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!
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.
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.
The hall at the Athenaeum was very full for the SASA meeting on Thursday 27 August. We were privileged to have two of our selection weekend judges – Robert Slingsby and Donna McKellar – to give brief crits of the work submitted for selection.
Members were encouraged to bring all three of their submitted works, for comparison, to be shown what worked and what didn’t, how addition or subtraction of elements can improve a painting. A great way to learn and to improve one’s artistic skills.
Robert and Donna had a difficult task, but rose to the challenge, giving lots of constructive criticism and praise, where due. They generously shared with us of their experience and knowledge and everyone left feeling encouraged, ready to try out some of their useful tips.
Spirits were high, as people left after the meeting. One member was overheard to say “That was the best meeting ever”! So thanks to everyone concerned, for a very well-run event and to Robert and Donna for your time and expertise. Thanks, as well, to Jeremy Day, for stepping in and hosting the evening in his role as vice-president of SASA. A job well done.
This month’s members’ meeting was held on Thursday 30 July at the Athenaeum in Newlands.
The evening started off with a presentation by Di Metcalf, from Artsauce, of their “Sketchpack Project”, a wonderful initiative which encourages creative expression through daily drawing.
Each sketchpack is a zig-zag of water colour, or sketching paper, with enough pages for a sketch a day for the month of August and these will be exhibited at Artsauce in October.
The second part of our meeting was dedicated to the Life, Still-life and Landscape competition. A competition for “alla prima” (Italian for “at first attempt”) paintings and drawings. This is a competition for work done on the spot, with no fiddling about, or fixing up afterwards and the only competition in which our members are encouraged to enter unfinished works.
Catherine Moss, of Artsauce and our own Lyn Northam, very kindly agreed to crit the entries on the evening and had words of encouragement for every artist.
We had a lot of lovely work to look at and vote for. Difficult decisions had to be made, but the winners were Lyn Northam, for her beautiful “Sunlit Trees” in the “Landscape” category, while Penny Steynor took well-deserved first place in both the “Still-life” and “Life” categories.
Well done to both of you. Have fun spending your prizes – vouchers, generously donated by Artsauce.
The June SASA members’ meeting was an exciting one. Mike Taberner, from Brandesign, introduced to us the brand new SASA online gallery, attached to our new-look website.
The Brandesign team has done a wonderful job of meeting all the aesthetic, as well as marketing needs, associated with a gallery of this kind. The response from the large number of SASA members who attended the meeting, was extremely positive, with much interaction and thought provoking input from many.
The Q&A part of the presentation was very interesting, with a lot of new ideas put forward to think about and discuss. Thanks Mike and the Brandesign team – we’re looking forward to a very successful site.
Yvonne Ankerman spoke to us on Thursday 28 May about her travels last year, aboard the ship, MS Expedition .
She was employed as “resident ship’s artist” on the voyage from Cape Town
to Morocco, giving art classes and chronicling the trip in sketches and
water colour paintings, in between her regular crew duties.
Yvonne told us of her experiences in the countries all the way up the West coast of Africa and illustrated her talk with wonderfully colourful slides and a couple of very full sketch books. All the paintings she did on the voyage – fortunate for her, not so for us – were bought as mementos by her fellow travelers.
Everyone who heard her presentation is now thoroughly
afflicted by the
travel bug and there’s a wishful waiting
list of “assistants” for her
next voyage……which it seems
will be to Antarctica………followed by South
Thanks Yvonne for the inspiration . We’ll all do the next trip vicariously through you……can’t wait for those photographs.
At our most recent members’ meeting on the 30th of April, ten fellows
of SASA gave us a demo.
They each started with a blank canvas
and a plan for a painting. Some brought objects for still life, some
worked from photographs and others brought their models with them for
In an hour or two, these very generous fellows, unlocked their secrets of their technique for us and produced artworks from scratch while a mesmerised crowd watched them take shape.
This was a nerve-wracking task for the artists. Each one of them, in that noisy, crowded hall, managed to answer questions and explain their process, while keeping calm and focused on their work. By the end of the evening, each had produced a finished (or very nearly finished) piece and every member who attended was itching to get home and paint. What they took home with them was a huge helping of energising inspiration with which to enhance their own work.
So…. a huge “Thank You” must go to the ten participating fellows – Ros Walters, Fanie Le Roux, Helen van Stolk, Christine Cherry-Jones,
Laura Wenman, Wyn Rossouw, Lyn Northam, Jeremy Day, Solly Gutman, Penny
Steynor – for sharing their time and expertise with us. This was a wonderful event and one which we hope to repeat with a different selection of artists.
Our March meeting was one with a difference. Alfie Bester, director and fiduciary specialist with Legacy FS, gave us a very interesting talk on art as an investment. We had our eyes opened to the workings of the investment world, provoking thoughts and ideas that would previously never have crossed our minds.
Alfie is himself an avid art collector, who has firsthand knowledge of the benefits of buying art, not only for its aesthetic value, but also for investment purposes. One has to buy with an educated eye and knowledge of the market, which Alfie, being one of the founder members of the Citadel art price index, certainly has. The index is used to analyse and track the value changes in art over a period of time.
These are not concepts we generally ponder while slaving away in our studios, but maybe one day it’ll be one of us whose work is considered an investment. Of course, if you happen to be another Pablo Picasso, every scribble you make will be worth millions!
We were given much food for thought….and for eating, for that matter…..the wine and snacks, which lent a festive air to the meeting, were sponsored by “Legacy FS”
Thank you Alfie for a most informative evening.
…..and well done Glenda on your first meeting as President of SASA!