art in the Park – and then, till next year…….
As is traditional, our final members’ meeting for the year, which will be held on Thursday 28 November, will be a fun, social evening, combined with the Eleanor Palmer Competition. For all the rules and regulations, please see the latest SASA newsletter.
Our October monthly members’ meeting was a treat! We had Laura Wenman – senior SASA fellow – demonstrating her marvelous oil technique, painting a portrait from a live model.
Laura started with a canvas already tinted in a pale green, which harmonised with her choice of colours – viridian is one of her favourites – and various pre-mixed skin tones, which made the process a little quicker.
The paint Laura uses is French-made and contains beeswax, which doesn’t mix well with our usual oil colours.
There was a great turnout and everyone got as close as they could to the action – no-one wanted to miss a single detail, as we watched the face emerge, from planning, through drawing, to application of paint and a very close likeness at the end of the evening….and her model was great – she didn’t move a muscle for two hours!
For the October members’ meeting, we are pleased to present Laura Wenman, Senior Fellow of SASA, demonstrating for us, in her lovely loose technique, a portrait in oil from a live model. Don’t miss this one!
On Thursday the 26th, at the SASA members’ meeting for September, we were lucky enough to have Marcelle Lyons – renowned artist and teacher in watercolour, oils and pastels – give a demo in watercolour.
From the selection of subject matter and paper, Marcelle took us through her steps and process. We saw how she produces one of her wonderful watercolour paintings from the stretching (or not) of the paper, through the blocking in of shapes with simple lines, the addition of layers of carefully-chosen colour washes with very large, laden brushes and sponges, to the final details applied with much smaller tools and brushes.
It was fascinating to watch as the piece took shape, emerging from the paper at it’s own gentle pace, from the soft pastel colours and shapes of the background to the stronger foreground forms.
Notebooks were filled with points to remember and everyone took with them some new bits of knowledge and techniques to try out at home.
Thanks Marcelle, for giving us of your time and knowledge. A most enjoyable evening.
On Thursday 29 August Marc Alexander and John Pace, two of our hard-working selection weekend judges, came to give us a critique on work submitted for selection and to explain their allocation of points. A seriously difficult task, as they’d had about 320 paintings presented to them for judging on the day.
What a pleasure it was to get their feedback and some positive criticism, which is always an invaluable tool for growth and improvement in the studio.
It also gave them – the judges – a chance to study the work more closely, bearing in mind that they only had a few moments to view each piece on selection day and give it a score, before it was whisked away and replaced by another.
The evening was well attended and our members took home with them some useful tips and insights. We get protective and attached to our work, so it’s always good to be forced to view it from a different perspective.
Slight changes in technique and composition, or even subject matter, can make the world of difference to an artwork. So, thank you Marc and John for taking the time to share your observations with us.
Members and guests had to brave rainy weather and bad traffic conditions in order to attend the SASA monthly meeting in the Athenaeum last Thursday, 25th July. Those of us who did so, were amply rewarded for our efforts, and treated to a very lively and informative meeting.
The meeting started with a short presentation by Di Metcalf from Art Sauce, who came to remind us about the 9th annual August Sketchpack Project which is an initiative to encourage artists to focus on something creative every day, by making a little sketch on any theme in the concertina sketchpacks. The project has a Facebook page to link to, and all completed sketchpacks will be exhibited at Art Sauce in October. Sketchpacks were available to purchase.
Traditionally, the July meeting is the time for the annual Landscape, Life, and Still Life competition. All entries are to be painted from life, in one sitting known as working alla prima.
We were given the opportunity to look at the entries, and complete the voting process. While the votes were being counted Gavin Winsen from Winsen’s canvasses spoke to us about the company, which was started 34 years ago in Johannesburg by his uncle and has remained a family business. Gavin brought samples of the stretchers and various cotton duck and Belgian linens available.
All the frames are made using sustainable Obeche wood from Ghana, which is a very stable wood that is not susceptible to warping. They are also all fitted with expansion wedges, are double primed and are available in various depths. Orders can be placed and canvases delivered door to door with no additional courier charges. Adrian Larkin thanked Gavin for the many canvases he has donated to SASA for outreach and prizes. Each one of us at the meeting were then given a beautiful Winsen canvas to take home and try for ourselves.
The winners of Landscape, Life, and Still Life were then announced, and cups and certificates were awarded, together with prizes donated by Art Sauce.
The winners were: In the Landscape category – first Beth Lowe, with “Reflections”; second Grazyna Janik’s “Kalk Bay”; third Lyn Northam’s “Noordhoek Beach”. In the Life category – first Grazyna Janik, with “Desire”; second Veronica Reid, with “Princess”; third Paramisiven Veeramunder, with “Family Driver”. In the Still Life category – First Marcelle Lyons, with “A Rose for Lawrie”; second Beth Lowe’s “Radishes”; third, Penny Steynor’s “Still Life with Plectranthus”. Well done to all our winners.
A chilly June evening did not deter members from attending the monthly meeting to hear Linda Austin from Artland giving a very informative talk on her recent trip to New York.
She was invited by Golden Products to tour their factory in nearby New Berlin to see how their products are manufactured, to experiment with their various mediums and see the exciting new developments in the field of acrylic paints.
The factory is situated in a beautiful rural setting, and it was good to hear that they are very aware of the environmental impact in the manufacture of their paints, and they adhere to strict guidelines for the safe use of art materials, and waste disposal.
The Golden Factory offer a three month residency programme to interested artists. Details are available on their website.
Linda had brought an amazing array of products with her and passed around a wide variety of charts and boards with many examples of colour swatches, gels, impasto products, and mediums. She also demonstrated the various drying properties of the 4 types of acrylic paints available: the original Heavy body acrylic, the Fluid Acrylic, the Open Acrylic and the High flow Acrylic. These have various consistencies and drying times.
Linda informed members that these acrylics have high pigment loads, and are tested for their light fastness. We were delighted to hear that Golden has a gripper tool to open those stubborn paint tube caps.
In addition, Golden have a range of high quality watercolours, including a very effective masking fluid. Golden also manufacture the Williamsburg range of oil paints, and these will be available from Artland.
Members kept Linda very busy with questions long after the meeting had officially ended.