We had a record attendance for our members’ meeting held on Thursday 31 January and the hall at the Athenaeum was full to bursting.
Five of the category winners from last year’s annual selection weekend – Helena Jordaan (oils), Jeremy Day (acrylics), Christopher Reid (pastel), Penny Steynor (sculpture) and Pam Quinlan (watercolour), as well as SASA Fellow, Solly Gutman (scratchboard) – agreed to come and do a demonstration for us.
The crowd was fascinated by the progress of the pieces being worked on during the evening and by the diversity of the different media. The artists were extremely generous with their knowledge and their secrets, answering every question members put to them as fully as possible, giving very useful tips for simplifying and beautifying their own work.
As artists, our growth and learning is continuous and we are very fortunate to have those who are willing to share, as they did this evening.
Members were invited to feel for themselves the scraping of the tools on Solly’s scratchboard and the chiselling away of the stone at Penny’s sculpture demo.
Even those artists who were a little apprehensive about working with such an “up-close” audience, were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the interest shown and the sharing of skills.
Thanks to everyone involved, for a most enjoyable and interesting evening.
On Friday 25 January, we spent the morning hanging the work of the selected artists for the 2019 Merit Exhibition and created an attractive display for the opening that evening.
Our more experienced patrons arrived early so they could have an unhindered view of all the beautiful paintings and sculptures on show – and of course, first dibs on the pieces that caught their fancy.
A comfortable crowd gathered to hear the opening address, delivered by John Pace, the 2015 winner of the Sanlam Portrait Award.
John’s speech was light and amusing, while being very complimentary about the high standard of work on the exhibition and not too wordy, so there was still time for a bit of socialising ….and acquiring artworks! Sales got off to a great start at the opening and carried on in the same vein over the weekend following, which bodes well for the rest of the exhibition.
Our president, Audrey Innes, had a surprise award to hand out on the evening as well – owing to the consistent high standard of his work and high scores at the selection weekend over the past four years, Evan Douglas was awarded SASA Fellowship. Well done Evan.
The enjoyment of the evening was enhanced by the usual excellence of the catering and nicely stocked wine and juice bar, giving our guests an excuse to stay a little bit longer.
On Friday 18 January, we had a very different Kommetjie plein air encounter! The long – usually white, sunlit – beach was shrouded in cloud and the iconic lighthouse was very well camouflaged in that cloudy background.
The day started off overcast, with sunny patches and was surprisingly chilly for this time of year, yet still a few brave souls came out to do some painting.
It turned into quite an adventure, ending with the intrepid few painting in the rain. Far from feeling disheartened, our artists found the experience quite invigorating and some exciting works were produced.
Thank you, Johan Pieterse, for organising it for us and thanks Kommetjie – we’ll be back!
Our second art in the park and final SASA exhibition for the year took place on 24 November at our usual venue, Rondebosch Park.
Here, on the corner of Campground and Sandown Roads, we have found the perfect home for this event – it is convenient for locals to stroll up, with their families in tow. It’s also very visible from the road, which attracts passing trade, swelling the number of our faithful followers, who come not only for the wonderful atmosphere, but in hope of a beautiful bargain or two as well.
We had a steady stream of customers throughout the day and good sales figures by the end of it – people making a day of it, lunching under the trees, ensuring our food vendors also had a good day and browsing around the stalls.
The beautiful space means that dogs can be included in the family outing – even more incentive to come and have a look!
Thanks to our team of organisers and all their hard work, that’s another satisfying and successful art in the park under our belts. See you next year!
We had a very successful plein air outing to Chart Farm – a favourite venue amongst our members and also the CAS members who were invited to join us – on Friday 30 November. It was a beautifully sunny day and everyone came armed with big hats and sunscreen.
Magnificent views surrounded us, from vineyards and mountains to interesting architecture and close-ups of roses. We spread out under the shade of the trees and all through the rose gardens, where the scented blooms added another sensory dimension.
Everyone had wonderful subject-matter choices to make and some just sat for a while, taking it all in before they began.
At lunchtime, we were welcomed at the coffee shop and then there were cut flowers to be bought and the farm stall to be visited.
The day was enjoyed by all and this group of happy artists will definitely be back for more. Thanks, Johan Pieterse, for organising it for us.
