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Prize-winners Demo

Our first members’ meeting will be held on Jan 27 at the Athenaeum at 7:00pm. Our winners from last year’s Annual will be demonstrating their skills.

Laura Wenman (Oils)
Jeremy Day (Acrylic)
Lucy Cobern (Drawing)
Pam Quinlan (Watercolour and new Fellow)
Val Watt (Pastel)
Deirdre Harris (Mixed Media)
Di Burger (Sculpture)
Sonja Frenz (our new Fellow)

To avoid congestion, the demos will be spaced out in the main hall, the drawing room and – weather permitting – outside. An evening not to be missed!

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November SASA Members’ Meeting

On Thursday the 25th of November we held our last meeting for 2021 at the Athenaeum and what a fun evening we had. Our president, Liz Pearson opened the meeting with all the formalities, welcomes and thanks.







We started inside the hall, seated at tables decorated with lanterns sparkling with fairy lights and where we were surrounded by a whole lot of very beautiful works of art – the entries for the Eleanor Palmer Competition – but that came later.

Sonja Frenz was presented with her certificate, awarding her Fellowship of the Society. Well done Sonja, an accolade so well deserved. 








Cups and certificates were also awarded to the winners of both the drawing competition and the Landscape, Life and Still-Life competition, which had taken place during our Zoom meetings for February and August respectively. The winner of the drawing competition was our new Fellow, Sonja Frenz, with her drawing “Rainy Days are the Best”.

Mary McMillan won the landscape competition with “Any Way the Wind Blows”, the Life-drawing category was won by Val Watt, with “Contemplation” and the Still-life by Penny Steynor’s “Home-grown”.

Then came the main event of the evening – the “Eleanor Palmer Competition”.

Glass of wine, or plate of snacks in hand, we studied the paintings presented and duly voted for our favourites. Then, while the votes were being counted, as it was such a beautiful evening, we all moved outside, wine, snacks, tables and all, and the games began. We were each given a numbered, rather random-looking coloured square – a piece of a picture, which we then had to reproduce in paint onto a bigger, blank square….

When placed in the right positions on a backing board, these abstract painted squares miraculously formed a lovely picture of the Peter Clarke Art Centre. Great Game, Adrian!

The Eleanor Palmer winners were then announced… third place, “Sunset Herders” by Judy Hilton-Green, second was “African Sky”, by Penny Steynor and in first place, “Mother’s Love” by Laura Wenman. Well done to all of you, your work is beautiful.

Thanks to our tireless council for all the hard work they do and for putting the evening together. Thanks, as well, to all who brought a plate of snacks to share and to Philip Green for the lanterns with their solar fairy-lights, which gave the evening such a festive atmosphere.

Wishing you all “Happy Holidays”, whatever it is you’ll be celebrating. Enjoy the break and see you next year!

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October SASA Members’ Meeting

We were in the Athenaeum again on Thursday 28 October for our members’ meeting and judges critique of work from the Annual Selection Weekend. We had a good spread-out crowd – in fact the hall was about as full as possible, so we couldn’t have fitted many more in. Lovely to see all our members, old and new, coming together again.








Liz opened the meeting by thanking council and judges for all their hard work – and Philip Green for the back-up lighting he supplied in case of load-shedding, which thankfully, we didn’t need. The library was also open before the meeting, with a special sale of magazines.









The format was slightly different this year, due to the fact that the paintings were all on exhibition and couldn’t be presented “in person”. We had projected images of the prize-winning works, which the judges spoke about, explaining their reasons for choosing these particular pieces.










We were very lucky to have all three judges – Marc Alexander, Cindie Ah Ling and Andrew Hart – there for most of the evening and they – for the most part – were in complete agreement on the allocation of awards.











They commented on good composition, with placement and treatment of focal point; the use of colour to create aerial perspective; use of chiaroscuro for effect; skillful technique, etc. So we were given all sorts of hints and guides on how to enhance and improve our own work.








The prize-winners were presented with their certificates and the “best-in-category”, their trophies. We also had two members who were awarded Fellowship of the society – well done to Karen Burns and Pam Quinlan for the well-deserved accolades.









Thanks to all involved for a joyful and informative evening. See you all again next month , same time, same place, for November’s meeting and the end of year function.

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September 2021 SASA Members’ Meeting

We were back in the Athenaeum for our Thursday, 30 September Members’ meeting and it was good to have everyone there in person again, though we were all weirdly “spaced out” and adhering to covid protocols.

Our guest for the evening was SASA Senior Fellow, Jeremy Day, who gave an illustrated talk about his work, entitled “Thinking and creating inside and outside the box”.







Jeremy started out in graphic design and later studied Fine Art at the Ruth Prowse Art School, under Erik Laubscher. He works in acrylics, which lends itself to creating fine details….besides, as he says, he doesn’t have the patience to wait for paint to dry! He uses Nathaniel Kleitman’s work cycle – 90 minutes work and a 20 minute rest – which he believes increases productivity and keeps the work fresh, and leaves himself a “cliff-hanger” at the end of each 90 minute session, so he’s excited to get back to work after his break!

Jeremy told us how he creates his image, manipulating with photoshop, printing out on A4 sections and transferring it to the canvas from there. He doesn’t use a palette, but mixes batches of colour and keeps each in a plastic container with a lid, to stop the paint from drying out and to ensure he has the exact same colour if a touch-up is needed.










He works from background to foreground, adding details as he goes, with his own little touches of humour – for the “spark trail” of the crayola dynamite painting he’d brought with him, Jeremy stuck on all sorts of bits and pieces of paint scraps he’d collected over the years….and because the canvas edge is so deep, he painted and extra stick of crayon dynamite on either side.

Thanks Jeremy for giving us of your time and expertise…..and thanks to our members for getting there. See you again next month!


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SASA Natalie Hirschman Demo

Hopefully our September members’ meeting will be held at the Athenaeum, but for our 26 August meeting we were still on Zoom.

Liz Pearson opened the meeting by welcoming new members and reminding us of the latest change in dates for selection weekend – if you’re in any doubt, please email Nicole, the SASA secretary – . Liz also told us how very well the current Members 2 exhibition is doing at Kirstenbosch – very uplifting news, after the long months of slow sales – and then introduced Natalie Hirschman, our guest for the evening.








Natalie did a live demo for us, her first attempt at doing a portrait demo before a live audience, as she generally takes a lot longer than the time we had to complete a portrait. Actually, most of us would’ve been happy to watch her paint all night! It was truly amazing to see how she “builds” her portraits. We were shown stages of some of her others, from nearly beginning to completed work, so we could see where she was heading.

After showing us her selection of colours on her big glass palette, Natalie started on the background, with really big brushes, putting down shapes, rather than drawing lines and then added the basic face shapes. To her the background and face are integral to each other and need to be painted as such, rather than separately.

She likes to give her work a sense of movement and mystery with her brushwork, marks and undefined edges, constantly changing brushes, mixing colours, cooling and warming, lightening and darkening, adding and removing as she goes.

She paints “around the features” rather than the features themselves with brushstrokes rather than line and letting the features flow into each other. Natalie prefers to paint wet into wet paint, so nothing is static, putting down the basic structure of the face in one go and working out the details later.

Thank you Natalie for a totally absorbing evening. We’re waiting in breathless anticipation to see how the portrait eventually turned out, although, I think we all agree, it was rather beautiful just as you left it.

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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 –


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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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 – – for information.