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Visit to the Donald Greig gallery and Foundry

On Thursday 8 June, we were treated to a personal tour of Donald Greig’s gallery and foundry in the Port of Cape Town. The reins of the whole venture are held in the most capable hands of Donald’s wife, Ali, who transformed an old port building into the marvelous gallery space it is today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gallery, which is the showroom for Donald’s wonderful wildlife sculptures, is peaceful, light and welcoming and this is where we met to begin our tour, surrounded by the creatures of Africa.

Donald and Ali took us through the complex and time-consuming process of casting a piece in bronze, using the ancient “lost wax” technique. It takes about six weeks – and a team of skilled craftsmen – to produce a finished sculpture, from the first rubber mold, through the various coatings holding the form firm, to the pouring of the molten bronze and lastly, the patina, added with chemicals and heat, to enhance the character of the particular piece.

Thank you Donald and Ali, for a truly inspiring tour and Helen Van Stolk for arranging it for us.

 

 

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Gavin Rain Studio Visit Copy

On Saturday morning, 11 March, a lucky group of SASA members were treated to a visit to the Paarden Eiland studio of Gavin Rain. It’s a wonderful light and airy space in which he works his magic with acrylic paint.

Gavin gave a fascinating talk, taking us through his process and speaking in depth about the marketing of his work.

The colours he uses and the dots that form his neo-pointilist paintings may seem random, but are actually very carefully, almost mathematically chosen.

The size of the dots gives tonal variation and the number of dots determines the distance the viewer must stand from the canvas for it to “come into focus”. He has made up a colour chart of thousands of dots – each with five different colours – and even worked with a paint chemist to develop special acrylic paint for his work.

 

His intention is for people to engage with the paintings, by looking closely and then stepping back – appreciating the abstract colours, dots and patterns, then seeing the portrait emerge, as one gets further away.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Gavin, for a truly inspiring morning and to Michele Batchelder for arranging it for us.

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Gavin Rain Studio Visit

On Saturday morning, 11 March, a lucky group of SASA members were treated to a visit to the Paarden Eiland studio of Gavin Rain. It’s a wonderful light and airy space in which he works his magic with acrylic paint.

Gavin gave a fascinating talk, taking us through his process and speaking in depth about the marketing of his work.

The colours he uses and the dots that form his neo-pointilist paintings may seem random, but are actually very carefully, almost mathematically chosen.

The size of the dots gives tonal variation and the number of dots determines the distance the viewer must stand from the canvas for it to “come into focus”. He has made up a colour chart of thousands of dots – each with five different colours – and even worked with a paint chemist to develop special acrylic paint for his work.

 

His intention is for people to engage with the paintings, by looking closely and then stepping back – appreciating the abstract colours, dots and patterns, then seeing the portrait emerge, as one gets further away.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Gavin, for a truly inspiring morning and to Michele Batchelder for arranging it for us.

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Deep South Studio Visits

The first of our studio visits for 2017 happened on Friday 17 February, when a group of artists met in Glencairn Heights, at the home of our own bold adventurer, Yvonne Ankerman.

Yvonne spoke to us about her passion for plein air painting and let us browse through her many, beautifully filled sketch books. Surrounded as she is, by the most magnificent views, it’s a wonder Yvonne ever leaves her studio, let alone ventures as far as the South Pole!

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Our next stop was Karin Davel’s lovely creative space, which is a treasure trove of beautiful things. Karin works in many, varying media, intriguing us all with her demonstration, in which she used a sewing machine to produce a picture of an aloe. We were served a lovely tea with snacks, which we enjoyed, looking out over the bay.

Ronnie Biccard’s colourful home in Fishhoek was the last stop on our agenda. Ronnie told us about her journey as an artist and the inspiration that leads her to work as she does. She showed us the unique range of hand painted bags she calls “Art on Your Arm” and her brightly decorated furniture, which enhances her “happy space”.

The light lunch she served was the perfect end to an enlightening morning. Thanks to the three hosting artists and to Michele Batchelder for arranging it all.

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Dylan Lewis Studio Visit

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Our “studio visit” with Dylan Lewis on Friday 23 October was so much more than that. The lucky group who managed to book a place were treated to the most amazing artistic experience.

While waiting for the rest of the party to arrive, we explored his studio cum exhibition space in the most beautifully restored building in the Stellenbosch farmlands.

His circular studio alone, with its huge barn doors, which opened out onto a magnificent view of the property, was enough to turn us all green with envy. Every corner was a still-life, every window, a photo opportunity.

Dylan took us on a guided tour through his extensive sculpture garden, which he has formed himself over the past few years. From virtually flat farmland, he has created an undulating landscape of valleys and hills, ponds fed by lucky natural stprings and shady secret gardens and groves, inviting peaceful contemplation.

We were shown the huge pieces permanently installed in their magical surroundings and given an insight into Dylan’s journey to his work. His interest lies in the contrast between wilderness and “civilisation”, the wildness of the animal world – especially portrayed in the powerful big cats – and the wildness that is in us all.

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This piece of land of his is the transition between wild and civilised, with the organic  shapes of the surrounding mountains, echoed by the placement of each sculpture and geometric man made structures in direct contrast.

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Thank you Dylan, for a wonderful morning and thanks, Helen van Stolk, for arranging it all.