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Robert Slingsby’s Illustrated Talk

Robert Slingsby came to speak to us at our April members’meeting on Thursday 28 April and despite the pouring rain outside, the hall at the Athenaeum was full. He and his lovely assistant – his wife Janis – kept us enthralled right till the end.

Robert spoke of his experience of the Richtersveld from a very young age, of the people, their culture and the fascinating, ancient engravings he came across in the rocks. He spoke of the dreadful changes in the area, as the culture and traditions of the people were quashed and the people themselves eventually forced out.

From there, he took us on a journey to Ethiopia, where the same ancient patterns were repeated in the huge temples carved deep into the stone of the land. We were introduced to beautiful tribes of people who again used the same designs in their skin decoration and body adornments.

Robert’s passion for Africa and her people is made apparent in his speech and body language, as well as in his own art (which he didn’t include in his talk) and we would gladly have listened to him describe his experiences for many more hours, had there been the time.





Thank you Robert, for the enlightenment.

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March 2016 SASA Members’ Meeting

On 31 March, we had our first members’ meeting after the AGM and this year’s council members and their portfolios were announced. Glenda Chambers is serving her second year as president, with Adrian Larkin as vice president. We have three new council members this year – Irene Oxley, Stephen Gibson and Michele Batchelder – and look forward to a year of smooth, efficient and productive running of our society.

The highlight of the evening, for which the packed hall waited in anticipation, was a demonstration in oils by accomplished portrait artist, Elize Bezuidenhout.

Elize started with a sepia-toned under-painting, which she’d prepared the previous day, from a black and white photograph she had taken of her subject. A colour copy of the same photograph was her reference for the finished portrait.

The limited, but versatile palette she uses produces some wonderful skin tones and by adding small amounts of the different colours, she achieves amazing effects of highlights and shadows.

Version 2








From the moment she painted the eyes – the darkest colours in the painting – the character of her subject began to emerge and it was fascinating to watch as the rest of the face started taking shape, radiating outwards from the eyes. With painstaking care, painting exactly what she sees, is how Elize creates the extremely life-like likenesses, which are her portraits.

There was no way Elize was going to finish the portrait in the time allowed, but we got a very good taste of her technique. She answered all the questions fired at her throughout the evening and gave us all some very useful tips regarding everything from colour, to medium, to brushes and the cleaning thereof and copious notes were taken.







Thanks, Elize, for taking the time to come and share your skills and with us.




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The SASA 2016 AGM, held on Thursday 25 February, was very well attended – we certainly has a quorum! – and there were some wonderful entries for the drawing competition. The theme for this year’s competition was “Transport”.

The meeting was most efficiently run, without hiccups or objections, by Solly Gutman. Thank you Solly, we appreciate your calm and professional competence.

Glenda Chambers presented her “President’s Report”, illustrated by a slide-show, the fullness of which reminded us just how much we have achieved in the past year, as a society and as artists. This was emphasized on the business side by the financial report, presented by Kim Scarrott.

We said goodbye to three of last year’s council members – Jeremy Day, Helen van Stolk and Kate Pearce, who will all, thankfully for us, be continuing to serve in their various capacities – and hello to three new council members – Michele Batchelder, Irene Oxley and Steven Gibson. Welcome aboard!







When the official half of the meeting had been completed, we got down to the fun part – voting for our favourites in the drawing competition – and while the votes were being counted, we enjoyed coffee and snacks in the drawing room.

….and the winners were…In first place, Penny Steynor with “Rapid Transport”, Mandy Herdien took second place with “Bad Boy” and third was Denise Hansen’s “Reluctant Transport”. Well done ladies and thanks to everyone for a pleasurable AGM.



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SASA AGM 25 February 2016

Calling all members! Come and join us for the AGM tonight .

• 7:00 pm at the Athenaeum in Newlands

Thursday 25th February: Annual General Meeting and Drawing Competition:
This February we will be holding our 113th Annual General Meeting. The AGM is held every February to update the members on the status of the society, to elect council members and for the Treasurer to present the past year’s financial report. The AGM is your opportunity to bring up points that you feel need to be raised, to comment on the running of the society and to offer your services on Council. This year three members of Council are stepping down and we do need to fill their shoes. If you would like to help by standing for Council, you can propose members from the floor, or you can email your proposals to This is your society and we would encourage you to attend this year’s meeting.
The Annual SASA Drawing Competition will follow the Annual General Meeting. The theme chosen for this year is “Transport”. An all-encompassing theme for you to get your teeth into. Use your imaginations – the sky’s the limit!

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First Members’ Meeting for 2016

Every seat in the hall was taken at our January members’ meeting, where Mike Taberner and Adrian Larkin gave a presentation on Social Media. Mike and Adrian run their own marketing company – “Brandesign” – and have been in the marketing game for years, so had much to share with us.








Social media have become a major part of advertising in the past few years and Mike took us through the various platforms and their uses (and pit-falls!) as tools for marketing – art, in particular. He gave us a huge amount of useful advice and answered all the questions thrown at him, resulting in an extremely interesting and informative evening.

He had everyone’s full attention, as they madly made notes as reminders of the salient points.






Brandesign will be offering workshops on the subject in the future, for those who wish to further their education. SASA will keep you posted!

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October Meeting with Mary Visser



At our members’ meeting on 29 October, we were privileged to have Mary Visser speak to us about her progression as an artist.

Her talk, entitled “The Courage to Play”, took us on a journey through her experiences as a student and a teacher, as well as experiments and discoveries in her studio and on her wanderings in big cities.

For Mary, painting needs to be fun, the studio an enjoyable space, where work becomes play and everything collected along the way becomes part of that work.

We first saw her painting in oils, from photographs in airports, harbours and cities, as through a “window”. Her paintings were representational, though with very expressive brush work. Gradually her focus changed, as she zoomed in on the smallest details.

Her brush strokes became looser and quicker and her paintings more and more abstracted. Eventually Mary discovered acrylic paints, which allowed her to work even more quickly and on many pieces at once.









She discarded her photographic reference and the colour and brush strokes became of primary importance, resulting in her current abstract style.

Thanks Mary, for allowing us to be part of your wonderful creative adventure.

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Demo with Adolfo McQue


The September SASA members’ meeting was held on Thursday the 24th – what a great way to end off Heritage Day. We had quite a full hall and were lucky to see Adolfo McQue in action from really close up, despite (or perhaps even because of) the projector issues!

Adolfo demonstrated how to paint a portrait in oils, from memory, in about an hour. An impossible sounding undertaking. Of course Adolfo’s many years of experience in portrait painting and his knowledge of the anatomy of the human face make it a lot easier for him than it might be for a lot of us. Thanks, Adolfo, for sharing it all!








He gave us many pearls of wisdom as he worked on his canvas and a new perspective on the use of paint as well as brushes. He showed us how he laid out a very simple palette and started off with the simplest silhouette of his subject. He used relatively narrow brushes, simply turning them sideways when he needed a broader stroke.

The finished product was as much a surprise to him as it was to us. As Adolfo said, painting a portrait like this, from memory, is like meeting someone you’ve never met before.