Tomorrow – Thursday 29 October – we’ll be holding our monthly members’ meeting via Zoom, once more. Yvonne Ankerman – travel sketcher/nature artist/urban sketcher/expedition artist in residence – will be doing a “Watercolour and Sketchbook demo”. Yvonne will show us how she captures those wonderful travel moments. For more info please see your latest SASA newsletter.
Our members’ meeting for September, held on Thursday the 24th, was once again held via Zoom and hosted by our president, Audrey Innes. Our October meeting will also be online, but we are hoping to have a “garden party” at the Athenaeum for the last meeting of the year, at the end of November. It will be good to see everyone again in person, so watch your newsletter for details and updates.
Back to September’s meeting! Our guest for the evening was our lovely Helen Van Stolk, who spoke to us about elevating our – and our viewers’ – spirit through our art. Her key-word for this talk, as well as for her own recent work, was “connection”.
She let us see how our work transforms when we really feel connected to it – feeling valued; seen and heard without judging or being judged. She likened her new process to a journey, not meticulously planned and mapped out, but rather just going where the road takes us and seeing what happens.
Helen urged us to seek inspiration everywhere – it can come from nature, music ,words, magazines, even pieces of coloured fabrics or paper. As we were told through a video clip of David Bowie – you should never work for other people. Something inside made you want to paint in the first place, so that’s where it needs to come from, but be brave – wade a little out of your depth!
To feed our art with freshness and imagination, we need to experience new things – things that make us feel inspired and invigorated. Helen proposed taking ourselves on “artist dates” and spoiling ourselves with “self-care” to energise ourselves, as whatever we’re feeling when we’re painting is what the viewer will feel when looking at a piece
……and presentation matters! It is essential to value your work, and paying attention to all five of the senses will allow you and your viewer to fully connect and experience it as a “beautiful encounter”.
Thank you Helen, for a peep into your studio and yourself – and for an exciting and truly inspiring evening.
Don’t forget this month’s Zoom meeting! On Thursday evening, 24 September Helen Van Stolk will be giving a talk and a demo – “Elevate Spirit through Art” – our own and others’ connection to our work. Not to be missed! For more info, please see the latest SASA newsletter.
On Thursday 27 August, we had the second of our Zoom meetings and our guest for the evening was well known artist, Erika van Zyl. We saw Erika demonstrating a still life in oils.
She first gave us a run-down on all the materials and equipment she would be using, including the setting up of her still-life in a “shadow box”.
Erika uses large brushes and good quality paints in a limited palette, which gives her painting a certain unity and harmony.
The composition and setting up of the still life is most important, showing what it is you want to say with your painting. Erika begins with a sketch, to which she then adds monochromatic tones for a “value study”, which is used as reference when executing the final work.
She stressed the importance of negative shapes and tonal values, which she considers more important than getting the colours absolutely perfect. It was fascinating to watch the painting grow and quite amazing to see the amount of detail she manages to achieve with her great big brushes.
Erika was able to complete her painting in a relatively short space of time, as she is used to painting en plein air, which necessitates working quickly, so that by the end of the evening we were able to see the finished piece.
She very kindly offered us free access to the video on her school website – Colour your canvas with Erika van Zyl – for a couple of days.
The meeting was well attended – thanks to Adrian Larkin and everyone else involved, for setting it up for us and making it all possible.
Due to ongoing COVID constraints and restrictions, we will again be having our August meeting online via Zoom. This month we have professional artist, Erika van Zyl giving us a demo in oils. For more details, please see your latest newsletter.
Our July SASA members’ meeting was, for the first time, held on “Zoom” and was, despite small hiccups, most successful and well-attended – we had fifty-four members present – thanks to our hosts, Audrey Innes (president of SASA) and Adrian Larkin.
Audrey kicked off the evening by announcing the winners of our online competition. Judging the many, many entries received was a very difficult task, but eventually the three favourites were chosen.
In first place was Charme Southey with her abstract acrylic painting “Emotions of Lockdown”, second was Loraine Magda with her portrait in oil “Deep Vision” and third was Kate Pearce’s “Golden Afternoon” a landscape in oil.
