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.
At the SASA monthly members’ meeting, on 31 January, we will be treated to a demo by five of the prize winners from last year’s annual selection weekend, who, together with two of our “fellows”, will be showing us some of their winning techniques. A meeting not to be missed! See the January newsletter for details.
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.
On Thursday 29 November, at the last members’ meeting for 2018 we will, as is traditional, be holding the Eleanor Palmer competition and end of year function. We hope to see you all there. See latest newsletter for details.
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.
On Thursday 25 October, Sonja Frenz will be giving us a demo in charcoal. She will show us how she adapts her unique technique, used in her beautiful black and white wooded scenes, to portraits. Please see the latest SASA newsletter for details.
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.
At the SASA September members’ meeting, we have great pleasure in welcoming as our guest, Harry Johnson, master sculptor. He will be demonstrating his exciting sculpture technique. Get there if you possibly can!
13 September was the last of this year’s scheduled Thursday evening life drawing sessions at the Athenaeum and due to lack of interest, probably not to be continued in the new year.
These sessions take a lot of organisational as well as practical input from the council members whose portfolio it is and have proved “non-cost-effective” for SASA. So, for the few who actually got there, sorry – we tried! We will, however still be having our usual five Saturday morning slots at the Newlands Scout Hall in June/July next year.
Andy was our model for the evening – thanks Andy, for stepping in at such short notice.
We were a very small group, but had a good time, with much experimentation and sharing of equipment going on, as well as much concentration, resulting in the need for much relaxation between poses!…..and some really interesting work. Well done everyone.
The SASA members’ meeting for August was held on Thursday the 30th at our usual venue, the Athenaeum in Newlands.
We were fortunate to have two of our selection day judges – Liesl Hartmann, head of education at Zeitz MOCCA and Virginia MacKenny, Associate Professor of painting at Michaelis School of Art – on hand, to give a critique on some of the work that didn’t make the cut for the Annual exhibition.
It was a relatively small group of members who attended the meeting, but those who were there were richly rewarded. Because there weren’t so very many paintings to look at, our judges were able to spend more time on each work presented and give a more in-depth assessment.
The criticism was constructive and very useful – pertinent to all those present, not just the artist whose artwork was being discussed – and much note-taking was done throughout the evening.
The thought-provoking comments and suggestions generated many a “light-bulb moment” causing us to re-think the way we looked at the work in front of us as well as our own and everyone went home with a head full of ideas for improvement.
Thank you Virginia and Liesl, for an exceptionally enlightening and entertaining evening.