The SASA end of year function was held last night – Thursday 29 November – at the Athenaeum. As is our tradition, the “Eleanor Palmer Competition” was the highlight of the evening. This is the one “in-house” competition where there are not too many constraints regarding your entry – one original piece per member, any subject, any medium – and we had some truly beautiful entries to choose from.
Our members strolled around the hall, plateful of snacks in one hand and glass in the other, studying the paintings and making their choices. While the votes were being tallied, we were kept amused by the wonderful art quiz, compiled by Christine Cherry-Jones, which not only taxed our brains and history of art knowledge, but also provoked much hilarity. Thanks Christine, for your hard work in putting it all together.
The winners of the competition were: first – Marcelle Lyons, for her painting “Newlands Forest Winter”, second – Laura Wenman, with “Always Remembered” and in third place – Chantelle Van Zyl, with “Beach Buddy” Well done you three!
Though bordering on chaos at times, it was a wonderfully festive and light-hearted evening, with plenty of wine and a great spread of snacks – thanks everyone who contributed a plateful, it was really enjoyed and appreciated.
A very Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it and happy everything else to those who don’t.
Have a wonderful holiday and we’ll see you in the new year.
It’s “Plein Air Season” again and Johan Pieterse organised our first outing to the beautiful Buitenverwachting Wine Estate in Constantia, on Friday the 26th October.
This magnificent venue has a lot to offer in terms of choices of subject matter, with it’s historic Cape Dutch architecture, lush vineyards and roaming roosters. Or if it’s the little details you’re looking for, there are plenty of those to be discovered too.
We had a glorious morning capturing it all on paper and, lured by the scent of fresh roasted coffee, gathered at “The Beanery” at lunchtime.
These plein air outings have become very popular with our members and Buitenverwachting is one of the most favoured locations. Look out for the next outing, which will be sometime in November and spend a lovely day outside, connecting with other artists and topping up your reservoirs of inspiration.
Sonja Frenz, well known for her charcoal and pastel wooded landscapes, did a wonderful demo for us at the October SASA members’ meeting on Thursday the 25th of October.
Using charcoal powder and black and white pastels in all their shapes and forms, Sonja showed us how her unique technique can be adapted to suit other subject matter – for this demo, portraiture in particular.
The hall at the Athenaeum was packed that evening and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, watching enthralled, as the beautiful portrait emerged.
Sonja kept us all entertained with her down to earth commentary and gave us a lot of tips and helpful hints to make the materials work successfully.
This is a wonderful new take on working with pastel and charcoal and we all went home inspired and ready to experiment.
The second of our members’ exhibitions for 2018 opened on Monday the first of October in the Richard Crowie Hall, Kirstenbosch. The hanging of the work was smoothly and efficiently executed by our band of willing volunteers and every painting was placed in the perfect spot.
Laura Wenman – one of SASA’s newly named “senior fellows” – opened the exhibition with a sincerely heartfelt and uplifting speech.
The crowd was not as big as usual, due to an unexpectedly chilly evening, as well as it’s being held on a Monday, but even so, sales got off to a good start – a very good sign for the rest of the exhibition….and for once there was even wine left over! 🙂
The exhibition finishes tomorrow – Thursday 11 October – a short, but very successful run, living up to expectations and making about a hundred thousand Rand in sales for a lot of very happy artists.
There’s still time to pop in for last minute purchases – we’ll start dismantling it all at about four o’clock – so get there if you can.
On Thursday 27 September, we once again gathered at the Athenaeum for the SASA members’ meeting and we were in for a treat!
Master sculptor, Harry Johnson was there with his special wax and his special talents to demonstrate his amazing sculpture technique. During the course of the evening he told us a bit about his history and a lot about the wax and the method he uses to create his pieces.
Starting with a vaguely cat-shaped clump, with a few additions and removals of chunks of the wonderfully soft, grey wax, we saw a cheetah materialise before our eyes.
A portrait of a strong young woman was transformed into a dejected figure, using a slight rearrangement of arms and tilt of the head, showing how feelings and perceptions can be altered by mere gesture.
To demonstrate how easy it is to correct mistakes, or change proportions when using wax, to the horrified gasps of his audience, Harry sliced the nose off a sculpted face, pared away a layer and stuck it back on again…..or poked a stick up it’s nostrils to make it “breathe”.
Harry’s work is internationally recognised and admired, in ten years he has created more sculptures than any other South African artist has in a lifetime, yet he still made time to spend with us. Thank you Harry, for a truly fascinating evening.