Well done to you three and many thanks to Linda and Greg Austin of “Artland” for the generous donation of the vouchers and art materials given as prizes.
Our special guest for the evening was Simon Ekin, well known author and speaker on learning life-skills. To quote the man himself: “You know how when you have a great idea or commitment to do something and then you get scared and back out? Well, what I do is give you the tools and insights to make sure that that never happens again. The best that’ll happen is that you’ll produce a great result and blow people away. The worst that’ll happen is that you’ll be really proud of yourself for giving it a go”.
Simon’s book, “The Art of Courage” was the starting point for his presentation and he spoke about his journey through his own fears. Fears of judgement, vulnerability, criticism – which are very familiar to most of us – and the tools he used to overcome them.
To get going, he urged us to be committed, to decide what we want to say and just do it. As long as we are authentic in what we are doing, we just need to find the courage and get on with it, giving ourselves permission to be human and totally ourselves.
His own challenge to himself was to give ninety talks in ninety days, the first of which took place on a London bus. People thought he was absolutely crazy, but he did it anyway. He was confronted by a “big, scary, ginger Celt” saying “People think you’re f@#*ing mad!! Don’t stop!”
At the end of his talk, Simon offered a 90 minute coaching session for the member with the best reason “Why I’d like a 90 minute coaching session” sent to his email – firstname.lastname@example.org – Thank you Simon, for a wonderfully entertaining and inspiring evening.
On the 27th of February, the last Thursday of the month, we held our AGM in the Athenaeum. As is our tradition, it was combined with the annual drawing competition.
Solly Gutman played his usual role as chairman for the evening, introduced by our president, Audrey Innes. Audrey gave a wonderful slide presentation, showing all the activities and events of what has been a very busy and successful year for the society.
She welcomed the new SASA members and sadly, said goodbye to three of our council members – Glenda, Mary and Kate. Thanks to all three of you for your hard work and especially to Glenda, who has served on the council for the past twelve years. They were all thanked with a gift and Glenda also received honorary membership, in recognition of and gratitude for her many years of service.
Luckily two more members – Peter Hobday and Nicole Reidler – have stepped up and were introduced as our new council members. (There’s still room for another, if anyone else would like to volunteer their services.)
Mike, our trusty treasurer gave a very concise, yet comprehensive run-down of the financial side of things.
The drawing competition was next on the agenda, and while there were fewer entries than usual, what was lacking in quantity, was more than made up for in the quality of the work – we had some very beautiful drawings from which to make our selection.
Well done to our winners – in third place, Sunita Hansen, with “Daily Bread”,
second was Penny Steynor’s “The Road Sweeper”
and in first place, Sonja Frenz with “View of Kalk Bay”.
Thanks to everyone involved for making this a very pleasant evening.
The prize-winners from the 2019 selection weekend were invited to kick off the 2020 SASA program by giving us a demonstration of their considerable talents at the first members’ meeting for the year.
On Thursday 30 Jan, we were pleased to welcome Mariaan du Plooy, who won “Best Oil”; Sonja Frenz, who won “Best Drawing”; Val Watt, who was awarded “Best Pastel”; and Cliff Davies, for “Best Print Media”.
We were also lucky enough to have two of our SASA Fellows there on the evening – Penny Steynor did a wonderful demo with acrylic paint, using only a palette knife and Evan Douglas showed us how he executes his beautiful watercolour birds.
There were about eighty members and guests who arrived to watch and gather useful tips, so the hall was buzzing – quite daunting for those doing the demos. It was amazing to watch as the different artworks took shape – there was such a variety of media being used in such a variety of techniques, producing very different, yet uniformly beautiful finished pieces.
Thanks and well done to our “demonstrators” for keeping calm and carrying on! It was a most interesting and entertaining evening.
Typo Alert! It was stated in the SASA newsletter and in the last post re Jan meeting that it will be held on 28 Jan. This is incorrect – as usual, our members’ meeting (2019 selection weekend prize-winners demo) will be on the last Thursday of the month, which is the 30th of January 2020. Sorry about that! 🙂
At our members’ meeting on Thursday the of 27th February , we will be holding the SASA AGM and drawing competition at the Athenaeum. The theme for this year’s competition is “Urban”. For more details, please see the latest newsletter.