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.
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 our members’ meeting on May 31, we were treated to a fascinating demo by Mel Elliot. He showed us his 10 step plan for “building” a landscape in oils, using acrylic paints for the under painting and first several layers.
It’s not until he gets to step 6 that he starts using oil paints and the contrast between the two media is remarkable. The acrylic looks flat and dull when juxtaposed with the singing colours and bright lights of the oils, but as Mel pointed out, the acrylics are good for mid tones and the contrast is effective.
Mel has a wonderfully relaxed and chatty manner, as he paints, which kept everyone entertained, while thoroughly absorbed in watching the painting develop.
Judging by the amount of note-taking that went on, this is one demo that our members do not want to forget…..so many tips and hints to take away with us and start trying out for ourselves.
Mel also shared some very valuable marketing points, such as the importance of a good frame, to make a painting more attractive and saleable.
Thanks Mel, for a most interesting and inspiring evening.
At our March members’ meeting we were privileged to have Lesley Charnock demonstrating for us how to paint a portrait in oils with a very limited palette.
Neither weather nor long weekend could keep our members away from this one and we had a full hall, adding more chairs, as more people arrived….and they were not disappointed!
Lesley kept us enthralled and entertained for nearly two hours, which was more time than it took for her to pull this amazing portrait together.
She started her presentation by showing us some of the magic found in varying juxtaposition of colour – she’d brought with her three portraits, for which she’d used the same three colours she used in this demo, but in differing combinations and the difference was astonishing.
Armed with her enormous wooden palette of previously mixed colour and a selection of broad brushes, Lesley got to work. It was fascinating watching the painting grow – starting with a few brown brush-strokes on a blank canvas and working up to more and more positive colours, till this glowing face emerged.
There were cheers from the audience when she finally put her brushes down and pronounced her portrait “finished”. Thank you Lesley, for a truly inspiring demo.
The SASA members’ meeting for September was held on Thursday the 28th, at the Athenaeum, when our members were educated and entertained by Yvonne Ankerman.
Yvonne demonstrated for us, her particular method of painting flowers in oils, using only a palette knife and sosatie stick.
On a ready-painted, coloured acrylic background, she showed us how she quickly and effectively, builds her composition – a field of wild-flowers this time – using a limited colour palette and relatively few strokes of her palette knife.
The very loose and completely “unprecious” composition came together very nicely at the end, with the addition of a few linear marks for extra interest and scratched lines produced by her sosatie stick.
Thank you, Yvonne, for presenting us with a lovely, light-hearted way of expressing ourselves in paint.
If you made it to the SASA Members’ meeting last night – the 29th of June – you had a real treat! OK, so there was a pile-up on the N2 and our main attraction got diverted back to Stellenbosch and eventually got here via Belville and Goodwood, but get here, he did!
We had a back-to-front meeting and did the tea thing first, so by the time Derric arrived, we were all relaxed and well-fed – thanks Mary, for being so flexible with your catering 🙂
Starting with a canvas board, coated in streaky yellow and a box-full of very big, blonde brushes, Derric showed us how it’s done with acrylics.
Interspersing each with light-hearted banter, he added layer upon glorious layer of brightly coloured paint, using every kind of tool, other than we’d have expected to see.
Apart from his hardware-store brushes, he had blades and cardboard for scraping off paint and adding texture and even a window washing implement for spreading paint. I think the only time he used an actual “proper” artist’s paintbrush, was for the white stripe on the road.
The end result was an impressionistic landscape, amazingly loose and vibrant from close-up, which came beautifully into focus as one stepped backwards.
Thanks Derric, for a wonderfully enlightening and entertaining evening.