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SASA Zoom Meeting for July

On Thursday 29 July we had our monthly members’ meeting, as has become usual, via Zoom and we had a record 49 participants. We’re getting the hang of this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz Pearson opened the meeting by welcoming new and returning members and gave us the good advice to “keep creating, no matter what”! She reminded us that the annual selection weekend has been moved to  the weekend of the 4th and 5th of September – if anyone can lend a hand on the day/s, please let Audrey know – exhibitions@sasa-artists.co.za

 

As is traditional for the July meeting, we held our (slightly modified) Landscape, Life and Still-Life competition, which was extremely well supported. We had so many beautiful entries, the judges had a really hard time choosing the winners, but they eventually managed to decide.

We had three “critics” – Lyn Northam, Laura Wenman and Beth Lowe – who discussed the winning works and the possible reasons they caught the judges’ eye.

In the “Landscape” category, 3rd was Lyn Northam’s “Foraging Ibis”, 2nd Beth Lowe’s”Virga (Ghost Rain)” and in 1st place Mary McMillan’s “Any Way the Wind Blows”.

 

 

 

The winners in the “Life” category were, in 3rd place, Katherine Sutton’s “Inky Play”, 2nd “Serenity” by Lesley Charnock and 1st was Val Watt’s “Contemplation”.

 

 

 

 

 

Lesley Charnock featured again in the “Still-Life” category, placed 3rd with her painting entitled “From Margie’s Garden”, 2nd was Wyn Rossouw’s “Hibiscus Sunlight” and in 1st place, Penny Steynor’s “Home Grown”.

 

 

 

 

The critics congratulated the judges on their choices, where “out-of-the-ordinary” featured well in the winning works. The paintings were complimented on their unusual composition, colour choices and values, as well as a sense of movement, even in the still-life category. The critiques also included the beautiful use of brush-strokes and negative spaces, as well as mark-making done with alternative tools, each painting masterfully executed in it’s own unique way.

Congratulations to all the winners, and well done, our three critics. Great job everyone!

 

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Winter Life Drawing Studio

Last Saturday, 26 of June, was the penultimate of this season’s life drawing sessions at the scout hall in Newlands. We had such an enjoyable morning drawing Gomez, new for us and a wonderful model. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He posed very comfortably, his shapes and gestures were beautiful and it was good to have some masculine muscles to draw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were once again well socially distanced – plenty of room in the hall – and adhered to all the rules with masks and hand-sanitisers. Everyone had another very satisfying morning of drawing and painting, producing some beautiful work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With just one more session to go, there’s still space for a couple more “drawers”, so if you’d like to join us, please email the SASA secretary, Nicole Riedler at secretary@sasa-artists.co.za

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An Evening With Helen Van Stolk

Our members’ meeting for June was held on Thursday the 24th via Zoom. The meeting was opened by the SASA president, Liz Pearson, who welcomed new and returning members to the society and assured us that we’d be meeting in the Athenaeum as soon as possible – we just have to “wait and see” when that will be. She assured us that this years selection weekend would definitely be happening, but with strict COVID protocols in place.

 

 

 

 

Liz introduced our guest for the evening, Helen van Stolk, who gave us a wonderful slide presentation, showing how our art can expand our lives. She told us how lucky we are, as artists – especially in these challenging times – because our creativity allows us to journey within, when it’s not possible to go anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

Helen told us of her own steps to creating more than just a painting, but a whole experience for herself and her viewers. She encouraged us to experience more – to notice what we’re attracted to and open ourselves up to our deepest desires, gathering inspiration along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

A vision board is a good way of collecting all these bits of inspiration and opening our subconscious to ideas and possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

Helen told us of her dreams of visiting the studios of various artists, of drawing amongst an orchestra, of hosting workshops, all of which she made real by reaching out and making them happen.

She showed us a little of her studio practice and gave us a taste of her latest exhibition.

Helen’s advice to us was to dream big, be open to the unexpected and let the magic unfold, till our whole life becomes a masterpiece.

Thanks Helen, for a most inspiring evening. In case anyone missed this meeting, it was recorded, so please email Nicole – the SASA secretary – secretary@sasa-artists.co.za – for information.

 

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SASA Winter Life Drawing Sessions

On Saturday 19 June, we had the third of this season’s Winter life drawing sessions at the Newlands Scout Hall. We were all masked up and well socially distanced and even though a door had to be kept open for fresh air, it was pretty warm for the middle of Winter, so nobody suffered too badly….although we still needed heaters on to keep our model comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our model for the morning was Jessie – and what a wonderful job she did. Not afraid of getting into peculiar positions, she gave us some very interesting poses to draw and kept us all totally absorbed. Some beautiful work was produced and everyone went home happy.

Thanks to Val and Chris for admin and to Avril for the tea……and of course, all those who helped pack up afterwards.

If you’d like to attend the remaining two sessions, please email our secretary, Nicole – secretary@sasa-artists.co.za – the cost will be R80 per session.

