For the first SASA plein air outing of the season, Johan Pieterse has organised a visit to the Buitenverwachting Wine Estate. See the latest SASA newsletter for details.
Dr Roger Melvill – neurosurgeon, mountaineer and artist – was the official doctor on the Lewis Pugh expedition to Antarctica and we were lucky enough to have him at the SASA members’ meeting on Thursday 26 April to tell his tale.
Dr Melvill spoke of the wonderful work done by the Lewis Pugh Foundation for the preservation and conservation of the world’s oceans. To draw attention to this cause, Lewis Pugh himself has completed long-distance swims in every one of those oceans, often in near freezing water.
From Dr Melvill’s slides, we saw how breathtaking – both literally and figuratively – the area is, in it’s starkly beautiful scenery and it’s icy cold temperatures.
Luckily, he often had time to set up his easel and paint en plein air, capturing the magnificence of the landscape and birdlife, as have many other artists before him, on similar expeditions, one of whom was our very own Yvonne Ankerman.
The earliest of these did it out of necessity, having no cameras in those days, with which to record events.
Thank you, Dr Melvill, for a fascinating evening. You kept your audience spellbound right from the start, to the final word!
In honour of the “Year of the Bird”, members were asked to bring a bird painting with them – here is a selection of those.
On Friday March 23, we met at the False Bay Yacht Club in Simon’s Town for a morning of plein air sketching and painting.
It was a beautifully sunny, windless day – perfect for our needs, though rather disappointing for the sailors, whose yachts stayed in the harbour.
The yachts on their moorings and the Navy vessels alongside provided wonderful subject matter for some of us, while others turned to the picturesque town itself, with the spectacular backdrop of the hills behind.
The sounds of the harbour, both man-made and natural, added a peaceful backing track to the tranquil scene, which had us working hard till mid-day, when we stopped for lunch at the club restaurant.
Many thanks to the management and staff of the yacht club, who made us so welcome, allowing us access to their facilities and to their beautiful setting. Thanks as well, to Johan Pieterse, for organising it all.
It was a glorious morning on 28 February, when a group of SASA members met at the beautiful Chart Farm in Wynberg – which has become a firm favourite – for some plein air painting.
The painters and sketchers wandered amongst the roses and between the trees, each finding their own personal, magnificent view from which to draw inspiration.
As the sun climbed over the mountains, the colours and shadows altered with the changing light and we had to paint quickly to capture it all, resulting in an abundance of wonderfully free sketches.
By eleven we were all ready for refreshment and met in the coffee shop for drinks and snacks, while we shared our experiences and admired each other’s efforts.
Thanks Johan, for organising another most enjoyable plein air outing.
On Friday 19 January a group of SASA members gathered for some plein air painting and drawing on the magnificent Buitenverwachting wine estate in the Constantia valley.
It was rather overcast and windy, but the wonderful scenery more than made up for the failings of the weather.
There was a view to inspire every artist, whether it was vineyards and mountains they were looking for, or beautiful architecture, flanked by ancient trees. There were even some chickens strutting their stuff on the lawn and begging to be captured on our wind-whipped pages.
When the elements got too much, the coffee shop and beanery offered some welcome warmth and shelter, where our artists could compare notes and have a hot drink, before leaving for home.
Thanks to Johan Pieterse for organising another very enjoyable outing.
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.
Johann Pieterse has organised a plein air outing to Groot Constantia on Friday 17 November. Meet in the car park at 9:30 am. See the November SASA newsletter for more details.
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.
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.
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.