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Landscape, Life and Still-Life Competition

Last night – Thursday 26 July – was this month’s SASA members’ meeting, which is traditionally combined with the annual Landscape, Life and Still-life competition.








We had a lovely selection of entries to choose from, which made voting rather difficult, but choices had to be made.

While the votes were being tallied, Lyn Northam and Wyn Rossouw gave a critique of the work submitted and a marvelous job they did too! Thank you Lyn and Wyn – not an easy assignment, but one you are both most qualified to fulfill. I’m sure all who attended got a lot of tips for improving their work.


We also had some sketch packs from Artsauce available for their annual “Sketch-Pack Project” – a zig-zag mini sketch pad with enough pages for a sketch a day for the month of August.


These completed sketch-packs will then be exhibited in the window of Artsauce for the month of October. I hope you all got yours?


The gift vouchers given to the three winners in each category for the evening were also donated by Artsauce. In addition to a voucher, each winner also received a quality canvas, kindly donated by Winsen’s Canvas. We had some very happy winners, taking home these lovely prizes.







….and the winners were…..In the Landscape Category – first was Beth Lowe with her oil painting of “Noordhoek Beach”, second was Craig Paton-Ash, with his drawing of “Muizenberg” and third, Grazyna Janik, with a painting of “Hout Bay Harbour”. 








In the Life category – first Penny Steynor’s pastel portrait of her “Old Friend”, second was Tressan Verramunder with his watercolour “No Smile” and in third place, Jinty De Villiers with her sketch –  “Finishing Touches”.







In the Still-life category – first Penny Steynor with her watercolour “Class Project” and in joint second place, Grazyna Janik with her oil “My Winter Crop” and Margaret Munro’s watercolour “Tulips”.






Well done to all our prize-winners – all wonderful work and well-deserved winnings.


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Demo by Mel Elliot








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… 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.

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Plein Air Outing, 17 November






What a glorious day for plein air painting. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect if we’d ordered it specially – not too hot, or cold; windless, clear blue skies….and the colours were spectacular.







We met at Groot Constantia in the morning, though some joined us later on. A few of our party went off straight away up the hills and into the vineyards, for the breath-taking views, while the rest of us took a little longer to decide where to park ourselves.

The duck pond and buildings around it proved popular, both for our members as well as a group of mothers who’d gathered with their children. There were lots of interested little people who stopped for a chat, with gifts of duck feathers – good for painting with, by the way 🙂





We also had some not so welcome guests – a troop of baboons paid us a visit – but they were soon chased off and everyone could relax again.

Tea at Simon’s afterwards was a bit of a straggly affair, with people drifting in and out, but some of us managed to compare a few “notes”.






A lovely, relaxed and relaxing morning. Thanks Johann for organising it – we’ll have to do it again soon.

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Plein Air Outing to Nitida Winery

Thursday 26 October was cold and rainy! Great for the dams, but not so great for plein air painting, so it was a fearless few who braved the weather and gathered at “Tables” for the morning’s outing.

Some of us bundled up and worked outside, or used a car boot for protection from the rain and icy wind, while others gathered objects and took them inside for some still-life drawing.





The wine tasting room also proved to be a great place to get some drawing done, with Nitida’s wonderful wines for inspiration. We all eventually gave in and met in the restaurant, to thaw out and warm up with a nice cup of coffee beside the log fire.





Even though the weather wasn’t great, the company certainly was and some lovely work was produced. Thanks to all of you for getting there and making it such a very worthwhile and enjoyable morning. Thanks, as well, to Lynne Menge for organising it for us.

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July SASA Members’ Meeting

The SASA members’ meeting was held on Thursday 27 July at the Athenaeum. It proved to be a very entertaining evening.

Di Metcalfe and Catherine Moss, of Artsauce, kicked off the proceedings with a presentation of their “Sketchpack Project”, which they run every year around this time. You get a little zig-zag sketch pad with space for a sketch a day for a month. A wonderful way to get you into the habit of sketching every day and to be a part of the exhibition of these wonderfully creative works, at the end of it all.

Next up was the “Alla Prima Landscape, Life and Still-Life Competition”. Entries had to have been drawn, or painted from life, in one sitting. A challenge for any artist, but we had many beautiful and skillfully executed entries.








While the members’ votes were being tallied, we were given a crit of each entry, by the most experienced double act of Margie Johnson and Laura Wenman. Thank you, you two, for your very informative, constructive – and sometimes hilarious – input for the evening. It was much appreciated by all who attended and especially those whose work was on display. You gave us much insight into the way the use of colour, tone and light can enhance, or detract from a composition. We all learned a lot that evening.

Then, of course we have the winners! In the still life category, first place went to Wyn Rossouw, second was Grazyna Janik and third, Penny Steynor. 

In the life drawing category, Penny Steynor was in first place, second was Christopher Reid and third was Tressan Vermunder.

In the landscape category, first place was awarded to Beth Lowe, second to Grazyna Janik and in third place, Penny Steynor. Well done to all the winners!

A big thank you must go to Gavin Van Winsen of “Winsen’s Canvases”, who donated the beautiful Belgian Linen canvases, which were given as prizes and I’m sure, which the winners can’t wait to work on.

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Demo by Derric Van Rensburg

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.

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Plein Air Painting at Scarborough Beach

The morning of Tuesday 4 April surprised us all with rain and mist, but after a much needed soaking, the weather cleared. Rain umbrellas turned into sunshades, outer layers of clothing were shed and our outing could go ahead as planned.

The beach was beautifully warm and clear, the sea a sparkling blue. There were lovely contrasts between the sea, white sand and huge red rocks, with just a little residual mist hanging about the mountains, for extra atmospheric effect.







Each of us found the perfect spot, with the perfect view to paint, producing seascapes and landscapes, or a combination of the two.








Thanks to Yvonne Ankerman for doing the arranging and to the brave SASA members who took a chance on the weather. Thanks, as well, to Ronnie for the great photos.


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Plein Air Outing at False Bay Harbour

On Tuesday 14 February, a group of SASA members gathered at the Simon’s Town Yacht Club, for a plein air painting session. What a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day!IMG-20170215-WA0009

It was a gloriously sunny day, with a little wind to cool things down and whip things up a bit. There was plenty of choice of subject-matter – something to suit everyone’s needs – and plenty of different angles from which to start.

There were buildings and boats, harbour scenes and wind-swept trees, even a heap of rocks became inspiration for an abstract work or two. There were shady nooks for hiding from the wind and sociable walls for basking in the sun.

When everyone had had their fill and sketch-books filled, the pergola’d restaurant verandah was a great place to compare notes and admire each others works of art.

Thanks to Michele Batchelder and Karin Davel for organising this very rewarding and satisfying outing. 


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Sketching hike to Silvermine Dam

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On Wednesday 20 April, a group of SASA artists, joined by some from Constantiaberg Art Society, were led by Linda Howe-Ely on a sketching hike to the Silvermine Dam.

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The weather was glorious and artists were spoiled for choice with the beautiful surroundings,  offering picturesque compositions, whichever way we turned.

The warm breeze and calm water lent a wonderful, peaceful atmosphere, which made us all reluctant to leave. It was only when an approaching cold front made it’s presence felt around lunch-time, that we were finally forced to call it a day.

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This was a very pleasurable and satisfying end to the “plein air season” and we all look forward to next Summer, with the promise of more such outings to come.