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Mon 7 Feb Plein Air Outing to Groot Constantia

On Mon 7 Feb the plein air group will be meeting at Groot Constantia for a morning of painting and sketching. If you’d like to be a part of it all, please email Sonja Frenz – – and she’ll add you to the plein air whatsapp group. For more info, see the latest SASA newsletter.

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Plein Air Outing to “Soil For Life”

On Wednesday morning the 20th of October, members of the SASA plein air group gathered to paint in the beautiful natural gardens of SOIL FOR LIFE, in Constantia.  







We set ourselves up under some shady trees, peacefully sketching and writing, trying to capture the tranquility of our surroundings on canvas and on paper. Some painted in watercolours and others in oil, while some simply sat quietly enjoying the ambience.









The gentle pace of the workers made us aware of how rushed our lives can be, in such a hurry to get things done that we don’t appreciate what is around us. We were able to buy freshly picked veggies to take home for supper and some seedlings, from which to grow our own.









We were all so reluctant to leave this place that had so much to offer, we decided to return another time to continue what we’d started. Thank you Sonja Frenz, for organising the day out and for your words. If anyone else would like to join the plein air outings, please email Sonja – – and she’ll add you to the whatsapp group.

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Keurboom Park Plein Air Take Two

Since the third Wednesday came too quickly this month, we had a rerun on the fourth! So on September 22, the plein air group – possibly the amalgamated version – met once again in Keurboom Park, with a few new sketchers in tow, making eight of us altogether.

This week it was really “Springy” in the park – a beautifully sunny, windless morning. There were lots of school children running about, on a nature-study outing, as well as plenty of joggers and dog-walkers, so plenty of activity and plenty to paint all around us.








Another peacefully inspiring morning was had by all. If anyone else wishes to join the plein air group, please email Sonja Frenz and she’ll add you on whatsap –

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Plein Air Outing to Keurboom Park

On Wednesday 15 September a group of SASA plein air enthusiasts met at Keurboom Park in Rondebosch, for a morning’s painting and sketching.






The weather wasn’t exactly warm, but there was a definite feel of Spring in the air, with trees budding all around us and flowers dotted around in the long grass. The park was full of dog-walkers, mums and their little ones and nannies with their charges, enjoying the lovely fresh air.






We had a really good day, surrounded as we were by trees, lush greenery and rivers spanned by bridges, with our beautiful mountain in the background, giving us all beautiful choices of subject matter and composition.








In fact, everyone enjoyed the setting so much that we’ll be back there again next week – Wednesday the 22nd of September – and perhaps more of our members would like to join us? If you’d like to be a part of the plein air group, please email Sonja Frenz – – and she’ll add you to the whatsapp group.

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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 – – 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.

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March/April Plein Air Outings

The new improved, amalgamated plein air painters and sketchers group have been painting up a storm!







A return visit was paid to Chapman’s Peak Drive, with its spectacular views on 29 March. That morning’s outing resulted in some superb sketches of The Sentinel, overlooking Hout Bay, as well as the beautiful stretch of coastline.






The next Wednesday – 31 March – we’d arranged to meet again on the Blouberg beachfront, but the cloudy, drizzly day scared off all but the bravest few. The moody weather added another dimension to the familiar scenery, so those brave few were well rewarded for getting there, despite the conditions.











On the second Saturday in April another group of plein air enthusiasts met at the Greenpoint Park, for a whole different outdoor painting experience. There was a great feeling of tranquility to the scene – the changing light on the water in the lily-filled ponds enjoyed and painted from the comfort of the lawn. 


Jafta’s Flower Farm in Constantia was the venue for the next outing, which took place on Monday, April the 12th. It was a perfect Autumn day – warm and windless – and there was a feast of colour to delight in, with just enough cloud about to make for interesting skies as well.

Thanks to all who arranged the different outings – very inspiring choices of venue, very much enjoyed and appreciated by all who attended.

If anyone else wishes to join the group, please email Sonja Frenz – – and she will add you to the whatsapp group