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SASA Winter Life Drawing

We had a great start to the SASA Winter Life drawing sessions – our first was on Saturday 5 June – with Sinead modeling for us. We were well socially distanced and all masked up.

Though the scout hall is always a little chilly, it was warmer than expected and our model was kept nice and warm with all the heaters going. The rest of us had our woollies to keep us warm.

Sinead is the perfect life drawing model. She is totally relaxed in her body and presented us with beautiful and interesting poses, that together with her lovely “Renaissance” colouring, inspired us to new heights of drawing.

 

 

 

 

 

The morning went very smoothly, thanks to Chris, who did all the admin; Val, who took charge and Avril for the catering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was good to see everyone again – old and new faces making beautiful art together – and all lent a hand with the set-up and take-down, for which we’re very grateful.

There may still be space for a couple more artists, so if you’re interested in joining the next session, please email Nicole Riedler – secretary@sasa-artists.co.za

 

 

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Val Watt Pastel Demo

Our members’ meeting for May was well attended via Zoom, with over 40 people watching. Everyone was looking forward to Val Watt’s pastel demo.

The meeting was opened by SASA president, Liz Pearson, who welcomed new members and council member and thanked those involved with videoing and presenting our Zoom meetings. She also sent condolences to friends and family of Dale Elliot, a long-time SASA member, who sadly passed away a week ago.

 

 

 

 

Val began her presentation by  showing us all the materials she uses, starting with the pastels themselves, pastels being the closest medium one can get to pure pigment. The softest and most intense colour comes from pan pastels, which are applied with a chamois-covered applicator and used for covering large areas.

 

 

 

 

She then went through all sorts of different pastels and pastel pencils, the softer of which have more pigment and less binder. As the binder increases, the pigment decreases, which give a lighter, less intense colour and these are usually the pastels used underneath the softer ones. She uses the “arm test” to check the “power” of each pastel.

 

 

 

 

 

Next we saw some of the many different papers available, from sanded, which has more tooth and can hold more layers, through to much smoother papers which are not as durable…..and for storage and shipping, a sheet of tracing paper is used to prevent smudging.

 

 

 

 

 

Val began her portrait by drawing the face with a hard, light pastel pencil, then adding yellow to place the highlights. She carefully chose her colours for lights, darks and mid tones before she began mapping out her portrait, going from hardest to softest and blending with a harder pastel, rather than a finger.

She splashed alcohol on the pastel to make interesting texture and carried on on top of that, darkening and lightening as she went, correcting drawing and tone, often using colours one would never think of using in a portrait.

It was fascinating to watch the portrait emerge.

Thank you Val, for presenting your process to us and for answering all our questions. If you’re interested in attending one of Val’s workshops, her next one will be held sometime in July.

 

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Plein Air Outings

Plein air painting is not for sissies! You’ll find members of the plein air group out and about whatever the weather. They’ll bundle up warmly, or put on a hat, finding shelter from the weather where they can and producing some amazing work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past week there were two outings – one to the harbour at Kalk Bay on Monday 17 May and one to the beach at St James on Wed 19 May, both firm favourites, with lots of choice of subject matter.

The sunny skies disguise the chill in the wind and clear blue can turn to cloudy grey in a matter of minutes, but overcast skies can produce some lovely atmospheric effects, which out artists are adept at capturing on canvas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every outing is enjoyable and invigorating in it’s own way. Thanks to all who take the trouble to organise the venues and to those who participate.

If you’d like to be part of the group, please email Sonja Frenz – sonjafrenz@gmail.com – and she’ll add you to her list.

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Val Watt Pastel Workshop

A group of about ten SASA members joined us on Saturday 15 May for a wonderful pastel workshop with Val Watt. Starting with the declaration “There are no rules, only options”, Val very generously shared all her experience and expertise with us, never prescriptive, but letting us find our own way, gently guiding us if we got lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val first discussed the materials we’d be using – soft, medium and hard pastels; the various papers available and new textural and innovative ways of making our own supports. As she explained and demonstrated the pastels, ground and supports, we tried them out too, feeling and seeing the differences for ourselves, at times even drawing a line on our arm to test for softness and density of pigment.

Val demonstrated a seascape with two figures on the rocks. We began by drawing in the horizon line, while Val described how to check the size, proportion and placement of the figures.

Selecting our lightest, medium and darkest colours, we began to put all we’d learnt that morning into practice. Starting with a watercolour sky and using hard pastel, we drew in the rocks and sea, which we then washed with alcohol to get wonderful textures, splashes and drips.

It was lovely to see all the different interpretations of the scene, each artist bringing her own special touch. We all enjoyed the workshop tremendously and learned an enormous amount. Thank you Val for a truly inspiring day! Thanks as well to Irene for organising it – and the photos – for us and to Mary McMillan for the words. Looking forward to Val’s demo at the SASA members’ meeting next week.